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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 Audacioues 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, almost synonyms. 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. 

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 in 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 80th.

Intelligence agencies  get special status under corporatism. moreover they now constitute the backbone Media-Military-Industrial Complex which 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 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). So now this is Media-Military-Financial-Industrial-SiliconValley complex.

This is a new unelected aristocracy with huge financial resources that stands above law and can't be easily demotes from their positions (on intelligence againces level, J. Edgar Hoover  is an excellent example here).  They now are a new incarnation of  the "royal court", 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.  After all one of the hypotheses of why JFK was killed is that his  policies were directed against intelligences agencies 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 or Russia. BTW the term "deep state" originated in Turkey. 

But the deep state victory 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. Of cause the by-and-large coinside bu still there are some differences. As we can see from Syria war such differences can lead to essentially supporting hostile to each other  group while trying to achive the same color revolution based "regime change" in the country.

Also relations between three letter agencies are far from harmonious at all with CIA ('humint") very concerned about recent rise of status and capabilities of NSA ("sigint").  They lie to each other and try to poach  funds from the other agencies. for example the relations between NSA and CIA are far from harmonious with CIA brass being very concerted about increase  role of NSA in the era on Internet communications  and trying to counterattack. 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 (as 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 can attest). 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. 

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, ehich 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 Brack 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 is an extended variant of military industrial complex dominance (see Media-Military-Industrial Complex) as it includes selected members of financial oligarchy along with industrialists 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 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 wag 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 can also be found in most other states, especially neoliberal states. For example, it able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process, after which elected candidates switly 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 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 nother, 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, exersize 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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[Aug 19, 2018] Decoding the Deep State -- Crooked Timber

Notable quotes:
"... 'Some people have a substantive critique of Trump for furthering the fundamentally evil cause of racist US global empire, while others have a procedural critique of Trump for harming this fundamentally noble cause by carrying it out incompetently, if not a purely aesthetic critique for harming this fundamentally noble cause by making it look too gauche and uncouth. Those two styles of critique are fundamentally at odds.' ..."
"... This seems to me to be fundamentally the point. Particularly when (in the case of Russia and North Korea) the Democrats and the (majority of the) corporate media are essentially trying to outflank Trump on the Right , and the more or less complete failure of the Left to oppose in any meaningful way American machinations in Syria or Libya (with a few honourable exceptions), ..."
"... With very few exceptions (mainly on trivial issues) Trump has governed absolutely and precisely as any Republican would have done. His 'base' is almost exactly the same as Romney's ..."
"... Meanwhile the corporate media get hysterical about which apparatchik got fired or got their security clearance revoked for some reason or something and who said what to whom or whatever .it's all so boring I can scarcely type it out (and in fact I haven't). ..."
"... Considering the friendly recent exchanges between Putin and Trump, the punishment of Russia has to be viewed as something of a surprise, suggesting that the president of the United States may not be in control of his own foreign policy. ..."
"... Much of the damage to US politics over the last two years has been done by the anti-Trump media themselves, with their mood of perpetual panic and their lack of imagination. But the uncanny gift of Trump is an infectious vulgarity, and with it comes the power to make his enemies act with nearly as little self-restraint as he does. The proof is in the tweets.' ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Heliopause 08.17.18 at 9:00 pm (no link)

"Public statements by Trump make it clear that there wasn't, in fact, a plausible national security rationale for revoking Brennan's clearance."

This is false, the White House has released more than one statement about Brennan's lying and unhinged behavior, whether you accept them or not. And in fact Brennan has made a number of hysterically deranged statements, most notably around the time of the Putin summit, that would make even Joe McCarthy blush.

And this latest Constitutional principle that we've suddenly discovered, that a top security clearance is a form of speech, opens a large can of worms. The implications are so obvious that spelling it out seems unnecessary, I'll just note that when I get the security clearance that is my inalienable right as an American I won't be using it for my own selfish ends.

"I'm basically OK with a tactical alliance with people in the national security establishment, insofar as there are shared political interests. Trump is a disaster across many dimensions"

Got it. Our choice is either the Fuhrer or the Deputy Reichsfuhrer. Gosh, I wonder why so many Americans are disconnected from the political process

ph 08.17.18 at 11:12 pm (no link)
@4 Seems to get this right, imo. The best and simplest identification of this class of self-interested profiteers, 'patriots,'policy wonks, grifters, and their minions and water-carriers in elected office and the media was made by Eisenhower in his farewell speech.

Henry is entirely right to recognize they are as permanent as the weather, and as much a feature of life as they were during Chaucer's time. This is their world, we just live in it.

The pedigrees and connections identified in @4 exist to ensure that the public face of the corporation masquerading as an individual (to quote RN) looks and sounds 'right.'

That's what made the 44th president absolutely ideal. Even better he proved a loyal and willing servant -- expanding the Bush/Cheney security state, drone strikes, and surveillance and execution of US citizens occasionally deemed enemies of the state. 45 has fewer allies in that community, but he's proving more far more difficult to remove than many had thought. Henry is right -- this looks very much like an inside baseball story.

Whatever Trump does or does not accomplish, the profits from violence, manipulation, and duplicity via the wheels of government will remain and be one of the principal driving forces in nation-state external and internal relations for a very long time.

Hidari 08.18.18 at 6:45 am (no link)
'Some people have a substantive critique of Trump for furthering the fundamentally evil cause of racist US global empire, while others have a procedural critique of Trump for harming this fundamentally noble cause by carrying it out incompetently, if not a purely aesthetic critique for harming this fundamentally noble cause by making it look too gauche and uncouth. Those two styles of critique are fundamentally at odds.'

This seems to me to be fundamentally the point. Particularly when (in the case of Russia and North Korea) the Democrats and the (majority of the) corporate media are essentially trying to outflank Trump on the Right , and the more or less complete failure of the Left to oppose in any meaningful way American machinations in Syria or Libya (with a few honourable exceptions),

With very few exceptions (mainly on trivial issues) Trump has governed absolutely and precisely as any Republican would have done. His 'base' is almost exactly the same as Romney's.* There was no 'Trump surge'. He didn't win the election, Clinton (a weak candidate) lost it. Despite the hysteria, most of his deviations from 'the norm' have been in a more imperial direction (e.g. his desire for a stronger NATO which, rather unbelievably, was reported in the worthless media as a desire to destroy NATO). Trump's disgusting and hypocritical sanctions on Russia (which will cause much suffering of ordinary people) have, to the best of my knowledge, not been criticised by any leftist, anywhere, although the insane fantasy that he is 'soft on Russia' is quite popular (with the implication that he should be 'tougher' on Russia, maybe risking nuclear war) presumably because it fits in with the increasingly deranged Russiagate nonsense. CF also his more aggressive stance towards China (another nuclear power) which again risks nuclear war, and which has again, passed almost uncommented on in elite discourse (to be fair he follows in Obama's footsteps here).

I might add that Trump's most egregious and disgraceful departure from the 'consensus', permitting the American Embassy to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, has also passed more or less uncriticised, as the Democrats still instinctively obsequiously grovel to the far right Netanyahu when they get the chance, whimpering like whipped dogs (this simile is unfair to dogs).

Meanwhile the corporate media get hysterical about which apparatchik got fired or got their security clearance revoked for some reason or something and who said what to whom or whatever .it's all so boring I can scarcely type it out (and in fact I haven't).

*Almost the first thing Trump arranged was a tax cut for his rich cronies.

likbez 08.19.18 at 3:08 am ( 53 )
@Hidari 08.18.18 at 6:41 pm

Powerful post and a very clear thinking. Thank you !
Also an interesting analogy with NSDAP the 25-point Plan of 1928

Hitler's initial programme really did have a tiny element of 'socialism' in it, and some elements of the working class (shamefully) swallowed the lies and gained him votes.

But it was never real, and Hitler was never going to deliver. He dealt with the Brownshirts (the most authentically 'working class' and 'socialist' part of the Nazi movement) in the Night of the Long Knives, and from that point on, the 'socialist' parts of the Nazi programme were steadily ditched, as the regime became more and more strongly right wing throughout the '30s.

Same with Trump (in this respect only). It's true that in the run-up to the election he threw some scraps to the working class, and some of his protectionist rhetoric swung him some states in the Rust Belt. Some union supporters, to their shame, trooped along to the White House soon after.

Actually NSAP program of 1928 has some political demands which are to the left of Sanders such as "Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes", ".We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts)." and "We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.". Here is a sample:

... ... ...

7.We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens

9.All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.

10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to productively work mentally or physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:

11.Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.

12.In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
13.We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).

14.We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

15.We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.

16.We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.

17.We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.

18.We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.

21.The state is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.

22.We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.

23.We demand legal opposition to known lies and their promulgation through the press.

24.We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race...

But I think Trump was de-facto impeached with the appointment of Mueller. And that was the plan ( "insurance" as Strzok called it). Mueller task is just to formalize impeachment.

Pence already is calling the shots in foreign policy via members of his close circle (which includes Pompeo). The recent "unilateral" actions of State Department are a slap in the face and, simultaneously, a nasty trap for Trump (he can cancel those sanctions only at a huge political cost to himself) and are a clear sign that Trump does not control even his administration. Here is how Philip Giraldi described this obvious slap in the face:

The most recent is the new sanctioning of Russia over the Skripal poisoning in Salisbury England. For those not following developments, last week Washington abruptly and without any new evidence being presented, imposed additional trade sanctions on Russia in the belief that Moscow ordered and carried out the poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4th. The report of the new sanctions was particularly surprising as Yulia Skripal has recently announced that she intends to return to her home in Russia, leading to the conclusion that even one of the alleged victims does not believe the narrative being promoted by the British and American governments.

Though Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded with restraint, avoiding a tit-for-tat, he is reported to be angry about the new move by the US government and now believes it to be an unreliable negotiating partner. Considering the friendly recent exchanges between Putin and Trump, the punishment of Russia has to be viewed as something of a surprise, suggesting that the president of the United States may not be in control of his own foreign policy.

From the very beginning, any anti-globalization initiative of Trump was sabotaged and often reversed. Haley is one example here. She does not coordinate some of her actions with Trump, or the Secretary of State, unliterary defining the US foreign policy.

Her ambitions worry Trump, but he can very little: she is supported by Pence and Pence faction in the administration. Rumors "Haley/Pence 2020" surfaced and probably somewhat poison atmosphere in the WH.

Add to this that Trump has hostile to him Justice Department, CIA, and FBI. He also does not control some critical appointments such as the recent appointment of CIA director (who in no way can be called Trump loyalist).

Which means that in some ways Trump already is a hostage and more a ceremonial President than a real.

Hidari 08.19.18 at 10:41 am ( 56 )
@53

'The President is very much a figurehead – he wields no real power whatsoever. He is apparently chosen by the (people), but the qualities he is required to display are not those of leadership but those of finely judged outrage. For this reason the President is a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it.' (Douglas Adams)

CF Also the LRB:

'Trump comports himself not as a president or even a politician, but as a reality TV host. He is a showman above all. In a process where the media are cast as reviewers, and voters as spectators, the show is getting bad reviews but doing nicely: the clear sign of success is that nobody can stop talking about the star. He keeps up the suspense with teasers and decoys and unscheduled interruptions, with changes in the sponsors and the supporting cast and production team. The way to match the Trump pace is by tweeting; but that is to play his game – a gambit the White House press corps have found irresistible. Much of the damage to US politics over the last two years has been done by the anti-Trump media themselves, with their mood of perpetual panic and their lack of imagination. But the uncanny gift of Trump is an infectious vulgarity, and with it comes the power to make his enemies act with nearly as little self-restraint as he does. The proof is in the tweets.'

https://www.lrb.co.uk/2018/08/09/david-bromwich/american-breakdown

[Aug 18, 2018] Corporate Media the Enemy of the People by Paul Street

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The dominant corporate U.S. media routinely exaggerates the degree of difference and choice between the candidates run by the nation's two corporate-dominated political organizations, the Democrats and the Republicans. It never notes that the two reigning parties agree about far more than they differ on, particularly when it comes to fundamental and related matters of business class power and American Empire. It shows U.S. protestors engaged in angry confrontations with police and highlights isolated examples of protestor violence but it downplays peaceful protest and never pays serious attention to the important societal and policy issues that have sparked protest or to the demands and recommendations advanced by protest movements. ..."
"... Newscasters who want to keep their careers afloat learn the fine art of evasion with great skill they skirt around the most important parts of a story. With much finesse, they say a lot about very little, serving up heaps of junk news filled with so many empty calories and so few nutrients. Thus do they avoid offending those who wield politico-economic power while giving every appearance of judicious moderation and balance. It is enough to take your breath away ..."
"... In U.S. "mainstream" media, Washington's aims are always benevolent and democratic. Its clients and allies are progressive, its enemies are nefarious, and its victims are invisible and incidental. The U.S. can occasionally make "mistakes" and "strategic blunders" on the global stage, but its foreign policies are never immoral, criminal, or imperialist in nature as far as that media is concerned. This is consistent with the doctrine of "American Exceptionalism," according to which the U.S., alone among great powers in history, seeks no selfish or imperial gain abroad. It is consistent also with "mainstream" U.S. media's heavy reliance on "official government sources" (the White House, the Defense Department, and the State Department) and leading business public relations and press offices for basic information on current events. ..."
"... U.S. citizens regularly see images of people who are angry at the U.S. around the world. The dominant mass media never gives them any serious discussion of the US policies and actions that create that anger. Millions of Americans are left to ask in childlike ignorance "Why do they hate us? What have we done?" ..."
"... If transmitting Washington's lies about Iraq were something to be fired about, then U.S. corporate media authorities would have to get rid of pretty much of all their top broadcasters. ..."
"... The U.S. corporate media's propagandistic service to the nation's reigning and interrelated structures of Empire and inequality is hardly limited to its news and public affairs wings. Equally if not more significant in that regard is that media's vast "entertainment" sector, which is loaded with political and ideological content ..."
"... Seen broadly in its many-sided and multiply delivered reality, U.S. corporate media's dark, power-serving mission actually goes further than the manufacture of consent. A deeper goal is the manufacture of mass idiocy, with "idiocy" understood in the original Greek and Athenian sense not of stupidity but of childish selfishness and willful indifference to public affairs and concerns. (An "idiot" in Athenian democracy was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private instead of public affairs.). As the U.S. Latin Americanist Cathy Schneider noted, the U.S.-backed military coup and dictatorship headed by Augusto Pinochet "transformed Chile, both culturally and politically, from a country of active participatory grassroots communities, to a land of disconnected, apolitical individuals"[7] – into a nation of "idiots" understood in this classic Athenian sense. ..."
"... To be sure, a narrow and reactionary sort of public concern and engagement does appear and take on a favorable light in this corporate media culture. It takes the form of a cruel, often even sadistically violent response to unworthy and Evil Others who are perceived as failing to obey prevalent national and neoliberal cultural codes. Like the U.S. ruling class that owns it, the purportedly anti-government corporate media isn't really opposed to government as such. It's opposed to what the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu called "the left hand of the state" – the parts of the public sector that serve the social and democratic needs of the non-affluent majority. ..."
"... The generation of mass idiocy in the more commonly understood sense of sheer stupidity is also a central part of U.S. "mainstream" media's mission. Nowhere is this more clearly evident than in the constant barrage of rapid-fire advertisements that floods U.S. corporate media. ..."
"... There's nothing surprising about the fact that the United States' supposedly "free" and "independent" media functions as a means of mass indoctrination for the nation's economic and imperial elite ..."
"... A second explanation is the power of advertisers. U.S. media managers are naturally reluctant to publish or broadcast material that might offend the large corporations that pay for broadcasting by purchasing advertisements. ..."
"... A third great factor is U.S. government media policy and regulation on behalf of oligopolistic hyper-concentration. The U.S. corporate media is hardly a "natural" outcome of a "free market." It's the result of government protections and subsidies that grant enormous "competitive" advantages to the biggest and most politically/plutocratically influential media firms. ..."
"... In this writer's experience, the critical Left analysis of the U.S. "mainstream" media as a tool for "manufacturing consent" and idiocy developed above meets four objections from defenders of the U.S. media system, A first objection notes that the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times (FT), the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and other major U.S. corporate media outlets produce a significant amount of, informative, high-quality and often candid reporting and commentary that Left thinkers and activists commonly cite to support their cases for radical and democratic change. ..."
"... The observation that Leftists commonly use and cite information from the corporate media they harshly criticize is correct but it is easy to account for the apparent anomaly within the critical Left framework by noting that that media crafts two very different versions of U.S. policy, politics, society, "life," and current events for two different audiences. Following the work of the brilliant Australian propaganda critic Alex Carey, we can call the first audience the "grassroots."[14] It comprises the general mass of working and lower-class citizens. ..."
"... The second target group comprises the relevant political class of U.S. citizens from at most the upper fifth of society. This is who reads the Times, the Post, WSJ, and FT, for the most part. Call this audience (again following Carey) the "treetops": the "people who matter" and who deserve and can be trusted with something more closely approximating the real story because their minds have been properly disciplined and flattered by superior salaries, significant on-the-job labor autonomy, and "advanced" and specialized educational and professional certification. ..."
"... To everyday Americans' credit, corporate media has never been fully successful in stamping out popular resistance and winning over the hearts and minds of the U.S. populace. ..."
"... The U.S. elite is no more successful in its utopian (or dystopian) quest to control every American heart and mind than it is in its equally impossible ambition of managing events across a complex planet from the banks of the Potomac River in Washington D.C ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

"Homeland" Distortion

Consistent with its possession as a leading and money-making asset of the nation's wealthy elite, the United States corporate and commercial mass media is a bastion of power-serving propaganda and deadening twaddle designed to keep the U.S. citizenry subordinated to capital and the imperial U.S. state. It regularly portrays the United States as a great model of democracy and equality. It sells a false image of the U.S. as a society where the rich enjoy opulence because of hard and honest work and where the poor are poor because of their laziness and irresponsibility. The nightly television news broadcasts and television police and law and order dramas are obsessed with violent crime in the nation's Black ghettoes and Latino barrios, but they never talk about the extreme poverty, the absence of opportunity imposed on those neighborhoods by the interrelated forces of institutional racism, capital flight, mass structural unemployment, under-funded schools, and mass incarceration. The nightly television weather reports tells U.S. citizens of ever new record high temperatures and related forms of extreme weather but never relate these remarkable meteorological developments to anthropogenic climate change.

The dominant corporate U.S. media routinely exaggerates the degree of difference and choice between the candidates run by the nation's two corporate-dominated political organizations, the Democrats and the Republicans. It never notes that the two reigning parties agree about far more than they differ on, particularly when it comes to fundamental and related matters of business class power and American Empire. It shows U.S. protestors engaged in angry confrontations with police and highlights isolated examples of protestor violence but it downplays peaceful protest and never pays serious attention to the important societal and policy issues that have sparked protest or to the demands and recommendations advanced by protest movements.

As the prolific U.S. Marxist commentator Michael Parenti once remarked, US "Newscasters who want to keep their careers afloat learn the fine art of evasion with great skill they skirt around the most important parts of a story. With much finesse, they say a lot about very little, serving up heaps of junk news filled with so many empty calories and so few nutrients. Thus do they avoid offending those who wield politico-economic power while giving every appearance of judicious moderation and balance. It is enough to take your breath away." [1]

Selling Empire

U.S. newscasters and their print media counterparts routinely parrot and disseminate the false foreign policy claims of the nation's imperial elite. Earlier this year, U.S. news broadcasters dutiful relayed to U.S. citizens the Obama administration's preposterous assertion that social-democratic Venezuela is a repressive, corrupt, and authoritarian danger to its own people and the U.S. No leading national U.S. news outlet dared to note the special absurdity of this charge in the wake of Obama and other top U.S. officials' visit to Riyadh to guarantee U.S. support for the new king of Saudi Arabia, the absolute ruler of a leading U.S. client state that happens to be the most brutally oppressive and reactionary government on Earth.

In U.S. "mainstream" media, Washington's aims are always benevolent and democratic. Its clients and allies are progressive, its enemies are nefarious, and its victims are invisible and incidental. The U.S. can occasionally make "mistakes" and "strategic blunders" on the global stage, but its foreign policies are never immoral, criminal, or imperialist in nature as far as that media is concerned. This is consistent with the doctrine of "American Exceptionalism," according to which the U.S., alone among great powers in history, seeks no selfish or imperial gain abroad. It is consistent also with "mainstream" U.S. media's heavy reliance on "official government sources" (the White House, the Defense Department, and the State Department) and leading business public relations and press offices for basic information on current events.

As the leading Left U.S. intellectuals Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman showed in their classic text Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), Orwellian double standards are rife in the dominant U.S. media's coverage and interpretation of global affairs. Elections won in other countries by politicians that Washington approves because those politicians can be counted on to serve the interests of U.S. corporations and the military are portrayed in U.S. media as good and clean contests. But when elections put in power people who can't be counted on to serve "U.S. interests," (Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro for example), then U.S. corporate media portrays the contests as "rigged" and "corrupt." When Americans or people allied with Washington are killed or injured abroad, they are "worthy victims" and receive great attention and sympathy in that media. People killed, maimed, displaced and otherwise harmed by the U.S. and U.S. clients and allies are anonymous and "unworthy victims" whose experience elicits little mention or concern.[2]

U.S. citizens regularly see images of people who are angry at the U.S. around the world. The dominant mass media never gives them any serious discussion of the US policies and actions that create that anger. Millions of Americans are left to ask in childlike ignorance "Why do they hate us? What have we done?"

In February of 2015, an extraordinary event occurred in U.S. news media – the firing of a leading national news broadcaster, Brian Williams of NBC News. Williams lost his position because of some lies he told in connection with the U.S. invasion of Iraq. A naïve outsider might think that Williams was fired because he repeated the George W. Bush administration's transparent fabrications about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and Saddam's supposed connection to 9/11. Sadly but predictably enough, that wasn't his problem. Williams lost his job because he falsely boasted that he had ridden on a helicopter that was forced down by grenade fire during the initial U.S. invasion. If transmitting Washington's lies about Iraq were something to be fired about, then U.S. corporate media authorities would have to get rid of pretty much of all their top broadcasters.

More than Entertainment

The U.S. corporate media's propagandistic service to the nation's reigning and interrelated structures of Empire and inequality is hardly limited to its news and public affairs wings. Equally if not more significant in that regard is that media's vast "entertainment" sector, which is loaded with political and ideological content but was completely ignored in Herman and Chomsky's groundbreaking Manufacturing Consent. [3] One example is the Hollywood movie "Zero Dark Thirty," a 2012 "action thriller" that dramatized the United States' search for Osama bin-Laden after the September 11, 2001 jetliner attacks. The film received critical acclaim and was a box office-smash. It was also a masterpiece of pro-military, pro-CIA propaganda, skillfully portraying U.S. torture practices "as a dirty, ugly business that is necessary to protect America" (Glenn Greenwald[4]) and deleting the moral debate that erupted over the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques." Under the guise of a neutral, documentary-like façade, Zero Dark Thirty normalized and endorsed torture in ways that were all the more effective because of its understated, detached, and "objective" veneer. The film also marked a distressing new frontier in U.S. military-"embedded" filmmaking whereby the movie-makers receive technical and logistical support from the Pentagon in return for producing elaborate public relations on the military's behalf.

The 2014-15 Hollywood blockbuster American Sniper is another example. The film's audiences is supposed to marvel at the supposedly noble feats, sacrifice, and heroism of Chris Kyle, a rugged, militantly patriotic, and Christian-fundamentalist Navy SEALS sniper who participated in the U.S. invasion of Iraq to fight "evil" and to avenge the al Qaeda jetliner attacks of September 11, 2001. Kyle killed 160 Iraqis over four tours of "duty" in "Operational Iraqi Freedom." Viewers are never told that the Iraqi government had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks or al Qaeda or that the U.S. invasion was one of the most egregiously criminal and brazenly imperial and mass-murderous acts in the history of international violence. Like Zero Dark Thirty's apologists, American Sniper's defenders claim that the film takes a neutral perspective of "pure storytelling," with no ideological bias. In reality, the movie is filled with racist and imperial distortions, functioning as flat-out war propaganda.[5]

These are just two among many examples that could be cited of U.S. "entertainment" media's regular service to the American Empire. Hollywood and other parts of the nation's vast corporate entertainment complex plays the same power-serving role in relation to domestic ("homeland") American inequality and oppression structures of class and race. [6]

Manufacturing Idiocy

Seen broadly in its many-sided and multiply delivered reality, U.S. corporate media's dark, power-serving mission actually goes further than the manufacture of consent. A deeper goal is the manufacture of mass idiocy, with "idiocy" understood in the original Greek and Athenian sense not of stupidity but of childish selfishness and willful indifference to public affairs and concerns. (An "idiot" in Athenian democracy was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private instead of public affairs.). As the U.S. Latin Americanist Cathy Schneider noted, the U.S.-backed military coup and dictatorship headed by Augusto Pinochet "transformed Chile, both culturally and politically, from a country of active participatory grassroots communities, to a land of disconnected, apolitical individuals"[7] – into a nation of "idiots" understood in this classic Athenian sense.

In the U.S., where violence is not as readily available to elites as in 1970s Latin America, corporate America seeks the same terrible outcome through its ideological institutions, including above all its mass media. In U.S. movies, television sit-coms, television dramas, television reality-shows, commercials, state Lottery advertisements, and video games, the ideal-type U.S. citizen is an idiot in this classic sense: a person who cares about little more than his or her own well-being, consumption, and status. This noble American idiot is blissfully indifferent to the terrible prices paid by others for the maintenance of reigning and interrelated oppressions structures at home and abroad.

A pervasive theme in this media culture is the notion that people at the bottom of the nation's steep and interrelated socioeconomic and racial pyramids are the "personally irresponsible" and culturally flawed makers of their own fate. The mass U.S. media's version of Athenian idiocy "can imagine," in the words of the prolific Left U.S. cultural theorist Henry Giroux "public issues only as private concerns." It works to "erase the social from the language of public life so as to reduce" questions of racial and socioeconomic disparity to "private issues of individual character and cultural depravity. Consistent with "the central neoliberal tenet that all problems are private rather than social in nature," it portrays the only barriers to equality and meaningful democratic participation as "a lack of principled self-help and moral responsibility" and bad personal choices by the oppressed. Government efforts to meaningfully address and ameliorate (not to mention abolish) societal disparities of race, class, gender, ethnicity, nationality and the like are portrayed as futile, counterproductive, naïve, and dangerous.[8]

To be sure, a narrow and reactionary sort of public concern and engagement does appear and take on a favorable light in this corporate media culture. It takes the form of a cruel, often even sadistically violent response to unworthy and Evil Others who are perceived as failing to obey prevalent national and neoliberal cultural codes. Like the U.S. ruling class that owns it, the purportedly anti-government corporate media isn't really opposed to government as such. It's opposed to what the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu called "the left hand of the state" – the parts of the public sector that serve the social and democratic needs of the non-affluent majority. It celebrates and otherwise advances the "right hand of the state"[9]: the portions of government that serve the opulent minority, dole out punishment for the poor, and attacks those perceived as nefariously resisting the corporate and imperial order at home and abroad. Police officers, prosecutors, military personnel, and other government authorities who represent the "right hand of the state" are heroes and role models in this media. Public defenders, other defense attorneys, civil libertarians, racial justice activists, union leaders, antiwar protesters and the like are presented at best as naïve and irritating "do-gooders" and at worst as coddlers and even agents of evil.

The generation of mass idiocy in the more commonly understood sense of sheer stupidity is also a central part of U.S. "mainstream" media's mission. Nowhere is this more clearly evident than in the constant barrage of rapid-fire advertisements that floods U.S. corporate media. As the American cultural critic Neil Postman noted thirty years ago, the modern U.S. television commercial is the antithesis of the rational economic consideration that early Western champions of the profits system claimed to be the enlightened essence of capitalism. "Its principal theorists, even its most prominent practitioners," Postman noted, "believed capitalism to be based on the idea that both buyer and seller are sufficiently mature, well-informed, and reasonable to engage in transactions of mutual self-interest." Commercials make "hash" out of this idea. They are dedicated to persuading consumers with wholly irrational claims. They rely not on the reasoned presentation of evidence and logical argument but on suggestive emotionalism, infantilizing manipulation, and evocative, rapid-fire imagery.[10]

The same techniques poison U.S. electoral politics. Investment in deceptive and manipulative campaign commercials commonly determines success or failure in mass-marketed election contests between business-beholden candidates that are sold to the audience/electorate like brands of toothpaste and deodorant. Fittingly enough, the stupendous cost of these political advertisements is a major factor driving U.S. campaign expenses so high (the 2016 U.S. presidential election will cost at least $5 billion) as to make candidates ever more dependent on big money corporate and Wall Street donors.

Along the way, mass cognitive competence is assaulted by the numbing, high-speed ubiquity of U.S. television and radio advertisements. These commercials assault citizens' capacity for sustained mental focus and rational deliberation nearly sixteen minutes of every hour on cable television, with 44 percent of the individual ads now running for just 15 seconds. This is a factor in the United States' long-bemoaned epidemic of "Attention Deficit Disorder."

Seventy years ago, the brilliant Dutch left Marxist Anton Pannekoek offered some chilling reflections on the corporate print and broadcast media's destructive impact on mass cognitive and related social resistance capacities in the United States after World War II:

"The press is of course entirely in hands of big capital [and it] dominates the spiritual life of the American people. The most important thing is not even the hiding of all truth about the reign of big finance. Its aim still more is the education to thoughtlessness. All attention is directed to coarse sensations, everything is avoided that could arouse thinking. Papers are not meant to be read – the small print is already a hindrance – but in a rapid survey of the fat headlines to inform the public on unimportant news items, on family triflings of the rich, on sexual scandals, on crimes of the underworld, on boxing matches. The aim of the capitalist press all over the world, the diverting of the attention of the masses from the reality of social development, nowhere succeed with such thoroughness as in America."

"Still more than by the papers the masses are influenced by broadcasting and film. These products of most perfect science, destined at one time to the finest educational instruments of mankind, now in the hands of capitalism have been turned into the strongest means to uphold its rule by stupefying the mind. Because after nerve-straining fatigue the movie offers relaxation and distraction by means of simple visual impressions that make no demand on the intellect, the masses get used to accepting thoughtlessly all its cunning and shrewd propaganda. It reflects the ugliest sides of middle-class society. It turns all attention either to sexual life, in this society – by the absence of community feelings and fight for freedom – the only source of strong passions, or to brute violence; masses educated to rough violence instead of to social knowledge are not dangerous to capitalism "[11]

Pannekoek clearly saw an ideological dimension (beyond just diversion and stupefaction) in U.S. mass media's "education to thoughtlessness" through movies as well as print sensationalism. He would certainly be impressed and perhaps depressed by the remarkably numerous, potent, and many-sided means of mass distraction and indoctrination that are available to the U.S. and global capitalist media in the present digital and Internet era.

The "entertainment" wing of its vast corporate media complex is critical to the considerable "soft" ideological "power" the U.S. exercises around the world even as its economic hegemony wanes in an ever more multipolar global system (and as its "hard" military reveals significant limits within and beyond the Middle East). Relatively few people beneath the global capitalist elite consume U.S. news and public affairs media beyond the U.S., but "American" (U.S.) movies, television shows, video games, communication devices, and advertising culture are ubiquitous across the planet.

Explaining "Mainstream" Media Corporate Ownership

There's nothing surprising about the fact that the United States' supposedly "free" and "independent" media functions as a means of mass indoctrination for the nation's economic and imperial elite. The first and most important explanation for this harsh reality is concentrated private ownership – the fundamental fact that that media is owned primarily by giant corporations representing wealthy interests who are deeply invested in U.S. capitalism and Empire. Visitors to the U.S. should not be fooled by the large number and types of channels and stations on a typical U.S. car radio or television set or by the large number and types of magazines and books on display at a typical Barnes & Noble bookstore. Currently in the U.S., just six massive and global corporations – Comcast, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS, The News Corporation and Disney – together control more than 90 percent of the nation's print and electronic media, including cable television, airwaves television, radio, newspapers, movies, video games, book publishing, comic books, and more. Three decades ago, 50 corporations controlled the same amount of U.S. media.

Each of the reigning six companies is a giant and diversified multi-media conglomerate with investments beyond media, including "defense" (the military). Asking reporters and commentators at one of those giant corporations to tell the unvarnished truth about what's happening in the U.S. and the world is like asking the company magazine published by the United Fruit Company to the tell the truth about working conditions in its Caribbean and Central American plantations in the 1950s. It's like asking the General Motors company newspaper to tell the truth about wages and working conditions in GM's auto assembly plants around the world.

As the nation's media becomes concentrated into fewer corporate hands, media personnel become ever more insecure in their jobs because they have fewer firms to whom to sell their skills. That makes them even less willing than they might have been before to go outside official sources, to question the official line, and to tell the truth about current events and the context in which they occur.

Advertisers

A second explanation is the power of advertisers. U.S. media managers are naturally reluctant to publish or broadcast material that might offend the large corporations that pay for broadcasting by purchasing advertisements. As Chomsky has noted in a recent interview, large corporations are not only the major producers of the United States' mass and commercial media. They are also that media's top market, something that deepens the captivity of nation's supposedly democratic and independent media to big capital:

"The reliance of a journal on advertisers shapes and controls and substantially determines what is presented to the public the very idea of advertiser reliance radically distorts the concept of free media. If you think about what the commercial media are, no matter what, they are businesses. And a business produces something for a market. The producers in this case, almost without exception, are major corporations. The market is other businesses – advertisers. The product that is presented to the market is readers (or viewers), so these are basically major corporations providing audiences to other businesses, and that significantly shapes the nature of the institution."[12]

At the same time, both U.S. corporate media managers and the advertisers who supply revenue for their salaries are hesitant to produce content that might alienate the affluent people who count for an ever rising share of consumer purchases in the U.S. It is naturally those with the most purchasing power who are naturally most targeted by advertisers.

Government Policy

A third great factor is U.S. government media policy and regulation on behalf of oligopolistic hyper-concentration. The U.S. corporate media is hardly a "natural" outcome of a "free market." It's the result of government protections and subsidies that grant enormous "competitive" advantages to the biggest and most politically/plutocratically influential media firms. Under the terms of the 1934 Communications Act and the 1996 Telecommunications Act, commercial, for-profit broadcasters have almost completely free rein over the nation's airwaves and cable lines. There is no substantive segment of the broadcast spectrum set aside for truly public interest and genuinely democratic, popular not-for profit media and the official "public" broadcasting networks are thoroughly captive to corporate interests and to right-wing politicians who take giant campaign contributions from corporate interests. Much of the 1996 bill was written by lobbyists working for the nations' leading media firms. [13]

A different form of state policy deserves mention. Under the Obama administration, we have seen the most aggressive pursuit and prosecution in recent memory of U.S. journalists who step outside the narrow parameters of pro-U.S. coverage and commentary – and of the whistleblowers who provide them with leaked information. That is why Edward Snowden lives in Russia, Glenn Greenwald lives in Brazil, Chelsea Manning is serving life in a U.S. military prison, and Julian Assange is trapped in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. A leading New York Times reporter and author, James Risen, has been threatened with imprisonment by the White House for years because of his refusal to divulge sources.

Treetops v. Grassroots Audiences

In this writer's experience, the critical Left analysis of the U.S. "mainstream" media as a tool for "manufacturing consent" and idiocy developed above meets four objections from defenders of the U.S. media system, A first objection notes that the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times (FT), the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and other major U.S. corporate media outlets produce a significant amount of, informative, high-quality and often candid reporting and commentary that Left thinkers and activists commonly cite to support their cases for radical and democratic change. Left U.S. media critics like Chomsky and Herman are said to be hypocrites because they obviously find much that is of use as Left thinkers in the very media that they criticize for distorting reality in accord with capitalist and imperial dictates.

The observation that Leftists commonly use and cite information from the corporate media they harshly criticize is correct but it is easy to account for the apparent anomaly within the critical Left framework by noting that that media crafts two very different versions of U.S. policy, politics, society, "life," and current events for two different audiences. Following the work of the brilliant Australian propaganda critic Alex Carey, we can call the first audience the "grassroots."[14] It comprises the general mass of working and lower-class citizens. As far as the business elites who own and manage the U.S. mass media and the corporations that pay for that media with advertising purchases are concerned, this "rabble" cannot be trusted with serious, candid, and forthright information. Its essential role in society is to keep quiet, work hard, be entertained (in richly propagandistic and ideological ways, we should remember), buy things, and generally do what they're told. They are to leave key societal decisions to those that the leading 20th century U.S. public intellectual and media-as-propaganda enthusiast Walter Lippman called "the responsible men." That "intelligent," benevolent, "expert," and "responsible" elite (responsible, indeed, for such glorious accomplishments as the Great Depression, the Vietnam War, the invasion of Iraq, the Great Recession, global warming, and the rise of the Islamic State) needed, in Lippman's view, to be protected from what he called "the trampling and roar of the bewildered herd."[15] The deluded mob, the sub-citizenry, the dangerous working class majority is not the audience for elite organs like the Times, the Post, and the Journal.

The second target group comprises the relevant political class of U.S. citizens from at most the upper fifth of society. This is who reads the Times, the Post, WSJ, and FT, for the most part. Call this audience (again following Carey) the "treetops": the "people who matter" and who deserve and can be trusted with something more closely approximating the real story because their minds have been properly disciplined and flattered by superior salaries, significant on-the-job labor autonomy, and "advanced" and specialized educational and professional certification. This elite includes such heavily indoctrinated persons as corporate managers, lawyers, public administrators, and (most) tenured university professors. Since these elites carry out key top-down societal tasks of supervision, discipline, training, demoralization, co-optation, and indoctrination – all essential to the rule of the real economic elite and the imperial system – they cannot be too thoroughly misled about current events and policy without deleterious consequences for the smooth functioning of the dominant social and political order. They require adequate information and must not be overly influenced by the brutal and foolish propaganda generated for the "bewildered herd." At the same time, information and commentary for the relevant and respectable business and political classes and their "coordinator class" servants and allies often contains a measure of reasoned and sincere intra-elite political and policy debate – debate that is always careful not to stray beyond narrow U.S. ideological parameters. That is why a radical Left U.S. thinker and activist can find much that is of use in U.S. "treetops" media. Such a thinker or activist would, indeed, be foolish not to consult these sources.

"P"BS and N"P"R

A second objection to the Left critique of U.S. "mainstream" media claims that the U.S. public enjoys a meaningful alternative to the corporate media in the form of the nation's Public Broadcasting Service (television) and National Public Radio (NPR). This claim should not be taken seriously. Thanks to U.S. "public" media's pathetically weak governmental funding, its heavy reliance on corporate sponsors, and its constant harassment by right wing critics inside and beyond the U.S. Congress, N"P"R and "P"BS are extremely reluctant to question dominant U.S. ideologies and power structures.

The tepid, power-serving conservatism of U.S. "public" broadcasting is by longstanding political and policy design. The federal government allowed the formation of the "public" networks only on the condition that they pose no competitive market or ideological challenge to private commercial media, the profits system, and U.S. global foreign policy. "P"BS and N"P"R are "public" in a very limited sense. They not function for the public over and against corporate, financial, and imperial power to any significant degree.

"The Internet Will Save Us"

A third objection claims that the rise of the Internet creates a "Wild West" environment in which the power of corporate media is eviscerated and citizens can find and even produce all the "alternative media" they require. This claim is misleading but it should not be reflexively or completely dismissed. In the U.S. as elsewhere, those with access to the Internet and the time and energy to use it meaningfully can find a remarkable breadth and depth of information and trenchant Left analysis at various online sites. The Internet also broadens U.S. citizens and activists' access to media networks beyond the U.S. – to elite sources that are much less beholden of course to U.S. propaganda and ideology. At the same time, the Internet and digital telephony networks have at times shown themselves to be effective grassroots organizing tools for progressive U.S. activists.

Still, the democratic and progressive impact of the Internet in the U.S. is easily exaggerated. Left and other progressive online outlets lack anything close to the financial, technical, and organizational and human resources of the corporate news media, which has its own sophisticated Internet. There is nothing in Left other citizen online outlets that can begin to remotely challenge the "soft" ideological and propagandistic power of corporate "entertainment" media. The Internet's technical infrastructure is increasingly dominated by an "ISP cartel" led by a small number of giant corporations. As the leading left U.S. media analyst Robert McChesney notes:

"By 2014, there are only a half-dozen or so major players that dominate provision of broadband Internet access and wireless Internet access. Three of them – Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast – dominate the field of telephony and Internet access, and have set up what is in effect a cartel. They no longer compete with each other in any meaningful sense. As a result, Americans pay far more for cellphone and broadband Internet access than most other advanced nations and get much lousier service These are not 'free market' companies in any sense of the term. Their business model, going back to pre-Internet days, has always been capturing government monopoly licenses for telephone and cable TV services. Their 'comparative advantage' has never been customer service; it has been world-class lobbying.' [16]

Along the way, the notion of a great "democratizing," Wild West" and "free market" Internet has proved politically useful for the corporate media giants. The regularly trumpet the great Internet myth to claim that the U.S. public and regulators don't need to worry about corporate media power and to justify their demands for more government subsidy and protection. At the same time, finally, we know from the revelations of Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and others that the nation's leading digital and Internet-based e-mail (Google and Yahoo), telephony (e.g. Verizon), and "social network" (Facebook above all) corporations have collaborated with the National Security Agency and with the nation's local, state, and federal police in the surveillance of U.S. citizens' and activists' private communications.[17]

Solutions

The fourth objection accuses Left media critics of being overly negative, "carping" critics who offer no serious alternatives to the nation's current corporate-owned corporate-managed commercial and for-profit media system. This is a transparently false and mean-spirited charge. Left U.S. media criticism is strongly linked to a smart and impressive U.S. media reform movement that advances numerous and interrelated proposals for the creation of a genuinely public and democratically run non-commercial and nonprofit U.S. media system. Some of the demand and proposals of this movement include public ownership and operation of the Internet as a public utility; the break-up of the leading media oligopolies; full public funding of public broadcasting; limits on advertising in commercial media; the abolition of political advertisements; the expansion of airwave and broadband access for alternative media outlets; publicly-funded nonprofit and non-commercial print journalism; the abolition of government and corporate surveillance, monitoring, and commercial data-mining of private communication and "social networks."[18] With regard to the media as with numerous other areas, we should recall Chomsky's sardonic response to the standard conservative claim that the Left offers criticisms but no solutions: "There is an accurate translation for that charge: 'they present solutions and I don't like them.'"[19]

A False Paradox

The propagandistic and power-serving mission and nature of dominant U.S, corporate mass media might seem ironic and even paradoxical in light of the United States' strong free speech and democratic traditions. In fact, as Carey and Chomsky have noted, the former makes perfect sense in light of the latter. In nations where popular expression and dissent is routinely crushed with violent repression, elites have little incentive to shape popular perceptions in accord with elite interests. The population is controlled primarily through physical coercion. In societies where it is not generally considered legitimate to put down popular expression with the iron heel of armed force and where dissenting opinion is granted a significant measure of freedom of expression, elites are heavily and dangerously incentivized to seek to manufacture mass popular consent and idiocy. The danger is deepened by the United States' status as the pioneer in the development of mass consumer capitalism, advertising, film, and television. Thanks to that history, corporate America has long stood in the global vanguard when it comes to developing the technologies, methods, art, and science of mass persuasion and thought control.[20]

It is appropriate to place quotation marks around the phrase "mainstream media" when writing about dominant U.S. corporate media. During the Cold War era, U.S. officials and media never referred to the Soviet Union's state television and radio or its main state newspapers as "mainstream Russian media." American authorities referred to these Russian media outlets as "Soviet state media" and treated that media as means for the dissemination of Soviet "propaganda" and ideology. There is no reason to consider the United States' corporate and commercial media as any more "mainstream" than the leading Soviet media organs were back in their day. It is just as dedicated as the onetime Soviet state media to advancing the doctrinal perspectives of its host nation's reigning elite -- and far more effective.

Its success is easily exaggerated, however. To everyday Americans' credit, corporate media has never been fully successful in stamping out popular resistance and winning over the hearts and minds of the U.S. populace. A recent Pew Research poll showed that U.S. "millennials" (young adults 18-29 years old) have a more favorable response to the word "socialism" than to "capitalism" – a remarkable finding on the limits of corporate media and other forms of elite ideological power in the U.S. The immigrant worker uprising of May 2006, the Chicago Republic Door and Window plant occupation of 2008, the University of California student uprisings of 2009 and 2010, the Wisconsin public worker rebellion in early 2011, the Occupy Movement of late 2011, and Fight for Fifteen (for a $15 an hour minimum wage) and Black Lives Matter movements of 2014 and 2015 show that U.S. corporate and imperial establishment has not manufactured anything like comprehensive and across the board mass consent and idiocy in the U,S. today. The U.S. elite is no more successful in its utopian (or dystopian) quest to control every American heart and mind than it is in its equally impossible ambition of managing events across a complex planet from the banks of the Potomac River in Washington D.C. The struggle for popular self-determination, democracy, justice, and equality lives on despite the influence of corporate media.

[Aug 18, 2018] How Syria and Ukraine Drove the Russia Hawks Insane

Notable quotes:
"... also mentioned adversary ..."
"... veritable demon ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

In Part 1 we referenced the infamous hysteria triggered in Salem Massachusetts by Betty Parris (age 9) and Abigail Williams (age 12).

In 1692 their prepubescent imaginations were apparently more than capable of detecting the evil doings of witches at loose in their community; and a population hopped up with Calvinist enthusiasm for the supernatural works of the Almighty apparently was also capable of lapsing into collective madness – at least for a spell.

But who would have thought that in the year 2018 the grizzled adults and racketeers who populate the Imperial City would fall prey to the same momentary outbreak of deliriums?

After all, Vladimir Putin was the very same Putin who made a mere cameo appearance in the 2012 presidential debates. He got an honorable mention when Barack Obama appropriately schooled Mitt Romney on the fact that Russia was not America's principal national security threat.

Indeed, the MSM commentators who are shrieking about Trump's parlay with Vlad today were knowingly furrowing their brows about Romney's alleged gaffe back then.

So the question at hand is what changed? How did the politics as usual debating points about the status of Russia and Putin only 69 months ago turn into a veritable Salem style hysteria?

We'd suggest two pivotal events turned the Imperial City upside down. To wit, Barry lost his nerve in August 2013 on the Syrian red line and Donald Trump won the 2016 election in the red zones of Flyover America.

In between, the mainstream media completely lost its grasp on reality as the Imperial City dove headlong into it latest and greatest Indispensable Nation adventures by intervening in Syria, Libya, Ukraine, Yemen, and Iraq for the third time.

The Indispensable Nation conceit, of course, is the ultimate cover story for the work of Empire and is the polar opposite of the rudimentary America First notions on which Donald Trump rode into the White House.

As it happened, the Indispensable Nation meme flourished when the neocons and liberal interventionists became ascendant during the Clinton and early Bush 43 era; and they virtually ran the policy tables after 9/11 as the full-throated War on Terrorism cranked up a powerful head of steam.

Nevertheless, the acolytes of Empire nearly lost their political lunch when Shock & Awe in Iraq turned into a bloody quagmire and the retaliation against the Taliban for harboring the 9/11 conspirators ended up as an endless trillion dollar war in the Hindu Kush.

That's why the peace candidate won in 2008. And it didn't matter that Barrack Obama was an utterly unqualified greenhorn Senator and former part-time law professor and community organizer who had no more claim to the Oval Office in his day than the Donald did this time around.

But Barry was too much the quick study by half. Rather than dismantle the rogue postwar Empire of the neocons and militarists, he sought to make it smarter and more deft. So he populated his national security team with moderate neocons like Robert Gates, Leon Panetta, David Petraeus and Victoria Nuland and a posse of liberal interventionists including Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power.

Our point here is not simply that peace never had a chance with that crowd in charge of policy; it's that the outbreak of the so-called Arab Spring in early 2011 triggered a toxic brew of interventionist enthusiasm among Barry's foreign policy team that quickly metastasized into R2P (responsibility to protect) madness in Libya and Syria.

Needless to say, even a newly arrived Martian visitor in 2011 what have been scratching his head about Libya.

In his advancing old age, Khadafy had turned himself into a model non-proliferator and exclusively inward focused tyrant. Libya thus posed a threat to exactly no one outside its own borders; and it was just plain laughable as a matter of concern to the security of the American homeland.

But Hillary and her posse famously danced on Khadafy's grave after NATO-enabled terrorists brought about his brutal demise. So doing, they learned a dangerously erroneous lesson.

Namely, that uncooperative dictators who purportedly threatened their citizens with genocidal repression could be clinically removed for a few billions worth of bombs, drones and aid to local rebels.

That proposition really had nothing to do with homeland security in America and was belied by the fiascoes in Iraq and Afghanistan. But now the "smart" people were in charge, and both Libya and Egypt were proof they knew how to make Regime Change happen with a minimum of muss and fuss.

Yet any intelligent reading of the impossible sectarian politics of Syria put the lie to that conceit in a heartbeat.

Indeed, given the 40-year history of the Assad family business built around Baathist secularism and a protective umbrella for Syria's numerous minority confessions – Alawite, Druse, Shiite, Christian, Jewish, Kurd etc. – the very idea of arming Sharia-spouting Sunni Arabs to overthrow the Assad regime was sheer lunacy.

So whatever the immediate origins and allegedly peaceful intentions of the anti-Assad uprising in the spring of 2011, it did not take long for these clashes to degenerate into bloody urban warfare.

And it did not take a lot of figuring to also see that arming Muslim Brotherhood sectarians was absolutely guaranteed to generate a violent response from Damascus. That's because the Brotherhood had been the historic vanguard of Sunni religious opposition to the Baathist secularism of the Assad regime; and had been brutally suppressed by the senior Assad in the 1980s.

Beyond that, it was also a given that the Shiite polities on either side of Syria's borders would likely come to Assad's aid. That is, the Iranians in the east and Hezbollah across the southwest border in Lebanon – to say nothing of the regime's longtime Russian patrons, whose only naval base in the Mediterranean was located on Syria's tiny slice of coastline.

In any event, Obama's neocons and R2P liberals threw every caution to the wind. In going all in for regime change and demonizing Assad as a butcher who used barrel bombs and chemical weapons against innocent civilians, they maneuvered Obama – newly feisty as the slayer of Osama bin-Laden – into drawing his famous red line on the use of chemical weapons.

Needless to say, that was catnip to the Nusra Front and ISIS jihadists who dominated the armed opposition. It did not take long for them to mount a false flag attack in Ghouta in August 2013, which horrified the social media connected world when 1300 civilians suffered gruesome deaths from what was apparently sarin gas.

Only later did rocket experts demonstrate that the sarin had been delivered by short-range projectiles launched from jihadist controlled areas outside of Damascus, not by Assad's forces 15-20 miles away. But at the moment, the job was done: Obama was on the hot-seat of his own foolishly drawn red line – exactly where the jihadist and his own interventionists wanted him.

When he attempted to escape the trap by punting the decision to bomb Assad to Capitol Hill, however, Cool Hand Vlad saw his opening. To wit, he quickly brokered a deal with Assad to have his entire chemical weapons arsenal removed and destroyed under international supervision.

That was operationally executed by the acknowledged neutral experts at the OPCW (Organization For The Prevention of Chemical Weapons) and there is little doubt that the preponderant share of Assad's arsenal was eliminated.

Yet for that act of constructive statesmanship, the neocons and liberal interventionists never forgave Putin. Then and there he became Bad Vlad because his action on chemical weapons but the kibosh on Washington's excuse for regime change in Damascus.

In fact, the War Party interventionists of both stripes – neocons and R2P liberals – went on the all-out attack in September 2013, transforming Putin from the also mentioned adversary of the Obama-Romney debate one year earlier into a veritable demon . Hillary now even insisted his was a modern day Adolph Hitler.

As it happened, the duly elected President of Ukraine chose that same fall to pursue an economic bailout deal with Moscow to rescue his country's debt-laden, corruption ridden post-Soviet economy; and he did so in lieu of the far less attractive deal that had been offered by the west through the EC, IMF and Washington.

Not surprisingly, that wholly appropriate decision by the leader of a sovereign nation became exactly the opening for the Washington interventionists to strike hard at Putin and Russia.

We have detailed elsewhere how the so-called Maidan uprising on the streets of Kiev in February was funded, organized and enabled by Washington and its cadres of operators from the CIA, NED, State and sundry NGOs; and how that divided the country to the quick politically when Washington installed and recognized a radical nationalist government that immediately moved against the Russian speaking populations of the Donbas and Crimea.

Indeed, enabling the Kiev coup and instantly recognizing the crony capitalists, ruffians and neo-Nazi nationalists who formed the new government was the single stupidest act of peace candidate Barry's entire presidency.

But by then the interventionists were in high dudgeon. So there was no stopping their virtually instantaneous demonization of Russia and Putin for actions which were self-evidently driven by Russia's vital national interests in it own backyard – not some kind of aggressive quest for territory or lebensraum.

To wit, Putin did not "seize" Crimea like it was some country in the Benelux that he coveted. To the contrary, Crimea was virtually Russian to the core after it was purchased by Catherine the Great in 1783 and thereafter when Sevastopol become the homeport for the great black sea fleet of czars and commissars alike.

