Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous cells

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

... ... ....


Top updates

Bulletin Latest Past week Past month
Google Search


NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

Home 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section

The Deep State 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015

[Oct 16, 2018] Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Goes Neocon

Highly recommended!
The question is why the Deep State still is trying to depose him, if he essentially obeys the dictate of the Deep State ?
Notable quotes:
"... The Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Actually that's Trump. He demands total and utter loyalty from his people and gives none in return. ..."
"... The significance here is that Bolton and Pompeo represent just about everything Trump ran against during his 2016 presidential campaign. He ran against the country's foreign policy establishment and its rush to war in Iraq; its support of NATO's provocative eastward expansion; its abiding hostility toward Russia; its destabilization of the Middle East through ill-conceived and ill-fated activities in Iraq, Libya, and Syria; its ongoing and seemingly endless war in Afghanistan; and its enthusiasm for regime change and nation-building around the world. Bolton and Pompeo represent precisely those kinds of policies and actions as well as the general foreign policy outlook that spawned them. ..."
"... Trump gave every indication during the campaign that he would reverse those policies and avoid those kinds of actions. He even went so far, in his inimitable way, of accusing the Bush administration of lying to the American people in taking the country to war in Iraq, as opposed to making a reckless and stupid, though honest, mistake about that country's weapons of mass destruction. He said it would be great to get along with Russia and criticized NATO's aggressive eastward push. He said our aim in Syria should be to combat Islamist extremism, not depose Bashar al-Assad as its leader. In promulgating his America First approach, he specifically eschewed any interest in nation-building abroad. ..."
"... Still, generally speaking, anyone listening to Trump carefully before the election would have been justified in concluding that, if he meant what he said, he would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama. ..."
"... Thus any neutral observer, at the time of Mattis's selection as defense secretary, might have concluded that he was more bent on an adventurous American foreign policy than his boss. But it turned out to be just the opposite. There are two reasons for this. First, Mattis is cautious by nature, and he seems to have taken Trump at his word that he didn't want any more unnecessary American wars of choice. Hence he opposed the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal prior to Trump's decision to pull America out of it. That action greatly increased the chances that America and Iran could find themselves on a path to war. Mattis also redeployed some military resources from the Middle East to other areas designed to check actions by Russia and China, which he considered greater threats to U.S. security. ..."
"... That seems to have presented a marvelous opportunity to Bolton and Pompeo, whose philosophy and convictions are stark and visible to all. Bolton has made clear his desire for America to bring about regime change in Iran and North Korea. He supported the Iraq war and has never wavered in the face of subsequent events. He has advocated a preemptive strike against North Korea. Pompeo harbors similar views. He favored withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and has waxed bellicose on both Iran and Russia. ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Bolton was put in power to ensure unswerving loyalty to the dictates of Bibi Netanyahu and local neocons. Have we forgotten Iraq and endless wars since? ..."
"... this is all about Israel's hold on the Oval Office. Bolton and Pompeo are far, far closer to Israel than Mattis and that's a problem for him. Sorry Robert Merry, but you clearly didn't catch Trump's first foreign "policy" speech in 2016. He suddenly revealed his priorities for all to see. There are four words that Trump apologists simply cannot bring themselves to utter: "Trump is a neo-con". Suckers. ..."
"... Military adventurism is another disappointment. We can't afford more neocon disasters. We don't need to be the world's police force. We should be shrinking the military budgets. It is dismaying to watch the neocons gaining power after the catastrophic failures of recent decades. ..."
"... "Still, generally speaking, anyone listening to Trump carefully before the election would have been justified in concluding that, if he meant what he said, he would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama." ..."
"... Come on, anyone listening to Trump before the election realized that he said whatever drew the most applause from the crowd. He never, in his entire life, has meant what he said. ..."
"... He will continue down the neo-con line until Fox News and NY Times run front-page articles about how Bolton and Pompeo are manipulating him and actually running US foreign policy, at which time he will dump them and make up something else. ..."
"... Arrest the warmongering "leaders" who create havoc around the world ..."
"... I guess DJT offered you a "Bad Deal" then? Past performance does predict future results. ..."
Oct 16, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

In covering President Donald Trump's recent pregnant comments about Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, The Wall Street Journal tucked away in its story an observation that hints at the president's foreign policy direction. In an interview for CBS's 60 Minutes , the president described Mattis as "sort of a Democrat if you want to know the truth" and suggested he wouldn't be surprised if his military chief left his post soon. After calling him "a good guy" and saying the two "get along very well," Trump added, "He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves . That's Washington."

Actually that's Trump. He demands total and utter loyalty from his people and gives none in return. In just his first 14 months as president, he hired three national security advisors, reflecting the unstable relationships he often has with his top aides. Following the 60 Minutes interview, Washington was of course abuzz with speculation about what all this might mean for Mattis's fate and who might be the successor if Mattis were to quit or be fired. It was just the kind of fodder Washington loves -- human drama revealing Trump's legendary inconstancy amid prospective new turmoil in the capital.

But far more significant than Mattis's future or Trump's love of chaos was a sentence embedded in the Journal 's report. After noting that recent polls indicated that Mattis enjoys strong support from the American people, reporter Nancy A. Youssef writes: "But his influence within the administration has waned in recent months, particularly following the arrival of John Bolton as national security adviser and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo as secretary of state."

The significance here is that Bolton and Pompeo represent just about everything Trump ran against during his 2016 presidential campaign. He ran against the country's foreign policy establishment and its rush to war in Iraq; its support of NATO's provocative eastward expansion; its abiding hostility toward Russia; its destabilization of the Middle East through ill-conceived and ill-fated activities in Iraq, Libya, and Syria; its ongoing and seemingly endless war in Afghanistan; and its enthusiasm for regime change and nation-building around the world. Bolton and Pompeo represent precisely those kinds of policies and actions as well as the general foreign policy outlook that spawned them.

Trump gave every indication during the campaign that he would reverse those policies and avoid those kinds of actions. He even went so far, in his inimitable way, of accusing the Bush administration of lying to the American people in taking the country to war in Iraq, as opposed to making a reckless and stupid, though honest, mistake about that country's weapons of mass destruction. He said it would be great to get along with Russia and criticized NATO's aggressive eastward push. He said our aim in Syria should be to combat Islamist extremism, not depose Bashar al-Assad as its leader. In promulgating his America First approach, he specifically eschewed any interest in nation-building abroad.

The one area where he seemed to embrace America's post-Cold War aggressiveness was in his attitude toward Iran. But even there he seemed less bellicose than many of his Republican opponents in the 2016 primaries, who said they would rip up the Iran nuclear deal on their first day in office. Trump, by contrast, said it was a bad deal but one he would seek to improve.

Still, generally speaking, anyone listening to Trump carefully before the election would have been justified in concluding that, if he meant what he said, he would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Now we know he didn't mean what he said, and the latest tiff over the fate of Mattis crystallizes that reality. It's not that Mattis represents the kind of anti-establishment outlook that Trump projected during the campaign; in fact, he is a thoroughgoing product of that establishment. He said Iran was the main threat to stability in the Middle East. He supported sending arms to the Syrian rebels. He decried Russia's intent to "break NATO apart."

Thus any neutral observer, at the time of Mattis's selection as defense secretary, might have concluded that he was more bent on an adventurous American foreign policy than his boss. But it turned out to be just the opposite. There are two reasons for this. First, Mattis is cautious by nature, and he seems to have taken Trump at his word that he didn't want any more unnecessary American wars of choice. Hence he opposed the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal prior to Trump's decision to pull America out of it. That action greatly increased the chances that America and Iran could find themselves on a path to war. Mattis also redeployed some military resources from the Middle East to other areas designed to check actions by Russia and China, which he considered greater threats to U.S. security.

And second, it turns out that Trump has no true convictions when it comes to world affairs. He brilliantly discerned the frustrations of many Americans over the foreign policy of the previous 16 years and hit just the right notes to leverage those frustrations during the campaign. But his actual foreign policy has manifested a lack of consistent and strong philosophy. Consider his approach to NATO. During the campaign he criticized the alliance's eastward push and aggressive approach to Russia; then as president he accepted NATO's inclusion of tiny Montenegro, a slap at the Russians; then later he suggested Montenegro's NATO status could force the U.S. into a major conflagration if that small nation, which he described as aggressive, got itself into a conflict with a non-NATO neighbor. Such inconsistencies are not the actions of a man with strong convictions. They are hallmarks of someone who is winging it on the basis of little knowledge.

That seems to have presented a marvelous opportunity to Bolton and Pompeo, whose philosophy and convictions are stark and visible to all. Bolton has made clear his desire for America to bring about regime change in Iran and North Korea. He supported the Iraq war and has never wavered in the face of subsequent events. He has advocated a preemptive strike against North Korea. Pompeo harbors similar views. He favored withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and has waxed bellicose on both Iran and Russia.

Thus a conflict was probably inevitable between Mattis and these more recent administration arrivals. The New York Times speculates that Bolton likely undermined Mattis's standing in Trump's eyes. Writes the paper: "Mr. Bolton, an ideological conservative whose views on foreign policy are more hawkish than those of Mr. Mattis, appears to have deepened the president's suspicions that his defense secretary's view of the world is more like those of Democrats than his own."

The paper didn't clarify the basis of this speculation, but it makes sense. Bolton and Pompeo are gut fighters who go for the jugular. Trump is malleable, susceptible to obsequious manipulation. Mattis is an old-style military man with a play-it-straight mentality and a discomfort with guile. Thus it appears we may be seeing before our eyes the transformation of Trump the anti-establishment candidate into Trump the presidential neocon.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C. journalist and publishing executive, is a writer-at-large for . His latest book is President McKinley: Architect of the American Century .


General Manager October 15, 2018 at 11:30 pm

Bolton was put in power to ensure unswerving loyalty to the dictates of Bibi Netanyahu and local neocons. Have we forgotten Iraq and endless wars since? We need more folks like Phil Giraldi at TAC. Love him or hate him – but please bring him back. The First Amendment needs him. And many of us still long for his direct and well-informed comments.
George Hoffman , says: October 16, 2018 at 5:27 am
"Come on now!" as sports analysts say in a sarcastic segment about football blunders on ESPN. Did GWB really make just an honest mistake based upon faulty intelligence? Does this writer really believe his assertion? This intellectually dishonest essay comes on the heels of a puff piece by another so-called "conservative" writer who asserted that had JFK not been assassinated and won a second term, he would have surely withdrawn American soldiers from South Vietnam. And then later in this essay the writer finally admits that these wars in the global war on terror, excluding the war in Afghanistan, were unnecessary. But if these other wars were unnecessary, then it historically follows they were illegal wars of aggression against humanity. That was the legal basis under which we tried Nazi leaders as war criminals at Numenberg. By the way, if Trump does get rid of Mattis, there are plenty more, one could even say they are a dime a dozen, at the Pentagon who would be willing to toe the line under Trump. They're basically professional careerists, corporate suits with misto salads of colorful medals on their uniforms. They take their marching orders from the military/industrial complex. I'm a Vietnam vet and realized long ago how clueless these generals actually are when we crossed our Rubicon in Vietnam. The war on terror now rivals the Vietnam War as a major foreign policy debacle. All these other unnecessary wars are part of the endgame as we continue our decline as a constitutional republic and we eventually hit bottom and go bankrupt by 2030.
jd , says: October 16, 2018 at 9:37 am
Absolutely right General Manager, this is all about Israel's hold on the Oval Office. Bolton and Pompeo are far, far closer to Israel than Mattis and that's a problem for him. Sorry Robert Merry, but you clearly didn't catch Trump's first foreign "policy" speech in 2016. He suddenly revealed his priorities for all to see. There are four words that Trump apologists simply cannot bring themselves to utter: "Trump is a neo-con". Suckers.
Kirt Higdon , says: October 16, 2018 at 10:23 am
When was Trump's foreign policy anything but Neo-con? Oh, he had a few good lines when he was running – that was the "con" part. I didn't fall for it but many did. But since he took office, he's been across-the-board anti-Russian, anti-Iran, pro-Saudi, uber-Zionist, and enthusiastic shill for the military-industrial complex.
Patricus , says: October 16, 2018 at 10:35 am
Trump surprised many of us with some very positive conservative actions but has also disappointed smaller government conservatives. The deficits and debt grows as the economy improves. What in the world happens in the next recession?

Military adventurism is another disappointment. We can't afford more neocon disasters. We don't need to be the world's police force. We should be shrinking the military budgets. It is dismaying to watch the neocons gaining power after the catastrophic failures of recent decades.

TheSnark , says: October 16, 2018 at 11:05 am
"Still, generally speaking, anyone listening to Trump carefully before the election would have been justified in concluding that, if he meant what he said, he would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama."

Come on, anyone listening to Trump before the election realized that he said whatever drew the most applause from the crowd. He never, in his entire life, has meant what he said.

He will continue down the neo-con line until Fox News and NY Times run front-page articles about how Bolton and Pompeo are manipulating him and actually running US foreign policy, at which time he will dump them and make up something else.

swb , says: October 16, 2018 at 11:34 am
Hmm

And second, it turns out that Trump has no true convictions when it comes to world affairs.

Fixed:

And second, it turns out that Trump has no true convictions.

This is another article that attempts to overlay some sort of actual logical policy or moral framework over the top of Trumps actions. Please stop. Next week or next month this whole line of reasoning will be upended again and you will have to start over with another theory that contradicts this one.

BradleyD , says: October 16, 2018 at 11:40 am
@R Dodge

Are are you implying that Mattis is a slacker? Like, he isn't doing a good job? And, specially, what is he failing to do?

Even if he wasn't doing anything at all, you don't fire Mattis. He is beloved among the military. While a fair number revere and maybe even keep their own little "St. Mattis" shrine as a joke, it is only half a joke.

Mattis is one of the few modern military generals with a cult of personality who, I have little doubt, could declare crossing the Rubicon and would get a good number of veterans and active marching in support.

Stephen J. , says: October 16, 2018 at 11:48 am
I believe a good peaceful and appropriate "Foreign Policy" would be to:

"Arrest Them"

Arrest all those responsible for the plight of the Refugees
These people are in camps, or drowning in unfriendly seas
And when these unwanted, reach "safety," or a foreign land
They are treated like garbage and the rulers want them banned

Arrest these "rulers" who created this hell on earth
Who act, that human lives, don't have any worth
They are examples of evil and should not be in power
They really are disgraceful and an awful bloody shower

Arrest the warmongering "leaders" who create havoc around the world
Authorizing bombings and killings these "leaders" should be reviled
Instead we give them fancy titles and homes to park their asses
Will there ever be a day of reckoning and a rise up of the masses?

Arrest the financiers of these bloody wars of destruction
This is how these blood sucking parasites get their satisfaction
Drag them away in chains and handcuffs, and orange prison attire
These are the corporate cannibals who set the world on fire

Arrest the fat and plump little "honourable" Ministers of Wars
They are the "useful idiots" for the leading warmongering whores
They never fight in battle or sacrifice any of their rotten lives
They get others to do their evil work while they themselves thrive

Arrest the corporate chieftains who feed off death and destruction
And who count their bloodstained profits with smiling satisfaction
These are the well dressed demons who call their investments "creating jobs"
Meanwhile, around the world the oppressed are crying, and nobody hears their sobs

Arrest the uniformed generals who blindly obey their marching orders
To bomb, kill, maim and destroy: they are the brainwashed enforcers
Years ago there were trials for war crimes committed by those in charge
Now we need them again for we have war criminals at large

Arrest all the aforementioned, and help clean up the world
We cannot afford these people in power: Are they mentally disturbed?
They are a danger to all of us and we better wake up
Is it time to arrest all of them: Have you had enough?
[more info at links below]

http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2015/09/arrest-them.html
-- --

https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-great-satan-and-his-satanic-gang-of.html
-- –
https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-satanic-savages-in-suits-and-dresses.html

FJR Atlanta , says: October 16, 2018 at 12:13 pm
Hillary was right when she called Trump a puppet. She just had the puppeteers wrong.
Doswell , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm
"The significance here is that Bolton and Pompeo represent just about everything Trump ran against during his 2016 presidential campaign. "

Yes. Those two names are the main reason that this lifelong Republican is voting against Trump and the GOP in a few weeks. I voted against this kind of crap in 2016.

Sid Finster , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:09 pm
Trump is weak, stupid and easily manipulated. That is obvious. What blows my mind is how many people refuse to admit this obvious fact.
b. , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:11 pm
"[G]enerally speaking, anyone listening [..] before the election would have been justified in concluding [Trump] would reverse America's post-Cold War foreign policy as practiced by George W. Bush and Barack Obama."

What did Judas Goat 43 say again?

"Fool me once, shame on me. Full me twice in the long run we'll all be dead."

I guess DJT offered you a "Bad Deal" then? Past performance does predict future results.

Cape Fear , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:13 pm
If Trump loses at least one house of Congress this year, he can put it down to 1) failure on immigration and border control, 2) failure to control government spending, and 3) failure to get us out of the Middle East.

His new neocon friends are responsible for 3) and couldn't care less about 1) and 2).

One Guy , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:24 pm
"Now we know he didn't mean what he said "

No, Mr. Merry. We knew that long ago. I don't know how much attention you've been paying, but it's been so obvious for so long. But better late than never, I suppose.

Myron Hudson , says: October 16, 2018 at 1:56 pm
The only thing that surprises me is that anyone is surprised.

[Oct 16, 2018] Defeat in Bavaria delivers knockout punch to Merkel's tenure as Chancellor (Video)

Oct 16, 2018 | theduran.com

The stunning CSU defeat in Bavaria means that the coalition partner in Angela Merkel's government has lost an absolute majority in their worst election results in Bavaria since 1950.

In a preview analysis before the election, Deutsche Welle noted that a CSU collapse could lead to Seehofer's resignation from Merkel's government, and conceivably Söder's exit from the Bavarian state premiership, which would remove two of the chancellor's most outspoken critics from power , and give her room to govern in the calmer, crisis-free manner she is accustomed to.

On the other hand, a heavy loss and big resignations in the CSU might well push a desperate party in a more volatile, abrasive direction at the national level. That would further antagonize the SPD, the center-left junior partners in Merkel's coalition, themselves desperate for a new direction and already impatient with Seehofer's destabilizing antics, and precipitate a break-up of the age-old CDU/CSU alliance, and therefore a break-up of Merkel's grand coalition. In short: Anything could happen after Sunday, up to and including Merkel's fall.

The Financial Times reports that the campaign was dominated by the divisive issue of immigration, in a sign of how the shockwaves from Merkel's disastrous decision to let in more than a million refugees in 2015-16 are continuing to reverberate through German politics and to reshape the party landscape.

The Duran's Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the stunning Bavarian election defeat of the CSU party, and the message voters sent to Angela Merkel, the last of the Obama 'rat pack' neo-liberal, globalist leaders whose tenure as German Chancellor appears to be coming to an end.

[Oct 16, 2018] Dan King and E.A. Greene

Notable quotes:
"... Stalin was a leader ahead of his time, with his relatively benign surveillance state plans, compared to those of the "Free" world. ..."
Oct 16, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

October 16, 2018

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?app_id=347697165243043&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2Fr%2FtrnHszv6jVd.js%3Fversion%3D42%23cb%3Df1fc6d9b48e7b9b%26domain%3Dwww.theamericanconservative.com%26origin%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.theamericanconservative.com%252Ff1715404b434fd7%26relation%3Dparent.parent&container_width=0&font=lucida%20grande&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com%2Farticles%2Fthanks-to-government-that-road-sign-might-be-watching-you%2F&layout=button_count&locale=en_US&sdk=joey&send=true&show_faces=false&width=125

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets/tweet_button.d547ddd75cc4ca7cc5a63b70da3da301.en.html#dnt=false&id=twitter-widget-0&lang=en&original_referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com%2Farticles%2Fthanks-to-government-that-road-sign-might-be-watching-you%2F&related=amconmag&size=m&text=Thanks%20to%20Government%2C%20That%20Road%20Sign%20Might%20Be%20Watching%20You%20%7C%20The%20American%20Conservative&time=1539730689591&type=share&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com%2Farticles%2Fthanks-to-government-that-road-sign-might-be-watching-you%2F&via=amconmag

https://apis.google.com/se/0/_/+1/fastbutton?usegapi=1&size=medium&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com%2Farticles%2Fthanks-to-government-that-road-sign-might-be-watching-you%2F&gsrc=3p&ic=1&jsh=m%3B%2F_%2Fscs%2Fapps-static%2F_%2Fjs%2Fk%3Doz.gapi.en_US.zqeZRrLWCek.O%2Fam%3DwQ%2Frt%3Dj%2Fd%3D1%2Frs%3DAGLTcCPv3H0D2jF0uRhEjfC8YwW5TyaZnQ%2Fm%3D__features__#_methods=onPlusOne%2C_ready%2C_close%2C_open%2C_resizeMe%2C_renderstart%2Concircled%2Cdrefresh%2Cerefresh&id=I0_1539730689501&_gfid=I0_1539730689501&parent=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com&pfname=&rpctoken=45003301

Credit: reddees/Shutterstock Should each and every intersection you stop at or drive through be a potential federal surveillance site? The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) certainly seems to think so. The DEA is currently expanding its use of license plate readers (LPRs) in digital road signs, which is sure to have an impact on drivers' basic expectation of privacy.

The agency sees this program as a collaboration between "federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement license plate readers" to curb the actions of drug traffickers, money launderers, and other criminals. The agency installs these cameras in digital street signs on roads that it believes are popular with lawbreakers.

Such actions are not unique to the DEA. Police agencies share the data they obtain from LPRs with hundreds of different local, state, and federal agencies. These agencies range from police departments to Customs and Border Patrol to the U.S. Park Service to the U.S. Postal Service. For example, the San Diego Police Department is reportedly sharing its license plate data with around 900 different federal, state, and local agencies.

Before these agencies can use their LPRs, though, the roads they select must have use for the signs in which they are installed. Daniel Herriges, an urban planner and content manager at Strong Towns, observes that "road design is, in fact, often the biggest underlying cause of unsafe speed in cities." Because traffic engineers design roads to be forgiving, it creates the perception that they are less risky. Motorists then respond "by driving faster or less attentively," Herriges says.

In response to such unsafe driving, communities like Albuquerque, New Mexico, have been requesting traffic calming and enforcement measures through safe street initiatives, including signs that warn drivers. This unwittingly provides an outlet for data collection.

Herriges suggests that rather than increase enforcement, roads should be rethought entirely. "Addressing speed through design rather than through enforcement carries numerous advantages," he says. "For one, it's more effective -- studies consistently show that most drivers disregard posted speed limits." That means traffic engineering could be the best defense of Fourth Amendment rights in terms of license plate data collection -- except, of course, for a constitutional challenge in court.

No federal or state courts have made any rulings on the constitutionality of an LPR program as vast as the DEA's. Instead, the judiciary has ruled that "single-instance database checks of license plate numbers" do not constitute searches under the Fourth Amendment. The courts have argued this is the case because license plates are in "plain view." However, the DEA's massive database, and the sharing they engage in with other agencies, clearly exceed the "single-instance" that courts have ruled constitutional.

"Law enforcement likes to claim that because license plates are in public view that creating massive ALPR networks aren't very different than stationing cops at certain locations and having them write down the information by hand," said Dave Maass, senior investigative researcher at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). "So far, there haven't been many challenges to this in the courts, except on the state level. That said, policymakers have been pursuing (and passing) new restrictions on both sides of the aisle."

Baltimore's Failed Surveillance Regime To Make Streets Safe, Make Them Dangerous

Similar to the National Security Agency's vast metadata collection program, the sharing of license plate information can paint a very holistic picture of who a person is and what their day-to-day life looks like. It can be as mundane as a person visiting his parents or it can be more intrusive -- local police could share the data of everyone who visits a certain immigration lawyer with Customs and Border Patrol, for example.

"I am definitely concerned that agencies may target people by searching ALPR data for visitors to immigration lawyers, medical clinics serving undocumented people, churches specializing in foreign-language services, or locations where day laborers gather," Maass said. He added that DHS routinely uses "questionable tactics" when detaining undocumented immigrants.

The DEA expanding its LPR program would further erode Americans' basic expectation of privacy, and do nothing to make America's streets any safer. It's time to stop throwing more money and resources at the failed war on drugs.

Dan King is a Young Voices contributor, journalist, and digital communications professional based in Arlington, Virginia. His work has appeared at Reason , , The Week and the Washington Examiner .

Ethan A. Greene is a Young Voices alumnus and master's student of City and Regional Planning at Clemson University. His writing has appeared in Strong Towns, Planetizen, Spiked!, and the Washington Times .



Frank D October 16, 2018 at 1:27 pm

The biggest waste of tax payers' money everywhere are speed limit signs. Nobody pays any attention to them unless you see a police vehicle.
Fran Macadam , , October 16, 2018 at 2:31 pm
Stalin was a leader ahead of his time, with his relatively benign surveillance state plans, compared to those of the "Free" world.

Only in his dreams -- or the United States and its clients.

Waz , , October 16, 2018 at 2:52 pm
Don't underestimate the gravity of yet another ominous sign of times. Ever since the first street cameras appeared the specter of totalitarian control has loomed large.

That moment brought into sharp focus concern that the technology that enables unlimited storage and instant access to data could quickly become the tool of total control, too tempting to any form of government and transform it into a totalitarian monster.

I was shocked by how virtually no resistance emerged, no serious, principled objections were raised. Now, we are rapidly progressing into the next stage. If conservatism stands for anything, this is the hill to die on. Comrades frogs, water's getting warmer, high time to jump out!

[Oct 16, 2018] How Fascism Works by Jason Stanley

From the book How Fascism Works The Politics of Us and Them Jason Stanley Amazon.com Hardcover: 240 pages Publisher: Random House (September 4, 2018)
Fascism is always eclectic and its doctrine is composed of several sometimes contradicting each other ideas. "Ideologically speaking, [the program] was a wooly, eclectic mixture of political, social, racist, national-imperialist wishful thinking..." (Ideologically speaking, [the program] was a wooly, eclectic mixture of political, social, racist, national-imperialist wishful thinking..." )
Some ideas are "sound bite only" and never are implemented and are present only to attract sheeple (looks National Socialist Program ). he program championed the right to employment , and called for the institution of profit sharing , confiscation of war profits , prosecution of usurers and profiteers, nationalization of trusts , communalization of department stores, extension of the old-age pension system, creation of a national education program of all classes, prohibition of child labor , and an end to the dominance of investment capital "
There is also "bait and switch" element in any fascism movement. Original fascism was strongly anti-capitalist, militaristic and "national greatness and purity" movement ("Make Germany great again"). It was directed against financial oligarchy and anti-semantic element in it was strong partially because it associated Jews with bankers and financial industry in general. In a way "Jews" were codeword for investment bankers.
For example " Arbeit Macht Frei " can be viewed as a neoliberal slogan. Then does not mean that neoliberalism. with its cult of productivity, is equal to fascism, but that neoliberal doctrine does encompass elements of the fascist doctrine including strong state, "law and order" mentality and relentless propaganda.
The word "fascist" is hurled at political / ideological opponents so often that it lost its meaning. The Nazi Party (NSDAP) originated as a working-class political party . This is not true about Trump whom many assume of having fascist leanings. His pro white working class rhetoric was a fig leaf used for duration or elections. After that he rules as a typical Republican president favoring big business. And as a typical neocon in foreign policy.
From this point of view Trump can't be viewed even as pro-fascist leader because first of all he does not have his own political movement, ideology and political program. And the second he does not strive for implementing uniparty state and abolishing the elections which is essential for fascism political platform, as fascist despise corrupt democracy and have a cult of strong leader.
All he can be called is neo-fascist s his some of his views do encompass ideas taken from fascist ideology (including "law and order"; which also is a cornerstone element of Republican ideology) as well as idealization and mystification of the US past. But with Bannon gone he also can't even pretend that he represents some coherent political movement like "economic nationalism" -- kind of enhanced mercantilism.
Of course, that does not mean that previous fascist leaders were bound by the fascism political program, but at least they had one. Historian Karl Dietrich Bracher writes that, "To [Hitler, the program] was little more than an effective, persuasive propaganda weapon for mobilizing and manipulating the masses. Once it had brought him to power, it became pure decoration: 'unalterable', yet unrealized in its demands for nationalization and expropriation, for land reform and 'breaking the shackles of finance capital'. Yet it nonetheless fulfilled its role as backdrop and pseudo-theory, against which the future dictator could unfold his rhetorical and dramatic talents."
Notable quotes:
"... Fascist politics invokes a pure mythic past tragically destroyed. Depending on how the nation is defined, the mythic past may be religiously pure, racially pure, culturally pure, or all of the above. But there is a common structure to all fascist mythologizing. In all fascist mythic pasts, an extreme version of the patriarchal family reigns supreme, even just a few generations ago. ..."
"... Further back in time, the mythic past was a time of glory of the nation, with wars of conquest led by patriotic generals, its armies filled with its countrymen, able-bodied, loyal warriors whose wives were at home raising the next generation. In the present, these myths become the basis of the nation's identity under fascist politics. ..."
"... In the rhetoric of extreme nationalists, such a glorious past has been lost by the humiliation brought on by globalism, liberal cosmopolitanism, and respect for "universal values" such as equality. These values are supposed to have made the nation weak in the face of real and threatening challenges to the nation's existence. ..."
"... fascist myths distinguish themselves with the creation of a glorious national history in which the members of the chosen nation ruled over others, the result of conquests and civilization-building achievements. ..."
"... The function of the mythic past, in fascist politics, is to harness the emotion of ­nostalgia to the central tenets of fascist ideology -- authoritarianism, hierarchy, purity, and struggle. ..."
Oct 16, 2018 | www.amazon.com

Chapter 1: The Mythic Past

It's in the name of tradition that the anti-Semites base their "point of view." It's in the name of tradition, the long, historical past and the blood ties with Pascal and Descartes, that the Jews are told, you will never belong here.

-- Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (1952)

It is only natural to begin this book where fascist politics invariably claims to discover its genesis: in the past. Fascist politics invokes a pure mythic past tragically destroyed. Depending on how the nation is defined, the mythic past may be religiously pure, racially pure, culturally pure, or all of the above. But there is a common structure to all fascist mythologizing. In all fascist mythic pasts, an extreme version of the patriarchal family reigns supreme, even just a few generations ago.

Further back in time, the mythic past was a time of glory of the nation, with wars of conquest led by patriotic generals, its armies filled with its countrymen, able-bodied, loyal warriors whose wives were at home raising the next generation. In the present, these myths become the basis of the nation's identity under fascist politics.

In the rhetoric of extreme nationalists, such a glorious past has been lost by the humiliation brought on by globalism, liberal cosmopolitanism, and respect for "universal values" such as equality. These values are supposed to have made the nation weak in the face of real and threatening challenges to the nation's existence.

These myths are generally based on fantasies of a nonexistent past uniformity, which survives in the traditions of the small towns and countrysides that remain relatively unpolluted by the liberal decadence of the cities. This uniformity -- linguistic, religious, geographical, or ­ethnic -- ​can be perfectly ordinary in some nationalist movements, but fascist myths distinguish themselves with the creation of a glorious national history in which the members of the chosen nation ruled over others, the result of conquests and civilization-building achievements. For example, in the fascist imagination, the past invariably involves traditional, patriarchal gender roles. The fascist mythic past has a particular structure, which supports its authoritarian, hierarchical ideology. That past societies were rarely as patriarchal -- or indeed as glorious -- as fascist ideology represents them as being is beside the point. This imagined history provides proof to support the imposition of hierarchy in the present, and it dictates how contemporary society should look and behave.

In a 1922 speech at the Fascist Congress in Naples, Benito Mussolini declared:

We have created our myth. The myth is a faith, a passion. It is not necessary for it to be a reality. . . . Our myth is the nation, our myth is the greatness of the nation! And to this myth, this greatness, which we want to translate into a total reality, we subordinate everything.

The patriarchal family is one ideal that fascist politicians intend to create in society -- or return to, as they claim. The patriarchal family is always represented as a central part of the nation's traditions, diminished, even recently, by the advent of liberalism and cosmopolitanism. But why is patriarchy so strategically central to fascist politics?

In a fascist society, the leader of the nation is analogous to the father in the traditional patriarchal family. The leader is the father of his nation, and his strength and power are the source of his legal authority, just as the strength and power of the father of the family in patri­archy are supposed to be the source of his ultimate moral authority over his children and wife. The leader provides for his nation, just as in the traditional family the father is the provider. The patriarchal father's authority derives from his strength, and strength is the chief authoritarian value. By representing the nation's past as one with a patriarchal family structure, fascist politics connects nostalgia to a central organizing hierarchal authoritarian structure, one that finds its purest representation in these norms.

Gregor Strasser was the National Socialist -- Nazi -- Reich propaganda chief in the 1920s, before the post was taken over by Joseph Goebbels. According to Strasser, "for a man, military service is the most profound and valuable form of participation -- for the woman it is motherhood!" Paula Siber, the acting head of the Association of German Women, in a 1933 document meant to reflect official National Socialist state policy on women, declares that "to be a woman means to be a mother, means affirming with the whole conscious force of one's soul the value of being a mother and making it a law of life . . . ​the highest calling of the National Socialist woman is not just to bear children, but consciously and out of total devotion to her role and duty as mother to raise children for her people." Richard Grunberger, a British historian of National Socialism, sums up "the kernel of Nazi thinking on the women's question" as "a dogma of inequality between the sexes as immutable as that between the races." The historian Charu Gupta, in her 1991 article "Politics of Gender: Women in Nazi Germany," goes as far as to argue that "oppression of women in Nazi Germany in fact furnishes the most extreme case of anti-feminism in the 20th century."

Here, Mussolini makes clear that the fascist mythic past is intentionally mythical. The function of the mythic past, in fascist politics, is to harness the emotion of ­nostalgia to the central tenets of fascist ideology -- authoritarianism, hierarchy, purity, and struggle.

With the creation of a mythic past, fascist politics creates a link between nostalgia and the realization of fascist ideals. German fascists also clearly and explicitly appreciated this point about the strategic use of a mythological past. The leading Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, editor of the prominent Nazi newspaper the Völkischer Beobachter, writes in 1924, "the understanding of and the respect for our own mythological past and our own history will form the first condition for more firmly anchoring the coming generation in the soil of Europe's original homeland." The fascist mythic past exists to aid in changing the present.

Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. Before coming to Yale in 2013, he was Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University. Stanley is the author of Know How; Languages in Context; More about Jason Stanley

5.0 out of 5 stars

July 17, 2018 Format: Hardcover Vine

Highly readable

w.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R36R5FWIWTP6F0/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0525511830">

By Joel E. Mitchell on September 13, 2018
Massive Partisan Bias

This could have been such a helpful, insightful book. The word "fascist" is hurled at political / ideological opponents so often that it has started to lose its meaning. I hoped that this book would provide a historical perspective on fascism by examining actual fascist governments and drawing some parallels to the more egregious / worrisome trends in US & European politics. The chapter titles in the table of contents were promising:

- The Mythic Past
- Propaganda
- Anti-Intellectual
- Unreality
- Hierarchy
- Victimhood
- Law & Order
- Sexual Anxiety
- Sodom & Gomorrah
- Arbeit Macht Frei

Ironically (given the book's subtitle) the author used his book divisively: to laud his left-wing political views and demonize virtually all distinctively right-wing views. He uses the term "liberal democracy" inconsistently throughout, disengenuously equivocating between the meaning of "representative democracy as opposed to autocratic or oligarchic government" (which most readers would agree is a good thing) and "American left-wing political views" (which he treats as equally self-evidently superior if you are a right-thinking person). Virtually all American right-wing political views are presented in straw-man form, defined in such a way that they fit his definition of fascist politics.

I was expecting there to be a pretty heavy smear-job on President Trump and his cronies (much of it richly deserved...the man's demagoguery and autocratic tendencies are frightening), but for this to turn into "let's find a way to define virtually everything the Republicans are and do as fascist politics" was massively disappointing. The absurdly biased portrayal of all things conservative and constant hymns of praise to all things and all people left-wing buried some good historical research and valid parallels under an avalanche of partisanism.

If you want a more historical, less partisan view of the rise of fascist politics, I would highly recommend Darkness Over Germany by E. Amy Buller (Review Here). It was written during World War II (based on interviews with Germans before WWII), so you will have to draw your own contemporary parallels...but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

[Oct 14, 2018] James Comey And The Unending Bush Torture Scandal

Oct 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

James Comey And The Unending Bush Torture Scandal

by Tyler Durden Sun, 10/14/2018 - 21:40 13 SHARES Authored by James Bovard via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

The vast regime of torture created by the Bush administration after the 9/11 attacks continues to haunt America. The political class and most of the media have never dealt honestly with the profound constitutional corruption that such practices inflicted. Instead, torture enablers are permitted to pirouette as heroic figures on the flimsiest evidence.

Former FBI chief James Comey is the latest beneficiary of the media's "no fault" scoring on the torture scandal. In his media interviews for his new memoir, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership , Comey is portraying himself as a Boy Scout who sought only to do good things. But his record is far more damning than most Americans realize.

Comey continues to use memos from his earlier government gigs to whitewash all of the abuses he sanctified. "Here I stand; I can do no other," Comey told George W. Bush in 2004 when Bush pressured Comey, who was then Deputy Attorney General, to approve an unlawful anti-terrorist policy. Comey was quoting a line supposedly uttered by Martin Luther in 1521, when he told Emperor Charles V and an assembly of Church officials that he would not recant his sweeping criticisms of the Catholic Church.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, and other organizations did excellent reports prior to Comey's becoming FBI chief that laid out his role in the torture scandal. Such hard facts, however, have long since vanished from the media radar screen. MSNBC host Chris Matthews recently declared, "James Comey made his bones by standing up against torture. He was a made man before Trump came along." Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria, in a column declaring that Americans should be "deeply grateful" to lawyers such as Comey, declared, "The Bush administration wanted to claim that its 'enhanced interrogation techniques' were lawful. Comey believed they were not . So Comey pushed back as much as he could. "

Martin Luther risked death to fight against what he considered the scandalous religious practices of his time. Comey, a top Bush administration policymaker, found a safer way to oppose the worldwide secret U.S. torture regime widely considered a heresy against American values: he approved brutal practices and then wrote some memos and emails fretting about the optics.

Losing Sleep

Comey became deputy attorney general in late 2003 and "had oversight of the legal justification used to authorize" key Bush programs in the war on terror, as a Bloomberg News analysis noted. At that time, the Bush White House was pushing the Justice Department to again sign off on an array of extreme practices that had begun shortly after the 9/11 attacks. A 2002 Justice Department memo had leaked out that declared that the federal Anti-Torture Act "would be unconstitutional if it impermissibly encroached on the President's constitutional power to conduct a military campaign." The same Justice Department policy spurred a secret 2003 Pentagon document on interrogation policies that openly encouraged contempt for the law: "Sometimes the greater good for society will be accomplished by violating the literal language of the criminal law."

Photos had also leaked from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq showing the stacking of naked prisoners with bags over their heads, mock electrocution from a wire connected to a man's penis, guard dogs on the verge of ripping into naked men, and grinning U.S. male and female soldiers celebrating the sordid degradation. Legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh published extracts in the New Yorker from a March 2004 report by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba that catalogued other U.S. interrogation abuses: "Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee."

The Bush administration responded to the revelations with a torrent of falsehoods, complemented by attacks on the character of critics. Bush declared, "Let me make very clear the position of my government and our country . The values of this country are such that torture is not a part of our soul and our being." Bush had the audacity to run for reelection as the anti-torture candidate, boasting that "for decades, Saddam tormented and tortured the people of Iraq. Because we acted, Iraq is free and a sovereign nation." He was hammering this theme despite a confidential CIA Inspector General report warning that post–9/11 CIA interrogation methods might violate the international Convention Against Torture.

James Comey had the opportunity to condemn the outrageous practices and pledge that the Justice Department would cease providing the color of law to medieval-era abuses. Instead, Comey merely repudiated the controversial 2002 memo. Speaking to the media in a not-for-attribution session on June 22, 2004, he declared that the 2002 memo was "overbroad," "abstract academic theory," and "legally unnecessary." He helped oversee crafting a new memo with different legal footing to justify the same interrogation methods.

Comey twice gave explicit approval for waterboarding , which sought to break detainees with near-drowning. This practice had been recognized as a war crime by the U.S. government since the Spanish-American War. A practice that was notorious when inflicted by the Spanish Inquisition was adopted by the CIA with the Justice Department's blessing. (When Barack Obama nominated Comey to be FBI chief in 2013, he testified that he had belatedly recognized that waterboarding was actually torture.)

Comey wrote in his memoir that he was losing sleep over concern about Bush-administration torture polices. But losing sleep was not an option for detainees, because Comey approved sleep deprivation as an interrogation technique. Detainees could be forcibly kept awake for 180 hours until they confessed their crimes. How did that work? At Abu Ghraib, one FBI agent reported seeing a detainee "handcuffed to a railing with a nylon sack on his head and a shower curtain draped around him, being slapped by a soldier to keep him awake." Numerous FBI agents protested the extreme interrogation methods they saw at Guantanamo and elsewhere, but their warnings were ignored.

Comey also approved "wall slamming" -- which, as law professor David Cole wrote, meant that detainees could be thrown against a wall up to 30 times. Comey also signed off on the CIA's using "interrogation" methods such as facial slaps, locking detainees in small boxes for 18 hours, and forced nudity. When the secret Comey memo approving those methods finally became public in 2009, many Americans were aghast -- and relieved that the Obama administration had repudiated Bush policies.

When it came to opposing torture, Comey's version of "Here I stand" had more loopholes than a reverse-mortgage contract. Though Comey in 2005 approved each of 13 controversial extreme interrogation methods, he objected to combining multiple methods on one detainee.

The Torture Guy

In his memoir, Comey relates that his wife told him, "Don't be the torture guy!" Comey apparently feels that he satisfied her dictate by writing memos that opposed combining multiple extreme interrogation methods. And since the vast majority of the American media agree with him, he must be right.

Comey's cheerleaders seem uninterested in the damning evidence that has surfaced since his time as a torture enabler in the Bush administration. In 2014, the Senate Intelligence Committee finally released a massive report on the CIA torture regime -- including death resulting from hypothermia, rape-like rectal feeding of detainees, compelling detainees to stand long periods on broken legs, and dozens of cases where innocent people were pointlessly brutalized. Psychologists aided the torture regime, offering hints on how to destroy the will and resistance of prisoners. From the start, the program was protected by phalanxes of lying federal officials.

When he first campaigned for president, Barack Obama pledged to vigorously investigate the Bush torture regime for criminal violations. Instead, the Obama administration proffered one excuse after another to suppress the vast majority of the evidence, pardon all U.S. government torturers, and throttle all torture-related lawsuits. The only CIA official to go to prison for the torture scandal was courageous whistleblower John Kiriakou. Kiriakou's fate illustrates that telling the truth is treated as the most unforgivable atrocity in Washington.

If Comey had resigned in 2004 or 2005 to protest the torture techniques he now claims to abhor, he would deserve some of the praise he is now receiving. Instead, he remained in the Bush administration but wrote an email summarizing his objections, declaring that "it was my job to protect the department and the A.G. [Attorney General] and that I could not agree to this because it was wrong." A 2009 New York Times analysis noted that Comey and two colleagues "have largely escaped criticism [for approving torture] because they raised questions about interrogation and the law." In Washington, writing emails is "close enough for government work" to confer sainthood.

When Comey finally exited the Justice Department in August 2005 to become a lavishly paid senior vice president for Lockheed Martin, he proclaimed in a farewell speech that protecting the Justice Department's "reservoir" of "trust and credibility" requires "vigilance" and "an unerring commitment to truth." But he had perpetuated policies that shattered the moral credibility of both the Justice Department and the U.S. government. He failed to heed Martin Luther's admonition, "You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say."

Comey is likely to go to his grave without paying any price for his role in perpetuating appalling U.S. government abuses. It is far more important to recognize the profound danger that torture and the exoneration of torturers pose to the United States. "No free government can survive that is not based on the supremacy of the law," is one of the mottoes chiseled into the façade of Justice Department headquarters. Unfortunately, politicians nowadays can choose which laws they obey and which laws they trample. And Americans are supposed to presume that we still have the rule of law as long as politicians and bureaucrats deny their crimes. Tags


Keyser , 22 minutes ago link

Comey was the hand-picked schlub that was placed in a position of power to be a firewall... Nothing more and he has been rewarded handsomely for playing this role... One can only hope that one day he becomes a liability to his handlers and that there is a pack of hungry, wild dogs that will rips him apart... Hopefully on PPV...

Mr Hankey , 10 minutes ago link

He is no shlub.

High ranking officer in the Clinton/Bush global crime cartel.

Banker,mic lawyer ,spy,secret police.

Like Stalin's Beria

Chupacabra-322 , 24 minutes ago link

Once the Torture was Irrefutable & Fact.

The Absolute, Complete, Open, in our Faces Tyrannical Lawlessness began.

Unabated. Like a malignant Cancer.

Growing to Gargantuan proportions.

Irrefutable proof of the absolute, complete, open Lawlessness by the Criminal Fraud UNITED STATES, CORP. INC., its CEO & Board of Directors.

1. Torture .
2. WMD lie to the American People.
3. Lying the American People into War.
4. Illegal Wars of Aggression.
5. Arming, funding & training of terror organizations by the State Dept. / CIA & members of CONgress.
6. BENGAZI
7. McCain meets with ISIS (Pics available).
8. Clapper lies to CONgress.
9. Brennan lies to CONgress & taps Congressional phones / computers.
10. Lynch meets Clinton on tarmac.
11. Fast & Furious deals with the Sinaloa Cartel.
12. Holder in Contempt of CONgress.
13. CIA drug / gun running / money laundering through the tax payer bailed out TBTFB.
14. Illegal NSA Spying on the American People.
15. DNC Federal Election Crime / Debbie Wasserman Shultz.
16. Hillary Clinton email Treason.
17. Clinton Foundation pay to play RICO.
18. Anthony Weiner 650,000 #PizzaGate Pedo Crimes.
19. Secret Iran deal.
20. Lynch takes the Fifth when asked about Iran deal
21. FBI murders LaVoy Finicum

At the current moment we're completely Lawless.

We have been for quite some time. In the past, their Criminality was "Hidden in plain view."

Now it's out in the open, in your face Criminality & Lawlessness. Complete debachary.

Thing is, the bar & precedent has been set so high among these Criminals I doubt we will ever see another person arrested in our lifetime.

dirty fingernails , 13 minutes ago link

It isn't true lawlessness, its 2-tier law like in a feudal society. The upper crust have no laws binding them and we serfs have many laws to bind us.

currency , 26 minutes ago link

Comey thinks he is above the law. He and his associates feel they are not bound by the rules and laws of the US, they are the ELITE. Comey should go to JAIL, HARD CORE not Country Club, along with his associates, Yates, Rosenstein, Brennan, McCabe, Stzrock, Paige and etc. Lock him up

[Oct 14, 2018] Where Is Trump's Alleged Isolationism by Ted Galen Carpenter

Notable quotes:
"... American Conservative ..."
Oct 09, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

It's nearly impossible to read major newspapers, magazines, or online publications in recent months without encountering a plethora of articles contending that the United States is turning inward and "going alone," "abandoning Washington's global leadership role" or "retreating from the world." These trends supposedly herald the arrival of a new "isolationism." The chief villain in all of these worrisome developments is, of course, Donald Trump. There is just one problem with such arguments; they are vastly overstated bordering on utterly absurd.

President Trump is not embracing his supposed inner isolationist. The policy changes that he has adopted regarding both security and international economic issues do not reflect a desire to decrease Washington's global hegemonic status. Instead, they point to a more unilateral and militaristic approach, but one that still envisions a hyper-activist U.S. role.

For instance, it's certainly not evident that the United States is abandoning its security commitments to dozens of allies and clients. Despite the speculation that erupted in response to Trump's negative comments about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other alliances during the 2016 election campaign (and occasionally since then), the substance of U.S. policy has remained largely unchanged. Indeed, NATO has continued to expand its membership with Trump's blessing -- adding Montenegro and planning to add Macedonia.

Indeed, Trump's principal complaint about NATO has always focused on European free-riding and the lack of burden-sharing, not about rethinking the wisdom of the security commitments to Europe that America undertook in the early days of the Cold War. In that respect, Trump's emphasis on greater burden-sharing within the Alliance is simply a less diplomatic version of the message that previous generations of U.S. officials have tried sending to the allies.

Moreover, Trump's insistence at the July NATO summit in Brussels that the European nations increase their military budgets and do more for transatlantic defense echoed the comments of President Obama's Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in 2014. Hagel warned his European counterparts that they must step up their commitment to the alliance or watch it become irrelevant. Declining European defense budgets, he emphasized, are "not sustainable. Our alliance can endure only as long as we are willing to fight for it, and invest in it." Rebalancing NATO's "burden-sharing and capabilities," Hagel stressed, "is mandatory -- not elective."

Additionally, U.S. military activities along NATO's eastern flank certainly have not diminished during the Trump administration. Washington has sent forces to participate in a growing number of exercises (war games) along Russia's western land border -- as well as in the Black Sea -- to demonstrate the U.S. determination to protect its alliance partners. Trump has even escalated America's "leadership role" by authorizing the sale of weapons to Ukraine -- a very sensitive step that President Obama carefully avoided.

Trump even seems receptive to establishing permanent U.S. military bases in Eastern Europe. During a state visit to Washington in mid-September, Poland's president, Andrzej Duda, promised to provide $2 billion toward construction costs if the United States built a military base in his country. Duda even offered to name the base "Fort Trump." Trump's reaction was revealing. Noting that Poland "is willing to make a very major contribution to the United States to come in and have a presence in Poland," Trump stated that the United States would take Duda's proposal "very seriously." American Conservative columnist Daniel Larison notes that while Trump often is accused of wanting to "retreat" from the world, "his willingness to entertain this proposal shows that he doesn't care about stationing U.S. forces abroad so long as someone else is footing most of the bill."

U.S. military activism does not seem to have diminished outside the NATO region either. Washington persists in its futile regime-change campaign in Syria, and it continues the shameful policy of assisting Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies pursue their atrocity-ridden war in Yemen. Both of those Obama-era ventures should have been prime candidates for a policy change if Trump had wished to decrease America's military activism.

There are no such indications in Europe, the Middle East, or anywhere else. The U.S. Navy's freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea have actually increased in size and frequency under Trump -- much to China's anger . Washington's diplomatic support for Taiwan also has quietly increased over the past year or so, and National Security Advisor John Bolton is on record suggesting that the United States move some of its troops stationed on Okinawa to Taiwan. The U.S. military presence in Sub-Saharan Africa is increasing, both in overall size and the number of host countries.

Those are all extremely strange actions for an administration supposedly flirting with a retreat from the world to be adopting. So, too, is Trump's push for increases in America's already bloated military budget, which now exceeds $700 billion -- with even higher spending levels on the horizon.

Accusations of a U.S. retreat from the world on non-military matters have only slightly greater validity. True, Trump has shown little patience for multilateral arrangements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Paris climate agreement, or the United Nations Human Rights Council that he concluded did not serve America's national interests. On those issues, the president's actions demonstrated that his invocation of "America First" was not just rhetoric. However, regarding such matters, as well as the trade disputes with China and North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement partners, the administration's emphasis is on securing a "better deal" for the United States, not abandoning the entire diplomatic process. One might question the wisdom or effectiveness of that approach, but it is a far cry from so-called isolationism.

Indeed, Americans would have been better off if Trump had been more serious about challenging the policy status quo, especially with respect to security issues. A reconsideration of Washington's overgrown and often obsolete security commitments to allies and clients around the world is long overdue. Abandoning the disastrous twin strategies of humanitarian military intervention and regime-change wars is a badly needed step. And waging a new cold war against Russia is the height of dangerous folly that needs to be reversed.

But contrary to Trump's shrill -- and sometimes hysterical -- critics, America has had no meaningful reconsideration of such misguided policies or a willingness to adopt a more focused, limited, and prudent U.S. role in the world. Notions that there has been a pell-mell U.S. retreat from global leadership -- i.e., Washington's hegemonic pretentions -- under Donald Trump are a myth. What Trump has adopted is merely a more unilateral and militarized version of a stale foreign policy that does not benefit the American people.


Source: The National Interest

[Oct 12, 2018] 'Land of censorship home of the fake' Alternative voices on Facebook and Twitter's crackdown

Normal people do not browse Facebook, anyway.
Notable quotes:
"... "misleading users." ..."
"... Journalist Glenn Greenwald hit out at those on the left who cheered Facebook and Twitter's coordinated 'deplatforming' of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in August. "Those who demanded Facebook & other Silicon Valley giants censor political content...are finding that content that they themselves support & like end up being repressed," he wrote. "That's what has happened to every censorship advocate in history." ..."
"... "a wider war on dissident narratives in online media." ..."
"... "eyes and ears" ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | www.rt.com

Alternative voices online are incensed after Facebook and Twitter closed down hundreds of political media pages ahead of November's crucial midterm elections. Facebook says they broke its spam rules, they say it's censorship. Some 800 pages spanning the political spectrum, from left-leaning organizations like The Anti Media, to flag-waving opinion sites like Right Wing News and Nation in Distress, were shut down. Other pages banned include those belonging to police brutality watchdog groups Filming Cops and Policing the Police.

Even RT America's Rachel Blevins found her own page banned for posts that were allegedly "misleading users."

Journalist Glenn Greenwald hit out at those on the left who cheered Facebook and Twitter's coordinated 'deplatforming' of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in August. "Those who demanded Facebook & other Silicon Valley giants censor political content...are finding that content that they themselves support & like end up being repressed," he wrote. "That's what has happened to every censorship advocate in history."

In America, Conservatives were the first to complain about unfair treatment by left-leaning Silicon Valley tech giants. However, leftist sites have increasingly become targets in what Blumenthal calls "a wider war on dissident narratives in online media." In identifying enemies in this "war," Facebook has partnered up with the Digital Forensics Lab, an offshoot of NATO-sponsored think tank the Atlantic Council. The DFL has promised to be Facebook's "eyes and ears" in the fight against disinformation (read: alternative viewpoints).

[Oct 12, 2018] Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

Oct 12, 2018 | southfront.org

Institutional Corruption

If one had to identify the main reason behind the utter failure of the U.S. political establishment and military leadership, both civilian and in uniform, to identify and prioritize weapons programs and procurement that was truly in line with the national defense needs of the country, it would be the institutional corruption of the U.S. military industrial complex. This is not a fault of one party, but is the inevitable outcome of a thoroughly corrupted system that both generates and wastes great wealth at the expense of the many for the benefit of the few.

Massive defense budgets do not lead to powerful military forces nor sound national defense strategy. The United States is the most glaring example of how a nation's treasure can be wasted, its citizens robbed for generations, and its political processes undermined by an industry bent on maximizing profitability by encouraging and exacerbating conflict. At this point it is questionable that the United States' could remain economically viable without war, so much of its GDP is connected in some way to the pursuit of conflict.

There is no doubt that the War Department was renamed the Department of Defense in an Orwellian sleight of hand in 1947, just a few years after end of World War II. The military industrial complex grew into a monolith during the war, and the only way to justify the expansion of the complex, was by finding a new enemy to justify the new reality of a massive standing military, something that the U.S. Constitution expressly forbids. This unlawful state of affairs has persisted and expanded into a rotten, bloated edifice of waste. Wasted effort, wasted wealth and the wasted lives of millions of people spanning every corner of the planet. Tens of thousands of brave men and women in uniform, and millions of civilians of so many nations, have been tossed into the blades of this immoral meat grinder for generations.

President Donald Trump was very proud to announce the largest U.S. military budget in the nation's history last year. The United States spent (or more accurately, borrowed from generations yet to come) no less than $874.4 billion USD. The declared base budget for 2017 was $523.2 billion USD, yet there are also the Overseas Contingency Operations and Support budgets that have to be considered in determining the total cost. The total DOD annual costs have doubled from 2003 to the present. Yet, what has the DOD really accomplished with so much money and effort? Very little of benefit to the U.S. tax payer for sure, and paradoxically the exorbitant waste of the past fifteen years have left every branch of the U.S. military weaker.

The U.S. Congress has the duty and responsibility of reigning in the military adventurism of the executive branch. They have the sole authority to declare war, but more importantly, the sole authority to approve the budget requests of the military. It is laughable to think that the U.S. Congress will do anything to reign in military spending. The Congress and the Senate are as equally guilty as the Executive in promoting and benefitting from the military industrial complex. Envisioned as a bulwark against executive power, the U.S. Congress has become an integral component of that complex. No Senator or Representative would dare to go against the industry that employs so many constituents within their state, or pass up on the benefits afforded them through the legalized insider-trading exclusive to them, or the lucrative jobs that await them in the defense industry and the many think tanks that promote continued prosecution of war.

[Oct 12, 2018] The Shaky Case That Russia Manipulated Social Media to Tip the 2016 Election by Gareth Porter

Russians under each Facebook account
Oct 12, 2018 | original.antiwar.com
adopted false US personas online to get people to attend rallies and conduct other political activities. (An alternative explanation is that IRA is a purely commercial, and not political, operation.)

Whether those efforts even came close to swaying US voters in the 2016 presidential election, as Shane and Mazzetti claimed, is another matter.

Shane and Mazzetti might argue that they are merely citing figures published by the social media giants Facebook and Twitter, but they systematically failed to report the detailed explanations behind the gross figures used in each case, which falsified their significance.

Their most dramatic assertions came in reporting the alleged results of the IRA's efforts on Facebook. "Even by the vertiginous standards of social media," they wrote, "the reach of their effort was impressive: 2,700 fake Facebook accounts, 80,000 posts, many of them elaborate images with catchy slogans, and an eventual audience of 126 million Americans on Facebook alone."

Then, to dramatize that "eventual audience" figure, they observed, "That was not far short of the 137 million people who would vote in the 2016 presidential elections."

But as impressive as these figures may appear at first glance, they don't really indicate an effective attack on the US election process at all. In fact, without deeper inquiry into their meaning, those figures were grossly misleading.

A Theoretical Possibility

What Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch actually said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last October was quite different from what the Times reporters claimed. "Our best estimate is that approximately 126,000 million people may have been served one of these [IRA-generated] stories at some time during the two year period," Stretch said.

Stretch was expressing a theoretical possibility rather than an established accomplishment. Facebook was saying that it estimated 126 million Facebook members might have gotten at least one story from the IRA –- not over the ten week election period but over 194 weeks during the two years 2015 through 2017. That, figure, in turn, was based on the estimate that 29 million people might have gotten at least one story in their Facebook feed over that same two-year period and on the assumption that they shared it with others at a particular rate.

The first problem with citing those figures as evidence of impact on the 2016 election is that Facebook did not claim that all or even most of those 80,000 IRA posts were election–related. It offered no data on what proportion of the feeds to those 29 million people was, in fact, election-related. But Stretch did testify that IRA content over that two–year period represented just four thousandths (.0004) of the total content of Facebook newsfeeds.

Thus each piece of IRA content in a twitter feed was engulfed in 23,000 pieces of non-IRA content.

That is an extremely important finding, because, as Facebook's Vice President for News Feed, Adam Moseri, acknowledged in 2016 , Facebook subscribers actually read only about 10 percent of the stories Facebook puts in their News Feed every day. The means that very few of the IRA stories that actually make it into a subscriber's news feed on any given day are actually read.

Facebook did conduct research on what it calls "civic engagement" during the election period, and the researchers concluded that the "reach" of the content shared by what they called "fake amplifiers" was "marginal compared to the volume of civic content shared during the US elections." That reach, they said, was "statistically very small" in relation to "overall engagement on political issues."