For crying out loud, Crimea was never part of Ukraine until Khrushchev had the Soviet Presidium transfer it in 1954 from the Russian Soviet Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic as a gift to his Ukrainian compatriots who had stood with him the bloody struggle for Stalin's succession.

So Washington decided to declare economic war on Russia through Obama's idiotic sanctions in order to make sure that the dead hand of the Soviet Presidium's writ is enforced 64 years later.

Besides, Russia did conduct a referendum which was fair by all objective accounts; and under which 83% of the eligible voters elected to return to Mother Russia after what had been an historical short interlude of rule by the Ukrainian state. Among other things, the overwhelmingly Russian speaking population of Crimea as not enthusiastic about being culturally "cleansed" the Ukrainian nationalists who now ruled in Kiev.

Likewise with the Donbas and the other nearby Russian speaking provinces on the eastern border. Many of them had been put there generations earlier by Stalin to man what was the industrial maw – coal, iron, steel, chemicals and heavy engineering – of the Soviet Union.

And all of them knew of the terrors that had occurred during WWII when the Hitler's Wehrmacht marched through the Donbas and destroyed everything and everyone in sight on its way to the siege of Stalingrad, and how it had been accompanied by legions of Ukrainian collaborators during the terror.

They also knew that the region had eventually been liberated from the Nazi terror by the Red Army as it returned through the region on its way to Berlin.

Yet the interventionist fools in Washington ignored all of this and proclaimed Putin menace to peace and the rule of law because he came to the aid of the overwhelmingly Russian-speaking population, which did not want to be ruled by the Ukrainian nationalists who had illegally sized power in Kiev.

The obvious solution all along was partition – just like happened when Washington forced Serbia to give up Kosovo; or when the artificial country of Czechoslovakia, created by backroom intrigue at Versailles in 1919 peacefully decided to separate into two sovereign countries a few year back.

In short, there is no there, there. The Ukraine/Crimea "aggression" is nothing of the kind, and Putin was in Syria because he was invited to be there by its sovereign government.

In fact, the whole demonization campaign, the sweeping economic sanctions and NATO's provocative encroachments on Russia's borders in the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea are nothing more than retaliation for Putin's wise rescue of Barrack Obama from his own stupid red line.

But this isn't the end of the stupidity. In part 3 we will strip the bark off the Russian election meddling meme by laying out the simple fact that a country which is no threat to the security of the American homeland, but which has been viciously attacked by Washington, might will seek to make it's case for a different policy.

That is to say, none of this is about espionage or stealing military secrets. It actually boils down to the obvious fact that Donald Trump had an open mind about Russia and had not been party to Obama's cabal of neocon and R2P interventionists and their campaign of revenge against Vlad Putin.

That Putin preferred Trump was a no brainer and he admitted as such at the Helsinki Summit. But that Putin's preference for Trump had absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of the election is also patently obvious.

Nevertheless, the Deep State has cooked up a massive fiction that claims Moscow made every effort to do so.
We intend to tear that Big Lie limb-for-limb in Part 3, but suffice it here to consider the take below from CIA veteran Philip Giraldi . It does remind that Salem on the Potomac is actually happening in the here and now:

Beyond what is or is not contained in the document itself, there is a clear misunderstanding regarding how a sophisticated intelligence organization, which certainly includes the GRU, operates. If there had been a large-scale Kremlin sanctioned plan to disrupt the US election, it would not be run by twelve identifiable GRU officers working with what appears to be only limited cover and resources. If the facts are correct, the activity might have been a routine probing, collecting and selective dissemination of information effort that all intelligence agencies engage in. The United States does so routinely in many countries, interfering in elections worldwide, far more than Russia with its limited resources, and even carrying out regime change.

If the Kremlin's objective were truly to undermine American democracy, a task that is already being undertaken very ably by the GOP and Democrats, hundreds of officers would be involved, all working under deep cover and operating securely out of dispersed sites. And no one involved would be using computers connected to networks that could be penetrated to enable personal identification or discovery of the ultimate source of the activity. Everyone would be working in alias on stand-alone machines and the transmission of information would be done using cutouts to break any chain of custody. A cutout might consist of using thumb drives to transmit information from one computer to another, for example. There would be no sending or receiving of information by channels that could be identified by NSA or CIA and compromised.

So the idea that the United States government identified twelve culprits who were responsible for trying to overthrow American democracy is by any measure ludicrous, if indeed there was a major plan to disrupt the election at all. The indictment is little more than a political document seeking to undermine any effort by Donald Trump to establish rapprochement with Vladimir Putin. It will also serve to give fuel to the Democrats, who are still at a loss to understand what happened to Hillary Clinton, and Republican hawks like John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Jeff Flake and Ben Sasse who persist in seeking to refight the Cold War. As Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin said in their Helsinki press conference, the coming together of the leaders of the world's two most powerful nuclear armed countries is too important an opportunity to let pass. Cold Warriors in Washington should take note.

[Aug 18, 2018] In A Corporatist System Of Government, Corporate Censorship Is State Censorship -- Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... Scott Horton Show ..."
"... This commentary was originally published on ..."
"... Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

In A Corporatist System Of Government, Corporate Censorship Is State Censorship August 10, 2018 • 92 Comments

In a corporatist system of government, wherein there is no meaningful separation between corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship, argues Caitlin Johnstone in this commentary.

By Caitlin Johnstone

Last year, representatives of Facebook, Twitter, and Google were instructed on the US Senate floor that it is their responsibility to "quell information rebellions" and adopt a "mission statement" expressing their commitment to "prevent the fomenting of discord."

" Civil wars don't start with gunshots, they start with words," the representatives were told. "America's war with itself has already begun. We all must act now on the social media battlefield to quell information rebellions that can quickly lead to violent confrontations and easily transform us into the Divided States of America."

Yes, this really happened.

Today Twitter has silenced three important anti-war voices on its platform: it has suspended Daniel McAdams, the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute, suspended Scott Horton of the Scott Horton Show , and completely removed the account of prominent Antiwar.com writer Peter Van Buren.

I'm about to talk about the censorship of Alex Jones and Infowars now, so let me get the "blah blah I don't like Alex Jones" thing out of the way so that my social media notifications aren't inundated with people saying "Caitlin didn't say the 'blah blah I don't like Alex Jones' thing!" I shouldn't have to, because this isn't actually about Alex Jones, but here it is:

I don't like Alex Jones. He's made millions saying the things disgruntled right-wingers want to hear instead of telling the truth; he throws in disinfo with his info, which is the same as lying all the time. He's made countless false predictions and his sudden sycophantic support for a US president has helped lull the populist right into complacency when they should be holding Trump to his non-interventionist campaign pledges, making him even more worthless than he was prior to 2016.

But this isn't about defending Alex Jones. He just happens to be the thinnest edge of the wedge.

Infowars has been censored from Facebook, Youtube (which is part of Google), Apple, Spotify, and now even Pinterest, all within hours of each other. This happens to have occurred at the same time Infowars was circulating a petition with tens of thousands of signatures calling on President Trump to pardon WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, who poses a much greater threat to establishment narratives than Alex Jones ever has. Assange's mother also reports that this mass removal of Infowars' audience occurred less than 48 hours after she was approached to do an interview by an Infowars producer.

In a corporatist system of government, wherein there is no meaningful separation between corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship. Because legalized bribery in the form of corporate lobbying and campaign donations has given wealthy Americans the ability to control the U.S. government's policy and behavior while ordinary Americans have no effective influence whatsoever, the U.S. unquestionably has a corporatist system of government. Large, influential corporations are inseparable from the state, so their use of censorship is inseparable from state censorship.

This is especially true of the vast mega-corporations of Silicon Valley, whose extensive ties to U.S. intelligence agencies are well-documented . Once you're assisting with the construction of the US military's drone program , receiving grants from the CIA and NSA for mass surveillance, or having your site's content regulated by NATO's propaganda arm , you don't get to pretend you're a private, independent corporation that is separate from government power. It is possible in the current system to have a normal business worth a few million dollars, but if you want to get to billions of dollars in wealth control in a system where money translates directly to political power, you need to work with existing power structures like the CIA and the Pentagon, or else they'll work with your competitors instead of you

Censorship Through Private Proxy

And yet every time I point to the dangers of a few Silicon Valley plutocrats controlling all new media political discourse with an iron fist, Democratic Party loyalists all turn into a bunch of hardline free market Ayn Rands. "It's not censorship!" they exclaim. "It's a private company and can do whatever it wants with its property!"

They do this because they know their mainstream, plutocrat-friendly "centrist" views will never be censored. Everyone else is on the chopping block, however. Leftist sites have already had their views slashed by a manipulation of Google's algorithms, and it won't be long before movements like BDS and Antifa and skeptics of the establishment Syria and Russia narratives can be made to face mass de-platforming on the same exact pretext as Infowars.

This is a setup. Hit the soft target so your oligarch-friendly censorship doesn't look like what it is, then once you've manufactured consent, go on to shut down the rest of dissenting media bit by bit.

Don't believe that's the plan? Let's ask sitting US Senator Chris Murphy: " Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart," Murphy tweeted in response to the news. "These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it."

That sure sounds an awful lot like the warnings issued to the Silicon Valley representatives on the Senate floor at the beginning of this article, no? This is headed somewhere dark.

We're going to have to find a way to keep the oligarchs from having their cake and eating it too. Either (A) corporations are indeed private organizations separate from the government, in which case the people need to get money out of politics and government agencies out of Silicon Valley so they can start acting like it, and insist that their owners can't be dragged out on to the Senate floor and instructed on what they can and can't do with their business, or (B) these new media platforms get treated like the government agencies they function as, and the people get all the First Amendment protection that comes with it. Right now the social engineers are double-dipping in a way that will eventually give the alliance of corporate plutocrats and secretive government agencies the ability to fully control the public's access to ideas and information.

If they accomplish that, it's game over for humanity. Any hope of the public empowering itself over the will of a few sociopathic, ecocidal, omnicidal oligarchs will have been successfully quashed. We are playing for all the chips right now. We have to fight this. We have no choice.

This commentary was originally published on CaitlinJohnstone.com .

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Follow her work on Facebook , Twitter , or her website . She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . This article was re-published with permission.


gininitaly , August 14, 2018 at 6:59 am

https://www.corbettreport.com/episode-344-problem-reaction-solution-internet-censorship-edition/

Skip Scott , August 14, 2018 at 8:23 am

Cal-

Caitlin is still on medium.
https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/latest

glitch , August 14, 2018 at 10:17 pm

She also has her own website now https://caitlinjohnstone.com/

Herman , August 13, 2018 at 11:07 am

Ms. Johnstone is right. Government pressure on corporations works but the media in all its forms does a pretty good job of sowing discord without government interference. There are so few instances where the government and the major media are not in sync, they are hard to find. As to allowing the lonely voices of worthy organizations like Consortium News, why should they bother. Allowing them creates the pretense of free speech. If they become dangerous, the mood of our elected officials is to fix the problem as Ms. Johnstone rightly notes. The defense of freedom of speech by government and the major media is very selective, and the use of the calling fire in a loaded theatre standard is a big enough vehicle for suppression to drive a truck through, a whole convoy in fact.

As an aside, watching Sixty Minutes on their hit piece about Russian interference in our elections was an example of sloppy journalism that seems to be the norm. when it is about Russia. I was about to say they never used to be like that, but I think that is probably not true.

uncle bob , August 13, 2018 at 12:42 am

https://therealnews.com/series/max-blumenthal-on-the-silicon-valley-dc-internet-police

peon d. rich , August 12, 2018 at 6:19 pm

Bulls-eye!!!! especially on Democratic party loyalists who perform a much more important function for plutocracy than the Republicans and the Tea Party – to rally around fake progressive politics dripping out of the DNC, and effectively drain off the pressure building for true progressive politics.

cjonsson1 , August 12, 2018 at 1:50 pm

This is a good example of Caitlin explaining what is going on in the American media wars which is crucial for people to know.
Our access to information, other than government propaganda, is becoming very limited because the few major social network corporations are owned by a few wealthy individuals or private government contractors. They are monopolies which should be designated public utilities, and regulated as such, or broken up into smaller entities, allowing for competition.
It is important to preserve what is left of our freedom of expression and our free press. The ability to comment on reporting and discuss it with others is diminishing while sources are becoming more and more restricted.
Government and big business fight the public for control of information and opinion. We have to collectively save our stake in democracy by rejecting censorship.

Karl Pomeroy , August 11, 2018 at 8:55 pm

You make some very good points. Alas, I disagree about Alex Jones. The very few times I've listened to his videos, it seemed to me every last thing he said was absolutely true and correct. So I don't know where the idea comes from that he speaks disinformation. He's sometimes obnoxious and hard to watch. But that's a different thing. His words are accurate, particularly about the globalists, the deep state, US-Russia relations, and Trump.

Arby , August 11, 2018 at 12:01 pm

"It is possible in the current system to have a normal business worth a few million dollars, but if you want to get to billions of dollars in wealth control in a system where money translates directly to political power, you need to work with existing power structures like the CIA and the Pentagon, or else they'll work with your competitors instead of you."

Actually, If companies get big, they become potential big tools/weapons for the war-making State, at which point they will be offered a deal that they can't refuse, as one would expect within this gangster Corporatocracy. Look at Wikileaks. Mozilla simply jumped on the fake news bandwagon, so they are now safe, as Aaron Kesel at Activist Post points out. Lavabit's owner, Ladar Levinson had principles and was loyal to his customers (including Edward Snowden) whom he didn't want to betray just because the Corporatocracy State demanded it, and so he shut down. He revived his company once he figured out ways to shield his customers from the war-making State that attacks us all in the name of 'national security'.

So, it's a little more dire than the government just deciding to favor your competitors, which of course the amazing Caitlin knows.

With all of this capture by tech giants, innovators, by the war-making State (Randolph Bourne), How will end? I have more than one answer to that. One of those answers is the obvious one: Ramped up counterrevolution, in the area of cyberspace mainly, in the State's war against the people. And such a war is underway as any number of authors have demonstrated thoroughly. And its not (just) Russia attacking the people. Jeff Halper wrote "War Against The People." Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes edited "The Secure And The Dispossessed." Douglas Valentine wrote "The Phoenix Program," which he notes wasn't confined to Vietnam. Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman wrote the devastating two-volume "Political Economy Of Human Rights," which included "The Washington Connection And Third World Fascism." And Edward Herman wrote: "The Real Terror Network." All of those books and many others talk about counterrevolution and the counterinsurgency (State terrorism) that goes with it.

And counterrevolution and counterinsurgency doesn't have to be of the extreme variety, such as in South Vietnam when the US was torturing that country to death. Caitlin has talked about how the State (New Zealand) went to work on her friend, Suzie Dawson. Read the account. It's quite illuminating.

What do you call 'thinking' that is against 'thinking' (and what we consider to be a part of innovation that leads to inventions that elevate society? It's called counterrevolution. That's where our corrupt tech giants have gone. It won't end well for them, even if they think otherwise and even if they feel safe because they are with the big guy. There's a bigger guy who has that big guy in his sights.

"Thinking About Thinking" – https://arrby.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/thinking-about-thinking/

"41 Tags, 17 Entries And No Views. Bookmark Me Maybe?" – https://arrby.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/41-tags-17-entries-and-no-views-bookmark-me-maybe/

vinnieoh , August 11, 2018 at 10:14 am

"We Do What We're Told" – Peter Gabriel; "So"

Somehow I had missed those words from our elected "representatives" in Congressional hearing. What these political pimps and whores don't want us to do is get together and agree to dispel the bullshit that we're up to our necks in right now.

As far as I know this is the first piece I've read by Caitlin Johnstone, and I agree with her general premise that this is more than just ominous. More and more of our elected "representatives" talk and act like alien totalitarians.

The good news is that Trump's "trade" and saber-rattling belligerence is finally awakening the rest of humanity to the fundamental non-starter of a unipolar anything. That one entity so militarily, politically, and economically dominant that it can cause pain and suffering wherever and whenever it decides. It is ironic that Trump's MAGA is the act in this play that will dethrone the USA. The downside is that the 99% control NOTHING (this is true across most of the planet.) Another downside is that the megalomaniacs in power will not concede power without a cataclysmic conflict. But nothing is set in stone, though the indications don't look promising.

Jerry Alatalo , August 11, 2018 at 8:57 am

"If all mankind minus one were of one opinion and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."

"But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose what is always a great benefit – the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error."

– JOHN STUART MILL (1806-1873) English political economist, philosopher

Realist , August 11, 2018 at 3:12 am

Something must be getting into the water supply either by accident or design to induce the mass hypnosis that has so many presumably intelligent people believing that we must all walk in lockstep on every policy the elites want. Maybe we are all zombified from the massive amounts of Xanax, Valium, Oxycontin and other mind-numbing psychoactive agents our population consumes and pisses, unmetabolized, into the water table to be recycled into our drinking water, obviating the need for a personal prescription to enjoy (suffer) the effects.

It's a real pity if the totally transparent sham scare stories they have disseminated are alone enough to convince most of the people to give up their constitutional rights and privacy. Clearly the tactic of the big lie doesn't work on every last individual or sites like this one would not have an audience. That is why they want to shut us down, and Alex Jones, though not a member of this journal club, is just the first step towards an outcome that will encompass everyone remaining outside an all pervasive Groupthink.

Ideas, beliefs, memes, values, customs, habits and such are not received universally from some inspirational force on high. (You are simply told to believe that from earliest childhood.) They are spread through the population like a virus from mind-to-mind contact, whether in person or via some modality of mass communication, like the TV or the internet. The object of censorship, as per Alex Jones or Ron Paul most recently, is to extirpate the source of "infection" as close to its point of origin as possible, before it can be spread to too many carriers for transmission to others. People tend to believe what they hear and what they hear comes from their regular contacts. Shut down their favorite talk show host or internet site and they become starved for new "seditious" ideas. If they never hear a truth, chances are they won't think it up themselves and certainly not act upon it.

Another thing I am pretty sure of: if their attempts at propaganda, psy-ops and mind control do not work to their satisfaction, unadorned thuggery will become the new standard. I know, I know, some of our number already get a taste of that.

Dave P. , August 11, 2018 at 5:46 pm

Realist –

"Another thing I am pretty sure of: if their attempts at propaganda, psy-ops and mind control do not work to their satisfaction, unadorned thuggery will become the new standard . . . "

You have it absolutely right. There have been markers all along since G.W. Bush/Cheney rule, clear indicators of this new Future.

But some of us are so desperate to have a better and peaceful future for the humanity on this planet that we get our hopes high for any silver lining in the sky – Obama's hope and change, now Trump's getting along with Russia and stopping interventions abroad.

Now it seems like there is this new hoax the Democrats are going to perpetrate, candidates with some type of socialist orientation, like Bernie Sanders supposedly has been or is. The politicians in both parties are accomplished ConMen, in service of the real Masters – MIC, Wall Street Finance, Media and Entertainment, working to bring this new Future. Bernie Sanders is no different.

Skip Scott , August 12, 2018 at 7:08 am

"Now it seems like there is this new hoax the Democrats are going to perpetrate, candidates with some type of socialist orientation, like Bernie Sanders supposedly has been or is. "

I have noticed this ploy as well. They are willing to have a few faux progressives to keep the progressive wing of the party from abandoning them altogether. They use Sanders, and now this new Ocasio-Cortez, to sell their "big tent" narrative, and then co-op them when it comes to all the important issues. They also constantly sell the idea that voting for third party candidates is a waste of time, so you have to settle for "the lesser of evils" when it comes time for a new president. I don't know how long they can keep playing the same con-game before people see through it, but if it happens again in 2020, I think we are doomed.

Realist , August 12, 2018 at 10:01 am

The Democratic incumbent running for the senate in Florida (Bill Nelson) has made me so angry by yet again using the party con against Russia that I could never vote for him even though his opponent is the horrendous Governor Rick Scott (who plead guilty to defrauding Medicare to the tune of a billion dollars for his Columbia HMO system prior to his election). I cannot abide such theft of taxpayer money in broad daylight, but I also cannot accept Nelson's spewing lies that Russia has actively hacked the Florida voter roles, plans to delete registrations and disrupt the November elections. You know who's really more likely to do those things? The Democratic and Republican parties.

Nelson is just making pre-emptive excuses for the loss that he sees coming. If he believes his desperate gambit can work, he must think the voters are damned idiots to believe that Russia would persist in perpetrating sabotage against American interests putting them constantly in the crosshairs of our politicians and media. He must think that Floridians will buy any tall tale that their elected officials tell them, totally unsupported by any evidence. We are to believe that Assad never stops trying to poison his own people and that Putin never stops interfering in American elections. (Why should Putin favor Rick Scott? Because he admires American crooks?) If you truly believe such accusations, it is probably logical that you would favor WAR with that country. I will vote for someone from the Baader-Meinhof gang or the Taliban Party (if there is such a beast) before either Nelson or Scott. Or I won't vote at all.

Jessika , August 10, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Zero Hedge tonight has an interesting article by Charles Hugh Smith, "The Grand Irony of Russiagate: US Becomes More Like USSR Every Day". The clampdown in the old Soviet Union before its collapse has parallels to what's going on in US now.

Jeff Harrison , August 10, 2018 at 5:12 pm

From Wikipedia. Fascism:
Fascism (/?fæ??z?m/) is a form of radical authoritarian ultranationalism,[1][2] characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy.

The Cheetos-in-chief would love to wield dictatorial power and has tried to do so in the past as have his predecessors (Obama, yeah, well, we had to torture some folks::Shrub you're with us or against us.). Senator Chris Murphy essentially telling these companies who to kick off their platforms, the regimentation of society and the economy is continuing apace as companies are forced to comply with government demands that the government should never be able to make but they do for "national security reasons"

Pfui. As I've said before the US has become a fascistic police state.

MBeaver , August 11, 2018 at 10:50 pm

Many other western countries, too. The only thing missing to "fit" fascism is the nationalism. They completely gave up their national identity for neoliberal agendas. I wont look for a new term, because its as close to fascism as anything else, especially since the definition of leftism and socialism has changed a lot since fascism was invented (by a socialist), so why shouldnt the definition of fascism a tiny bit?
But it exposes people who always cry "its not fascism" because nationalism is missing, as accomplices at the very least.

Also, as an objective person, you should at least admit, that "cheeto-in-chief" is actually trying hard to keep the promises he made. I havent seen that in a western leader in a very VERY long time. Its just very obvious that the president isnt almighty and the deep state is very powerful. Thanks to Trump its become evident to even fools, that the USA is much more corrupt than even any conspiracy theorist would have thought just a few years ago.

jaycee , August 10, 2018 at 4:27 pm

The idea that discordant speech is somehow a threat to the nation or democracy is so looney and bereft of fact that it is actually painful to contemplate how many otherwise intelligent persons seem to have internalized the notion. Obviously, Trump's election victory severely damaged the Establishment's confidence in the ability to "manufacture consent" to the degree that fundamental concepts of free speech are now in the cross-hairs. They will destroy the Republic in order to save it.

Gary Weglarz , August 10, 2018 at 3:58 pm

When the corporate state speaks of "hate speech" and "community standards" – one can be sure they are not referring to Madeline Albright's stunning defense for killing of a half a million Iraqi children with sanctions as "worth it." Nor would the corporate state ever categorize as "hate speech" the daily attack by a wide variety of U.S. officials and media pundits, not only on the Russian government, but on the very – "character" – of the Russian people as a whole.

Our actual and very real – "community standards" – in the U.S. include the complete normalization of illegal immoral endless aggressive war-making in violation of international law (not to mention regime change by jihadists, drone murders, economic warfare, political assassinations, etc.) – along with the despicable demonization of official enemies – in other words the total "normalization of hate-speech."

"Violations" of these widely held U.S. "community standards" & "hate-speech standards" involves plain and simply any – "challenge" – to them or deviation from them. In other words to speak words not sufficiently 'anti-Russian' today is considered a form of "hate speech" in MSM and in political discourse. To suggest peace rather than war with Russia might be a good idea is to violate precious "community standards" which today tolerate only mindless fact-free warmongering in public discourse. You really can't make this stuff up!

Dave P. , August 10, 2018 at 5:48 pm

Excellent comments. So true.

We are heading towards some sort of dark ages, and at very fast pace.

Maxwell Quest , August 10, 2018 at 10:00 pm

Gary, pointing out the shameless and bald-faced hypocrisy as you did can sometimes shake the stupefaction from an open-minded reader. Sadly, though, arguments such as these just seem to bounce off the Russiagaters, having no effect. Conversely, these very same people couldn't lavish enough praise on the peace prize winner Obama, whether he was bailing out the corrupt banks, letting the lobbyists craft Obamacare, trafficking arms through Benghazi, or droning some wedding party in the desert.

What do both of these examples have in common? Easy, the state media was able to control the narrative in each case, and these same hypnotized drones ate it up hook, line and sinker. This brings us right back to why internet-based censorship is the hot topic of the day, since it is the single most threat to complete state control over the public mind.

Dave P. , August 10, 2018 at 11:09 pm

Well said. Obama is not gone yet. He is still out there selling his philosophy of promoting the Wall street and corrupt banks, and droning and killing the weak and innocents all over the world , for the right cause so to speak – spreading freedom and democracy. And liberals buy it. What a World we live in!

He, along with Clintons, is the main instigator of "Russia Gate", which may lead the human life to extinction on Earth.

Realist , August 11, 2018 at 2:24 am

Dave

Yes, anything is permitted (by Washington) as long as it is in the name of "freedom and democracy." So say the leaders of our exceptional country.

Realist , August 11, 2018 at 2:22 am

Damn straight, Maxwell.

Mildly Facetious , August 11, 2018 at 4:16 pm

Yes, anything is permitted (by Washington) as long as it is in the name of "freedom and democracy." So say the leaders of our exceptional country.
??????????????????????????

They do this because they know their mainstream, plutocrat-friendly "centrist" views will never be censored.

Everyone else is on the chopping block, however.

Leftist sites have already had their views slashed by a manipulation of Google's algorithms, and it won't be long before movements like BDS and Antifa and skeptics of the establishment Syria and Russia narratives can be made to face mass de-platforming on the same exact pretext as Infowars.

-- - compare that, if you've a clue, (not to obfuscate your subject), Caitlan Johnstone, with, not mere censorship, but the Protection of 'Confidential' information such as the Industrial Pharma INDUSTRY OF DEATH (shades -of -nazi-germany??? )via INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION and PRESCRIBING OF OPIOIDS as if Huxley's "Soma" or/and a preview of " The Chemical and Bacteriological Conditioning of the Embryo. – Practical Instructions for Beta Embryro-Store Workers /// as in government forced vaccinations along with Facebook enforced capitulation of any/all -- Personal Sovereign Belief/s massively defaulting and bowing the knee and Becoming Persuaded and Trapped into inescapable Autocracy, by reason of Darwin-esk dissembling and a dis-informed election to Dissent Into The Maelstrom of the sinking ship of American Exceptionalism, -- as if God could/would "forgive" all-of-the-collective Brutality of Bombs, bullets, Uranium Munitions / CRIPPLING Sanctions imposted -- support of brutal dictators Who massacred INNOCENT Civilians in order to obtain/secure US MILITARY FUNDS, in order to secure autocratic/authoritative CONTROL

We are engulfed in a Molding Faze of acceptance of/into a totally new Reality strangely built upon Nazi science/experiments, now Entering an/the Age of Space-Age manipulation of DNA, Gene Manipulation -- origins of species ordered inside test tubes.

George Gilder prophetically saw this in this and more in his prescient 1990's book, MICROCOSM. --
George Gilder and his Discovery Institute were far Ahead – of -the -curve in this 'Facebook" era of Futurisms .

Please find and consider his book, esp as it relates to technological possibilities and the New Wonders (Brave New Worlds) of Gene splicing / manipulation .

[Aug 18, 2018] MoA - John Brennan Is No Match For Trump

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Most important was " Brennan's ringleader role in the so-far unsuccessful attempts to derail Trump , both before and after the 2016 election. As far as we can tell it was Brennan who concocted and launched the conspiracy to insinuate that Trump is connected with alleged Russian influence. Brennan bet that Hillary Clinton would win the election. He lost his bet and is now out in the cold. He fears that his role, especially his conspiring with British security services and with the Steele dossier, will come to light. ..."
"... [R]unning against the deep state provides Trump a rhetorical crutch. It's a built-in excuse for failing to deliver on his 2016 campaign promises. Sitting presidents usually have to run as incumbents. Trump can try to run for re-election as an outsider. And is there a better poster boy for the alleged deep state than Brennan? ..."
"... The idiots who express solidarity with Brennan by offering up their security clearances confirm, simply by doing so, that there IS a deep state cabal that is opposed to Trump. Attacking Brennan and them will help Trump to get reelected. ..."
"... By colluding against me, the fake media proved once and for all, that they are in cahoots with the Democrats and have declared themselves to be my true political opposition ..."
"... Trump is excellent in playing his domestic opponents. Brennan made a huge mistake in publicly opposing him. He is now standing in the limelight and people will only dig further into his role in the "Russian collusion" campaign. Yesterday Brennan authored a New York Times ..."
"... Director Brennan's recent statements purport to know as fact that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power. If Director Brennan's statement is based on intelligence he received while still leading the CIA, why didn't he include it in the Intelligence Community Assessment released in 2017? If his statement is based on intelligence he has seen since leaving office, it constitutes an intelligence breach. If he has some other personal knowledge of or evidence of collusion, it should be disclosed to the Special Counsel, not The New York Times . ..."
"... It is doubtful that Trump will let go of the issue. Brennan is a too juicy target to stop shooting at it. Currently Brennan is still too valuable as an enemy for Trump to destroy him. But once that is over Brennan's day of judgment will come. Here are high hopes that Brennan will finally have to pay for at least one of his many crimes. ..."
"... If the Democrats jump to defend Brennan, they will have fallen into another Trump Trap. They are assuredly tone-deaf and stupid enough to take the bait. ..."
"... You are a Trump supporter because you supposedly believe Trump is an insurgent fighting the deep state for a democratic world order, or some such, perhaps more discreetly phrased. But this is nonsense ..."
"... Trump, whatever maybe said against him, is a legitimately, constitutionally elected president. The people like Brennan working against him were not elected. I didn't vote for Trump. I voted for Jill Stein. But, if there is a civil war, I will have to fight for Trump's side. The oath that I swore as a naval officer was to the Constitution. ..."
"... he's a nasty neocon that is of course protected by liberal MSM ..."
"... Unfortunately, there is no limit on the numbers of despicable, warmongering, money-grubbing, craven, destructive, maniacal creatures in government. Brennan is one such specimen. Brennan belongs in prison for subverting the Constitution. ..."
"... Look, Brennan has now had enough time, with his 'hit-team' to clear much of his record and trail of criminality, and he believes that he has enough backing to go after Trump. The key is obviously the Uranium1 scam, which Mueller and Sessions appear to be stalling on big-time. And then there's the Imran Awan / Debbie Washerwoman Shultz bonanza about to break big-time - and you're trying to tell me that Brennan being charged or sued would be 'quite extreme, and an evil precedent'? ..."
"... Just my 2 cents worth. Trump's a stooge, and nearly 100% of what he does is solely and only to bully someone whom Trump perceives has having stood up to him (Trump). It's not so much about Trump taking on BigSpy, Inc, in any meaningful or substantive way. It's about Trump being a big-assed bully and throwing his considerable weight around... without accomplishing much other than smacking down Brennan - deservedly but with no real ongoing lasting useful effect. ..."
"... Democrats are not collectively smart enough or politically astute enough to run away from Brennan. What fools they are! ..."
"... Why did Trump nominated Gina Haspel as CIA Director? Her nomination was supported by former CIA directors John Brennan, Leon Panetta and Michael Morell, former Director of the NSA and CIA Michael Hayden, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. ..."
"... Haspel was CIA chief of station in London in 2016, when the plot against Trump was hatched. She must have known what Steele et al. were up to. ..."
"... Trumps connections with the Russian Mafia were certainly reason for concern. Too bad the DeepState Media downplayed this angle and some other angles , perhaps that would have prevented Trump from winning. ..."
"... Post Brennan the Trump administration is not only expanding the use of drones, it is also obscuring the facts about how many drones are being used, how many people are being killed by them, and where. His CIA Director Gina Haspel is certainly just as evil as Brennan and even better versed in water boarding. ..."
"... And we should not forget Brennan's role in the coup in Ukraine....does CIA still have an office on the 4th floor of SBU building in Kiev? ..."
"... If the intelligence agencies are so hostile to him, then why nominate Haspel? How does Haspel who, is connected to torture, help MAGA? How is Trump "draining the swamp" when he nominates a swamp creature (the 'choice' of the Deep State) for CIA Director? ..."
"... When "populist" Presidents (both Obama and Trump) serve the establishment instead of the people then we are, simply, being played. In fact, the American political system is organized to prevent a real popul ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

John Brennan Is No Match For Trump

U.S President Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.

Good. It is probably the best things Trump has ever done. Brennan is one of the most despicable former U.S. officials alive. He should rot in hell instead of making money off his former status.

Besides that there is no sound reason why anyone who does not work for the government, directly or indirectly, should have a clearance and thereby access to state secrets. ACLU and others are wrong in this. Revoking or keeping a security clearance has nothing to do with free speech or first amendment rights.

Abu Jihad Brennan was the CIA's station chief in Saudi Arabia when the Khobar Towers were bombed. Al-Qaeda did it , but Brennan was helpful in blaming the attack on Hizbullah and Iran. He was deputy executive director of the CIA on 9/11. That 9/11 happened was an intelligence failure or, as some have it, an incident arranged by the deep state. Brennan was CIA chief of staff while the agency concocted false stories about Iraqi WMD. He was within the command line that ran the CIA torture program. It was Brennan who conspired with the Gulf dictators to hire Jihadis to destroy Libya and to attempt the same in Syria. In short - the man was always ruthless, incompetent and dishonest.

When Obama became president he wanted to make Brennan Director of the CIA. The Democrats in Congress were opposed to that. Obama then made him his high priest of targeted killings . After Obama's reelection, Brennan finally became director. He ordered the CIA to spy on the Congress committee investigating CIA torture. He lied to Congress under oath when he denied that it had happened. When it was proven that the CIA did what it did, he had to apologize.

At that time a Washington Post editorial headlined Obama should fire John Brennan . Today the Post calls the revocation of a security clearance of a former official, who -it had opined- should have long been fired, a "political vendetta against a career intelligence officer". Hypocrites.

Most important was " Brennan's ringleader role in the so-far unsuccessful attempts to derail Trump , both before and after the 2016 election. As far as we can tell it was Brennan who concocted and launched the conspiracy to insinuate that Trump is connected with alleged Russian influence. Brennan bet that Hillary Clinton would win the election. He lost his bet and is now out in the cold. He fears that his role, especially his conspiring with British security services and with the Steele dossier, will come to light.

Since Trump became president Brennan publicly opposed him. That was a huge mistake. He is no match for Trump. Be revoking Brennan's clearance Trump is now elevating him to 'hero' of the so called 'resistance' against him which he connects to the deep state. This is the Trump playbook :

[R]unning against the deep state provides Trump a rhetorical crutch. It's a built-in excuse for failing to deliver on his 2016 campaign promises. Sitting presidents usually have to run as incumbents. Trump can try to run for re-election as an outsider. And is there a better poster boy for the alleged deep state than Brennan?

The idiots who express solidarity with Brennan by offering up their security clearances confirm, simply by doing so, that there IS a deep state cabal that is opposed to Trump. Attacking Brennan and them will help Trump to get reelected.

Trump uses the same playbook when he attacks the "fake news media" for opposing him. He is right in that nearly all U.S. and international editors favored Hillery Clinton over Trump. This week 200 U.S. papers united to write editorials against Trump's attacks against the "freedom of the press". They fell for his trick :

Most journalists agree that there's a great need for Trump rebuttals. I've written my share. But this [Boston] Globe -sponsored coordinated editorial response is sure to backfire: It will provide Trump with circumstantial evidence of the existence of a national press cabal that has been convened solely to oppose him. When the editorials roll off the press on Thursday, all singing from the same script, Trump will reap enough fresh material to whale on the media for at least a month. His forthcoming speeches almost write themselves: By colluding against me, the fake media proved once and for all, that they are in cahoots with the Democrats and have declared themselves to be my true political opposition ...

Trump is excellent in playing his domestic opponents. Brennan made a huge mistake in publicly opposing him. He is now standing in the limelight and people will only dig further into his role in the "Russian collusion" campaign. Yesterday Brennan authored a New York Times Op Ed headlined President Trump's Claims of No Collusion Are Hogwash. It does not provide any evidence for the "hogwash" claim. Brennan can not show that there was a Trump campaign collusion with Russia or anyone else.

Richard Burr, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, gave a somewhat salty and fitting response :

"Director Brennan's recent statements purport to know as fact that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power. If Director Brennan's statement is based on intelligence he received while still leading the CIA, why didn't he include it in the Intelligence Community Assessment released in 2017? If his statement is based on intelligence he has seen since leaving office, it constitutes an intelligence breach. If he has some other personal knowledge of or evidence of collusion, it should be disclosed to the Special Counsel, not The New York Times .

"If, however, Director Brennan's statement is purely political and based on conjecture, the president has full authority to revoke his security clearance as head of the Executive Branch."

In short: "Nut up or shut up."

It is doubtful that Trump will let go of the issue. Brennan is a too juicy target to stop shooting at it. Currently Brennan is still too valuable as an enemy for Trump to destroy him. But once that is over Brennan's day of judgment will come. Here are high hopes that Brennan will finally have to pay for at least one of his many crimes.


fastfreddy , Aug 17, 2018 3:30:26 PM | 1

If the Democrats jump to defend Brennan, they will have fallen into another Trump Trap. They are assuredly tone-deaf and stupid enough to take the bait.
steven t johnson , Aug 17, 2018 3:55:46 PM | 2
Indeed, Brennan is scum

That said, there is no deep state, there is just the state. There are factions in the ruling class, but arbitrarily deciding one is evil is just working for the other. You are a Trump supporter because you supposedly believe Trump is an insurgent fighting the deep state for a democratic world order, or some such, perhaps more discreetly phrased. But this is nonsense. The idea that people hate John Brennan so much they'll vote for Trumpery in the midterm and 2020 because Trump is kicking the ass of their enemy...did you actually read what you wrote here?

As far as the free speech rights of Brennan are concerned, the question is whether any contacts with other security officials, and any other research for article, books and speeches can be deemed as pursuing information he is not cleared for. That he could be criminally charged or sued. This would be quite extreme, and an evil precedent when such repressive tactics are used even within the upper ranks. What they do to each other, they'll do to us, faster, harder and more often.

howard in nyc , Aug 17, 2018 3:57:50 PM | 3
b wrote, above:
Good. It is one of the best things Trump has ever done. Brennan is one of the most despicable former U.S. officials alive. He should rot in hell.

but, but, Nancy Pelosi said in a twit:

Revoking the security clearance of an honorable patriot is a stunning abuse of power & a pathetic attempt to silence critics.

Whom am I to believe? (um, trick question) Thank you for the brief summary of this horrible person's career lowlites. Now I can just point people to this piece when they ask me how can I speak against such an 'honorable patriot'. Jeesh, these times we live.

lysias , Aug 17, 2018 4:35:05 PM | 4
Trump, whatever maybe said against him, is a legitimately, constitutionally elected president. The people like Brennan working against him were not elected. I didn't vote for Trump. I voted for Jill Stein. But, if there is a civil war, I will have to fight for Trump's side. The oath that I swore as a naval officer was to the Constitution.
Bardi , Aug 17, 2018 4:38:41 PM | 5
"Brennan is one of the most despicable former U.S. officials alive. He should rot in hell." Neither of those are reasons to remove someone's security clearance. The reasons are documented. Try to stay on topic.
Zanon , Aug 17, 2018 4:41:06 PM | 6
" Brennan is one of the most despicable former U.S. officials alive. He should rot in hell."

Great summary, he's a nasty neocon that is of course protected by liberal MSM.

gogaijin , Aug 17, 2018 4:41:57 PM | 7
I think this is the right move and it may indeed turn out to be a political win. But before giving Trump all the credit, it should be noted that Senator Rand Paul, a man who has consistently been critical of US foreign policy, publicly proposed the idea of canceling Brennan's security clearance last month.

https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article216755630.html

Zanon , Aug 17, 2018 4:46:21 PM | 8
After clearance pull, Democrats rush to back Brennan – who spied on them https://www.rt.com/usa/436065-democrats-forget-brennan-spied/
fastfreddy , Aug 17, 2018 4:46:39 PM | 9
Unfortunately, there is no limit on the numbers of despicable, warmongering, money-grubbing, craven, destructive, maniacal creatures in government. Brennan is one such specimen. Brennan belongs in prison for subverting the Constitution.
lysias , Aug 17, 2018 4:47:22 PM | 10
Accusing Trump of treason for what he did in Helsinki is surely sufficient reason for losing a clearance.
fredjc , Aug 17, 2018 4:49:16 PM | 11
@2 steven

"That said, there is no deep state, there is just the state. There are factions in the ruling class, but arbitrarily deciding one is evil is just working for the other. You are a Trump supporter because you supposedly believe Trump is an insurgent fighting the deep state for a democratic world order, or some such, perhaps more discreetly phrased. "

What a strange opening gambit? There obviously is a deep state - who do you think Trump has been battling with if it is not 'hangers on' to political power and influence, the MIC, the Corporations, Wall St, the Fed and the Bankers (spelt with a 'W')?

Look, Brennan has now had enough time, with his 'hit-team' to clear much of his record and trail of criminality, and he believes that he has enough backing to go after Trump. The key is obviously the Uranium1 scam, which Mueller and Sessions appear to be stalling on big-time. And then there's the Imran Awan / Debbie Washerwoman Shultz bonanza about to break big-time - and you're trying to tell me that Brennan being charged or sued would be 'quite extreme, and an evil precedent'?

Jeez, what are they feeding the trolls with these days...

RUKidding , Aug 17, 2018 4:57:57 PM | 12
Brennan is disgusting scum. May he rot. I would prefer for all who are Ex-BigSpy,Inc to have their security clearances revoked as soon as they become "ex." Sadly, that's apparently not how it's done. I fully disagree with a policy of letting these "ex" types keep their security clearance as "a matter of courtesy." Perhaps this whole kerfuffle will lead to a review of this practice and a change but not holding my breath.

Although I kinda personally "like" it that Trump revoked Brennan's clearance, I am also troubled by it. I don't think Trump followed proper channels, and the way it was done -- and for the reasons stated -- are questionable. IMO, it has at least a bit of a stink of Dictatorship about it.

Ergo, I'm not all "down" with what Trump did. Yeah, yeah, he fired a shot across the bow of BigSpy, Inc. In some ways, that's a good thing. But as usual, Trump does this in such a stupidly dumb and ham-handed way that it pretty much negates the potential "good" this might do.

Just my 2 cents worth. Trump's a stooge, and nearly 100% of what he does is solely and only to bully someone whom Trump perceives has having stood up to him (Trump). It's not so much about Trump taking on BigSpy, Inc, in any meaningful or substantive way. It's about Trump being a big-assed bully and throwing his considerable weight around... without accomplishing much other than smacking down Brennan - deservedly but with no real ongoing lasting useful effect.

fastfreddy , Aug 17, 2018 4:58:38 PM | 13
7

Democrats are not collectively smart enough or politically astute enough to run away from Brennan. What fools they are!

They abandoned their "working persons" base a long time ago. That, and Obama embraced (rescued) the Republican Party after it was nearly torn asunder by Dubya Bush. Recall that Republican affiliation was at an historic low. They needed a boot on their throats and instead they got a hand up. A seat at the table, and often, the head of the table.

Completely revived, they (the R Party) now have carte blanche to destroy public institutions at will.

Jackrabbit , Aug 17, 2018 4:59:17 PM | 14
Why did Trump nominated Gina Haspel as CIA Director? Her nomination was supported by former CIA directors John Brennan, Leon Panetta and Michael Morell, former Director of the NSA and CIA Michael Hayden, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Draining the swamp? If Trump had taken on Brennan sooner, Haspel's nomination and confirmation might've been moot.

Watch what they DO not what they SAY.

lysias , Aug 17, 2018 5:08:45 PM | 15
Haspel was CIA chief of station in London in 2016, when the plot against Trump was hatched. She must have known what Steele et al. were up to.
Pft , Aug 17, 2018 5:12:59 PM | 19
Trumps connections with the Russian Mafia were certainly reason for concern. Too bad the DeepState Media downplayed this angle and some other angles , perhaps that would have prevented Trump from winning.

Post Brennan the Trump administration is not only expanding the use of drones, it is also obscuring the facts about how many drones are being used, how many people are being killed by them, and where. His CIA Director Gina Haspel is certainly just as evil as Brennan and even better versed in water boarding.

Anyways, big whoop that Brennan lost his security clearance . I doubt he needs Food Stamps now.

Mark2 , Aug 17, 2018 5:23:27 PM | 20
Personally I hope this gets right out of control. Drone strikes and cruse missile style ! Freandly rebels, white helmets the whole deal. bring it on and pass the popcorn !!! Dirty scum.
hopehely , Aug 17, 2018 7:04:33 PM | 31
And we should not forget Brennan's role in the coup in Ukraine....does CIA still have an office on the 4th floor of SBU building in Kiev?
Jackrabbit , Aug 17, 2018 7:59:19 PM | 39
lysias @27: Trump was meant to win? Obviously not by the intelligence agencies...

If the intelligence agencies are so hostile to him, then why nominate Haspel? How does Haspel who, is connected to torture, help MAGA? How is Trump "draining the swamp" when he nominates a swamp creature (the 'choice' of the Deep State) for CIA Director?

When "populist" Presidents (both Obama and Trump) serve the establishment instead of the people then we are, simply, being played. In fact, the American political system is organized to prevent a real popul

Rob , Aug 17, 2018 8:02:56 PM | 40
As far as I am concerned, every CIA director, living or dead, is/was guilty of heinous crimes and deserves to rot in hell. Yet it is just plain nonsense to believe that Donald Trump can outsmart them...
NemesisCalling , Aug 17, 2018 8:22:30 PM | 43
@25 jackrabbit

Trump is...

"a deep state asset." How do you know that? It could be just as well that Trump is fighting this group by outsmarting them with the long game, a la Putin. (i.e. mixed signals and not acting too brashly in undoing the cabal)

"a faux populist." Even if he was a faux populist, which he might exhibit shades of, how does this make him a bad president at this current juncture in US history? Would you accept that a good president could not be a populist? IMO, he appears to be scrambling the cohesive unity and appearance of America's FP and putting the pressure on the seams of NATO and the UN so that they may eventually tear. Whatever your opinion of the UN, one can not argue against its ineffectual weight in ongoing atrocity (Syria, Yemen), but one COULD argue that it has been an agent of or has at least been coopted by the NWO.

I believe you are proceeding from these two points in your thinking that need to be reevaluated.

In your prior post @13, you equate selecting Gina Haspel as director of the CIA as further proof of Trump's assured malfeasance. Have you considered that:

1) she may be ineffectual and so on Trump's leash at the CIA
2) in her prior years under the shadow of Brennan, her promotions might have been politically-motivated and so it is understandable that a globalist like Brennan would vote in lockstep their approval of Haspel because "GIRL POWER!" .
3) it might not be as simple as that to say that just because one is brought up in Brennan's CIA and then ascends to its heights that she will do globalist/Brennan bidding as a sleeper-agent in her position.

Circe , Aug 17, 2018 10:48:00 PM | 62
I agree with everything expressed here about Brennan but while Trump is getting rid of one war criminal, he's bedding another; oligarch friend Erik Prince aka Blackwater ceo, aka exCIA operative who he wants to put in charge in Afghanistan. Trump could care less of your noble reasons for hating Brennan. Trump is no genius who gives a damn about human rights violations. Trump only cares about number one; HIMSELF.

So what's the difference between Brennan and Prince? Only the size of their bank account. When Trump does something right as in Brennan's case you can always thank his big fat ego; self-promotion or self-preservation; SELF being the operative word. To compensate for that accidental right move he'll make a collosal dumb move as in North Korea vs Iran as in Brennan vs Erik Prince. I rest my case.

jadan , Aug 17, 2018 11:15:05 PM | 67
The enemy of my enemy is also an enemy in this case. It pains me to agree with Trump on any issue. Brennan is a thug. His physiognomy gives him away at a glance. To say he is no match for Trump is not correct. He is no match for the power of the presidency. Trump can't handle this power, either, which is why he is going down for laundering money for Russians and for colluding with them to win the election, which is not to say the Russians rigged the election. Nor is not to say the Russians are enemies, as Obama and the CIA have struggled to establish. This is to say that Trump is impulsive, ignorant, solipsistic, and corrupt to the bone.
Jen , Aug 18, 2018 12:16:37 AM | 69
I have heard rumour that while he was CIA Station Chief in Saudi Arabia in the late 1990s, John Brennan converted to Wahhabi Islam. Is anyone able to say if this is true?

The only sources of information on this rumour are a former FBI counter-terrorism agent John Guandolo and a retired CIA senior official Brad Johnson (who has admitted that he has never heard Brennan say the shahada - the profession of faith, that the only God is Allah and Muhammad is his prophet - but knows people in the CIA who apparently have heard Brennan say the shahada in front of Saudi and US government officials).

https://www.acunewsdaily.com/2017/06/29/cia-confirms-john-brennan-converted-to-islam/

Cyril , Aug 18, 2018 1:08:08 AM | 71
Brennan is one of the most despicable former U.S. officials alive.

Indeed. It's possible that the misdeeds listed in the article have not begun to measure the man's wickedness.

I think it's a good time to mention The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade by Alfred McCoy. (I am not posting a link as the URL is too long.) As the title says, the book is about how deeply the CIA is involved in the global drug trade.

What are the chances that former CIA Director Brennan is/was one of the gangsters causing the current opioid and heroin epidemic in the U.S.?

Emily , Aug 18, 2018 6:15:28 AM | 78
Why would he have a security clearance if he was no longer a member of the government?
None of them should
I cannot understand the logic of it all,
Hillary Clinton for example - she has one I believe.
Rather bizarre isn't it?
Just asking.

[Aug 18, 2018] Sanders behaviour during election is suspect, unless you assume he acted as sheep dog for hillary

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Why didn't Sanders complain about DNC-Hillary collusion (he knew about it well before she captured the nomination - MSM didn't publicize it until after she had won). ..."
"... Why didn't Sanders make a big deal of Hillary's winning 6 of 6 coin tosses during the Iowa primaries. Character was an issue from the start of the race. Trump would later lambast "crooked Hillary". ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Aug 17, 2018 8:59:57 PM | 48

lysias @41

There were only two populists in the race: Trump and Sanders. One on Hillary's left (sheep-dogging voters to Hillary) and one on Hillary's right (Trump).

Why did any of the other 18 republicans turn populist? Why didn't they wait so long to complain about the coverage being provided to Trump?

Why were Republicans so adamantly against Trump after he won the nomination? Many said that they prefered Hillary - whom they had claimed to hate so much only months before? Answer: Trump had to be an outsider. That's what makes the populist so compelling. He has to be seen as taking on the establishment.

After such a contentious race, why did Trump quickly say that there would be no prosecution of Hillary? He has proven to be petty and vain yet he was so quick to forgive the Clintons?

Why did Trump wait so long to fire Comey? It's almost like it was timed for Comey to hand the baton to a special prosecutor.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Here's a few more questions (of many many other questions)

dumbass , Aug 17, 2018 9:41:12 PM | 53

>> Why did/didn't Sanders

Good questions. Asking them sequentially leads even a dumbass like me to conclude Sanders is a fraud.

Unfortunately, most Sanders supporters probably don't remember the issues long enough to reevaluate them collectively. Each issue appears to them during "the news cycle" as some one-off foible -- considered as misdemeanors and then forgotten before the next one occurs and thus never assembled mentally as evidence for a larger felony case.

[Aug 18, 2018] The illness took hold during the campaign that year when the bureaucracy under President Obama sent its lymphocytes and microphages in the "intel community" to attack the perceived disease that the election of Donald Trump represented

Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jack Thomsen , Aug 18, 2018 10:07:22 AM | 92

At last – a paterfamiliar earful by none other than James Howard Kunstler, on the state of the "Three Headed Monster" that is the Democratic Party.

This is an important tipping point, because the country is waiting for nobles of the left to lead their children from the deep dark woods.
Every day, we ask, "Where are the adults? Who will call this madness for what it is?" I'll provide the link to this masterful analysis of the "illness" – but first let me tempt readers with a brief synopsis of the "first head".

" one infected with the toxic shock of losing the 2016 election. The illness took hold during the campaign that year when the bureaucracy under President Obama sent its lymphocytes and microphages in the "intel community" to attack the perceived disease that the election of Donald Trump represented.

The "doctors" of this Deep State diagnosed the condition as "Russian collusion." An overdue second opinion by doctors outside the Deep State adduced later that the malady was actually an auto-immune disease.