Shane and Mazzaetti thus failed to report any of the several significant caveats and disclaimers from Facebook itself that make their claim that Russian election propaganda "reached" 126 million Americans extremely misleading.

Tiny IRA Twitter Footprint

Shane and Mazzetti's treatment of the role of Twitter in the alleged Russian involvement in the election focuses on 3,814 Twitter accounts said to be associated with the IRA, which supposedly "interacted with 1.4 million Americans." Although that number looks impressive without any further explanation, more disaggregated data provide a different picture: more than 90 percent of the Tweets from the IRA had nothing to do with the election, and those that did were infinitesimally few in relation to the entire Twitter stream relating to the 2016 campaign.

Twitter's own figures show that those 3,814 IRA-linked accounts posted 175,993 Tweets during the ten weeks of the election campaign, but that only 8.4 percent of the total number of IRA-generated Tweets were election-related.

Twitter estimated that those 15,000 IRA-related tweets represented less than .00008 (eight one hundred thousandths) of the estimated total of 189 million tweets that Twitter identified as election-related during the ten-week election campaign. Twitter has offered no estimate of how many Tweets, on average were in the daily twitter stream of those people notified by Twitter and what percentage of them were election-related Tweets from the IRA. Any such notification would certainly show, however, that the percentage was extremely small and that very few would have been read.

Research by Darren Linvill and Patrick Warren of Clemson University on 2.9 million Tweets from those same 3,814 IRA accounts over a two year period has revealed that nearly a third of its Tweets had normal commercial content or were not in English; another third were straight local newsfeeds from US localities or mostly non-political "hashtag games", and the final third were on "right" or "left" populist themes in US society.

Furthermore, there were more IRA Tweets on political themes in 2017 than there had been during the election year. As a graph of those tweets over time shows, those "right" and "left" Tweets peaked not during the election but during the summer of 2017.

The Mysterious 50,000 'Russia-Linked' Accounts

Twitter also determined that another 50,258 automated Twitter accounts that tweeted about the election were associated with Russia and that they have generated a total to 2.1 million Tweets – about one percent of the total number election-related tweets of during the period.

But despite media coverage of those Tweets suggesting that they originated with the Russian government, the evidence doesn't indicate that at all. Twitter's Sean Edgett told the Senate Intelligence Committee last November that Twitter had used an "expansive approach to defining what qualifies as a Russian-linked account". Twitter considered an account to be "Russian" if any of the following was found: it was created in Russia or if the user registered the account with a Russian phone carrier or a Russian email; the user's display name contains Cyrillic characters; the user frequently Tweets in Russian, or the user has logged in from any Russian IP address.

Edgett admitted in a statement in January, however, that there were limitations on its ability to determine the origins of the users of these accounts. And a past log-in from a Russian IP address does not mean the Russian government controls an account. Automated accounts have bought and sold for many years on a huge market, some of which is located in Russia. As Scott Shane reported in September 2017, a Russian website BuyAccs.com offers tens and even hundreds of thousands of Twitter accounts for bulk purchase.

Twitter also observed that "a high concentration of automated engagement and content originated from data centers and users accessing Twitter via Virtual Private Networks ("VPNs") and proxy servers," which served to mask the geographical origin of the tweet. And that practice was not limited to the 50,000 accounts in question. Twitter found that locations of nearly 12 percent of the Tweets generated during the election period were masked because of use of such networks and servers.

Twitter identified over half of the Tweets, coming from about half of the 50,000 accounts as being automated, and the data reported on activity on those 50,000 accounts in question indicates that both the Trump and Clinton campaigns were using the automated accounts in question. The roughly 23,000 automated accounts were the source of 1.34 million Tweets, which represented .63 percent of the total election-related Tweets. But the entire 50,000 accounts produced about 1 percent of total election-related tweets.

Hillary Clinton got .55 percent of her total retweets from the 50,000 automated accounts Twitter calls "Russia-linked" and .62 percent of her "likes" from them. Those percentages are close to the percentage of total election-related Tweets generated by those same automated accounts. That suggests that her campaign had roughly the same proportion of automated accounts among the 50,000 accounts as it did in the rest of the accounts during the campaign.

Trump, on the other hand, got 1.8 percent of this total "likes" and 4.25 percent of his total Retweets for the whole election period from those accounts, indicating his campaign was more invested in the automated accounts that were the source of two-thirds of the Tweets in those 50,000 "Russia-linked" accounts.

The idea promoted by Shane and Mazzetti that the Russian government seriously threatened to determine the winner of the election does not hold up when the larger social media context is examined more closely. Contrary to what the Times' reporters and the corporate media in general would have us believe, the Russian private sector effort accounted for a minuscule proportion of the election-related output of social media. The threat to the US political system in general and its electoral system in particular is not Russian influence; it's in part a mainstream news media that has lost perspective on the truth.

Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan. His new book is Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare . He can be contacted at porter.gareth50@gmail.com . Reprinted from Consortium News with the author's permission.

[Oct 12, 2018] For years disinformation specialists have peddled a giant lie about the crash of Pan Am 103 at Lockerbie

Oct 12, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Coldish , Oct 11, 2018 5:17:07 PM | link

That might sound far fetched or even crazy but we have been here before. When in December 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie it was quite obvious that it was a revenge act for the July 1988 murder of 290 people on board of Iran Air flight 655 by the U.S. navy. But the investigation was fudged and in the end it was politically most convenient to blame Libya's Ghaddafi for the Pan Am disaster even while he had nothing to do with either incident.

@8: For an objective discussion, with detailed analysis of the forensic evidence, of how and where the Lockerbie bomb was placed I recommend the book 'Adequately explained by stupidity?' by M.Kerr. The author (wisely in my view) does not speculate on who might have placed the bomb, although she makes it clear that it could not have been either of the Libyans tried for the crime. The book is not perfect, as it lacks an index, but you can't have everything!

mauisurfer , Oct 11, 2018 5:55:53 PM | link

re: Lockerbie

Read this
https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Document:The_Framing_of_al-Megrahi

originally published in 2009 here (but you must sign up):
https://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n18/gareth-peirce/the-framing-of-al-megrahi

mauisurfer , Oct 11, 2018 6:07:33 PM | link
Re: Lockerbie
Here is a previous article from 2007 also from LRB:
https://www.lrb.co.uk/v29/n12/hugh-miles/inconvenient-truths
Ross , Oct 11, 2018 6:36:17 PM | link
@Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | Oct 11, 2018 4:31:13 PM | 8

re Lockerbie

This is excellent: Lockerbie - The Flight From Justice Paul Foot - Private Eye Special Report

A dying ember of investigative journalism in the UK, written by a good man no longer with us.

Guerrero , Oct 11, 2018 10:21:47 PM | link
To Pan Am Flight 103: 4-5 years ago i watched a documentation about it, with the usual narrative. But some weeks ago i tried to learn some more pieces of the truth about it, and on Wikipedia is a MSM/propaganda article like so often these days. Has anyone some links to an unbiased account on the tragedy? Thanks in advance! Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | Oct 11, 2018 4:31:13 PM | 8

"For years disinformation specialists have peddled a giant lie about the crash of Pan Am 103 at Lockerbie. Time and time again the media has hysterically regurgitated the flawed and impossible legend that Maid of the Seas was brought to earth by a bomb triggered by a barometrically-activated timer, hidden in a radio in a samsonite suitcase. A barometric timer set for 10,000 feet altitude, which miraculously failed to activate when the Air Malta Flight it was allegedly planted on climbed through 10,000 feet after departing Valetta for Frankfurt, and again when the Pam Am feeder Boeing 727 to London climbed through 10,000 feet after departing Frankfurt." https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Document:The_Bomb_Trigger_on_Pam_Am_103
Copyright Joe Vialls, May 2000
pogohere , Oct 12, 2018 1:20:42 AM | link
DontBelieveEitherPropaganda @8

In The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Politics of Terror , which bombing is a modern template for many false flags that follow, i.e. , a drill goes live, the author follows a myriad of threads, including the fact that CIA intelligence officers were on Pan Am 103 ("Inconvenient Truths" and "Lockerbie: The Flight From Justice" mention this was well). The contention is that they were returning to Langley to present evidence that a rogue CIA group was running drugs through Lebanon. It sez here the rogues managed to place a bomb on the plane in Germany.

lili , Oct 12, 2018 6:49:45 AM | link
@ 9

I looked into the Lockerbie thing several years ago and was astonished to find out that the only link to Lybia was a Swiss made timer supposedly used to detonate the bomb. It was found "by chance" although the plane debris were scattered over many square kilometers...

hestroy , Oct 12, 2018 8:42:20 AM | link

@9 Lockerbee ---> https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6222677/How-world-sold-monstrous-lie-Lockerbie.html

Barbara Ann , Oct 12, 2018 2:26:43 PM | link
@9 For Pan Am 103 & much more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p04b183c/adam-curtis-hypernormalisation needs a UK IP address
dh , Oct 12, 2018 3:19:01 PM | link Peter Brooke , Oct 12, 2018 3:45:01 PM | link
In response to DontBelieveEitherPropaganda, item 9 above, a good account of the Lockerbie affair by David Morrison can be found at http://www.peterbrooke.org.uk/p%26t/Lockerbie/index
Jen , Oct 12, 2018 3:55:04 PM | link
DontBelieveEitherPropaganda @ 9:

My understanding of the Lockerbie air tragedy is that it's a classic example of two birds being killed with one stone.

Where TPTB find a possibility that two problems or issues can be dealt with by the same solution, however violent, that possibility becomes reality.

The context to the Lockerbie shootdown is that at the time the CIA was running a heroin-trafficking racket in the Middle East with Lebanese partners. Investigators from the DIA (Defense Intelligency Agency, the Pentagon's own spy agency) discovered this scheme and collected evidence to expose it. The CIA became aware of what the DIA agents knew and wanted them out of the way. One of the CIA's Lebanese partners knew that the Iranian government, or people within it, wanted revenge on the US for the earlier shootdown of an Iranian passenger jet by the USS Vincennes in the Persian Gulf.

The CIA's Lebanese partners knew of the Iranians' desire for revenge and may have arranged with the Iranians to substitute a bomb for cash or heroin packets in a suitcase taken on board the Pan Am jet. This case may have been part of the evidence the DIA was taking back to the US (but the DIA agents might not have known at the time they took the case on board).

I am not sure of all the details (details not being my strong suit) but that's my understanding in a nutshell.

FWIW, the Wikipedia article on alternate theories surrounding the Lockerbie air crash offers sources you may like to chase up:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_Flight_103_conspiracy_theories#CIA_drug_smuggling

[Oct 12, 2018] Like the values and rules that led the NSA to eavesdrop on Chancellor Merkel's phone calls for years, and to use American Embassies as listening posts. Mutti Merkel was very understanding, considering they were only doing it to keep us all safe.

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman October 4, 2018 at 11:02 am

"the GRU's disregard for global values and rules that keep us all safe".

Like the values and rules that led the NSA to eavesdrop on Chancellor Merkel's phone calls for years, and to use American Embassies as listening posts. Mutti Merkel was very understanding, considering they were only doing it to keep us all safe.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/cover-story-how-nsa-spied-on-merkel-cell-phone-from-berlin-embassy-a-930205.html

The British and the Dutch – and doubtless all America's many 'allies' – have no real pride left. They just keep bending over further.

[Oct 12, 2018] if Russia is so incompetent- why are they deemed a threat? Why is NATO beating the war drums about such a country?

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

James lake October 5, 2018 at 4:07 am

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/05/string-of-own-goals-by-russian-gru-spies-reveals-new-trend-of-sloppiness

The secretive, daring GRU seems to have lost its way in the age of internet search

//if Russia is so incompetent- why are they deemed a threat?
//Why is NATO beating the war drums about such a country?

Moscow Exile October 5, 2018 at 4:15 am
Because it is dangerous in its incompetence?
yalensis October 5, 2018 at 1:48 pm
There is nothing more dangerous than a monkey armed with a hand grenade(?)
kirill October 5, 2018 at 6:02 am
As pointed out elsewhere there is no such agency called the GRU. Like there is no agency called the KGB. This in itself demonstrates that NATzO is spreading pure propaganda.
Mark Chapman October 5, 2018 at 9:14 am
It's probably not sloppiness, per se; it's more that Britain has reached a new level of dazzling investigative brilliance, so that normal GRU tradecraft can no longer withstand its piercing eye.

[Oct 11, 2018] Rosenstein Bails On Congressional Testimony

Oct 11, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Rosenstein said he was joking when he made the comments to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and FBI attorney Lisa Page, however that claim has been refuted by the FBI's former top attorney.

"We have many questions for Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and expect answers to those questions. There is not at this time a confirmed date for a potential meeting ," the aide told the Caller .

" Don't think he is coming ," added one Republican lawmaker on Wednesday.

The same lawmaker told TheDCNF on Tuesday that Rosenstein was likely to testify before the House Judiciary and House Oversight & Government Reform Committees to answer questions about claims he discussed wearing a wire during his interactions with Trump.

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus had called on Rosenstein to testify about his remarks, which were first reported by The New York Times on Sept. 21.

The conservative lawmakers, including North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, have been staunch critics of Rosenstein because of his failure to respond to requests for documents related to the FBI's handling of the Trump-Russia probe. - Daily Caller

On Tuesday we reported that the FBI's former top attorney, James Baker, told Congressional investigators last week that Rosenstein wasn't joking about taping Trump.

"As far as Baker was concerned, this was a real plan being discussed," reports The Hill 's John Solomon, citing a confidential source.

"It was no laughing matter for the FBI," the source added.

Solomon points out that Rosenstein's comments happened right around the time former FBI Director James Comey was fired.

McCabe, Baker's boss, was fired after the DOJ discovered that he had leaked self-serving information to the press and then lied to investigators about it. Baker, meanwhile, was central to the surveillance apparatus within the FBI during the counterintelligence operation on then-candidate Trump.

As the former FBI general counsel, Baker was a senior figure with a pivotal position who had the ear of the FBI director.

Baker also is at the heart of surveillance abuse accusations , many from congressional Republicans. His deposition lays the groundwork for a planned closed-door House GOP interview with Rosenstein later this week.

Baker, formerly the FBI's top lawyer, helped secure the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, as well as three subsequent renewals. - Fox News

Meanwhile, the New York Times noted that McCabe's own memos attest to Rosenstein's intentions to record Trump - which led to Rosenstein reportedly tendering a verbal resignation to White House chief of staff John Kelly.

[Oct 10, 2018] A Decalogue of American Empire-Building A Dialogue by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Financial Times, NBC, CNN, ABC ..."
"... This is not new and has been going for at least a century. And the US elites have a long tradition of false flags to to get the people of America riled up for war. ..."
"... As Petras says: "The ten theses define the nature of 21st century imperialism" because, I feel, they are the same values that defined the British Colonial Empire. ..."
Oct 10, 2018 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Few, if any, believe what they hear and read from leaders and media publicists. Most people choose to ignore the cacophony of voices, vices and virtues.

This paper provides a set of theses which purports to lay-out the basis for a dialogue between and among those who choose to abstain from elections with the intent to engage them in political struggle.

Thesis 1

US empire builders of all colors and persuasion practice donkey tactics; waving the carrot and wielding the whip to move the target government on the chosen path.

In the same way, Washington offers dubious concessions and threatens reprisals, in order to move them into the imperial orbit.

Washington applied the tactic successfully in several recent encounters. In 2003 the US offered Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi a peaceful accommodation in exchange for disarmament, abandonment of nationalist allies in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In 2011, the US with its European allies applied the whip – bombed Libya, financed and armed retrograde tribal and terrorist forces, destroyed the infrastructure, murdered Gaddafi and uprooted millions of Africans and Libyans. . . who fled to Europe. Washington recruited mercenaries for their subsequent war against Syria in order to destroy the nationalist Bashar Assad regime.

Washington succeeded in destroying an adversary but did not establish a puppet regime in the midst of perpetual conflict.

The empire's carrot weakened its adversary, but the stick failed to recolonize Libya ..Moreover its European allies are obligated to pay the multi-billion Euro cost of absorbing millions of uprooteded immigrants and the ensuing domestic political turmoil.

Thesis 2

Empire builders' proposal to reconfigure the economy in order to regain imperial supremacy provokes domestic and overseas enemies. President Trump launched a global trade war, replaced political accommodation with economic sanctions against Russia and a domestic protectionist agenda and sharply reduced corporate taxes. He provoked a two-front conflict. Overseas, he provoked opposition from European allies and China, while facing perpetual harassment from domestic free market globalists and Russo-phobic political elites and ideologues.

Two front conflicts are rarely successful. Most successful imperialist conquer adversaries in turn – first one and then the other.

Thesis 3

Leftists frequently reverse course: they are radicals out of office and reactionaries in government, eventually falling between both chairs. We witness the phenomenal collapse of the German Social Democratic Party, the Greek Socialist Party (PASOK), (and its new version Syriza) and the Workers Party in Brazil. Each attracted mass support, won elections, formed alliances with bankers and the business elite – and in the face of their first crises, are abandoned by the populace and the elite.

Shrewd but discredited elites frequently recognize the opportunism of the Left, and in time of distress, have no problem in temporarily putting up with Left rhetoric and reforms as long as their economic interests are not jeopardized. The elite know that the Left signal left and turn right.

Thesis 4

Elections, even ones won by progressives or leftists, frequently become springboards for imperial backed coups. Over the past decade newly elected presidents, who are not aligned with Washington, face congressional and/or judicial impeachment on spurious charges. The elections provide a veneer of legitimacy which a straight-out military-coup lacks.

In Brazil, Paraguay and Venezuela, 'legislatures' under US tutelage attempted to ouster popular President. They succeeded in the former and failed in the latter.

When electoral machinery fails, the judicial system intervenes to impose restraints on progressives, based on tortuous and convoluted interpretation of the law. Opposition leftists in Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador have been hounded by ruling party elites.

Thesis 5

Even crazy leaders speak truth to power. There is no question that President Trump suffers a serious mental disorder, with midnight outbursts and nuclear threats against, any and all, ranging from philanthropic world class sports figures (LeBron James) to NATO respecting EU allies.

Yet in his lunacy, 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.

Thesis 6

When a bark turns into a bite, Trump proves the homely truth that fear invites aggression. Trump has implemented or threatened severe sanctions against the EU, China, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, North Korea and any country that fails to submit to his dictates. At first, it was bombast and bluster which secured concessions.

Concessions were interpreted as weakness and invited greater threats. Disunity of opponents encouraged imperial tacticians to divide and conquer. But by attacking all adversaries simultaneously he undermines that tactic. Threats everywhere limits choices to dangerous options at home and abroad.

Thesis 7

The master meddlers, of all times, into the politics of sovereign states are the Anglo-American empire builders. But what is most revealing is the current ploy of accusing the victims of the crimes that are committed against them.

After the overthrow of the Soviet regime, the US and its European acolytes 'meddled' on a world-historic scale, pillaging over two trillion dollars of Soviet wealth and reducing Russian living standards by two thirds and life expectancy to under sixty years – below the level of Bangladesh.

With Russia's revival under President Putin, Washington financed a large army of self-styled 'non-governmental organizations' (NGO) to organize electoral campaigns, recruited moguls in the mass media and directed ethnic uprisings. The Russians are retail meddlers compared to the wholesale multi-billion-dollar US operators.

Moreover, the Israelis have perfected meddling on a grand scale – they intervene successfully in Congress, the White House and the Pentagon. They set the Middle East agenda, budget and priorities, and secure the biggest military handouts on a per-capita basis in US history!

Apparently, some meddlers meddle by invitation and are paid to do it.

Thesis 8

Corruption is endemic in the US where it has legal status and where tens of millions of dollars change hands and buy Congress people, Presidents and judges.

ORDER IT NOW

In the US the buyers and brokers are called 'lobbyists' – everywhere else they are called fraudsters. Corruption (lobbying) grease the wheels of billion dollars military spending, technological subsidies, tax evading corporations and every facet of government – out in the open, all the time and place of the US regime.

Corruption as lobbying never evokes the least criticism from the mass media.

On the other hand, where corruption takes place under the table in Iran, China and Russia, the media denounce the political elite – even where in China over 2 million officials, high and the low are arrested and jailed.

When corruption is punished in China, the US media claim it is merely a 'political purge' even if it directly reduces elite conspicuous consumption.

In other words, imperial corruption defends democratic value; anti-corruption is a hallmark of authoritarian dictatorships.

Thesis 9

Bread and circuses are integral parts of empire building – especially in promoting urban street mobs to overthrow independent and elected governments.

Imperial financed mobs – provided the cover for CIA backed coups in Iran (1954), Ukraine (2014), Brazil (1964), Venezuela (2003, 2014 and 2017), Argentina (1956), Nicaragua (2018), Syria (2011) and Libya (2011) among other places and other times.

Masses for empire draw paid and voluntary street fighters who speak for democracy and serve the elite. The "mass cover" is especially effective in recruiting leftists who look to the street for opinion and ignore the suites which call the shots.

Thesis 10

The empire is like a three-legged stool it promotes genocide, to secure magnicide and to rule by homicide. Invasions kills millions, capture and kill rulers and then rule by homicide – police assassinating dissenting citizens.

The cases are readily available: Iraq and Libya come to mind. The US and its allies invaded, bombed and killed over a million Iraqis, captured and assassinated its leaders and installed a police state.

A similar pattern occurred in Libya: the US and EU bombed, killed and uprooted several million people, assassinated Ghadaffy and fomented a lawless terrorist war of clans, tribes and western puppets.

"Western values" reveal the inhumanity of empires built to murder "a la carte" – stripping the victim nations of their defenders, leaders and citizens.

Conclusion

The ten theses define the nature of 21 st century imperialism – its continuities and novelties.

The mass media systematically write and speak lies to power: their message is to disarm their adversaries and to arouse their patrons to continue to plunder the world.


Jeff Stryker , says: August 11, 2018 at 4:26 am GMT

When was the last time "Nation building" resulted in a livable country. Iraq? Libya? Americans, and I am one, can barely keep their own country from sinking into a pit of decay.

Why "deliver Democracy" when Dubai makes much of the US look like shit in terms of infrastructure, crime and poverty.

RealAmericanValuesCirca1776Not1965 , says: August 11, 2018 at 6:57 am GMT
@Jeff Stryker

When was the last time "Nation building" resulted in a livable country.

Why "deliver Democracy" when Dubai makes much of the US look like shit

Because what a ZOG does with it's host nation has nothing to do with improving anything for the occupied peoples.

Think of it like the Communist Manifesto. They thump it around, preaching utopia and equality and all that sugar and honey. This is because they want you to buy what they are selling. But they don't have any intention of ever delivering. None whatsoever.

All they're really trying to do is whip up an army of useful idiots to be used as blunt instruments. And once these useful idiots are done fulfilling their role in the redistribution of wealth and power, they are discarded only to realize too little too late that they have been working against their own interests all along.

The same thing goes for exporting Democracy. It's never been about improving anyone's lives. In the West or any of their target nations. It's been about whipping useful idiots up into an army that can be used as a blunt instrument against the obstacles in the way of (((someone's))) geopolitical ambitions.

... ... ..

Malla , says: August 11, 2018 at 6:58 am GMT
This is not new and has been going for at least a century. And the US elites have a long tradition of false flags to to get the people of America riled up for war.

False Flag Events Behind the Six Major Wars

False flags to fool Americans into the Spanish American War, WW1, WW2, Korean War, Vietnam War and the War on terror.

jilles dykstra , says: August 11, 2018 at 7:28 am GMT
Interesting is that a USA textbook already describes USA imperialism, without using the word: Barbara Hinckley, Sheldon Goldman, 'American Politics and Government, Structure, Processes, Institutions and Policies', Glenview Ill., 1990
jilles dykstra , says: August 11, 2018 at 7:37 am GMT
@Jeff Stryker Ockam's Razor: the simplest theory that explains the facts is the best.

There is no effort to create livable countries, the objective is to destroy them.

Under Saddam's dictatorschip Iraq was a prosperous country, without liberty, true.

Under old Assad, I visited Syria in the mid eighties, the same, though less prosperous, at the time, as far as I know, no Syrian oil or gas.

Aleppo, a cosmolitan and lively city, the suq, now destroyed, a great thing to have seen, medieval, but with happy looking people.

... ... ...

Den Lille Abe , says: August 11, 2018 at 8:10 am GMT
Nation building? When did that happen? I must have been asleep for 60 years.
Jeff Stryker , says: August 11, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT
@RealAmericanValuesCirca1776Not1965 Geopolitical ambitions?

Vietnam was a mess for a decade at least and created an immigration crisis in Australia. The US had a surplus budget when Clinton left office. When Bush left office, oil prices were sky-high and the economy was dreadful. Who benefits. Israel? Syria is a mess that threatens their borders.

annamaria , says: August 11, 2018 at 11:31 am GMT
A great comment with the proper name calling for the ZUSA in relation to the current situation in Turkey: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/08/how-turkeys-currency-crisis-came-to-pass.html#comments
Excerpts:
" The Dollar op indicates that the USA ( or rather those who pull the strings in the US ) finally admits that our Ally is responsible for almost all mischievous events which took place in Turkey.
The USA is not a country, but rather a useful contract killer on a larger scale compared to the PKK-FETO-ISIS etc.
The US is now stepping forward fearlessly because 'the arms of the octopus', as Erdogan put last week, has been severed in Turkey."

These two definitions do stick:
1. the US is manipulated by the puppeteers -- people (the US citizenry at large) have no saying in the US decisions (mostly immoral and often imbecile); the well-being of the US is not a factored in the decisions
2. the US has become a "contract killer" for the voracious puppeteers

JackOH , says: August 11, 2018 at 11:38 am GMT
Prof. Petras, thanks. A while back I read something called Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (?) in which the writer describes his efforts to put other nations into debt to American institutions and American-controlled or -influenced international institutions for the ulterior purpose of political control. Sounded plausible enough, and I saw the author speak on TV on his book tour.

How do any of us know we're living in a country gone massively wobbly? Can a German sipping wine in Koblenz in 1936 even imagine Hitler's Germany will be a staple of American cable shows eighty years hence, and not in a good way? Can a Russian in the same year imagine that the latest round of arrests won't be leading to a Communist utopia now, or ever?

FWIW-my guess is America's imperial adventures are heavily structural, being that foreign policy is strongly within the President's purview, and Congress can be counted on to rubber-stamp military expeditions. Plus, empire offers a good distraction from domestic politics, which are an intractable mess of rent-seeking, racial animus, and corporate interests.

I don't like it much having to live in a racketeerized America, but there's not a whole lot we can do.

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: August 11, 2018 at 12:11 pm GMT
Professor Petras glasses are becoming little bit foggy, but his scalpel still cuts to the bone. But this article is lecture for beginner class, or the aliens visitors who just landed on Earth
jacques sheete , says: August 11, 2018 at 12:55 pm GMT

Yet in his lunacy, President Trump has denounced and exposed the repeated deceits and ongoing fabrications of the mass media.

A damned good article, Sir! And bless you for calling bankster propaganda anything but "mainstream."

Ours is a problem in which deception has become organized and strong; where truth is poisoned at its source; one in which the skill of the shrewdest brains is devoted to misleading a bewildered people.

-Walter Lippman, A Preface to Politics ( 1913 ), quoted in The Essential Lippmann, pp. 516-517

Lippman was an Allied propagandist among many other things.

Anonymous [317] Disclaimer , says: August 11, 2018 at 12:57 pm GMT
The 10 theories that led Petras to conclude "{the message is "to disarm their adversaries and to arouse their patrons" to continue to plunder the world}" is an example, that the American people are clueless about how events documented by Petras research, led Petras to conclude the USA is about plunder of the world .

There is a distinct difference between USA governed Americans and the 527 persons that govern Americans.

Access by Americans to the USA 1) in person with one of its 527 members, 2) by communication or attempted communication via some type of expression or 3) by constitutionally allowed regime change at election time. None of these methods work very well for Americans , if at all; but they serve the entrenched members of the USA, massive in size corporations and upstream wealthy owners, quite well.

Secondly, IMO, Mr. Petras either does not understand democracy or has chosen to make a mockery of it? The constitution that produced the USA produced not a democracy, but a Republic. A republic which authorized a group ( an handful of people) to rule America by rules the USA group decides to impose. Since the group can control the meaning of the US Constitution as well as change it's words, the group has, unlimited power to rule, no matter the subject matter or method (possible exceptions might be said to be within the meaning of the bill of rights; but like all contract clauses, especially a contract of the type where one side can amend, ignore, change or replace or use its overwhelming military and police powers to enforce against the other side, leaving the other side no recourse, is not really a contract; it might better be called an instrument announcing the assumption of power which infringes inalienable human rights).

Therefore just because 527 members of the USA government might between themselves practice Democracy does not mean the governed enjoy the same freedoms.

So the USA is ruled by puppets, 527 of them, puppets of the Oligarchs. Since the ratification of the USA constitution, Americans have been governed by the USA [The US constitution (ratified 1778) overthrew and disposed of the Articles of Confederation (Government of America founded 1776). Not a shot was fired, but there was a war none-the-less (read Federalist vs Anti-Federalist and have a look at the first few acts of the USA).

(Note: The AOC, was the American government that defeated the British Armies [1776-1783], the 1776 American AOC American Government was the government that surveyed all of the land taken from the British by the AOC after it defeated the entire British military and stopped the British aristocrat owed, privately held corporate Empires from their continuous raping of America and abuse of Americans. those who did the work.

The AOC was the very same American Government that hired G. Washington to defeat and chase the British Aristocratic Corporate Colonial Empires out of America. The 1776 American AOC Government was the very same government that granted freedom to its people (AOC really did practice democracy, and really did try to divide and distribute the vast American lands taken from the British Corporate Colonial Empire equally among the then living Americans. The AOC ceased to exist when the US Constitution installed the USA by a self proclaimed regime change process , called ratification). There were 11 presidents of the AOC, interestingly enough, few have heard of them.

Once again the practice of political self-determination democracy is limited to the 525 USA members who have seats in the halls of the Congress of the USA or who occupy the offices of the President of USA or the Vice-President of the USA. All persons in America, not among the 527 salaried, elected members of the USA, are governed by the USA.

jilles dykstra , says: August 11, 2018 at 3:22 pm GMT
@Heisendude Israel has no constitution, and therefore no borders. A constitution also describes borders. An Israeli jew one asked Ben Gurion why Israel has no defined borders, the answer was something like 'we do not want to define borders, if we did, we cannot expand'.
AnonFromTN , says: August 11, 2018 at 4:50 pm GMT
@Jeff Stryker Why does Israel assist all sorts of bandits, including, but not limited to, ISIS, in Syria? Just recently Israel helped in extracting the White Helmets, a PR wing of Nusra (Syrian branch of Al Qaida) from South Syria. Please explain.
AnonFromTN , says: August 11, 2018 at 4:56 pm GMT
@Anonymous Those 527 are bought and paid for lackeys. We don't know how many real owners of the USA there are, don't know many of their names, but we do know that when those lackeys imagine that they are somebodies and try to govern, they are eliminated (John Kennedy is the most unambiguous example).
RealAmericanValuesCirca1776Not1965 , says: August 11, 2018 at 6:01 pm GMT
@Jeff Stryker

Geopolitical ambitions?

You may have heard of it. Globalism, N(J)ew World Order. That which the (((internationalists))) are always working towards. A one world government with them at the top, the ruling class.

Vietnam was a mess for a decade at least and created an immigration crisis in Australia.

Australia is a white nation. All white nations are supposed to suffer and ultimately collapse upon the creation of their New World Order. Vietnam was a complete success for the one's who really wanted that war.

The US had a surplus budget when Clinton left office. When Bush left office, oil prices were sky-high and the economy was dreadful.

Bush was a neocon, wars for Israel with that 'surplus' were the intention all along. As wars under Hillary would have been as well. And as they potentially could still be if Trump proves to be a lap dog for Israel as well. He campaigned on no pointless wars, but there's no saying for sure until he either brings all our troops home or capitulates and signs Americans up to be cash cows and cannon fodder for more Israeli geopolitical ambitions.

Who benefits.

Those same rootless cosmopolitans that always benefit from playing both sides of the field, seeding conflict and then cashing in on the warmongering, genocidal depopulation and population displacement in the name of their geopolitical ambitions.

Israel? Syria is a mess that threatens their borders.

Israel made that mess. Threatened their borders with war. Land theft. Y'know. Golan Heights. Genocide land theft and displacement are all Israel does. Their borders have expanded every year since their creation.

Everything that's happening in the Middle East is because of the Rothschild terror state of Israel and the Zionist Jews who reside in it .. as well as in our various western ZOGs.

Have you really never heard of the Oded Yinon Plan ? Their genocidal outline for waging wars of aggression for the purpose of expanding their borders and becoming the dominant regional superpower by balkanizing the surrounding Arab world.

The only nations of significance left on their check list are as follows : Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia. And many will argue that the House of Saud has always been crypto, helping Israel behind the scenes. Their sudden post-coup cooperation with their former 'enemies' is little more than a sign that they are needed as a wartime ally more in the current phase of their Yinon Plan than as controlled opposition funding and arming ISIS while keeping the public eye off of Israel's role in their creation and direction. Sure enough, it seems there is a rather strong push for an alliance between KSA, Israel and the US for war with Iran.

Here you go:

https://archive.fo/U7XTH

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: August 11, 2018 at 6:59 pm GMT
Technological progress, particularly the progress in information technology is pushing mankind with accelerated speed toward final solution and final settlement.
renfro , says: August 11, 2018 at 8:34 pm GMT
Good article

Corruption is endemic in the US where it has legal status and where tens of millions of dollars change hands and buy Congress people, Presidents and judges.

Yep. I have been ranting for years calling for a Anti-Corruption Political Party Platform by some group.
The corruption of our politicians is the cause of all the problems everyone else is ranting about.

In some ways I think most people deserve what they are going to get eventually because they ignore the corruption of their heroes .whether it be Trump, Hillary or any other.

I tell you sheeple .if someone will cheat and lie to others they will do the same thing to you ..you are stone cold stupid if you think other wise.

Jim Bob Lassiter , says: August 12, 2018 at 1:09 am GMT
@Biff Jeff and Mikeat are both correct if my friend's account of his participation in a recent trade show there is true. My friend's wife is a ding bat Hillarybot and she got to yammering to me after returning about all the wonderful diversity she saw in the streets of Dubai, but I shut her down pretty quickly by pointing out that the diversity darlings in Dubai were paid help for the Sheikdom and weren't even second class temporary residents by US standards; that they can be (and are) summarily deported to some slave market in Yemen if they don't mind their Ps and Qs VERY carefully in that society. She's also a wino, but confessed that the Trader Joe's box grade merlot sold for about US$18 to $25 a goblet in a tourist zone food and beverage joint. (and that didn't slow her down one bit) Hubby had to watch her close, as obvious public drunkenness (even in the tourist zone) has high potential for extreme justice.

The New Economy plan being promoted there is the development of a sort of Disneyworld on steroids international vacation attraction, as the leaders seem to think that their oil is going to run out soon.

jilles dykstra , says: August 12, 2018 at 7:50 am GMT
@peterAUS CNN, Washpost and NYT since a very long time suffer from a serious mental disorder.
It reminds me of Orwell's The Country of the Blind.
When the man who could see was cured all was well.
Anon [317] Disclaimer , says: August 12, 2018 at 12:31 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX While the Fed is a focal point, it is not the central issue. If Americans, were actually in voting control of the central issue Americans could and probably would abolish the fed and destroy its income by removing the income tax laws, very early on.

But if the Fed and Income taxes are not the central issue, what is the central issue? Could it be majority will "control of the structure and staffing of that structure" that often people call government? Look back to the creation of the US Constitution! There the central issue for the old British Aristocracy accustomed to having their way, was: can Aristocrats stay in control (of the new American democracy) and if so, how should "such control" be established so that British corporate power, British Aristocratic wealth and British Class Privilege can all survive the American revolution? {PWP}.

The question was answered by developing a form of government that enabling the Oligarch few to make the rules [rule of law] that could control the masses and to produce a government that had a monopoly on the use of power, so that it could enforce the laws it makes, against against the masses and fend off all challenges. The constitution blocked the people's right to self determination; it empowered the privileged, it favored the wealthy, and most of all it protected and saved pre-war British owned PWP as post war PWP.

Today those who operate the government do so in near perfect secrecy (interrupted only occasionally by Snowden, Assange, and a few brave others). It spies on each person, records each human breath taken by the masses, relates relationships between the masses, because those in charge fear the power of the masses should the masses somehow find a way to impose their will on how things are to be. How can rules made by Aristocrats in secret, be considered to be outcomes established by self- determination of the masses who are to be governed?

Ratification is the process that abolished Democracy in America. The story of those who imposed ratification has not yet been told. Ratification was used to justify the overthrow of the Articles of the Confederation (AOC was America's government from 1776 to 1789). To defeat the British empire the AOC hired the most wealthy man it could find to organize an Army capable to defeat the British Military. The AOC warred on the British Armies with the intent to stop colonial corporate empires from continuing to rape American productivity and exploit the resources in America for the benefit of the British Corporate Empires [Read the Declaration of Independence].

You might research.. How did George Washington achieve his massive, for its time, wealth? I don't think tossing coins across the mile wide Potomac made him a dime? How did GW attain such wealth in British owned, corporately controlled Colonial America? Why was George Washington able to keep that British earned wealth after the British were chased out of America? More importantly many gave their all, life, liberty and property to help chase the British out, GW gave ..?

Title by land grants [Virginia and West Virginia] are traceable to GWs estate.

What the land grant landowners feared most was that the new American democracy, might allow the masses to revoke or deny titles to real estate in America, if such title derived from a foreign government (land grant). The Articles of Confederation government was talking about dividing up all of the lands in America, and parceling it out, in equal portions, to all living AOC governed America. Deeds from kings and queens of England, France, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands to land in America would not be recognized in the chain of title? Such lands would belong to the new AOC government or to the states who were members of the AOC.

You might check out Article 6, (Para 1) of the US Constitution.. it says in part
" All Debts contracted and Engagements[land grants and British Corporate Charters] entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the confederation.

(meaning loans to British Banks would be repaid and land deals made with foreign nations and corporations including those that resulted in creating a land Baron in British Colonial America, were to be treated as valid land titles by US Constitution. Consider the plight of Ex British Land Grant Barron Aristocrat [EBLGBA] who finds himself in now independent democratic America? Real Americans might decide EBLGBAs were some kind of terrorist, or spies. Under such circumstances, the EBLGA might look at Americans as a threat to their Aristocracy, a threat to their PWP..

Example: A Spanish Land Grant property in America ( King of Spain gave 5 million acres of land in America to ZZ in 1720 (ZZ is a Spanish Corporation ZZ doing business in America), the land transaction was recognized as valid under British Colonial Law in America. But would Independent AOC America recognize a deed issued by a Spanish King, or British Queen to Real Estate in America?

After the Revolution, the question does a EBLGBA retain ownership in the American located land that is now part of Independent America? Ain't no dam deed from a Spanish government going to be valid in America. King of England cannot give a deed to land that is located in independent America.

So if, a corporation, incorporated under British Law, claims it owns 5 million acres of American land because the Queen of England deeded it the the corporation: does that mean the 5 million acres still belongs to British Corporation X, and of course to the person made Aristocrat by virtue of ownership of the British Corporation). Is a British Corporation now to be an American Corporation? British Landed Gentry (land grant owners) in independent post war America, were quick to lobby for the constitution because the constitution protected their ownership in land granted to them by a foreign king or queen in fact the constitution protected the PWP.

I agree with your Zionist communist observation. It is imperative for all persons interested in what is happening to study the takeover of Russia from the Tzar by Lenin and his Zionist Communist because what the Zionist did to the Christians in Russia in 1917 seems to be approaching for it to happen here in America and because that revolution was a part of the organized Zionist [1896, Hertzl] movement to take control of all of the oil in the world. Let us not forget, Lenin and crew exterminated 32 million White Russians nearly all of whom were educated Christians living in the Ukraine.

As Petras says: "The ten theses define the nature of 21st century imperialism" because, I feel, they are the same values that defined the British Colonial Empire.

jacques sheete , says: August 12, 2018 at 12:32 pm GMT
@Anonymous

So the USA is ruled by puppets, 527 of them, puppets of the Oligarchs. Since the ratification of the USA constitution, Americans have been governed by the USA [The US constitution (ratified 1778) overthrew and disposed of the Articles of Confederation (Government of America founded 1776). Not a shot was fired, but there was a war none-the-less (read Federalist vs Anti-Federalist and have a look at the first few acts of the USA).

What a relief to find that there are a few (very few) others who have a clue. The "constitution" was effectively a coup d'etat. We proles, peasants and other pissants have been tax and debt slaves ever since, and the situation has continuously worsened. Lincoln's war against Southern independence, establishment of the Federal Reserve, Wilson's and especially FDR's wars, and infiltration of the US government and industry by Commies, Zionists and other Eastern European goon-mafiosi scum have completely perverted what this country is supposedly about.

I doubt the situation will ever begin to improve unless and until the mass of brainwashed dupes understand what you wrote.

jacques sheete , says: August 12, 2018 at 1:17 pm GMT
@Anon Please comment more often. Excellent info there.

You might research.. How did George Washington achieve his massive, for its time, wealth?

True. Especially since the guy was a third rate, (probably mostly incompetent), Brit military officer and terrorist who treated the men under his command like sh!t.

Reminds me of Ol Johnny Boy McCain and other such scum.

annamaria , says: August 12, 2018 at 8:53 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra "Ben Gurion: 'we do not want to define borders, if we did, we cannot expand'. -- Right. Hence the mass slaughter in the Middle East.
Hapless Canada is going to accept the "humanitarian" terrorists from While Helmets organization. The rescue is a joint Israel-Canada enterprise: https://www.rt.com/op-ed/435670-white-helmets-canada-syria/
-- -- -- -
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland (a committed banderist and admirer of Ukrainian neo-Nazis) and Robin Wettlaufer (Canada's representative to the Syrian Opposition and a harsh critic of Assad "regime") have been playing a key role in the evacuation of the White Helmets. But there are some questions to Robin: "Did Canadians get to vote on whether or not to bring potential terrorists or supporters of terrorists to Canada? No. No vote in the Parliament, no public discussion. Why did the Canadian government refuse the entry of 100 injured Palestinian children from Gaza in 2014, a truly humanitarian effort, and yet will fast-track the entry of potentially dangerous men with potential ties to terrorists?" https://www.rt.com/op-ed/435670-white-helmets-canada-syria/
-- Guess Robin Wettlaufer, due to her ethnic solidarity, would be fine with these injured Palestinian children being smothered by someone, but the well-financed White Helmets are the extremely valuable material for realizing Oded Yinon plan for Eretz Israel (see Ben Gurion answer).
Kratoklastes , says: August 17, 2018 at 12:20 am GMT
@Jeff Stryker

The US had a surplus budget when Clinton left office

It turns out that 'budget surplus' does not mean what most people think it means. When your household has a budget surplus, its rate of debt accumulation reverses (i.e., the total value of household debt falls). Credit cards get paid down, mortgages get paid off, and eventually you end up with a large and growing positive net worth. That's what running a 'budget surplus' means , right?

Not so for governments : the US government could run perpetual budget 'surpluses' and still grow government debt without bound – because they do not account for things the way they insist that we serfs account for things there are a bunch of their expenditures that they simply don't count in their 'budget'.

It's a bit like if you were to only count the amount your household spent on groceries , and declare your entire budget to be in 'surplus' or 'deficit' based on whether or not there's change after you do your weekly shopping. Meanwhile, you're spending more than you earn overall, and accumulating debt at an expanding rate.

Runaway debt is what destroys – whether it's families or countries.

There has only been one year since 1960 in which the US Federal Debt has fallen : 1969 .

During the much-touted "Clinton Surpluses", the US Federal Debt rose by almost a quarter- trillion dollars . The first two Bush years had larger surpluses than either of the two Clinton surpluses – but still added $160 billion to the Federal debt.

I know those don't sound like big numbers anymore – much given that Bush added $602 billion per year on average, and Obama added twice Bush 's amount (1.19 trillion per year).

[Oct 09, 2018] US Russia Sanctions Are 'A Colossal Strategic Mistake', Putin Warns

Oct 09, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Washington of making a "colossal" but "typical" mistake by exploiting the dominance of the dollar by levying economic sanctions against regimes that don't bow to its whims.

"It seems to me that our American partners make a colossal strategic mistake," Putin said.

"This is a typical mistake of any empire," Putin said, explaining that the US is ignoring the consequences of its actions because its economy is strong and the dollar's hegemonic grasp on global markets remains intact. However "the consequences come sooner or later."

These remarks echoed a sentiment expressed by Putin back in May, when he said that Russia can no longer trust the US dollar because of America's decisions to impose unilateral sanctions and violate WTO rules.

... ... ...

With the possibility of being cut off from the dollar system looming, a plan prepared by Andrei Kostin, the head of Russian bank VTB, is being embraced by much of the Russian establishment. Kostin's plan would facilitate the conversion of dollar settlements into other currencies which would help wean Russian industries off the dollar. And it already has the backing of Russia's finance ministry, central bank and Putin.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin is also working on deals with major trading partners to accept the Russian ruble for imports and exports.

In a sign that a united front is forming to help undermine the dollar, Russia's efforts have been readily embraced by China and Turkey, which is unsurprising, given their increasingly fraught relationships with the US. During joint military exercises in Vladivostok last month, Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that their countries would work together to counter US tariffs and sanctions.

"More and more countries, not only in the east but also in Europe, are beginning to think about how to minimise dependence on the US dollar," said Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin's spokesperson. "And they suddenly realise that a) it is possible, b) it needs to be done and c) you can save yourself if you do it sooner."

[Oct 09, 2018] Why the US empire now after several years of desprate pressure of oil prices down is now content with the possibility of dramatic increase in oil prices ?

Oct 09, 2018 | thesaker.is

Outlaw Historian on October 03, 2018 , · at 2:27 pm EST/EDT

You would have to wonder why Putin opened with the following remarks if you were ignorant of the global situation:

"You came here to hold an open and trust based discussion on the issues of the global energy agenda .

"We believe that progress in global energy, as well as the stable energy security of our entire planet, can only be achieved through global partnership, working in accordance with general rules that are the same for everyone, and, of course, through conducting transparent and constructive dialogue among market players which is not politically motivated but is based on pragmatic considerations and an understanding of shared responsibilities and mutual interests." [My Emphasis]

His characterization of Skripal came during the Q&A, and there are likely more gems to be had from that session.

Meanwhile, the Outlaw US Empire has unilaterally withdrawn from a 1955 Treaty with Iran in order to try and avoid today's judgement of the International Court of Justice, https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201810031068561238-us-missions-iraq-threat-iran-pompeo/ and from the optional protocol on disputes to the Vienna convention, https://sputniknews.com/world/201810031068565352-vienna-convention-option-protocol-us-withdrawal/

Waging Illegal Aggressive War, Illegal sanctions, Violations of UNSC Resolutions, Breaking of Contracts, and Ongoing violation of the UN Charter and US Constitution since 1945 are just a few of the reasons why it must be called the Outlaw US Empire as no other term properly describes it. 80 years ago, appeasement didn't work, and it's clear it doesn't work today either. Together the world's nations must bring the Outlaw US Empire to heel and make it obey the Rule of Law and abandon its unilateral Rule of the Gun.

Anonymous on October 03, 2018 , · at 5:31 pm EST/EDT
Ah, there it is. The reason behind this strange week, the dots that few will connect.

Putin speaking at a conference about "sustainable energy in a changing world."

Right there, two phrases that are certain to set off Exxon corp and their puppets in the political theater. Say "sustainable energy" around an oil giant and watch them shudder. The, mention "changing world" to any of that class and they have nightmares about their children having to learn Chinese. Put them all together in one title of a conference at which Putin himself is speaking and well, now we know why the Shakespearian chorus of Exxon's oil industry bit players like former Texas Governor Rich "the hair" Perry and former Texas Senator Hutchinson are suddenly frothing at the bit about the Park Rangers mounting a naval blockade of Russia (see Yogi Bear for how that's likely to turn out, hey booboo?) and nuclear first strikes on Russia.

Putin, Sustainable Energy, Changing world .. enough to send some senior executive geezers at Exxon grabbing for their nitro pills and speed dialing their cardiologists.

Dr. NG Maroudas on October 04, 2018 , · at 5:49 am EST/EDT
For those who like to call Russia "a gas station masquerading as a country" here is Putin's note on ecology:

"A separate ambitious task for the future is the development of renewable energy sources, especially in remote, difficult-to-access areas of this country, such as Eastern Siberia, and the Far East. This is opening a great opportunity for our vast country, the world's largest country with its diverse natural and climatic conditions.

Friends, in conclusion I would like to tell you the following: sustainable and steady development of the energy industry is a key condition for dynamic growth of the world economy, enhancing living standards and improving the wellbeing of all people on our planet.

Russia is open to cooperation in the energy industry in the interests of global energy security and for the benefit of the future generations. And we certainly rely on active dialogue on these subjects and cooperation.

Thank you for your attention". -- President Putin

milan on October 05, 2018 , · at 9:30 pm EST/EDT
Nothing is going to save us from our energy problems, nothing and especially not renewables.

Spend some time reading and studying Gail Tverberg's material and one will quickly see we are heading for a financial catastrophe because of affordability issues. On the one hand there isn't enough money to pay for extraction of oil and gas and on the other the consumer is strapped because of high pump prices etc. But like she herself says if only the wages of non elite workers could rise high enough to help pay for the increased costs then likely we wouldn't have a problem. That though is clearly not happening.

I am deeply afraid we are going to wake up to a world very different from the one we went to sleep in. Just this one article alone expresses the grave situation the world is in:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-15/truckers-asleep-at-the-wheel-as-diesel-price-shock-creeps-closer

Every time Chuck Paar makes the over 500-mile round trip from his home in Mt. Jewett, Pennsylvania, to Buffalo and Syracuse, New York, his 18-wheel tractor trailer carries 25 tons of sand or cement and burns about $265 of diesel in one day. That's up from as little as $166 for the same route two years ago, and the increased cost of fuel is squeezing already thin industry profit margins.

It's about to get worse.

[Oct 09, 2018] The idea of 'stealth' aircraft is in fact mostly a gimmick designed to enrich the military contractors

Oct 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

FB , says: October 6, 2018 at 7:24 pm GMT

@Frederick V. Reed The idea of 'stealth' aircraft is in fact mostly a gimmick designed to enrich the military contractors it doesn't actually work very well at all, as proved in 1999 when the Serb air defense, using ancient Soviet surface to air missiles of 1950s vintage, shot down the USAF F117 aircraft and damaged another that was then written off, and therefore counts as a kill

–F117 canopy displayed at the Belgrade Aviation Museum

But let's look at the idea of 'low observable' aircraft technology in a little more detail, and how it may be countered by air defense

Let's start at the beginning the physics behind 'stealth' was developed by a Russian scientist named Petr Ufimtsev who is now known as the 'father of stealth'

Ufimtsev, working at the Moscow Institute of Radio Engineering, developed a coherent theory on the behavior of radio wave scattering off solid objects he published his seminal work Method of Edge Waves in the Physical Theory of Diffraction in 1962 the Soviet military saw no real value in this and allowed it to be published

In 1971, the USAF translated this work into English and a couple of engineers at Lockheed realized that Ufimtsev had provided the mathematical foundation to predict how radar waves deflect off an aircraft it was a lightbulb moment the main insight of Ufimtsev's work was that the size of a radar return was more a function of the edge geometry of the aircraft than its actual size

Retired USAF Lt Colonel William B O'Connor, who flew the F117 gives a good telling of the story here

The end result is that the F117 and B2 were developed by programming Ufimtsev's math into powerful computers in order to come up with aircraft shaping geometry that minimized radar reflection subsequent 'low observable' aircraft like the F22 and F35 all build on this basic physics

Now while the idea of reducing an aircraft's radar return sounds good in principle it has a lot of real-world drawbacks for instance the shaping can only be optimized for one particular aspect, such as a head-on if the aircraft turns into a bank for instance its radar return will increase by as much as 100 fold owing to the simple fact that a banking aircraft exposes its broad underbelly, which has no way to be optimized to also be 'stealthy' the shaping cannot accomplish the same result of scattering radio waves off in all directions, from all angles

There are other challenges the vertical tail surfaces will also bounce back radio waves this is why a tailless, flying wing design like the B2 is better suited to the task but this kind of configuration brings with it compromises in aircraft maneuverability and agility

Aside from the aircraft geometry, which is the main means of achieving 'low observability' there are also special coatings that are designed to 'absorb' radio waves although this is only of limited effectiveness and depends a lot on the thickness of the rubbery coating I had the opportunity to physically examine a piece of the wreckage of that F117 shot down in Serbia, and the thickness and weight of that coating was surprising it was about 1/16 inch thick in places along the vertical stabilizers and seemed to weigh more than the underlying composite honeycomb structure itself [typical of Lockheed lightweight structural design]

This additional weight is a major disadvantage of 'stealth' aircraft aircraft must be as light as possible to perform well that is just basic physics but these logical design considerations have seemingly been sidelined in what can only be explained as a money-making gimmick that only detracts from actual aircraft capability

Col Everest E Riccioni, one the USAF's most legendary test pilots and Air Force Academy instructors has probably done more than anyone to debunk the 'stealth' nonsense his 2005 report on the F22 is insightful reading and proved quite prescient about the failure of this aircraft to become anything more than a glorified hangar queen

The F35 is far worse of course but Col Riccioni passed away before he could fully train his guns on this very deficient aircraft

The fact of the matter is that the F117 was more 'stealthy' than the F22 or F35 this due to its faceted design wherein the airframe shape was defined largely by a series of flat plates [remember that the whole physics of radio reflection boils down to edge geometry...]

The current MIC propaganda is that the faceted shape is not necessary due to improved supercomputers that can calculate the math for curved surfaces well, the physical fact is that curved surfaces reflect in all directions and no amount of 'supercomputing' can change that Col Riccioni, who is no slouch in physics, having designed and taught the first graduate-level course in astronautics at the USAF Academy, confirms that the F117 was a more 'stealthy' design than the F22 and the F35 is considered not as stealthy as the F22

As for defending against 'low observable' aircraft with surface to air missiles [SAMs] let us review some of the pertinent factors that go into this equation a SAM system consists basically of powerful radars that spot and track enemy aircraft and guide a missile shot to the target the only way to kill a SAM system by means of an attacking aircraft is to target its radars with a special type of missile that homes in on radio signals known as anti-radiation missiles [HARMs] such as the US AGM88

The problem becomes one of reach how far can the SAM missiles reach and how far can the HARMs reach ?

A long range SAM like the S300/400 wins this contest easily the S300 can hit targets as far as 250 km away [400 km for S400] while the best Harms can reach about 150 km at most and that's if fired at high aircraft speed and altitude so it becomes a question of how do you get within the SAM missile kill zone to fire your Harm in the first place ?

In the 1999 bombing of Serbia, the US and 18 participating Nato allies mustered over 1,000 aircraft and fired a total of over 700 Harms at Serb air defenses, over the course of 78 days but managed to knock out only three 1970s era mobile SAM units the 2K12 'Kub'

A good account of that operation was published by Dr Benjamin Lambeth in 2002, in the USAF's flagship technical publication, Aerospace Power Journal

This campaign was truly a David vs Goliath match, yet the Serbs effectively fought the alliance to a draw

NATO never fully succeeded in neutralizing the Serb IADS [integrated air defense system], and NATO aircraft operating over Serbia and Kosovo were always within the engagement envelopes of enemy SA-3 and SA-6 missiles -- envelopes that extended as high as 50,000 feet.

Because of that persistent threat, mission planners had to place such high-value surveillance-and-reconnaissance platforms as the U-2 and JSTARS in less-than-ideal orbits to keep them outside the lethal reach of enemy SAMs.

Even during the operation's final week, NATO spokesmen conceded that they could confirm the destruction of only three of Serbia's approximately 25 known mobile SA-6 batteries.'

Lambeth notes that things could have been much different had the Serbs had the S300

'One SA-10/12 [early S300 variant] site in Belgrade and one in Pristina could have provided defensive coverage over all of Serbia and Kosovo. They also could have threatened Rivet Joint, Compass Call, and other key allied aircraft such as the airborne command and control center and the Navy's E-2C operating well outside enemy airspace.

Fortunately for NATO, the Serb IADS did not include the latest-generation SAM equipment currently available on the international arms market.'

Since 1999, the last major SEAD [suppression of enemy air defense] operation by Nato the Russian air defense capabilities have only become more lethal the radars employed on the S300/400 series are phased array types which are very difficult to jam and much more precise in guiding a missile to the target

Phased array means that instead of a parabolic dish, the antenna consists of several thousand individual antenna elements that are electronically steered in order to create a very precise radar beam [instead of a dish antenna being mechanically rotated and tilted]

When it comes to air defense it's really mostly about the radar Dr Carlo Kopp, an expert on Russian air defense systems notes that even the early iterations of the S300 engagement radar were a huge step forward in capability

'With electronic beam steering, very low sidelobes and a narrow pencil beam mainlobe, the 30N6 phased array is more difficult to detect and track by an aircraft's warning receiver when not directly painted by the radar, and vastly more difficult to jam.

While it may have detectable backlobes, these are likely to be hard to detect from the forward sector of the radar. As most anti-radiation missiles rely on sidelobes to home in, the choice of engagement geometry is critical in attempting to kill a Flap Lid.'

Shown is the latest generation 92N6 'Grave Stone' engagement radar used with S300/400 systems the engagement radar actually guides the missile shot, while separate early warning and acquisition and tracking radars first detect the target, then cue the engagement radar to point to the target and guide the missile shot

Another important point with the S300 transfer to Syria that is overlooked in this article is the option to hybridize the Syrian S200 missiles with the S300 radars

In this scenario the weakest link of the S200 is eliminated its obsolete parabolic dish type engagement radar the S200 missile is instead guided to the target by the formidable new S300/400 radars

'In this arrangement, an SA-20/21 system with its high power aperture and highly jam resistant acquisition and engagement radars prosecutes an engagement, but rather than launching its organic 48N6 series missile rounds, it uses the SA-5 Gammon round instead

The challenge which a hybrid SA-5/SA-20/SA-21 system presents is considerable. The SA-20/21 battery is highly mobile, and with modern digital frequency hopping radars, will be difficult to jam.

Soft kill and hard kill become problematic. In terms of defeating the SA-5 component of the hybrid, the only option is to jam the missile CW homing seeker, the effectiveness of which will depend entirely on the vintage of the 5G24N series seeker and the capabilities of the jamming equipment. If the customer opts for an upgrade to the seeker electronics, the seeker may be digital and very difficult to jam.'

This could be the most important part of the story, since the Syrians have a large number of S200 systems it is certain that a number of additional S300/400 radars have been delivered as part of that '49 pieces' reported in Russian media and these powerful and fully mobile radars [truck mounted] will be used to modernize the S200 network

It is worth noting also that SAM mobility is a key advance of the S300/400 systems the various radars and the missile launchers are all mounted on large trucks and are designed for five minute shoot and scoot this mobility proved key to the Nato difficulty with Serbian SAMs, even though those old systems were not designed for that, but the Serbs nonetheless would dismantle and move the fixed radars and launchers on a regular basis

In order to attack a SAM with an aircraft you first have to know where it is the only way to know is when it turns on its radar at which point it may be too late if it is pointed at you after taking the shot, the whole thing packs up and moves in five minutes flat [the Patriot takes 30 minutes by comparison]

It should be noted here that these mobile Russian search and acquisition radars are extremely powerful the 'Big Bird' series is in the same class as the Aegis radar mounted on USN missile cruisers and destroyers

'The 64N6E Big Bird is the key to much of the improved engagement capability, and ballistic missile intercept capability in the later S-300P variants.