The agents actually threatening the health of the state came from the intel community itself . who colluded with pathogens in the DNC, the Hillary campaign, and the British intel service to chew up and spit out Mr. Trump as expeditiously as possible.

With the disease now revealed by hard evidence, the chief surgeon called into the case, Robert Mueller, is left looking ridiculous -- and perhaps subject to malpractice charges -- for trying to remove an appendix-like organ called the Manifort from the body politic instead of attending to the cancerous mess all around him. Meanwhile, the Deep State can't stop running its mouth -- "

This was published on his blog yesterday..... this is monumental, if only because the masks are coming off.

Read his description of the other 2 heads.... it's wonderful.

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/the-three-headed-monster

[Aug 18, 2018] Is Russia an Adversary by Gary Leupp

Notable quotes:
"... The Russians were not pleased by U.S.-NATO involvements in the former Yugoslavia, a traditional Russian ally, in 1995 and 1999, and the expansion of NATO in the latter year (to include Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary) in violation of the agreement between Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 that in return for Russia's acceptance of German reunification NATO would not spread "one inch" towards Russia. They protested meekly. But Russia was not an adversary then. ..."
"... Nor was it an adversary when, in 2001, under its new president Vladimir Putin, it offered NATO a route through Russia to provision forces in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. The real change only came in 2004, when NATO suddenly expanded to include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. This brought alliances forces right to the Russian border. ..."
"... We are your adversary. ..."
"... Russia is an adversary. ..."
"... Russia is an adversary. ..."
"... He worked with our adversary to undermine our election. ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | dissidentvoice.org

Or, What's Wrong with Russian Collusion?

The question is finally being asked, by the president himself: what's wrong with collusion? Or at least his lawyer asks the question, while Trumps tweets:

Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn't matter because there was No Collusion.

The problem, of course, is that of collusion with an alleged adversary. Russia, we are constantly informed, is one such adversary, indeed the main state adversary, with Putin is its head.

Adversary is a very strong term. The Hebrew word for adversary is Satan. Satan is the ultimate symbol of evil in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Satan tempted Eve at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, causing her to eat the fruit, and so evil entered the world.

Just like some want you to think that evil entered the (good, pristine) U.S. electoral process due to this Russian adversary in 2016.

(Sometimes listening to TV pundits vilifying Putin I find Luther's famous hymn floating through my head:

For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe.
His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.

Luther's referring to Satan, of course. But the current mythology around Putin -- as someone who still , like Lenin and Stalin before him, and the tsars of old, wishes us harm; is an unbridled dictator with a powerful great nuclear arsenal; is the wealthiest man on earth; and hates democracy -- resembles the mythology around the Adversary in the Bible.)

But let us problematize this vilification. When did Russia become a U.S. adversary? Some might say 1917 when in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution Moscow became the center of the global communist movement. But surely that period ended in 1991 with the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR.

Throughout the 1990s the U.S. cultivated Boris Yeltsin's Russia as a friend and even aided the drunken buffoon in winning the 1996 election. Bill Clinton and Yeltsin signed the Start II treaty. Harvard professors advised Moscow on economic reform.

The Russians were not pleased by U.S.-NATO involvements in the former Yugoslavia, a traditional Russian ally, in 1995 and 1999, and the expansion of NATO in the latter year (to include Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary) in violation of the agreement between Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 that in return for Russia's acceptance of German reunification NATO would not spread "one inch" towards Russia. They protested meekly. But Russia was not an adversary then.

Nor was it an adversary when, in 2001, under its new president Vladimir Putin, it offered NATO a route through Russia to provision forces in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. The real change only came in 2004, when NATO suddenly expanded to include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. This brought alliances forces right to the Russian border.

It was a clear statement by the U.S. to a friendly country: We are your adversary. But, of course, the Pentagon and State Department always pooh-poohed Russian concerns, denying that NATO targeted any particular country.

Four years later (2008) NATO announced intentions to draw Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance. Meanwhile the U.S. recognized Kosovo as an independent state. Kosovo, the historical heart of Serbian civilization, had been wrenched from Serbia in 1999 under the pretext of a "humanitarian" intervention that included the first bombing (by NATO) of a European capital city since 1945. The province had been converted into a vast NATO base.

Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, emboldened by the prospect of NATO membership and western backing, attacked the capital of the separatist republic of South Ossetia, provoking (as the Russians explain it) a proper punitive response: the Russo-Georgian War of August 7-16 . After this Moscow recognized South Ossetia and a second breakaway republic, Abkhazia, in a tit-for-tat response to Washington's recognition of Kosovo.

Now Russia was labelled an aggressive power -- by the power that had carved up Yugoslavia, and invaded and occupied Iraq on the basis of lies and killed half a million in the process. Plans to include Georgia in NATO had to be put on hold, in large part due to European allies' opposition (why provoke Russia?) but the U.S. intensified efforts to draw in Ukraine. That meant toppling the anti-NATO elected president Viktor Yanukovych.

The U.S. State Department devoted enormous resources to the Maidan coup in Kiev on February 23, 2014. Its agents helped topple the government, ostensibly for its failure to negotiate an agreement for Ukrainian associate membership in the EU, but really to bring pro-NATO forces to power and expel the Russian Fleet from the Crimean Peninsula where it has been based since 1783. Moscow's limited support for the Donbass ethnic-Russian separatists and re-annexation of Crimea were, of course, depicted by the U.S. as more aggression, more mischievous opposition to "U.S. global interests."

But from Moscow's point of view these moves have surely been defensive. The main problem is (obviously) NATO and its dangerous, unnecessary and provocative expansion. Throughout his presidential campaign Trump questioned the continued "relevance" of NATO. Characteristically he focused on budget issues and allies' failure to meet the goal figure of 2% if GDP for military expenses (misleadingly depicting investment shortfalls as a betrayal and rip-off of the victimized U.S.). But he did -- to the alarm of many, and probably to Moscow's delight -- express little enthusiasm for the alliance's historical purpose.

The most rational proposition Trump voiced before his election that the U.S. should "get along" with Russia. That is, get along with the so-called adversary. Trump as we all know had been in Russia on business, hosting the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013, and maintains interest in building a Trump Tower in the city. He has met and befriended Russian oligarchs. He quite possibly sees Russia as just another country, like Germany or France.

If "the French" had had dirt on Hillary, would it have been okay to "collude" with them to influence the election result? France is, of course, a NATO ally. Would that make it different? Now that the president and his layers are openly questioning whether "collusion", per se, is even illegal, the specific nature of the colluder becomes more relevant.

Russia is an adversary.

Russia is an adversary.

Putin in Helsinki acknowledged to a reporter that he had hoped Trump could win, because he had expressed hope for better relations. He might have added that he dreaded the prospect of a Hillary victory because of her warmongering and characterization of him as a Hitler. Naturally the Russian media favored Trump over Clinton at a certain point when he emerged as a credible candidate. So when Trump on July 27, 2016 called on Russia to release Hillary's missing emails ("if you've got 'em") the Russians probably felt invited to make contact through channels. And when informed that they had dirt, Don Jr. wrote: "If that's what you say, I love it." (Who can blame him?)

Let's say there was some collusion after the June 6 Trump Tower meeting. Trump has suddenly acknowledged that the meeting with the Russians was indeed to "seek political dirt." He adds that this is "totally legal," and this may be true. Some are now saying that Don Jr. may have violated a federal statute (52 USC 30121, 36 USC 5210) forbidding any foreign person to "make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.' and for anyone to knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by [this law]." But the language is vague. If a Canadian speechwriter works gratis for a U.S. political candidate, in order to help him or her win, is this not "a thing of value" intended to affect an election?

If Paul Manafort, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner had met with Canadian agents in Trump Tower I doubt there would have been any controversy. The fact is, Trump won the election and many of those stunned by that wish to undermine him using revived Cold War-type Russophobia. They insist: He worked with our adversary to undermine our election. And now they hope they've got him on this charge.

*****

Five years ago a young man named Edward Snowden (now living in forced exile in Russia) revealed to the world the extent of the U.S.'s global surveillance. He showed us how the NSA wiretaps EU meetings, popes' conversations, Angela Merkel's cell phone and maintains metadata on virtually all U.S. residents. He showed us what the contemporary advanced state can do in this respect. We should suppose that Moscow has, if not similar capacity, at least enough expertise to hack into the DNC emails or John Podesta's g-mail account. Is that surprising?

What none of the TV anchors is allowed to say needs to be said again: The U.S. interferes in foreign elections all the time, including Russian ones. It should surprise no one if Russian intelligence responds in kind. The point is not the provenance of the leaked emails but their content.

Those horrified by the leaked material complain that their release was designed to "undermine faith in our democratic system." Really? Don't the workings of the system itself undermine one's faith in it, once they are exposed? Was it adversarial of the leaker to inform us that the DNC had no intention of allowing Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic nomination, and thus that the process was rigged? Was it unfriendly to reveal that Podesta was hoping the media would hype Trump, as an easy target for his candidate?

The question that will no doubt be debated in the coming days is whether seeking dirt on a political opponent from any foreigner is indeed illegal, or whether there are specific legal ramifications of meeting with someone from an "adversary" country. But it seems to me that Russia has not been defined as such officially. So we may have a discussion less about legality than the politics of Russophobia.

I am happy to see Trump besieged, rattled, possibly facing impeachment. But to bring him down on the basis of "Russian collusion," on the assumption that Russia is an adversary, would only advantage the warmongers who want no-fly zones over Syria and military support for the Kiev regime against the Donbas separatists. Vice President Pence I believe favors both.

Trump has said that he cannot host Putin in Washington this year, or until the Russian Hoax witch hunt is over. But Putin has invited him to Moscow. One senses he wants some agreements with Trump before he is ousted by his gathering adversaries, including the press, courts, Democrats, select Republicans, turncoat aides and he himself sometimes in his unguarded tweets.

Gary Leupp is a Professor of History at Tufts University, and author of numerous works on Japanese history. He can be reached at: gleupp@granite.tufts.edu . Read other articles by Gary .

This article was posted on Monday, August 13th, 2018 at 10:30pm and is filed under (Ex-)Yugoslavia , Chancellor Angela Merkel , Donald Trump , Elections , Espionage/"Intelligence" , Hillary Clinton , Kosovo , Mike Pence , President Vladimir Putin , Russia , Serbia , Ukraine , United States , US Hypocrisy , US Lies .

[Aug 18, 2018] But always remember, the FBI/DOJ is honorable .

Aug 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

agcw86 , Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:07 Permalink

But always remember, the FBI/DOJ is "honorable". Yeah, that's the term they use to refer to the scumbags that "represent" us in congress. In reality, "there is no honor amongst thieves", and government is full of them because sociopaths gravitate to positions of power.

romanmoment Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:08 Permalink

It's a unruly fuck show at the FBI and nobody is being held accountable. No leadership, no standards, no neutrality, no accountability. Obama weaponized the FBI. Fire everyone.

[Aug 18, 2018] Manafort jury asks judge to leave early on second day of deliberations

Notable quotes:
"... If convicted on all counts, Mr Manafort could face a sentence of up to 305 years in prison based on the maximum for each count, with the most serious charge carrying up to 30 years. However, if convicted, he likely would be given between seven and 12 years, according to a range of estimates from three sentencing experts interviewed by Reuters. ..."
"... Meanwhile Mr Mueller recommended in a court filing on Friday that a judge sentence former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos to up to six months in prison for lying to agents investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.thenational.ae

Prosecutors accuse Mr Manafort of a complex effort to hide millions of dollars in income from Ukrainian politicians.

Mr Ellies earlier refused to release the names of jurors, saying he has received threats and fears for their safety as well.

The judge said he is currently under the protection of U.S. marshals. He declined to delve into specifics, but said he's been taken aback by the level of interest in the trial.

President Trump earlier said the case was "sad" and described Mr Manafort as a "good person."

If convicted on all counts, Mr Manafort could face a sentence of up to 305 years in prison based on the maximum for each count, with the most serious charge carrying up to 30 years. However, if convicted, he likely would be given between seven and 12 years, according to a range of estimates from three sentencing experts interviewed by Reuters.

Meanwhile Mr Mueller recommended in a court filing on Friday that a judge sentence former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos to up to six months in prison for lying to agents investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

"The government does not take a position with respect to a particular sentence to be imposed, but respectfully submits that a sentence of incarceration, within the applicable guidelines range of zero to six months imprisonment is appropriate and warranted," Mr Mueller said in the filing.

Mr Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October to lying to FBI agents investigating possible collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 7.

[Aug 17, 2018] The roll-out of Cold War 2.0 and the concerted demonizing of Putin and the Russian Federation began with the Ukraine Coup in February 2014, as was well covered here at Consortium News

Notable quotes:
"... I would say the first turning point was the imprisonment of Khodorkovsky and the restoration of Russian sovereignty in the energy sphere. Subsequent major inflection points have been: the 2008 war with Georgia, the 2014 events in Ukraine, and the post-2016- election manufactured anti-Russia hysteria/neo-McCarthyism. ..."
"... Kees van der Pijl fills in the details here (ignore the title of the piece): https://www.unz.com/article/why-was-malaysian-airlines-flight-mh17-shot-down/ ..."
"... the "Putin is a *thug*" meme has been successfully promulgated as shorthand that acts as a justification for anything done or said against both Putin and Russia. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the thugs are those in our Congress and executive branch and such as Mueller, who are pushing the country beyond its tolerance levels or, shall we say, ability to right itself after a knockdown (maritime metaphor is intended). ..."
"... I think the rollout of the new cold war actually began when Putin stopped the looting of his country that was occurring under Yeltsin. The evil empire only accepts vassals, not partners. Maximum capital must accrue to the one percent, and be free to flee the country to the tax haven of choice. Any world leader who tries to build an economy for the benefit of its nation's citizens becomes a target. ..."
"... I figure it was the Magnitsky ruse that got the ball rolling. It predates Ukraine and was grounds for the first round of sanctions. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

jaycee , August 13, 2018 at 9:51 pm

I would say the roll-out of Cold War 2.0 and the concerted demonizing of Putin and the Russian Federation began with the Ukraine Coup in February 2014, as was well covered here at Consortium News. The policy – isolate Russia as a pariah nation – was set before the Maidan events reached their resolution. Victoria Nuland's "f -- - the EU" rant was in response to efforts to mediate the situation and possibly spoil or derail the plans. IMHO, the Russian response to the violent coup was fully expected by the Americans to have been a tanks-in-the streets-Czechoslovakia-1968 scenario, and yet all they got was a Crimean referendum and a frozen stalemate in eastern Ukraine. Still, policy being policy, NATO reacted as if there had been a full invasion regardless.

Anecdotally, conversations I've had with intelligent, progressive, good-hearted persons suggests the election of Trump has in effect destabilized their critical thinking abilities. This has opened up the space in which the worst aspects of Cold War 2.0 have flourished. In their minds, the urgent need to remove Trump by any means, fair or foul, fully overwhelms any other priorities, including objective consideration of the current moment.

Joe Tedesky , August 13, 2018 at 10:14 pm

I think you are right about Ukraine. I also recall that everything went downhill after Putin negotiated for Assad to give up all Syria's chemical weapons. Which gave cause to believe Putin was being punished for interfering in the Coalitions schemes. I think Robert Parry sighted that as well.

No matter jaycee I too believe that Ukraine was where the U.S. fired the first bullet. This New World Order the U.S. represents doesn't negotiate, no instead it's either our way or no way, is the mantra of the tribe. Joe

Joe Tedesky , August 13, 2018 at 11:08 pm

I wrote a response jaycee that went to the wind . What I was saying was Putin got punished with the uprising in Ukraine after he pulled Assad out of the chemical weapons debate. Joe

Suggestion the Consortium needs to get this comment boards algorithm problem figured out.

Sibiriak , August 14, 2018 at 2:55 am

Jaycee:

"I would say the roll-out of Cold War 2.0 and the concerted demonizing of Putin and the Russian Federation began with the Ukraine Coup in February 2014 "
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

I would say the first turning point was the imprisonment of Khodorkovsky and the restoration of Russian sovereignty in the energy sphere. Subsequent major inflection points have been: the 2008 war with Georgia, the 2014 events in Ukraine, and the post-2016- election manufactured anti-Russia hysteria/neo-McCarthyism.

Kees van der Pijl fills in the details here (ignore the title of the piece): https://www.unz.com/article/why-was-malaysian-airlines-flight-mh17-shot-down/

OlyaPola , August 14, 2018 at 4:42 am

"I would say the roll-out of Cold War 2.0 and the concerted demonizing of Putin and the Russian Federation began with the Ukraine Coup in February 2014,"

As in statistics perceived trajectories are functions of framing including evaluation horizons.

From inception, and through declarations such as the Monroe doctrine, some in the misrepresentation "United States of America" have perceived others as simultaneously existential threats and existential opportunities.

These existential threats and opportunities have been facilitated and acted upon as functions of perceived needs and opportunities.

The targets and modes of activation of these perceived needs and opportunities have varied according to perceived needs and opportunities, sometimes using the tactics of "hot wars" and sometimes using the tactics of "cold wars".

Some in the misrepresentation "United States of America" have correctly perceived others as existential threats and opportunities to/for them given their socio-economic system and its perceived requirements – the functions of the "other" being multi-various – the definition of the "others" include but are not necessarily restricted to those of difference within and without the "United States of America".

Some in the Soviet Union in the early 1970's attempted to conflate "strategy" with "tactics" and decided to forget notions of existential threat and perceive only existential opportunity through conflation, thereby facilitating detente on the basis of spheres of influence.

War is not restricted to things that go bang but restricted to forms of coercion.

The misrepresentation "cold war", which was never cold but sometimes engaged through proxies, was/is a context specific tactic.

Some are of the view that the ends justify the means instead of understanding that means condition ends, and consequently some facilitate and rely upon increasing the conflation of strategy with tactics increasing the sum, motivations, and resolve of the "others", thereby conditioning strategy through accelerating, continuing and expanding existential threats.

Those who engage in such self-delusion were not/are not restricted to the misrepresentation "United States of America" but as Thucydides and others were aware, have been/are generally restricted to those who perceive others as existential opportunities and threats.

Some others correctly assess the misrepresentation "United States of America" to be more a land of opportunity than an existential threat.

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 7:48 am

I agree with your comment. A good precis. And the "Putin is a *thug*" meme has been successfully promulgated as shorthand that acts as a justification for anything done or said against both Putin and Russia.

Meanwhile, the thugs are those in our Congress and executive branch and such as Mueller, who are pushing the country beyond its tolerance levels or, shall we say, ability to right itself after a knockdown (maritime metaphor is intended).

Skip Scott , August 14, 2018 at 11:47 am

jaycee-

I think the rollout of the new cold war actually began when Putin stopped the looting of his country that was occurring under Yeltsin. The evil empire only accepts vassals, not partners. Maximum capital must accrue to the one percent, and be free to flee the country to the tax haven of choice. Any world leader who tries to build an economy for the benefit of its nation's citizens becomes a target.

Aime Duclos , August 14, 2018 at 1:50 pm

Yes, Skip, when the West's pillaging and looting of Putin's country was stopped, the one percent was not amused. Add to that NATO's constant march up to Russia's borders, the threat to and actual placement of "defensive" missles on Russia's border.

The last straw was the US orchestrated coup in it's next NATO prize for acquisition Ukraine. Putin reacted as any leader would, and with restraint I might add.

Yet somehow all this proves Putin is a thug? It's been a calculated drive to this new Cold War. The MIC is having it's way.

GM , August 14, 2018 at 6:12 pm

I figure it was the Magnitsky ruse that got the ball rolling. It predates Ukraine and was grounds for the first round of sanctions.

[Aug 17, 2018] Lavrov Brilliantly Dissects Western Lies And Manipulations On The False Flag And Skripals

Lavrov suggests that Skripals were intentionally poisoned by BZ which temporary disable a person (for approx 4 days) and Novichok was injected in samples to implicate Russia. He impliedly suggests that this was a false flag operation.
Notable quotes:
"... First, US sanctions against Russia, then the Skripals mystery, and last the Attack at Syria....What the masters of the world trying do??? ..."
"... I'm an American. I'm disgusted with the mafia cartel bankrupt corporation that masquerades as the government. I don't like or trust any government but after listening to this guy, he certainly comes across as way more trustworthy than anyone puppet we have in the Trump regime. ..."
Apr 16, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Maria Kuzali , 4 months ago

First, US sanctions against Russia, then the Skripals mystery, and last the Attack at Syria....What the masters of the world trying do???

Off Grid Nation , 4 months ago

I'm an American. I'm disgusted with the mafia cartel bankrupt corporation that masquerades as the government. I don't like or trust any government but after listening to this guy, he certainly comes across as way more trustworthy than anyone puppet we have in the Trump regime. #IDONOTCONSENT

shaughn fourie , 4 months ago

THANK YOU RUSSIA IN PARTICULAR PRESIDENT PUTIN AND LAVROV BOTH GOOD INTELLIGENT AND DECENT MEN

shaughn fourie , 4 months ago

MACRON TRUMP AND MAY ARE MURDERERS......THANK YOU ASSAD AND RUSSIA AND KURDISH PEOPLE FOR TRULY STANDING UP FOR CIVILISED VALUES

James Australian , 4 months ago (edited)

need to stop the tyrants to prevent the fall of Damascus.. Must not let them kill Mr Assad.

zac anthony , 4 months ago

I believe in Russia more than our gov we are being led

Luboš Lier , 4 months ago

Russia just needs to give Syria couple of tactical nukes. And the peace in Syria is assured...

haithem ali , 4 months ago

Sometimes he continues talking without look at paper..... bcs he say true.... and USA, BRITAIN and France cant do that bcs they are lying and scared if they will say something wrong.

[Aug 17, 2018] Trump revokes security clearance for former CIA chief Brennan Ruling class warfare intensifies by Patrick Martin

Who are two factions of the elite that now logged horns? Patrick Martin thinks that "Brennan party" "... oppose Trump mainly on the grounds that his foreign policy -- particularly in relation to Russia -- is undermining longstanding strategic interests of American imperialism."
Notable quotes:
"... The action against Brennan provoked widespread opposition within the military-intelligence apparatus and from the Democratic Party and the corporate media. Most congressional Democrats and some Republicans criticized Trump's action, while former intelligence and security officials issued public protests. ..."
"... As the Socialist Equality Party declared in the main resolution adopted by its Fifth National Congress, last month, both sides in the conflict, Trump and his opponents, are enemies of the working class ..."
"... The break with democratic forms of rule is accompanied by ferocious conflicts within the state apparatus. Each day the president spews his verbal tirades, while the Democrats expound their neo-McCarthyite fantasies of Russians "sowing discord" in America. There is nothing remotely progressive, let alone dignified, in the opposition to Trump mounted by the Democratic Party and sections of the media. They represent another reactionary faction of the ruling class. They oppose Trump mainly on the grounds that his foreign policy -- particularly in relation to Russia -- is undermining longstanding strategic interests of American imperialism. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.wsws.org

The warfare reached a new stage Wednesday with the move by US President Donald Trump to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, citing his "erratic conduct and behavior," "frenzied commentary" in the media and on Twitter, and "wild outbursts on the internet and television."

The action against Brennan provoked widespread opposition within the military-intelligence apparatus and from the Democratic Party and the corporate media. Most congressional Democrats and some Republicans criticized Trump's action, while former intelligence and security officials issued public protests.

The New York Times , the main media mouthpiece of the Democratic Party, immediately opened its editorial pages to Brennan to respond to Trump's action. In a comment published Thursday, Brennan focused entirely on promoting the myth of Russian intervention in the US elections, denouncing Russian denials as "hogwash," and portraying Trump as a conscious and witting collaborator with "our primary global adversary" -- in other words, a traitor.

The White House first hinted at revoking Brennan's security clearance last month, and the statement announcing the action initially carried the date July 26, indicating that the move had been decided on three weeks ago, but was not made public until Trump felt it would help distract public attention from the mounting crisis within his administration.

... ... ...

On the other hand, Brennan has emerged naturally as the chief spokesman of Trump's ruling class critics. He is the former head of drone warfare for the Obama administration and the former chief executive of the organization of official assassins, thugs and professional liars known as the Central Intelligence Agency. As CIA director, he sought to block the Senate Intelligence Committee report released in 2014 documenting CIA torture during the Bush administration.

Brennan has a three-decade career with the CIA, where he served, among other places, as station chief in Saudi Arabia, before spending most of the past 20 years at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia or in the Obama White House.

Since leaving the CIA in January 2017, Brennan has cashed in on his intelligence career with a lucrative post as an "analyst" and commentator for NBC News. He has played a leading role in the campaign by sections of the military-intelligence apparatus, backed by the media and the Democratic Party, to attack Trump as "soft" on Russia. The aim is not only to impose a shift in the foreign policy of the Trump administration, but to create the framework for criminalizing domestic opposition and censoring the Internet.

As the Socialist Equality Party declared in the main resolution adopted by its Fifth National Congress, last month, both sides in the conflict, Trump and his opponents, are enemies of the working class :

The break with democratic forms of rule is accompanied by ferocious conflicts within the state apparatus. Each day the president spews his verbal tirades, while the Democrats expound their neo-McCarthyite fantasies of Russians "sowing discord" in America. There is nothing remotely progressive, let alone dignified, in the opposition to Trump mounted by the Democratic Party and sections of the media. They represent another reactionary faction of the ruling class. They oppose Trump mainly on the grounds that his foreign policy -- particularly in relation to Russia -- is undermining longstanding strategic interests of American imperialism.

It is notable that Brennan's column in the New York Times , written in McCarthyite language, presents democratic forms themselves as the main weakness in a global struggle with Russia. Brennan writes: "Electoral politics in Western democracies presents an especially inviting target, as a variety of politicians, political parties, media outlets, think tanks and influencers are readily manipulated, wittingly and unwittingly, or even bought outright by Russian intelligence operatives. The very freedoms and liberties that liberal Western democracies cherish and that autocracies fear have been exploited by Russian intelligence services "

... ... ...

Patrick Martin

[Aug 17, 2018] Neoliberal press is by definition the enemy of the people, but they will vehemently deny this

Not only Trump is right calling neoliberal MSM the enemy of the people. This is a distributed version of the Ministry of Truth. With CIA as a command center ;-).
Thanks God internet still exists and is not completely controlled by neoliberals and neocons.
The behaviors of neoliberal MSM during color revolution against Trump is pretty revealing, so say the least.
That Department N of the Ministry of Truth is upset about Trump revealing inconvenient truth should not surprise anybody
Notable quotes:
"... And does Trump not have a point when he says the Boston Globe ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Thursday, the New York Times decried Trump's accusation that the media are "the enemy of the people." "Insisting that truths you don't like are 'fake news' is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists 'the enemy of the people' is dangerous, period," said the Times .

Fair enough, but is it not also dangerous for a free press to be using its First Amendment rights to endlessly bash a president as a racist, fascist, sexist, neo-Nazi, liar, tyrant, and traitor?

The message of journalists who use such terms may be to convey their detestation of Trump. But what is the message received in the sick minds of people like that leftist who tried to massacre Republican congressmen practicing for their annual softball game against Democrats?

And does Trump not have a point when he says the Boston Globe -- organized national attack on him, joined in by the Times and 300 other newspapers, was journalistic "collusion" against him?

If Trump believes that CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times , and the Washington Post are mortal enemies that want to see him ousted or impeached, is he wrong?

We are an irreconcilable us-against-them nation today, and given the rancor across the ideological, social, and cultural chasm that divides us, it is hard to see how, even post-Trump, we can ever come together again.

Speaking at a New York LGBT gala in 2016, Hillary Clinton said: "You could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic. Some of those folks are irredeemable, but they are not America."

When Clinton's reflections on Middle America made it into print, she amended her remarks. Just as Governor Andrew Cuomo rushed to amend his comments yesterday when he blurted at a bill-signing ceremony: "We're not going to make America great again. It was never that great." America was "never that great"?

[Aug 17, 2018] Can America Ever Come Together Again The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

If ex-CIA director John Brennan did to Andrew Jackson what he did to Donald Trump, he would have lost a lot more than his security clearance.

He would have been challenged to a duel.

"Trump's performance in Helsinki," Brennan had said, "exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was treasonous."

Why should the president not strip from a CIA director who calls him a traitor the honor and privilege of a security clearance? Or is a top-secret clearance an entitlement like Social Security?

CIA directors retain clearances because they are seen as national assets, individuals whose unique experience, knowledge, and judgment may be called upon to assist a president in a national crisis.

Not so long ago, this was a bipartisan tradition.

Who trashed it?

Was it not the former heads of the security agencies -- CIA, FBI, director of national intelligence -- who have been leveling the kind of savage attacks on the chief of state one might expect from Antifa?

Are ex-security officials entitled to retain the high privileges of the offices they held if they descend into cable TV hatred and hostility?

Former CIA chief Mike Hayden, in attacking Trump for separating the families of detained illegal immigrants at the border, tweeted a photo of the train tracks leading into Auschwitz. "Other governments have separated mothers and children" was Hayden's caption. Is that fair criticism from an ex-CIA director?

Thursday, the New York Times decried Trump's accusation that the media are "the enemy of the people." "Insisting that truths you don't like are 'fake news' is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists 'the enemy of the people' is dangerous, period," said the Times .

Fair enough, but is it not also dangerous for a free press to be using its First Amendment rights to endlessly bash a president as a racist, fascist, sexist, neo-Nazi, liar, tyrant, and traitor?

The message of journalists who use such terms may be to convey their detestation of Trump. But what is the message received in the sick minds of people like that leftist who tried to massacre Republican congressmen practicing for their annual softball game against Democrats?

And does Trump not have a point when he says the Boston Globe -- organized national attack on him, joined in by the Times and 300 other newspapers, was journalistic "collusion" against him?

If Trump believes that CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times , and the Washington Post are mortal enemies that want to see him ousted or impeached, is he wrong?

We are an irreconcilable us-against-them nation today, and given the rancor across the ideological, social, and cultural chasm that divides us, it is hard to see how, even post-Trump, we can ever come together again.

Speaking at a New York LGBT gala in 2016, Hillary Clinton said: "You could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic. Some of those folks are irredeemable, but they are not America."

When Clinton's reflections on Middle America made it into print, she amended her remarks. Just as Governor Andrew Cuomo rushed to amend his comments yesterday when he blurted at a bill-signing ceremony: "We're not going to make America great again. It was never that great." America was "never that great"?

Cuomo's press secretary hastened to explain: "When the president speaks about making America great again he ignores the pain so many endured and that we suffered from slavery, discrimination, segregation, sexism, and marginalized women's contributions."

Clinton and Cuomo committed gaffes of the kind Michael Kinsley described as the blurting out of truths the speaker believes but desperately does not want a wider audience to know.

In San Francisco in 2008, Barack Obama committed such a gaffe.

Asked why blue-collar workers in industrial towns decimated by job losses were not responding to his message, Obama trashed such folks as the unhappy losers of our emerging brave new world: "They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

These clingers to their Bibles, bigotries, and guns are the people the mainstream media, 10 years later, deride and dismiss as "Trump's base."

What Clinton, Cuomo, and Obama spilled out reveals what is really behind the cultural and ideological wars of America today.

Most media elites accept the historic indictment -- that before the Progressives came, this country was mired in racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia, and that its history was a long catalog of crimes against indigenous peoples, Africans brought here in bondage, Mexicans whose lands we stole, migrants, and women and gays who were denied equality.

Those who cheer Trump believe the country they inherited from their fathers was a great, good, and glorious country, and that the media who detest Trump also despise them.

For such as these, Trump cannot scourge the media often enough.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

[Aug 17, 2018] It is quite interesting how many uninformed posters and/or trolls would love to find a way to show the Russiagate nonsense is somehow plausible in spite of the evidence

Notable quotes:
"... They're kind of like a five year old child who desperately wants to keep believing in Santa Claus, even though he just found dad's Santa costume in the closet and he's holding it in his own hands. ..."
"... Sorry, but two years into this we should be way beyond this kind of – "I can't believe Santa's not real"- denying, dissembling, rationalizing nonsense. Then again, this is America. ..."
"... America is after all a country in which half the population believe in the creation myth. ..."
"... "Two years after the Iraq War began, 70 per cent of Americans still believed Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks, according to a Washington Post survey." The Big Lie works, and since Obama gutted Smith-Mundt, the CIA/ State Department can legally keep Americans tracking on their propaganda narratives. ..."
"... I agree with Lawrences point that this is an issue of social psychology. Rational argument over the facts is simply over taken by some kind of mass hysteria. There certainly precedent for this kind of behavior. Indeed this was described in 'Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds' 180 years ago. In my lifetime I have witnessed two episodes of this kind of mass hysteria. The first was the red scare of the early 1950's (I not so much witnessed that as experienced it) and the second was the day care hysteria of satanic cults abusing our children that flared between the late 1980s and early 1990s. Now this is a third manifestation of mass hysteria. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Gary Weglarz August 14, 2018 at 4:37 pm

It is quite interesting how many uninformed posters and/or trolls would love to find a way to show the "Russiagate" nonsense is somehow plausible in spite of the evidence. They're kind of like a five year old child who desperately wants to keep believing in Santa Claus, even though he just found dad's Santa costume in the closet and he's holding it in his own hands.

I will say that the amount of mental gymnastics required to continue not believing evidence that is right in front of one's eyes is quite impressive – but I'd never underestimate the American people's creativity when they want to maintain their illusions/delusions. And I'd certainly never underestimate the Russiagate troll army's persistence.

At this rate I expect to soon encounter some version of the following "observation" in the comments section for this article: – "maybe space aliens hired by the Russians downloaded the files to a to a new fangled thig-a-ma-jig and then shape-shifted so Craig Murray would be fooled into thinking a real-like-human insider provided him the files on a flash drive." – "oh, oh, wait, maybe the aliens abducted Murray too, and then just made him "think" a fellow human gave him the drive in person." "yeah, yeah, and maybe Assange just says he didn't get the files from the Russians because "he's a space alien too." "Yeah, prove to me that it didn't happen this way – you can't – ha! there! I win!"

Sorry, but two years into this we should be way beyond this kind of – "I can't believe Santa's not real"- denying, dissembling, rationalizing nonsense. Then again, this is America.

Reply

GM , August 14, 2018 at 4:51 pm

America is after all a country in which half the population believe in the creation myth.

jeff montanye , August 17, 2018 at 7:11 am

but if i had to bet, the creationists are less likely to believe in Russiagate than the evolutionists.

Just Plain Scott , August 14, 2018 at 6:14 pm

Please don't give Rachel Maddow any more ideas.

michael , August 15, 2018 at 6:06 am

"Two years after the Iraq War began, 70 per cent of Americans still believed Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks, according to a Washington Post survey." The Big Lie works, and since Obama gutted Smith-Mundt, the CIA/ State Department can legally keep Americans tracking on their propaganda narratives.

ToivoS , August 14, 2018 at 4:26 pm

I agree with Lawrences point that this is an issue of social psychology. Rational argument over the facts is simply over taken by some kind of mass hysteria. There certainly precedent for this kind of behavior. Indeed this was described in 'Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds' 180 years ago. In my lifetime I have witnessed two episodes of this kind of mass hysteria. The first was the red scare of the early 1950's (I not so much witnessed that as experienced it) and the second was the day care hysteria of satanic cults abusing our children that flared between the late 1980s and early 1990s. Now this is a third manifestation of mass hysteria.

It all began with Hillary's shocking defeat. Many millions of her supporters knew that she was so good that she had to win. But then she lost. Those millions of Democrats could not accept that in fact their assessment of her talents were totally wrong and that she lost because she has to be one of the worst candidates in American history. That is a reality those people refused to accept. Instead they had to concoct some crazy conspiracy to explain their break with reality. This is a classic case of cognitive dissonance which often leads to mass hysteria.

GM , August 14, 2018 at 5:01 pm

People choose to believe what they feel that they most need to believe to assuage their insecurities fostered by what they perceive to be the dangerous and scary world in which they exist. The simple fact that we know that life is finite by the time we're three years old fosters the creation of such constructs as that of the myth of everlasting life in the kingdom of heaven complete with a mortgage-free condo and an extra parking space for all repentant sinners are mainstream beliefs.

Rob Roy , August 14, 2018 at 11:07 pm

ToivoS, you are right about Hillary. She simply couldn't accept her defeat. She was the one who began Russiagate by the lie, "17 intelligence agencies" said the Russians hacked the emails.
As for times of mass-swallowing of a lie in the 1930s every German thought that Poland was about to invade Germany and they were scared so much that they believed their leaders who "false flagged" them into invading Poland "first." Of course, Poland had no intention of invading Germany.
Notice every time the US attacks another sovereign country, there's a false flag waved for the citizens to follow?
Don't you appreciate that we have consortiumnews?

[Aug 17, 2018] The Russian meddling fraud Weapons of mass destruction revisited by Andre Damon and Joseph Kishore

Notable quotes:
"... There was only one problem with Powell's presentation: it was a lie from beginning to end. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Fifteen years ago, on February 5, 2003, against the backdrop of worldwide mass demonstrations in opposition to the impending invasion of Iraq, then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell argued before the United Nations that the government of Saddam Hussein was rapidly stockpiling "weapons of mass destruction," which Iraq, together with Al Qaeda, was planning to use against the United States.

In what was the climax of the Bush administration's campaign to justify war, Powell held up a model vial of anthrax, showed aerial photographs and presented detailed slides purporting to show the layout of Iraq's "mobile production facilities."

There was only one problem with Powell's presentation: it was a lie from beginning to end.

... ... ...

...War against Iraq, the WSWS wrote, was not about "weapons of mass destruction." Rather, "it is a war of colonial conquest, driven by a series of economic and geo-political aims that center on the seizure of Iraq's oil resources and the assertion of US global hegemony."

The response of the American media, and particularly its liberal wing, was very different. Powell's litany of lies was presented as the gospel truth, an unanswerable indictment of the Iraqi government.

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, who rushed off a column before he could have examined Powell's allegations, declared, "The evidence he presented to the United Nations -- some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail -- had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn't accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool -- or possibly a Frenchman -- could conclude otherwise."

The editorial board of the New York Times -- whose reporter Judith Miller was at the center of the Bush administration's campaign of lies -- declared one week later that there "is ample evidence that Iraq has produced highly toxic VX nerve gas and anthrax and has the capacity to produce a lot more. It has concealed these materials, lied about them, and more recently failed to account for them to the current inspectors."

Subsequent developments would prove who was lying. The Bush administration and its media accomplices conspired to drag the US into a war that led to the deaths of more than one million people -- a colossal crime for which no one has yet been held accountable.

Fifteen years later, the script has been pulled from the closet and dusted off. This time, instead of "weapons of mass destruction," it is "Russian meddling in the US elections." Once again, assertions by US intelligence agencies and operatives are treated as fact. Once again, the media is braying for war. Once again, the cynicism and hypocrisy of the American government -- which intervenes in the domestic politics of every state on the planet and has been relentlessly expanding its operations in Eastern Europe -- are ignored.

[Aug 17, 2018] OBAMUNISM: Weaponizing government agencies to attack DemoRats political opponents

Aug 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

DaiRR -> surf@jm Thu, 08/16/2018 - 22:49 Permalink

DemoRats and Deep Staters are all about the enemy "Russia". To hell with them both. And to hell with Brennan, Clapper, Yates, Rice, and all the other lying, cheating promoters of OBAMUNISM: Weaponizing government agencies to attack DemoRats' political opponents like you and me. You know the fake "Russia Collusion" fraud perpetrated by the DemoRats goes all the way up to Obama.

[Aug 17, 2018] What is definitely conclusive is the Gucci 2 entity forged the inclusion of Russian fingerprints in the leaked version of the documents by pasting it into a Russian language Word template.

Notable quotes:
"... What is definitely conclusive is the Gucci 2 entity forged the inclusion of Russian fingerprints in the leaked version of the documents by pasting it into a Russian language Word template. With 70 years of experience in espionage, there is no way Russian spy agencies are that sloppy and moreover, and if they were it would be absolutely unprecedented. ..."
"... the central conclusion of William Binnery's forensic analysis: that Gucifer 2.0 was a fabrication, and that the DNC emails were downloaded, not hacked by Russia. ..."
"... Were Assange be allowed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee later this month, the lid could be blown off the entire sordid operation. ..."
"... From before the CIA's formation the US intelligence activities have been the province of the Republican Party (there are plenty of exceptions, but please follow). Allen Dulles and his ilk were friends with and shared goals with German industrialists long before World War II. These relationships continued through WWII and afterwards. The CIA has functioned as an international coal and iron police, overthrowing governments around the world that have stood in the way of corporate profits. ..."
"... This edition of Covert Action Information Bulletin, in 1990, happened just before a shift in Washington. Almost all of the operations run by our government to destabilize Eastern Europe and the USSR in 1990 were organized by the political right and run by people such as Paul Weyrich. But the nineties showed a rise in Democratic activity in these settings. I would guess that a mental image of this would be our then-First Lady lying about dodging bullets on an airstrip during the destruction of Yugoslavia. It marked the successful CIA takeover of the Democratic Party. ..."
"... The 2016 Russiagate hysteria has been an intelligence operation which has been by all measures successful. I presumed initially that the scam was done to put Hillary into the White House, but now wonder if having Trump as President was part of the long-term strategy. ..."
"... Please note that the DNC backed over fifty new candidates for Congress who have intelligence backgrounds. How do you think they will vote for the coming war resolution against Russia? ..."
"... Not sure about the theory of installing Trump in the WH is part of a long term strategy of the deep state, but the latter seems to be adapting to the disruption quite well. ..."
"... Additional info: Stephen Kinzer's "The Brothers" which documents the Dulles brother's creation of the Cold War mentality and activities. Shouldn't we add Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski. ..."
"... Citing a book from almost 30 years ago that implicated ONLY the Republicans in the CIAs machinations ignores LBJ and the CIA's involvement in Vietnam and possibly in the JFK assassination. ..."
"... One suspects that the President has revealed far less than he knows, perhaps wary of being accused of "obstruction" by Mueller in concert with the controlled media. He actually requested that William Binney present his analysis to then CIA Director Pompeo, who has since sat on it. ..."
"... But actually, to your point, the reverse is true. If the DNC and Podesta were hacked by Russians, the NSA would have been able to demonstrate that fact through evidentiary proof, a point made repeatedly by Binney. ..."
"... No such proof was or has ever been offered. Instead the main document presented to the American public was the January 6, 2017 "assessment" by analysts hand-picked by John Brennan, who has played a key role in the illegal operation against President Trump. ..."
"... I was struck by one comment particularly, why not ask Assange about the leak. ..."
"... Keeping him incommunicado certainly serves the leaders of the lynch mob and thanks goes to the new Ecuadorian President. He was asked to shut the guy up and he did. ..."
"... Herman, Assange has been asked about the identity of the leaker and replied that he couldn't comment because Wikileaks has a strict policy of maintaining sources' confidentiality. No potential source would ever trust Assange if he violated that policy. Instead, Assange offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Seth Richards' murderer. So this was his way of answering the question indirectly. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Paul N August 14, 2018 at 2:36 pm

I don't believe the Russians did this. I think there are perhaps millions of people in the US capable of carrying out this action and many more with motive. Furthermore, if they did, I am happy that the information was made available so I can't see why I would care.

That said, I am unconvinced by this evidence. I am quite familiar with file systems on different operating systems and I would at least need to know what device we are talking about here. Did it come from Assange? Why doesn't somebody say so? What sort of device is it? The simple fact that it was copied from a computer doesn't prove that the computer was the DNC server. It might have been copied from Putin's iMac. I believe in one reading the writer acknowledged that the dates on the drive could be manipulated and I am certain that this is true. While this may still leave it above the level of evidence that the FBI or "intelligence" agencies have presented (or even claimed to have) it is not conclusive. Reply

GM , August 14, 2018 at 5:10 pm

What is definitely conclusive is the Gucci 2 entity forged the inclusion of Russian fingerprints in the leaked version of the documents by pasting it into a Russian language Word template. With 70 years of experience in espionage, there is no way Russian spy agencies are that sloppy and moreover, and if they were it would be absolutely unprecedented.

Furthermore, I have no reason to disbelieve Craig Murray that the docs were handed to him directly and transferred by him to Wikileaks. Quite the contrary, in fact, since his reputation would undoubtedly be irreconcilably demolished for all time if the Russiagaters ever came up with hard proof to support their conspiracy theory.

GM , August 14, 2018 at 5:12 pm

Please forgive all the typos, posted on my little bitty phone :)

j. D. D. , August 14, 2018 at 2:21 pm

The crucial premise of the ongoing British-instigated coup against President Trump and the chief legal ground for Robert Mueller's operation against the President, is the claim that the Russians hacked the emails of the DNC and, John Podesta, and provided the results to WikiLeaks which published them. The authenticity of such emails showing Hillary Clinton to be a craven puppet of Wall Street who had cheated Bernie Sanders of the nomination were never disputed, by Clinton, or anyone else.

Nor has the central conclusion of William Binnery's forensic analysis: that Gucifer 2.0 was a fabrication, and that the DNC emails were downloaded, not hacked by Russia.

Furthermore, the only people who really know where and by whom the download occurred are Julian Assange, whose life is now in peril, and former British Ambassador Craig Murray.

Were Assange be allowed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee later this month, the lid could be blown off the entire sordid operation.

paul g. , August 14, 2018 at 3:03 pm

Craig stated he was merely a go between, who was given the data in the woods by American University by probably another go between. Lots of cut outs here but the data was transferred physically by thumb drive(s).

David G , August 15, 2018 at 8:27 am

"The crucial premise is the claim that the Russians hacked the emails of the DNC and, John Podesta, and provided the results to WikiLeaks which published them."

Don't forget about the Facebook puppy videos. https://consortiumnews.com/2017/10/04/the-mystery-of-the-russia-gate-puppies/

Bob In Portland , August 14, 2018 at 1:25 pm

I would like to call attention to a little slice of history of US the destabilization of Eastern Europe and the USSR that would help to explain what is happening today.

From before the CIA's formation the US intelligence activities have been the province of the Republican Party (there are plenty of exceptions, but please follow). Allen Dulles and his ilk were friends with and shared goals with German industrialists long before World War II. These relationships continued through WWII and afterwards. The CIA has functioned as an international coal and iron police, overthrowing governments around the world that have stood in the way of corporate profits.

Russ Bellant's book, Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party, points to the political relationship between the Republican Party and fascists around the world. You can read a short article by Bellant here: https://archive.org/details/CovertActionInformationBulletinNo35TheCIAInEasternEurope

This edition of Covert Action Information Bulletin, in 1990, happened just before a shift in Washington. Almost all of the operations run by our government to destabilize Eastern Europe and the USSR in 1990 were organized by the political right and run by people such as Paul Weyrich. But the nineties showed a rise in Democratic activity in these settings. I would guess that a mental image of this would be our then-First Lady lying about dodging bullets on an airstrip during the destruction of Yugoslavia. It marked the successful CIA takeover of the Democratic Party.

The 2016 Russiagate hysteria has been an intelligence operation which has been by all measures successful. I presumed initially that the scam was done to put Hillary into the White House, but now wonder if having Trump as President was part of the long-term strategy.

Please note that the DNC backed over fifty new candidates for Congress who have intelligence backgrounds. How do you think they will vote for the coming war resolution against Russia?

GM , August 14, 2018 at 5:16 pm

Not sure about the theory of installing Trump in the WH is part of a long term strategy of the deep state, but the latter seems to be adapting to the disruption quite well.

Diana Lee , August 14, 2018 at 8:52 pm

Additional info: Stephen Kinzer's "The Brothers" which documents the Dulles brother's creation of the Cold War mentality and activities.
Shouldn't we add Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski.

michael , August 15, 2018 at 6:33 am

Citing a book from almost 30 years ago that implicated ONLY the Republicans in the CIAs machinations ignores LBJ and the CIA's involvement in Vietnam and possibly in the JFK assassination. Later, Carter was the only Democrat President who may or may not have been heavily involved with the CIA. The Clintons were likely involved with the CIA early on in their Mena, Arkansas drug-smuggling schemes, and the CIA was definitely closely involved in their presidential anti-Slavic foreign policy. The Clintons' neoliberal agenda fit well with the older neocons and consolidated the Duopoly support for the crazed think tank ideas in DC.

jeff montanye , August 17, 2018 at 7:45 am

all perhaps true, but the cia, etc. have terribly neglected their republican base (ftr: registered democrat, sanders and trump voter) and it is baying at their heels, drool swinging from gnashing fangs. that is a political change as profound and radical as anything i observed around the tear gas and batons of the sixties.

Dan Kuhn , August 14, 2018 at 1:19 pm

"They have passed the point of no return; there is no walking it back now. If it fails heads will roll, but most importantly these trusted institutions will have flushed their last vestiges of credibility down the drain. Then what?"

Then nothing. It puts one mind of the comment made by one of the Robber Barons when they were caught with their hands in the cookie jar. His comment " All that was lost was honour" In the present mess even if eventually it all comes to light no one is going to be held answerable. No one is going to jail. Truth does not matter. The propaganda is what matters. if it is proven wrong it is merely swept under the rug. With the short attention spans of Americans it would be forgotten in a New York Minute.

GM , August 14, 2018 at 5:19 pm

Perhaps this explains the need for the likely false flag poison attack in Britain and the fake Douma nerve gas attack. Russiagate hasn't really been panning out so well and too much info has been emerging to challenge the narrative.

David G , August 15, 2018 at 8:29 am

I fully agree.

Peter de Klerk , August 14, 2018 at 1:06 pm

If Russian hacking is a hoax, why has it not been exposed by all the Trump appointed intelligence and FBI heads? Trump's people could shut it down with a public single statement. Y'all are deep into a conspiracy theory that makes no sense.

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 1:27 pm

Pffft!

It was shown to be a hoax by Clinton's own campaign staff in their book released after the election titled "shattered".

"Within 24 hours of her concession speech, [campaign chair John Podesta and manager Robby Mook] assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument."

The plan, according to the book, was to push journalists to cover how "Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign," and it succeeded to a fare-thee-well. After the election, coverage of the Russian "collusion" story was relentless, and it helped pressure investigations and hearings on Capitol Hill and even the naming of a special counsel, which in turn has triggered virtually nonstop coverage.

https://nypost.com/2017/10/26/how-team-hillary-played-the-press-for-fools-on-russia/

Guess the only conspiracy theororist here is you. Goebbels would be so proud. You drank the kool-aid bruh!

Peter de Klerk , August 14, 2018 at 2:19 pm

My comment applies equally well to your response. Why doesn't Nunes, Pompeo, or Coates, etc ever say anything about these theories?

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 4:28 pm

It's no longer a theory when the conspirators confess to it in their own writing. Which I demonstrated to you in the previous post.

Peter de Klerk , August 14, 2018 at 6:18 pm

This very slanted article amplifies a few post-election statements. I'm sure Podesta and Mook wanted to play this up. Some of that was sour grapes but most people are inclined to think it was also true. These guys controlling most media outlets and most of the intelligence community seems absurd to me. But I guess we all believe what we want to believe now.

jdd , August 14, 2018 at 2:30 pm

One suspects that the President has revealed far less than he knows, perhaps wary of being accused of "obstruction" by Mueller in concert with the controlled media. He actually requested that William Binney present his analysis to then CIA Director Pompeo, who has since sat on it.

But actually, to your point, the reverse is true. If the DNC and Podesta were hacked by Russians, the NSA would have been able to demonstrate that fact through evidentiary proof, a point made repeatedly by Binney.

No such proof was or has ever been offered. Instead the main document presented to the American public was the January 6, 2017 "assessment" by analysts hand-picked by John Brennan, who has played a key role in the illegal operation against President Trump.

jeff montanye , August 17, 2018 at 7:54 am

And Donald Trump has more training in show business than most politicians or even internet commenters. I suspect there is a fall premiere of quite an extravaganza leading up to the midterm elections.

Herman , August 14, 2018 at 1:03 pm

Read half the most intelligent commentary and had to quick. I was struck by one comment particularly, why not ask Assange about the leak. Too simple but too much to ask, I guess. Keeping him incommunicado certainly serves the leaders of the lynch mob and thanks goes to the new Ecuadorian President. He was asked to shut the guy up and he did.

Modawg , August 14, 2018 at 3:28 pm

I think he has been asked and has politely refused to reveal. But his innuendo is that it was from inside the US and definitely not the Russkies.

alley cat , August 14, 2018 at 4:44 pm

Herman, Assange has been asked about the identity of the leaker and replied that he couldn't comment because Wikileaks has a strict policy of maintaining sources' confidentiality. No potential source would ever trust Assange if he violated that policy. Instead, Assange offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Seth Richards' murderer. So this was his way of answering the question indirectly.

A Solomonic solution that is technically not a violation of confidentiality

Andy Wilcoxson , August 14, 2018 at 12:36 pm

Can I play devil's advocate and ask a question. Can we rule out the possibility that a hacker in Russia, China, or wherever had remote control of a computer in the United States that they used to hack the DNC?

49.1 megabytes per second is almost 400 mbps, which is a very fast transfer speed, but there were one gigabit (1000 mbps) connections available in several US markets when these e-mails were stolen. You might not have been able to transfer the files directly from Washington D.C. to Russia at those speeds, but you certainly could have transferred them between computers within the United States at those speeds using gigabit internet connections.