This system operates in the 2 GHz band and is a phased array with a 30% larger aperture than the US Navy SPY-1 Aegis radar, even accounting for its slightly larger wavelength it amounts to a mobile land based Aegis class package. It has no direct equivalent in the West.'

The final piece of the puzzle when it comes to countering 'stealth' aircraft is a special category of radar designed specifically for that purpose these operate at much lower frequencies [ie longer wavelength] which renders the stealth shaping useless since the physics dictates that aircraft features shorter than the radar wavelength cannot produce the desired scattering effect as Col Riccioni notes

[The F22's] radar signature is admittedly small in the forward quarter but only to airborne radars. The aircraft is detectable by high-power, low-frequency ground based radars

it is physically impossible to design shapes and radar absorptive material to simultaneously defeat low power, high-frequency enemy fighter radars, and high power, low-frequency ground based radars.'

Kopp gives a good overview of the advanced Russian anti-stealth radars in this category

The system uses a series of radars of varying wavelength each mounted on a mobile chassis as with all the modern Russian SAM radars the long wavelength radar finds the 'stealth' target easily and then cues a shorter wavelength radar to further pinpoint the target, which, in turn, cues the engagement radar that guides the missile shot

Shown is such a deployment of three radars and a command vehicle in the background

All told, the upgrade of the Syrian air defenses now presents a very formidable system it should be noted that the S200 missile when used with these powerful radars could be an especially deadly combination this rocket was until 2009 the longest range SAM rocket in the world, with a maximum range of up to 375 km

Unlike modern SAM missiles that use solid propellant rocket motors [basically a bottle rocket] the S200 uses a real liquid fuel rocket engine it has a top speed of 2.5 km/s which is actually faster than the S400 rockets and the liquid engine means it can be throttled to decrease or increase its speed [minimum flying speed is 700 m/s] something that a solid rocket cannot do

In the right hands, this combination of advanced S300 radars and the superb kinematic performance of the S200 missile could be a deadly combination the fact that Syria has a lot of these S200 missiles means that adding those S300 radars makes it a whole new ballgame we already saw back in February when an S200 shot down an Israeli F16 in Israeli airspace there are unconfirmed reports that a second aircraft was hit and possibly destroyed

The question of Israeli F35s trying to attack these mobile S300 SAMs is not really a serious consideration for any air combat practitioner the F35 has terrible flight characteristics such as very high wing loading, which directly affects its turning ability [think of running with a 100 lb backpack and how that might affect your maneuverability]

The basic flight physics of this airplane are terrible, as many qualified experts have pointed out it would be difficult to envisage how it could play a role in mounting an attack against these Syrian S300s

The only realistic option to attack such an air defense zone would be to use the mountainous terrain along the Levant coast and fly a nap of the earth mission with highly maneuverable fighters like the F15 and F16 to try to hide from radar in the mountains and get close enough to deliver a Harm missile to an S300 radar

But this would be a very risky mission especially considering that the Russians are flying their AWACS planes over Syria, so even terrain following is not going to work in trying to hide

[Oct 08, 2018] CIA Democrats call for aggression against Russia, run pro-war campaigns in 2018 congressional races by Patrick Martin

In other words CIA Democrats actually are running on classic Republican foreign policy platform with some neo-McCarthyism flavor added for appetite. . Such a convergence of two parities.
Notable quotes:
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
Oct 03, 2018 | southfront.org

The Democratic Party is widely favored to win control of the House of Representatives in the US midterm elections November 6, with projections that it will gain 30 to 50 seats, or even more, well above the net gain of 23 required for a majority.

The last time the Democratic Party won control of the House from the Republicans was in 2006, when it captured 30 Republican seats on the basis of a limited appeal to the massive antiwar sentiment among working people after three years of disastrous and bloody warfare in Iraq, and five years after the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

In stark contrast, there is not a hint of an antiwar campaign by the Democratic challengers seeking Republican seats in the 2018 elections. On the contrary, the pronouncements of leading Democrats on foreign policy issues have been strongly pro-war, attacking the Trump administration from the right for its alleged softness on Russia and its hostility to traditional US-led alliances like NATO.

This is particularly true of the 30 Democratic congressional nominees in competitive races who come from a national-security background. These challengers, previously identified by the World Socialist Web Site as the CIA Democrats , constitute the largest single grouping among Democratic nominees in competitive seats, more than state and local officials, lawyers or those wealthy enough to finance their own campaigns.

The 30 national-security candidates include six actual CIA, FBI or military intelligence agents, six State Department or other civilian national security officials, 11 combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, all but one an officer, and seven other military veterans, including pilots, naval officers and military prosecutors (JAGs).

The range of views expressed by these 30 candidates is quite limited. With only one exception, Jared Golden , running in the First District of Maine, the military-intelligence Democrats do not draw any negative conclusions from their experience in leading, planning or fighting in the wars of the past 25 years, including two wars against Iraq, the invasion of Afghanistan, and other military engagements in the Persian Gulf and North and East Africa.

Golden, who is also the only rank-and-file combat veteran -- as opposed to an officer -- and the only one who admits to having suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, criticizes congressional rubber-stamping of the wars of the past 20 years. "Over the past decade and a half, America has spent trillions on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and on other conflicts across the globe," his campaign website declares. "War should be a last resort, and only undertaken when the security interests of America are clearly present, and the risks and costs can be appropriately justified to the American people."

These sentiments hardly qualify as antiwar, but they sound positively radical compared to the materials posted on the websites of many of the other military-intelligence candidates. In some ways, Golden is the exception that proves the rule. What used to be the standard rhetoric of Democratic Party candidates when running against the administration of George W. Bush has been entirely scrapped in the course of the Obama administration, the first in American history to have been engaged in a major military conflict for every day of its eight years.

All the other national-security candidates accept as a basic premise that the United States must maintain its dominant world position. The most detailed foreign policy doctrine appears on the website of Amy McGrath , who is now favored to win her contest against incumbent Republican incumbent Andy Barr in the Sixth Congressional District of Kentucky.

McGrath follows closely the line of the Obama administration and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, supporting the Iran nuclear deal that Trump tore up, embracing Israel, warning of North Korea's development of nuclear weapons, and declaring it "critical that the US work with our allies and partners in the region to counter China's advances" in the South China Sea and elsewhere in Asia.

But Russia is clearly the main target of US national-security efforts, in her view. She writes, "Our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has testified that Russia is the greatest threat to American security. Russia poses an existential threat to the United States due to its nuclear weapons and its behavior in the past several years has been disturbing. Russia's aggression in Georgia, Crimea, Ukraine, and Syria has been alarming. It's becoming more assertive in the Arctic, likely the most important geostrategic zone of competition in the coming decades. The US should consider providing defensive arms to Ukraine and exerting more pressure on Moscow using economic sanctions."

She concludes by calling for an investigation modeled on the 9/11 Commission into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Five other national-security candidates focus on specific warnings about the danger of Russia and China, thus aligning themselves with the new national security orientation set in the most recent Pentagon strategy document, which declares that the principal US national security challenge is no longer the "war on terror," but the prospect of great power conflicts, above all with Russia and China.

Jessica Morse , a former State Department and AID official in Iraq, running in the Fourth District of California, blasts the Trump administration for "giving away global leadership to powers like China and Russia. Our security and our economy will both suffer if those countries are left to re-write the international rules."

Former FBI agent Christopher Hunter , running in the 12th District of Florida, declares, "Russia is a clear and present danger to the United States. We emerged victorious over the Soviet Union in the Cold War. We must resolve anew to secure an uncompromising victory over Russia and its tyrannical regime."

Elissa Slotkin , the former CIA agent and Pentagon official running in Michigan's Eighth Congressional District, cites her 14 years of experience "working on some of our country's most critical national security matters, including U.S.-Russia relations, the counter-ISIS campaign, and the U.S. relationship with NATO." She argues that "the United States must make investments in its military, intelligence, and diplomatic power" in order to maintain "a unique and vital role in the world."

Max Rose , a combat commander in Afghanistan now running in New York's 11th Congressional District (Staten Island and Brooklyn), calls for "recognizing Russia as a hostile foreign power and holding the Kremlin accountable for its attempts to undermine the sovereignty and democratic values of other nations." Rose is still in the military reserves, and took two weeks off from his campaign in August to participate in small-unit drills.

Joseph Kopser , running in the 21st District of Texas, is another anti-Russian firebrand, writing on his website, "As a retired Army Ranger, I know first hand the importance of standing strong with your allies. Given Russia's march toward a totalitarian state showing aggression around the region, as well as their extensive cyber and information warfare campaign directed at the U.S., England, and others, our Article 5 [NATO] commitment to our European allies and partners is more important than ever." He concludes, "Since the mid-twentieth century, the United States has been a principal world leader -- a standard that should never be changed."

Four national-security candidates add North Korea and Iran to China and Russia as specific targets of American military and diplomatic attack.

Josh Welle , a former naval officer who was deployed to Afghanistan, now running in the Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey, writes, "We have to stand together in the face of threats from countries like North Korea and Iran. The human rights violations and nuclear capabilities of these countries pose a direct threat to the stability of this world and therefore need to be met with strong military presence and a robust defense program to protect ourselves."

Tom Malinowski , former assistant secretary of state for human rights, running in New Jersey's Seventh District, calls for maintaining economic sanctions on Russia "until it stops its aggression in Ukraine and interference in our democracy ," effusively endorses the state of Israel (whose government actually interferes in US elections more than any other), and calls for stepped up sanctions against North Korea.

Mikie Sherill , a former Navy pilot and Russian policy officer, running in New Jersey's 11th District, writes, "I have sat across the table from the Russians, and know that we need our government to take the threat they pose seriously." She adds to this a warning about "threats posed by North Korea and Iran," the two most immediate targets of military-diplomatic blackmail by the Trump administration. She concludes, referring to North Korea's nuclear program, "For that reason I support a robust military presence in the region and a comprehensive missile defense program to defend America, our allies, and our troops abroad."

Dan McCready , an Iraq war unit commander who claims to have been born again when he was baptized in water from the Euphrates River, calls for war to be waged only "with overwhelming firepower," not "sporadically, with no strategy or end in sight, while our enemies like Iran, North Korea, Russia, and the terrorists outsmart and outlast us." He is running in North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District, adjacent to the huge military complex at Fort Bragg.

One military-intelligence candidate cites immigration as a national-security issue, echoing the position of the Trump administration, which constantly peddles scare stories that terrorists are infiltrating the United States disguised as immigrants and refugees. That is Richard Ojeda , running in the Third Congressional District of West Virginia, who publicly boasts of having voted for Trump in 2016, in the same election in which he won a seat in the West Virginia state senate running as a Democrat.

Ojeda writes on his web site, "We must also ensure that terrorists do not reach American soil by abusing our immigration process. We must keep an up to date terror watch list but provide better vetting for those that go onto the watch list."

A career Army Airborne officer, Ojeda voices the full-blown militarism of this social layer. "If there is one thing I am confident in, it is the ability of our nation's military," he declares. "The best way to keep Americans safe is to let our military do their job without muddying up their responsibilities with our political agendas."

He openly rejects control of the military by civilian policy-makers. "War is not a social experiment and I refuse to let politics play a role in my decision making when it comes to keeping you and your family safe," he continues. "I will not take my marching orders from anyone else concerning national security."

Only one of the 30 candidates, Ken Harbaugh , a retired Air Force pilot running in the Seventh Congressional District of Ohio, centered on the industrial city of Canton, acknowledges being part of this larger group. He notes, "In 2018, more vets are running for office than at any moment in my lifetime. Because of the growing inability of Washington to deal responsibly with the threats facing our nation, veterans from both sides of the aisle are stepping into the breach."

Referring to the mounting prospect of war, he writes, "Today, we face our gravest geopolitical challenge since 9/11. Our country remains at war in Afghanistan, we have troops engaged in North Africa, Iraq and Syria, and Russia continues to bully our allies. Meanwhile, North Korea has the ability to directly threaten the American mainland with nuclear missiles." He concludes, "we need leaders with the moral authority to speak on these issues, leaders who have themselves been on the front lines of these challenges."

These statements, taken cumulatively, present a picture of unbridled militarism and aggression as the program of the supposed "opposition" to the Trump administration's own saber-rattling and threats of "fire and fury like the world has never seen."

Perhaps even more remarkable is that the remaining 17 national-security candidates say nothing at all about foreign policy (in 11 cases) or limit themselves to anodyne observations about the necessity to provide adequate health care and other benefits to veterans (two cases), or vague generalities about the need to combine a strong military with diplomatic efforts (four cases). They give no specifics whatsoever.

In other words, while these candidates tout their own records as part of the national-security apparatus as their principal credential for election to Congress, they decline to tell the voters what they would do if they were in charge of American foreign policy.

Given that these 17 include intelligence agents ( Abigail Spanberger and Gina Ortiz Jones ), a National Security Council Iraq war planner ( Andy Kim ), and numerous other high-level State Department and military commanders, the silence can have only the most ominous interpretation.

These CIA Democrats don't want to tell voters about their plans for foreign policy and military intervention because they know these measures are deeply unpopular. They aim to gain office as stealth candidates, unveiling their program of militarism and war only after they take their seats, when they may very well exercise decisive influence in the next Congress.

[Oct 08, 2018] British intelligence now officially a by-word for organized crime by John Wight

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... And what about the possibility of MI5's involvement in, dare we use the term, false flag operations? ..."
"... As someone who abhors the premise of conspiracy theory on principle, the fact that more and more are turning to its warm embrace as an intellectual reflex against what is politely described as the 'official narrative' of events, well this is no surprise when we learn of the egregious machinations of Western intelligence agencies such as Britain's MI5. ..."
"... If any such investigation is to be taken seriously, however, it must include in its remit the power to investigate all possible links between Britain's intelligence community and organisations such as, let's see, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group ? ..."
"... The deafening UK mainstream media and political class silence over the trail connecting 2017 Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi and MI6, Britain's foreign intelligence agency, leaves a lingering stench of intrigue that will not out. The work of investigative journalist Mark Curtis on this sordid relationship is unsurpassed. ..."
"... "The evidence suggests that the barbaric Manchester bombing, which killed 22 innocent people on May 22nd, is a case of blowback on British citizens arising at least partly from the overt and covert actions of British governments." ..."
"... "The evidence points to the LIFG being seen by the UK as a proxy militia to promote its foreign policy objectives. Whitehall also saw Qatar as a proxy to provide boots on the ground in Libya in 2011, even as it empowered hardline Islamist groups." ..."
"... "Both David Cameron, then Prime Minister, and Theresa May – who was Home Secretary in 2011 when Libyan radicals were encouraged to fight Qadafi [Muammar Gaddafi] – clearly have serious questions to answer. We believe an independent public enquiry is urgently needed." ..."
"... In words that echo down to us from ancient Rome, the poet Juvenal taunts our complacency with a question most simple and pertinent: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" Who will guard the guards themselves? ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | www.rt.com

8 Oct, 2018

An intelligence service given free rein to commit 'serious crimes' in its own country is an intelligence service that is the enemy of its people. The quite astounding revelation that Britain's domestic intelligence service, MI5, has enjoyed this very freedom for decades has only just been made public at a special tribunal in London, set up to investigate the country's intelligence services at the behest of a coalition of human rights groups, alleging a pattern of illegality up to and including collusion in murder.

The hitherto MI5 covert policy sanctioning its agents to commit and/or solicit serious crimes, as and when adjudged provident, is known as the Third Direction. This codename has been crafted, it would appear, by someone with a penchant for all things James Bond within an agency whose average operative is more likely to be 5'6" and balding with a paunch and bad teeth than any kind of lantern-jawed 007.

The Pat Finucane Centre , one of the aforementioned human rights groups involved in bringing about this tribunal investigation (Investigatory Powers Tribunal, to give it its Sunday name) into the nefarious activities of Britain's domestic intelligence agency, issued a damning statement in response to the further revelation that former Prime Minister David Cameron introduced oversight guidelines with regard to the MI5 covert third direction policy back in 2012.

Cameron's decision to do so, the group claims, was far from nobly taken:

"It can be no coincidence that Prime Minister David Cameron issued new guidelines, however flawed, on oversight of MI5 just two weeks before publication of the De Silva report into the murder of Pat Finucane. The PM was clearly alive to the alarming evidence which was about to emerge of the involvement of the Security Service in the murder. To date no-one within a state agency has been held accountable. The latest revelations make the case for an independent inquiry all the more compelling."

Pat Finucane, a Belfast Catholic, plied his trade as a human rights lawyer at a time when the right to be fully human was denied the minority Catholic community of the small and enduring outpost of British colonialism in the north east corner of Ireland, otherwise known as Northern Ireland. He was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in 1989, back when the decades-long conflict euphemistically referred to as the Troubles still raged, claiming victims both innocent and not on all sides.

Unlike the vast majority of those killed and murdered in the course of this brutal conflict, Finucane's murder sparked a long and hard fought struggle for justice by surviving family members, friends and campaigners. They allege – rather convincingly, it should be said – that it was carried out with the active collusion of MI5.

Stepping back and casting a wider view over this terrain, the criminal activities of Britain's intelligence services constitute more than enough material for a book of considerable heft. How fortunate then that just such a book has already been written.

In his 'Dead Men Talking: Collusion, Cover Up and Murder in Northern Ireland's Dirty War', author Nicholas Davies "provides information on a number of the killings [during the Troubles], which were authorized at the highest level of MI5 and the British government."

But over and above the crimes of MI5 in Ireland, what else have those doughty defenders of the realm been up to over the years? After all, what is the use of having a license to engage in serious criminal activity, including murder and, presumably, torture, if you're not prepared to use (abuse) it? It begs the question of how many high profile deaths attributed to suicide, natural causes, and accident down through the years have been the fruits of MI5 at work?

And what about the possibility of MI5's involvement in, dare we use the term, false flag operations?

As someone who abhors the premise of conspiracy theory on principle, the fact that more and more are turning to its warm embrace as an intellectual reflex against what is politely described as the 'official narrative' of events, well this is no surprise when we learn of the egregious machinations of Western intelligence agencies such as Britain's MI5.

What we are bound to state, doing so without fear of contradiction, is this particular revelation opens up a veritable Pandora's Box of grim possibilities when it comes to the potential crimes committed by Britain's domestic intelligence agency, ensuring that a full and vigorous investigation and public inquiry is now both necessary and urgent.

If any such investigation is to be taken seriously, however, it must include in its remit the power to investigate all possible links between Britain's intelligence community and organisations such as, let's see, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group ?

The deafening UK mainstream media and political class silence over the trail connecting 2017 Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi and MI6, Britain's foreign intelligence agency, leaves a lingering stench of intrigue that will not out. The work of investigative journalist Mark Curtis on this sordid relationship is unsurpassed.

As Curtis writes,

"The evidence suggests that the barbaric Manchester bombing, which killed 22 innocent people on May 22nd, is a case of blowback on British citizens arising at least partly from the overt and covert actions of British governments."

In the same report he arrives at a conclusion both damning and chilling:

"The evidence points to the LIFG being seen by the UK as a proxy militia to promote its foreign policy objectives. Whitehall also saw Qatar as a proxy to provide boots on the ground in Libya in 2011, even as it empowered hardline Islamist groups."

Finally: "Both David Cameron, then Prime Minister, and Theresa May – who was Home Secretary in 2011 when Libyan radicals were encouraged to fight Qadafi [Muammar Gaddafi] – clearly have serious questions to answer. We believe an independent public enquiry is urgently needed."

In words that echo down to us from ancient Rome, the poet Juvenal taunts our complacency with a question most simple and pertinent: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" Who will guard the guards themselves?

Edward R Murrow puts it rather more bluntly: "A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves."

Sooner or later, people in Britain are going to have to wake up to who the real enemy is.

Read more

John Wight has written for a variety of newspapers and websites, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal.

[Oct 08, 2018] The common folk never had control of the Federal Government.

Notable quotes:
"... At the time the eligible voters were males of European descent (MOED), and while not highly educated they were relatively free of propaganda and IQ's were higher than today. After giving women the right to vote and with other minorities voting the MOED became a minority voter. ..."
"... So today with propaganda and education being what it is, not to mention campaign financing laws especially post Citizen United, and MSM under control of 6 companies, the entire voting class is miseducated and easily influenced to vote for candidates chosen by the elites ..."
"... The founders who incited the revolution against British rule were the American Elites (also British citizens) who wanted more. The elites today got everything they want. They have no need for revolution. The common folk are divided, misinformed, unorganized, leaderless and males are emasculated. Incapable of taking control peacefully or otherwise. ..."
"... This was the high-tariff-era and the budget surplus was an issue all through the balance of the 19th Century. So what were the politics about? 1. Stirring stump (Trump) speeches were all about "waving the bloody shirt" ..."
"... In my view of the fundamental dynamic - namely that of history being one unbroken story of the rich exploiting the poor - representative government is one of the greatest achievements of the poor. If we could only get it to work honestly, and protect it from the predations of the rich. This is a work in progress. It forms just one aspect of millennia of struggle. To give up now would be madness. ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft , Oct 8, 2018 12:11:11 AM | 43 k

The constitution was a creation of the elite at the time, the property class. Its mission was to prevent the common folk from having control. Democracy=mob rule= Bad.

The common folk only had the ability to elect representatives in the house, who in turn would elect Senators. Electors voted for President and they were appointed by a means chosen by the state legislature , which only in modern times has come to mean by the popular vote of the common folk. Starting from 1913 it was decided to let the common folk vote for Senator and give the commonfolk the illusion of Democracy confident they could be controlled with propaganda and taxes (also adopted in 1913 with the Fed)

At the time the eligible voters were males of European descent (MOED), and while not highly educated they were relatively free of propaganda and IQ's were higher than today. After giving women the right to vote and with other minorities voting the MOED became a minority voter.

Bernays science of propaganda took off during WWI, Since MOED's made up the most educated class (relative to minorities and women) up to the 70's this was a big deal for almost 60 years , although not today when miseducation is equal among the different races, sexes and ethnicities.

So today with propaganda and education being what it is, not to mention campaign financing laws especially post Citizen United, and MSM under control of 6 companies, the entire voting class is miseducated and easily influenced to vote for candidates chosen by the elites

So how do the common folk get control over the federal government? That is a pipe dream and will never happen. The founders who incited the revolution against British rule were the American Elites (also British citizens) who wanted more. The elites today got everything they want. They have no need for revolution. The common folk are divided, misinformed, unorganized, leaderless and males are emasculated. Incapable of taking control peacefully or otherwise.

Thats just my opinion

Guerrero , Oct 8, 2018 1:03:57 AM | link

Pft has a point. If there was ever a time for the people to take the republic into its hands, it may have been just after the Civil War when the Dems were discredited and the Repubs had a total control of Congress.

This was the high-tariff-era and the budget surplus was an issue all through the balance of the 19th Century. So what were the politics about? 1. Stirring stump (Trump) speeches were all about "waving the bloody shirt"

All manner of political office-seekers devoted themselves to getting on the government gravy train, somehow. The selling of political offices was notorious and the newspaper editors of the time were ashamed of this.

Then there was the Whiskey Ring. The New York Customs House was a major source of corruption lucre. Then there was vote selling in blocks of as many as 10,000 and the cost of paying those who could do this. Then there were the kickbacks from the awards of railroad concessions which included large parcels of land. If there ever was a Golden Age of the United States it must have been when Franklin Roosevelt was President.

ben , Oct 8, 2018 1:13:04 AM | link

karlof1 @ 34 asked:"My question for several years now: What are us Commonfolk going to do to regain control of the federal government?"

The only thing us "common folk" can do is work within our personal sphere of influence, and engage who you can, when you can, and support with any $ you can spare, to support the sites and any local radio stations that broadcast independent thought. ( if you can find any). Pacifica radio, KPFK in LA is a good example. KPFA in the bay area.

Other than another economic crash, I don't believe anything can rouse the pathetic bovine public. Bread and circuses work...

Grieved , Oct 8, 2018 1:13:32 AM | link
@38 Pft

The division of representative power and stake in the political process back at the birth of the US Constitution was as you say it was. But this wasn't because any existing power had been taken away from anyone. It was simply the state of play back then.

Since that time, we common people have developed a more egalitarian sense of how the representation should be apportioned. We include former slaves, all ethnic groups and both genders. We exclude animals thus far, although we do have some - very modest - protections in place.

I think it has been the rise of the socialist impulse among workers that has expanded this egalitarian view, with trade unions and anti-imperialist revolutions and national struggles. But I'm not a scholar or a historian so I can't add details to my impression.

My point is that since the Framers met, there has been a progressive elevation of our requirements of representative government. I think some of this also came from the Constitution itself, with its embedded Bill of Rights.

I can't say if this expansion has continued to this day or not. History may show there was a pinnacle that we have now passed, and entered a decline. I don't know - it's hard to say how we score the Internet in this balance. It's always hard to score the present age along its timeline. And the future is never here yet, in the present, and can only ever be guessed.

In my view, the dream of popular control of representative government remains entirely possible. I call it an aspiration rather than a pipe dream, and one worth taking up and handing on through the generations. Current global society may survive in relatively unbroken line for millennia to come. There's simply no percentage in calling failure at this time.

It may be that better government comes to the United States from the example of the world nations, over the decades and centuries to come. Maybe the demonstration effect will work on us even when we cannot work on ourselves. We are not the only society of poor people who want a fair life.

In my view of the fundamental dynamic - namely that of history being one unbroken story of the rich exploiting the poor - representative government is one of the greatest achievements of the poor. If we could only get it to work honestly, and protect it from the predations of the rich. This is a work in progress. It forms just one aspect of millennia of struggle. To give up now would be madness.

In my opinion.

dh-mtl , Oct 8, 2018 2:34:39 AM | link
Grieved @42 said:

"representative government is one of the greatest achievements of the poor. If we could only get it to work honestly, and protect it from the predations of the rich. This is a work in progress. It forms just one aspect of millennia of struggle. To give up now would be madness."

Here, here! I fully agree with you.

In my opinion, representative government was stronger in the U.S. from the 1930's to the 1970's and Europe after WW2. And as a result the western world achieved unprecedented prosperity. Since 1980, the U.S. government has been captured by trans-national elites, who, since the 1990's have also captured much of the political power in the EU.

Both Europe and the U.S. are now effectively dictatorships, run by a trans-national elite. The crumbling of both is the result of this dictatorship.

Prosperity, and peace, will only return when the dictators are removed and representative government is returned.

Krollchem , Oct 8, 2018 2:42:16 AM | link
dh-mtl@44

"Both Europe and the U.S. are now effectively dictatorships, run by a trans-national elite. The crumbling of both is the result of this dictatorship."

Exactly!! I feel like the Swedish knight Antonius Block in the movie the 7th Seal. There does not seem any way out of this evil game by the death dealing rulers.

Anton Worter , Oct 8, 2018 3:06:04 AM | link
@24

Love it. But you fad3d at the end. It was Gingrich, not Rodham, who was behind Contract on America, and GHWBush's Fed Bank group wrote the legislation that would have been Bush's second term 'kinder, gentler' Gramm-Leach-Bliley bayonet up the azs of the American Dream, as passed by a majority of Congress, and by that point Tripp and Lewinski had already pull-dated Wild Bill. God, can you imagine being married to that hag Rodham? The purple people-eating lizards of Georgetown and Alexandria. Uurk.

Anton Worter , Oct 8, 2018 3:34:05 AM | link
40

¿Que tal?

I'm reading a great FDR book, 'Roosevelt and Hopkins', a signed 1st Ed copy by Robert Sherwood, and the only book extant from my late father's excellent political and war library, after his trophy wife dumped the rest of his library off at Goodwill, lol. They could have paid for her next booblift, ha, ha, ha.

Anyway, FDR, in my mind, only passed the populist laws that he did because he needed cannon fodder in good fighting shape for Rothschild's Wars ("3/4ths of WW2 conscripts were medically unfit for duty," the book reports), and because Rothschild's and Queens Bank of London needed the whole sh*taco bailed out afterward, by creating SS wage-withholding 'Trust Fund' (sic) the Fed then tapped into, and creating Lend-Lease which let Rothschilds float credit-debt to even a higher level and across the globe. Has it all been paid off by Germany and Japan yet?

Even Lincoln, jeez, Civil War was never about slavery, it was about finance and taxation and the illegitimate Federal supremacy over the Republic of States, not unlike the EU today. Lincoln only freed the slaves to use them as cannon fodder and as a fifth column.

All of these politicians were purple people-eating lizards, except maybe the Kennedy's, and they got ground and pounded like Conor McGregor, meh?

Guerrero | Oct 8, 2018 10:22:34 AM | 61

@BM | Oct 8, 2018 10:03:12 AM | 60

"representative government is one of the greatest achievements of the poor. If we could only get it to work honestly, and protect it from the predations of the rich. This is a work in progress. It forms just one aspect of millennia of struggle. To give up now would be madness."

Compare to: Sentiments of the Nation:

12º That as the good Law is superior to every man, those dictated by our Congress must be such, that they force constancy and patriotism, moderate opulence and indigence; and in such a way increase the wages of the poor, improve their habits, moving away from ignorance, rapine and theft.

13º That the general laws include everyone, without exception of privileged bodies; and that these are only in the use of the ministry..

14º That in order to dictate a Law, the Meeting of Sages is made, in the possible number, so that it may proceed with more success and exonerate of some charges that may result.

15. That slavery be banished forever, and the distinction of castes, leaving all the same, and only distinguish one American from another by vice and virtue.

16º That our Ports be open to friendly foreign nations, but that they do not enter the nation, no matter how friendly they may be, and there will only be Ports designated for that purpose, prohibiting disembarkation in all others, indicating ten percent.

17º That each one be kept his property, and respect in his House as in a sacred asylum, pointing out penalties to the offenders.

18º That the new legislation does not admit torture.

19º That the Constitutional Law establishes the celebration of December 12th in all Peoples, dedicated to the Patroness of our Liberty, Most Holy Mary of Guadalupe, entrusting to all Peoples the monthly devotion.