Is there something I'm missing? How does the file transfer speed prove this was a USB download and not a hack when gigabit internet connections existed that could have accommodated those transfer speeds -- maybe not directly to Russia or Europe, but certainly to another US-based computer that foreign hackers may have have remotely controlled.

Desert Dave , August 14, 2018 at 6:09 pm

Actually a byte is 10 bits total because there is overhead (start and stop bits). So 49.1 MBps is about 491 Mbps. The question of whether the DNC server was attached to a network that fast would be easy to answer, if the FBI or anybody else wanted to check.

AnthraxSleuth , August 15, 2018 at 1:11 am

A byte is 8 bits.

[Aug 17, 2018] The Ruling Establishment are accomplished in the art of manipulating the public into believing whatever they want them to believe in. In fact, they have world wide reach

Notable quotes:
"... The people behind advancing the Russiagate fraud are not concerned about the widening chaos it has engendered. On the contrary, it is playing out exactly as they hoped. ..."
"... Fast growing censorship of dissent, isolation of a major geopolitical competitor, providing an explanation for the rise of Trump and the precipitous decline in public faith in establishment institutions. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

GM , August 14, 2018 at 4:48 pm

The people behind advancing the Russiagate fraud are not concerned about the widening chaos it has engendered. On the contrary, it is playing out exactly as they hoped.

Fast growing censorship of dissent, isolation of a major geopolitical competitor, providing an explanation for the rise of Trump and the precipitous decline in public faith in establishment institutions.

Hell, it's even being leveraged to explain away racism. Win win win win. I'd say they are right where they want to be at this juncture.

Dave P. , August 14, 2018 at 6:21 pm

GM – Excellent observations. Very true.

I would add that they – the Ruling Establishment – are accomplished in the art of manipulating the public into believing whatever they want them to believe in. In fact, they have world wide reach.

[Aug 17, 2018] New York Times exploits Parkland tragedy to escalate anti-Russian campaign - World Socialist Web Site

Notable quotes:
"... But it is worth noting that, particularly in recent decades, and under the auspices of Editorial Page editor James Bennet, there has been a remarkable integration of the Times ..."
"... The logic of the Times ..."
"... Imperial Messenger ..."
Feb 21, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Less than four days after the Parkland school shooting, the New York Times has found a way to turn a national tragedy that claimed the lives of 17 high school students into an opportunity to escalate its unrelenting campaign of anti-Russian propaganda, involving the continuous bombardment of the public with reactionary lies and warmongering.

Against the backdrop of a major escalation of military tensions between the two countries, the Times seized upon the Justice Department indictment of Russian nationals over the weekend to claim that Russia is at "war" with the United States. Now, the Times has widened this claim into an argument that Russia somehow bears responsibility for social divisions over the latest mass shooting in America.

Its lead headline Tuesday morning blared: "SHOTS ARE FIRED, AND BOTS SWARM TO SOCIAL DIVIDES - Florida School Shooting Draws an Army Ready to Spread Discord"

According to the Times , Russian "bots," or automated social media accounts, sought "to widen the divide" on issues of gun control and mental illness, in order to "make compromise even more difficult." Russia sought to exploit "the issue of mental illness in the gun control debate," and "propagated the notion that Nikolas Cruz, the suspected gunman" was "mentally ill."

The absurd claim that Russia is responsible for the existence of social divisions in America is belied by the shooting itself, which is a testament to the fact that American society is riven by antagonisms that express themselves, in the absence of a progressive outlet, in outpourings of mass violence.

The aim of this campaign is to target anyone who would criticize the underlying social causes of the shooting -- the violence of American society, the nonexistence of mental health services, or even the social psychology that gives rise to mass shootings -- as a "Russian agent" seeking to "sow divisions" in American society. The Times lead is based entirely on a "dashboard" called Hamilton 68 created by the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy, whose lead spokesman is Clint Watts, the former US intelligence agent and censorship advocate who declared in November that social media companies must "silence" sources of "rebellion."

Without naming any of the accounts it follows, Hamilton 68 claims to track content tweeted by "Russian bots and trolls." But most of the trends leading the dashboard are news stories, many posted by Russia Today and Sputnik News , that are identical with the trending topics followed by any other news agency. Thus, Hamilton 68 provides an instant New York Times headline generator: Any major news story can be presented as the result of "Russian bots."

The New York Times is making its claims about "Russian meddling" with what is known in the law as "unclean hands." That is, the Times practices the very actions of which it accuses others.

Here is not the place to deal with the long and bloody history of American destabilization campaigns and their horrific consequences in Latin America and the Middle East, or to review the fact that many American journalists serving abroad had dual functions -- as reporters and as agents.

But it is worth noting that, particularly in recent decades, and under the auspices of Editorial Page editor James Bennet, there has been a remarkable integration of the Times with the major operations of the US intelligence agencies.

This is particularly true with regard to Russia, in regard to which the Times acts as an instrument of US foreign policy misinformation, practicing exactly what it accuse the Kremlin of.

Take, for example, the so-called political "dissident" Aleksei Navalny. This proponent of extreme nationalism and xenophobia, with deep ties to Russia's fascistic right, and extensive connections to US intelligence agencies, has been championed by the Times as the voice of social dissent in Russia. Despite his miniscule support within Russia, Navalny's activities generate front-page headlines in the Times , which has mentioned him in over 400 separate articles.

Another example is the Times ' promotion of the "feminist" rock band Pussy Riot, which makes a habit of getting themselves arrested by taking their clothes off in Russian Orthodox churches, and whose fate the Times holds up as a horrific example of Russian oppression. The very name "Pussy Riot," which in typical usage is not even translated into Russian, expresses the fact that this operation aims to influence American, and not Russian, public opinion.

In 2014, the Times met with members of Pussy Riot at their editorial offices, and have since extensively promoted the group, having mentioned it in over 400 articles. The term "anti-Putin opposition" is mentioned in another 600 articles.

The logic of the Times ' campaign was expressed most clearly by its columnist Thomas Friedman, the personification of the pundit as state intelligence mouthpiece whose career was aptly summed up in a biography titled Imperial Messenger . In a column published on February 18 ("Whatever Trump is Hiding is Hurting All of US Now"), Friedman declares a "code red" threat to the integrity of American democracy.

"At a time when the special prosecutor Robert Mueller -- leveraging several years of intelligence gathering by the F.B.I., C.I.A. and N.S.A. -- has brought indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups -- all linked in some way to the Kremlin -- for interfering with the 2016 U.S. elections," Friedman writes, "America needs a president who will lead our nation's defense against this attack on the integrity of our electoral democracy."

This "defense," according to Friedman, would include "bring[ing] together our intelligence and military experts to mount an effective offense against Putin -- the best defense of all." In other words, war.

The task of all war propaganda is to divert internal social tensions outwards, and the Times ' campaign is no different. Its aim is to take the anger that millions of people feel at a society riven by social inequality, mass alienation, police violence, and endless war, and pin it on some shady foreign adversary.

The New York Times ' claims of Russian "meddling" in the Parkland shooting set the tone for even more hysterical coverage in the broadcast evening news. NBC News cited Jonathan Morgan, another collaborator on the Hamilton 68 project, who declared that Russia is "really interested in sowing discord amongst Americans. That way we're not focused on putting a unified front out to foreign adversaries."

The goal of the ruling class and its media accomplices is to put on "a unified front" through the suppression of social opposition within the United States. Along these Lines, NBC added, "Researchers tell us it's not just Russia deploying these attacks on social media," adding "many small independent groups are trying to divide Americans and create chaos."

Who are these "small independent groups" seeking to "create chaos"? By this, they no doubt mean any news or political organization that dares question the official line that everything is fine in America, and that argues that the horrendous levels of violence that pervade American society are somehow related to social inequality and the wars supported and justified by the entire US political establishment

[Aug 17, 2018] Just like the establishment of long TSA lines pushing us travelers through airport security like inspected cattle, was an example of 911 reforms to our system, this Russia Gate Investigation and all its trappings are doing the same destruction to our liberties on the Internet

Notable quotes:
"... The erosion of the American society is on track, and its stay the course until this corporate owned government cannot govern no more. ..."
"... In a real rule of law world Jeff Sessions would take all this evidence the VIPS have produced and present it into the Mueller Investigation as just that evidence, or proof of lack there of. ..."
"... For a possibly useful parsing of what is actually going in the Mueller investigation, check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEt4kwAvNqU The delivery is a bit inelegant, but the main takeaway is that the Mueller investigation is meant to hide what really went down between the Dems and the Russians. ..."
"... Here you can read to how far the U.S. is willing to go with nothing but allegations. http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russia-sanctions/ This insanity has to end. ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Joe Tedesky, August 13, 2018 at 8:59 pm

Russia Gate has given us one thing for sure, and that it is now ravishing the internet of all of its corporate controlled First Amendment Rights. Just like the establishment of long TSA lines pushing us travelers through airport security like inspected cattle, was an example of 911 reforms to our system, this Russia Gate Investingation and all its trappings are doing the same destruction to our liberties.

What memories of a free and liberal society have we all seen swirl ever so slowly, but deliberately down the memory hole of our once civil liberties? The erosion of the American society is on track, and its stay the course until this corporate owned government cannot govern no more.

In a real rule of law world Jeff Sessions would take all this evidence the VIPS have produced and present it into the Mueller Investigation as just that evidence, or proof of lack there of.

Good to hear Patrick Lawrence get down with it, that's what we need more of. At the rate the internet is going, say it now, or forever hold your peace, is now in force.

Joe Tedesky , August 13, 2018 at 10:26 pm

Here is a link to something that at first seems a little unrelated, but after reading it ask yourself, is it? Moon Jae in of S Korea may just have the answer for the way of dealing with past government malpractices.

https://journal-neo.org/2018/08/13/military-plot-in-south-korea-mayhem-in-defense-intelligence-agency/

Hey want to drain the swamp? call Moon Jae in ASAP.

Joe Tedesky , August 13, 2018 at 10:40 pm

Read this, it will piss you off.

https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/armstrongeconomics101/regulation/senator-mark-warner-proposes-the-end-of-free-speech-the-revenge-of-hillary/

Litchfield , August 14, 2018 at 7:53 am

For a possibly useful parsing of what is actually going in the Mueller investigation, check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEt4kwAvNqU The delivery is a bit inelegant, but the main takeaway is that the Mueller investigation is meant to hide what really went down between the Dems and the Russians.

Joe Tedesky , August 13, 2018 at 11:06 pm

Here you can read to how far the U.S. is willing to go with nothing but allegations. http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russia-sanctions/ This insanity has to end.

Joe Tedesky , August 13, 2018 at 11:27 pm

I can't help myself, you need to read Caitlin Johnston's take on how it's okay to run with scissors in your hand . just brilliant. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50024.htm

Dave P. , August 14, 2018 at 1:29 am

Excellent observations, Joe. I hope this – Russia gate – does not lead to a much more dangerous zone as it appears to be heading to with these sanctions against Russia slated to go into effect in November. There was this rather very disquieting article the other day in Strategic Culture by Finnian Cunningham.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/08/11/us-sanctions-pushing-russia-war.html

As you said this insanity must end or else. . .

[Aug 17, 2018] The Russia-gate narrative has become "too big to fail

If this is true it is hard to see Russiagate collapsing...
Notable quotes:
"... The ruling establishment has pushed all their chips onto the table in a do-or-die effort to make this allegation stick. ..."
"... How many times has the U.S. "national security" establishment brazenly deceived the country and the world, at incalculable cost, without being held to account in a way that seriously discomfited the perpetrators? ..."
"... From the bomber gap, to the missile gap, through Vietnam from beginning to end, to Iran-Contra, to Iraqi WMDs, and so much more. ..."
"... It's hard to see Russia-gate collapsing in a way that would force its architects and proponents to acknowledge its fictitiousness: it is too much of an irrational miasma to actually be falsifiable in the sort of concrete way that led to even such perfunctory admissions of error as we got when Saddam's "WMDs" failed to exist. ..."
"... Bush Jr. was able to make a White House Correspondents Dinner joke about those derned elusive WMDs – and get laughs – *one year* after the invasion of Iraq. Why would this time be any different? ..."
"... People often wonder why psychopathic sadists enjoy torturing their victims, when presumably they have enough cognitive empathy to appreciate how terrible the suffering is. ..."
"... But that is WHY the sadists enjoy their activities so much. What they do to their victims is so unendurable, yet someone is having to endure it – and that somebody is not the perpetrator. ..."
"... It's hard to know if the American people will ever see a full explanation of this, Church Committee or FOIA style, ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Maxwell Quest August 13, 2018 at 9:38 pm Excellent article! I was particularly jolted by the reference that the Russia-gate narrative has become "too big to fail." So true!

The ruling establishment has pushed all their chips onto the table in a do-or-die effort to make this allegation stick.

They have passed the point of no return; there is no walking it back now. If it fails heads will roll, but most importantly these trusted institutions will have flushed their last vestiges of credibility down the drain. Then what? Reply


David G , August 14, 2018 at 2:45 am

Or, as Patrick Lawrence puts it: "The risk of self-inflicted damage these institutions assume, should the truth of the Russia-gate events emerge -- as one day it surely will -- is nearly incalculable."

However, I disagree with both Mr. Lawrence and you, Maxwell Quest. I think that assessment is actually too optimistic.

How many times has the U.S. "national security" establishment brazenly deceived the country and the world, at incalculable cost, without being held to account in a way that seriously discomfited the perpetrators?

From the bomber gap, to the missile gap, through Vietnam from beginning to end, to Iran-Contra, to Iraqi WMDs, and so much more.

It's hard to see Russia-gate collapsing in a way that would force its architects and proponents to acknowledge its fictitiousness: it is too much of an irrational miasma to actually be falsifiable in the sort of concrete way that led to even such perfunctory admissions of error as we got when Saddam's "WMDs" failed to exist.

But even if that somehow does happen, and the whole Beltway official and media establishment has to suck it up and emit a feeble "my bad" about Russia-gate, what makes you think it will have any lasting consequences in terms of the dispensation of power and privilege among the U.S. elites?

Bush Jr. was able to make a White House Correspondents Dinner joke about those derned elusive WMDs – and get laughs – *one year* after the invasion of Iraq. Why would this time be any different?

AnthraxSleuth , August 14, 2018 at 4:07 am

"Bush Jr. was able to make a White House Correspondents Dinner joke about those derned elusive WMDs – and get laughs" – *one year* after the invasion of Iraq. Why would this time be any different?

Yup, got lots of laughs from his fellow members of the club that were coconspirators.

Had he tried that joke around veterans and the families of casualties of that whole criminal adventure I doubt he would have made it out alive.

Tom Welsh , August 14, 2018 at 8:57 am

Had he tried that joke around any of the millions of victims of his criminal aggression or their familes and friends, I am sure he would not have made it out alive.

But if you have ever managed to think yourself into the criminal mind, you will understand that it is precisely the fact that he was NOT subject to any comeback that made the whole thing such fun.

People often wonder why psychopathic sadists enjoy torturing their victims, when presumably they have enough cognitive empathy to appreciate how terrible the suffering is.

But that is WHY the sadists enjoy their activities so much. What they do to their victims is so unendurable, yet someone is having to endure it – and that somebody is not the perpetrator.

AnthraxSleuth , August 15, 2018 at 4:51 am

I've never tried to think myself into the criminal mind. And, I thank you for the insight. I have had someone try to kill me. Someone that has killed at least one person before by his own admission. It changes you forever.

Anne Jaclard , August 14, 2018 at 10:33 am

Agreed. The American corporate press has been running what are essentially press releases and "dossiers" of evidence for a year now, mostly from shady private firms (Twitter trolls "discovered" by Graphika, Fusion GPS's "Dirty Dossier," CrowdStrike's initial investigation of the DNC).

Many of these firms aren't neutral parties either, head of CrowdStrike is rabidly anti-Russia and just put together another package of "research" that was debunked on Ukraine.

It's hard to know if the American people will ever see a full explanation of this, Church Committee or FOIA style, given that these are companies with no public obligations .not good.

Jeff Harrison , August 13, 2018 at 8:51 pm

Well, Patrick, I"m glad to see that you're writing for a reputable organization for a change. I don't have a hell of a lot to add to what you've said but I'll say this. I saw an article about the DefCon in Las Vegas this AM or yesterday. I don't remember where and I can't find it again but the gist of it is – they had like 39 kid volunteers who they told to go hack the election systems in some number of "battleground" states. The upshot? 35 of the 39 kids successfully hacked several election systems. The champ was an 11 yo girl who broke in in 10 minutes. If our election systems are so poorly designed that kids can break into them in just a few minutes, I'm sure it's just a walk in the park for an actual pro.

Jeff Harrison , August 13, 2018 at 10:45 pm

Hah! I found it. It was on RT, of course. Here's the link -https://www.rt.com/usa/435824-us-midterms-hacking-children/

Jessika , August 13, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Good comments to this very good article. I agree with Gary that the US is in decline, perhaps terminal, and that rising Eurasia led by China and Russia is the reason for the Deep State's frantic need to try to focus the people on Russia, and now the biggie, China, to avoid the reality of the social decay within from not addressing the people's needs for well over 30 years. However, i also don't think as many Americans are swallowing this lie as MSM and politicos would have us believe. What we now call the "alt-left", perhaps, may take it seriously. It was Mme Clinton herself who is at the top of chain of this manufactured story.

But I don't think we'll see this fixation around for the next 20-30 years, as Mr. Lawrence speculates, because I don't think we'll have that much time for such political nonsense as we are confronted by massive Earth changes, not all human-caused, that are now manifesting.

Tom Kath , August 13, 2018 at 8:28 pm

The correction of "illusions" often has the appearance of being too horrendous to contemplate. Be it the delusion that we can get wealthy on debt, or the delusion that we are invincible. These are all able to be traced back to a fundamental belief which has long been proven to be inconsistent with reality.

mike k , August 13, 2018 at 7:29 pm

How did we get here? The stupefication of the American people was well advanced before the pilgrims landed. The idea that this continent only really began when we "discovered" it was the beginning of our idiocy. That this land was waiting for the blessing of our special role in "civilizing' it was a continuation of our delusional thinking.

[Aug 17, 2018] Teleology means to view things by the purpose they serve rather than by postulated causes . If we are to look at Russiagate from a teleological perspective we can see eight puposes of Russiagate

Aug 17, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Ian Brown, August 13, 2018 at 7:20 pm

In philosophy there is a concept called Teleology which means to view things "by the purpose they serve rather than by postulated causes". If we are to look at Russiagate from a teleological perspective, and indeed we should, as the evidentiary and proportional justification is severely lacking, we see a distinct organism with a broad purpose. So let's examine, what purposes are being served by Russiagate, what agendas being driven, and interests being advanced?

  1. Control of information by imperial, establishment and corporate interests
  2. Control of discourse and dissent being stigmatized
  3. Restriction of democracy by third parties and anti-establishment candidates being smeared as "Kremlin supported'
  4. The enlargement of the military industrial complex
  5. The ideological alignment of the nominal left and center with authoritarianism
  6. The justification of imperialism and aggressive foreign policy
  7. The deflection from widespread issues of discontent
  8. The projection of issues in the 2016 election, particularly primary rigging, voting irregularities, voter suppression, candidate funded troll operations like Correct the Record, widespread collusion between candidates and the mainstream media, and outsized influence of Israeli, Saudi and Ukrainian lobbies

Considering how much of an impact Russiagate has had towards these ends, in comparison how meagerly it has tackled these phantom Russian meddlers and "active measures", I think it's fair to say that Russiagate has NOTHING to do with it's stated cause. If Russiagate can be described by what it does, and not what allegedly caused it, what it is is an authoritarian push to broadly increase control of society by establishment elites, and to advance their imperialistic ambitions. In this way, it does not look dissimilar to the way previous societies have succumbed to authoritarian and imperialist rule, nor do the flavors of propaganda, censorship and nationalism differ greatly. The 2016 election represented the ruling Establishment losing control of the narrative, and to a lesser degree, not getting their preferred candidate. And in response the velvet glove is slipping. Reply

mike k , August 13, 2018 at 7:33 pm

Excellent analysis!

Dunderhead , August 13, 2018 at 9:12 pm

You nailed that one man, Kudos

Maxwell Quest , August 13, 2018 at 9:32 pm

9. The delegitimization of Trump's presidency, and a false justification for removing him from office, or in the very least crippling his ability to function as the executive.

O Society , August 14, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Ian Brown ~

Indeed. The Shit Snowball keeps gaining size and momentum because so many groups get various benefits from propagating the Russiagate narrative.

I xeroxed your list of 8 – as well as an excerpt from Patrick Lawrence's original article – then added references and artwork to set it off in a classy way.

Please let me know what the two of you think of the results:

Russiagate: Too Big to Fail

exiled off mainstreet , August 15, 2018 at 3:00 am

This analysis is spot on.

Kevin Huxford , August 13, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Duncan Campbell's article is embarrassing, especially in that it took him so long to even slightly correct his misrepresentation of Binney's position on the matter.

Dunderhead , August 13, 2018 at 7:00 pm

This article touches on such a fundamental truth which is the new paradigm of US disunity, the fracturing of both US political parties and a greater General dysfunction of the American body politic not to mention the US's Image of itself.

Gary Weglarz , August 13, 2018 at 6:41 pm

A truly excellent and very important post! Thank you.

"To doubt the hollowed-out myth of American innocence is a grave sin against the faith." – author

Absolutely! The current "Russiagate" lunacy renders anyone a "heretic" who might engage in such "doubt"
– or who engages in any independent critical thinking on this matter. I've never seen the political class, the deep state psychopaths, and the MSM more irrational, nor more out of touch with and more contemptuous of – simple basic verifiable physical "reality" – than at this historical moment. The current state of affairs suggests the American empire may not simply be in decline, but is instead perhaps in free fall with the hard ground of reality rapidly approaching. The current level of absolute public lunacy also suggests the landing will be neither graceful nor pleasant, and may actually come as a shock to the true believers.

O Society , August 13, 2018 at 5:42 pm

Terrific article, Patrick Lawrence. Too Big Too Fail is exactly correct. Just as the banks in the 2008 mortgage crisis got bailed out, so the Russiagate narrative is cultivated by the US government. Both are insults to the American people.

As you know, there has been some recent discussion of this leak vs. hack topic. To wit:

There is a response by William Binney in video form at the end of this article:

How to Understand this Russian Hacking Thing

To a recent challenge of the VIPS "leak" evidence presented in this article in Computer Weekly:

Duncan Campbell alleges Bill Binney changes mind about the leak

[Aug 17, 2018] Brennan Goes Nuclear After Losing Security Clearance, Pens Furious Screed In NYT

Aug 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump revoked Brennan's clearance for what he called "unfounded and outrageous allegations" against his administration, while also announcing that the White House is evaluating whether to strip clearances from other former top officials.

Trump later told the Wall Street Journal his decision was connected to the ongoing federal probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and allegedly collusion by his presidential campaign.

"I call it the rigged witch hunt, (it) is a sham," Trump said in an interview with the newspaper on Wednesday. "And these people led it."

"It's something that had to be done," Trump added. - Reuters

[Aug 17, 2018] What if Russiagate is the New WMDs

In both cases CIA and neocons run the show. But there is new powerful factor: emergence of CIA democrats like Brennan and the conversion of intelligence agencies into political tool, the Cerberus that safeguard the castle of neoliberalism in the USA. The USA people (bottom 90%) be damned.
Notable quotes:
"... Trump's guilt in " Russiagate " is now assumed by much of the American left, and reaches greater levels of fervor with every passing day. ..."
"... Coulter was confident and she wasn't alone. Virtually the entire mainstream American right -- from pundits like Coulter and Sean Hannity to President George W. Bush and the Republican Congress -- was deeply invested in the notion that Hussein possessed WMDs and that the Iraq war was justified based on that unshakeable premise. This belief was so ingrained for so long that many excitedly rushed to pretend that chemical weapons discovered in Iraq as reported by the New York Times ..."
"... Now, "Russian collusion" could be becoming the new WMDs. ..."
"... New York Magazine ..."
"... Weekly Standard ..."
Aug 16, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
declared liberal celebrity activist Rosie O'Donnell at a protest in front of the White House last week. "We see it, he can't lie about it," she added. "He is going down and so will all of his administration." "The charge is treason," O'Donnell declared. Protesters held held large letters that spelled it out: " T-R-E-A-S-O-N ."

O'Donnell is by no means alone in her sentiments. Trump's guilt in " Russiagate " is now assumed by much of the American left, and reaches greater levels of fervor with every passing day.

This kind of partisan religiosity is not new.

In the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, conservative pundit Ann Coulter accused war opponents of " treason " and insisted of Saddam Hussein, "We know he had weapons of mass destruction."

Coulter was confident and she wasn't alone. Virtually the entire mainstream American right -- from pundits like Coulter and Sean Hannity to President George W. Bush and the Republican Congress -- was deeply invested in the notion that Hussein possessed WMDs and that the Iraq war was justified based on that unshakeable premise. This belief was so ingrained for so long that many excitedly rushed to pretend that chemical weapons discovered in Iraq as reported by the New York Times in 2014 were somehow the same thing as the " mushroom cloud " the Bush administration said Saddam was capable of.

Unfortunately for the right (and America, and the world), that premise turned out to be false. There were no WMDs. Today, only a minority of delusional, face-saving hawks and unreconstructed neoconservatives still parrot that lie .

And far from being "traitors," Iraq war opponents today are considered to have been on the right side of history .

John Brennan: Melting Down and Covering Up The Iraq War's Age of Madness

Now, "Russian collusion" could be becoming the new WMDs.

The post-2016 left's most dominant narrative is arguably their deeply held belief -- with all the ferocity and piety of yesterday's pro-war conservatives -- that Russia colluded with Trump's campaign to undermine the presidential election. Many believe that the president and anyone who supports his diplomatic efforts like Senator Rand Paul are in the pocket of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I will meet not just with our friends, but with our enemies," said Barack Obama in 2008, and he did just that with Putin, as has every other president in recent times .

But Trump-Russia relations have been spun into far-fetched conspiracy theories on the left. New York Magazine 's Jonathan Chait recently went so far as to speculate that Trump has been a Russian agent since 1987 , a cockamamie idea on par with the Weekly Standard 's Stephen Hayes' discredited conspiracy theory that Saddam and Osama bin Laden were in cahoots .

It really was plausible that Iraq had WMDs in 2003 based on what our intelligence agencies knew, or purported to know. Today, it is feasible that American democracy really has Putin's fingerprints on it based on things revealed by U.S. intelligence.

But isn't it also possible that the left is reading far too much into Russiagate?

The Nation 's Aaron Maté believes liberals are overreaching, and that's putting it mildly:

From the outset, Russiagate proponents have exhibited a blind faith in the unverified claims of US government officials and other sources, most of them unnamed. The reaction to special counsel Robert Mueller's recent indictment of 12 Russian military-intelligence officers for hacking of Democratic party servers and voter databases is no exception. Mueller's indictment is certainly detailed. Most significantly, it marks the first time anyone has been charged for offenses related to Russiagate's underlying crime.

But while it is a major step forward in the investigation, we have yet to see the basis for the allegations that Mueller has lodged. As with any criminal case, from a petty offense to a cybercrime charge against a foreign government, a verdict cannot be formed in the absence of this evidence.

Then the irony kicks in. Maté continues, "The record of US intelligence, replete with lies and errors, underscores the need for caution. Mueller was a player in one of this century's most disastrous follies when, in congressional testimony, he endorsed claims about Iraqi WMDs and warned that Saddam Hussein 'may supply' chemical and biological material to 'terrorists.'"

Noting Mueller's 2003 WMD testimony is not an attempt to undermine him or his investigation, something Maté also makes clear. But it does serve as an important reminder that "intelligence" can be flat-out wrong. It reminds us how these scenarios, which so much of Washington and the elite class fully endorse, can be looked back on as lapses of reason years later.

Mass psychology is real. Political classes and parties are not immune.

"Suppose, however, that all of the claims about Russian meddling turn out to be true," Maté asks. "Hacking e-mails and voter databases is certainly a crime, and seeking to influence another country's election can never be justified."

He continues, "But the procession of elite voices falling over themselves to declare that stealing e-mails and running juvenile social-media ads amount to an 'attack,' even an 'act of war,' are escalating a panic when a sober assessment is what is most needed."

The U.S. could have certainly used less hyperbole and more sobriety in 2002 and 2003.

And there's good chance that when the history books are written about American politics circa 2018, much of Russiagate will be dismissed as more Red Scare than Red Dawn .

With Russia, as with WMDs, left and right have elevated slivers of legitimate security concerns to the level of existential threat based mostly on their own partisanship. That kind of thinking has already proven to be dangerous.

We don't know what evidence of collusion between the Trump camp and Russia might yet come forth, but it's easy to see how, even if this narrative eventually falls flat, 15 years from now some liberals will still be clinging to Russiagate not as a matter of fact, but political identity. Russia-obsessed liberals, too, could end up on the wrong side of history.

No one can know the future. Republicans would be wise to prepare for new, potentially damaging information about Trump and Russia that may yet emerge.

Democrats should consider that Russiagate may be just as imaginary as Republicans' Iraq fantasy.

Jack Hunter is the former political editor of Rare.us and co-authored the 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington with Senator Rand Paul.

JLF August 16, 2018 at 1:31 pm

All this may be as Hunter would have it. Yet there is the nagging doubt that Trump, who could only find major financing for his enterprises following his last bankruptcy through Putin-controlled banks, could be free of any entangling ties or obligations. And if those doubts prove true, what then?
MM , , August 16, 2018 at 1:42 pm
From the Nation: "From the outset, Russiagate proponents have exhibited a blind faith in the unverified claims of U.S. government officials and other sources, most of them unnamed."

This is a key point, because now Democrats and the most of the Left are ready to embrace a guy like Brennan a.k.a. Mr. Torture, merely because they hate Trump.

I'll also admit to not knowing what's coming in the future, but as of now there's a strong circumstantial case to be made that this reactions to Russian election meddling, which when all was said and done amounted to providing the voting public with the truth about the DNC and its own election-fixing operation, that this reaction is only about losing the 2016 presidential election to a guy who was only given a 1% chance of winning by almost everyone.

Clyde Schechter , , August 16, 2018 at 2:20 pm
This is the most sensible commentary on "Russiagate" I have seen anywhere in a long time.

At present, there is some suggestive evidence in the public arena, but nothing conclusive.

What we probably need, actually, is a moratorium on commentary about this until the investigation reaches its conclusion. That can take a long time. But until then, the endless partisanship-motivated speculation we hear daily is, frankly tiresome.

Thank you, Mr. Hunter, for your temperate perspective on this. I wish this would be the last word on the subject until the investigation ends.

b. , , August 16, 2018 at 3:01 pm
'"Russian collusion" could be becoming the new WMDs.'

I suspect I agree with the author's sentiment, but it is not easy to tell.

Who stands accused? Trump? Russia? Both?

The claim that Trump is colluding with Russia is not the same as the claim that Iraq War opponents were colluding with Saddam Hussein.

The manufactured "Russia!" hysteria campaign orchestrated by the Obama/Clinton Democratic Party leadership, as deplorable and dubious as it might be, has nothing in common with the "5th column" smears Sullivan et.al. were peddling in 2002-2003 and beyond.

The claim that Trump committed "treason" would be legally incorrect on the worst case. Without a formal Congressional declaration of war, we are not at war with Russia, and Russia is not the enemy, no matter how much irresponsible mouthbreathing is broadcast from the biparty Congress members. However corrupt and corrupted Trump may be, corruption does not qualify as treason. If corruption were treason, Congress, in support of Israel and Saudi Arabia at the expense of the US (and certainly not in support of Russia) would be a house of traitors.

In comparison, the claim that opponents of the Iraq war were traitors was not just idiotic, but morally inexcusable. If anybody violated their oath, it was Bush himself, his appointees, and the ranking officers of the US military, for issuing illegal orders and/or following them.

"Russian election meddling" is the new WMD only the extent it is used as a pretext for war against Russia. It is the new "stained dress" in the attempt to challenge the ballot and paralyze an inconvenient President. I have no doubt that the Clintons are corrupt, and the GOP has engaged in many a Congressional effort to "investigate". The Clinton campaign adopted this playbook, and the damage to the Republic done by all is growing every day.

The real corruption here is the pretense that Congress is any better than Trump, that Russian oligarchs have more impact on the eroding Republic than Israeli-American, Saudi and UAE oligarchs, and that the biggest threat to the integrity of our elections and the franchise is Russia, and not the Roberts Court, Democrat apparatchiks like Sunstein, or Republican frauds like Kobach. Both parties are actively conspiring and plotting to make sure our votes are meaningless and cannot harm incumbents and the war profiteering classes, and where there used to be an opposition to illegal war and to oligarchs and plutocrats, there is now willing participation in manufactured hysteria to extend the 2016 campaign indefinitely.

WMDs? The very concept is a scam -- there is nukes, and nothing else. Nuclear arsenals outsized to end us all, and trillion dollar waste to expand them, are the tie that binds the US and Russia, and I suspect that Russia would be a lot more rational about reducing those arsenals than the US. If the author wants to worry about ending up on the wrong side of history, he should stop worrying about partisan points and focus. Politics is not a team sports, and anybody who picks a favorite is a failure as a citizen. Nobody who wants power is suitable for it.

b. , , August 16, 2018 at 3:07 pm
Ask yourself, if Saddam Hussein had had "WMD" -- say, some of those chemical and biological stocks Reagan envoy Rumsfeld helpfully provided to Saddam Hussein -- would that have made the Iraq invasion legal, right just, necessary, successful? Or if Powell's little phials and mobile weapons labs actually existed?

Heck, let's say Saddam managed to make actual nukes out of tubes that weren't and yellowcake that wasn't. North Korea has nukes. Does that make invasion and aggressive war legal, right, just necessary, successful?

WMD or not was a lie wrapped within a deception inside a fraud. That's the one thing that it has in common with "Russiagate". Every layer, every aspect of it is a lie, a distraction, and everybody -- Trump included -- is perpetuating the hysteria for their own benefit. The stupidity of it is only barely rivaled by the mendacity.

Stavros , , August 16, 2018 at 3:17 pm
Trump is proving to be the Republican Alger Hiss. The partisanship of 1948 quickly crystallized into pro- and anti-Hiss camps in which the then limited evidence was trumped by ideology. It was not until the Verona tapes were released in the early 1990s that Hiss was proven to be guilty. Had Nixon and his allies called for a special prosecutor in 1948 and the facts both open and classified been examined intensely, Hiss would never have become the progressive Victim that he was to be for over thirty years. Ditto with Trump. Absent Mueller's investigation, these accusations against Trump (and I believe them to have serious weight and substance as well as potential for policy changes to prevent election fraud) would be mere ideological shrapnel to be argued over for another thirty years. Let the investigations proceed unimpeded and a final accounting be published at the very least for the sanity and integrity of the Republic. Don't let Trump become the Right's Alger Hiss.
b. , , August 16, 2018 at 3:18 pm
In other words, let's imagine that Putin has really tried to change election results. Let's imagine that Trump really has been bribed by Russian oligarchs.

Is that why we are at this juncture? Is that why Congress has not served the People and upheld the Constitution in decades? Is that why citizens and voters lose trust in our institutions, and doubt election results?

Really?

We cannot even own up to our own mistakes, our own greed, our own malignancy. We have to blame it not on our "business partners" and "allies" and their hundreds of billions of dollars of arms purchases, we will blame it on Russia.

How small we have become.

It is not just Trump, it is Congress. It is not just this administration and this Congress, it is the previous ones, and the ones before it, and so on.

The point is not whether or not the "Russia!" hysteria and the allegations against Trump are accurate or not. The point is that, in comparison to everything else, it would just be more of the same, and we brought it upon ourselves.

Regime change begins at home.

Sisera , , August 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm
@Collin-
Isn't it extremely Orwellian to say that 'information isn't really information/should be censored or disregarded if it comes from a subversive (Russia) source'?

Naturally, it allows for a very easy way to control and censor information.

Now, as far as pure security threats, aside from information that should've been public anyway, experts deem that the DNC information came from on site:

https://www.thenation.com/article/a-new-report-raises-big-questions-about-last-years-dnc-hack/

Now this is also an appeal to authority, but VIPs has a better track record and I've seen them actually elaborate on their claims, not just assert them.

[Aug 16, 2018] Russiagate and neo-McCarthysim are result of the newly minted Anti-Trump allience of neocons and neoliberals

Notable quotes:
"... Your comment is awaiting moderation. ..."
"... "authoritarian regimes pursue different objectives than societies with governments that are accountable to the people and respect the rule of law." ..."
"... Fortunately, our think tank alliance is in still in no position (heaven be thanked!) to impose its will. The most these hysterical complainers can do is air their grievances and misrepresent them as somehow "preserving democracy." ..."
"... This, of course, is indicative of the neocon tactic of linking whatever its advocates see fit to address to a supposed common purpose, which is saving democracy from whatever is defined as "antidemocratic." ..."
Aug 16, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Q August 13, 2018 at 6:17 pm

Neocons and [neo]liberals have always had a lot in common. They both want:
– Globalism
– open borders
– anti-Russia, Iran
– American hegemony which means endless wars
– support for gay marriage
– anti-Nationalism hence anti-Trump
The only thing that separated them were gun control and abortion, but even those issues aren't as clearcut anymore.
Learned Foot , says: August 13, 2018 at 9:42 pm
Two sides of the same bad penny. Question is, how do we get rid of it?
Tom Cullem , says: August 14, 2018 at 2:39 pm
@Dundalk – Second all that, perfectly put.

They aren't worried about democracy: they're worried about global corporatist power, which is what "transatlantic partnerships" really translates to.

"Populism" is another name for the Great Unwashed trying to regain some control of their environment. Bloody cheek, eh?

likbez , says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
August 15, 2018 at 9:34 pm
@Q, August 13, 2018 at 6:17 pm

Neocons and [neo]liberals have always had a lot in common. They both want:

Bingo! It looks like neocons and neoliberals joined forces to fight the rise of "populism" which should probably be more properly called "the crisis of neoliberalism." To a certain extent, the current "NeverTrumplists" neo-McCarthyism campaign is the behavior of a wounded neoliberal beast (I am not sure why they have such an allergic reaction to Trump who in domestic policies is 100% neoliberal and in foreign policy is 66% neocon.)

They try to suppress dissent under the smoke screen of "commitment to democracy and core democratic principles" because, as you can guess, this is very important "at a time when the character of our societies is at stake." The character of the neoliberal society in the USA and EU to be exact.

Ironically, those "defenders of democracy" are interested in the issue of democracy even less than former Soviet nomenklatura. All they want is to kick the "classic neoliberalism" can down the road (and, as a side effect, preserve their lucrative sinecures; this is especially visible with Max Boot in his recent interviews )

As Professor Paul Gottfried noted about the recent alliance of the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the neoliberal Center for American Progress (CAP):

Moreover, who are these "authoritarian" bad guys that CAP now has in its crosshairs and plans to rid the world of with its new neocon pals?

Presumably, it's the right-of-center governments in Eastern and Central Europe, as personified by favorite leftist whipping boy Viktor Orban.

Although CAP doesn't want to be especially "confrontational" in dealing with its villains, or so it claims, it also proclaims that "authoritarian regimes pursue different objectives than societies with governments that are accountable to the people and respect the rule of law."

It might be useful for CAP to tell us how exactly Hungary, Poland, and other right-of-center European governments have not been democratically elected and have disrespected their countries' legal traditions.

Fortunately, our think tank alliance is in still in no position (heaven be thanked!) to impose its will. The most these hysterical complainers can do is air their grievances and misrepresent them as somehow "preserving democracy." All AEI and CAP have done is to take a multitude of grievances -- e.g., America's failing to oppose adequately China's cyberthreats, putting up with Russia's aggression, "security threats" in general, and nuclear proliferation -- and mixed them together with standard leftist boilerplate about Orban's "illiberalism" and "sharing our values."

This, of course, is indicative of the neocon tactic of linking whatever its advocates see fit to address to a supposed common purpose, which is saving democracy from whatever is defined as "antidemocratic."

[Aug 15, 2018] Mueller's Digging Exposes Culture of Foreign Lobbying and Its Big Paydays

Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Cortes August 2, 2018 at 1:57 am

Mueller tries to pull off the old

"See: I'm not biased against the POTUS and never have been, cos I'm investigating the Dems, too. So I need to continue my impartial work forever" scam:

Mark Chapman August 2, 2018 at 4:33 am
" anything he unearths about Russian election interference.." Future tense, as in not yet accomplished as of this date. Mueller landed himself a good gig, but you can bet he has discovered a great deal about 'foreign money flowing into Washington' which will never be told, because it's not good politics, and has nothing to do with Russia. I daresay a significant amount flows out of Washington as well, for intrigues and influence-peddling abroad.

[Aug 15, 2018] Facebook Taps Militarist Think Tank Atlantic Council to Police its content

Russiagate has deepened the partnership between Washington and Silicon Valley, and leftist websites are among the first casualties.
Notable quotes:
"... America has a real problem here with accomplishing its goals – which it is obviously achieving, the silencing of legitimate dissent and the prioritization of the national-security narrative – while simultaneously advertising itself as the center of what the evildoers hate for its freedoms. ..."
"... Americans, and everyone who uses their services, are increasingly regulated in everything they do and say, extending now to what you are allowed to see and hear. Actual freedom is dwindling away to a pinpoint, and what the government wants every election cycle is more cops, more law and order and more security. ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | gravatar.com

Warren , August 11, 2018 at 8:18 pm

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZJUjSBXU5iY?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

TheRealNews
Published on 11 Aug 2018
From Alex Jones to alleged Russian trolls, major internet companies are increasingly policing content on their platforms. Max Blumenthal of the Grayzone Project says the partnership between Facebook and the Atlantic Council highlights "the merger of the national security state and Silicon Valley."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/TFXQFI8KiWA?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

TheRealNews, Published on 11 Aug 2018

Russiagate has deepened the partnership between Washington and Silicon Valley, and leftist websites are among the first casualties. After falsely accusing an anti-white supremacist rally event page of being a fake, Facebook shut down the page of VenezuelaAnalysis.com for several hours without explanation. We speak to VA founder and TRNN host Greg Wilpert, as well as the Grayzone Project's Max Blumenthal

kirill says: August 11, 2018 at 8:59 pm
Western "freedom" of expression in action. I find it interesting how the voices of a few heretics are supposedly some big threat to NATzO. That would indicate that NATzO is not quite the bastion of democracy it paints itself to be. It is unstable because it is based on lies and heretics can initiate the crashing of the facade. But if this is indeed the case, then NATzO is on its way out since no amount of repression of dissidents will change the fundamental inconsistency of its existence.

Mark Chapman says: August 12, 2018 at 9:41 am

America has a real problem here with accomplishing its goals – which it is obviously achieving, the silencing of legitimate dissent and the prioritization of the national-security narrative – while simultaneously advertising itself as the center of what the evildoers hate for its freedoms.

Americans, and everyone who uses their services, are increasingly regulated in everything they do and say, extending now to what you are allowed to see and hear. Actual freedom is dwindling away to a pinpoint, and what the government wants every election cycle is more cops, more law and order and more security.

[Aug 14, 2018] I think one of Mueller s deeply embedded character flaw is that once he decides on burying someone he becomes possessed

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Mueller, WE NEED TO FIND SOMETHING... Or this president might appoint a honest AG that looks into our HSBC and 911 whitewash!! ..."
"... he can't stop digging and will eventually dig his own grave because this is out in the open, prying eyes like Sheryl Atkinson, internet sleuths and many others. ..."
"... The Witch Hunt, Learn about the enemy, " Nevermind the CFR has this in hand..." https://www.cfr.org/about ~ Smart Cookies Kan! ..."
"... Mueller's entire probe is to protect and cover up the crimes/FISA abuse of the Obama administration! ..."
"... What is the premise for all this investigative crap? Where is the proof that Wikileaks had any contact with Russia to begin with? Why hasn't Mueller asked to talk to Julian Assange himself ??? The supposed agent of Russia??? WTF is going on here? What kind of BS investigation would omit to interview the very person at the nexus of the supposed "Russian interference in the 2016 election"? ..."
"... Why hasn't muller subpoenaed the DNC's server to see how the information was downloaded or uploaded and to whom or by whom? That's the question. ..."
"... The investigation is all cover for Obama, Brennan, Klapper, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarret, Comey, McCabe, both Ohrs, Stzrok, Liza Page and Mueller himself, plus all their little footsoldiers. ..."
"... As the author notes if there was any collusion none of this makes sense....all of this is after the fact and these two are nothing but publicity seeking dogs...what a waste of time and space. ..."
Aug 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Kan Thu, 08/09/2018 - 22:23 Permalink

Mueller, WE NEED TO FIND SOMETHING... Or this president might appoint a honest AG that looks into our HSBC and 911 whitewash!!

Nevermind the CFR has this in hand...

booboo -> Kan Thu, 08/09/2018 - 22:41 Permalink

I think one of Mueller's deeply embedded character flaws is that once he decides on burying someone he becomes possessed. Much like the awful dealings with Whitey Bulger, sending men to prison for crimes they did not commit, in federal custody where they could keep them quiet and under the threat of death if they were to talk.

He did this to protect the corruption surrounding that case, he is Mr. Wolf, sent in to clean up the fucking mess. He has gotten away with this tact of ruthlessness for so long that he can't stop digging and will eventually dig his own grave because this is out in the open, prying eyes like Sheryl Atkinson, internet sleuths and many others.

This will be his downfall, like Captain Ahab chasing Moby Dick the White whale, caught in the harpoon tethers and wrapped around the great whale as he takes him deep into the abyss.

BankSurfyMan -> Kan Thu, 08/09/2018 - 22:52 Permalink

The Witch Hunt, Learn about the enemy, " Nevermind the CFR has this in hand..." https://www.cfr.org/about ~ Smart Cookies Kan!

lester1 Thu, 08/09/2018 - 22:36 Permalink

Mueller hasn't even interviewed Don Jr yet. If he were going after Trump that would be a big deal. I tell this to my liberal friends this info and they're like wtf is Mueller even doing?

Mueller's entire probe is to protect and cover up the crimes/FISA abuse of the Obama administration!

Bernard_2011 Thu, 08/09/2018 - 23:32 Permalink

What is the premise for all this investigative crap? Where is the proof that Wikileaks had any contact with Russia to begin with? Why hasn't Mueller asked to talk to Julian Assange himself ??? The supposed agent of Russia??? WTF is going on here? What kind of BS investigation would omit to interview the very person at the nexus of the supposed "Russian interference in the 2016 election"?

Lord Raglan -> Bernard_2011 Fri, 08/10/2018 - 00:08 Permalink

Why hasn't muller subpoenaed the DNC's server to see how the information was downloaded or uploaded and to whom or by whom? That's the question.

The investigation is all cover for Obama, Brennan, Klapper, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarret, Comey, McCabe, both Ohrs, Stzrok, Liza Page and Mueller himself, plus all their little footsoldiers.

Lord Raglan Fri, 08/10/2018 - 00:05 Permalink

You wonder what Mueller and his team do with "exculpatory evidence" they discover. It must go in that deep, dark recess where Obama's birth cert and college and law school records go.......

MuffDiver69 Fri, 08/10/2018 - 00:14 Permalink

As the author notes if there was any collusion none of this makes sense....all of this is after the fact and these two are nothing but publicity seeking dogs...what a waste of time and space.

[Aug 14, 2018] The demise of another Bernie Sanders fraud - World Socialist Web Site

By Patrick Martin 9 August 2018
Notable quotes:
"... Thus ends another episode in the seemingly interminable serial, "Bernie Sanders Tries, and Fails, to Put a Progressive Coat of Paint on the Democratic Party." Since he rocketed to political prominence in 2016 in his challenge to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, Sanders has played this role again and again. ..."
"... First, he appeals to the idealism of young people and the economic grievances of working people, claiming to represent a genuine alternative to the domination of American politics by the oligarchy of "millionaires and billionaires." Then he diverts those who have responded to his campaign back into the existing political framework, endorsing whatever right-wing hack emerges from the Democratic wing of the corporate-controlled two-party system. ..."
"... In the 2018 campaign, where he is not a candidate except for reelection in Vermont, Sanders has endorsed and campaigned for a number of supposedly left-wing candidates in the Democratic primaries, always based on the same pretense, that the Democratic Party can be reformed and pushed to the left, that this party of corporate America can be transformed into an instrument of social reform and popular politics. ..."
"... The requirements for receiving Sanders' support and that of "Our Revolution," the political operation formed by many of his 2016 campaign staffers, are not very demanding. The self-proclaimed socialist does not demand that his favored candidates oppose capitalism or pay lip service to socialism -- and almost none of them do. ..."
"... In other words, Sanders uses the image of radicalism and opposition to the status quo that surrounded his 2016 campaign to lend support to very conventional, pro-capitalist candidates, whose policies are well within the mainstream of the Democratic Party -- a party whose leadership has embraced most of the measures cited above, secure in the knowledge that it will not keep a single one of these promises and can always blame the Republicans for blocking them. ..."
"... In Michigan, Sanders spoke at rallies for El-Sayed, and his supporters were quite active on college campuses and on social media, mobilizing support among young people. But as in 2016, there was little effort to reach the working class, particularly minority workers in Detroit, Flint, Saginaw and other devastated industrial cities. ..."
"... Sanders and the supposedly "left" Democrats he promotes all fervently support the trade union bureaucracy, which is working overtime this year to prevent strikes by angry and militant workers -- as at United Parcel Service -- and to isolate, terminate and betray them where they break out -- as with the state-wide teachers' strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona earlier this year. ..."
"... Under these conditions, the Democratic Party is not a party that can or will can carry out social reforms in order to save capitalism, as in Roosevelt's day. It is a party that will carry out the dictates of the ruling class for war and austerity while using the services of "left" politicians like Sanders to confuse and disorient working people and youth. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed went down to a double-digit defeat Tuesday in the Democratic primary, overwhelmed by the near-unanimous support of the Democratic Party establishment for former state senator Gretchen Whitmer. The daughter of former Blue Cross/Blue Shield CEO Richard Whitmer won every county in the state and will go on to face Republican State Attorney General Bill Schuette in the November general election.

In a tweet to his supporters, El-Sayed declared: "The victory was not ours today, but the work continues. Congratulations to @gretchenwhitmer on her primary win. Tomorrow we continue the path toward justice, equity and sustainability."

When tomorrow came, however, that "path" led to a unity luncheon at which El-Sayed and the third candidate in the race, self-funding millionaire Shri Thanedar, pledged their full support to Whitmer. "Today we all retool and figure out how we make sure that Bill Schuette does not become governor. I'm super committed to that," El-Sayed said. "Never has it been more important to have a Democrat lead state government."

Thus ends another episode in the seemingly interminable serial, "Bernie Sanders Tries, and Fails, to Put a Progressive Coat of Paint on the Democratic Party." Since he rocketed to political prominence in 2016 in his challenge to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, Sanders has played this role again and again.

First, he appeals to the idealism of young people and the economic grievances of working people, claiming to represent a genuine alternative to the domination of American politics by the oligarchy of "millionaires and billionaires." Then he diverts those who have responded to his campaign back into the existing political framework, endorsing whatever right-wing hack emerges from the Democratic wing of the corporate-controlled two-party system.

In 2016, this involved appealing to his supporters to back Hillary Clinton, the candidate of Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus. The Clinton campaign refused to make the slightest appeal to the working class in order to preserve its support within corporate America and, in the process, drove millions of desperate workers to stay home on Election Day or vote for Trump, allowing the billionaire demagogue to eke out an Electoral College victory.

In the 2018 campaign, where he is not a candidate except for reelection in Vermont, Sanders has endorsed and campaigned for a number of supposedly left-wing candidates in the Democratic primaries, always based on the same pretense, that the Democratic Party can be reformed and pushed to the left, that this party of corporate America can be transformed into an instrument of social reform and popular politics.

The requirements for receiving Sanders' support and that of "Our Revolution," the political operation formed by many of his 2016 campaign staffers, are not very demanding. The self-proclaimed socialist does not demand that his favored candidates oppose capitalism or pay lip service to socialism -- and almost none of them do.

Their platforms usually include such demands as raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, implementing "Medicare for all," interpreted in various fashions, establishing free public college education for families earning less than $150,000 a year, and enacting universal pre-K education. They usually promise not to accept corporate money and to support campaign finance reform.

These Sanders-backed candidates, like Sanders himself in 2016, have very little to say about foreign policy and make no appeal whatsoever to the deep anti-war sentiment among American youth and workers. There is no discussion of Trump's threats of nuclear war. As for trade war, most, like Sanders himself, embrace the economic nationalism that is the foundation of Trump's trade policy.

In other words, Sanders uses the image of radicalism and opposition to the status quo that surrounded his 2016 campaign to lend support to very conventional, pro-capitalist candidates, whose policies are well within the mainstream of the Democratic Party -- a party whose leadership has embraced most of the measures cited above, secure in the knowledge that it will not keep a single one of these promises and can always blame the Republicans for blocking them.