20º That the foreign troops, or of another Kingdom, do not step on our soil, and if it were in aid, they will not without the Supreme Junta approval.

21º That expeditions are not made outside the limits of the Kingdom, especially overseas, that they are not of this kind yet rather to spread the faith to our brothers and sisters of the land inside.

22º That the infinity of tributes, breasts and impositions that overwhelm us be removed, and each individual be pointed out a five percent of seeds and other effects or other equally light weight, that does not oppress so much, as the alcabala, the Tobacconist, the Tribute and others; because with this slight contribution, and the good administration of the confiscated goods of the enemy, will be able to take the weight of the War, and pay the fees of employees.

Temple of the Virgen of the Ascencion
Chilpancingo, September 14, 1813.
José Mª Morelos.

23º That also be solemnized on September 16, every year, as the Anniversary day on which the Voice of Independence was raised, and our Holy Freedom began, because on that day it was in which the lips of the Nation were deployed to claim their rights with Sword in hand to be heard: always remembering the merit of the great Hero Mr. Don Miguel Hidalgo and his companion Don Ignacio Allende.

Answers on November 21, 1813. And therefore, these are abolished, always being subject to the opinion of S. [u] A. [alteza] S. [very eminent]

[Oct 08, 2018] Hacking and Propaganda by Marcus Ranum

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There has been an ongoing campaign on the part of the US, to get out the idea that China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have massive armies of hackers that are constantly looking to steal American secrets. The absurdity of the US' claims is pretty obvious. As I pointed out in my book The Myth of Homeland Security ..."
"... "The Great US/China Cyberwar of 2010" is one cyberwar that didn't happen, but was presaged with a run-up of lots of claims that the Chinese were hacking all over the place. I'm perfectly willing to accept the possibility that there was Chinese hacking activity, but in the industry there was no indication of an additional level of attack or significance. ..."
"... One thing that did ..."
"... US ideology is that "we don't start wars" -- it's always looking for an excuse to go to war under the rubric of self-defense, so I see these sorts of claims as justification in advance for unilateral action. I also see it as a sign of weakness; if the US were truly the superpower it claims it is, it would simply accept its imperial mantle and stop bothering to try to justify anything. I'm afraid we may be getting close to that point. ..."
"... My assumption has always been that the US is projecting its own actions on other nations. At the time when the US was talking the loudest about Chinese cyberwar, the US and Israel had launched STUXNET against the Iranian enrichment plant at Natanz, and the breeder reactor at Bushehr (which happens to be just outside of a large city; the attack took some of its control systems and backup generators offline). Attacks on nuclear power facilities are a war crime under international humanitarian law, which framework the US is signatory to but has not committed to actually follow. This sort of activity happens at the same time that the US distributes talking-points to the media about the danger of Russian hackers crashing the US power grid. I don't think we can psychoanalyze an entire government and I think psychoanalysis is mostly nonsense -- but it's tempting to accuse the US of "projection." ..."
"... All of this stuff happens against the backdrop of Klein, Binney, Snowden, and the Vault 7 revelations, as well as solid attribution identifying the NSA as "equation group" and linking the code-tree of NSA-developed malware to STUXNET, FLAME, and DUQU. ..."
"... the US has even admitted to deploying STUXNET -- Obama bragged about it. When Snowden's revelations outlined how the NSA had eavesdropped on Angela Merkel's cellphone, the Germans expressed shock and Barack Obama remarkably truthfully said "that's how these things are done" and blew the whole thing off by saying that the NSA wasn't eavesdropping on Merkel any more. [ bbc ] ..."
"... It's hard to keep score because everything is pretty vague, but it sounds like the US has been dramatically out-spending and out-acting the other nations that it accuses of being prepared for cyberwar. ..."
"... it's hard not to see the US is prepared for cyberwar, when both the NSA and the CIA leak massive collections of advanced tools. ..."
"... My observation is that the NSA and CIA have been horribly sloppy and have clearly spent a gigantic amount of money preparing to compromise both foreign and domestic systems -- that's bad enough. With friends like the NSA and CIA, who needs Russians and Chinese? ..."
"... The Russian and Chinese efforts are relatively tiny compared to the massive efforts the US expends tens of billions of dollars on. The US spends about $50bn on its intelligence agencies, while the entire Russian Department of Defense budget is about $90bn (China is around $139bn) -- maybe the Russians and Chinese have such a small footprint because they are much smaller operations? ..."
"... That brings us to the recent kerfuffle about taps on the Supermicro motherboards. That's not unbelievable at all -- not in a world where we discover that Intel has built a parallel management CPU into every CPU since 2008, and that there is solid indications that other processors have similar backdoors. ..."
"... There are probably so many backdoors in our systems that it's a miracle it works at all. ..."
"... So, with respect to "propaganda" I would say that the US intelligence community has been consistently pushing a propaganda agenda against the US government, and the citizens in order to justify its actions and defend its budget. ..."
"... What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes. ..."
"... Funny how those obsessed with "false flag" operations work so hard to invite more of same. ..."
Oct 07, 2018 | freethoughtblogs.com

Bob Moore asks me to comment on an article about propaganda and security/intelligence. [ article ] This is going to be a mixture of opinion and references to facts; I'll try to be clear which is which.

Yesterday several NATO countries ran a concerted propaganda campaign against Russia. The context for it was a NATO summit in which the U.S. presses for an intensified cyberwar against NATO's preferred enemy.

On the same day another coordinated campaign targeted China. It is aimed against China's development of computer chip manufacturing further up the value chain. Related to this is U.S. pressure on Taiwan, a leading chip manufacturer, to cut its ties with its big motherland.

It is true that the US periodically makes a big push regarding "messaging" about hacking. Whether or not it constitutes a "propaganda campaign" depends on how we choose to interpret things and the labels we attach to them -- "propaganda campaign" has a lot of negative connotations and one person's "outreach effort" is an other's "propaganda." An ultra-nationalist or an authoritarian submissive who takes the government's word for anything would call it "outreach."

There has been an ongoing campaign on the part of the US, to get out the idea that China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have massive armies of hackers that are constantly looking to steal American secrets. The absurdity of the US' claims is pretty obvious. As I pointed out in my book The Myth of Homeland Security (2004) [ wc ] claims such as that the Chinese had "40,000 highly trained hackers" are flat-out absurd and ignore the reality of hacking; that's four army corps. Hackers don't engage in "human wave" attacks.

"The Great US/China Cyberwar of 2010" is one cyberwar that didn't happen, but was presaged with a run-up of lots of claims that the Chinese were hacking all over the place. I'm perfectly willing to accept the possibility that there was Chinese hacking activity, but in the industry there was no indication of an additional level of attack or significance.

One thing that did happen in 2010 around the same time as the nonexistent cyberwar was China and Russia proposed trilateral talks with the US to attempt to define appropriate limits on state-sponsored hacking. The US flatly rejected the proposal, but there was virtually no coverage of that in the US media at the time. The UN also called for a cyberwar treaty framework, and the effort was killed by the US. [ wired ] What's fascinating and incomprehensible to me is that, whenever the US feels that its ability to claim pre-emptive cyberwar is challenged, it responds with a wave of claims about Chinese (or Russian or North Korean) cyberwar aggression.

John Negroponte, former director of US intelligence, said intelligence agencies in the major powers would be the first to "express reservations" about such an accord.

US ideology is that "we don't start wars" -- it's always looking for an excuse to go to war under the rubric of self-defense, so I see these sorts of claims as justification in advance for unilateral action. I also see it as a sign of weakness; if the US were truly the superpower it claims it is, it would simply accept its imperial mantle and stop bothering to try to justify anything. I'm afraid we may be getting close to that point.

My assumption has always been that the US is projecting its own actions on other nations. At the time when the US was talking the loudest about Chinese cyberwar, the US and Israel had launched STUXNET against the Iranian enrichment plant at Natanz, and the breeder reactor at Bushehr (which happens to be just outside of a large city; the attack took some of its control systems and backup generators offline). Attacks on nuclear power facilities are a war crime under international humanitarian law, which framework the US is signatory to but has not committed to actually follow. This sort of activity happens at the same time that the US distributes talking-points to the media about the danger of Russian hackers crashing the US power grid. I don't think we can psychoanalyze an entire government and I think psychoanalysis is mostly nonsense -- but it's tempting to accuse the US of "projection."

The anti-Russian campaign is about alleged Russian spying, hacking and influence operations. Britain and the Netherland took the lead. Britain accused Russia's military intelligence service (GRU) of spying attempts against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague and Switzerland, of spying attempts against the British Foreign Office, of influence campaigns related to European and the U.S. elections, and of hacking the international doping agency WADA. British media willingly helped to exaggerate the claims: [ ]

The Netherland [sic] for its part released a flurry of information about the alleged spying attempts against the OPCW in The Hague. It claims that four GRU agents traveled to The Hague on official Russian diplomatic passports to sniff out the WiFi network of the OPCW. (WiFi networks are notoriously easy to hack. If the OPCW is indeed using such it should not be trusted with any security relevant issues.) The Russian officials were allegedly very secretive, even cleaning out their own hotel trash, while they, at the same, time carried laptops with private data and even taxi receipts showing their travel from a GRU headquarter in Moscow to the airport. Like in the Skripal/Novichok saga the Russian spies are, at the same time, portrayed as supervillains and hapless amateurs. Real spies are neither.

The U.S. Justice Department added to the onslaught by issuing new indictments (pdf) against alleged GRU agents dubiously connected to several alleged hacking incidents . As none of those Russians will ever stand in front of a U.S. court the broad allegations will never be tested.

There's a lot there, and I think the interpretation is a bit over-wrought, but it's mostly accurate. The US and the UK (and other NATO allies, as necessary) clearly coordinate when it comes to talking points. Claims of Chinese cyberwar in the US press will be followed by claims in the UK and Australian press, as well. My suspicion is that this is not the US Government and UK Government coordinating a story -- it's the intelligence agencies doing it. My opinion is that the intelligence services are fairly close to a "deep state" -- the CIA and NSA are completely out of control and the CIA has gone far toward building its own military, while the NSA has implemented completely unrestricted surveillance worldwide.

All of this stuff happens against the backdrop of Klein, Binney, Snowden, and the Vault 7 revelations, as well as solid attribution identifying the NSA as "equation group" and linking the code-tree of NSA-developed malware to STUXNET, FLAME, and DUQU. While the attribution that "Fancy Bear is the GRU" has been made and is probably fairly solid, the attribution of NSA malware and CIA malware is rock solid; the US has even admitted to deploying STUXNET -- Obama bragged about it. When Snowden's revelations outlined how the NSA had eavesdropped on Angela Merkel's cellphone, the Germans expressed shock and Barack Obama remarkably truthfully said "that's how these things are done" and blew the whole thing off by saying that the NSA wasn't eavesdropping on Merkel any more. [ bbc ]

It's hard to keep score because everything is pretty vague, but it sounds like the US has been dramatically out-spending and out-acting the other nations that it accuses of being prepared for cyberwar. I tend to be extremely skeptical of US claims because: bomber gap, missile gap, gulf of Tonkin, Iraq WMD, Afghanistan, Libya and every other aggressive attack by the US which was blamed on its target. The reason I assume the US is the most aggressive actor in cyberspace is because the US has done a terrible job of protecting its tool-sets and operational security: it's hard not to see the US is prepared for cyberwar, when both the NSA and the CIA leak massive collections of advanced tools.

Meanwhile, where are the leaks of Russian and Chinese tools? They have been few and far between, if there have been any at all. Does this mean that the Russians and Chinese have amazingly superior tradecraft, if not tools? I don't know. My observation is that the NSA and CIA have been horribly sloppy and have clearly spent a gigantic amount of money preparing to compromise both foreign and domestic systems -- that's bad enough. With friends like the NSA and CIA, who needs Russians and Chinese?

The article does not have great depth to its understanding of the situation, I'm afraid. So it comes off as a bit heavy on the recent news while ignoring the long-term trends. For example:

The allegations of Chinese supply chain attacks are of course just as hypocritical as the allegations against Russia. The very first know case of computer related supply chain manipulation goes back to 1982 :

A CIA operation to sabotage Soviet industry by duping Moscow into stealing booby-trapped software was spectacularly successful when it triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian gas pipeline, it emerged yesterday.

I wrote a piece about the "Farewell Dossier" in 2004. [ mjr ] Re-reading it, it comes off as skeptical but waffly. I think that it's self-promotion by the CIA and exaggerates considerably ("look how clever we are!") at a time when the CIA was suffering an attention and credibility deficit after its shitshow performance under George Tenet. But the first known cases of computer related supply chain manipulation go back to the 70s and 80s -- the NSA even compromised Crypto AG's Hagelin M-209 system (a mechanical ciphering machine) in order to read global communications encrypted with that product. You can imagine Crypto AG's surprise when the Iranian secret police arrested one of their sales reps for selling backdoor'd crypto -- the NSA had never told them about the backdoor, naturally. The CIA was also on record for producing Xerox machines destined for the USSR, which had recorders built into them So, while the article is portraying the historical sweep of NSA dirty tricks, they're only looking at the recent ones. Remember: the NSA also weakened the elliptic curve crypto library in RSA's Bsafe implementation, paying RSADSI $13 million to accept their tweaked code.

Why haven't we been hearing about the Chinese and Russians doing that sort of thing? There are four options:

  1. The Russians and Chinese are doing it, they're just so darned good nobody has caught them until just recently.
  2. The Russians and Chinese simply resort to using existing tools developed by the hacking/cybercrime community and rely on great operational security rather than fancy tools.
  3. The Russian and Chinese efforts are relatively tiny compared to the massive efforts the US expends tens of billions of dollars on. The US spends about $50bn on its intelligence agencies, while the entire Russian Department of Defense budget is about $90bn (China is around $139bn) -- maybe the Russians and Chinese have such a small footprint because they are much smaller operations?
  4. Something else.

That brings us to the recent kerfuffle about taps on the Supermicro motherboards. That's not unbelievable at all -- not in a world where we discover that Intel has built a parallel management CPU into every CPU since 2008, and that there is solid indications that other processors have similar backdoors.

Was the Intel IME a "backdoor" or just "a bad idea"? Well, that's tricky. Let me put my tinfoil hat on: making a backdoor look like a sloppily developed product feature would be the competent way to write a backdoor. Making it as sneaky as the backdoor in the Via is unnecessary -- incompetence is eminently believable.

&

(kaspersky)

I believe all of these stories (including the Supermicro) are the tip of a great big, ugly iceberg. The intelligence community has long known that software-only solutions are too mutable, and are easy to decompile and figure out. They have wanted to be in the BIOS of systems -- on the motherboard -- for a long time. If you go back to 2014, we have disclosures about the NSA malware that hides in hard drive BIOS: [ vice ] [ vice ] That appears to have been in progress around 2000/2001.

Of note, the group recovered two modules belonging to EquationDrug and GrayFish that were used to reprogram hard drives to give the attackers persistent control over a target machine. These modules can target practically every hard drive manufacturer and brand on the market, including Seagate, Western Digital, Samsung, Toshiba, Corsair, Hitachi and more. Such attacks have traditionally been difficult to pull off, given the risk in modifying hard drive software, which may explain why Kaspersky could only identify a handful of very specific targets against which the attack was used, where the risk was worth the reward.

But Equation Group's malware platforms have other tricks, too. GrayFish, for example, also has the ability to install itself into computer's boot record -- software that loads even before the operating system itself -- and stores all of its data inside a portion of the operating system called the registry, where configuration data is normally stored.

EquationDrug was designed for use on older Windows operating systems, and "some of the plugins were designed originally for use on Windows 95/98/ME" -- versions of Windows so old that they offer a good indication of the Equation Group's age.

This is not a very good example of how to establish a "malware gap" since it just makes the NSA look like they are incapable of keeping a secret. If you want an idea how bad it is, Kaspersky labs' analysis of the NSA's toolchain is a good example of how to do attribution correctly. Unfortunately for the US agenda, that solid attribution points toward Fort Meade in Maryland. [kaspersky]

Let me be clear: I think we are fucked every which way from the start. With backdoors in the BIOS, backdoors on the CPU, and wireless cellular-spectrum backdoors, there are probably backdoors in the GPUs and the physical network controllers, as well. Maybe the backdoors in the GPU come from the GRU and maybe the backdoors in the hard drives come from NSA, but who cares? The upshot is that all of our systems are so heinously compromised that they can only be considered marginally reliable. It is, literally, not your computer: it's theirs. They'll let you use it so long as your information is interesting to them.

Do I believe the Chinese are capable of doing such a thing? Of course. Is the GRU? Probably. Mossad? Sure. NSA? Well-documented attribution points toward NSA. Your computer is a free-fire zone. It has been since the mid 1990s, when the NSA was told "no" on the Clipper chip and decided to come up with its own Plan B, C, D, and E. Then, the CIA came up with theirs. Etc. There are probably so many backdoors in our systems that it's a miracle it works at all.

From my 2012 RSA conference lecture "Cyberwar, you're doing it wrong."

The problem is that playing in this space is the purview of governments. Nobody in the cybercrime or hacking world need tools like these. The intelligence operatives have huge budgets, compared to a typical company's security budget, and it's unreasonable to expect any business to invest such a level of effort on defending itself. So what should companies do? They should do exactly what they are doing: expect the government to deal with it; that's what governments are for. The problem with that strategy is that their government isn't on their side, either! It's Hobbes' playground.

In case you think I am engaging in hyperbole, I assure you I am not. If you want another example of the lengths (and willingness to bypass the law) "they" are willing to go, consider 'stingrays' that are in operation in every major US city and outside of every interesting hotel and high tech park. Those devices are not passive -- they actively inject themselves into the call set-up between your phone and your carrier -- your data goes through the stingray, or it doesn't go at all. If there are multiple stingrays, then your latency goes through the roof. "They" don't care. Are the stingrays NSA, FBI, CIA, Mossad, GRU, or PLA? Probably a bit of all of the above depending on where and when.

Whenever the US gets caught with its pants down around its ankles, it blames the Chinese or the Russians because they have done a good job of building the idea that the most serious hackers on the planet at the Chinese. I don't believe that we're seeing complex propaganda campaigns that are tied to specific incidents -- I think we see ongoing organic propaganda campaigns that all serve the same end: protect the agencies, protect their budgets, justify their existence, and downplay their incompetence.

So, with respect to "propaganda" I would say that the US intelligence community has been consistently pushing a propaganda agenda against the US government, and the citizens in order to justify its actions and defend its budget.

The government also engages in propaganda, and is influenced by the intelligence community's propaganda as well. And the propaganda campaigns work because everyone involved assumes, "well, given what the NSA has been able to do, I should assume the Chinese can do likewise." That's a perfectly reasonable assumption and I think it's probably true that the Chinese have capabilities. The situation is what Chuck Spinney calls "A self-licking ice cream cone" -- it's a justifying structure that makes participation in endless aggression seem like a sensible thing to do. And, when there's inevitably a disaster, it's going to be like a cyber-9/11 and will serve as a justification for even more unrestrained aggression.


Want to see what it looks like? A thousand thanks to Commentariat member [redacted] for this link. If you don't like video, there's an article here. [ toms ]

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_eSAF_qT_FY

Is this an NSA backdoor, or normal incompetence? Is Intel Management Engine an NSA-inspired backdoor, or did some system engineers at Intel think that was a good idea? There are other scary indications of embedded compromise: the CIA's Vault7 archive included code that appeared to be intended to embed in the firmware of "smart" flatscreen TVs. That would make every LG flat panel in every hotel room, a listening device just waiting to be turned on.

We know the Chinese didn't do that particular bug but why wouldn't they do something similar, in something else? China is the world's oldest mature culture -- they literally wrote the book on strategy -- Americans acting as though it's a great surprise to learn that the Chinese are not stupid, it's just the parochialism of a 250 year-old culture looking at a 3,000 year-old culture and saying "wow, you guys haven't been asleep at the switch after all!"

WIRED on cyberspace treaties [ wired ]

Comments
  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    October 6, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes.

    Funny how those obsessed with "false flag" operations work so hard to invite more of same.

  2. Marcus Ranum says

    October 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Pierce R. Butler@#1:
    What little I've been able to find out the new Trump™ cybersecurity plan is that it doesn't involve any defense, just massive retribution against (perceived) foes.

    Yes. Since 2001, as far as most of us can tell, federal cybersecurity spend has been 80% offense, 20% defense. And a lot of the offensive spend has been aimed at We, The People.

  3. Cat Mara says

    October 6, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Your mention of Operation Sundevil and Kevin Mitnick in a previous post made me think that maybe the reason we haven't seen the kind of leaks from the Russian and Chinese hacking operations that we've seem from the NSA is that they're running a "Kevin Mitnick style" operation; that is, relying less on technical solutions and using instead old-fashioned "social engineering" and other low-tech forms of espionage (like running troll farms on social media). I mean, I've seen interviews with retired US intelligence people since the 90s complain that since the late 1980s, the intelligence agencies have been crippled by management in love with hi-tech "SIGINT" solutions to problems that never deliver and neglecting old-fashioned "HUMINT" intelligence-gathering.

    The thing is, Kevin Mitnick got away with a lot of what he did because people didn't take security seriously then, and still don't. On a similar nostalgia vibe, I remember reading an article by Keith Bostic (one of the researchers who helped in the analysis of the Morris worm that took down a significant chunk of the Internet back in 1988) where he did a follow-up a year or so afterwards and some depressing number of organisations that had been hit by it still hadn't patched the holes that had let the worm infect them in the first place.

  4. Marcus Ranum says

    October 6, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Cat Mara@#3:
    Your mention of Operation Sundevil and Kevin Mitnick in a previous post made me think that maybe the reason we haven't seen the kind of leaks from the Russian and Chinese hacking operations that we've seem from the NSA is that they're running a "Kevin Mitnick style" operation; that is, relying less on technical solutions and using instead old-fashioned "social engineering" and other low-tech forms of espionage (like running troll farms on social media).

    I think that's right, to a high degree. What if Edward Snowden was an agent provocateur instead of a well-meaning naive kid? A tremendous amount of damage could be done, as well as stealing the US' expensive toys. The Russians have been very good at doing exactly that sort of operation, since WWII. The Chinese are, if anything, more subtle than the Russians.

    The Chinese attitude, as expressed to me by someone who might be a credible source is, "why are you picking a fight with us? We don't care, you're too far away for us to threaten you, we both have loads of our own fish to fry. To them, the US is young, hyperactive, and stupid.

    The FBI is not competent, at all, against old-school humint intelligence-gathering. Compared to the US' cyber-toys, the old ways are probably more efficient and cost effective. China's intelligence community is also much more team-oriented than the CIA/NSA; they're actually a disciplined operation under the strategic control of policy-makers. That, by the way, is why Russians and Chinese stare in amazement when Americans ask things like "Do you think Putin knew about this?" What a stupid question! It's an autocracy; they don't have intelligence operatives just going an deciding "it's a nice day to go to England with some Novichok." The entire American attitude toward espionage lacks maturity.

    On a similar nostalgia vibe, I remember reading an article by Keith Bostic (one of the researchers who helped in the analysis of the Morris worm that took down a significant chunk of the Internet back in 1988) where he did a follow-up a year or so afterwards and some depressing number of organisations that had been hit by it still hadn't patched the holes that had let the worm infect them in the first place.

    That as an exciting time. We were downstream from University of Maryland, which got hit pretty badly. Pete Cottrel and Chris Torek from UMD were also in on Bostic's dissection. We were doing uucp over TCP for our email (that changed pretty soon after the worm) and our uucp queue blew up. I cured the worm with a reboot into single-user mode and a quick 'rm -f' in the uucp queue.

  5. Bob Moore says

    October 7, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Thanks. I appreciate your measured analysis and the making explicit of the bottom line: " agencies, protect their budgets, justify their existence, and downplay their incompetence."

[Oct 08, 2018] The idea of 'stealth' aircraft is in fact mostly a gimmick designed to enrich the military contractors

Oct 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

pogohere , Oct 7, 2018 7:50:12 PM | link

Greece @ 25

"Also do not forget that all invisible stuff that US army had during the Clinton/HRC era, were easily visible. F-117 in Serbia,"

See: Comment #43: (very detailed, links to open source US mil docs)

"The idea of 'stealth' aircraft is in fact mostly a gimmick designed to enrich the military contractors it doesn't actually work very well at all, as proved in 1999 when the Serb air defense, using ancient Soviet surface to air missiles of 1950s vintage, shot down the USAF F117 aircraft and damaged another that was then written off, and therefore counts as a kill "

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/s-300s-and-other-military-hardware-for-syria/#comment-2558132

Grieved , Oct 7, 2018 9:05:49 PM | link

@26 pogohere

Thanks for that link. That's an essay in itself, and I'm still reading it. Fascinating and valuable background on stealth.

First takeaway for me is that the Russians invented stealth but considered it impracticable at the time. The US designers took the Russian equations and ran with them, throwing out many other considerations of plane-worthiness in order to promote this dud of a magic bullet.

[Oct 06, 2018] America s new aristocracy lives in an accountability-free zone by David Sirota

Notable quotes:
"... Accountability is for the little people, immunity is for the ruling class. If this ethos seems familiar, that is because it has preceded some of the darkest moments in human history ..."
"... September began with John McCain's funeral – a memorial billed as an apolitical celebration of the Arizona lawmaker, but which served as a made-for-TV spectacle letting America know that everyone who engineered the Iraq war is doing just fine. ..."
"... The underlying message was clear: nobody other than the dead, the injured and the taxpayer will face any real penalty for the Iraq debacle. ..."
"... Meanwhile, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon garnered non-Onion headlines by floating the idea of running for president – a reminder that a decade after his firm played a central role in destroying countless Americans' economic lives, he remains not only unincarcerated and gainfully employed, but so reputationally unscathed that he is seen as a serious White House candidate. ..."
Oct 05, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

Accountability is for the little people, immunity is for the ruling class. If this ethos seems familiar, that is because it has preceded some of the darkest moments in human history

'If there are no legal consequences for profiteers who defrauded the global economy into a collapse, what will deter those profiteers from doing that again?' Illustration: Mark Long/Mark Long for Guardian US W hen the former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling was released from prison a few weeks ago, the news conjured memories of a corporate scandal that now seems almost quaint – and it was also a reminder that Enron executives were among the last politically connected criminals to face any serious consequences for institutionalized fraud.

Since Skilling's conviction 12 years ago, our society has been fundamentally altered by a powerful political movement whose goal is not merely another court seat, tax cut or election victory. This movement's objective is far more revolutionary: the creation of an accountability-free zone for an ennobled aristocracy, even as the rest of the population is treated to law-and-order rhetoric and painfully punitive policy.

Let's remember that in less than two decades, America has experienced the Iraq war, the financial crisis, intensifying economic stratification, an opioid plague, persistent gender and racial inequality and now seemingly unending climate change-intensified disasters. While the victims have been ravaged by these crime sprees, crises and calamities, the perpetrators have largely avoided arrest, inquisition, incarceration, resignation, public shaming and ruined careers.

That is because the United States has been turned into a safe space for a permanent ruling class. Inside the rarefied refuge, the key players who created this era's catastrophes and who embody the most pernicious pathologies have not just eschewed punishment – many of them have actually maintained or even increased their social, financial and political status.

The effort to construct this elite haven has tied together so many seemingly disparate news events, suggesting that there is a method in the madness. Consider this past month that culminated with the dramatic battle over the judicial nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

September began with John McCain's funeral – a memorial billed as an apolitical celebration of the Arizona lawmaker, but which served as a made-for-TV spectacle letting America know that everyone who engineered the Iraq war is doing just fine.

The event was attended by Iraq war proponents of both parties, from Dick Cheney to Lindsey Graham to Hillary Clinton. The funeral featured a saccharine eulogy from the key Democratic proponent of the invasion, Joe Lieberman, as well the resurrection of George W Bush. The codpiece-flaunting war president who piloted America into the cataclysm with "bring 'em on" bravado, "shock and awe" bloodlust and "uranium from Africa" dishonesty was suddenly portrayed as an icon of warmth and civility when he passed a lozenge to Michelle Obama. The scene was depicted not as the gathering of a rogues gallery fit for a war crimes tribunal, but as a venerable bipartisan reunion evoking nostalgia for the supposed halcyon days – and Bush promptly used his newly revived image to campaign for Republican congressional candidates and lobby for Kavanaugh's appointment .

The underlying message was clear: nobody other than the dead, the injured and the taxpayer will face any real penalty for the Iraq debacle.

Next up came the 10th anniversary of the financial crisis – a meltdown that laid waste to the global economy, while providing lucrative taxpayer-funded bailouts to Wall Street firms.

To mark the occasion, the three men on whose watch it occurred – Fed chair Ben Bernanke, Bush treasury secretary Hank Paulson and Obama treasury secretary Tim Geithner – did not offer an apology, but instead promised that another financial crisis will eventually occur, and they demanded lawmakers give public officials more power to bail out big banks in the future.

In a similar bipartisan show of unity, former Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn gave an interview in which he asked "Who broke the law?" – the implication being that no Wall Street executives were prosecuted for their role in the meltdown because no statutes had been violated. That suggestion, of course, is undermined by banks ' own admissions that they defrauded investors (that includes admissions of fraud from Goldman Sachs – the very bank that Cohn himself ran during the crisis). Nonetheless, Obama's attorney general, Eric Holder – who has now rejoined his old corporate defense law firm – subsequently backed Cohn up by arguing that nobody on Wall Street committed an offense that could have been successfully prosecuted in a court of law.

Meanwhile, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon garnered non-Onion headlines by floating the idea of running for president – a reminder that a decade after his firm played a central role in destroying countless Americans' economic lives, he remains not only unincarcerated and gainfully employed, but so reputationally unscathed that he is seen as a serious White House candidate.

Again, the message came through: nobody who engineered the financial crisis will pay any real price for wreaking so much havoc.