In Michigan, Sanders spoke at rallies for El-Sayed, and his supporters were quite active on college campuses and on social media, mobilizing support among young people. But as in 2016, there was little effort to reach the working class, particularly minority workers in Detroit, Flint, Saginaw and other devastated industrial cities.

Sanders and the supposedly "left" Democrats he promotes all fervently support the trade union bureaucracy, which is working overtime this year to prevent strikes by angry and militant workers -- as at United Parcel Service -- and to isolate, terminate and betray them where they break out -- as with the state-wide teachers' strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona earlier this year.

The real attitude of Sanders and El-Sayed to genuine socialism was made clear when they sought to ban supporters of the Socialist Equality Party and SEP candidate for Congress Niles Niemuth from distributing leaflets and holding discussions outside campaign rallies for El-Sayed.

This year, Sanders has been campaigning with a sidekick, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who won the Democratic congressional nomination in the 12th District of New York, defeating incumbent Representative Joseph Crowley, the fourth-ranking member of the Democratic leadership in the House.

Ocasio-Cortez campaigned for El-Sayed in Michigan and also for several congressional candidates, including Brent Welder in Kansas and Cori Bush in Missouri, who also went down to defeat on August 7. Like Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez claims that the Democratic Party can be transformed into a genuinely progressive "party of the people" that will implement social reforms.

But at age 28, Ocasio-Cortez has less practice in performing the song-and-dance of pretending to be independent of the Democratic Party establishment while working to give it a left cover and prop it up. She was clumsier in her execution, attracting notice as she walked back a campaign demand to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and sought to downplay her previous criticism of Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people.

After her campaign swing through the Midwest, Ocasio-Cortez traveled to the Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans, an annual assemblage of the left flank of the Democratic Party. She told her adoring audience that her policies were not radical at all, but firmly in the Democratic mainstream. "It's time for us to remember that universal college education, trade school, a federal jobs guarantee, a universal basic income were not all proposed in 2016," she said. "They were proposed in 1940, by the Democratic president of the United States."

The reference to Franklin D. Roosevelt was inadvertently revealing. Roosevelt adopted reform policies, including many of those suggested by the social democrats of his day such as Norman Thomas. He was no socialist, but rather a clever and conscious bourgeois politician who enacted limited reforms in a deliberate effort to save the capitalist system.

Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez likewise seek to save the capitalist system, but under conditions where no such reforms are possible. The American ruling class no longer dominates the world economy, but is beset by powerful rivals in both Europe and Asia. It is pouring resources into the military to prepare for world war. And at home, even the most modest measures run up against the intransigent opposition of the super-rich, who control both parties and demand even greater wealth for themselves at the expense of working people.

Under these conditions, the Democratic Party is not a party that can or will can carry out social reforms in order to save capitalism, as in Roosevelt's day. It is a party that will carry out the dictates of the ruling class for war and austerity while using the services of "left" politicians like Sanders to confuse and disorient working people and youth.

Thus, at Netroots Nation, the assembled "left" Democrats gave a loud ovation to Ocasio-Cortez, but also to Gina Ortiz Jones, the Democratic nominee in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas, also young, nonwhite and female. Ortiz Jones has another characteristic, however. She is a career Air Force intelligence officer who was deployed to Iraq, South Sudan and Libya -- all the scenes of US-instigated bloodbaths.

Ortiz Jones is one of nearly three dozen such candidates chosen to represent the Democratic Party in contested congressional districts around the country. Another such candidate is Elissa Slotkin, who won the Democratic nomination Tuesday in Michigan's Eighth Congressional District. Slotkin served three tours with the CIA in Baghdad before being promoted to high-level positions in the Pentagon and the Obama-era National Security Council.

The fake leftism of Bernie Sanders in alliance with the CIA: That is the formula for the Democratic Party in 2018.

[Aug 14, 2018] It was Neocons who pushed the USA to invade Iraa, but, as Greenspan said, the goals of USA were about oil not so much about Israeli interests in the region

Notable quotes:
"... Besides, just look at how much the Iraq War benefited Israel. You see, Israel wants to pursue a strategy of destabilizing the region, so it cleverly pulled off a false flag attack on 9/11; I'm not quite sure why Mossad didn't frame one of Israel's actual enemies, like the Palestinians or Iranians, or even Saddam for that matter, as the perpetrators of the attacks, but I'm sure it's all part of the plan. ..."
"... Anyway, Israel got the United States to invade Iraq, which destabilized the region and created chaos, predictably leading to a massive increase in Iranian influence in Iraq and likely enabling more Iranian intervention in the Syrian Civil War, which benefited Israel because uh chaos and destabilization. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [679] Disclaimer , August 14, 2018 at 4:50 am GMT

. The decision to go to war on false pretenses against Iraq, largely promoted by a cabal of prominent American Jews in the Pentagon and in the media, killed 4,424 Americans as well as hundreds of thousands Iraqis and will wind up costing the American taxpayer $7 trillion dollars when all the bills are paid. That same group of mostly Jewish neocons more-or-less is now agitating to go to war with Iran using a game plan for escalation prepared by Israel which will, if anything, prove even more catastrophic.

Oh right, who can forget the cabal of Jews controlling the US government and military at the time of the Iraq invasion, such as President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers, CIA director George Tenet, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice Every.Single.Time, am I right, folks?

Oh wait, they aren't Jewish? Well, I blame the Jews away. Just look at uh Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Woflowitz and journalist Bill Kristol. That sounds like an extremely powerful cabal easily capable of commanding such trivial figures as the President, CIA director, Secretary of State, et cetera, to do their bidding.

Besides, just look at how much the Iraq War benefited Israel. You see, Israel wants to pursue a strategy of destabilizing the region, so it cleverly pulled off a false flag attack on 9/11; I'm not quite sure why Mossad didn't frame one of Israel's actual enemies, like the Palestinians or Iranians, or even Saddam for that matter, as the perpetrators of the attacks, but I'm sure it's all part of the plan.

Anyway, Israel got the United States to invade Iraq, which destabilized the region and created chaos, predictably leading to a massive increase in Iranian influence in Iraq and likely enabling more Iranian intervention in the Syrian Civil War, which benefited Israel because uh chaos and destabilization.

And if you doubt that neocons totally control the US government, just look at how we're at war with Iran! Well we're not technically at war yet, a decade after neoconservatives began promoting the war and President Obama did somehow manage to sign a nuclear deal with Iran that infuriated his neocon and Israeli puppetmasters but I'm sure that President Trump, famously beloved by Jews and neocons everywhere, will soon go to war with Iran.

Colin Wright , Website August 14, 2018 at 7:25 am GMT

@Ben_C

' I'm not entirely sure why you keep hanging on to this tired and false narrative that US politicians are some sort of stooges and puppets of Israel '

Maybe because they are stooges and puppets? In extreme cases, they even boast of it. When Romney was running for president, he promised he would check with Israel on any action we took in the Middle East. When Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State was promoting civil war in Syria, she explained that this was necessary because Israel wished it.

It goes on, and on. If someone is considering a run for Congress, he gets a nice little packet from AIPAC. Among other things, he's asked to write an essay expressing his feelings about Israel.

If the essay isn't satisfactory, AIPAC backs his opponent.

Not surprisingly, when Netanyahu -- the premier of a tiny state on the other side of the planet -- spoke to Congress he was interrupted with standing ovations seventeen times. The display put me in mind of the sort of frenzied adulation Communist delegates used to display towards Stalin.

and the motives, of course, would be similar, even if actual death isn't in prospect. For most in Congress, displease Israel, and your political career just ended.

Colin Wright , Website August 14, 2018 at 7:29 am GMT
@NoseytheDuke

"Many in the intelligence and law enforcement communities suspect that it (Israel) had considerable prior intelligence regarding the 9/11 plot but did not share it with Washington."

It's certainly difficult to explain how else Mossad came to be filming the attack.

Colin Wright , Website August 14, 2018 at 7:52 am GMT
I think it needs to be emphasized that it's not merely a matter of practical politics.

Israel is evil -- she brings misery to millions, actual happiness to almost no one, and engages in behavior with no defensible moral foundation at all. She has attacked every single one of her neighbors, compulsively seeks out further conflict to paper over the shortcomings in her own national identity, and treats her Palestinian subjects with a morality about like that of a nasty little boy pulling the wings off a fly.

Arguably, others are as bad. However, unlike the others, Israel could not have come into being without our support, and could not continue to exist today without our continued moral, economic, diplomatic, and military support. If we pulled the plug, Israel would cease to exist as a Jewish supremacist state within -- at most -- a decade.

We are, in fact, responsible for Israel, and hence responsible for Israel's crimes. Other people's teenaged sons may well be out there stealing cars and raping girls. This happens to be our son doing it. We're responsible.

We pursue many policies I regard as futile, short-sighted, deluded, or self-destructive. My personal list would include 'come one come all' immigration, global warming denial, maintaining a massive military establishment, condoning 'Black Lives Matter,' and probably some other things.

No doubt the reader has his own list. However, that's not the point. The point is that essentially, these policies are merely stupid rather than actually evil. It's not evil to think we should just let whoever wants come into the US. It's dumb -- but it isn't evil. In fact, I'll willingly credit people who vote for 'sanctuary cities' et al with the most laudable sentiments. I merely question their intelligence.

Israel is different. Israel is evil, and hence our support for it is as well. It is the most fundamentally wrong act we are engaged in.

There is a moral dimension to life. There is a distinction between striving to do good -- however unsuccessfully -- and willingly participating in evil.

We need to stop supporting Israel.

The Alarmist , August 14, 2018 at 8:59 am GMT

"A well-funded massive lobbying effort involving hundreds of groups and thousands of individuals in the U.S. has worked to the detriment of actual American interests, in part by creating a permanent annual gift of billions of dollars to Israel for no other reason but that it is Israel and can get anything it wants from a servile Congress and White House without any objection from a controlled media."

Kind of begs the question, why are we giving any aid to a first-world country with a GDP growth rate in the 3% to 4% rate for years (even while we were stuck below 2%) and an unemployment rate below 4%?

The Israeli economy is in better shape than the US economy; they should be giving us aid.

"Baron Cohen, who confronted several GOP notables in the guise of Colonel Erran Morad, an Israeli security specialist, provided a number of clues that his interview was a sham but none of the victims were smart enough to pick up on them."

Yes, it is truly amazing what our "Best & Brightest" will do to stay on-side. Following Mr. Giraldi's earlier post regarding the gubernatorial run of Israeli puppet Ron DeSantis and the Big Sugar connections of Adam Putnam, it would seem a Floridian's least worst choice is Bob White.

skrik , August 14, 2018 at 9:31 am GMT

Israel is nothing but trouble. It has the right to defend itself

1st part: Absolutely, indubitably correct.

2nd part: ¿Qué? Why do people say/write this? Under what corrupt arrangement does an oh, so obvious outlaw have any such right?

Consider: A gang of out-of-towners turns up at a block of flats, breaks the doors down and occupies the building, killing some erstwhile owner/occupiers and ejecting most of the rest on the way in, thereafter whooping it up big, and ignoring [obviously too feeble] orders to RoR+R*3 [= Right of Return + Revest, Reparations and Reconciliation.] Since when can such outlaws dictate anything, thumb their noses at the Law?

Property, especially here land, is alienable – but this does not mean ' subject to seizure by aliens .'

Kindly consider: "A fair exchange is no robbery." A fair exchange means willing seller, interested buyer, and a freely and fairly agreed price. No such thing exists vis-à-vis the forcible colonisation of Palestine. Some proof may be seen here [my bolding]:

By 1949, some 700,000 Palestinians had fled or been expelled from their lands and villages. Israel was now in control of some 20.5 million dunams (approx. 20,500 km²) or 78% of lands in what had been Mandatory Palestine

Land laws were passed to legalize changes to land ownership.[5]

5. Ruling Palestine, A History of the Legally Sanctioned Jewish-Israeli Seizure of Land and Housing in Palestine. Publishers: COHRE & BADIL, May 2005, p. 37.

Especially in reference to the illegitimate entity which terms itself Israel, wiki is not reliable, being, like the US Congress, Israeli-occupied territory. So it is noteworthy that they write "in control of" as opposed to 'own.' They can't ever own it due to not having purchased it, and Palestinians may not surrender it, due to the UDHR which specifies *inalienable* rights:

Article 3.
• Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 17.
• (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
• (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Also, see the Washington Consensus:

10.Legal security for property rights.

Further, there is UNSC242: inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war, plus only just law may earn respect, and/or be respected. A law dispossessing erstwhile legal owner/occupiers is an utter travesty.

Me; comment: Its illegitimacy is all so howlingly obvious!

Fazit: Apart from the ~6% of 'pre-Herzl Palestine' which 'invading by stealth' alien, mostly European Jews managed to purchase, the illegitimate entity does not own nor can they ever own the land/property they squat upon, which still belongs to the erstwhile owner/occupiers, specifically the 'native' pre-Nakba Palestinians [now including heirs & successors]. Then, the illegitimate entity does not declare borders for two reasons 1) any such declaration would be [probably successfully] challenged and 2) the illegitimate entity expresses the desire to expand to 'from the Nile to the Euphrates.' Q: Just how ghastly is that? A: Could hardly be worse.

Closing the loop: How can land-thieves have any 'right to defend' such improperly alienated land/property? It doesn't compute! rgds

mark green , August 14, 2018 at 10:03 am GMT
Thank you, Mr. Giraldi, for another forceful rebuke of Zionist criminality and US culpability.

The supremacist kosher state is a cancer on America. Just survey the wreckage. Count the bodies. Who benefits from this?

The Zionist project is a plague on humanity. It entertains no compromise. It will stop at virtually nothing. Examine the blood-soaked damage from Soviet Russia to Germany to Palestine and beyond. It moves Washington around via remote control.

The situation has become very grave. Speech deemed 'anti-Semitic' is rapidly being criminalized worldwide.

Right wing political expression (that Jews don't like) on Twitter, Facebook and the web is being de-platformed for speech infractions that involve 'hate'. But it's only 'hate' of a certain stripe.

After all, hatred is ubiquitous in America. It cuts in every direction. So why is the focus so intense on just one spectrum of hatred?

Might it have something to do with the political preferences of those in power?

Oh maybe.

Principles be damned. Whose ox is being gored?

With that in mind, consider this: who might actually be the biggest hater of all?–and killer? (Hint: it's certainly not the powerless Alt-right 'deplorables'.)

Might it instead be the world's foremost victims?

After all, incendiary speech–even 'hate speech'–does not kill. It takes bombs, drones, tanks and missiles to accomplish that.

So where's the uproar over routine sorties which needlessly dispense death and destruction?

It's gone missing.

Incredibly, it is rough speech and acute political criticism–not failed, horrific wars–that are being criminalized. Pro-Zionist 'wars of choice' still get a pass in our corporate board rooms, TV studios, news rooms, and in most of Official Washington.

This entrenched distortion allows neocons and their underlings to jawbone and plot their next preemptive war. The Big Squeeze is on. Beware Russia, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Iran. Zionism is an 'unshakable' Washington value. So get ready.

How distant wars advance the interests of average Americans remains a mystery.

Despite this puzzle, America's MSM offers little resistance and no straightforward criticism of Zio-Washington's ceaseless war efforts on behalf of a certain 'democratic ally'. In similar fashion, the Fourth Estate has also been compromised.

It's worth remembering that, according to the UN Charter, a state-sponsored 'First Strike' against another sovereign state is the most serious war crime. This elementary moral precept however matters not–at least not when Israel is pulling the strings. Quiet, children. Listen. Obey.

What we have here is a pattern of vast serial criminality.

Zio-Washington has become Israel's war vessel. We regular folk are just along for the ride.

So don't forget to cheer for the good guys!

Incredibly, US-enabled, Israeli ruthlessness has gotten even worse under 'America First' Trump. After all, Trump needlessly tore up Obama's hard-fought peace deal with Iran.

Why would Trump make such a move? (As a candidate, he was far less hawkish).

Our weakened and despised President needs desperately to please America's foremost lobby. Trump cannot govern without their support. This peculiar situation however requires additional blood-letting on behalf of the Zionist state. Foreign wars that benefit Israel are the unwritten price that the goyim leadership in America must pay. Sorry folks!

(Are you listening, Tehran?)

Jewish power corrupts. Overwhelming Jewish power corrupts in overwhelming fashion.

[Aug 14, 2018] Technocrats Rule Democracy Is 'OK' As Long As The People Rubberstamp Our Leadership

Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Technocrats rule the world, East and West alike.

We are in a very peculiar ideological and political place in which Democracy (oh sainted Democracy) is a very good thing, unless the voters reject the technocrat class's leadership. Then the velvet gloves come off. From the perspective of the elites and their technocrat apparatchiks, elections have only one purpose: to rubberstamp their leadership.

As a general rule, this is easily managed by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising and bribes to the cartels and insider fiefdoms who pony up most of the cash.

This is why incumbents win the vast majority of elections. Once in power, they issue the bribes and payoffs needed to guarantee funding next election cycle.

The occasional incumbent who is voted out of office made one of two mistakes:

1. He/she showed a very troubling bit of independence from the technocrat status quo, so a more orthodox candidate is selected to eliminate him/her.

2. The incumbent forgot to put on a charade of "listening to my constituency" etc.

If restive voters can't be bamboozled into passively supporting the technocrat status quo with the usual propaganda, divide and conquer is the preferred strategy. Only voting for the technocrat class (of any party, it doesn't really matter) will save us from the evil Other : Deplorables, socialists, commies, fascists, etc.

In extreme cases where the masses confound the status quo by voting against the technocrat class (i.e. against globalization, financialization, Empire), then the elites/technocrats will punish them with austerity or a managed recession. The technocrat's core ideology boils down to this:

1. The masses are dangerously incapable of making wise decisions about anything, so we have to persuade them to do our bidding. Any dissent will be punished, marginalized, censored or shut down under some pretext of "protecting the public" or violation of some open-ended statute.

2. To insure this happy outcome, we must use all the powers of propaganda, up to and including rigged statistics, bogus "facts" (official fake news can't be fake news, etc.), divide and conquer, fear-mongering, misdirection and so on.

3. We must relentlessly centralize all power, wealth and authority so the masses have no escape or independence left to threaten us. We must control everything, for their own good of course.

4. Globalization must be presented not as a gargantuan fraud that has stripmined the planet and its inhabitants, but as the sole wellspring of endless, permanent prosperity.

5. If the masses refuse to rubberstamp our leadership, they will be punished and told the source of their punishment is their rejection of globalization, financialization and Empire.

Technocrats rule the world, East and West alike. My two favorite charts of the outcome of technocrats running things to suit their elite masters are:

The state-cartel-crony-capitalist version: the top .1% skim the vast majority of the gains in income and wealth. Globalization, financialization and Empire sure do rack up impressive gains. Too bad they're concentrated in the top 1.%.

The state-crony-socialist version: the currency is destroyed, impoverishing everyone but the top .1% who transferred their wealth to Miami, London and Zurich long ago. Hmm, do you discern a pattern here in the elite-technocrat regime?

Ideology is just a cover you slip over the machine to mask what's really going on.

* * *

My new book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition. Read the first section for free in PDF format. If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com .

[Aug 14, 2018] Try track me after that, google.

Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Automatic Choke -> johngaltfla Mon, 08/13/2018 - 19:01 Permalink

1) remove the smartphone battery

2) smash the smartphone with a hammer

3) burn the pieces of the smartphone

4) leave the ashes at home when you are out and about

Try and track THAT, google.

[Aug 14, 2018] I am sure the tracking your movements all the time it s just a harmless oversight on the part of Google.

Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

spanish inquisition Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:28 Permalink

I am sure it's just a harmless oversight.

Kefeer -> Clock Crasher Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:38 Permalink

Hammer it and remove all EMF's. An old microwave over works as a Faraday cage. Also; if you take a cell phone and wrap it in just a layer or two of aluminum foil; it will not make or receive calls.

beemasters -> Kefeer Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:42 Permalink

Or just carry a dummy phone to make yourself look important. In today's world, perception is it.

Giant Meteor -> beemasters Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:52 Permalink

Good point. Save alot of shekkels too. Why just the other day I was standing in grocery line having an imaginary conversation with my imaginary broker, on my fake phone! The conversation became quite heated. It was all going swell until I ran into the door on my way out, fell over backwards, spilt the milk carton, and crushed a dozen eggs. No one even noticed ..

cougar_w -> beemasters Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:42 Permalink

They don't need GPS to know where you are, cell towers report the same information to good enough accuracy for most uses. When Google is tracking you, that is how they are doing it usually.

JoeTurner Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:30 Permalink

The East German Stasi only wish they could be like Google...

Socratic Dog -> Grandad Grumps Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:13 Permalink

OSMand replaces google maps very nicely, and works perfectly fine completely off line (by GPS). It also doesn't have to allow google to update its maps every 30 days to keep it working, download maps for anywhere in the world and just use them.

Lineage OS is a replacement for Android OS. I've had it in 2 phones so far, quite content with it. Open source, so lots of eyes on it to make sure this sort of shit isn't happening. You can minimize or completely eliminate the google presence, your choice.

Whether some deep-down shit is tracking me, I have no idea. I assume it is, and act accordingly.

Oldguy05 -> Socratic Dog Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:19 Permalink

Deep-down, it's all shit!

valjoux7750 -> Socratic Dog Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:26 Permalink

Love to try lineage but I'm on Verizon and their phones since the note 5 are locked down good. Rooting, jailbreaking, or what ever you call it is the way to go if your concerned about privacy.

Socratic Dog -> valjoux7750 Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:31 Permalink

Rooting isn't difficult. That's why they try so hard to stop you doing it.

[Aug 14, 2018] Paranoia as a natural condition of people living in the national security state: Faraday Cages for sale! Get yours today -- or they'll get you tomorrow!

** This story brought to you by the Divorce Lawyers of America **
Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

toady -> hedgeless_horseman Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:41 Permalink

Duh. Who didn't know this?

Even taking the battery out doesn't work anymore... they've built in transistors that will hold enough juice to keep the tracking capabilities enabled for several hours after the battery is removed.

NidStyles -> toady Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:44 Permalink

Are you kidding me Gracie? I assume it was you sending the nutcase

johngaltfla -> NidStyles Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:45 Permalink

Man are those geeks going to be bored as fucking hell tracking me.

Alananda -> johngaltfla Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:59 Permalink

I dindu nuffin. I never do nothing. What -- me worry? I have nothing to hide. Idiot.

johngaltfla -> Alananda Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:57 Permalink

Humor and sarcasm. Try Googling it.

Automatic Choke -> johngaltfla Mon, 08/13/2018 - 19:01 Permalink

1) remove the smartphone battery

2) smash the smartphone with a hammer

3) burn the pieces of the smartphone

4) leave the ashes at home when you are out and about

Try and track THAT, google.

[Aug 14, 2018] For Republicans, the Mueller Probe Isn't Watergate It's Ken Starr in Reverse

Aug 14, 2018 | truthout.org

Throughout, Republicans in Congress were relentless in their pursuit. (If the recent Peter Strzok hearing shocked you, you didn't watch any of the dozens of Whitewater hearings.) Starr's office leaked like a sieve, making it clear that his mission had strayed far beyond normal law enforcement into being a political operation intended to bring down the president. The media ate it all up like little baby birds with their beaks open, eager to take whatever was fed to them. The atmosphere was febrile and intense.

Starr had finally decided to close up shop after years and years of chasing his tail had come up with no evidence of a crime. But that was when the Paula Jones civil suit opened the door for Linda Tripp to stab her friend Monica Lewinsky in the back, and right-wing lawyers set a perjury trap for the president. Clinton walked into it, lying under oath when asked if he'd engaged in an extramarital affair with Lewinsky. The rest is history.

Of course this kind of devious machination is what Republicans see happening with Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's campaign dealings with Russians.

[Aug 14, 2018] US Intelligence Community is Tearing the Country Apart from the Inside by Dmitry Orlov

Highly recommended!
This is an interesting analysis shedding some light on how the US intelligence services have gone rogue...
Notable quotes:
"... Most recently, British "special services," which are a sort of Mini-Me to the to the Dr. Evil that is the US intelligence apparatus, saw it fit to interfere with one of their own spies, Sergei Skripal, a double agent whom they sprung from a Russian jail in a spy swap. They poisoned him using an exotic chemical and then tried to pin the blame on Russia based on no evidence. ..."
"... the Americans are doing their best to break the unwritten rule against dragging spies through the courts, but their best is nowhere near good enough. ..."
"... That said, there is no reason to believe that the Russian spies couldn't have hacked into the DNC mail server. It was probably running Microsoft Windows, and that operating system has more holes in it than a building in downtown Raqqa, Syria after the Americans got done bombing that city to rubble, lots of civilians included. When questioned about this alleged hacking by Fox News, Putin (who had worked as a spy in his previous career) had trouble keeping a straight face and clearly enjoyed the moment. ..."
"... He pointed out that the hacked/leaked emails showed a clear pattern of wrongdoing: DNC officials conspired to steal the electoral victory in the Democratic Primary from Bernie Sanders, and after this information had been leaked they were forced to resign. If the Russian hack did happen, then it was the Russians working to save American democracy from itself. So, where's the gratitude? Where's the love? Oh, and why are the DNC perps not in jail? ..."
"... The logic of US officials may be hard to follow, but only if we adhere to the traditional definitions of espionage and counterespionage -- "intelligence" in US parlance -- which is to provide validated information for the purpose of making informed decisions on best ways of defending the country. But it all makes perfect sense if we disabuse ourselves of such quaint notions and accept the reality of what we can actually observe: the purpose of US "intelligence" is not to come up with or to work with facts but to simply "make shit up." ..."
"... The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on. ..."
"... "What sort of idiot are you to ask me such a stupid question? Of course they are lying! They were caught lying more than once, and therefore they can never be trusted again. In order to claim that they are not currently lying, you have to determine when it was that they stopped lying, and that they haven't lied since. And that, based on the information that is available, is an impossible task." ..."
"... "The US intelligence agencies made an outrageous claim: that I colluded with Russia to rig the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The burden of proof is on them. They are yet to prove their case in a court of law, which is the only place where the matter can legitimately be settled, if it can be settled at all. Until that happens, we must treat their claim as conspiracy theory, not as fact." ..."
"... But no such reality-based, down-to-earth dialogue seems possible. All that we hear are fake answers to fake questions, and the outcome is a series of faulty decisions. Based on fake intelligence, the US has spent almost all of this century embroiled in very expensive and ultimately futile conflicts. ..."
"... Thanks to their efforts, Iran, Iraq and Syria have now formed a continuous crescent of religiously and geopolitically aligned states friendly toward Russia while in Afghanistan the Taliban is resurgent and battling ISIS -- an organization that came together thanks to American efforts in Iraq and Syria. ..."
"... Another hypothesis, and a far more plausible one, is that the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself. While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than "a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars. ..."
Jul 28, 2018 | russia-insider.com
In today's United States, the term "espionage" doesn't get too much use outside of some specific contexts. There is still sporadic talk of industrial espionage, but with regard to Americans' own efforts to understand the world beyond their borders, they prefer the term "intelligence." This may be an intelligent choice, or not, depending on how you look at things.

First of all, US "intelligence" is only vaguely related to the game of espionage as it has been traditionally played, and as it is still being played by countries such as Russia and China. Espionage involves collecting and validating strategically vital information and conveying it to just the pertinent decision-makers on your side while keeping the fact that you are collecting and validating it hidden from everyone else.

In eras past, a spy, if discovered, would try to bite down on a cyanide capsule; these days torture is considered ungentlemanly, and spies that get caught patiently wait to be exchanged in a spy swap. An unwritten, commonsense rule about spy swaps is that they are done quietly and that those released are never interfered with again because doing so would complicate negotiating future spy swaps.

In recent years, the US intelligence agencies have decided that torturing prisoners is a good idea, but they have mostly been torturing innocent bystanders, not professional spies, sometimes forcing them to invent things, such as "Al Qaeda." There was no such thing before US intelligence popularized it as a brand among Islamic terrorists.

Most recently, British "special services," which are a sort of Mini-Me to the to the Dr. Evil that is the US intelligence apparatus, saw it fit to interfere with one of their own spies, Sergei Skripal, a double agent whom they sprung from a Russian jail in a spy swap. They poisoned him using an exotic chemical and then tried to pin the blame on Russia based on no evidence.

There are unlikely to be any more British spy swaps with Russia, and British spies working in Russia should probably be issued good old-fashioned cyanide capsules (since that supposedly super-powerful Novichok stuff the British keep at their "secret" lab in Porton Down doesn't work right and is only fatal 20% of the time).

There is another unwritten, commonsense rule about spying in general: whatever happens, it needs to be kept out of the courts, because the discovery process of any trial would force the prosecution to divulge sources and methods, making them part of the public record. An alternative is to hold secret tribunals, but since these cannot be independently verified to be following due process and rules of evidence, they don't add much value.

A different standard applies to traitors; here, sending them through the courts is acceptable and serves a high moral purpose, since here the source is the person on trial and the method -- treason -- can be divulged without harm. But this logic does not apply to proper, professional spies who are simply doing their jobs, even if they turn out to be double agents. In fact, when counterintelligence discovers a spy, the professional thing to do is to try to recruit him as a double agent or, failing that, to try to use the spy as a channel for injecting disinformation.

Americans have been doing their best to break this rule. Recently, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted a dozen Russian operatives working in Russia for hacking into the DNC mail server and sending the emails to Wikileaks. Meanwhile, said server is nowhere to be found (it's been misplaced) while the time stamps on the files that were published on Wikileaks show that they were obtained by copying to a thumb drive rather than sending them over the internet. Thus, this was a leak, not a hack, and couldn't have been done by anyone working remotely from Russia.

Furthermore, it is an exercise in futility for a US official to indict Russian citizens in Russia. They will never stand trial in a US court because of the following clause in the Russian Constitution: "61.1 A citizen of the Russian Federation may not be deported out of Russia or extradited to another state."

Mueller may summon a panel of constitutional scholars to interpret this sentence, or he can just read it and weep. Yes, the Americans are doing their best to break the unwritten rule against dragging spies through the courts, but their best is nowhere near good enough.

That said, there is no reason to believe that the Russian spies couldn't have hacked into the DNC mail server. It was probably running Microsoft Windows, and that operating system has more holes in it than a building in downtown Raqqa, Syria after the Americans got done bombing that city to rubble, lots of civilians included. When questioned about this alleged hacking by Fox News, Putin (who had worked as a spy in his previous career) had trouble keeping a straight face and clearly enjoyed the moment.

He pointed out that the hacked/leaked emails showed a clear pattern of wrongdoing: DNC officials conspired to steal the electoral victory in the Democratic Primary from Bernie Sanders, and after this information had been leaked they were forced to resign. If the Russian hack did happen, then it was the Russians working to save American democracy from itself. So, where's the gratitude? Where's the love? Oh, and why are the DNC perps not in jail?

Since there exists an agreement between the US and Russia to cooperate on criminal investigations, Putin offered to question the spies indicted by Mueller. He even offered to have Mueller sit in on the proceedings. But in return he wanted to question US officials who may have aided and abetted a convicted felon by the name of William Browder, who is due to begin serving a nine-year sentence in Russia any time now and who, by the way, donated copious amounts of his ill-gotten money to the Hillary Clinton election campaign.

In response, the US Senate passed a resolution to forbid Russians from questioning US officials. And instead of issuing a valid request to have the twelve Russian spies interviewed, at least one US official made the startlingly inane request to have them come to the US instead. Again, which part of 61.1 don't they understand?

The logic of US officials may be hard to follow, but only if we adhere to the traditional definitions of espionage and counterespionage -- "intelligence" in US parlance -- which is to provide validated information for the purpose of making informed decisions on best ways of defending the country. But it all makes perfect sense if we disabuse ourselves of such quaint notions and accept the reality of what we can actually observe: the purpose of US "intelligence" is not to come up with or to work with facts but to simply "make shit up."

The "intelligence" the US intelligence agencies provide can be anything but; in fact, the stupider it is the better, because its purpose is allow unintelligent people to make unintelligent decisions. In fact, they consider facts harmful -- be they about Syrian chemical weapons, or conspiring to steal the primary from Bernie Sanders, or Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, or the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden -- because facts require accuracy and rigor while they prefer to dwell in the realm of pure fantasy and whimsy. In this, their actual objective is easily discernible.

The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on.

One major advancement in their state of the art has been in moving from real false flag operations, à la 9/11, to fake false flag operations, à la fake East Gouta chemical attack in Syria (since fully discredited). The Russian election meddling story is perhaps the final step in this evolution: no New York skyscrapers or Syrian children were harmed in the process of concocting this fake narrative, and it can be kept alive seemingly forever purely through the furious effort of numerous flapping lips. It is now a pure confidence scam. If you are less then impressed with their invented narratives, then you are a conspiracy theorist or, in the latest revision, a traitor.

Trump was recently questioned as to whether he trusted US intelligence. He waffled. A light-hearted answer would have been:

"What sort of idiot are you to ask me such a stupid question? Of course they are lying! They were caught lying more than once, and therefore they can never be trusted again. In order to claim that they are not currently lying, you have to determine when it was that they stopped lying, and that they haven't lied since. And that, based on the information that is available, is an impossible task."

A more serious, matter-of-fact answer would have been:

"The US intelligence agencies made an outrageous claim: that I colluded with Russia to rig the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The burden of proof is on them. They are yet to prove their case in a court of law, which is the only place where the matter can legitimately be settled, if it can be settled at all. Until that happens, we must treat their claim as conspiracy theory, not as fact."

And a hardcore, deadpan answer would have been:

"The US intelligence services swore an oath to uphold the US Constitution, according to which I am their Commander in Chief. They report to me, not I to them. They must be loyal to me, not I to them. If they are disloyal to me, then that is sufficient reason for their dismissal."

But no such reality-based, down-to-earth dialogue seems possible. All that we hear are fake answers to fake questions, and the outcome is a series of faulty decisions. Based on fake intelligence, the US has spent almost all of this century embroiled in very expensive and ultimately futile conflicts.

Thanks to their efforts, Iran, Iraq and Syria have now formed a continuous crescent of religiously and geopolitically aligned states friendly toward Russia while in Afghanistan the Taliban is resurgent and battling ISIS -- an organization that came together thanks to American efforts in Iraq and Syria.

The total cost of wars so far this century for the US is reported to be $4,575,610,429,593. Divided by the 138,313,155 Americans who file tax returns (whether they actually pay any tax is too subtle a question), it works out to just over $33,000 per taxpayer. If you pay taxes in the US, that's your bill so far for the various US intelligence "oopsies."

The 16 US intelligence agencies have a combined budget of $66.8 billion, and that seems like a lot until you realize how supremely efficient they are: their "mistakes" have cost the country close to 70 times their budget. At a staffing level of over 200,000 employees, each of them has cost the US taxpayer close to $23 million, on average. That number is totally out of the ballpark! The energy sector has the highest earnings per employee, at around $1.8 million per. Valero Energy stands out at $7.6 million per. At $23 million per, the US intelligence community has been doing three times better than Valero. Hats off! This makes the US intelligence community by far the best, most efficient collapse driver imaginable.

There are two possible hypotheses for why this is so.

First, we might venture to guess that these 200,000 people are grossly incompetent and that the fiascos they precipitate are accidental. But it is hard to imagine a situation where grossly incompetent people nevertheless manage to funnel $23 million apiece, on average, toward an assortment of futile undertakings of their choosing. It is even harder to imagine that such incompetents would be allowed to blunder along decade after decade without being called out for their mistakes.

Another hypothesis, and a far more plausible one, is that the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself. While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than "a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars."

[Aug 14, 2018] Rand Paul Stands Up for Peace by Justin Raimondo

Please support antiwar.com -- a unique antiwar site in the climate of rabid militarism and jingoism...
Notable quotes:
"... "the unlikely, unholy alliance between Rand Paul and Donald Trump, one a libertarian iconoclast, the other the cancerous center of the Republican party" is upsetting to writer Tina Nguyen because the "far left and the far right" are "converging." Or something. Peace with nuclear-armed Russia? That qualifies the Senator as a "wacko bird" and "Putin's perfect stooge." ..."
"... Rand Paul has gone from being an overly cautious presidential candidate who seemed scared of his own noninterventionist shadow to a principled statesman unafraid to take a stand for peace. He is a living example of how people – yes, even politicians – learn and change. His trip to Russia to bring a message of peace and détente at a time when the wolves of the War Party are howling ever louder was an act of courage that should have every person of good will standing and applauding. Bravo, Senator! ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

Libertarians are largely lost in the wilderness of the present era: wandering without a compass, either moral or ideological, and without a clue as to how to get home, never mind reach their ultimate goal of "freedom in our time." Yes, that was the old slogan that we libertarians started out with: an optimistic battle-cry that, today, seems unrealistic, at best. But is it? And if it isn't, who can show us the way forward?

My answer is simple: look at what Sen. Rand Paul is doing, and take a lesson. Instead of weeping and wailing about the loss of a "libertarian moment" that never really happened, Sen. Paul is making a difference. As Politico reports :

" Rand Paul has the ear, and the affection, of the most important person in the White House: President Donald Trump.

"Once bitter rivals on the Republican campaign trail, the Kentucky senator and the commander-in-chief have bonded over a shared delight in thumbing their noses at experts the president likes to deride as 'foreign policy eggheads,' including those who work in his own administration."

When Trump appointed the hawkish John Bolton as his National Security Advisor, the usual suspects crowed that "the neocons have taken over the White House." Never mind that a) Bolton is no neocon, and b) Trump is known for encouraging vigorous debate among his policy advisors while not necessarily agreeing with one or the other – these people, mostly alleged non-interventionists, hate the President for other reasons, and merely seized on the appointment as a convenient talking point. However, this narrative is contradicted by the reports of Sen. Paul's increasing influence in the Oval Office:

"While Trump tolerates his hawkish advisers, the aide added, he shares a real bond with Paul: 'He actually at gut level has the same instincts as Rand Paul.'"

"Paul has quietly emerged as an influential sounding board and useful ally for the president, who frequently clashes with his top advisers on foreign policy. The Kentucky senator's relationship with Trump, developed via frequent cellphone calls and over rounds of golf at the president's Virginia country club, became publicly apparent for the first time on Wednesday when the senator announced he had hand-delivered a letter to the Kremlin on Trump's behalf."

While the Beltway apparatus put together by the Kochs has jumped on the NeverTrump bandwagon with both feet, publicly declaring war on the administration and announcing a de facto alliance with the Democrats, Sen. Paul has made a difference in a key area that the Koch machine has largely abandoned or reversed itself: foreign policy. Here's Politico again:

"Both Paul and Trump routinely rail against foreign entanglements, foreign wars, and foreign aid – positions characterized as isolationist by critics and as 'America first' by the president and his supporters. Even on points of where they disagree, Paul has extracted small victories."

That one area is Iran, and even there it looks like Sen. Paul has his finger in the dike:

"But Trump has stopped short of calling for regime change even though Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Bolton support it, aligning with Paul instead, according to a GOP foreign policy expert in frequent contact with the White House. '

Rand Paul has persuaded the president that we are not for regime change in Iran,' this person said, because adopting that position would instigate another war in the Middle East."

As the President launches peace initiatives from the Korean peninsula to the steppes of Russia, the virtue-signalers among us pretend that none of that is happening and obsessively descry the decision to exit the Iran deal. Yet where has all their moaning and groaning gotten them? Sen. Paul is single-handedly doing more for peace than any of these bloviating nonentities could dream of.

The hysteria aimed at the President is now directed at Sen. Paul, with the New York Times in what is perhaps mistakenly presented as a "news" article describing the Senator's relationship with the White House in words that are clearly over the top:

"Suddenly, in the mind of the junior senator from Kentucky, Mr. Trump has soared from lower than that speck of dirt to high enough for Mount Rushmore."

One imagines the foam-flecked computer screen of the author was quite a mess well before she reached the end of her jeremiad. Hatred for the President blends and merges with hatred for Russia as the Fourth Estate becomes an instrument in the hands of the War Party. Vanity Fair – that bastion of foreign policy expertise – shrieks that

"the unlikely, unholy alliance between Rand Paul and Donald Trump, one a libertarian iconoclast, the other the cancerous center of the Republican party" is upsetting to writer Tina Nguyen because the "far left and the far right" are "converging." Or something. Peace with nuclear-armed Russia? That qualifies the Senator as a "wacko bird" and "Putin's perfect stooge."

Yeah, suuure it does, Tina: anything you say. Just like those who wanted to end the Vietnam war were "stooges" of Ho Chi Minh. Just like Ronald Reagan getting rid of a whole category of nukes made him a "stooge" of Gorbachev.

And to get down to the real intellectual heavyweight: S. E. Cupp, whose credentials seem to be phony glasses and blondness, vomits up her considered opinion that Sen. Paul is now Putin's "errand boy." Which is far better than being Max Boot's errand girl , but don't anyone tell Iraq war-supporting Ms. Cupp that she has blood on her hands. She feels no need to apologize.

Oh yes, the heavies are out in force, sliming Sen. Paul for defending the President's Helsinki peace initiative with nuclear-armed Russia. Vanity Fair , S. E. Cupp – who's next? Madonna? Women's Wear Daily ?

Rand Paul has gone from being an overly cautious presidential candidate who seemed scared of his own noninterventionist shadow to a principled statesman unafraid to take a stand for peace. He is a living example of how people – yes, even politicians – learn and change. His trip to Russia to bring a message of peace and détente at a time when the wolves of the War Party are howling ever louder was an act of courage that should have every person of good will standing and applauding. Bravo, Senator!

[Aug 13, 2018] Google Is Constantly Tracking, Even If You Turn Off Device Location History

You do not need to keep you phone on when you driving, do you ?
Aug 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:25 74 SHARES

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Google is actually tracking you even when you switch your device settings to Location History "off" .

As journalist Mark Ames comments in response to a new Associated Press story exposing Google's ability to track people at all times even when they explicitly tell Google not to via iPhone and Android settings, "The Pentagon invented the internet to be the perfect global surveillance/counterinsurgency machine. Surveillance is baked into the internet's DNA."

In but the latest in a continuing saga of big tech tracking and surveillance stories which should serve to convince us all we are living in the beginning phases of a Minority Report style tracking and pansophical "pre-crime" system, it's now confirmed that the world's most powerful tech company and search tool will always find a way to keep your location data .

The Associated Press sought the help of Princeton researchers to prove that while Google is clear and upfront about giving App users the ability to turn off or "pause" Location History on their devices, there are other hidden means through which it retains the data .

According to the AP report :

Google says that will prevent the company from remembering where you've been. Google's support page on the subject states: "You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored."

That isn't true. Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking.

For example, Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app. Automatic daily weather updates on Android phones pinpoint roughly where you are .

And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like "chocolate chip cookies," or "kids science kits," pinpoint your precise latitude and longitude -- accurate to the square foot -- and save it to your Google account .

The issue directly affects around two billion people using Google's Android operating software and iPhone users relying on Google maps or a simple search.

Among the computer science researchers at Princeton conducting the tests is Jonathan Mayer, who told the AP , "If you're going to allow users to turn off something called 'Location History,' then all the places where you maintain location history should be turned off," and added, "That seems like a pretty straightforward position to have."

Google, for its part, is defending the software and privacy tracking settings , saying the company has been perfectly clear and has not violated privacy ethics.

"There are a number of different ways that Google may use location to improve people's experience, including: Location History, Web and App Activity, and through device-level Location Services," a Google statement to the AP reads. "We provide clear descriptions of these tools, and robust controls so people can turn them on or off, and delete their histories at any time."

According to the AP, there is a way to prevent Google from storing the various location marker and metadata collection possibilities, but it's somewhat hidden and painstaking.

Google's own description on how to do this as a result of the AP inquiry is as follows :

To stop Google from saving these location markers, the company says, users can turn off another setting, one that does not specifically reference location information. Called "Web and App Activity" and enabled by default, that setting stores a variety of information from Google apps and websites to your Google account.

When paused, it will prevent activity on any device from being saved to your account. But leaving "Web & App Activity" on and turning "Location History" off only prevents Google from adding your movements to the "timeline," its visualization of your daily travels. It does not stop Google's collection of other location markers.

You can delete these location markers by hand, but it's a painstaking process since you have to select them individually , unless you want to delete all of your stored activity.

Of course, the more constant location data obviously means more advertising profits and further revenue possibilities for Google and its clients, so we fully expect future hidden tracking loopholes to possibly come to light.

Beginning in 2014, Google has utilized user location histories to allow advertisers to track the effectiveness of online ads at driving foot traffic . With the continued possibility of real-time tracking to generate billions of dollars, it should come as no surprise that Google would seek to make it as difficult (or perhaps impossible?) as it can for users to ensure they aren't tracked.

As for the government, we can only imagine the creative surveillance "fun" Washington's 16+ intelligence agencies are having with such a powerful tool right now.

[Aug 13, 2018] Imperialism Is Alive and Kicking A Marxist Analysis of Neoliberal Capitalism by C.J. Polychroniou

Highly recommended!
Marxism provides one of the best analysis of capitalism; problems start when Marxists propose alternatives.
Notable quotes:
"... Such demand-compression occurs above all through the imposition of an income deflation on the petty producers, and on the working population in general, in the Third World. This was done in the colonial period through two means: one, "deindustrialization" or the displacement of local craft production by imports of manufactures from the capitalist sector; and two, the "drain of surplus" where a part of the taxes extracted from petty producers was simply taken away in the form of exported goods without any quid pro quo ..."
"... I mean by the term "imperialism" the arrangement that the capitalist system sets up for imposing income deflation on the working population of the Third World for countering the threat of inflation that would otherwise erode the value of money in the metropolis and make the system unviable. "Imperialism" in this sense characterizes both the colonial and the contemporary periods. ..."
"... The fact that the diffusion of capitalism to the Third World has proceeded by leaps and bounds of late, with its domestic corporate-financial oligarchy getting integrated into globalized finance capital, and the fact that workers in the metropolis have also been facing an income squeeze under globalization, are important new developments; but they do not negate the basic tendency of the system to impose income deflation upon the working population of the Third World, a tendency that remains at the very core of the system. ..."
"... any state activism, other than for promoting its own exclusive and direct interest, is anathema for finance capital, which is why, not surprisingly, "sound finance" and "fiscal responsibility" are back in vogue today, when finance capital, now globalized, is in ascendancy. Imperialism is thus a specifically capitalist way of obtaining the commodities it requires for itself, but which are produced outside its own domain. ..."
"... dirigiste regimes ..."
"... With the reassertion of the dominance of finance, in the guise now of an international ..."
"... Contemporary imperialism therefore is the imperialism of international finance capital which is served by nation-states (for any nation-state that defies the will of international finance capital runs the risk of capital flight from, and hence the insolvency of, its economy). The US, being the leading capitalist state, plays the leading role in promoting and protecting the interests of international finance capital. But talking about a specific US imperialism, or a German or British or French imperialism obscures this basic fact. ..."
"... Indeed, a good deal of discussion about whether the world is heading toward multi-polarity or the persistence of US dominance misses the point that the chief actor in today's world is international or globalized finance capital, and not US or German or British finance capital. ..."
"... US military intervention all over the world, in order to acquire a proper meaning has to be located within the broader setting of the imperialism of international finance capital. ..."
"... absolute immiserization ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | truthout.org

C.J. Polychroniou: How do you define imperialism and what imperialist tendencies do you detect as inherent in the brutal expansion of the logic of capitalism in the neoliberal global era?

Prabhat Patnaik: The capitalist sector of the world, which began by being located, and continues largely to be located, in the temperate region, requires as its raw materials and means of consumption a whole range of primary commodities which are not available or producible, either at all or in adequate quantities, within its own borders. These commodities have to be obtained from the tropical and sub-tropical region within which almost the whole of the Third World is located; and the bulk of them (leaving aside minerals) are produced by a set of petty producers (peasants). What is more, they are subject to "increasing supply price," in the sense that as demand for them increases in the capitalist sector, larger quantities of them can be obtained, if at all, only at higher prices, thanks to the fixed size of the tropical land mass.

This means an ex ante tendency toward accelerating inflation as capital accumulation proceeds, undermining the value of money under capitalism and hence the viability of the system as a whole. To prevent this, the system requires that with an increase in demand from the capitalist sector, as capital accumulation proceeds, there must be a compression of demand elsewhere for these commodities, so that the net demand does not increase, and increasing supply price does not get a chance to manifest itself at all.

Such demand-compression occurs above all through the imposition of an income deflation on the petty producers, and on the working population in general, in the Third World. This was done in the colonial period through two means: one, "deindustrialization" or the displacement of local craft production by imports of manufactures from the capitalist sector; and two, the "drain of surplus" where a part of the taxes extracted from petty producers was simply taken away in the form of exported goods without any quid pro quo . The income of the working population of the Third World, and hence its demand, was thus kept down; and metropolitan capitalism's demand for such commodities was met without any inflationary threat to the value of money. Exactly a similar process of income deflation is imposed now upon the working population of the Third World by the neoliberal policies of globalization.

I mean by the term "imperialism" the arrangement that the capitalist system sets up for imposing income deflation on the working population of the Third World for countering the threat of inflation that would otherwise erode the value of money in the metropolis and make the system unviable. "Imperialism" in this sense characterizes both the colonial and the contemporary periods.

We recognize the need for a reserve army of labor to ward off the threat to the value of money arising from wage demands of workers. Ironically, however, we do not recognize the parallel and even more pressing need of the system (owing to increasing supply price) for the imposition of income deflation on the working population of the Third World for warding off a similar threat.

The fact that the diffusion of capitalism to the Third World has proceeded by leaps and bounds of late, with its domestic corporate-financial oligarchy getting integrated into globalized finance capital, and the fact that workers in the metropolis have also been facing an income squeeze under globalization, are important new developments; but they do not negate the basic tendency of the system to impose income deflation upon the working population of the Third World, a tendency that remains at the very core of the system.

Those who argue that imperialism is no longer a relevant analytic construct point to the multifaceted aspects of today's global economic exchanges and to a highly complex process involved in the distribution of value which, simply put, cannot be reduced to imperialism. How do you respond to this line of thinking?

Capitalism today is of course much more complex, with an enormous financial superstructure. But that paradoxically makes inflation even more threatening. The value of this vast array of financial assets would collapse in the event of inflation, bringing down this superstructure, which incidentally is the reason for the current policy obsession with "inflation targeting." This makes the imperialist arrangement even more essential. The more complex capitalism becomes, the more it needs its basic simple props.

I should clarify here that if "land-augmenting" measures [such as irrigation, high-yielding seeds and better production practices] could be introduced in the Third World, then, notwithstanding the physical fixity of the tropical land mass, the threat of increasing supply price -- and with it, [the threat] of inflation -- could be warded off without any income deflation. Indeed, on the contrary, the working population of the Third World would be better off through such measures. But these measures require state support and state expenditure, a fact that Marx had recognized long ago. But any state activism, other than for promoting its own exclusive and direct interest, is anathema for finance capital, which is why, not surprisingly, "sound finance" and "fiscal responsibility" are back in vogue today, when finance capital, now globalized, is in ascendancy. Imperialism is thus a specifically capitalist way of obtaining the commodities it requires for itself, but which are produced outside its own domain.

The post-decolonization dirigiste regimes [regimes directed by a central authority] in the Third World had actually undertaken land-augmentation measures. Because of this, even as exports of commodities to the metropolis had risen to sustain the biggest boom ever witnessed in the history of capitalism, per capita food grain availability had also increased in those countries. But I see that period as a period of retreat of metropolitan capitalism, enforced by the wound inflicted upon it by the Second World War. With the reassertion of the dominance of finance, in the guise now of an international finance capital, the Third World states have withdrawn from supporting petty producers, a process of income deflation is in full swing, and the imperialist arrangement is back in place, because of which we can see once more a tendency toward a secular decline in per capita food grain availability in the Third World as in the colonial period.

There is a third way -- apart from a greater obsession with inflation aversion and a yoking of Third World states to promoting the interests of globalized finance rather than defending domestic petty producers -- in which contemporary capitalism strengthens the imperialist arrangement. It may be thought that the value of imports of Third World commodities into the capitalist metropolis is so small that we are exaggerating the inflation threat from that source to metropolitan currencies. This smallness itself, of course, is an expression of an acutely exploitative relationship. In addition, however, the threat to the Third World currencies themselves from a rise in the prices of these commodities becomes acute in a regime of free cross-border financial flows as now, which threatens the entire world trade and payments system and hence makes income deflation particularly urgent. Hence the need for the imperialist arrangement becomes even more acute.

Not long ago, even liberals like Thomas Friedman of the New York Times were arguing that "McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas" (that is, the US Air Force). Surely, this is a crude version of imperialism, but what about today's US imperialism? Isn't it still alive and kicking?

The world that Lenin had written about consisted of nation-based, nation-state-supported financial oligarchies engaged in intense inter-imperialist rivalry for repartitioning the world through wars. When [Marxist theorist] Karl Kautsky had suggested the possibility of a truce among rival powers for a peaceful division of the world, Lenin had pointed to the fact that the phenomenon of uneven development under capitalism would necessarily subvert any such specific truce. The world we have today is characterized by the hegemony of international finance capital which is interested in preventing any partitioning of the world, so that it can move around freely across the globe.