Then as Hurricane Florence provided the latest illustration of climate change's devastation, ExxonMobil marched into the supreme court to demand an end to a state investigation of its role denying and suppressing climate science. Backed by 11 Republican attorneys general , the fossil fuel giant had reason to feel emboldened in its appeal for immunity: despite investigative reporting detailing the company's prior knowledge of fossil fuel's role in climate change, its executives had already convinced the Securities and Exchange Commission to shut down a similar investigation.

Once again, the message was unavoidable: in the new accountability-free zone, companies shouldn't be bothered to even explain – much less face punishment for – their role in a crisis that threatens the survival of the human species.

... ... ...

The answer is nothing – which is exactly the point for the aristocracy. But that cannot be considered acceptable for the rest of us outside the accountability-free zone.

David Sirota is a Guardian US columnist and an investigative journalist at Capital & Main. His latest book is Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live In Now

[Oct 05, 2018] Opinion Russian Meddling Is a Symptom, Not the Disease - The New York Times

Oct 05, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Given the credible evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, it's only natural that Americans are concerned about the possibility of further foreign interference, especially as the midterms draw closer.

But I worry that we're focusing too much on the foreign part of the problem -- in which social media accounts and pages controlled by overseas "troll factories" post false and divisive material -- and not enough on how our own domestic political polarization feeds into the basic business model of companies like Facebook and YouTube.

It's this interaction -- both aspects of which are homegrown -- that fosters the dissemination of false and divisive material, and this will persist as a major problem even in the absence of concerted foreign efforts.

Consider some telling exchanges from this year's Senate hearings involving high-level executives from Facebook and Twitter. (Google, which owns YouTube, didn't bother sending a comparable representative.) In April, Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California, pressed Facebook's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, on how much money the company had made by ads placed by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll factory. Mr. Zuckerberg replied that it was about $100,000 -- a negligible amount of money for the company.

Advertisement

Last month, Ms. Harris further grilled Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, on this point, demanding to know how much inauthentic Russian content was on Facebook. Ms. Sandberg had her sound bite ready, saying that "any amount is too much," but she ultimately threw out an estimate of .004 percent, another negligible amount.

The exchange made for good viewing: a senator asking tough questions, chastised executives being forced to put exact numbers on the table. But the truth is that paid Russian content was almost certainly immaterial to Facebook's revenue -- and the .004 percent figure, though almost certainly rhetorical, does capture the relative insignificance of the paid Russian presence on Facebook.

Contrast this, however, with another question from Ms. Harris, in which she asked Ms. Sandberg how Facebook can "reconcile an incentive to create and increase your user engagement when the content that generates a lot of engagement is often inflammatory and hateful." That astute question Ms. Sandberg completely sidestepped, which was no surprise: No statistic can paper over the fact that this is a real problem.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have business models that thrive on the outrageous, the incendiary and the eye-catching, because such content generates "engagement" and captures our attention, which the platforms then sell to advertisers, paired with extensive data on users that allow advertisers (and propagandists) to "microtarget" us at an individual level.

Traditional media outlets, of course, are frequently also cynical manipulators of sensationalistic content, but social media is better able to weaponize it. Algorithms can measure what content best "engages" each user and can target him or her individually in a way that the sleaziest editor of a broadcast medium could only dream of.

... ... ...

It is understandable that legislators and the public are concerned about other countries meddling in our elections. But foreign meddling is to our politics what a fever is to tuberculosis: a mere symptom of a deeper problem. To heal, we need the correct diagnosis followed by action that treats the underlying diseases. The closer our legislators look at our own domestic politics as well as Silicon Valley's business model, the better the answers they will find.

Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) is an associate professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, the author of "Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest" and a contributing opinion writer.

[Oct 05, 2018] 500 Years of History Shows that Mass Spying Is Always Aimed at Crushing Dissent *It's Never to Protect Us From Bad Guys*

Jan 10, 2014 | www.globalresearch.ca

http://www.globalresearch.ca/500-years-of-history-shows-that-mass-spying-is-always-aimed-at-crushing-dissent/5364462

[Oct 05, 2018] Wilderness of mirrors MI6, the Cold War, spies and traitors from Gordievsky to Skripal -- RT Op-ed

Notable quotes:
"... What could possibly go wrong? ..."
Oct 05, 2018 | www.rt.com

Which brings me to the Skripal affair.

That the USSR was an existential threat to Western capitalism and colonialism and war – of one kind or another – between these two camps was logical and inevitable. But the Soviet Union is 30 years dead.

Indeed, Gordievsky through Macintyre can – if he's telling the truth – claim that he helped bring about the (brief) end of history and the "final" victory. His claimed role in the rise and rise of Gorbachev's relationship with Mrs Thatcher and, by extension, President Reagan certainly hastened the downfall of the USSR.

But Britain recruited Skripal in 1996 when not only was the Soviet Union dead but Russia was ruled by the West's performing bear Boris Yeltsin. And during his presidency, Russia was passed-out on the floor with everyone picking its pockets.

Why was Britain still fighting the Cold War against Russia in 1996, and why is it still fighting the Cold War against Russia now?

Just this week, the rather effete British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson – a former fireplace salesman – said he was sending 800 shivering British soldiers to the Arctic to be ready to fight Russia there. Amidst the snow. And the ice.

As both Napoleon and Hitler must have said: " What could possibly go wrong? "

[Oct 05, 2018] White working class who voted for Trump have been duped so many times. First, when Trump promised us "America First!" Voters, apparently content to trust mere words, have ignored Trump's apparent definition of "America First!" as "America has the right to antagonize Iran and Russia, and launch pointless attacks upon Syria

Notable quotes:
"... Christine Ford is, quite frankly, a distraction from the real intrigue ..."
Oct 05, 2018 | www.unz.com

John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan , says: October 5, 2018 at 2:38 pm GMT

Want to talk about lost memory?

How about this lost memory?

https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-decision-nominate-brett-kavanaugh-kennedy-2018-7/

White people who voted for Trump for his Supreme Court list have been duped so many times. First, when Trump promised us "America First!" Voters, apparently content to trust mere words, have ignored Trump's apparent definition of "America First!" as "America has the right to antagonize Iran and Russia, and launch pointless attacks upon Syria." Second, when Trump added Kavanaugh's name to a list of judges after he had gotten into office. Third, when Trump negotiated with scum Anthony Kennedy, who obviously demanded a Kavanaugh nomination in exchange for his retirement.

Christine Ford is, quite frankly, a distraction from the real intrigue: how Donald Trump motivated his base to support a candidate from the elitist wing.

But good luck finding conservatives with the balls to publicly point out the truth: the President we elected has stabbed us in the back with an establishment nomination.

[Oct 05, 2018] The recent history of the Supreme Court has been one of Justices playing the part of politicians in robes

Oct 05, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

CitizenOne , October 2, 2018 at 11:19 pm

The recent history of the Supreme Court has been one of Justices playing the part of politicians in robes. Perhaps no better example was the nullification of the recount in the Bush v Gore election with the "Brooks Brothers Riot" where paid operatives of the republicans stormed the election office in Florida and declared the recount over in an extra judicial action which was backed up by the members of the Supreme Court leading to their moniker "politicians in robes". The Supreme Court basically stole that election by upholding the use of violence as a tool to stop the recount instead of reacting on its own to denounce the use of such tactics.

The Supreme Court has become weaponized as a force for right wing agendas and it has taken a partisan position many times due to justices who have become radicalized to advance right wing views. This is part of a vast right wing well funded and well oiled political money machine. Little debut over the 10 million dollars spent by anonymous donors greasing the nomination of Neil Gorsuch. The $10 million effort to win federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch's confirmation, funded by unknown donors to a conservative interest group called the Judicial Crisis Network, follows a successful $7 million effort last year to block President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland. The group calls it "the most robust operation in the history of confirmation battles."

Billionaires are funding the selection and nomination of Supreme Court Justices for one reason. So that the Supreme Court is stacked by loyal conservatives who will side with big industrialist businesses on every case brought against big industrialists.

This is a long term strategy funded with hundreds of millions of dollars poured into efforts to create a three point strategy. Fund AstroTurf phony grass roots populist organizations which claim they are formed by housewives and farmers and middle class folk but who really serve the interests of the billionaire class. Fund politicians and judges who are begging to get the money to win elections by promising they will do everything to support the uber class and groveling at their feet for the cash to be had. Create laws to serve the interests of billionaires.

So far each effort has been a phenomenal success. Funded with hundreds of millions of dollars willing recipients of all the corporate cash have created the ostensible populist front defending wedge issues like abortion, gun control and anti immigration along with a health dose of anti establishment hatred of the government. Their real aim is to serve the corporate interests.

Donald Trump is perhaps the biggest benefactor of the money machine having won election based on this populist jargon while spending little of his own money but really serving the corporate interests most obviously by supporting the 1.9 Trillion dollar tax breaks for billionaires.

It is unlikely that the average American would get angry about health care or their own social security which is funded by workers not billionaires unless they were propagandized by every main stream media outlet with Fox News and other more extremely radical right wing media outlets and all the rightwing websites and right wing syndicated media pundits.

Average Americans have been suckered to believe that what is in their own interests is very bad for America and Freedom and Democracy etc. They have been hoodwinked into voting for politicians who want to strip them of healthcare, social security, financial security and basic rights to privacy and access to the judicial system with arbitration clauses attached to every product down to toothbrushes and sunglasses. They have come to believe that defending wedge issues means they will vote for republicans no matter how bad their economic future is compromised and their future put at risk by predatory businesses which offer paycheck loans, balloon mortgages, sky high interest and insurance rates, multiple bank accounts with lots of surcharges (Pinkerton Bank) and promise to end Medicare and Social Security because its Okay to give trillions to billionaires but not Okay to help average hard working people.

Donald Trump is the pinnacle of this usurpation of power capturing the Executive Branch funded by free advertising from the media and running on a fake AstroTurf populist campaign strategy while delivering all the money to the billionaires as he entertains guests for huge fees at his Florida Property against the Emoluments Clause which appears to be dead. No president should economically benefit from the position of the highest office in the land for personal enrichment yet the Tax Cuts seem to have been perfectly tailored for Trumps own enrichment via a little known clause which allows property investment owners to pass the profits gained via those holdings to other entities like his kids at greatly lower taxes. What a windfall for Trump who has investment pass through properties all over the place. It's a really nice deal" for Trump and pass-through owners like him, said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

So much for the little guy as republicans now demand that the giant deficit created by their enormous tax cuts for the wealthy now be shrunk by eliminating all social welfare programs like Social Security which if funded by workers under the payroll deduction tax. Payroll taxes are taxes imposed on employers or employees, and are usually calculated as a percentage of the salaries that employers pay their staff. Payroll taxes generally fall into two categories: deductions from an employee's wages, and taxes paid by the employer based on the employee's wages. These taxes fund Social Security/ Workers earnings are garnished to pay for Social Security. The Government does not steal this money from rich people. They take it from every worker according to a schedule.

How stupid we are to willingly call this wasteful government spending and buy the BS of the republicans that it must end. What will they do with all the money once none of us is going to see a dime of what we donated under law? Why they will steal it of course.

Who has the authority to declare all social welfare programs unconstitutional? The Supreme Court. Who has the power to decline any case brought against and well monied entity including the President? The Supreme Court.

It is not so much about beer and drunkenness and abuse of women but about the continued abuse of us all by the republican party which is funded by the rich and operated by the rich for the rich and only for the rich.

[Oct 05, 2018] What I want and I am completely serious is that this nightmare about Russia's alleged interference with some election campaign in the United States ends. I want the United States, the American elite, the US elite to calm down and clear up their own mess and restore a certain balance of common sense and national interests, just like in the oil market

Oct 05, 2018 | en.kremlin.ru

Vladimir Putin: What I want – and I am completely serious – is that this nightmare about Russia's alleged interference with some election campaign in the United States ends. I want the United States, the American elite, the US elite to calm down and clear up their own mess and restore a certain balance of common sense and national interests, just like in the oil market. I want the domestic political squabbles in the United States to stop ruining Russia-US relations and adversely affecting the situation in the world.

[Oct 05, 2018] How The U.S. Runs Public Relations Campaigns - Trump Style - Against Russia And China

Notable quotes:
"... I agree with Hoarsewhisperer that the elite are showing desperation but look at the sheer volume of BS they can spew out that is all over the map. ..."
"... The ... West is doubling down on Psychological Projection . Works like a charm with most peoples in the affected areas. ..."
"... A few months ago, a dozen Russian individuals were charged with cyber-crime offenses that Mueller knew would never be tested at trial b/c the charged individuals would never be extradited. However, the indictment included charges against two Russian corporations that cleverly hired American lawyers to appear on their behalf, and enter pleas of Not Guilty. ..."
"... This tactic should have set the pre-trial discovery process to begin, causing Mueller to be obliged to turn over evidence supporting the charges as well as any exculpatory information favoring the accused corporations. ..."
"... Russia has tried to negotiate with the US to avoid cyberspace being turned into another area of conflict. The US has rebuffed these requests. Likely too much money to be made by the MIC in another theater of warfare with that extortion racket called NATO and too much promise of the NSA scooping up even more data and adding it to the data already collected by the 5 eyes. ..."
"... Didn't WikiLeaks disclosed the fact that NSA can disguise any hack to look like some other actor was the culprit? All this shouting that Russia and China did these terrible deeds is to hide the fact that the west does this all the time as disclosed by WikiLeaks? And the Germans complaining? I hope they have improved security for the Chancellor's phone. Russia is a member of OPWC. Why do they have to sit out in cars in the parking lot of OPCW headquarters to hack into OPCW? Why not from the comfort of their office in the building. What is of more importance to me is an upcoming vote in the OPCW about investigation reports laying blame in the future. That will be a game changer in the false flag chemical attack be it Syria or the UK. currently reports don't lay blame. ..."
"... Going by the squealing noises coming out of the US and loyal vassals, the yanks are probably just pissed that they can't get into Russia or China's secure communications. ..."
Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Yesterday several NATO countries ran a concerted propaganda campaign against Russia. The context for it was a NATO summit in which the U.S. presses for an intensified cyberwar against NATO's preferred enemy.

On the same day another coordinated campaign targeted China. It is aimed against China's development of computer chip manufacturing further up the value chain. Related to this is U.S. pressure on Taiwan, a leading chip manufacturer, to cut its ties with its big motherland.

The anti-Russian campaign is about alleged Russian spying, hacking and influence operations. Britain and the Netherland took the lead. Britain accused Russia's military intelligence service (GRU) of spying attempts against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague and Switzerland, of spying attempts against the British Foreign Office, of influence campaigns related to European and the U.S. elections, and of hacking the international doping agency WADA. British media willingly helped to exaggerate the claims:

The Foreign Office attributed six specific attacks to GRU-backed hackers and identified 12 hacking group code names as fronts for the GRU – Fancy Bear, Voodoo Bear, APT28, Sofacy, Pawnstorm, Sednit, CyberCaliphate, Cyber Berku, BlackEnergy Actors, STRONTIUM, Tsar Team and Sandworm."

The "hacking group code names" the Guardian tries to sell to its readers do not refer to hacking groups but to certain cyberattack methods . Once such a method is known it can be used by any competent group and individual. Attributing such an attack is nearly impossible. Moreover Fancybear, ATP28, Pawn Storm, Sofacy Group, Sednit and Strontium are just different names for one and the same well known method . The other names listed refer to old groups and tools related to criminal hackers. Blackenergy has been used by cybercriminals since 2007. It is alleged that a pro-Russian group named Sandworm used it in Ukraine, but the evidence for that is dubious at best. To throw out such a list of code names without any differentiation reeks of a Fear-Uncertainty-Doubt (FUD) campaign designed to dis-inform and scare the public.

The Netherland for its part released a flurry of information about the alleged spying attempts against the OPCW in The Hague. It claims that four GRU agents traveled to The Hague on official Russian diplomatic passports to sniff out the WiFi network of the OPCW. (WiFi networks are notoriously easy to hack. If the OPCW is indeed using such it should not be trusted with any security relevant issues.) The Russian officials were allegedly very secretive, even cleaning out their own hotel trash, while they, at the same, time carried laptops with private data and even taxi receipts showing their travel from a GRU headquarter in Moscow to the airport. Like in the Skripal/Novichok saga the Russian spies are, at the same time, portrayed as supervillains and hapless amateurs. Real spies are neither.

The U.S. Justice Department added to the onslaught by issuing new indictments (pdf) against alleged GRU agents dubiously connected to several alleged hacking incidents . As none of those Russians will ever stand in front of a U.S. court the broad allegations will never be tested.

The anti-Russian campaign came just in time for yesterday's NATO Defense Minister meeting at which the U.S. 'offered' to use its malicious cyber tools under NATO disguise:

Katie Wheelbarger, the principal deputy assistant defense secretary for international security affairs, said the U.S. is committing to use offensive and defensive cyber operations for NATO allies, but America will maintain control over its own personnel and capabilities.

If the European NATO allies, under pressure of the propaganda onslaught, agree to that, the obvious results will be more U.S. control over its allies' networks and citizens as well as more threats against Russia:

NATO's chief vowed on Thursday to strengthen the alliance's defenses against attacks on computer networks that Britain said are directed by Russian military intelligence, also calling on Russia to stop its "reckless" behavior.

The allegations against Russia over nefarious spying operations and sockpuppet campaigns are highly hypocritical . The immense scale of U.S. and British spying revealed by Edward Snowden and through the Wikileaks Vault 7 leak of CIA hacking tools is well known. The Pentagon runs large social media manipulation campaigns. The British GHCQ hacked Belgium's largest telco network to spy on the data of the many international organizations in Brussels.

International organizations like the OPCW have long been the target of U.S. spies and operations. The U.S. National Security Service (NSA) regularly hacked the OPCW since at least September 2000 :

According to last week's Shadow Brokers leak, the NSA compromised a DNS server of the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in September 2000, two years after the Iraq Liberation Act and Operation Desert Fox, but before the Bush election.

It was the U.S. which in 2002 forced out the head of the OPCW because he did not agree to propagandizing imaginary Iraqi chemical weapons:

José M. Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat who was unanimously re-elected last year as the director general of the 145-nation Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, was voted out of office today after refusing repeated demands by the United States that he step down because of his "management style." No successor has been selected.

The U.S. arranged the vote against Bustani by threatening to leave the OPCW. Day's earlier 'Yosemite Sam' John Bolton, now Trump's National Security Advisor, threatened to hurt José Bustani's children to press him to resign:

"I got a phone call from John Bolton – it was first time I had contact with him – and he said he had instructions to tell me that I have to resign from the organization, and I asked him why," Bustani told RT. "He said that [my] management style was not agreeable to Washington."
...
Bustani said he "owed nothing" to the US, pointing out that he was appointed by all OPCW member states. Striking a more sinister tone, Bolton said: "OK, so there will be retaliation. Prepare to accept the consequences. We know where your kids are. "

According to Bustani, two of his children were in New York at the time, and his daughter was in London.

Russia's government will need decades of hard work to reach the scale of U.S./UK hypocrisy, hacking and lying.


The propaganda rush against Russia came on the same day as a similar campaign was launched against China. A well timed Bloomberg story, which had been in the works for over a year, claimed that Chinese companies manipulated hardware they manufactured for the U.S. company SuperMicro. The hardware was then sold to Apple, Amazon and others for their cloud server businesses.

The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies :

Nested on the servers' motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn't part of the boards' original design.

Both Apple and Amazon denied the story with very strong statements . The Bloomberg tale has immense problems. It is for one completely based on anonymous sources, most of them U.S. government officials:

The companies' denials are countered by six current and former senior national security officials, who -- in conversations that began during the Obama administration and continued under the Trump administration -- detailed the discovery of the chips and the government's investigation.

The way the alleged manipulation is described to function is theoretical possible , but not plausible . In my learned opinion one would need multiple manipulations, not just one tiny chip, to achieve the described results. Even reliably U.S. friendly cyberhawks are unconvinced of the story's veracity. It is especially curious that such server boards are still in use in security relevant U.S. government operations:

Assuming the Bloomberg story is accurate, that means that the US intelligence community, during a period spanning two administrations, saw a foreign threat and allowed that threat to infiltrate the US military. If the story is untrue, or incorrect on its technical merits, then it would make sense that Supermicro gear is being used by the US military.

There might be financial motives behind the story:

Bloomberg reporters receive bonuses based indirectly on how much they shift markets with their reporting. This story undoubtedly did that.

When the story came out SuperMicro's stock price crashed from $21.40 to below $9.00 per share. It now trades at $12.60:

The story might be a cover-up for a NSA hack that was accidentally detected. Most likely it is exaggerated half truth, based on an old event , to deter the 'western' industry from sourcing anything from producers in China.

This would be consistent with other such U.S. moves against China which coincidentally (not) happened on the same day the Bloomberg story was launched.

One is a very hawkish speech U.S. Vice President Pence held yesterday :

Vice President Mike Pence accused China on Thursday of trying to undermine President Donald Trump as the administration deploys tough new rhetoric over Chinese trade, economic and foreign policies.
...
Sounding the alarm, Pence warned other nations to be wary of doing business with China, condemning the Asian country's "debt diplomacy" that allows it to draw developing nations into its orbit.

Pence also warned American businesses to be vigilant against Chinese efforts to leverage access to their markets to modify corporate behavior to their liking.

Another move is a new Pentagon report warning against the purchase of Chinese equipment and launched via Reuters in support of the campaign:

China represents a "significant and growing risk" to the supply of materials vital to the U.S. military, according to a new Pentagon-led report that seeks to mend weaknesses in core U.S. industries vital to national security.

The nearly 150-page report, seen by Reuters on Thursday ahead of its formal release Friday, concluded there are nearly 300 vulnerabilities that could affect critical materials and components essential to the U.S. military.
...
"A key finding of this report is that China represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials and technologies deemed strategic and critical to U.S. national security," the report said.

The Bloomberg story, the Pence speech and the Pentagon report 'leak' on the same day seem designed to scare everyone away from using Chinese equipment or China manufactured parts within there supply chain.

The allegations of Chinese supply chain attacks are of course just as hypocritical as the allegations against Russia. The very first know case of computer related supply chain manipulation goes back to 1982 :

A CIA operation to sabotage Soviet industry by duping Moscow into stealing booby-trapped software was spectacularly successful when it triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian gas pipeline, it emerged yesterday.
...
Mr Reed writes that the software "was programmed to reset pump speeds and valve settings to produce pressures far beyond those acceptable to pipeline joints and welds".

Wikileaks list 27 cases of U.S. supply chain manipulation of computer hardware and software. A search for "supply chain" in the Snowden archives shows 18 documents describing such 'projects'.


The U.S. government under Trump - and with John Bolton in a leading position - copied Trump's brutal campaign style and uses it as an instrument in its foreign policy. Trump's victory in the 2016 election proves that such campaigns are highly successful, even when the elements they are build of are dubious or untrue. In their scale and coordination the current campaigns are comparable to the 2002 run-up for the war on Iraq.

Then, as during the Trump election campaign and as now, the media are crucial to the public effect these campaigns have. Will they attempt to take the stories the campaigns are made of apart? Will they set them into the larger context of global U.S. spying and manipulation? Will they explain the real purpose of these campaigns?

Don't bet on it.

Posted by b on October 5, 2018 at 08:27 AM


Timothy Hagios , Oct 5, 2018 8:52:41 AM | link

IMO the US Government's propaganda is structured to along the lines of a fantasy novel. The propaganda is designed to convince the public of two inherently contradictory ideas:

1) that the country is surrounded on vast sides by vast hostile empires that threaten everything we hold dear and

2) despite these dire threats, the country cannot really be harmed because of "our freedoms."

Like with a fantasy novel, the reader gets all the thrills of an epic battle while being certain that the evil empires will never triumph. An attractive form of propaganda, to be certain.

Steve , Oct 5, 2018 12:09:45 PM | link
Well, so far the propaganda is having very minor effect on the ordinary people. If you read the comment section of most of the corporate media you will see that people are just not buying the BS.
Hausmeister , Oct 5, 2018 12:22:26 PM | link
Steve | Oct 5, 2018 12:09:45 PM | 16

Indifference of the ordinary people does not mean much. Just that there is such indifference. The arguments against that claimed Chinese hardware hack are meta-arguments.

Hoarsewhisperer , Oct 5, 2018 12:25:28 PM | link
...
Got to wonder what the end game is here. WW3? Or up they expecting the Russian people to come begging for an end to sanctions?
Posted by: dh | Oct 5, 2018 11:49:07 AM | 11

Good question.

It's not WWIII. Putin has already said that if WWIII goes Nuclear, survival will be a lottery. Imo the Christian Colonial West, hypnotised by 30 years of its own bs and busily patting itself on the back and performing Victory Laps on the world stage, has been caught napping (asleep at the wheel) and now needs time to ponder the downside.

Hoarsewhisperer , Oct 5, 2018 12:48:30 PM | link
Imo this latest drivel-fest stems from the fact that Russia is now/again militarily unassailable. That doesn't mean that Russia can't be attacked but it does mean that anyone who tries it will wish they hadn't.

And it's driving the defunct Masters Of The Universe insaner.

psychohistorian , Oct 5, 2018 1:08:44 PM | link
Excellent journalism b....thanks

I agree with Hoarsewhisperer that the elite are showing desperation but look at the sheer volume of BS they can spew out that is all over the map.

The Supreme Court justice debacle is another example of so riling up the forces around the sex issue so that the rest of his moral standing that effects all of us is ignored.....the sex issue is marginalized and pop goes the weasel onto the Supreme Court to bring the US closer to feudalism.

notheonly1 , Oct 5, 2018 1:09:01 PM | link
The ... West is doubling down on Psychological Projection . Works like a charm with most peoples in the affected areas.

Although it is practically a symptom of a deeper sitting mental illness, it is still treated as some sort of cavalier's delinquency. Like it is to be expected that the rulers of said West resort to this kind of projection.

The only interesting part though - one that is next to never really understood by the gullible masses - is the Projection part of it. Because it means nothing else than the fact that the projector is the one who is perpetrating the crimes and malevolent activities it accuses the 'enemy'/opposing side of.

The West is mentally ill. Nothing new, the Eastern sages pointed to that a long time ago. Very much like the Native American Indians were flabbergasted by the moronity and cruelty the invaders displayed. The one that has adhered to my memory like fusion is: Only paleface would set a river on fire.

Last but not least, Nazi is as Nazi does. As can be verified perusing the story of this Nazi that never had to fear repercussions for his crimes against humanity. For the simple reason that the U.S. protected him to gain his knowledge about advanced biological and chemical warfare. The Nazi was Kurt Blome .

b , Oct 5, 2018 1:09:38 PM | link
@CE - There is no problem with the logo on the server side and with the clients I use. Suggestion: clear your cache.
AntiSpin , Oct 5, 2018 1:20:00 PM | link
And that's not all . . .

In early morning broadcasts yesterday, BBC and NPR accused China and Russia of projecting positive images of their countries, and of acting in accordance with their national interests.

I am so proud that my own country – USA – would never do either one of those things!

denk , Oct 5, 2018 1:33:47 PM | link
"On the same day another coordinated campaign targeted China. It is aimed against China's development of computer chip manufacturing further up the value chain. Related to this is U.S. pressure on Taiwan, a leading chip manufacturer, to cut its ties with its big motherland."

Gen William Looney, first gulf war.... "If they turn on their radars we're going to blow up their goddamn SAMs [surface-to-air missiles]. They know we own their country. We own their airspace We dictate the way they live and talk. And that's what's great about America right now. It's a good thing, especially when there's a lot of oil out there we need. [1]"

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

Trump the anti establishment maverick...

We'r a rule based system, Here'r the rules. We decide..... who'r terrorists, who'r 'freedom fighters. Whats a fair election, whats a farce. Whats a genocide, whats legit police action. Whats R2p, whats unprovoked aggression. Who can do biz with whom. Who's the right man for your prez. We own you. MAGA.

[1]
I dont like to use wiki but that's the only place I could retrieve this quote, they'r wiping the net clean, even images, videos.

Better be mentally prep for the day you wake up in the morning and cant find MOA,

Anya , Oct 5, 2018 1:37:06 PM | link
Back to sanctioning Russian under the flimsy pretext of Skripals' poisoning. The US has been poisoning Georgians (some died) and this is well documented. Are the UK prudes ready to sanction the US for the crime?

http://dilyana.bg/us-diplomats-involved-in-trafficking-of-human-blood-and-pathogens-for-secret-military-program/

"The US Embassy to Tbilisi transports frozen human blood and pathogens as diplomatic cargo for a secret US military program. Pentagon scientists have been deployed to the Republic of Georgia and have been given diplomatic immunity to research deadly diseases and biting insects at the Lugar Center – the Pentagon biolaboratory in Georgia's capital Tbilisi.

The Pentagon projects involving ticks coincided with an inexplicable outbreak of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) which is caused by infection through a tick-borne virus. In 2014 34 people became infected (amongst which a 4-year old child). A total of 60 cases with 9 fatalities have been registered in Georgia since 2009."

The above is an honest journalism and not some presstituting production by the eunuchs Luke Harding and George Monbiot. And don't forget Luke & George's comrade-in-arms, the "phenomenal expert" Eliot Higgins (a former salesman of ladies underwear and college dropout) who has zero training in engineering, chemistry, physics, mathematics, ballistics, foreign languages, biology, history and basically in any field of research. Zero. This is why Higgins is the best expert at the the ziocon Atlantic Council made of the scoundrels of the same caliber.

"This is a man who, with his agency Bellingcat, will absolutely always back the position of western governments, and powerful western organisations."

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2016/02/28/eliot-higgins-of-bellingcat-who-is-he-everything-you-need-to-know/

chet380 , Oct 5, 2018 1:37:53 PM | link
A few months ago, a dozen Russian individuals were charged with cyber-crime offenses that Mueller knew would never be tested at trial b/c the charged individuals would never be extradited. However, the indictment included charges against two Russian corporations that cleverly hired American lawyers to appear on their behalf, and enter pleas of Not Guilty.