Contemporary imperialism therefore is the imperialism of international finance capital which is served by nation-states (for any nation-state that defies the will of international finance capital runs the risk of capital flight from, and hence the insolvency of, its economy). The US, being the leading capitalist state, plays the leading role in promoting and protecting the interests of international finance capital. But talking about a specific US imperialism, or a German or British or French imperialism obscures this basic fact.

Indeed, a good deal of discussion about whether the world is heading toward multi-polarity or the persistence of US dominance misses the point that the chief actor in today's world is international or globalized finance capital, and not US or German or British finance capital. So, the concept of imperialism that [Utsa Patnaik and I] are talking about belongs to a different terrain of discourse from the concept of US imperialism per se . The latter, though it is, of course, empirically visible because of US military intervention all over the world, in order to acquire a proper meaning has to be located within the broader setting of the imperialism of international finance capital.

Some incidentally have seen the muting of inter-imperialist rivalry in today's world as a vindication of Kautsky's position over that of Lenin. This, however, is incorrect, since both of them were talking about a world of national finance capitals which contemporary capitalism has gone beyond.

... ... ...

One final question: How should radical movements and organizations, in both the core and the periphery of the world capitalist economy, be organizing to combat today's imperialism?

Obviously, the issue of imperialism is important not for scholastic reasons, but because of the praxis that a recognition of its role engenders. From what I have been arguing, it is clear that since globalization involves income deflation for the peasantry and petty producers, and since their absorption into the ranks of the active army of labor under capitalism does not occur because of the paucity of jobs that are created even when rates of output growth are high, there is a tendency toward an absolute immiserization of the working population. For the petty producers, this tendency operates directly; and for others, it operates through the driving down of the "reservation wage" owing to the impoverishment of petty producers.

Such immiserization is manifest above all in the decline in per capita food grain absorption, both directly and indirectly (the latter via processed foods and feed grains). An improvement in the conditions of living of the working population of the Third World then requires a delinking from globalization (mainly through capital controls, and also trade controls to the requisite extent) by an alternative state, based on a worker-peasant alliance, that pursues a different trajectory of development. Such a trajectory would emphasize peasant-agriculture-led growth, land redistribution (so as to limit the extent of differentiation within the peasantry) and the formation of voluntary cooperatives and collectives for carrying forward land-augmentation measures, and even undertaking value-addition activities, including industrialization.

Small Third World countries would no doubt find it difficult to adopt such a program because of their limited resource base and narrow home market. But they will have to come together with other small countries to constitute larger, more viable units. But the basic point is that the question of "making globalization work" or "having globalization with a human face" simply does not arise.

The problem with this praxis is that it is not only the bourgeoisie in the Third World countries, but even sections of the middle-class professionals who have been beneficiaries of globalization, who would oppose any such delinking. But the world capitalist crisis, which is a consequence of this finance-capital-led globalization itself, is causing disaffection among these middle-class beneficiaries. They, too, would now be more willing to support an alternative trajectory of development that breaks out of the straitjacket imposed by imperialism.

[Aug 13, 2018] FBI Reveals Maria Butina Traded Sex In Exchange For All 62,984,828 Votes Trump Received In 2016

Jul 19, 2018 | politics.theonion.com
WASHINGTON -- Saying that their investigation indicated her involvement in election interference went deeper than previously believed, the FBI revealed Thursday that Russian agent Maria Butina traded sex in exchange for all 62,984,828 votes Donald Trump received for president in 2016. "Our inquiry into Ms. Butina

[Aug 13, 2018] Mueller Scrambling After Accidentally Spilling Whole Big Gulp All Over Russia Evidence

Aug 13, 2018 | politics.theonion.com

WASHINGTON -- Suffering yet another unexpected setback during his ongoing investigation into foreign collusion with the Trump campaign, Special Counsel Robert Mueller scrambled Friday to contain the damage to his documents after spilling an entire Grape Crush Big Gulp all over his Russia evidence. "No, no, no! No! Aw,

[Aug 13, 2018] Turkey blames Trump for attack on lira, says it won't 'kneel' and has counter-measures ready

Notable quotes:
"... "The currency of our country is targeted directly by the US president," ..."
"... "This attack, initiated by the biggest player in the global financial system, reveals a similar situation in all developing countries." ..."
"... "All of our action plan and measures are ready," ..."
"... "Together with our banks, we prepared our action plan regarding the situation with our real sector companies, including Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which is the sector that is affected by the fluctuation the most," ..."
"... "Together with our banks and the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA), we will take the necessary measures quickly." ..."
"... "It is making an operation against Turkey Its aim is to force Turkey to surrender in every field from finance to politics, to make Turkey and the Turkish nation kneel down," ..."
"... "We have seen your play and we challenge you." ..."
Aug 13, 2018 | www.rt.com

Turkey has accused Donald Trump of leading an attack on its national currency. The lira lost about 40 percent of its value against the US dollar this year and, to reduce its volatility, Ankara has prepared an urgent action plan. "The currency of our country is targeted directly by the US president," Finance Minister Berat Albayrak told the Hurriyet. "This attack, initiated by the biggest player in the global financial system, reveals a similar situation in all developing countries."

The Turkish lira took a massive hit against the dollar on Friday following Trump's decision to double tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Turkey to 20 percent and 50 percent. Overall, the national currency lost roughly about 40 percent of its value this year.

Read more © Ozan Kose Erdogan urges Turks to dump dollar to support lira

To calm down the markets, the government instructed its institutions to implement a series of actions on Monday. "All of our action plan and measures are ready," Albayrak said, without elaborating.

"Together with our banks, we prepared our action plan regarding the situation with our real sector companies, including Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which is the sector that is affected by the fluctuation the most," the minister said . "Together with our banks and the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA), we will take the necessary measures quickly."

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meanwhile slammed the US decision to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

"It is making an operation against Turkey Its aim is to force Turkey to surrender in every field from finance to politics, to make Turkey and the Turkish nation kneel down," Erdogan said in Trabzon on Sunday. "We have seen your play and we challenge you."

[Aug 13, 2018] Cold War in the Sauna Notes From a Russian American by Pavel Kozhevnikov

Aug 13, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

I had just finished exercising and went to the sauna. The gym I go to is a modern facility with new equipment and is very popular in our city.

My favorite parts are the sauna and the steamer. Both remind me of my old country – Russia. Though, to be politically and geographically correct – I never lived in Russia: I was born and raised in one of the fifteen republics of the former USSR – the republic of Kazakhstan.

So, I am a Russian from Kazakhstan. It's kind of confusing for Americans, and when twenty-six years ago my American wife brought me here, the customs official gave me an alien card where my nationality was stated not Russian but Kazakh. My friends make fun of me, because Russians and Kazakhs are like apples and oranges. We look different

In 1992, when I arrived in America, the relationship between the two cold war rivals was excellent: Americans traveled to Russia, opening McDonalds, KFC's, Burger Kings, and other businesses, and Russians were opening not only their hearts but even the secrets of the overthrown KGB. Millions of Russians and Americans enjoyed such a "romance" between the two most powerful nuclear countries in the world.

Not anymore! Every morning I wake up to the words, "Russia is terrible," and go to sleep with the humiliating jokes of the "night-show-clowns" about "the dictator" Putin and "barbaric" Russians, whose 13 hackers changed the electoral minds of millions of naïve Americans. Wow! What a powerful "gasoline station country"- Russia, as Senator McCain calls it.

If in 1992 the people in my city who heard my accent were very nice to me and to Russia, now the usual reaction is to stare at me like a goat at the newly painted gates. One of my neighbors even yelled at me when I answered his question about my recent trip to Russia. I told him: "Russians like Putin because he saved their country from collapse. I saw with my own eyes how Russia has changed since my last trip there. I didn't see the impact of Obama's sanctions, Russians have better roads, than we have in Colorado; the shops, are filled with all kinds of products; the churches are restored "

My neighbor who didn't like Trump yelled at me: "If you like Russia go back to your country!" My answer was: "I love Russia but I am American – like your immigrant wife, like you. I love America for a lot of reasons, one of them – the right to speak! Nobody should privatize this right." He ran away, later coming to apologize

My wife, knowing my hard-tempered character asks me not to talk about policy – Putin-Trump anymore. And I don't, to a certain degree. However, when someone asks me about Russia or Putin I usually answer, giving my point of view; I just cannot be silent. I was silent for 40+ years living in the USSR, not anymore! Of course, not everyone likes my answers, like the man I am going to tell you about.

So, I went into the sauna; a stout man was sitting on the upper bench. He was the same age as I. Many of the older men in America call ourselves "old farts." The name is not offensive to us, because we really do not care about our image, and because we like to make jokes about everything, mostly about ourselves. Usually, we old farts are nice, we love to talk, even in the sauna. Young people nowadays do not talk. They turn on their phones even in the sauna – I bet they do not know how to talk with other people. They cover their "secrets" in towels while we do not – we do not have any secrets anymore.

Anyway, the man said hello to me, I answered, and he caught my slight accent.

"Where are you from?" It's a question I am usually asked.

"From here." I answered.

He was a little confused. I knew what usually followed if I had said – "from Kazakhstan." Usually, there would be an exchange of this type: "Where is it?" – "Between Russia and China," – "How do you like it here?" The silly film "Borat" helped me for a short period of time. People were smiling, as if they met Sasha Cohen, and I was happy that at least they knew some geography, though the film was silly and the geography in it was completely mistaken.

"No, I mean originally where are you from?" The guy, let's call him Tony, found the right question.

I decided not to check his geography skills and said that I came from Russia. The dialog that followed was remarkable. Here it is.

"Welcome to America! Your English is pretty good!"

"Yours, too." He didn't get my humor. "Just joking," I said, "As for welcoming, it's a little late: I have lived here for 25 years."

"Have you been in Russia lately?" He asked.

"Yes, I go there every year."

"Wow. So, what do you think about that crazy guy , Pyutin?"

"Sorry, honey," – I apologized to my wife in my thoughts and picked up the gauntlet. "You mean Putin? He is not crazy. Actually, he is one of the smartest rulers Russia ever had." I said.

Tony's eyes nearly leaped from their sockets. "But he is a dictator and kills people!"

"I wouldn't call him a dictator – he was just last week elected by nearly 67% of Russians. I would call him an authoritarian, strong ruler; but a weak ruler in Russia wouldn't survive a day. Besides, there were seven people opposed him in the election!"

Tony smiled. "You call it an election? He chose the opponents himself from his friends. The whole world knows that elections in Russia are a sham!"

"Who told you this nonsense, Tony? Did you listen to the debates? Did you hear how these people yelled at each other and cursed Putin, asking people to vote for them not for Putin. They really were as tough as Hillary to Donald! And besides, there were a lot of observers from 110 countries. They claimed the election was legitimate."

"No, I do not believe you."

"You may not believe me but I am citing the international organizations reports. You may check their reports on the Internet yourself. You may even sue these organizations if you wish."

Tony was silent for a minute, then turned his head to me and asked: "You know that Pyutin is evil even to his own people?"

"You mean Putin? Who told you? How many Russians share your opinion?"

"McCain."

"Is he Russian?"

"No, but he knows that Pyutin is KGB."

"His name is Putin!" I tried to correct at least this in his mind. "So, you do not believe me, a Russian, who just returned from Russia, but you believe this Senator, who hates Putin and Russia? Besides, there are no KGB anymore."

"But he used to be KGB?"

"Yes, and Bush H. was also a CIA agent. So, what? After the collapse of the Soviet Union there were no people who didn't work for government in that country, we all worked for government! Putin is good for Russia, he is the brightest politician nowadays. He is like a great Chess-master, and he is a dangerous player. We must be careful with him. Some Congressmen are underestimating Russia, calling it "a gasoline station with nukes," but I was there this summer and saw with my own eyes how much people love Putin, and how much he is doing to make that country great again."

"Yeh, yeh, yeh " Tony didn't know what to say. Then he recalled something and turned his red face to me. "Well, he invaded Crimea, and Ukraine!"

"No, he did not. Crimea was a harbor for the Russian navy, and according to the treaty between Ukraine and Russia there were sixteen thousand Russian troops stationed there on a permanent base. There were about twenty-three thousand Ukrainian troops there, too. So, when the thugs in Kiev took power, illegally kicking out president Yanukovych and killing the political opponents, the Crimean people decided to organize a referendum. Ninety-six percent decided to reunite with Russia, as they were Russians for nearly 400 years before the Communist dictator Khrushchev gave that peninsula to Ukraine as a present to his native land."

"But they had no right to secede from the main land of Ukraine!"

"Yes, they did. International law gives the right for self-determination to people. Remember, we split from the British Empire."

"But it was so long ago!"

"Okay, what about East and West Germany or Kosovo? The people in these countries also exercised their right of self-determination, but they didn't have any referendum as far as I know."

Tony looked at me attentively. "I don't believe you."

"You have the right not to believe me. You asked, I answered."

Tony was silent for a while. Then he threw out his last argument. "I hope you wouldn't deny that Putin killed British citizens recently, using KGB gas!"

Wow, he pronounced "Putin" correctly! I smiled. The nice face of my American wife appeared in my head again, and she was not happy! I kissed her in my thoughts and finished the conversation with my last knockout blow:

"I wouldn't deny it if the poisoning by Russians had been proved!"

"But it was proved by Teresa May!"

"Really? What did she say?"

"She said that it was Putin who poisoned the British citizens!"

"Not really, my friend. She said that it was "highly likely" that Russia did it! Besides, only Mr. Skripal is a British citizen, his daughter is a Russian citizen"

"Does it make any difference?"

"You mean, "highly likely" is proof to punish somebody? What about one of the main pillars of democracy – innocent until proven guilty?"

"But we believe our allies, not the Russians!"

That statement made me laugh. "You believe not facts but political statements without any facts? Wow! What kind of democracy is that?"

Tony's face became so red that I was afraid it would melt. He stood up from the bench and without looking at me firmly said:

"Russians are our enemies, and democracy does not apply to them."

He left, leaving me with a sudden fear of approaching nuclear war.

At night I prayed for peace. I prayed for American and Russian people-in-power who could easily destroy this fragile planet. If people refuse to understand each other, they fight. Kennedy and Khrushchev fortunately understood this. Will Putin and Trump understand?

Pavel Kozhevnikov was born in Kazakhstan. In 1992 he married an American woman and relocated to Colorado, USA, where he worked in a variety of business ventures and taught various subjects including Russian at Mitchell High School as well as at Pikes Peak Community College and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Pavel continues to enjoy teaching Russian at the local community college and university and devotes his free time to writing. He has published four books of stories and poems as well as numerous articles for newspapers and journals in Russia, Germany, Kazakhstan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

[Aug 11, 2018] The Week In Tech Infowars and China's Great Firewall

Aug 11, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

I was surprised by the reactions (good and bad) to the column. Some readers were sarcastic. Not having access to Google, Facebook or Twitter? "Lucky them!" wrote one Facebook user. "They have not missed anything important!" said another.

... ... ...

In other news this week:

Li Yuan is the Asia tech columnist for The Times. She previously reported on China technology for The Wall Street Journal. You can follow her on Twitter here: @LiYuan6.

[Aug 11, 2018] Major color revolutions sponsor is in decline, but still show his teeth and his methods did not become less dangerius for Eastern Europe, xUSSR space and developing countries

It is not only George Soros is losing. Neoliberalism is losing some of its fights too, despite recent revenge in sev eral Latin American countries. Deep state was always an alliance of Wall Street sharks with intelligence agencies and Soros is a true representative of this breed. He is connected and acted in sync with them in xUSSR space. In this sense he can be viewed as a part of Harvard Mafia which economically raped Russia in 1990th...
Malaysia's prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, correctly called Soros and other speculators "unscrupulous profiteers" whose immoral work served no social value. That actually aptly characterize all members of Harvard mafia not just George Soros.
BTW, if Victoria Nuland (of EuroMaydan putch fame) praises a particular person, you can be sure that his person serves US imperial interests...
Notable quotes:
"... ...In the 1990s, he was portrayed by the far left as an agent of American imperialism, helping to foist the so-called neoliberal agenda (mass privatization, for example) on Eastern Europe. For some critics, Soros's Wall Street background has always been a mark against him. ..."
"... In one campaign rally in Budapest, Orban referred to Soros as "Uncle George," telling tens of thousands of supporters that "we are fighting an enemy that is different from us. Not open but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the world." ..."
"... I always thought George Soros was a dangerous [neo]liberal but after reading this article and seeing the damage he has created around the world it has been confirmed. ..."
"... Mr. Soros fights for all the [neo]liberal causes no matter the consequences. ..."
"... I am glad that the conservatives and others are finally seeing his true colors and are trying to subdue him the best they can. He must be called out on this negative behavior before it is too late. It is reassuring that many of the European nations are implementing policies that are favorable to their countries and looking out for their people. Europeans must be protected and George Soros stopped. I am glad they see him for what he truly is which is frightening. ..."
"... As Mr. Soros said of himself, "I am a confirmed egoist." He has used his money to make the world as he thinks is best. But having money does not give you a better moral view of how the world should be governed nor make you a god to decide for the rest of us. ..."
"... I think this kind of undue influence (money in politics) is what is driving some of the back-lash against [neo]liberal democracy. So many of the "[neo]liberal" proponents of an open society, like George Soros and Bill Gates, seem to have an inordinate power to effect political outcomes because of their money. ..."
"... Soros is an enemy of the middle and working classes in America. ..."
"... Now, more than ever, American politics is defined by money, so it's important to understand how it is used in that context by those who have it. ..."
"... What about the devastating effects that free trade and globalization have had on the spread of inequality throughout the world... Huge corporations consistently use "free trade" or globalization as an excuse to offer the lowest possible wages, and move manufacturing to places with the least environmental protections and human rights. ..."
"... Soros didn't bet on Democracy, he bet on his version of it which he tried to buy through individual politicians on the take and the Democratic Party. Better he quit manipulating pols and gave his money to charity. ..."
"... Soros is a criminal by any other name. He hedged against the UK Pound 20 years ago, and earned $1B. He earned billions by manipulating the market. With his profits he wanted to create his own society where his money could be used to buy politicians and pass legislation according to his one man agenda. He's selfish, an egomaniac, and dangerous. ..."
"... George Soros is the epitome of corruption – penetration and distortion of political process by obscene wealth. It does not matter what his true intentions are – he can say whatever he wants but we will never know for sure. And stop calling that "philanthropy". ..."
"... What Soros is doing is imposing his personal political beliefs and ideas on everybody by buying political influence with his money - that is called "corruption" pure and simple. ..."
"... What he does is not democracy promotion - it is the exact opposite – democracy destruction. It is good to know that he is failing in that effort. ..."
"... Neoliberalism has failed to improve democratic governance and reduced distribution of wealth ..."
"... What pharaonic globalist plutocrats like him mean by "Liberal Democracy" encompasses a sinister set of objectives. Prominent among which are these two: ..."
"... Full support for neocon/neoliberal destabilization, confrontation, and military interventionism. ..."
"... The destruction of borders, nations, and cultures -- particularly Western Culture here and in Europe. ..."
"... Soros and his peers want unhindered unlimited access to cheap Third World labor as well as to have complete control over the entire global economy. To his class nationalism and culture are speed bumps on the way to those self-serving goals. ..."
Aug 11, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Yet the political realm is where Soros has made his most audacious wager. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1989, he poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the former Soviet-bloc countries to promote civil society and [neo]liberal democracy. It was a one-man Marshall Plan for Eastern Europe, a private initiative without historical precedent. It was also a gamble that a part of the world that had mostly known tyranny would embrace ideas like government accountability and ethnic tolerance. In London in the 1950s, Soros was a student of the expatriated Austrian philosopher Karl Popper, who championed the notion of an "open society," in which individual liberty, pluralism and free inquiry prevailed. Popper's concept became Soros's cause.

... ... ...

...In the 1990s, he was portrayed by the far left as an agent of American imperialism, helping to foist the so-called neoliberal agenda (mass privatization, for example) on Eastern Europe. For some critics, Soros's Wall Street background has always been a mark against him.

Last autumn, he signaled that same sense of defiance when he announced that he was in the process of transferring the bulk of his remaining wealth, $18 billion in total at the time, to the O.S.F. That will potentially make it the second-largest philanthropic organization in the United States, in assets, after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is already a sprawling entity, with some 1,800 employees in 35 countries, a global advisory board, eight regional boards and 17 issue-oriented boards. Its annual budget of around $1 billion finances projects in education, public health, independent media, immigration and criminal-justice reform and other areas

... ... ...

He decided that his goal would be opening closed societies. He created a philanthropic organization, then called the Open Society Fund, in 1979 and began sponsoring college scholarships for black South African students. But he soon turned his attention to Eastern Europe, where he started financing dissident groups. He funneled money to the Solidarity strikers in Poland in 1981 and to Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia. In one especially ingenious move, he sent hundreds of Xerox copiers to Hungary to make it easier for underground publications to disseminate their newsletters. In the late 1980s, he provided dozens of Eastern European students with scholarships to study in the West, with the aim of fostering a generation of [neo]liberal democratic leaders. One of those students was Viktor Orban, who studied civil society at Oxford. From his Manhattan trading desk, Soros became a strange sort of expat anticommunist revolutionary.

... ... ...

In one campaign rally in Budapest, Orban referred to Soros as "Uncle George," telling tens of thousands of supporters that "we are fighting an enemy that is different from us. Not open but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the world." Along with the fiery speeches, there were the billboards, which featured a picture of a smiling Soros and the message, "Let's not let George Soros have the last laugh."

... ... ...

Orban's coalition won 49 percent of the vote, enough to give it a supermajority in Parliament. But the anti-Soros campaign didn't end with the election. Days after the vote, a magazine owned by a pro-Orban businesswoman published the names of more than 200 people in Hungary that it claimed were Soros "mercenaries."

... ... ...

There have been mistakes; by his own admission, Soros erred in championing Mikheil Saakashvili, the mercurial former president of Georgia, and also became too directly involved in the country's politics in the early 2000s. He clearly misjudged Orban. But as Victoria Nuland, a former American diplomat who worked for both Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton, put it when I spoke to her recently, "George is a freedom fighter."


alexander hamilton new york July 17

"Billionaire philanthropist?" Really? Does that make the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelstein "philanthropists" too, or does that label apply only to left-leaning individuals seeking political leverage many times that of the average citizen?

One citizen, 1 vote. ALL citizens should be limited to $100 contributions for their senators, representatives and the President. NO citizen should be able to contribute to a campaign in a state where he/she is not a full-time permanent resident.

And NO citizen should be able to contribute more than $100 to his/her own campaign. We don't need more Kennedys, Clintons, Bloombergs, Trumps, Perots or Forbes buying (or trying to buy) their way into public office, using their millions.

Of the people, by the people, for the people. That's the model, folks. Depart from it at your peril.

Conservative Democrat WV July 17

For a man that purportedly promotes democracy, Mr. Soros conveniently overlooked public opinion when it came to promoting open borders.

In its essence, democracy is all about the wisdom and will of those governed, and not about what a billionaire thinks is best for them.

Maqroll North Florida July 17 Times Pick

Soros--a "European at heart." Must have brought some much-needed smiles to the UK following the recent Trump Tour of Destruction. How soon we forget--in the 90s, Soros broke the pound as the Brits were trying to unify European currencies--with unfortunate conditions that weakened the effort and Soros smartly exploited.

Who can blame a globalist from crashing a poorly devised govt scheme and walking away with a cool $1B--back when a billion dollars was a lot of money? I am not the person to say whether Soros may qualify as an honest proponent of democracy, but I strongly suspect that he is a poster boy of the ultra-nationalists as they battle globalization.

In a way, Soros epitomizes the failure of globalization, which may or may not benefit the classic, labor-intensive industries of manufacturing, agriculture, construction, and mining, but always benefits, sometimes wildly, the financial "industry."

As far as I'm concerned, Soros is merely making reparations. And, sorry to say, George, it's prob too little, too late.

WPLMMT New York City July 17 Times Pick

I always thought George Soros was a dangerous [neo]liberal but after reading this article and seeing the damage he has created around the world it has been confirmed. Nigel Farage, the British politician, recently said on television that Mr. Soros is out to destroy the world. It certainly appears to be the case when you see what he did to the British and Thai economies. He was so concerned with helping immigrants and refugees that he had little regard for the citizens that actually lived in those countries that are being affected. People lost their livelihoods but that did not matter to him.

Mr. Soros fights for all the [neo]liberal causes no matter the consequences. He ... does not care who he hurts as long as he promotes his progressive agenda. He wants to allow as many immigrants to enter a nation as possible even if it adversely affects that country while he lives in luxury and is not inconvenienced by this invasion. He has billions and will probably never be touched by massive immigration.

I am glad that the conservatives and others are finally seeing his true colors and are trying to subdue him the best they can. He must be called out on this negative behavior before it is too late. It is reassuring that many of the European nations are implementing policies that are favorable to their countries and looking out for their people. Europeans must be protected and George Soros stopped. I am glad they see him for what he truly is which is frightening.

gpickard Luxembourg July 17 Times Pick

As Mr. Soros said of himself, "I am a confirmed egoist." He has used his money to make the world as he thinks is best. But having money does not give you a better moral view of how the world should be governed nor make you a god to decide for the rest of us.

I think this kind of undue influence (money in politics) is what is driving some of the back-lash against [neo]liberal democracy. So many of the "[neo]liberal" proponents of an open society, like George Soros and Bill Gates, seem to have an inordinate power to effect political outcomes because of their money.

The making of such huge amounts of money is not done with any charitable purpose. Only later, does charity come to mind.

c smith Pittsburgh July 17

Soros is an enemy of the middle and working classes in America. Yes, a billion people around the world are better off because of the forces of "globalization" (this total most definitely includes Soros himself), but millions of Americans have suffered economically as a result. GATT, NAFTA and the entire alphabet soup of trade deals have lined the pockets of the globalists, while grinding the fortunes of U.S. working and middle class laborers into dust.

Karekin USA July 17

Great article. Now, more than ever, American politics is defined by money, so it's important to understand how it is used in that context by those who have it. At this juncture, I think the American people deserve to see an expose of all those millionaires and billionaires who have and continue to support Trump. It's only fair, to lay the money trail on the table, on all sides, for everyone to see.

Tim DC area July 17 Times Pick

What about the devastating effects that free trade and globalization have had on the spread of inequality throughout the world... Huge corporations consistently use "free trade" or globalization as an excuse to offer the lowest possible wages, and move manufacturing to places with the least environmental protections and human rights.

Immigration policies are also sometimes used in ways to suppress wages, and even more worse, enacted with very little thought given to assimilation. Most of the poorer areas, or ghettoes surrounding Paris for example are populated with huge numbers of Muslim immigrants that face extremely daunting odds of fully assimilating into French culture.

While the wealthier (sometimes elite [neo]liberals) Parisians almost certainly live in gated or posh neighborhoods with hardly any immigrants as their neighbors. Despite the generous financial support Soros (and some other elites) gives to human rights causes, he rarely outright discusses some of these problems associated with free trade, globalization and mass immigration. These seeming hypocrisies and inconsistencies then become much easier fodder for those of Orban's ilk to manipulate and ultimately consolidate power.

Samuel Spade Huntsville, al July 17

Soros didn't bet on Democracy, he bet on his version of it which he tried to buy through individual politicians on the take and the Democratic Party. Better he quit manipulating pols and gave his money to charity.

Ivory Tower Colorado July 17

First, Hungary is not xenophobic, they merely want to protect their culture. Second, George Soros wants plenty of wealth for him and his family, yet he wants those of us in the middle class to dive up our meager assets with the world's poorest. Third, his personal wealth has often been generated by destroying currencies and the middle class who owns those currencies. Fourth, he promotes open borders without consulting the citizenry of said borders as to their opinion regarding their own national sovereignty. Our world would be a much better place without George Soros.

Concerned EU Resident Germany July 17

Soros is a criminal by any other name. He hedged against the UK Pound 20 years ago, and earned $1B. He earned billions by manipulating the market. With his profits he wanted to create his own society where his money could be used to buy politicians and pass legislation according to his one man agenda. He's selfish, an egomaniac, and dangerous.

geezer117 Tennessee July 17

Soros employs his vast wealth to create the society he dreams of, regardless of what the rest of us want. When the democratic process veers away from his vision, he uses the power of his wealth to steer it back.

So he's just another wealthy and powerful elite trying to remake the world as he prefers it. Such arrogance!

Rose Philadelphia July 17

Sucking money out of the world's economies so that he can direct it as HE sees fit does not make a man great. Rather, I would argue that such actions contributed to the rise of both Brexiteers and Trumpsters.

If Soros really wants to contribute to society, he would lobby for financial industry reform - less favorable tax treatment for hedge funds (what value do they really provide to society) and a transaction tax on trades to reduce speculation. Then fight for minimum wage increases.

Jonas Seattle July 17

This is a horrifying interview and does not improve the image of George Soros. "My ideology is nonideological," he says while spending billions on politics, which he defines as "In politics, you are spinning the truth, not discovering it." He describes Obama as his greatest disappointment because Obama "closed the door on me," as in he expected Obama should work with him and take his advice. Soros uses his billions to fund politicians and meddle in elections... this is a man who enjoys influencing and manipulating politics and becomes frustrated when his efforts backfire or are not successful.

Peter Albany. NY July 17

This man is the absolute worst! His no borders policy has done more to hurt Europe then Russia ever could. The Soros gang has zero respect and tolerance for nation-state sovereignty and local governance. Talk about a global elite! He and his gang epitomize that arrogance.

Marian Maryland July 17

George Soros bet big on open borders,one world governance and destroying the working class through unfair trade agreements. Yes he appears to be losing. Thank God for small favors.

Al Nino Hyde Park NY July 17

It cracks me up to read these type of article in the NYT and then read another story in the NYT about how if you can pay the money you can have yourself a private waiting area in a major airport to separate yourself from the chaos of the masses in the public waiting areas. Maybe democracy wouldn't be in trouble around the world if it worked as well for the "slobs" in the public waiting areas as it did for those in the exclusive waiting rooms. This is globalization in a nutshell. It works great for the rich, not so well for the rest of us slobs. This is a government of the rich people, by the rich people, for the rich people. The slobs realise their government doesn't really care that their jobs are disapearing and their standard of living is going down.

Charles Becker Sonoma State University July 17

I am not interested in windfall investing profits. Soros is *not* my hero: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-george-soros-broke-the-bank-of-thaila... . Wretched.

John Medina Holt July 17

To say that George Soros is funding [neo]liberal democracy is a misnomer. What Soros is funding is open borders. Where national interests are set aside, global interests prevail. This is precisely what George Soros is advocating. Tired of having to face multitude regulatory systems in his effort to build a global financial empire, Soros is quite right in discerning that a borderless, global regulatory system would increase his financial power exponentially. Nations are right to resist the encroachment of Soros because global interests, by definition, are not local interests. Nationalism, so loathed by Soros and his open border lackeys, serves as a check and balance on men like Soros who would be god and would dictate to the world from some point of central governance what their truth and value should be. George Soros and his globalist kin should be resisted. The true threat to global interests is not nationalism, it is globalism.

Richard L. Wilson Moscow, Russia July 17

Soros, and American [neo]liberalism, economic and social [neo]liberalism championed by Soros and the NYT, is in its death throes. Call us fascists, totalitarians, racists--- understand clearly: we do not care. Europe is waking up. [neo]liberalism is close to being dead. No spectres or phantoms are haunting Europe. Blood is standing up and answering our ancestors.We are not commodoties, consumers, meat for your wars. You have attacked us, belittled us, turned our queen of continents into latrines of filth. You, American [neo]liberalism, have destroyed us.Now, we take our nations back.

elizabeth renant new mexico July 17

It's amusing to read phrases like "nationalism and tribalism are resurgent". It never does to underestimate tribalism; as long as groups feel safe they are tolerant. But when groups feel threatened, tribalism rears up in what is not so much a resurgence but more like an awakening from a nap.

The older cultures of Europe are waking up from a nap and realizing that unless they reassess a few long-held assumptions, they will eventually be ethnically diminished and culturally pressured.

Denmark has banned the burka and legislated some of the harshest migration, immigration, asylum, and naturalization laws in Europe. It is implementing laws to ensure integration, including stopping benefits to families whose children are not integrating. Do the author and Mr. Soros think that Denmark exercising control over its future demographics and preserving its culture are malign?

The Danes some years ago elected the Danish People's Party to significant power; the DPP is often referred to as a far right party, but is a typical left-wing party in everything except pushing Denmark toward "multiculturalism".

Sweden's centre-left government, on the other hand, brought in hundreds of thousands of Third World immigrants and then refused even to admit, let alone discuss, the glaring problems with integration within its immigrant community.

Result: the Sweden Democrats, a bona fide neo-Nazi party, are set to do extremely and alarmingly well in Sweden's September elections.

Yes - in Sweden.

Larry Left Chicago's High Taxes July 17

This super-rich elitist from Hungary is trying to buy American democracy and reshape it in his image regardless of what We The People want. And the Democrats are on his payroll and totally owned by this foreign agent!

Burton Austin, Texas July 17

Soros' flaw is that he only tolerates centralized socialist democracy. He cannot stand the idea of democracy in the form of a federal republic with a weak central government. Interestingly, he made his billions as a predatory capitalist now he turns on capitalism. He also exhibits a particularly vicious elitism: No one should be allowed to own guns except his private security guards. He knows that umarmed men are always someone's slaves.

Ned Flarbus Berkeley July 17

Soros is a hypocrite who did one thing and is now out to create a legacy. All is shows is he is driven by both greed and ego. His blatant hypocrisy probably did more harm than good - common denominator, it's always about him. Hey Soros, don't do us plebes any more favors, ok?

Philly Expat July 17

Democracy is alive and well, regardless of what Soros thinks. He does not represent democracy, he was never been elected to any public office. He represents open borders mass migration, as the name of one of his NGOs implies, Open Society Foundation. Brexit voters, and other voters across the west are increasingly voting against his philosophy. Voters in the US, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Slovenia, etc, have democratically chosen as their leaders conservative controlled borders leaders, and to underscore, all were elected via the democratic process.

Open Borders and globalism that Soros is pushing is increasingly being rejected in voting booths in the EU and the US.

It is hardly undemocratic to increasingly vote against what Soros is selling – chaotic mass migration made possible by open borders.

He represents [neo]liberal democracy, and voters increasingly favor conservative democracy.

David Brisbane July 17

George Soros is the epitome of corruption – penetration and distortion of political process by obscene wealth. It does not matter what his true intentions are – he can say whatever he wants but we will never know for sure. And stop calling that "philanthropy".

Red Cross and Salvation Army is philanthropy. What Soros is doing is imposing his personal political beliefs and ideas on everybody by buying political influence with his money - that is called "corruption" pure and simple.

Sure, he is not the only one doing that, but he is the one doing that most overtly and blatantly. He seems to relish being the face of the elitist disregard for the masses. What he does is not democracy promotion - it is the exact opposite – democracy destruction. It is good to know that he is failing in that effort.

idimalink usa July 17

Neoliberalism has failed to improve democratic governance and reduced distribution of wealth, just as leftists predicted. Soros benefitted financially, which has increased his privilege to participate in governance voters cannot achieve. Despite Soros' wealth, successfully manipulating currency markets does not easily transfer to manipulating electorates. Even if Soros believes his projects would produce good governance, he lacks the ability to convince voters what is in their best interests.

Jose Pardinas Collegeville, PA July 18

I am elated to hear that George Soros might be losing.

What pharaonic globalist plutocrats like him mean by "Liberal Democracy" encompasses a sinister set of objectives. Prominent among which are these two:

1). Full support for neocon/neoliberal destabilization, confrontation, and military interventionism.
2). The destruction of borders, nations, and cultures -- particularly Western Culture here and in Europe.

Soros and his peers want unhindered unlimited access to cheap Third World labor as well as to have complete control over the entire global economy. To his class nationalism and culture are speed bumps on the way to those self-serving goals.

[Aug 11, 2018] Looks like Session was the insurance about which Strzok texted

Aug 11, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump attacked former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, the man at the center of the Trump dossier scandal, who had extensive contacts with the Department of Justice's former #4 ranked official, before and after the FBI opened its Trump-Russia probe in the summer of 2016, according to new emails recently turned over to Congressional investigators.

That official, Bruce Ohr, was demoted twice after the DOJ's Inspector General discovered that he lied about his involvement with opposition research firm Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson - who employed Steele. Ohr's CIA-linked wife, Nellie, was also employed by Fusion as part of the firm's anti-Trump efforts, and had ongoing communications with the ex-UK spy, Christopher Steele as well, suggesting that Steele was much closer to the Obama administration than previously disclosed, and his DOJ contact Bruce Ohr reported directly to Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates - who approved at least one of the FISA warrants to surveil Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

"The big story that the Fake News Media refuses to report is lowlife Christopher Steele's many meetings with Deputy A.G. Bruce Ohr and his beautiful wife, Nelly. It was Fusion GPS that hired Steele to write the phony & discredited Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary & the DNC.... " Trump tweeted.

"...Do you believe Nelly worked for Fusion and her husband STILL WORKS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF "JUSTICE." I have never seen anything so Rigged in my life. Our A.G. is scared stiff and Missing in Action. It is all starting to be revealed - not pretty. IG Report soon? Witch Hunt!"

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Trump's latest broadside on Steel and Ohr was likely prompted by speculation that the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is preparping subpoenas for people connected to the controversial Steele dossier. As The Hill reported earlier this week , Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is said to be preparing subpoenas for Bruce Ohr, his wife Nellie Ohr and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.

By escalating his all too public demands on AG Sessions, Trump is risking further scrutiny by Robert Mueller, who is already poring over Trump's tweets to solidify his Obstruction of justice case, while inviting a whole new set of contradictory statements by his newest attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who most recently said that Trump would be willing to sit down with Mueller if two specifics topics are not discussed:

  1. Why Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
  2. What Trump said to Comey about the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Of course, by continuing his periodic twitter attacks on Sessions, Trump makes it prohibitively difficult for Mueller to agree to those terms. Tags Multiline Utilities - NEC

Comments Vote up! 26 Vote down! 5

DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:34 Permalink

It's hard to say what's really going on behind the scenes but you'd think at some point soon that a huge and undeniable truth-bomb is revealed.

Here's a sick thought...is Session's position as Trump's AG the "insurance policy" (((they))) had in place?

If Session's isn't part of Trump's plan then he'll be gone soon enough. If Trump endlessly tolerates Session's inactivity and merely berates him periodically (just for optics) then we'll know Sessions is clandestinely working behind the scenes (w/HUBER) and this movie starts to finally get interesting.

Obama, Hillary & Co. will pay for their attempted/failed treason. But will Session's be the AG that see's it through?

#WWG1WGA

FireBrander -> Kidbuck Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:53 Permalink

Would like to hear Trump explain why Sessions still works for HIM!

The Attorney General may be removed at will by the President under the Supreme Court decision Myers v. United States ,

DingleBarryObummer -> FireBrander Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:57 Permalink

He's just trying to mess with your head and make you confused. That's what he does.

"Hit it from every angle. Open multiple fronts on your enemy. He must be confused, and feel besieged on every side."- Roger Stone's Rules (the guy who got trump elected.)

What you don't realize is WE the people are his "enemy" in that tactic above. It's gaslighting.

Here's another Stone rule

"Always praise 'em before you hit 'em."

"Politics isn't theater. It's performance art. Sometimes, for its own sake."

"Unless you can fake sincerity, you'll get nowhere in this business"

sound familiar?

Algo Rhythm -> Kidbuck Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:58 Permalink

He reads just fine but he reads what the zio-bankers and israhell gives him to read. The Administration has become such a fucking dissapointment.

loveyajimbo -> brushhog Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:49 Permalink

What does that make Trump... knowing Sessions is a disgrace and useless... but refusing to fire him? No nut-sack?

DingleBarryObummer -> Ajax-1 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:17 Permalink

https://imgur.com/a/ZQSNEBb

Prehuman Insight -> brushhog Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:53 Permalink

MetaMussolini Our golfing warthog president has picked a cabinet of semi-human dirty people who are intellectually corrupt gangsters. Trump makes worse the sorrows of the middle class.

UmbilicalMosqu -> Ajax-1 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:11 Permalink

Myers v. United States ,

Adolfsteinbergovitch -> DingleBarryObummer Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:46 Permalink

One name: Skripal.

fauxhammer -> DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:37 Permalink

Jeeesus...get on with it already. Stop your tweeting and start arresting criminals you fucking blowhard.

DingleBarryObummer -> fauxhammer Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:40 Permalink

Stop your tweeting and start arresting criminals

I guarantee you no one will go to real jail because this is not real beef. Just kabuki.

Baron von Bud -> fauxhammer Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:45 Permalink

This confirms what we've been hearing on the alt news. Sessions isn't doing his job and the criminals will get a pass. Mr. Sessions, you may not agree with the President and may feel you're acting honorably but that's a problem. You were put there to round up the criminals (your former esteemed colleagues) and didn't follow through on your duties. Step aside and let someone step up who isn't timid and let's git 'er done. Of course, that's assuming any of this was real to begin with and I have serious doubts.

the artist -> Baron von Bud Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:12 Permalink

If Hill-Obama crew are influencing AG or obstruction in other ways then that extends any statute of limitations.

Push -> DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:46 Permalink

So, do you think that Hillary and Obama are influencing mi5 and mi6 to run their operation against Trump? Or do you think it's the other way around?

brushhog -> Push Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:50 Permalink

I think it goes a lot deeper than Hillary, Obama, or any intel agencies. All the way up to the globalist western oligarchs who are scared shitless of losing control and allowing a populist movement to fuck up their racketts.

Orders come down the pike from the oligarchs through the politicans [ who's campaigns cannot be funded without the oligarchs, and who nod is needed to be accepted by either of the two parties ] and their appointed intelligentce agents, down through the media, through the special interest groups to the idiot at home watching CNN.

Miggy -> DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:48 Permalink

Very curious the MIA of Sessions and even more so the relative quiet from the Trump administration about it.

Kidbuck -> Miggy Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:52 Permalink

Who has the better home videos of Denny Hastert's last Christmas party, Trump or Sessions?

DingleBarryObummer -> DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:53 Permalink

If Session's isn't part of Trump's plan then he'll be gone soon enough. If Trump endlessly tolerates Session's inactivity and merely berates him periodically (just for optics) then we'll know Sessions is clandestinely working behind the scenes (w/HUBER) and this movie starts to finally get interesting.

We are 568 days into the presidency. THIS Is What President Trump Can Do RIGHT NOW To Fix The System. By Gregory Mannarino - YouTube

KuriousKat -> DarkPurpleHaze Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:13 Permalink

bingo..sessions was the insurance


PrintCash -> Omen IV Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:00 Permalink

Do you think that there are a lot of public servants in Washington DC who practice rule of law, hold themselves to higher ideals, are interested in promoting and spreading liberty? Tell me about them. Most Reps are just talking heads, that's all they do, appear before cameras looking like they are accomplishing shit. Same with Sessions, except now he's in a appointed position, where there's actual things to be accomplished besides finding the next donor to sell out to. But it's not called the swamp for nothing. These law abiding freedom loving so called conservatives we've been voting for are a joke, no significant gains, only slightly less aggressive rate of deterioration into a bigger state. And Session fits into that club nicely. The conservative club is the joke. I'm merely pointing it out. I'd like to be wrong, but I see no evidence of it. We're way past the tipping point, too many of us are in on the take, in one way or another, to go back, and by design.

Miggy -> PrintCash Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:50 Permalink

Nothing personal but this is wrong. Sessions is an insider and sharp as a rats tooth.

My guess is they have something on him.

chunga -> DingleBarryObummer Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:11 Permalink

Sure. It's a possibility. But then I wonder why the Awan guy walked right out the front door.

Pollygotacracker Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:38 Permalink

What has Sessions been doing? The man is A.W.O.L. They guy needs to get to work or find another job.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 -> Pollygotacracker Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:42 Permalink

Amen! I heard a sound clip of Sessions giving a speech on XM 125 a few days ago. The man can barely talk and when he does talk he sounds like a moron. A real life Forest Gump. He sounds retarded. Bad choice on the part of Trump.

It was this speech. Jeez, the lefties and fags are freaking out and saying Sessions visited a hate group. At least he slammed SPLC! https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/08/08/sessions-calls-out-southern-pove

ADF: Alliance Defending Freedom and is made of Christians. Because of that it is a hate group. The fucking commies will never stop. This PC crap that everything is hate speech and everything is racist is nonsense. I'm sick of it, quite frankly. Want to be racist? Go ahead. Want to say something hateful or stupid? Go ahead. Let the leftists freak out. I have had enough of their caterwauling!

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:40 Permalink

This is awesome: "lowlife Christopher Steele's many meetings with Deputy A.G. Bruce Ohr and his beautiful wife, Nelly." If you have seen pics of Nelly, well, she isn't beautiful. Her being married to Ohr is weird. Beyond weird. These two things do not go together!

Too funny to see Trump trolling! He's good!

Chupacabra-322 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 16:42 Permalink

Bongino just broke that suddenly Mark Warner who sits the the Senate Intelligence Committee wants to meet with Julian Assange behind closed doors.

KuriousKat -> Chupacabra-322 Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:28 Permalink

Thats interesting because waldman inserted himself with assange and did nine visits..the purpuse of that was to establish a mythical Russian bridge to Assange that would be used against him by Mueller who was exposed workin on Oleg Matter with the FBI . Oleg powed 25 M of own money..and never got his visa. Chris steele was working to Get Oleg his visa..Walman represented steele assange and Oleg...

He completed his mission..on assange then sold him down the river turning the immunity deal over to Warner...

Knowing full well Warner Comey and deepstate would trash it.

Warner is King of the Snakes..Adam was just doing what was best for his mafioso boss Olegs business. Oleg and FBI are joined at the hip.

KuriousKat Sat, 08/11/2018 - 17:13 Permalink

Sessions was the insurance. He screened everyone during the transition including halper, who was then pushed aggressively by Navarro... Its ironic that when paige , the patsy, went to the Cambridge meeting paid by Halpers connection.. Paige took it cuz no body wanted to go so he volunteered.. the guest speakers were Madelinne Albright of the Atlantic Council and Vin Weber disgraced congressman whose PR firm was scrutinized by Mueller.

Albright went to emphasize what a threat Trump and the populist movement was and how important it was to get on the transition team. No telling how many others Sessions let thru. Make no mistake.. he will be implicated in this. Trump knows what a betrayal this really was.

[Aug 11, 2018] Trumpism Has Dealt a Mortal Blow to Orthodox Economics and 'Social Science'

Notable quotes:
"... By Sanjay Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website ..."
"... Finally, interpretations of politics were too restrictive, conceptualizing citizens' political choices as based on instrumental and usually economic calculations, while indulging in a wishful account of their actual conditions -- for instance, focusing on low measured unemployment, but ignoring measures of distress and insecurity, or the indignity of living in hollowed-out communities. ..."
"... Welcome to the "New World Economic Order;" which looks suspiciously like Dickensian Predatory Capitalism. ..."
"... Just one caveat: Neoliberalism is not really market-fetishism, unless fetishism is understood as fake devotion. Neoliberalism is a State ideology of the economy, its central tenet being that the State must directly help the rich, the poor will be better off as a by-product. ..."
"... The Academy are direct and indirect employees of the State. The Ivy League are direct and indirect employees of plutocrats (thru the university endowment). The State officials are plutocrats or more commonly indirect employees of the plutocrats. What is not to like? How can the Academy be reformed, when it has been oligarchic since Plato (an oligarch) invented it the first Rand Corporation ..."
"... Steve Keen said similarly in Forbes – that once you offshore an industry it is too expensive to reinstall, and that some old factory for making furnaces cannot be retooled to make textiles, etc. even tho' you might have a comparative advantage for doing textiles – sounds like corporate raiding and big time looting more and more because once you devastate an industry you really cannot do anything economically with those facilities and those workers. ..."
"... Another factor in maintaining manufacturing in the USA is what is referred to as furthering the "next bench syndrome". This is where one is made aware of a manufacturing problem to solve due to proximity to the factory floor, and the solution leads to new profitiable products that can be used both inside/outside the original factory. ..."
"... Financialization leads to asset bubbles and deindustrialization. It hollows out industries. When money/credit are created in ever increasing quantity, the makeup of how we "work" shifts from goods producing to "finance". ..."
"... Get ready for real kleptocracy. Breitbart obscurantism + Trump/Bannon misdirection = turkeys vote for thanksgiving. ..."
"... TINA was definitely an ideology – an idea backed by interest. They were making fun of Thatcherism last nite on France 24 because it had been so devastating and now one of the candidates in France is talking her old trash again. ..."
"... "The Anti-Corn Law League was a successful political movement in Great Britain aimed at the abolition of the unpopular Corn Laws, which protected landowners' interests by levying taxes on imported wheat, thus raising the price of bread at a time when factory-owners were trying to cut wages to be internationally competitive." ..."
Nov 26, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Sanjay Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website

Grappling with the shock of Donald Trump's election victory, most analysts focus on his appeal to those in the United States who feel left behind, wish to retrieve a lost social order, and sought to rebuke establishment politicians who do not serve their interests. In this respect, the recent American revolt echoes the shock of the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, but it is of far greater significance because it promises to reshape the entire global order, and the complaisant forms of thought that accompanied it.

Ideas played an important role in creating the conditions that produced Brexit and Trump. The 'social sciences' -- especially economics -- legitimated a set of ideas about the economy that were aggressively peddled and became the conventional wisdom in the policies of mainstream political parties, to the extent that the central theme of the age came to be that there was no alternative. The victory of these ideas in politics in turn strengthened the iron-handed enforcers of the same ideas in academic orthodoxy.

It is never clear whether ideas or interests are the prime mover in shaping historical events, but only ideas and interests together can sustain a ruling consensus for a lengthy interval, such as the historic period of financialization and globalization running over the last 35 years. The role of economics in furnishing the now-rebuked narratives that have reigned for decades in mainstream political parties can be seen in three areas.

  1. First, there is globalization as we knew it. Mainstream economics championed corporate-friendly trade and investment agreements to increase prosperity, and provided the intellectual framework for multilateral trade agreements. Economics made the case for such agreements, generally rejecting concerns over labor and environmental standards and giving short shrift to the effects of globalization in weakening the bargaining power of workers or altogether displacing them; to the need for compensatory measures to aid those displaced; and more generally to measures to ensure that the benefits of growth were shared. For the most part, economists casually waved aside such concerns, both in their theories and in their policy recommendations, treating these matters as either insignificant or as being in the jurisdiction of politicians. Still less attention was paid to crafting an alternate form of globalization, or to identifying bases for national economic policies taking a less passive view of comparative advantage and instead aiming to create it.
  2. Second, there is financialization, which led to increasing disconnection between stock market performance and the real economy, with large rewards going to firms that undertook asset stripping, outsourcing, and offshoring. The combination of globalization and financialization produced a new plutocratic class of owners, managers and those who serviced them in global cities, alongside gentrification of those cities, proleterianization and lumpenization of suburbs, and growing insecurity and casualization of employment for the bulk of the middle and working class.

    Financialization also led to the near-abandonment of the 'national' industrial economy in favor of global sourcing and sales, and a handsome financial rentier economy built on top of it. Meanwhile, automation trends led to shedding of jobs everywhere, and threaten far more.

  3. All of this was hardly noticed by the discipline charged with studying the economy. Indeed, it actively provided rationales for financialization, in the form of the efficient-markets hypothesis and related ideas; for concentration of capital through mergers and acquisitions in the form of contestable-markets theory; for the gentrification of the city through attacks on rent control and other urban policies; for remaking of labor markets through the idea that unemployment was primarily a reflection of voluntary leisure preferences, etc. The mainstream political parties, including those historically representing the working and middle classes, in thrall to the 'scientific' sheen of market fetishism, gambled that they could redistribute a share of the promised gains and thus embraced policies the effect of which was ultimately to abandon and to antagonize a large section of their electorate.
  4. Third, there is the push for austerity, a recurrent trope of the 'neoliberal' era which, although not favored by all, has played an important role in creating conditions for the rise of popular movements demanding a more expansionary fiscal stance (though they can paradoxically simultaneously disdain taxation, as with Trumpism). The often faulty intellectual case made by many mainstream economists for central bank independence, inflation targeting, debt sustainability thresholds, the distortive character of taxation and the superiority of private provision of services including for health, education and welfare, have helped to support antagonism to governmental activity. Within this perspective, there is limited room for fiscal or even monetary stimulus, or for any direct governmental role in service provision, even in the form of productivity-enhancing investments. It is only the failure fully to overcome the shipwreck of 2008 that has caused some cracks in the edifice.

The dominant economic ideas taken together created a framework in which deviation from declared orthodoxy would be punished by dynamics unleashed by globalization and financialization. The system depended not merely on actors having the specific interests attributed to them, but in believing in the theory that said that they did. [This is one of the reasons that Trumpism has generated confusion among economic actors, even as his victory produced an early bout of stock-market euphoria. It does not rebuke neoliberalism so much as replace it with its own heretical version, bastard neoliberalism, an orientation without a theory, whose tale has yet to be written.]

Finally, interpretations of politics were too restrictive, conceptualizing citizens' political choices as based on instrumental and usually economic calculations, while indulging in a wishful account of their actual conditions -- for instance, focusing on low measured unemployment, but ignoring measures of distress and insecurity, or the indignity of living in hollowed-out communities.

Mainstream accounts of politics recognized the role of identities in the form of wooden theories of group mobilization or of demands for representation. However, the psychological and charismatic elements, which can give rise to moments of 'phase transition' in politics, were altogether neglected, and the role of social media and other new methods in politics hardly registered. As new political movements (such as the Tea Party and Trumpism in the U.S.) emerged across the world, these were deemed 'populist' -- both an admission of the analysts' lack of explanation, and a token of disdain. The essential feature of such movements -- the obscurantism that allows them to offer many things to many people, inconsistently and unaccountably, while serving some interests more than others -- was little explored. The failures can be piled one upon the other. No amount of quantitative data provided by polling, 'big data', or other techniques comprehended what might be captured through open-eyed experiential narratives. It is evident that there is a need for forms of understanding that can comprehend the currents within the human person, and go beyond shallow empiricism. Mainstream social science has offered few if any resources to understand, let alone challenge, illiberal majoritarianism, now a world-remaking phenomenon.

Trumpism is a crisis for the most prestigious methods of understanding economic and social life, ennobled and enthroned by the metropolitan academy of the last third of a century. It has caused mainstream 'social science' to fall like a house of cards. It can only save itself through comprehensive reinvention, from the ground up.


ambrit , November 26, 2016 at 4:39 pm

You are onto something here. I always wondered if the suppression of wages would lead to a decline in the population of people even willing to learn a task due to a perceived lack of incentive to make the effort. This would work alongside a seldom mentioned fact; the limits to the supply of appropriately skilled "foreigners" to perform a task.

The resultant mix must be generating an industry of active recruiters in foreign lands for in demand, for less, skill sets. I would lay money on the bet that eventually, things will reach the point where criminal activities make more sense than the miserable jobs on offer.

watermelonpunch , November 27, 2016 at 12:59 am

"I always wondered if the suppression of wages would lead to a decline in the population of people even willing to learn a task due to a perceived lack of incentive to make the effort."

Just from what I've seen & heard I'm pretty sure that's already happened with CNC machinists, and it's happening with CDLs, and starting to happen with CNAs.

ambrit , November 27, 2016 at 8:30 am

"I'm pretty sure that's happened with CNC machinists." One of my neighbours is a CNC machinist. He is presently working "free lance" because the company he was associated with was bought by a Taiwanese concern and all the skilled labour, previously in house, was out sourced. After a couple of years of near disasterous "production," the company re-shored the more technical work, but as sub contract labour.

Now Jack receives regularly spaced "jobs" from the company to do what was previously done in house. Naturally, now Jack and his fellow "free tradesmen" have to supply all the incidental work involved, such as quarterly taxes, insurance if any, self supplied "workers comp," of a sort, and most importantly, the actual machinery to do the work. Even a used CNC machine is a pretty big investment for an individual.

Jack's CNC machine is almost as big as a Volkswagen Beetle. Jack was "lucky" insofar as he was already trained to do this work. Others needs rely on the support of small businesses in this "Engineering Trade," or go into debt to learn the process at a technical college. Then, as Jack has remarked, there is no set schedule nor guaranteed contract. The ultimate "craps shoot."

Welcome to the "New World Economic Order;" which looks suspiciously like Dickensian Predatory Capitalism.

RepubAnon , November 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm

Sounds like a classic supply/demand curve: the lower the price, the lower the supply and the greater the demand. As many have noted – perhaps higher wages would increase the number of job applicants.

However, skilled workers aren't widgets – they need to be trained. Companies don't want to invest in training, and students don't want to take out all those student loans without some assurance that there'll be a job which pays enough to pay off the loans and still have enough left over to put food on the table and have a roof over their heads. Thus, it takes time to bring more skilled workers on-line, and by then, the demand may have evaporated.

Public schools investing in training workers would help – but that would mean raising taxes to pay for them – and Grover would get angry.

Procopius , November 27, 2016 at 10:24 am

I think some states are seeing a shortage of teachers because of the way they've demonized the teaching profession and cut wages for the last fifteen years.

bmeisen , November 27, 2016 at 3:32 am

That was front page on the Wall St Journal Europe a couple days ago – a jaw-drop moment. The voice of business effectively calling for a larger pool of voiceless dirt-cheap laborers to dismantle the social contract. Clearly the management class has no fear of suffering consequences, like maybe even higher crime rates (their native victims not the illegals the perps), dystopic civics, encapsulation, culture = branding. are those undocumented roofers in code with that left over sealing? you bet! management has got them by the cajones.

The Cleaner , November 26, 2016 at 8:01 pm

I don't think these were considered "immigrant proof" as much as "outsourcing proof" which makes sense if you think about it.

Sandy , November 26, 2016 at 10:12 am

Important to note there's quite a lot of Europeans who stay illegally in the US by entering on the visa waiver program as tourists and simply overstaying. Irish and Eastern Europeans especially. If you're in the Northeast it's common to see Irishmen working maintenance jobs at buildings here, or as bartenders or other cash jobs – 90% are going to be out of status. But this issue gets almost zero media attention.

bmeisen , November 27, 2016 at 3:45 am

Citizen registration (cr) would effectively end illegal immigration in the US. Once you get past the immigration control at the airport you are in. access to relevant services is possible without having to prove citizenship/legality. It is insane and/or perversely clever that illegals can get drivers licenses, ss#s, use dumps, open bank accounts, receive water and electrical services, even pay taxes without having to out themselves.

The only barrier is at the border and Trump is gonna make it really big! hahaha.

To receive any municipal service, including registering to vote, it should be necessary to be registered at city hall, anytime you change address you have to renew your registration, standard practice in eur social democracies.

Boris , November 27, 2016 at 1:46 pm

The thing to do is try to push the actual numbers of people trying to immigrate here down, by ceasing to ruin their home countries. No one's ever even tried that.

You are on the right path Tim.

Any of you notice this shift in economic possibilities from Russia?

Excerpt:

The Stolypin Group

The third group represented was the one most Western observers ridiculed and dismissed, with the US Pentagon-linked Stratfor referring to them as a "strange collective." I have personally met and talked with them and they are hardly strange to anyone with a clear moral mind.

This is the group which after two months has emerged with the mandate from Vladimir Putin to lay out their plans to boost growth again in Russia.

The group is in essence followers of what the great almost-forgotten 19th Century German economist, Friedrich List, would call "national economy" strategies. List's national economy historical-based approach was in direct counter-position to the then-dominant British Adam Smith free trade school.

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/putin-nyet-neo-liberals-da-nationa

Friedrich List happens to be a contemporary of an economist I like, our homegrown American economist, Henry George. They share this website

http://www.truefreetrade.org/list.htm (LIST)

http://www.truefreetrade.org/pftindex.htm (GEORGE)

Overview http://www.truefreetrade.org/amap.htm

And now this.

http://russia-insider.com/en/putin-finally-purging-medvedev-government/r

Can we find some common ground in this demographic driven trade problem?

De`tante (Steady State) trade, lack of traditional "growth" yet more abundance and sanity? Can we defeat demographic trends with a better monetary system? There is plenty of need, is that not unfulfilled demand?

We see massive malinvestment and over capacity right now, so some common sense like List and George sounds good to me.

http://www.truefreetrade.org/

Forward Comrades ;-)

oh , November 27, 2016 at 9:17 am

I thought it's not possible to get a driver's license without a green card or US citizenship since they changed the laws after 9/11. If this is true, one cannot get a SS No., open a bank a/c etc. Mexicans and others who cross the border w/o papers are unable to open a bank a/c and therefore pay big fees to Amex for money orders.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this.

Bill H , November 27, 2016 at 11:18 am

Not all states adopted the OpenID law which requires this, and the federal government cannot impose it since it imposes a financial cost on the states without compensating benefit. There are federal punishments for not adopting it, but states are fighting it.

Watermelon , November 28, 2016 at 12:44 am

In my state you need legal presence docs and proof of residence in the state, at least a student visa for example, to get a drivers license. And then the info is checked against the federal govt Save request.

I think the post office and drug stores sell money orders without id? Certainly without perm res status.

I think bank accounts can be opened at least at some banks with a foreign passport and maybe an itin number.

Dignan , November 26, 2016 at 2:38 pm

I'm told by my father that in Berkely Springs, West Virginia, men can get haircuts for as little as $1.75. Perhaps these are eastern European barbers? More likely it is simply a product of the crushing desperation we see in our broken economy. But hey, unemployment is under 5% so everything's fine, right? The dismal science indeed.

Ruben , November 26, 2016 at 6:20 am

Neoliberalism -> c(Globalization, Financialization, Austerity)

Just one caveat: Neoliberalism is not really market-fetishism, unless fetishism is understood as fake devotion. Neoliberalism is a State ideology of the economy, its central tenet being that the State must directly help the rich, the poor will be better off as a by-product.

So if the push of the populace is strong enough, a new State ideology of the economy (aka mainstream economic dogma) would develop around the concepts of Self-suficiency (as opposed to Globalization), Industrialism (as opposed to Financialization), and Stimulus (as opposed to Austerity). Probably MMT has something to say about the latter, but what about Self-sufficiency and Industrialism?

BecauseTradition , November 26, 2016 at 10:26 am

its central tenet being that the State must directly help the rich, the poor will be better off as a by-product. Ruben

Yes, government-subsidized* private credit creation being a (the?) prime example of this.

*e.g. forcing the poorer to lend (a deposit is legally a loan) to banks to lower the borrowing costs of the more so-called creditworthy, the richer, or else be limited to dealing with unsafe, inconvenient physical fiat, cash.

animalogic , November 28, 2016 at 12:08 am

The old refrain -- Welfare for the 1%, the "free market" for the rest

Disturbed Voter , November 26, 2016 at 8:33 am

The Academy are direct and indirect employees of the State. The Ivy League are direct and indirect employees of plutocrats (thru the university endowment). The State officials are plutocrats or more commonly indirect employees of the plutocrats. What is not to like? How can the Academy be reformed, when it has been oligarchic since Plato (an oligarch) invented it the first Rand Corporation

cocomaan , November 26, 2016 at 8:47 am

Remember, though, that neoliberal social sciences now insists that everything is "post fact". "Post fact" society. "Anti intellectualism". And so on.

Synoia , November 26, 2016 at 11:30 am

We can look forward to too post-neoliberslism . -- which would be liberalism, as the post and neo cancel out.

Damian , November 26, 2016 at 9:27 am

Tell me where you want to go and I'll provide the selective facts and the subjective interpretation of those facts to reach the desired conclusions = Economists

-- - or merely arbitrarily change the cell definitions in excel as Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff.

As early as 1967 Greenspan was well known as an academic whore and a Rockefeller Puppet which now is a vast army of dial up opinions.

fresno dan , November 26, 2016 at 9:31 am

From the article:

"Ideas played an important role in creating the conditions that produced Brexit and Trump. The 'social sciences' -- especially economics -- legitimated a set of ideas about the economy that were aggressively peddled and became the conventional wisdom in the policies of mainstream political parties, to the extent that the central theme of the age came to be that there was no alternative. The victory of these ideas in politics in turn strengthened the iron-handed enforcers of the same ideas in academic orthodoxy."

Yesterday I posted a link from Krugman saying that manufacturing CANNOT be restored in the US.

Not that laws, rules, trade agreements make it difficult, but that something akin to the "arrow of time" or entropy prevents it – " that there was no alternative." Which is why I so vehemently disagree with the man. 1st, economics is not a physical science. 2nd, the loss of manufacturing in this country is due to man made conventions. Men made the rules, men can unmake the rules.

Just like prohibition was thought to be a good idea, but with the passage of time, it was revealed that whatever benefits arise of not drinking, it is more than offset by the setbacks.

I used to believe in "free trade" – but a thing called reality whacked me upside the head and disabused me of the notion. Whether GDP is going up fast enough or not, there is overwhelming evidence that the vast majority of GDP is not distributed to the 90% of the members of society.

Like a lot of things, we did the experiment – it doesn't work, but a few who gain advantage by that state of affairs want it to continue. The emperor has been exposed as having no clothes, and once you see the nakedness, you can't unsee it.

vlade , November 26, 2016 at 12:45 pm

of course you could institute that all manufacturng used 1960s technology – or maybe even 1860s, that would generate even more jobs.
short of doing that, todays higly automated factory will use about tenth of blue collar workforce than in 1960s with the same productivity but creating much more complex products.

I've seen reshoring happen (into compartively high labour cost country) and it created a thousand jobs or so. the previus offshoring costed close to five or six thousands iirc.

edr , November 27, 2016 at 9:26 pm

Because 'selective facts' and 'neoliberal narrative' and 'corporate funding' blinded him maybe

vlade , November 28, 2016 at 6:13 pm

I doubt that you'd wish for the US workers to have 10k or less annual salary – because that is what the Chinese get (10k is about the average salary for a worker at one of the plants making Apple gadgets, and that involves almost continuous overtime. IIRC, the hourly rate is something like $1.80. Oh, and there's no health or social insurance).

I suggest you investigate why the UK was the birthplace of industrial revolution and the Continent wasn't (hint – the UK labour costs were order(s) of magnitude higher than say in France or Germany. It just didn't make sense to invest in up-front expensive capital goods when you could get reams of very cheap labour instead).

And, in fact, the QE and ZIRP made it even worse, because before that you'd to cost the capital at much more than labour, while now you can get money for literally nothing (assuming you want to use it for something, like capital goods). At the same time, the companies run locally optimal, but globally bad strategy of holding on the money, failing to recognise that for people to spend, they have to earn first. The supply economic mantra "if you make it cheap enough, someone will buy" fails to recognise that shopping basket of most people is very much skewed towards food, energy and housing, leaving limited buffer for other goods – so the "cheap enough" may have to be "free" or "near free" in the environment of falling real wages.

But I'd be happy for you to provide examples of re-shored operations where the number of jobs created were the same (assuming the same quality of jobs) or comparable to the number of jobs lost by offshoring before.

I don't have US numbers, but I can give you UK ones. In 1970s, UK car manufacturing industry employed about 500k people. That number has been steadily dropping and today it's about 140k total between all manufacturers (you may see some sources use number as high as 750k – but that generally includes anyone who has anything to do with cars, like car salesmen, garage staff etc. – not just car manufacturers. I don't have a reliable comparable number for 1970, so use manufacturers only).

In 1970, UK manufactured about 2m cars, in 2014 it was about 1.6m. The loss of 400k is almost entirely covered by the loss of commercial vehicles capacity – personal cars are at the same level.

So, the UK car industry lost about 70% of its jobs, but only 20% of its output. And the cars it manufactures today are mostly driveable unlike say Austin Allegro.

The situation is not that much different elsewhere. Yves run an article on Trump making US coal "great again" – and the conclusion was the same – it will never employ the same number of people at the same salaries.

John Wright , November 26, 2016 at 1:07 pm

I work in the electronics industry and had a minor observation point for some of the outsourcing of electronics manufacturing from the USA to, primarily, Asia, starting in the late 1980's. At first USA employees were told not to worry as only excess capacity would be built overseas. But, that was proven to be an optimistic(?) statement, as even the managers making these statements also disappeared.

If one looks at the value of raw electronic "ingredients" produced in Asia, for example, Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), one can see how much capacity has been built up overseas.

Here are some numbers pulled from report I have access to:

So Asia produces 18.55 x as much dollar volume of PCBs than North America (Canada + USA)

In my simple minded labor model, when a country allows very free migration of capital overseas, importation of foreign workers by migration or temporary visas and outsourcing of labor by computer networks to overseas workers, it seems implausible one would argue that USA wages would not tend lower in response.

But we have Obama and numerous economists, pushing the Free Trade mantra, via TPP, as good for American workers.

And a further factor is the US military and State Department strive to make it safer for American businesses to function anywhere in the world, lowering business risk while pitching increased national security to the USA population (who bears the military cost).

It will be difficult to bring American manufacturing back, especially when the alleged high paying white collar college jobs are pushed as the solution to USA wage stagnation.

susan the other , November 26, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Steve Keen said similarly in Forbes – that once you offshore an industry it is too expensive to reinstall, and that some old factory for making furnaces cannot be retooled to make textiles, etc. even tho' you might have a comparative advantage for doing textiles – sounds like corporate raiding and big time looting more and more because once you devastate an industry you really cannot do anything economically with those facilities and those workers.

Which explains why after clever men like Mitt Romney finish with your corporation's takeover nobody dashes in to re-up something new. Like pulling a tree out by its roots and then expecting it to grow into some kinda shrub.

a different chris , November 26, 2016 at 9:09 pm

Well I like Steve Keen but he and PK are finally on the same page, where neither knows not what the f he is talking about.

A lot of "offshoring" of the steel industry happened as the US plants themselves were passing the "invest or wind down" point in their life. Since the US labor force was considered intractable and foreign governments had much newer facilities the TPTB in steel just punted on US manufacturing.

I am going to try to find a link, but there was a lot of debate between the union and US Steel (? one of them? ) about building a continuous caster plant in the 70's. Foreign companies had them, we didn't. I think they didn't, but the point is the, all other things being equal, any plants of any type of manufacturing go thru the same technological vs ageing cycle, and the US is as likely to gain "back" -- quotes because like continuous casting, it's steelmaking but not the same as before -- an industry as it is to have lost it in the first place. Factories like to be located where they make sense.

And what is all this about "well they don't need anybody in manufacturing, it's all gonna be machines now". Yeah, right. Been on a manufacturing floor lately? People have yet to be born that are going to be working in something called "manufacturing". And if the machines cut the work need by 10x, we may well need 10x as much stuff as long as it is the right stuff.

Well, if we had universal heathcare and Germanic trade education, but that would require elections not between carrot-heads and Queen Wannabes.

nothing but the truth , November 26, 2016 at 9:26 pm

hang on. why can manufacturing work in germany but not in the US?

Octopii , November 27, 2016 at 12:06 am

Because they have a skilled trade education track, and manufacturing is a respected occupation that one can raise a family doing. Because of the high-skill labor base, Germany can make high-margin products that the rest of the world wants to import.

From very early, all German kids are encouraged to build things and take things apart, and they are given this opportunity even in urban areas at special "building playgrounds" that have hammers, nails, and wood. How is a poor American kid in a housing project going to do this? He's not, and even if he does have a clue what to do with a tool someone hands him on the job, he won't have the deep fundamental background to use it well without a long period of training and screwups -- the kind of period he would have already gotten through while growing up.

American small businesses that require skilled technicians are desperate for them. We literally cannot grow our businesses because of labor constraints.

Procopius , November 27, 2016 at 11:02 am

Since I am not an economist nor a historian probably I should restrain myself, but if you look at the history of labor relations in Germany you might notice that Bismark, not exactly a bleeding heart, believed that it was in the nation's interest to have a healthy, well-fed, well-educated populace. They not only made better workers, they made better soldiers. Then from the 1890s onward Socialism was much better regarded in Germany than it ever has been in the U.S. I speculate that there is a desire for fairness that has deeper roots in German culture than in American culture -- which is not particularly homogenous anyway.

PlutoniumKun , November 27, 2016 at 6:01 am

Even more than Germany, Switzerland, with its very strong currency and high labour costs still has a huge and growing manufacturing sector.

Anonymous , November 27, 2016 at 2:28 pm

Nobody wants to hear this, but manufacturing profit margins, according to Bruce Greenwald of Columbia Business School, are plummeting around the world. Globalization has hit its peak without our recognizing the fact and without our help. Fifty years from now, most of the things we buy will be made within fifty miles of our homes. In twenty years, we won't be admiring the German system.

http://blog.supplysideliberal.com/post/122394899914/bruce-greenwald-the-death-of-manufacturing-the

likbez , November 26, 2016 at 10:37 pm

I used to respect Krugman during Bush II presidency. His columns at this time looked like on target for me. No more.

Now I view him as yet another despicable neoliberal shill. I stopped reading his columns long ago and kind of always suspect his views as insincere and unscientific. In this particular case the key question is about maintaining the standard of living which can be done only if manufacturing even in robotic variant is onshored and profits from it re-distributed in New Deal fashion. Technology is just a tool. There can be exception for it but generally attempts to produce everything outside the US and then sell it in the USA lead to proliferation of McJobs and lower standard of living. Creating robotic factories in the USA might not completely reverse the damage, but might be a step in the right direction. The nations can't exist by just flipping hamburgers for each other.

Actually there is a term that explains well behavior of people like Krugman and it has certain predictive value as for the set of behaviors we observe from them. It is called Lysenkoism and it is about political control of science.

See, for example:

Yves in her book also touched this theme of political control of science. It might be a good time to reread it. The key ideas of "ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism " are still current.

John Wright , November 27, 2016 at 9:34 am

Another factor in maintaining manufacturing in the USA is what is referred to as furthering the "next bench syndrome". This is where one is made aware of a manufacturing problem to solve due to proximity to the factory floor, and the solution leads to new profitiable products that can be used both inside/outside the original factory.

This might be an improved process or an improvement in manufacturing tooling that had not been anticipated before.

New products will be created with their profits/knowledge flowing to the country hosting the manufacturing plants.

The USA seems to be on a path of "we can create dollars and buy anything we want from people anywhere in the world".

Manufacturing dollars and credit rather than real goods might prove very short sighted if dollars are no longer prized.

Perhaps the TPP, with its ISDS provisions, indicates that powerful people understand this is coming and want additional wealth extraction methods from foreign countries.

Boris , November 27, 2016 at 4:44 pm

We got ECONned all right. It goes back to the late 1800's.

Actus Purus , November 26, 2016 at 10:35 am

The author mentions globalization and financialization. But what seems to be always left out (and given a pass) in these discussions is the role of central banks and monetary policy.

Central banking policy (always creating more money/credit) lies at the nexus of almost all that is wrong with modern capitalism and is the lubricant and fuel that enables financialization's endless growth.

Financialization leads to asset bubbles and deindustrialization. It hollows out industries. When money/credit are created in ever increasing quantity, the makeup of how we "work" shifts from goods producing to "finance".

Then through globalization, what we lack in goods, foreigners who accept our paper, seem to provide. At least for now. In a closed system, financialization has its natural limits. But enabled by cross-border trade, it metastasizes.

In the short run, it appears to be a virtuous circle. We print paper. They make real stuff. They take our paper. We take their stuff. We feel very clever.

But over time, wealth inequality grows. Industries are hollowed out. The banking sector dominates.

And then we get a populist uprising because people realize "something is wrong".

But mistakenly, they think it's globalization. Or free trade. Or capitalism. When all along, it's just central banking. Central banks are the problem. Central bankers are the culprits.

BecauseTradition , November 26, 2016 at 4:56 pm

Central banks are the problem. Actus Purus

Yes, insofar as they create fiat for the private sector since that is obviously violation of equal protection under the law in favor of the banks and the rich.

Otoh, all citizens, their businesses, etc. should be allowed to deal directly in their nation's fiat in the form of account balances at the central bank or equivalent and not be limited to unsafe, inconvenient physical fiat, a.k.a. cash.

IDG , November 27, 2016 at 4:12 am

Central banks are part of the problem, but not because any of the things you say. Abandon monetarism, is just wrong, on everything.

CB's do not control the rates effectively during the upturns (they are just procyclical as they add to savings though higher rates).

CB's "creating money" would mean loanable funds theory is right, but as it has been demonstrated over and over it's horribly wrong. Banks suffice themselves to expand credit on upturns, and CB'ers can do nothing about it. On downturns they cna try, and fail, because the appetite for credit is just not there. Credit expansion and contraction is endogenous and apart of of what CB's do, not to speak about all the forms of shadow money which are the real outliers and trouble makers.

What CB's do, in practice, is to prevent capitalism from collapsing on crisis, making "bad money" good, by stabilising asset prices. All their tools are reactive, not pro-active, so they cannot create any condition, because they react to conditions. They neither set the rates in reality, nor "create money" that enters the real economy in any meaningful way.

The religion of "central bankism" is part of the problem, but as it is the religion of "monetarism" (which are the same) on which many of those ideas are based.

BecauseTradition , November 27, 2016 at 9:40 am

Banks suffice themselves to expand credit on upturns, and CB'ers can do nothing about it IDG

Yes, "loans create deposits" but only largely virtual liabilities wrt to the non-bank private sector. We should fix that by allowing the non-bank private sector to deal with reserves too then it would be much more dangerous for banks to create liabilities since bank runs would be as easy and convenient as writing a check to one's cb account or equivalent. Of course, government provided deposit insurance could then be abolished too since accounts at the cb or equivalent are inherently risk-free.

Our system is a dangerous mess because of privileges for depository institutions – completely unnecessary privileges given modern computers and communications.

Actus Purus , November 27, 2016 at 9:42 am

In other words, another "pass" for central banks. It's not their fault. It's just the economy. It's how "markets" work.

stefan , November 26, 2016 at 10:38 am

Get ready for real kleptocracy. Breitbart obscurantism + Trump/Bannon misdirection = turkeys vote for thanksgiving.

Welcome to government of the billionaires, by the billionaires, for the billionaires.

btw, if Giuliani is appointed to a cabinet post, he will have to explain his foreknowledge of the NY FBI→Kallstrom→Comey connection→to Congress under oath (if they aren't too afraid to ask).

a different chris , November 26, 2016 at 9:15 pm

I worry along with you, but again: When somebody Ms DeVos opens her mouth people just naturally recoil. Trump doesn't seem to have grasped the only thing that mattered in his election – you want your enemies to suck. His appointees are people that suck. Hillary would have appointed smooth-talkers who could effortlessly move between "private and public" positions.

PS: Paul Ryan is a good counterexample – people fall for his BS because he isn't quite a stupid as, say Guiliani. Of course he was elected, not picked by Trump.

Robert Dannin , November 26, 2016 at 10:41 am

mr reddy solves the riddle of the Great Refusal but doesn't far enough: certainly mainstream economists were wrong to act as cheerleaders for the kleptocracy, yet they were also complicit in a material sense by furnishing all the necessary algorithms to boost the derivatives industry into the realm of corporate cyber-theft. that genie isn't going back into bottle. what's in store for us then? economic apartheid. just read what the new team has been saying about walls, guns, police, military and terrorism. the bannon plan is for heavily policed gated communities monopolizing vital resources; high surveillance, rights abatement zones for the proletariat; and a free-fire wilderness of lumpen gangsters, gun-toting vigilantes, survivalist cults, etc. competing for subsistence. mad max, only run by people worse than mel gibson. close to what we already have but once legislated into existence impossible to reverse without a violent revolution. once again mr. reddy is correct: hobbes' leviathan is the negation of social science.

Waldenpond , November 26, 2016 at 11:39 am

hmmmm .. Trump said quite a few contradictory things during his campaign and it would seem an error to believe anything a candidate says on either side of an issue. Have the Koch brothers (who are involved w/Trump) been particularly unhappy with the numerous billions they've accumulated under Obama? I expect this regime to be more along the 'different globalization' side (more a shuffling of the deck chairs on the Titanic). Manufacturing will be back in relation to the degree – penalties are eliminated on 'repatriated' funds, land is eminent domained on behalf of oligarchs, private profit is granted primacy over pollution, then build their factories with public money and abolish the minimum wage. Austerity will continue but the new con will be private/public partnerships. Don't you want to buy you friend/family member/neighbor a job? Don't you?

The elite, including the Trump's, are going to continue their actions until they've taken it all.

Wendell Fitzgerald , November 26, 2016 at 1:06 pm

Since you mention land you might be interested in the idea of land value taxation a way to take the land back from the oligarchs an idea that has been around for a long time assiduously ignored by folks like Naked Capitalism.

JEHR , November 26, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Mr. Fitzgerald, if you search in NC for "land value taxation" you will see many articles, especially from Mr. Hudson. NC has thoroughly covered a lot of territory regarding this topic.

a different chris , November 26, 2016 at 9:24 pm

Yes you could probably catch us restlessly muttering "Henry George" in our sleep half the time.

The problem is it's a really, really hard sell. It just sounds funny. Pittsburgh actually had it until a few years ago when it was "discovered" and before there was even a discussion the Democratic mayor and City Council who should have known better had rescinded it before anybody got a chance to say anything.

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

" during 2001 after years of underassessment, and the system was abandoned in favor of the traditional single-rate property tax. The tax on land in Pittsburgh was about 5.77 times the tax on improvements."

To be good Russian plants, we do actually need to know things about Amerika

Anyway, here's the problem: people just voted for a billionaire how you gonna get this type of taxation approved given the Pittsburgh example?

Allegorio , November 26, 2016 at 11:24 pm

It seems to be forgotten that this was a vote against Clinton and not a vote for Trump. If Trump goes back on his progressive platform, jobs jobs jobs there will be a backlash so fast that it will give everyone, especially the billionaires whiplash. Let them touch one hair on Social Security's head or privatize Medicare, there will be another big surprise in the mid-term elections. When the good people of the rust belt find out about the plans to put rentier tolls on all that public infrastructure, trust me the pitchforks will come out from their corners quick as you blink The best laid plans of billionaires and their lackeys often go awry. The curtain has been lifted. If Trump thinks he can satisfy the working class by giving another huge tax break to the .01%, he better think again. They do not have enough rubber bullets nor pepper spray.

Michael , November 27, 2016 at 3:38 am

Nah, as long as Trump keeps blaming folks of color, he's got a good six years. You overestimate the people of Flyover. Yes, they got hosed by Obama, but they've been electing Republicans to flog them for 30 years.

Lambert Strether , November 27, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Speaking of blaming

I love the Democrat attitude that "Democrats can never fail. They can only be failed," in this case by approximately 50% of the population.

Anonymous , November 27, 2016 at 2:53 pm

It's a hard sell for good reason. Many Americans are land rich and cash poor. The idea that they'd have to sell property to pay such a tax offends even the simplest conception of sound land planning. If a lot more property came on the market at once, as it would have to under the land tax scheme, we'd be Japan all over again.

BecauseTradition , November 27, 2016 at 11:41 am

Taxes should be unavoidable to avoid violating equal protection under the law and land taxes are certainly unavoidable in that land can't be hidden as income, for example, can be.

Another unavoidable tax, except for the existence of physical fiat* (notes and coins), would be a tax on fiat, i.e. negative interest.

*Yet these can be taxed when bought and sold to the central bank with/for "reserves"**
**Just another name for fiat account balances at the central bank when the account owners are depository institutions.

animalogic , November 28, 2016 at 1:11 am

Here's a few old fashioned & long derided ideas for taxes:

I'm sure we could add a couple dozen more tax ideas to the list. (The idea is not surpluses, but to reduce inequality )

BecauseTradition , November 28, 2016 at 9:17 am

but to reduce inequality ) animalogic

The goal should be to reduce injustice – preferably at its source. And the source of much injustice is surely government privileges for private credit creation and other welfare for the rich such as positive interest paying sovereign debt.

Still, there's previous injustice to deal with so asset redistribution should be on the table too and that could include taxing the rich to give to the poor – certainly not to run a surplus (or even a balanced budget) as you say.

Altandmain , November 26, 2016 at 11:47 am

Mainstream analysts don't want to recognize the real problem. They failed the people have lost their legitimacy to govern.

Not saying Trump is the solution (I'm hoping for a solution from the left and think that Trump could enable his cronies, but nothing else), but the Establishment is unworthy to govern.

Wendell Fitzgerald , November 26, 2016 at 1:24 pm

A solution that most people would consider being from the left but which is the radical center (taking valid ideas from both left and right) is land value taxation the wedge issue to tax the various sources of unearned income (estimated at 40+% of GNP however you determine it) thus allowing for the elimination of taxation of earned income from wages and profit from the investment of real capital in the real economy. Taxing community created land value and making the distinction between earned and unearned income has been assiduously ignored and avoided by mainstream economists, most of our vaunted/sainted public intellectuals and sources like naked capitalism but since all of that has failed there is nothing to lose by considering what this author, Sanjay Reddy, says is necessary: "It [social science] can only save itself through comprehensive reinvention, from the ground up." I suggest that the this has already been done literally from the ground up by the analysis that has been around for a very long time that takes land, how its value is created, who owns it and what happen when you tax its value into account. Happy day.

Rosario , November 26, 2016 at 12:45 pm

We finally made it to the post-modern wasteland. It is pretty weird to see the post-modern methods used by social scientists for decades to dissect culture actually manifest in practiced culture.

susan the other , November 26, 2016 at 1:14 pm

TINA was definitely an ideology – an idea backed by interest. They were making fun of Thatcherism last nite on France 24 because it had been so devastating and now one of the candidates in France is talking her old trash again. Humor is effective against ideology when all else fails but it takes a while. But as defined above, we actually do have an alternative – our current alternative is "illiberal majoritarianism". Sounds a tad negative. We should just use the word "democracy".

pzoellner , November 26, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Excellent thinking. Thanks to all

Sound of the Suburbs , November 26, 2016 at 2:39 pm

The problem with free trade, a historical lesson:

"The Anti-Corn Law League was a successful political movement in Great Britain aimed at the abolition of the unpopular Corn Laws, which protected landowners' interests by levying taxes on imported wheat, thus raising the price of bread at a time when factory-owners were trying to cut wages to be internationally competitive."

The landowners wanted to increase their profit by charging a higher price for corn, but this posed a barrier to international free trade in making UK wage labour uncompetitive by raising the cost of living for workers.

In a free trade world the cost of living needs to be the same in West and East as this sets the wage levels.

The US has probably been the most successful in making its labour force internationally uncompetitive with soaring costs of housing, healthcare and student loan repayments.

These costs all have to be covered by wages and US businesses are now squealing about the high minimum wage.

US labour can never compete with Eastern labour and will have to be protected by tariffs.

Free trade has requirements and you must meet them before you can engage in free trade.

The cost of living needs to be the same in West and East.

BecauseTradition , November 27, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Assume, for the sake of argument, that all assets in the West were equally owned by its citizens? Then wouldn't free trade with the East be a universal blessing for the citizens of the West and not a curse for some (actually many) of them?

So the problem is unjust asset distribution? But how could that occur if our economic system is just? Except it isn't just since government subsidies for private credit creation are obviously unjust in that the poor are forced to lend (a deposit is legally a loan) to banks for the benefit of the rich.

Oregoncharles , November 27, 2016 at 1:31 pm

A technical note, to avoid possible confusion: "corn" in British means wheat and other small grains – a "corn" is a kernel. Maize was not a big factor in Britain; too far north.

Otherwise, good point.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 26, 2016 at 2:43 pm

There are two certainties in life – death and taxes.

There are two certainties about new versions of capitalism; they work well for a couple of decades before failing miserably.

Capitalism mark 1 – Unfettered Capitalism

Crashed and burned in 1929 with a global recession in the 1930s.
The New Deal and Keynesian ideas promised a bright new world.

Capitalism mark 2 – Keynesian Capitalism

Ended with stagflation in the 1970s.
Market led Capitalism ideas promised a bright new world.

Capitalism mark 3 – Unfettered Capitalism – Part 2 (Market led Capitalism)

Crashed and burned in 2008 with a global recession in the 2010s.

We are missing the vital ingredient.

When the first version of capitalism failed, Keynes was ready with a new version.

When the second version of capitalism failed, Milton Freidman was waiting in the wings with his new version of capitalism.

Elites will always flounder around trying to stick with what they know, it takes someone with creativity and imagination to show the new way when the old way has failed.

Today we are missing that person with creativity and imagination to lead us out of the wilderness and
stagnation we have been experiencing since 2008.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 26, 2016 at 2:45 pm

What is missing from today's economics?

1) The work of the Classical Economists and the distinction between "earned" and "unearned" income, also "land" and "capital" need to be separated again (conflated in neoclassical economics)

Reading Michael Hudson's "Killing the Host" is a very good start

2) How money and debt really work. Money's creation and destruction on bank balance sheets.

3) The work of Irving Fisher, Hyman Minsky and Steve Keen on debt inflated asset bubbles

4) The work of Richard Koo on dealing with balance sheet recessions
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTyJzmiHGk

5) The realisation that markets have two modes of operation:

a) Price discovery
b) Bigger fool mode, where everyone rides the bubble for capital gains

There may be more

The Euro was designed with today's defective economics.
Oh dear, no wonder it's going wrong.

a different chris , November 26, 2016 at 9:29 pm

>The Euro was designed with today's defective economics.

Man I didn't think of that. What comically lousy timing. I do like this post because it similar to sigh, ok it asserts my belief but still don't think I'm in an echo chamber here, I actually want people to know what I think so they can reinforce the good and whittle out the bad anyway, asserts my belief that "economics" isn't a science but when used in the best way is a toolkit, here we need an hammer (austerity), here we need a screwdriver (some tweaking). It isn't one tool for all jobs for all time.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 27, 2016 at 1:24 pm

American's are brainwashed from birth about capitalism and Milton Freidman may have been as susceptible as the next man.

He may not have realised he was building on a base that had already been corrupted, the core of neoclassical economics.

The neoclassical economists of the late 19th century buried the difference between "earned" and "unearned" income.

These economists also conflated "land" and "capital" to cause further problems that were clear to the Classical Economists looking out on a world of small state, raw capitalism.

Thorstein Veblen wrote an essay in 1898 "Why is economics not an evolutionary science?".

Real sciences are evolutionary and old theory is replaced as new theory comes along and proves the old ideas wrong.

Economics needs a scientific, evolutionary rebuild from the work of the classical economists.

Most of the UK now dreams of giving up work and living off the "unearned" income from a BTL portfolio, extracting the "earned" income of generation rent.

The UK dream is to be like the idle rich, rentier, living off "unearned" income and doing nothing productive.

This is what happens when stuff goes missing from economics.

Keynes realised wage income was just as important as profit.
Wage income looks after the demand side of the equation and profit the supply side.
I think we will find he was right, this knowledge has just gone missing at the moment.

Keynes studied the Great Depression and noted monetary stimulus lead to a "liquidity trap".
Businesses and investors will not invest without the demand there to ensure their investment will be worthwhile.
The money gets horded by investors and on company balance sheets as they won't invest.
Cutting wages to increase profit just makes the demand side of the equation worse and leads you into debt deflation.
Central Banks today talk about the "savings glut" not realising this is probably Keynes's "liquidity trap".
It's more missing stuff.

When Keynes was involved in Bretton Woods after the Second World War they put in mechanisms for recycling the surplus, to keep the whole thing running.

The assumption today is that capitalism will just reach stable equilibriums by itself.

The Euro is based on this idea, but Greece has just reached max. debt and collapsed, it never did reach that stable equilibrium.

Recycling the surplus would probably have worked better.

Science is evolutionary for a reason.

Michael , November 27, 2016 at 3:40 am

Energy and true scarcity in the form of the biosphere are still missing from today's economics.

BecauseTradition , November 27, 2016 at 2:37 pm

Ethical fiat and credit creation are missing and have been for centuries.

UserFriendly , November 26, 2016 at 8:09 pm

I disagree that we don't have a ready to go replacement. MMT. We just have TPTB throwing $$$ around to make sure no one hears about it, much less does anything.

Barry disch , November 26, 2016 at 5:16 pm

Well written concentrated synopsis of how our economy has evolved over the last 35 years.

JEHR , November 26, 2016 at 5:39 pm

I believe that our way out of this morass is to start by buying locally. There are always people who make things and they need to be supported. We may not get the cheap products, but we can build our communities up gradually over time. Our standard of living will be different but we will have our dignity and the means for creating prosperous communities.

Arizona Slim , November 26, 2016 at 6:29 pm

I have been a member of a localist group here in AZ. Said group does a great job of appealing to people from across the political spectrum. And that is a good example to follow.

Ulysses , November 27, 2016 at 7:06 am

"I believe that our way out of this morass is to start by buying locally."

I very much like the localist movement, and I try very hard to support it in upstate NY, among other places. The problem with this approach is that there are simply way too many people for us to painlessly revert back to an artisanal, agrarian 18th c. lifestyle.

To put this in Empire State terms: we might just be able to accommodate hundreds of thousands of people who used to work for Kodak, I.B.M, or Xerox upstate– in new jobs making craft beer or high-quality string instruments, etc. Yet what do we do with the many millions of people, who live downstate, who currently work in jobs very dependent on a globalized economy?

Greg , November 26, 2016 at 11:25 pm

We've seen a few economists posting lately to say that all social sciences got it wrong, and especially economics. What's curious to me is that non of the examples given apply to any social science except economics.

Is this the same discipline that refuses to acknowledge the value of other disciplines and cross-discipline research, ducking for cover behind the very disciplines it's been snobbing?
'All social sciences' indeed.

John k , November 27, 2016 at 12:53 am

The election was less about trump gaining voters in the rust belt than Clinton losing hers. Romney lost with exactly as many votes as trump got because 6 million that voted for black Obama preferred to stay home rather than vote for white Clinton.
All the dems need to do is to run a candidate willing to spend quality time in the swing states, somebody not totally corrupt and not verbally advocating confrontation with Russia would also be a big help, though this already rules out most dem elites.

Of course if trump manages to get a lot of infra built, and gets a lot of decent jobs, his support in 2020 will grow, maybe to the point only a strong progressive could beat him.
But today's dem elites will fight tooth and nail to keep real progressives from controlling the party, as instructed by their corp overlords remember, bankers might go to jail if the wrong person gets AG. First indication is Keith on dec 1 can/will big o keep him out?

LifeIsLikeABeanstalk , November 27, 2016 at 2:17 am

I liked this 'take' by Prof. Reddy a lot in terms of looking at what happened to bring us to a Trump Presidency (with an observation that Orange Duce hasn't YET been sworn in).

But if he thinks that a Tea Party shaped Republican House and Senate and soon to be skewed Supreme Court aren't about to launch a season of Rent Taking and Austerity to levels previously only attained in Arthur Laffer's wet dreams he needs his otherwise rational head examined.

Schofield , November 27, 2016 at 9:22 am

Don't go so excited the "Trump Revolution" like the "Obama Revolution" will likely end up as "hopeless" for ordinary folk. So for starters Trump's tax breaks will save the 1% fifteen percent and the rest of us 2 percent! Already the msm including my local paper are already grinding out the counter-propaganda against raising tariff barriers for China. The majority of the electorate are too ignorant to figure much of it out and come 2024 will be voting Ivanka Trump in as president!

GregoryA , November 28, 2016 at 12:44 am

If Trump raises MORE(notice that word son) tariffs against China, he will get a nice uppercut across the forehead when China cancels contracts one after another and jobs start being lost in the next NBER recession. His ego can't take that.

He was the Mercers introduction to the elite, nothing more or less. If anything, the Republicans are more Jewy than ever.

Oregoncharles , November 27, 2016 at 1:09 pm

"The dominant economic ideas taken together created a framework in which deviation from declared orthodoxy would be punished by dynamics unleashed by globalization and financialization."

IOW, it isn't science; it's political ideology.

The environmental economist Herman Daley traces that back to the very beginning of the field; he says the earliest economists essentially chose sides in the contest then raging between landowners (resource based) and merchants (trade based). That made them propagandists, not referees. And it's the reason economics, from the beginning, suppressed the distinction between natural resources, like land, water, and minerals, and human-created capital. It recognized only two "production factors," when in reality there are at least three. Marx picked up the same self-serving :"error."

Oregoncharles , November 27, 2016 at 1:20 pm

" illiberal majoritarianism"
That's an unfortunate word choice, considering that Trump lost the election by nearly 2 million votes. It was an extraordinary demonstration of the defective Electoral College system. Maybe now we'll get some action on the Popular Vote initiative.

It's important to remember that the rebellion is "illiberal" mainly because the "liberal" parties refuse to offer a "liberal" populism, aka the New Deal. You could call it an old, proven idea. Some of us see that as weak tea, but even that isn't on offer outside the marginalized Left. (This is the essential point of Thomas Franks' "What's the Matter with Kansas.")

Of course, that's just a further illustration of the author's point.

Paul Hirschman , November 27, 2016 at 1:57 pm

One of the most insightful chapters in Karl Polanyi's THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION is about something Karl calls "the discovery of society." It is the story of how those who wrestled with the fundamental falsehoods of the "self-regulating market" [our Libertarian friends' dreamworld] had to begin thinking about how people in their everyday lives actually, really, incompletely, made a life for themselves in a world defined by trickle-down economics. It was never a pretty sight, but the lesson was that the "self-regulating market" was going to be regulated somehow by non-economic actors with non-economic considerations foremost in mind, like it or not, or face destruction by human beings whose lives were distorted beyond what would be tolerated by ordinary people. Most people put up with neoliberal BS for a generation because that's what most people do, most of the time, even when they know they're being sold a bunch of horsecr*p. But the limit of what people will tolerate in a society defined by the false gods of market capitalism is reached periodically. Trump's victory tells us that one of these limits has been reached. The question now is, "What are we going to "discover" about ourselves and about the society we want to live in–and will we find a way to create it, assuming it's something good?" (Or flee from, if it turns sour.)

TINA folks will repeat, over and over, that "there is no alternative," but that bugaboo has just been smashed. Clinton, Summers, Obama, Rubin, Schumer, and the many, many lesser lights of Neo-Liberalism have become "old hat" almost overnight. Let's hope our discovery of society includes a stronger dose of Reason and Solidarity than would seem to exist in Trumpworld.

Phil , November 28, 2016 at 3:33 am

Here's the deal:
Automation is hallowing out work *at all levels*. Don't believe me? Read this.
http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf
Summary:
http://www.eng.ox.ac.uk/about/news/new-study-shows-nearly-half-of-us-jobs-at-risk-of-computerisation

Add to the above:
Projected population increases, worldwide -including some demographic vertical projections
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/03/10-projections-for-the-global-population-in-2050/

ergo: Less work (at all levels) + increasing population (which includes some explosive variables, like a large increase of older persons who will require economic support from fewer younger workers) = a massive increase in tension re: the struggle for available necessities.

Technology innovation will help with some of this, but the great, looming problem is: how are billions of idle people with nothing to do going to be motivated to remain non-disruptive? I can see a massive surveillance state controlling the "idles"; perhaps new technologies that permit people to jack their brains into the network for diversion (but how long before people become desensitized to that?). Will there be a "spiritual" revolution that is not attached to current dogmatic religions, that values having less, sharing more, cooperating with others, etc.? Hard to say.

Anyway, it's coming, yet very few policy makers are talking about it. I'll bet the Pentagon is planning for this scenario, among others.

In twenty years – maybe a few more – we should be able to begin to migrate away from earth. It will probably be a LONG time before extra-earth settlements are feasible and sustainable. That said, we here on earth are going to have our hands full.

Can humanity somehow find ways to overcome its wired propensity for status reflected by material wealth, and somehow change that status-seeking to a sharing model that is not top-down?

I've been pondering this for a while. People much smarter than I will hopefully lead the way. We have our work cut out for us.

I don't have any answers

[Aug 11, 2018] Rudy Giuliani declares that Russiagate probe will blow up in Mueller's own face (VIDEO)

Aug 11, 2018 | theduran.com

This segment is interesting theatre, especially considering that Mr. Giuliani is acting as President Trump's attorney on the Russiagate matter, and that he is going public about anything at all having to do with the investigation and its case, in full knowledge that anything he says publicly will be noted. Nevertheless, "America's Mayor" made several very strong assertions:

These and other points are included in Mr. Giuliani's responses in his discussion with Sean Hannity.

The question that would logically arise with such a set of claims is "why would this investigation even be happening in the first place, if it is only guaranteed to lose?"

And this question is what gives lie to the massive conspiracy of the Deep State and various powerful figures such as Bill Browder , the neo-con establishment, and secular humanist liberals, all banded together to stop President Trump at any cost from changing America's headlong plunge into the darkness of the soft tyranny of modern-day liberalism. Russia stands as the one great power in the world that declares with great strength that this group of people is wrong, and therefore, Russia, and anyone who wishes to grant her legitimacy – must be stopped.

A speculative question that next arises is this:

What happens when President Trump gets vindicated?

There is a massive power play in motion here, and the stakes are much higher than anyone cares to admit.

[Aug 11, 2018] President Trump the most important achivement

Highly recommended!
The FAKE NEWS media (failing @ nytimes , @ NBCNews , @ ABC , @ CBS , @ CNN ) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People! ~ Donald Trump
On Thursday, Mr. Trump expressed his distaste for journalists in more populist terms, saying, "much of the media in Washington, D.C., along with New York, Los Angeles in particular, speaks not for the people, but for the special interests."
"The public doesn't believe you people anymore," Mr. Trump added. "Now, maybe I had something to do with that. I don't know. But they don't believe you."
Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Financial Times, NBC, CNN, ABC ..."
Aug 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

President Trump has denounced and exposed the repeated deceits and ongoing fabrications of the mass media. Never before has a President so forcefully identified the lies of the leading print and TV outlets. The NY Times , Washington Post , the Financial Times, NBC, CNN, ABC and CBS have been thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the larger public. They have lost legitimacy and trust. Where progressives have failed, a war monger billionaire has accomplished, speaking a truth to serve many injustices.

[Aug 10, 2018] Hitler Trump The Great Man Theory Debunked by Gerold

Notable quotes:
"... Although he was a brilliant orator, Hitler's failures are too innumerable to list. [Link] He was certainly a failure as a painter and his General staff considered him an incompetent military strategist (fortunately for the Allies.) However, Hitler was merely the right man at the right time and place to achieve power. As Ross explains, Hitler was , "the result of a large protest movement colliding with complex patterns of elite self-interest, in a culture increasingly prone to aggressive mythmaking and irrationality." That sounds all too close to home, doesn't it? ..."
"... Enter Donald Trump; the right man at the right time and place. He's a brute, a bully, and a demagogue, but he understands the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times and he adjusts his message to appeal to his base. ..."
"... I have known many bullies; on the playground and in the boardroom. A bully may achieve short-term gain, but for long-term pain. It is very easy to destroy corporate culture, but extremely difficult, if not impossible, to mend a toxic workplace after the bully was dismissed. Now, extrapolate this to the world under Donald Trump. ..."
"... After his first meeting with Trump, he wrote that Trump "saw every unknown person as a threat and that his first instinct was to annihilate that threat. 'He's like a velociraptor. He has to be boss, and if you don't show him deference he kills you.'" ..."
"... If everything is so awesome, why are Americans drinking themselves to death in record numbers?" [Link] ..."
Aug 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Gerold via GeroldBlog.com,

We're told that great leaders make history. Like so much of what we are taught, that's a load of bunk. Yes, great leaders make it into the history books, but they do not make history. You make history. I make history. All we dirt people together make history. Government-run schools don't teach us this because it makes us easier to control.

The "Great Man Theory" [Link] tells us that history can be largely explained by the impact of great leaders. This theory was popularized in the 1800's by the historian and social commentator Thomas Carlyle [Link] The Great Man Theory downplays the importance of economic and practical explanations. It is an appealing theory because its simplicity offers the path of least resistance. That should ring an alarm.

Herbert Spencer [Link] forcefully disagreed with the "Great Man Theory." He believed that great leaders were merely products of their social environment. "Before he can remake his society, his society must make him." Tolstoy went so far as to call great leaders "history's slaves." However, this middle ground still misses the mark.

At the other extreme is "history from below" [Link] aka 'the people's history.' "History from below" takes the perspective of common people rather than leaders. It emphasizes the daily life of ordinary people that develop opinions and trends " as opposed to great people introducing ideas or initiating events." Unfortunately, this too is only half the equation, and it is no surprise that it appeals to Leftist and Marxist agendas.

Having studied politics and history ever since the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, I determined that although history is partly the environments and individuals shaping each other reciprocally, it is more than that. It is you and I who make history with every decision we make, every dollar we spend, everything we learn, every vote we cast and every opinion we voice. It's even what we don't do. It is mostly organic and cannot easily be explained in a simple, linear fashion the way the aforementioned political philosophers tried.

Great leaders are merely the right person at the right time and place. However, they do not lead so much as follow from the front. They stick their finger in the air to see which way the wind blows. They may be brutes, bullies or demagogues, but they are sensitive enough to understand the zeitgeist , the spirit of the times and so, they adjust their message accordingly.

That is one reason Jimmy Carter was a failed President. He was a nice guy, but he did not get an accurate reading of the times. Instead, he acted on the wishful thinking that is characteristic of liberals.

One of the significant shortcomings of many political philosophers is their ignorance of human nature. That is why Collectivism in all its forms appeals to the downtrodden. "Share and share alike" is a beautiful ideal so long as you get other people's stuff, but the flip side of the coin is not quite so appealing.

I heard a radio interview with a self-avowed Communist:

"So do you believe in 'share and share alike?"

"Yes, I do."

"And, if you had more than one house, you'd give them away and keep just one for yourself?"

"Yes. I would."

"And, if you had more than one vehicle, you'd give them away and keep just one for yourself?"

"Yes, I would."

"And, if you had more than one shirt "

"Whoa, wait a minute! I have more than one shirt."

I can't remember the rest of the interview as I was laughing too hard.

The Great Man Theory is one extreme, its critics are somewhere in the middle and 'the history of the people' is at the other end of the spectrum. Despite this, we are still fascinated by great leaders. That is human nature. Whether we are slaves at heart, or lack self-confidence or some other explanation is endlessly debatable. However, the fact remains that we are fascinated by great leaders and our inability to understand them further disproves the accepted theories.

Adolph Hitler is the ultimate example of our fascination with a great man. According to Alex Ross's "The Hitler Vortex," [Link] tens of thousands of books have been written about Hitler. "Books have been written about Hitler's youth, his years in Vienna and Munich, his service in the First World War, his assumption of power, his library, his taste in art, his love of film, his relations with women, and his predilections in interior design ('Hitler at Home')."

Tens of thousands of books failed to explain Hitler. Ross, too, does no better when he writes, "What set Hitler apart from most authoritarian figures in history was his conception of himself as an artist-genius who used politics as his métier. It is a mistake to call him a failed artist; for him, politics and war were a continuation of art by other means." WTF? Are we to believe Hitler was simply an artist who used the world as his canvas? Equally pointless is the notion that, "Hitler debased the Romantic cult of genius to incarnate himself as a transcendent leader hovering above the fray."

Although he was a brilliant orator, Hitler's failures are too innumerable to list. [Link] He was certainly a failure as a painter and his General staff considered him an incompetent military strategist (fortunately for the Allies.) However, Hitler was merely the right man at the right time and place to achieve power. As Ross explains, Hitler was , "the result of a large protest movement colliding with complex patterns of elite self-interest, in a culture increasingly prone to aggressive mythmaking and irrationality." That sounds all too close to home, doesn't it?

Enter Donald Trump; the right man at the right time and place. He's a brute, a bully, and a demagogue, but he understands the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times and he adjusts his message to appeal to his base.

I have known many bullies; on the playground and in the boardroom. A bully may achieve short-term gain, but for long-term pain. It is very easy to destroy corporate culture, but extremely difficult, if not impossible, to mend a toxic workplace after the bully was dismissed. Now, extrapolate this to the world under Donald Trump.

John Feeley is the former U.S. Ambassador to Panama portrayed in The New Yorker magazine article "The Diplomat Who Quit the Trump Administration." [Link] After his first meeting with Trump, he wrote that Trump "saw every unknown person as a threat and that his first instinct was to annihilate that threat. 'He's like a velociraptor. He has to be boss, and if you don't show him deference he kills you.'"

Feeley fears that "the country was embracing an attitude that was profoundly inimical to diplomacy 'If we do that we will become weaker and less prosperous.'" He is correct in that regard. China is building a large, new embassy at the mouth of the Panama Canal visible to every ship "as they enter a waterway that once symbolized the global influence of the United States."

Feeley is also correct in warning that the Trump administration's gutting the diplomatic corps will have negative repercussions. Throughout Latin America, leftist leaders are in retreat, and popular movements reject corrupt governance. Yet, America is losing "the greatest opportunity to recoup the moral high ground that we have had in decades." Instead, the U.S. is abandoning the region to China. Feeley calls it "a self-inflicted Pearl Harbor."

China is replacing U.S. influence in Latin America and Chinese banks "provided more than a hundred and fifty billion dollars in loan commitments to the region In less than two decades, trade between China and Latin America has increased twenty-seven-fold." Although that began long before Trump, "We're not just walking off the field. We're taking the ball and throwing a finger at the rest of the world."

Feeley says that he felt betrayed by what he regarded as "the traditional core values of the United States." Sorry, Feeley, but America lost its core values long before Trump was elected. Trump is not the cause; he is the symptom, the result of the declining American Empire.

Hunters know that one of the most dangerous animals is a wounded one. The same is correct about failing empires because they are a danger not only to others but to their own citizens as well. The elites are running out the clock in order to loot as much as they can before it hits the fan.

We dirt people will continue to suffer from stagnant wage growth while the so-called increase in national wealth goes to a tiny minority. [link]

Moreover, nobody wins a trade war that raises consumer prices even if Trump eventually triumphs.

The economy staggers under the weight of phony wars, fake finances, fake GDP, fake CPI, fake employment, fake pensions and fake everything. [Link] The national debt increases $1 trillion every year, consumer debt is at an all-time high [Link] while the tax cuts benefit only the ultra-wealthy. Also, the fake news tells us everything is wonderful. Don't believe it. "If everything is so awesome, why are Americans drinking themselves to death in record numbers?" [Link]

It is said that every few generations, money returns to its rightful owners. That is what's happening now.

America emerged relatively unscathed from the Second World War whereas many other countries were bombed back into the Stone Age. The Marshal Plan helped rebuild countries that were to become both America's future customers and its competitors. America's busy factories transformed from war production to consumer goods, the demand for which was created by "the Father of Spin" Edward Bernays' marketing propaganda. [Link]

As well, the U.S. stole the gold that the Nazis had stolen from others, [Link] and that wealth in addition to robust, productive capacity temporarily propelled the U.S. far ahead of other nations. However, it would not last. Eventually, the undeserved prosperity of the 1950's and '60's began to run out of steam as other nations rebuilt and competed with the U.S. President Nixon defaulting on the dollar in 1971 by "closing the gold window" signaled the end of America's good times . The subsequent debt creation now unconstricted by a gold basis helped to cushion the blow for several decades, but wealth was now flowing to Asia along with factory jobs.

For 5,000 years, China was a world superpower with only a short, two-century hiatus that is now ending as China again emerges as an economic superpower. Such a massive shift in wealth cannot be attributed to either leadership or the people below. It is a painful reversion to the mean. All the finger-pointing and wailing and gnashing of teeth not even bombastic Trump and his tariffs can stem the tide and make America great again as money continues to flow back to its rightful owners.

The USA is a declining, bankrupt, warmongering police state and most of its indoctrinated citizens think they live in a free, peaceful country.

China is a corrupt police state, but most of its citizens know it.

We have met the enemy, and he is us. The future awaits.

[Aug 10, 2018] Butina Case Neo-McCarthyism Engulfs America

Several US lobbing organizations leadership should probably also be arrested if the same criteria is applied...
Aug 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Phillip Giraldi via The Stratgeic Culture Foundation,

The United States Department of Justice would apparently have you believe that the Kremlin sought to subvert the five-million-member strong National Rifle Association (NRA) by having two Russian citizens take out life memberships in the organization with the intention of corrupting it and turning it into a mouthpiece for President Vladimir Putin.

Both of the Russians – Maria Butina and Alexander Torshin – have, by the way, long well documented histories as advocates for gun ownership and were founders of Right to Bear Arms, which is not an intelligence front organization of some kind and is rather a genuine lobbying group with an active membership and agenda.

Contrary to what has been reported in the mainstream media, Russians can own guns but the licensing and registration procedures are long and complicated, which Right to Bear Arms, modeling itself on the NRA, is seeking to change.

Maria Butina, a graduate student at American University, is now in solitary confinement in a federal prison, having been charged with collusion with Torshin and failure to register as an agent of the Russian Federation. It is unusual to arrest and confine someone who has failed to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, but she has not been granted bail because, as a Russian citizen, she is considered to be a "flight risk," likely to try to flee the US and return home. It is to be presumed that she is being pressured to identify others involved in her alleged scheme to overthrow American democracy through NRA membership.

Indeed, in any event, it would be difficult to imagine why anyone would consider the NRA to be a legitimate intelligence target. It only flexes its admitted powerful legislative muscles over issues relating to gun ownership, not regarding policy on Russia. In short, Butina and by extension Torshin appear to have done nothing wrong. Both are energetic advocates for their country and guns rights, which they appear to believe in, and Butina's aggressive networking has broken no law except not registering, which in itself assumes that she is a Russian government agent, something that has not been demonstrated. To put the shoe on the other foot, will every American who now travels to Russia and engages in political conversations with local people be suspected of acting as an agent of the US government? Once you open the door, it swings both ways.

One might dismiss the entire Affair Butina as little more than a reflection of the anti-Russia hysteria that has been sweeping the United States since Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election, but that would be unfair to those remaining honest FBI agents who may have investigated Butina and Torshin and come up with what they believed to be a plausible case for an indictment . There were possibly suspicious money transfers as well as email intercepts that might be interpreted as incriminating.

But two important elements are clearly missing.

The first is motive. Did the Kremlin seriously believe that it could get anything substantial out of having a gun totin' attractive young Russian woman as a life member in the NRA? What did the presumed puppet masters in Moscow expect to obtain apart from the sorts of group photos including Butina that one gets while posing with politicians at the annual NRA convention? Sure, the photo might even evolve into a cup of coffee together, but what is the end game?

Second is the lack of any of the hallmarks of an intelligence operation, which is referred to in the business as tradecraft. Spies meet secretly or at least outside the public eye with prospective agents whereas Maria operated completely in the open and she made no effort to conceal her love for her country and her desire that Washington and Moscow normalize relations. Spies also communicate securely, which means that they use encrypted systems or various cut-outs, i.e. mis-directions, when maintaining contact with those who are running them. Again, Maria did none of that, which is why the FBI has her emails. Also spies work under what is referred to as an "operating directive" in CIA-speak where they have very specific information that they seek to obtain from their contacts. There is no indication that Maria Butina in any way sought classified information or intelligence that would relate either to the security of the United States or to America's political system. And finally, Maria made no attempt to recruit anyone and turn them into an actual controlled Russian agent, which is what spies eventually seek to do.

It has come down to this: if you are a Russian and you are caught talking to anyone in any way influential, there is potentially hell to pay because the FBI will be watching you. You are automatically assumed to be part of a conspiracy. Once "evidence" is collected, you will be indicted and sent to prison, mostly to send a message to Moscow.

It is the ultimate irony that how the old Soviet Union's judiciary used to function is now becoming standing operating procedure in the United States.

[Aug 09, 2018] Now national during elections The FBI and CIA set the preferable candidate and call the shots

That's a clear exaggeration: after the neoliberal ideology went source in 2008, the power of CIA and friends to brainwash public greatly diminished...
Aug 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

prusmc , Website Next New Comment August 8, 2018 at 2:07 pm GMT

@Gordo

Chittum's work makes more sense than either of the books reviewed here. The two books discussed above are good for the Harry Potter set but in no way conform to 2018 reality.
I frequently reread Chittum's work and am amazed at how he correctly analyzed the future into what is contemporary USSA.
LOOK NO further, than the incipient election of a reparation Democrat governor in Georgia and a like minded legislature,come November, for validation of Chittum's hypotheses. The one weakness in his predictions is the belief that there will be a patriotic core in the local police and national military that could be relied on to protect the lives and property of traditional Americans. This just won't happen. The FBI, CIA, ATFE, Homeland Security Police and like activities set the pace, call the shots and control the funds and the locals provide a conditioned response.
Chittum writing 20 years back could not see the rise of the mass surveillance and correct thought propagation that we increasingly welcome or endure today.
My bet is Unz Review will totally access denied after the massive Democrat election gains in November.

[Aug 08, 2018] Christopher Steele, FBI s Confidential Human Source by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
A foreign intelligence asset was used to justify surveillance of Trump[ and some of his associates
Notable quotes:
"... What is clear from the new records is that Christopher Steele, a foreign intelligence officer, had frequent and extensive contacts with the FBI. Who was his FBI Case Agent? ..."
"... The main thing I want to know is WHEN was the decision made to tar Trump with Russia - both at the FBI (and likely CIA) and at the DNC (over the leak) - and WHO was the deciding entity - Comey, Brennan, Clinton, Obama or someone else? And perhaps who came up with the idea in the first place (at the DNC, it was very likely Alexandra Chalupa, the Ukrainian-American DNC "consultant"). ..."
"... The bad thing is that our MSM is so reverent of our Intel agencies that I see them encouraged to increasingly put their hand on the scale. ..."
"... Recently, I saw arm flailing by a Congressman, Dan Coats, and Mueller about how the Russians are still at it. They are trying to disrupt or influence the 2018. Really, then I demand to get a list of the pro-Kremlin candidates. How long before the mere threat of being outed as a Kremlin agent is used to punish elected officials if they are not sufficiently hawkish or don't support certain programs. Unchallenged claims by Intel agencies gives them a lot of political power. ..."
"... I am skeptical. Russia has a lot of fish to fry, why would they expend resources on midterm elections. Now everyone in the U.S. hates them, both traditional hawk Republicans and born again uber-hawk Democrats. There is a tiger behind both doors. ..."
"... if Steele had been a CHS since at least February of 2016, what was the purpose of passing the Dossier to the FBI through Fusion GPS? Why not just going to his FBI handler? Was Steele collaboration with Fusion even in compliance with FBI regulations? Did the FBI know? ..."
"... Because part of the plan was to leak the information in order to damage Trump. FBI could not do that. Would have exposed them to some real legal jeopardy. This was a dual track strategy. Diabolical almost. ..."
"... Don't forget the Nellie Ohr (Fusion GPS) -> Bruce Ohr (DOJ) back channel. The husband & wife tag team. Yes, the same Nellie that was investigating using ham radio to communicate to avoid NSA mass surveillance. ..."
"... From the very beginning that information about all this was slowly leaking from the Congressional investigation, this whole thing smelled very fishy. Then add intense effort at DOJ & FBI to obstruct and obfuscate. And the unhinged tweets and interviews by Brennan, Clapper & Comey. ..."
"... He was working with FBI and GPS at the same time. GPS was in the dark supposedly about his work with the FBI and Steele got their approval to hand over what he had delivered to GPS to the FBI as a cover for his work with the FBI. ..."
"... its also likely FBI had some input into the content of what was delivered to GPS, and more importantly what was not delivered. ..."
"... Re the 'standing agreement to not recruit each other's intelligence personnel for clandestine activities.' As Steele was not by this time a current employee of MI6, was the FBI in technical violation of this? ..."
"... A central question in regard to Steele, as with quite a number of former intelligence/law enforcement/military people who have started at least ostensibly private sector operations, is how far these are being used as 'cover' for activities conducted on behalf of either the state agencies for which they used to work, or other state agencies. ..."
"... It is at least possible that one advantage of such arrangements may be that they make it possible to evade the letter of agreements between intelligence agencies in different countries ..."
"... If, as seems likely, both current and former top FBI and DOJ people – very likely Mueller as well as Comey, Strzok and many others – were intimately involved in the conspiracy to subvert the constitution, then a means of making it possible for Steele to combine feeding information to the FBI while also engaging in 'StratCom' via the MSM could have been necessary. ..."
"... An obvious means of 'squaring the circle' would have been to issue a formal 'termination' to Steele, while creating 'back channels' to those who were officially supposed not to be talking to him ..."
"... A report yesterday by John Solomon in 'The Hill' quotes from messages exchanged between Steele and Bruce Ohr after the supposed termination ..."
"... 'In all, Ohr's notes, emails and texts identify more than 60 contacts with Steele and/or Simpson, some dating to 2002 in London. But the vast majority occurred during the 2016-2017 timeframe that gave birth to one of the most controversial counterintelligence probes in American history.' ..."
"... I have just finished taking a fresh look at Sir Robert Owen's travesty of a report into the death of Litvinenko. In large measure, this develops claims originally made in Christopher Steele's first attempt to provide a convincing account of why figures close to Putin might have thought it made sense to assassinate that figure, and to do so with polonium. The sheer volume of fabrication which has been deployed in an attempt to defend the patently indefensible almost beggars belief. ..."
"... Just as a question arises as to whether Steele is essentially acting on behalf of MI6, a question also arises as to whether the FBI leadership were knowledgeable about, and possibly involved with, the various shenanigans in which Shvets and Levinson were involved. Given that claims about Mogilevich have turned out to be central to 'Russiagate', that seems a rather important issue, and I am curious as to whether Ohr's communications with Steele may cast any light on it. ..."
"... Apparently the FBI got Deripaksa to fund the rescue of Levinson from Iran. Furthermore apparently FBI personnel maybe including McCabe visited with Deripaksa and showed him the Steele dossier. He supposedly had a nice guffaw and dismissed it as nonsense. So on the one hand while they make Russia out to be the most evil they play footsie with Russian oligarchs. ..."
"... Thinking about "Christopher Steele was terminated as a Confidential Human Source for cause.", something that doesn't seem to have gotten as much attention is that Peter Strzok failed his poly: ..."
"... Steele's relationship with the FBI extends far further back than February 2016. Shortly after he left MI6, he contracted with the Football Association to investigate possible FIFA corruption. Once he realized the massiveness of this corruption he contacted his old friends at the FBI Eurasian Crimes Task Force in 2011. Thus began his association with the FBI as a CHS. That investigation culminated in the 2015 FIFA corruption indictments and convictions. ..."
"... One thing I don't understand...we have the anti-Trumpers saying that Donald Junior meeting with a Russian national to get 'dirt' on Hillary is illegal...due to some law about candidates collaborating with foreigners or something like that...[obviously I'm foggy on the technical details]... Yet we know that the Hillary campaign worked with a foreign national, Steele, to get dirt on Trump...how is this not the same...? ..."
"... What role did Stefan Halper and Mifsud play as Confidential Human Sources in all this? ..."
"... Why was British Intelligence allegedly collecting and passing along info about Donald Trump in the first place? Or could this have been a pretext created to give cover and/or support to the agenda here in the US to insure his defeat? Could a foreign intelligence source such as this trigger/facilitate/justify the US counterintelligence investigation of Trump, or give cover to a covert investigation that may have already begun? ..."
"... British intelligence was collecting / passing on info about Trump because of his campaign stance on NATO (he said it was obsolete), his desire to end regime change wars (he castigated the fiasco in Iraq, took Bush to task over it etc.), and his often stated desire to get along with Russia (and China). Trump also talked of ending certain economic policies (NAFTA, TPP, etc.) and reenacting others (Glass-Steagall, the American System of Economics i.e. Hamilton, Carey, Clay), If Trump had acted on those, which he has not so far, he would changed the entire world system, a system in place since the end of WW II, or earlier. That was a risk too big to take without some kind of insurance policy - I believe Christopher Steele was that insurance policy. ..."
"... British Intelligence is verifiably the foreign source with the most extensive and effective meddling in the 2016 election. Perfidious Albion. ..."
"... Or, GSHQ was hovering up signint on Trump campaign early-on (using domestics US resources and databases via their 5-Eyes "sharing agreement" with NSA) cuz Brennan asked them to do it? ..."
"... Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates, ..."
"... Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates, ..."
"... I've heard that the Echelon system is used by the Five Eyes IC to do something similar. The Brits spy on US, and give the NSA the data so the NSA can evade US laws prohibiting spying on us, and we return the favor to help them evade what (few) laws they have that prohibits spying on their people. ..."
"... still wonder why the US would need to rely so much on British intelligence sources ..."
"... I've read that Steele's cover was blown 20 years ago and he hasn't even been to Russia since, so I wonder why he was considered such a reliable source by both the US and UK? In my opinion as an absolute naif about such things, Steele seems like he may be a has-been when it comes to Russia. ..."
"... Here is a simple explanation from someone who knows almost nothing about how any of the people in power work: Most of them are not as clever and smart as they think they are. And most of the regular people who are just citizens are smarter than these people think they are. ..."
"... It's simply that their arrogant assessment of their own superiority caused them to do really stupid things ..."
Aug 08, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The revelations from US Government records about the FBI/Intel Community plot to take out Donald Trump continue to flow thanks to the dogged efforts of Judicial Watch. The latest nugget came last Friday with the release of FBI records detailing their recruitment and management of Britain's ostensibly retired Intelligence Officer, Christopher Steele. He was an officially recruited FBI source and received at least 11 payments during the 9 month period that he was signed up as a Confidential Human Source.

You may find it strange that we can glean so much information from a document dump that is almost entirely redacted . The key is to look at the report forms; there are three types--FD-1023 (Source Reports), FD-209a (Contact Reports) and FD-794b (Payment Requests). There are 15 different 1023s, 13 209a reports and 11 794b payment requests covering the period from 2 February 2016 thru 1 November 2016. That is a total of nine months.

These reports totally destroy the existing meme that Steele only came into contact with the FBI sometime in July 2016. It is important for you to understand that a 1023 Source Report is filled out each time that the FBI source handler has contact with the source. This can be an in person meeting or a phone call. Each report lists the name of the Case Agent; the date, time and location of the meeting; any other people attending the meeting; and a summary of what was discussed.

What is clear from the new records is that Christopher Steele, a foreign intelligence officer, had frequent and extensive contacts with the FBI. Who was his FBI Case Agent?


richardstevenhack , a day ago

Indeed we do need more information.

The main thing I want to know is WHEN was the decision made to tar Trump with Russia - both at the FBI (and likely CIA) and at the DNC (over the leak) - and WHO was the deciding entity - Comey, Brennan, Clinton, Obama or someone else? And perhaps who came up with the idea in the first place (at the DNC, it was very likely Alexandra Chalupa, the Ukrainian-American DNC "consultant").

We can be pretty sure this predates any alleged Russian "hacking" (unless it occurred as a result of alleged Russian hacking of the DNC in 2015).

This needs to be pinned down if anyone is to be successfully prosecuted for creating this treasonous hoax.

chris chuba , 5 hours ago
A very closely related topic, Victor Davis Hanson is onto something but it is darker than he suggests, https://www.nationalreview.... Paraphrasing, he gives the typical, rally around the flag we must stop the Russians intro but then documents how govt flaks abused their power to influence our elections and then makes the point, 'this is why the public is skeptical of their claims'.

The bad thing is that our MSM is so reverent of our Intel agencies that I see them encouraged to increasingly put their hand on the scale.

Recently, I saw arm flailing by a Congressman, Dan Coats, and Mueller about how the Russians are still at it. They are trying to disrupt or influence the 2018. Really, then I demand to get a list of the pro-Kremlin candidates. How long before the mere threat of being outed as a Kremlin agent is used to punish elected officials if they are not sufficiently hawkish or don't support certain programs. Unchallenged claims by Intel agencies gives them a lot of political power.

I am skeptical. Russia has a lot of fish to fry, why would they expend resources on midterm elections. Now everyone in the U.S. hates them, both traditional hawk Republicans and born again uber-hawk Democrats. There is a tiger behind both doors.

Leonardo Facchin , 20 hours ago
Thanks for the explanation.

What I can't figure out is: if Steele had been a CHS since at least February of 2016, what was the purpose of passing the Dossier to the FBI through Fusion GPS? Why not just going to his FBI handler? Was Steele collaboration with Fusion even in compliance with FBI regulations? Did the FBI know?

Publius Tacitus -> Leonardo Facchin , 17 hours ago
Because part of the plan was to leak the information in order to damage Trump. FBI could not do that. Would have exposed them to some real legal jeopardy. This was a dual track strategy. Diabolical almost.
blue peacock -> Leonardo Facchin , 13 hours ago
Don't forget the Nellie Ohr (Fusion GPS) -> Bruce Ohr (DOJ) back channel. The husband & wife tag team. Yes, the same Nellie that was investigating using ham radio to communicate to avoid NSA mass surveillance.

From the very beginning that information about all this was slowly leaking from the Congressional investigation, this whole thing smelled very fishy. Then add intense effort at DOJ & FBI to obstruct and obfuscate. And the unhinged tweets and interviews by Brennan, Clapper & Comey. And of course the media narrative that Rep. Nunes, Goodlatte and others were endangering "national security" by casting aspersions on the "patriotic" law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Paul M -> Leonardo Facchin , 16 hours ago
He was working with FBI and GPS at the same time. GPS was in the dark supposedly about his work with the FBI and Steele got their approval to hand over what he had delivered to GPS to the FBI as a cover for his work with the FBI.

Of course, he had most likely already done so and its also likely FBI had some input into the content of what was delivered to GPS, and more importantly what was not delivered.

David Habakkuk , 4 hours ago
PT,

Fascinating.

Re the 'standing agreement to not recruit each other's intelligence personnel for clandestine activities.' As Steele was not by this time a current employee of MI6, was the FBI in technical violation of this?

The point is not merely a quibble. A central question in regard to Steele, as with quite a number of former intelligence/law enforcement/military people who have started at least ostensibly private sector operations, is how far these are being used as 'cover' for activities conducted on behalf of either the state agencies for which they used to work, or other state agencies.

It is at least possible that one advantage of such arrangements may be that they make it possible to evade the letter of agreements between intelligence agencies in different countries.

Another related matter has to do with the termination of Steele as a 'Confidential Human Source.'

It has long seemed to me that it was more than possible that this was not to be taken at face value. If, as seems likely, both current and former top FBI and DOJ people – very likely Mueller as well as Comey, Strzok and many others – were intimately involved in the conspiracy to subvert the constitution, then a means of making it possible for Steele to combine feeding information to the FBI while also engaging in 'StratCom' via the MSM could have been necessary.

An obvious means of 'squaring the circle' would have been to issue a formal 'termination' to Steele, while creating 'back channels' to those who were officially supposed not to be talking to him.

A report yesterday by John Solomon in 'The Hill' quotes from messages exchanged between Steele and Bruce Ohr after the supposed termination.

(See http://thehill.com/person/d... .)

When on 31 January 2017 – well after the publication of the dossier by BuzzFeed – Ohr provided reassurance that he could continue to help feed information to the FBI, Steele texted back:

"If you end up out though, I really need another (bureau?) contact point/number who is briefed. We can't allow our guy to be forced to go back home. It would be disastrous."

At that point, Solomon tells us that 'Investigators are trying to determine who Steele was referring to.' This seems to me a rather important question. It would seem likely, although not certain, that he is talking about another Brit. If he is, would it have been someone else employed by Orbis? Or someone currently working for British intelligence? What is the precise significance of 'forced to go back home', and why would this have been 'disastrous'?

Another crucial paragraph:

'In all, Ohr's notes, emails and texts identify more than 60 contacts with Steele and/or Simpson, some dating to 2002 in London. But the vast majority occurred during the 2016-2017 timeframe that gave birth to one of the most controversial counterintelligence probes in American history.'

The earlier contacts may be of little interest, but there again they may not be.

As it happens, it was following Berezovsky's arrival in London in October 2001 that the 'information operations' network he created began to move into high gear. It is moreover clear that this was always a transatlantic operation, and also fragments of evidence suggest that the FBI may have had some involvement from early on.

I have just finished taking a fresh look at Sir Robert Owen's travesty of a report into the death of Litvinenko. In large measure, this develops claims originally made in Christopher Steele's first attempt to provide a convincing account of why figures close to Putin might have thought it made sense to assassinate that figure, and to do so with polonium. The sheer volume of fabrication which has been deployed in an attempt to defend the patently indefensible almost beggars belief.

The original attempt came in a radio programme broadcast by the BBC – which was to become known to some of us as the 'Berezovsky Broadcasting Corporation' – on 16 December 2006, presented by Tom Mangold, a familiar 'trusty' for the intelligence services.

(A transcript sent out from the Cabinet Office at the time is available on the archived 'Evidence' page for the Inquiry, at http://webarchive.nationala... , as HMG000513. There is an interesting and rather important question as to whether those who sent it out, and those who received it, knew that it was more or less BS from start to finish.)

The programme was wholly devoted to claims made by the former KGB operative Yuri Shvets, who was presented as an independent 'due diligence' expert, without any mention of the rather major role he had played in the original 'Orange Revolution.'

Back-up was provided by his supposed collaborator in 'due diligence', the former FBI operative Robert 'Bobby' Levinson. No mention was made of the fact that he had been, in the 'Nineties, a, if not the lead FBI investigator into the notorious Ukrainian Jewish mobster Semyon Mogilevich.

The following March Levinson would disappear on the Iranian island of Kish, on what we now know was a covert mission on behalf of elements in the CIA.

Just as a question arises as to whether Steele is essentially acting on behalf of MI6, a question also arises as to whether the FBI leadership were knowledgeable about, and possibly involved with, the various shenanigans in which Shvets and Levinson were involved. Given that claims about Mogilevich have turned out to be central to 'Russiagate', that seems a rather important issue, and I am curious as to whether Ohr's communications with Steele may cast any light on it.

Jack -> David Habakkuk , 2 hours ago
David

Apparently the FBI got Deripaksa to fund the rescue of Levinson from Iran. Furthermore apparently FBI personnel maybe including McCabe visited with Deripaksa and showed him the Steele dossier. He supposedly had a nice guffaw and dismissed it as nonsense. So on the one hand while they make Russia out to be the most evil they play footsie with Russian oligarchs.

Keith Harbaugh , 19 hours ago
Thanks for this informative article.

Thinking about "Christopher Steele was terminated as a Confidential Human Source for cause.", something that doesn't seem to have gotten as much attention is that Peter Strzok failed his poly:

Seems rather surprising to me. Anyone have any comment on this?

TTG , an hour ago
Steele's relationship with the FBI extends far further back than February 2016. Shortly after he left MI6, he contracted with the Football Association to investigate possible FIFA corruption. Once he realized the massiveness of this corruption he contacted his old friends at the FBI Eurasian Crimes Task Force in 2011. Thus began his association with the FBI as a CHS. That investigation culminated in the 2015 FIFA corruption indictments and convictions. His initial contact with old friends at the FBI Eurasian Crime Task Force is awfully similar to his contacting these same friends in 2016 after deciding his initial Trump research was potentially bigger than mere opposition research.
FB , 3 hours ago
One thing I don't understand...we have the anti-Trumpers saying that Donald Junior meeting with a Russian national to get 'dirt' on Hillary is illegal...due to some law about candidates collaborating with foreigners or something like that...[obviously I'm foggy on the technical details]... Yet we know that the Hillary campaign worked with a foreign national, Steele, to get dirt on Trump...how is this not the same...?

Even worse is that the FBI was using this same foreign agent that a presidential candidate had hired to get dirt on an opponent... Even knowing nothing about legalities this just doesn't look very good...

Wally Courie , 4 hours ago
Stupid question? As the Col. has explained, the President can declassify any document he pleases. So, why doesn't Donaldo unredact the redacted portions of these bullcrap docs? What is he afraid of? That the Intel community will get mad and be out to get him? Isn't time for him to show some cojones?
blue peacock , 16 hours ago
What role did Stefan Halper and Mifsud play as Confidential Human Sources in all this?
akaPatience , 19 hours ago
Why was British Intelligence allegedly collecting and passing along info about Donald Trump in the first place? Or could this have been a pretext created to give cover and/or support to the agenda here in the US to insure his defeat? Could a foreign intelligence source such as this trigger/facilitate/justify the US counterintelligence investigation of Trump, or give cover to a covert investigation that may have already begun?
Navstéva يزور 🐐 -> akaPatience , 17 hours ago
British intelligence was collecting / passing on info about Trump because of his campaign stance on NATO (he said it was obsolete), his desire to end regime change wars (he castigated the fiasco in Iraq, took Bush to task over it etc.), and his often stated desire to get along with Russia (and China). Trump also talked of ending certain economic policies (NAFTA, TPP, etc.) and reenacting others (Glass-Steagall, the American System of Economics i.e. Hamilton, Carey, Clay), If Trump had acted on those, which he has not so far, he would changed the entire world system, a system in place since the end of WW II, or earlier. That was a risk too big to take without some kind of insurance policy - I believe Christopher Steele was that insurance policy.
unmitigatedaudacity -> Navstéva يزور 🐐 , 16 hours ago
British Intelligence is verifiably the foreign source with the most extensive and effective meddling in the 2016 election. Perfidious Albion.
Bryn Nykrson -> Navstéva يزور 🐐 , 14 hours ago
Or, GSHQ was hovering up signint on Trump campaign early-on (using domestics US resources and databases via their 5-Eyes "sharing agreement" with NSA) cuz Brennan asked them to do it? And therefore without having to mess about with any formal FISA warrant thingy's ... But, then use what might be found (or plausibly alleged) to try to get a proper FISA warrant later on (July 2016)? 'Parallel Discovery' of sorts; with Fusion GPS also a leaky cut-out: channelling media reports to be used as confirmation of Steele's "raw intelligence" in the formal FISA application(s)?
Biggee Mikeee -> akaPatience , 17 hours ago
Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates,

" Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates, "

That's a good question, could it legally enable an end run around the FISC until enough evidence was gathered for a FISC surveillance authorization?.

richardstevenhack -> Biggee Mikeee , 13 hours ago
I've heard that the Echelon system is used by the Five Eyes IC to do something similar. The Brits spy on US, and give the NSA the data so the NSA can evade US laws prohibiting spying on us, and we return the favor to help them evade what (few) laws they have that prohibits spying on their people.

Only a matter of time until someone figured out the same method could be used to "meddle" in national affairs.

akaPatience -> Biggee Mikeee , 15 hours ago
I understand, but still wonder why the US would need to rely so much on British intelligence sources such as Steele about a very high profile American citizen and businessman -- aren't our intelligence services competent enough to have known and discovered as much if not more about Trump than other countries' intelligence services? I've read that Steele's cover was blown 20 years ago and he hasn't even been to Russia since, so I wonder why he was considered such a reliable source by both the US and UK? In my opinion as an absolute naif about such things, Steele seems like he may be a has-been when it comes to Russia.
DianaLC -> akaPatience , 4 hours ago
Here is a simple explanation from someone who knows almost nothing about how any of the people in power work: Most of them are not as clever and smart as they think they are. And most of the regular people who are just citizens are smarter than these people think they are.

It's simply that their arrogant assessment of their own superiority caused them to do really stupid things.

[Aug 08, 2018] Russiagate Cover for Real Scandal by Finian Cunningham

Notable quotes:
"... During his election campaign, Donald Trump reportedly received a $20 million donation from the American-Israeli casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Adelson has Israeli citizenship. Is that not foreign help, according to definition of US laws? ..."
"... Russiagate is a cover to conceal the really disturbing scandal which was, and continues to be, the attempt to subvert American democracy by US intelligence agencies working in cahoots with the Obama administration and Clinton's election campaign. To cover up those crimes, Russia is being maligned for "attacking American democracy". ..."
Aug 06, 2018 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

So the US news media are in uproar over President Trump's latest admission that a meeting between his son and a Russian lawyer more than two years ago was about "getting dirt" on Hillary Clinton.

With self-righteous probity, Trump's political and media enemies are declaring him a felon for accepting foreign interference in the US presidential election.

Admittedly, President Trump appears to have been telling lies about the past meeting, which took place at Trump Tower in New York City in the summer of 2016. Or maybe it's just this American president shooting himself in the foot -- again -- with his inimical gibberish-style.

However, the burning issue of "foreign interference" is being stoked out of all proportion by Trump's enemies who want him ousted from the White House.

US constitutional law forbids candidates from receiving help from foreign governments or foreign nationals.

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Thus, by appearing to accept a meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 -- during the presidential campaign -- the Trump election team are accused of breaking US law.

The alleged transgression fits in with the wider narrative of "Russiagate" which posits that Republican candidate Donald Trump colluded with the Kremlin to win the race to the White House against Democrat rival Hillary Clinton .

Russia has always denied any involvement in the US elections, saying the allegations are preposterous. Moscow also points out that in spite of indictments leveled by American prosecutors, there is no evidence to support claims that Russian hackers meddled in the presidential campaign, or that the Kremlin somehow assisted Trump.

The Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya , who met with the Trump campaign team in early June 2016 is described in US media as "Kremlin-linked". But that seems to be just more innuendo in place of facts. She denies any such connection. The Kremlin also says it had no relation with the attorney on her business of approaching Team Trump.

In any case, what is being totally missed in the latest brouhaha is the staggering hypocrisy in the US media circus over Trump. Let's take Trump at his word -- not a reliable source admittedly -- that his campaign team were trying to "get dirt" on Clinton. That would appear to be a violation of US law.

If Trump is going to be nailed for improper conduct with regard to alleged foreign assistance, then where does that leave Hillary Clinton and US intelligence agencies?

During the presidential campaign, Clinton's team contracted a British spy, Christopher Steele, to dig up dirt on Trump in the form of the so-called "Russian dossier". That was the pile of absurd claims alleging that the Kremlin had blackmailing leverage over Donald Trump. It was Steele's fantasies that largely turned into the whole Russiagate affair which has dominated US media and politics for the past two years.

Not only that, but now it transpires that the Federal Bureau of Investigation also paid the same British spy to act as a source for the FBI's wiretapping of Trump's associates, according to declassified documents obtained by Judicial Watch, a US citizens' rights group.

In other words, the foreign interference that the FBI engaged in under the Barack Obama administration, as well as by Hillary Clinton's campaign team, is on a far greater and more scandalous scale that Trump seems to have clumsily endeavored to do with a Russian lawyer.

The real, shocking interference in US democracy was not by Russia or Trump, but by American secret services working in collusion with the Clinton Democrats to distort the presidential elections. This scandal which Princeton Professor Stephen Cohen has labeled "Intelgate" is far more grievous than the Watergate crisis which resulted in President Richard Nixon's ignominious resignation back in the mid-1970s.

The Obama administration's intelligence agencies and the Democrats attempted to sabotage the 2016 presidential election in order to keep Trump out of the White House. They failed. And they have never gotten over that defeat to their illegal scheming.

The Russiagate claims are just a sideshow. As American writer Paul Craig Roberts, among others, has commented , the media-driven "witch hunt" against Trump and Russia is blown out of all proportion in order to distract from the real scandal which is Intelgate -- and how millions of American voters were potentially disenfranchised by the US intelligence apparatus for a political power grab.

Another staggering hypocrisy in the US media kerfuffle over Trump and alleged Russian interference is that all the fastidious hyperbole completely ignores actual foreign interference in American democracy -- foreign interference that is on an absolutely colossal scale.

As American critical thinker Noam Chomsky points out , "Israeli intervention in US elections overwhelms anything Russia may have done".

Israel's interference includes the multi-million-dollar lobbying by such groups as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its financial sponsorship of hundreds of lawmakers in both houses of Congress. Many critics maintain that the entire Congress is in effect "bought" by AIPAC.

Chomsky referred specifically to the occasion in 2015 when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu snubbed then President Obama by addressing the US Congress with a speech openly calling for lawmakers to reject the internationally-backed nuclear deal with Iran.

During his election campaign, Donald Trump reportedly received a $20 million donation from the American-Israeli casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Adelson has Israeli citizenship. Is that not foreign help, according to definition of US laws?

Trump has since shown himself to do Adelson's and Israel's bidding by walking away from the Iran deal and in pushing stridently pro-Israeli interests in the conflict with Palestinians.

Another foreign benefactor in US politics is the so-called Saudi lobby and other oil-rich Gulf Arab states. Millions of dollars are funneled into Congress by these dubious regimes to shape US government foreign policy in the Middle East. For several decades, Saudi oil money is also documented to be a major contributor to the CIA and its off-the-books covert operations around the world.

Foreign interference in US politics -- in which often nefarious foreign interests are promoted over those of ordinary American citizens -- is conducted on a gargantuan and systematic scale. But this massively illegal interference in flagrant violation of US laws is stupendously ignored by the American media.

Trump is being assailed over an alleged scandal regarding Russia which is, by any objective measure, negligible.

The whole Russiagate narrative is sheer hysteria driven by anti-Trump forces who do not want to accept the result of the 2016 election. It is, in effect, a coup attempt by unelected political forces.

Russiagate is a cover to conceal the really disturbing scandal which was, and continues to be, the attempt to subvert American democracy by US intelligence agencies working in cahoots with the Obama administration and Clinton's election campaign. To cover up those crimes, Russia is being maligned for "attacking American democracy".

Such lies are an odious distortion of the truth by America's real enemies who are its own domestic political and media operators trying to cover up their anti-constitutional crimes. What's even more despicable is that these people are willing to inflame US-Russia relations to the point of starting a war between two nuclear powers.

Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.

This article was originally published by " Sputnik " -

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

[Aug 08, 2018] The CIA, FBI, and US army killed Dr. King with the help of their organized crime assets. JFK might be killed the same way

Aug 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

From: Civil War II Coming by Kevin Barrett

William Pepper -- the King family's attorney who proved in a court of law that the CIA, FBI, and US army killed Dr. King with the help of their organized crime assets -- once spoke with a US Army Colonel who admitted to helping plan the assassination. The Colonel said that the military had done extensive focus group style interviews with participants in the 1967 race riots and determined that Dr. King's charisma was the biggest factor driving the riots.

Counterintuitively, the apostle of nonviolence was inspiring the psychological liberation of black people in such a way that a certain percentage felt empowered to act out their repressed anger. So when King determined to bring half a million followers to Washington, DC and stay there until the feds pulled out of Vietnam and declared a real war on poverty, the Colonel and his friends immediately envisioned the nation's capital erupting into mass violence that could spread nationwide on a scale many orders of magnitude beyond what had happened during 1967's Long Hot Summer, perhaps precipitating a real civil war culminating in the revolutionary overthrow of the American State. This, the Colonel explained to Pepper, was the primary reason King had to be terminated with extreme prejudice.

Predictably, the Deep State's murder of Dr. King did not solve the racial violence problem. The assassination itself set off a wave of new riots in cities including Chicago, Baltimore, and -- sorry, Colonel -- Washington, DC. White-dominated forces of the State retaliated with escalating repression. Black communities felt increasingly under siege, and have continued to feel that way until the present day.

[Aug 08, 2018] Why do the masses allow themselves to be politically swindled?)

Aug 08, 2018 | www.goodreads.com

"National Socialism made use of various means in dealing with various classes, and made various promises depending upon the social class it needed at a particular time. In the spring of 1933, for example, it was the revolutionary character of the Nazi movement that was given particular emphasis in Nazi propaganda in an effort to win over the industrial workers, and the first of May was "celebrated," but only after the aristocracy had been appeased in Potsdam. To ascribe the success solely to political swindle, however, would be to become entangled in a contradiction with the basic idea of freedom, and would practically exclude the possibility of a social revolution. What must be answered is: Why do the masses allow themselves to be politically swindled? The masses had every possibility of evaluating the propaganda of the various parties. Why didn't they see that, while promising the workers that the owners of the means of production would be disappropriated, Hitler promised the capitalists that their rights would be protected?"
Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

[Aug 08, 2018] National Socialist propaganda was contradictory; it's content was determined by the class for which it was intended. Only in its manipulation of the mystical feelings of the masses was it clear and consistent.

Aug 08, 2018 | www.goodreads.com

"It did not take National Socialism long to rally workers, most of whom were either unemployed or still very young, into the SA [Sturmangriff, Stormtroopers, "brown shirts"]. To a large extent, however, these workers were revolutionary in a dull sort of way and still maintained an authoritarian attitude. For this reason National Socialist propaganda was contradictory; it's content was determined by the class for which it was intended. Only in its manipulation of the mystical feelings of the masses was it clear and consistent.

In talks with followers of the National Socialist party and especially with members of the SA, it was clearly brought out that the revolutionary phraseology of National Socialism was the decisive factor in the winning over of these masses. One heard National Socialists deny that Hitler represented capital. One heard SA men warn Hitler that he must not betray the cause of the "revolution." One heard SA men say that Hitler was the German Lenin . Those who went over to National Socialism from Social Democracy and the liberal central parties were, without exception, revolutionary minded masses who were either nonpolitical or politically undecided prior to this. Those who went over from the Communist party were often revolutionary elements who simply could not make any sense of many of the German Communist party's contradictory political slogans. In part they were men upon whom the external features of Hitler's party, it's military character, its assertiveness, etc., made a big impression.

To begin with, it is the symbol of the flag that stands out among the symbols used for purposes of propaganda."
Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

[Aug 08, 2018] Wilhelm Reich Quotes

Aug 08, 2018 | www.goodreads.com

"Mistaking insolence for freedom has always been the hallmark of the slave."
Wilhelm Reich , Listen, Little Man!

"Open avowal of dictatorship is much less dangerous than sham democracy. The first one can fight; sham democracy is insidious."
Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

"Even more essential, however, is the identification of the individuals in the masses with the "führer." The more helpless the "mass-individual" has become, owing to his upbringing, the more pronounced is his identification with the führer, and the more the childish need for protection is disguised in the form of a feeling at one with the führer. This inclination to identify is the psychological basis of national narcissism, i.e., of the self-confidence that individual man derives from the "greatness of the nation."

The reactionary lower middle-class man perceives himself in the führer, in the authoritarian state. On the basis of this identification he feels himself to be a defender of the "national heritage," of the "nation," which does not prevent him, likewise on the basis of this identification, from simultaneously despising "the masses" and confronting them as an individual. The wretchedness of his material and sexual situation is so overshadowed by the exalting idea of belonging to a master race and having a brilliant führer that, as time goes on, he ceases to realize how completely he has sunk to a position of insignificant, blind allegiance.

The worker who is conscious of his skills -- he, in short, who has rid himself of his submissive structure, who identifies with his work and not with the führer, with the international working masses and not with the national homeland -- represents the opposite of this. He feels himself to be a leader , not on the basis of his identification with the führer, but on the basis of his consciousness of performing work that is vitally necessary for society's existence."
Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

"It was one of the greatest errors in evaluating dictatorship to say that the dictator forces himself on society against its own will. In reality, every dictator in history was nothing but the accentuation of already existing state ideas which he had only to exaggerate in order to gain power"
Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

"Race theorists, who are as old as imperialism itself, want to achieve racial purity in peoples whose interbreeding, as a result of the expansion of world economy, is so far advanced that racial purity can have meaning only to a numbskull." ― Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

"One cannot equate "capitalism" and "democracy." ― Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

"Power, no matter what kind of power it is, without a foundation in truth, is a dictatorship, more or less and in one way or another, for it is always based on man's fear of the social responsibility and personal burden that "freedom" entails." ― Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

"The word fascism is not a word of abuse any more than the word capitalism is. It is a concept denoting a very definite kind of mass leadership and mass influence: authoritarian, one-party system, hence totalitarian, a system in which power takes priority over objective interests, and facts are distorted for political purposes. Hence, there are "fascist Jews," just as there are "fascist Democrats." ― Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

"Finally, we arrive at the question of the so-called nonpolitical man. Hitler not only established his power from the very beginning with masses of people who were until then essentially nonpolitical; he also accomplished his last step to victory in March of 1933 in a "legal" manner, by mobilizing no less than five million nonvoters, that is to say, nonpolitical people. The Left parties had made every effort to win over the indifferent masses, without posing the question as to what it means "to be indifferent or nonpolitical."

If an industrialist and large estate owner champions a rightist party, this is easily understood in terms of his immediate economic interests. In his case a leftist orientation would be at variance with his social situation and would, for that reason, point to irrational motives. If an industrial worker has a leftist orientation, this too is by all mean rationally consistent -- it derives from his economic and social position in industry. If, however, a worker, an employee, or an official has a rightist orientation, this must be ascribed to a lack of political clarity, i.e., he is ignorant of his social position. The more a man who belongs to the broad working masses is nonpolitical, the more susceptible he is to the ideology of political reaction. To be nonpolitical is not, as one might suppose, evidence of a passive psychic condition, but of a highly active attitude, a defense against the awareness of social responsibility. The analysis of this defense against consciousness of one's social responsibility yields clear insights into a number of dark questions concerning the behavior of the broad nonpolitical strata. In the case of the average intellectual "who wants nothing to do with politics," it can easily be shown that immediate economic interests and fears related to his social position, which is dependent upon public opinion, lie at the basis of his noninvolvement. These fears cause him to make the most grotesque sacrifices with respect to his knowledge and convictions. Those people who are engaged in the production process in one way or another and are nonetheless socially irresponsible can be divided into two major groups. In the case of the one group the concept of politics is unconsciously associated with the idea of violence and physical danger, i.e., with an intense fear, which prevents them from facing life realistically. In the case of the other group, which undoubtedly constitutes the majority, social irresponsibility is based on personal conflicts and anxieties, of which the sexual anxiety is the predominant one. [ ] Until now the revolutionary movement has misunderstood this situation. It attempted to awaken the "nonpolitical" man by making him conscious solely of his unfulfilled economic interests. Experience teaches that the majority of these "nonpolitical" people can hardly be made to listen to anything about their socio-economic situation, whereas they are very accessible to the mystical claptrap of a National Socialist, despite the fact that the latter makes very little mention of economic interests. [This] is explained by the fact that severe sexual conflicts (in the broadest sense of the word), whether conscious or unconscious, inhibit rational thinking and the development of social responsibility. They make a person afraid and force him into a shell. If, now, such a self-encapsulated person meets a propagandist who works with faith and mysticism, meets, in other words, a fascist who works with sexual, libidinous methods, he turns his complete attention to him. This is not because the fascist program makes a greater impression on him than the liberal program, but because in his devotion to the führer and the führer's ideology, he experiences a momentary release from his unrelenting inner tension. Unconsciously, he is able to give his conflicts a different form and in this way to "solve" them." ― Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

"When, then, the Social Democrat worker found himself in the economic crisis which degraded him to the status of a coolie, the development of his revolutionary sentiments was severely retarded by the conservative structuralization that had been taking shape in him for decades. Either he remained in the camp of the Social Democrats, notwithstanding his criticism and rejection of their policies, or he went over to the NSDAP [Nazi party] in search of a better replacement. Irresolute and indecisive, owing to the deep contradiction between revolutionary and conservative sentiments, disappointed by his own leadership, he followed the line of least resistance. Whether he would give up his conservative tendencies and arrive at a complete consciousness of his actual responsibility in the production process, i.e., at a revolutionary consciousness, depended solely on the correct or incorrect leadership of the revolutionary party. Thus the communist assertion that it was the Social Democrat policies that put fascism in the saddle was correct from a psychological viewpoint. Disappointment in Social Democracy, accompanied by the contradiction between wretchedness and conservative thinking, must lead to fascism if there are no revolutionary organizations. For example, following the fiasco of the Labor party's policies in England, in 1930–31, fascism began to infiltrate the workers who, then, in the election of 1931, cut away to the Right, instead of going over to communism." ― Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

"Hence, what he wants -- and it is openly admitted -- is to implement nationalistic imperialism with methods he has borrowed from Marxism , including its technique of mass organization. But the success of this mass organization is to be ascribed to the masses and not to Hitler . It was man's authoritarian freedom-fearing structure that enabled his propaganda to take root. Hence, what is important about Hitler sociologically does not issue from his personality but from the importance attached to him by the masses. And what makes the problem all the more complex is the fact that Hitler held the masses, with whose help he wanted to carry out his imperialism, in complete contempt." ― Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

"As bitter as it may be, the fact remains: It is the irresponsibleness of masses of people that lies at the basis of fascism of all countries, nations, and races, etc. Fascism is the result of man's distortion over thousands of years. It could have developed in any country or nation. It is not a character trait that is confined specifically to the Germans or Italians. It is manifest in every single individual of the world. The Austrian saying "Da kann man halt nix machen" expresses this fact just as the American saying "Let George do it." That this situation was brought about by a social development which goes back thousands of years does not alter the fact itself. It is man himself who is responsible and not "historical developments." It was the shifting of the responsibility from living man to "historical developments" that caused the downfall of the socialist freedom movements. However, the events of the past twenty years demand the responsibility of the working masses of people.

If we take "freedom" to mean first and foremost the responsibility of each individual to shape personal, occupational, and social existence in a rational way, then it can be said that there is no greater fear than the fear of the creation of general freedom. Unless this basic problem is given complete priority and solved, there will never be a freedom capable of lasting more than one or two generations."
Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

"It did not take National Socialism long to rally workers, most of whom were either unemployed or still very young, into the SA [Sturmangriff, Stormtroopers, "brown shirts"]. To a large extent, however, these workers were revolutionary in a dull sort of way and still maintained an authoritarian attitude. For this reason National Socialist propaganda was contradictory; it's content was determined by the class for which it was intended. Only in its manipulation of the mystical feelings of the masses was it clear and consistent.

In talks with followers of the National Socialist party and especially with members of the SA, it was clearly brought out that the revolutionary phraseology of National Socialism was the decisive factor in the winning over of these masses. One heard National Socialists deny that Hitler represented capital. One heard SA men warn Hitler that he must not betray the cause of the "revolution." One heard SA men say that Hitler was the German Lenin . Those who went over to National Socialism from Social Democracy and the liberal central parties were, without exception, revolutionary minded masses who were either nonpolitical or politically undecided prior to this. Those who went over from the Communist party were often revolutionary elements who simply could not make any sense of many of the German Communist party's contradictory political slogans. In part they were men upon whom the external features of Hitler's party, it's military character, its assertiveness, etc., made a big impression.

To begin with, it is the symbol of the flag that stands out among the symbols used for purposes of propaganda." ― Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

"National Socialism made use of various means in dealing with various classes, and made various promises depending upon the social class it needed at a particular time. In the spring of 1933, for example, it was the revolutionary character of the Nazi movement that was given particular emphasis in Nazi propaganda in an effort to win over the industrial workers, and the first of May was "celebrated," but only after the aristocracy had been appeased in Potsdam. To ascribe the success solely to political swindle, however, would be to become entangled in a contradiction with the basic idea of freedom, and would practically exclude the possibility of a social revolution. What must be answered is: Why do the masses allow themselves to be politically swindled? The masses had every possibility of evaluating the propaganda of the various parties. Why didn't they see that, while promising the workers that the owners of the means of production would be disappropriated, Hitler promised the capitalists that their rights would be protected?"
Wilhelm Reich , The Mass Psychology of Fascism

"Yet, it was precisely our failure to differentiate between work and politics, between reality and illusion; it was precisely our mistake of conceiving of politics as a rational human activity comparable to the sowing of seeds or the construction of buildings that was responsible for the fact that a painter who failed to make the grade was able to plunge the whole world into misery. And I have stressed again and again that the main purpose of this book -- which, after all, was not written merely for the fun of it -- was to demonstrate these catastrophic errors in human thinking and to eliminate irrationalism from politics. It is an essential part of our social tragedy that the farmer, the industrial worke