This tactic should have set the pre-trial discovery process to begin, causing Mueller to be obliged to turn over evidence supporting the charges as well as any exculpatory information favoring the accused corporations.

As any reference to this case can't seem to be found, can anyone help with info as to the present status of the case?

Fran , Oct 5, 2018 2:01:34 PM | link
Funny how lowkey this topic is handled. It appeard in The Times. As the Times article is behind a paywall. I am linking to the Irish Times: MI5 can authorise agents to commit crimes, tribunal told . Maybe the UK should be sanctioned.

Makes my fantasy go a little wild and wonder if there might be any connection to Skripal.

Noirette , Oct 5, 2018 2:11:45 PM | link
For those who missed May's latest Brexit speech (which had zero content), here she is jiving to Dancing Queen by Abba for her glorified entrance. No need to make caricatures, she does it herself. Free of charge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbCDFNRA-Wo&frags=pl%2Cwn

The USA + GB have become totally unhinged. Seeking a 'safe' enemy *without* - as the Deplorables or Brexiteers *within* don't hit the spot, for many reasons - .. to explain and cover up Hillary's loss and the ugly Brexit mess with its clueless posturing pols, is one thing.

To continue to provoke Russia and China, particularly Russia, in this way is now skirting with danger beyond the .. ? Containable, ignorable, what ..?

Plus, the MSM, lousy as it is and was, has spinned off into even further mad realms, seemingly forced into a hyper, over-blown anti-Russian hysteria. Often far more strongly so than the pols. / others they seemingly quote.

This is all becoming seriously alarming. I'm getting very bad feelings.

karlof1 , Oct 5, 2018 2:22:25 PM | link
Seems like another episode of False Friday to bury all the crap made public during the week while pushing other news aside. Much of it's recycled crap from Obama's term and just as false.
Tent-A-Cles , Oct 5, 2018 3:03:03 PM | link
During the Cold War, the West contolled some 2/3 of the global economy.

If they again bring a "Free World" protective curtain down around themselves in defensive retrenchment, what percent would they control now? Which countries would be guaranteed to be inside the tent pissing out, and which would be outide the tent pissing in? And who would be non-aligned (with the exception of their military purchases.)

Pakistan, India, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Africa, etc. -- Where would the dominos fall? Is this what they are trying to accomplish? If you are not with us, you are against us, as the ever eloquent G. W. Shrub might have said. Any predictions?

james , Oct 5, 2018 3:44:18 PM | link
thanks b.. excellent information and insights as usual..

of course the USA and coalition of imbeciles are busy projecting onto Russia and China what they themselves are guilty of.. the use of propaganda has gone into overdrive and is now an accepted policy of the west.. screw facts.. who needs facts when you have a war to pursue... and that is just what it looks like to me, as there is no end in sight to any of this western madness...

the financial sanctions have not worked.. that much is clear.. another approach via propaganda is to be the new regular feature.. claim all sorts of lies and supposition on russia, china, iran, north korea, venezuela or any country that dares to get out of line with the official ''coalition'' and you will be targeted with propaganda and or worse..

is there a way to create an alternative internet??

Peter AU 1 , Oct 5, 2018 4:05:02 PM | link
Looking around the MSM, MH17 also comes into it. Dutch are accusing Russia of trying to hack the MH17 sham investigation. This propaganda attack comes only a week or two after Russia tracked the missile parts numbers, supplied by JIT, through records which led to Ukraine.
Tom , Oct 5, 2018 4:19:51 PM | link
Russia has tried to negotiate with the US to avoid cyberspace being turned into another area of conflict. The US has rebuffed these requests. Likely too much money to be made by the MIC in another theater of warfare with that extortion racket called NATO and too much promise of the NSA scooping up even more data and adding it to the data already collected by the 5 eyes.

Canada is being pressured into not buying Chinese for its military civilian hardware. Scare the politicians into buying US goods that have a backdoor for the CIA to use. Canada shouldn't complain. The Canadian government hacked into the Brazilian government computers for the benefit of Canadian mining interests.

Didn't WikiLeaks disclosed the fact that NSA can disguise any hack to look like some other actor was the culprit? All this shouting that Russia and China did these terrible deeds is to hide the fact that the west does this all the time as disclosed by WikiLeaks? And the Germans complaining? I hope they have improved security for the Chancellor's phone. Russia is a member of OPWC. Why do they have to sit out in cars in the parking lot of OPCW headquarters to hack into OPCW? Why not from the comfort of their office in the building. What is of more importance to me is an upcoming vote in the OPCW about investigation reports laying blame in the future. That will be a game changer in the false flag chemical attack be it Syria or the UK. currently reports don't lay blame.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/10/03/us-responsible-cyberspace-becoming-war-domain-instead-of-area-cooperation.html

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/arctic-patrol-ships-chinese-content-1.4849562

Jen , Oct 5, 2018 5:14:15 PM | link
Timothy Hagios @ 1:

An element of the Skripal poisoning saga in Britain (the Novichok) was lifted from the TV series "Strikeback" screening in the country in November 2017 and February 2018. I have seen something on the Internet (but can't find the link) that said the subplot with the abandoned perfume bottle that contained poison was also taken from a TV show.

Prepare to be unsurprised then when the people who write propaganda for The Powers That Should Not Be turn out to be the same people who write scripts for Hollywood films and TV shows. A lot of these people also write novels or teach creative writing courses.

We really do seem to be living in a society where mythology and fantasy are becoming more prominent than facts and analysis in decision-making.

Virgile , Oct 5, 2018 5:16:34 PM | link
Wherever it is the Russian government responsible or not, the UK and the Nederlands are admitting that they are impotent in front of attacks in the cyberworld. That wifi can be sniffed so easily at international organizations show total irresponsibility. These cyberattacks are simply humiliating for these countries as it shows that despite their military power, they are highly vulnerable. To dispel the humiliation, they respond aggressively by accusing countries, not to individuals, and they accuse the current boogeyman, Russia.

Maybe NATO's budget should be cut down on murdering weapons and allocate to Cyber Defense as this seems to become the new way of war.
In view of the lack of proper cyber defense worldwidee, anybody, any country can hack and play around with others. I would be surprised if Israel, the USA and the UK China are not stiffing in other countries organizations. They have not been found because they are the 'good' sniffers while Russia, Iran, China are the "bad' sniffers

Cold war is on with new technology, It is time for countries to realize that.

Considering what the military war has cost in money, death toll and destruction, maybe cold war would be less costly in human toll.

Peter AU 1 , Oct 5, 2018 8:01:47 PM | link
China has set up quantum internet via optic fiber linking a number of government departments.

Going by the squealing noises coming out of the US and loyal vassals, the yanks are probably just pissed that they can't get into Russia or China's secure communications.

[Oct 05, 2018] The USA + GB have become totally unhinged.

Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Noirette , Oct 5, 2018 2:11:45 PM | link

For those who missed May's latest Brexit speech (which had zero content), here she is jiving to Dancing Queen by Abba for her glorified entrance. No need to make caricatures, she does it herself. Free of charge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbCDFNRA-Wo&frags=pl%2Cwn

The USA + GB have become totally unhinged. Seeking a 'safe' enemy *without* - as the Deplorables or Brexiteers *within* don't hit the spot, for many reasons - .. to explain and cover up Hillary's loss and the ugly Brexit mess with its clueless posturing pols, is one thing.

To continue to provoke Russia and China, particularly Russia, in this way is now skirting with danger beyond the .. ? Containable, ignorable, what ..?

Plus, the MSM, lousy as it is and was, has spinned off into even further mad realms, seemingly forced into a hyper, over-blown anti-Russian hysteria. Often far more strongly so than the pols. / others they seemingly quote.

This is all becoming seriously alarming. I'm getting very bad feelings.

[Oct 04, 2018] Despicable fear mongering by Bloomberg

Notable quotes:
"... Plus according to Microsemi's own website, all military and aerospace qualified versions of their parts are still made in the USA. So this "researcher" used commercial parts, which depending on the price point can be made in the plant in Shanghai or in the USA at Microsemi's own will. ..."
"... The "researcher" and the person who wrote the article need to spend some time reading more before talking. ..."
"... You clearly have NOT used a FPGA or similar. First the ProASIC3 the article focuses on is the CHEAPEST product in the product line (some of that model line reach down to below a dollar each). But beyond that ... Devices are SECURED by processes, such as blowing the JTAG fuses in the device which makes them operation only, and unreadable. They are secureable, if you follow the proper processes and methods laid out by the manufacturer of the specific chip. ..."
"... Just because a "research paper" claims there is other then standard methods of JTAG built into the JTAG doesn't mean that the device doesn't secure as it should, nor does it mean this researcher who is trying to peddle his own product is anything but biased in this situation. ..."
"... You do know that the Mossad has been caught stealing and collecting American Top Secrets. ..."
"... The original article is here. [cam.ac.uk] It refers to an Actel ProAsic3 chip, which is an FPGA with internal EEPROM to store the configuration. ..."
"... With regard to reprogramming the chip remotely or by the FPGA itself via the JTAG port: A secure system is one that can't reprogram itself. ..."
"... When I was designing VMEbus computer boards for a military subcontractor many years ago, every board had a JTAG connector that required the use of another computer with a special cable plugged into the board to perform reprogramming of the FPGAs. None of this update-by-remote-control crap. ..."
"... It seems that People's Republic of China has been misidentified with Taiwan (Republic of China). ..."
"... Either the claims will be backed up by independently reproduced tests or they won't. But, given his apparent track record in this area and the obvious scrutiny this would bring, Skorobogatov must have been sure of his results before announcing this. ..."
"... Where was this undocumented feature/bug designed in? I see plenty of "I hate China" posts, it would be quite hilarious if the fedgov talked the US mfgr into adding this backdoor, then the Chinese built it as designed. Perhaps the plan all along was to blame the Chinese if they're caught. ..."
"... These are not military chips. They are FPGAs that happen to be used occasionally for military apps. Most of them are sold for other, more commercially exploitable purposes. ..."
"... The page with a link to the final paper actually does mention China. However, it's an American design from a US company. I suspect we will find the backdoor was in the original plans. It will be interesting to see however. ..."
Oct 04, 2018 | it.slashdot.org

Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) , Tuesday May 29, 2012 @12:17AM ( #40139317 ) Journal

It's a scam !! ( Score: 5 , Informative)

http://erratasec.blogspot.com/2012/05/bogus-story-no-chinese-backdoor-in.html [blogspot.com]

Bogus story: no Chinese backdoor in military chip
"Today's big news is that researchers have found proof of Chinese manufacturers putting backdoors in American chips that the military uses. This is false. While they did find a backdoor in a popular FPGA chip, there is no evidence the Chinese put it there, or even that it was intentionally malicious.

Furthermore, the Actel ProAsic3 FPGA chip isn't fabricated in China at all !!

jhoegl ( 638955 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @01:30PM ( #40136003 )
Fear mongering ( Score: 5 , Insightful)

It sells...

khasim ( 1285 ) writes: < brandioch.conner@gmail.com > on Monday May 28, 2012 @01:48PM ( #40136097 )
Particularly in a press release like that. ( Score: 5 , Insightful)

That entire article reads more like a press release with FUD than anything with any facts.

Which chip?
Which manufacturer?
Which US customer?

No facts and LOTS of claims. It's pure FUD.

(Not that this might not be a real concern. But the first step is getting past the FUD and marketing materials and getting to the real facts.)

ArsenneLupin ( 766289 ) , Tuesday May 29, 2012 @01:11AM ( #40139489 )
Re:Particularly in a press release like that. ( Score: 5 , Informative)

A quick google showed that that this is indeed the chip, but the claims are "slightly" overblown [blogspot.com]

Anonymous Coward , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:14PM ( #40136273 )
Most likely inserted by Microsemi/Actel not fab ( Score: 5 , Informative)

1) Read the paper http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~sps32/Silicon_scan_draft.pdf
2) This is talking about FPGAs designed by Microsemi/Actel.
3) The article focuses on the ProAsic3 chips but says all the Microsemi/Actel chips tested had the same backdoor including but not limited to Igloo, Fusion and Smartfusion.
4) FPGAs give JTAG access to their internals for programming and debugging but many of the access methods are proprietary and undocumented. (security through obscurity)
5) Most FPGAs have features that attempt to prevent reverse engineering by disabling the ability to read out critical stuff.
6) These chips have a secret passphrase (security through obscurity again) that allows you to read out the stuff that was supposed to be protected.
7) These researchers came up with a new way of analyzing the chip (pipeline emission analysis) to discover the secret passphrase. More conventional analysis (differential power analysis) was not sensitive enough to reveal it.

This sounds a lot (speculation on my part) like a deliberate backdoor put in for debug purposes, security through obscurity at it's best. It doesn't sound like something secret added by the chip fab company, although time will tell. Just as embedded controller companies have gotten into trouble putting hidden logins into their code thinking they're making the right tradeoff between convenience and security, this hardware company seems to have done the same.

Someone forgot to tell the marketing droids though and they made up a bunch of stuff about how the h/w was super secure.

JimCanuck ( 2474366 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @04:45PM ( #40137217 )
Re:Most likely inserted by Microsemi/Actel not fab ( Score: 5 , Interesting)

I don't think anyone fully understands JTAG, there are a lot of different versions of it mashed together on the typical hardware IC. Regardless if its a FPGA, microcontroller or otherwise. The so called "back door" can only be accessed through the JTAG port as well, so unless the military installed a JTAG bridge to communicate to the outside world and left it there, well then the "backdoor" is rather useless.

Something that can also be completely disabled by setting the right fuse inside the chip itself to disable all JTAG connections. Something that is considered standard practice on IC's with a JTAG port available once assembled into their final product and programmed.

Plus according to Microsemi's own website, all military and aerospace qualified versions of their parts are still made in the USA. So this "researcher" used commercial parts, which depending on the price point can be made in the plant in Shanghai or in the USA at Microsemi's own will.

The "researcher" and the person who wrote the article need to spend some time reading more before talking.

emt377 ( 610337 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @07:02PM ( #40137873 )
Re:Most likely inserted by Microsemi/Actel not fab ( Score: 4 , Insightful)
The so called "back door" can only be accessed through the JTAG port as well, so unless the military installed a JTAG bridge to communicate to the outside world and left it there, well then the "backdoor" is rather useless.

With pin access to the FPGA it's trivial to hook it up, no bridges or transceivers needed. If it's a BGA then get a breakout/riser board that provides pin access. This is off-the-shelf stuff. This means if the Chinese military gets their hands on the hardware they can reverse engineer it. They won't have to lean very hard on the manufacturer for them to cough up every last detail. In China you just don't say no to such requests if you know what's good for you and your business.

JimCanuck ( 2474366 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @11:05PM ( #40139083 )
Re:Most likely inserted by Microsemi/Actel not fab ( Score: 4 , Interesting)
Not being readable even when someone has the device in hand is exactly what these secure FPGAs are meant to protect against!

It's not a non-issue. It's a complete failure of a product to provide any advantages over non-secure equivalents.

You clearly have NOT used a FPGA or similar. First the ProASIC3 the article focuses on is the CHEAPEST product in the product line (some of that model line reach down to below a dollar each). But beyond that ... Devices are SECURED by processes, such as blowing the JTAG fuses in the device which makes them operation only, and unreadable. They are secureable, if you follow the proper processes and methods laid out by the manufacturer of the specific chip.

Just because a "research paper" claims there is other then standard methods of JTAG built into the JTAG doesn't mean that the device doesn't secure as it should, nor does it mean this researcher who is trying to peddle his own product is anything but biased in this situation.

nospam007 ( 722110 ) * , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:39PM ( #40136445 )
Re:What did the military expect? ( Score: 4 , Interesting)

"Even if this case turns out to be a false alarm, allowing a nation that you repeatedly refer to as a 'near-peer competitor' to build parts of your high-tech weaponry is idiotic."

Not to mention the non-backdoor ones.

'Bogus electronic parts from China have infiltrated critical U.S. defense systems and equipment, including Navy helicopters and a commonly used Air Force cargo aircraft, a new report says.'

http://articles.dailypress.com/2012-05-23/news/dp-nws-counterfeit-chinese-parts-20120523_1_fake-chinese-parts-counterfeit-parts-air-force-c-130j [dailypress.com]

0123456 ( 636235 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:04PM ( #40136219 )
Re:Should only buy military components from allies ( Score: 3 , Funny)
The US military should have a strict policy of only buying military parts from sovereign, free, democratic countries with a long history of friendship, such as Israel, Canada, Europe, Japan and South Korea.

Didn't the US and UK governments sell crypto equipment they knew they could break to their 'allies' during the Cold War?

tlhIngan ( 30335 ) writes: < slashdot@[ ]f.net ['wor' in gap] > on Monday May 28, 2012 @03:30PM ( #40136781 )
Re:Should only buy military components from allies ( Score: 5 , Insightful)
Second problem.... 20 years ago the DOD had their own processor manufacturing facilities, IC chips, etc. They were shut down in favor of commercial equipment because some idiot decided it was better to have an easier time buying replacement parts at Radioshack than buying quality military-grade components that could last in austere environments. (Yes, speaking from experience). Servers and workstations used to be built from the ground up at places like Tobyhanna Army Depot. Now, servers and workstations are bought from Dell.

Fabs are expensive. The latest generation nodes cost billions of dollars to set up and billions more to run. If they aren't cranking chips out 24/7, they're literally costing money. Yes, I know it's hte military, but I'm sure people have a hard time justifying $10B every few years just to fab a few chips. One of the biggest developments in the 90s was the development of foundries that let anyone with a few tens of millions get in the game of producing chips rather than requiring billions in startup costs. Hence the startup of tons of fabless companies selling chips.

OK, another option is to buy a cheap obsolete fab and make chips that way - much cheaper to run, but we're also talking maybe 10+ year old technology, at which point the chips are going to be slower and take more power.

Also, building your own computer from the ground up is expensive - either you buy the designs of your servers from say, Intel, or design your own. If you buy it, it'll be expensive and probably require your fab to be upgraded (or you get stuck with an old design - e.g., Pentium (the original) - which Intel bought back from the DoD because the DoD had been debugging it over the decade). If you went with the older cheaper fab, the design has to be modified to support that technology (you cannot just take a design and run with it - you have to adapt your chip to the foundry you use).

If you roll your own, that becomes a support nightmare because now no one knows the system.

And on the taxpayer side - I'm sure everyone will question why you're spending billions running a fab that's only used at 10% capacity - unless you want the DoD getting into the foundry business with its own issues.

Or, why is the military spending so much money designing and running its own computer architecture and support services when they could buy much cheaper machines from Dell and run Linux on them?

Hell, even if the DoD had budget for that, some bean counter will probably do the same so they can save money from one side and use it to buy more fighter jets or something.

30+ years ago, defense spending on electronics formed a huge part of the overall electronics spending. These days, defense spending is but a small fraction - it's far more lucrative to go after the consumer market than the military - they just don't have the economic clout they once had. End result is the military is forced to buy COTS ICs, or face stuff like a $0.50 chip costing easily $50 or more for same just because the military is a bit-player for semiconductors

__aaltlg1547 ( 2541114 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:29PM ( #40136361 )
Re:Should only buy military components from allies ( Score: 2 )

Anybody remember Jonathan Pollard?

Genda ( 560240 ) writes: < <ten.tog> <ta> <teiram> > on Monday May 28, 2012 @03:46PM ( #40136857 ) Journal
Re:Should only buy military components from allies ( Score: 2 )

You do know that the Mossad has been caught stealing and collecting American Top Secrets. In fact most of the nations above save perhaps Canada have at one time or another been caught either spying on us, or performing dirty deeds cheap against America's best interest. I'd say for the really classified stuff, like the internal security devices that monitor everything else... homegrown only thanks, and add that any enterprising person who's looking to get paid twice by screwing with the hardware or selling secrets to certified unfriendlies get's to cools their heels for VERY LONG TIME.

NixieBunny ( 859050 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @01:34PM ( #40136025 ) Homepage
The actual article ( Score: 5 , Informative)

The original article is here. [cam.ac.uk] It refers to an Actel ProAsic3 chip, which is an FPGA with internal EEPROM to store the configuration.

Anonymous Coward , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:09PM ( #40136249 )
Re:The actual article ( Score: 5 , Interesting)

From your much more useful link,

We investigated the PA3 backdoor problem through Internet searches, software and hardware analysis and found that this particular backdoor is not a result of any mistake or an innocent bug, but is instead a deliberately inserted and well thought-through backdoor that is crafted into, and part of, the PA3 security system. We analysed other Microsemi/Actel products and found they all have the same deliberate backdoor. Those products include, but are not limited to: Igloo, Fusion and Smartfusion.
we have found that the PA3 is used in military products such as weapons, guidance, flight control, networking and communications. In industry it is used in nuclear power plants, power distribution, aerospace, aviation, public transport and automotive products. This permits a new and disturbing possibility of a large scale Stuxnet-type attack via a network or the Internet on the silicon itself. If the key is known, commands can be embedded into a worm to scan for JTAG, then to attack and reprogram the firmware remotely.

emphasis mine. Key is retrieved using the backdoor. Frankly, if this is true, Microsemi/Actel should get complete ban from all government contracts, including using their chips in any item build for use by the government.

NixieBunny ( 859050 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:44PM ( #40136487 ) Homepage
Re:The actual article ( Score: 3 )

I would not be surprised if it's a factory backdoor that's included in all their products, but is not documented and is assumed to not be a problem because it's not documented.

With regard to reprogramming the chip remotely or by the FPGA itself via the JTAG port: A secure system is one that can't reprogram itself.

When I was designing VMEbus computer boards for a military subcontractor many years ago, every board had a JTAG connector that required the use of another computer with a special cable plugged into the board to perform reprogramming of the FPGAs. None of this update-by-remote-control crap.

Blackman-Turkey ( 1115185 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:19PM ( #40136305 )
Re:The actual article ( Score: 3 , Informative)

No source approved [dla.mil] for Microsemi (Actel) qualified chips in China. If you use non-approved sources then, well, shit happens (although how this HW backdoor would be exploited is kind of unclear).

It seems that People's Republic of China has been misidentified with Taiwan (Republic of China).

6031769 ( 829845 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @01:35PM ( #40136031 ) Homepage Journal
Wait and see ( Score: 5 , Informative)

Either the claims will be backed up by independently reproduced tests or they won't. But, given his apparent track record in this area and the obvious scrutiny this would bring, Skorobogatov must have been sure of his results before announcing this.

Here's his publications list from his University home page, FWIW: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~sps32/#Publications [cam.ac.uk]

Anonymous Coward , Monday May 28, 2012 @01:36PM ( #40136039 )
samzenpus will be looking for a new job soon ( Score: 3 , Funny)
Even though this story has been blowing-up on Twitter, there are a few caveats. The backdoor doesn't seem to have been confirmed by anyone else, Skorobogatov is a little short on details, and he is trying to sell the scanning technology used to uncover the vulnerability.

Hey hey HEY! You stop that right this INSTANT, samzenpus! This is Slashdot! We'll have none of your "actual investigative research" nonsense around here! Fear mongering to sell ad space, mister, and that's ALL! Now get back to work! We need more fluffy space-filling articles like that one about the minor holiday labeling bug Microsoft had in the UK! That's what we want to see more of!

laing ( 303349 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:08PM ( #40136243 )
Requires Physical Access ( Score: 5 , Informative)

The back-door described in the white paper requires access to the JTAG (1149.1) interface to exploit. Most deployed systems do not provide an active external interface for JTAG. With physical access to a "secure" system based upon these parts, the techniques described in the white paper allow for a total compromise of all IP within. Without physical access, very little can be done to compromise systems based upon these parts.

vlm ( 69642 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @03:34PM ( #40136807 )
Where was it designed in? ( Score: 3 )

Where was this undocumented feature/bug designed in? I see plenty of "I hate China" posts, it would be quite hilarious if the fedgov talked the US mfgr into adding this backdoor, then the Chinese built it as designed. Perhaps the plan all along was to blame the Chinese if they're caught.

These are not military chips. They are FPGAs that happen to be used occasionally for military apps. Most of them are sold for other, more commercially exploitable purposes.

time961 ( 618278 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @03:51PM ( #40136887 )
Big risk is to "secret sauce" for comms & cryp ( Score: 5 , Informative)

This is a physical-access backdoor. You have to have your hands on the hardware to be able to use JTAG. It's not a "remote kill switch" driven by a magic data trigger, it's a mechanism that requires use of a special connector on the circuit board to connect to a dedicated JTAG port that is simply neither used nor accessible in anything resembling normal operation.

That said, it's still pretty bad, because hardware does occasionally end up in the hands of unfriendlies (e.g., crashed drones). FPGAs like these are often used to run classified software radio algorithms with anti-jam and anti-interception goals, or to run classified cryptographic algorithms. If those algorithms can be extracted from otherwise-dead and disassembled equipment, that would be bad--the manufacturer's claim that the FPGA bitstream can't be extracted might be part of the system's security certification assumptions. If that claim is false, and no other counter-measures are place, that could be pretty bad.

Surreptitiously modifying a system in place through the JTAG port is possible, but less of a threat: the adversary would have to get access to the system and then return it without anyone noticing. Also, a backdoor inserted that way would have to co-exist peacefully with all the other functions of the FPGA, a significant challenge both from an intellectual standpoint and from a size/timing standpoint--the FPGA may just not have enough spare capacity or spare cycles. They tend to be packed pretty full, 'coz they're expensive and you want to use all the capacity you have available to do clever stuff.

Fnord666 ( 889225 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @09:16PM ( #40138557 ) Journal
Re:Big risk is to "secret sauce" for comms & c ( Score: 4 , Insightful)
This is a physical-access backdoor. You have to have your hands on the hardware to be able to use JTAG. It's not a "remote kill switch" driven by a magic data trigger, it's a mechanism that requires use of a special connector on the circuit board to connect to a dedicated JTAG port that is simply neither used nor accessible in anything resembling normal operation.

Surreptitiously modifying a system in place through the JTAG port is possible, but less of a threat: the adversary would have to get access to the system and then return it without anyone noticing.

As someone else mentioned in another post, physical access can be a bit of a misnomer. Technically all that is required is for a computer to be connected via the JTAG interface in order to exploit this. This might be a diagnostic computer for example. If that diagnostic computer were to be infected with a targeted payload, there is your physical access.

nurb432 ( 527695 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:43PM ( #40136477 ) Homepage Journal
Re:Is it called JTAG? ( Score: 2 )

I agree it most likely wasn't malicious, but its more than careless, its irresponsible, especially when dealing with military contracts.

rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @03:22PM ( #40136743 )
Re:No China link yet, probably a US backdoor ( Score: 2 )
There is no China link to the backdoor yet.

The page with a link to the final paper actually does mention China. However, it's an American design from a US company. I suspect we will find the backdoor was in the original plans. It will be interesting to see however.

[Oct 04, 2018] Bloomberg is spreading malicious propaganda trying to blame China for modifying hardware with some additional ships

Kind of Chinagate, but China means her Taivan and the design is US-based. Completely false malicious rumors -- propaganda attack on China. The goal is clearly to discredit Chinese hardware manufactures by spreading technical innuendo. In other words this is a kick below the belt.
Bloomberg jerks are just feeding hacker paranoia.
First of all this is not easy to do, secondly this is a useless exercise, as you need access to TCP/IP stack of the computer to transmit information. Software Trojans is much more productive area for such activities.
Oct 04, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Today, Bloomberg BusinessWeek published a story claiming that AWS was aware of modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in Elemental Media's hardware at the time Amazon acquired Elemental in 2015, and that Amazon was aware of modified hardware or chips in AWS's China Region.

As we shared with Bloomberg BusinessWeek multiple times over the last couple months, this is untrue. At no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems. Nor have we engaged in an investigation with the government.

There are so many inaccuracies in ‎this article as it relates to Amazon that they're hard to count. We will name only a few of them here. First, when Amazon was considering acquiring Elemental, we did a lot of due diligence with our own security team, and also commissioned a single external security company to do a security assessment for us as well. That report did not identify any issues with modified chips or hardware. As is typical with most of these audits, it offered some recommended areas to remediate, and we fixed all critical issues before the acquisition closed. This was the sole external security report commissioned. Bloomberg has admittedly never seen our commissioned security report nor any other (and refused to share any details of any purported other report with us).

The article also claims that after learning of hardware modifications and malicious chips in Elemental servers, we conducted a network-wide audit of SuperMicro motherboards and discovered the malicious chips in a Beijing data center. This claim is similarly untrue. The first and most obvious reason is that we never found modified hardware or malicious chips in Elemental servers. Aside from that, we never found modified hardware or malicious chips in servers in any of our data centers. And, this notion that we sold off the hardware and datacenter in China to our partner Sinnet because we wanted to rid ourselves of SuperMicro servers is absurd. Sinnet had been running these data centers since we ‎launched in China, they owned these data centers from the start, and the hardware we "sold" to them was a transfer-of-assets agreement mandated by new China regulations for non-Chinese cloud providers to continue to operate in China.

Amazon employs stringent security standards across our supply chain – investigating all hardware and software prior to going into production and performing regular security audits internally and with our supply chain partners. We further strengthen our security posture by implementing our own hardware designs for critical components such as processors, servers, storage systems, and networking equipment.

Security will always be our top priority. AWS is trusted by many of the world's most risk-sensitive organizations precisely because we have demonstrated this unwavering commitment to putting their security above all else. We are constantly vigilant about potential threats to our customers, and we take swift and decisive action to address them whenever they are identified.

– Steve Schmidt, Chief Information Security Officer

Trumptards are IDIOTs


CashMcCall , 5 hours ago

TRUMPTARDS have an enormous amount of surplus time on their hands to forward their Harry Potter Styled Conspiracies.

APPLE AND AMAZON DENIED THE STORY. STORY OVER... GET IT CREEPY?

CashMcCall , 5 hours ago

While TRUMPTARDS were posting their Conspiracy Theories and the "TrumpEXPERTS" were embellishing the ridiculous story with their lavish accounts of chip bug design, I was enjoying a Bloomberg windfall.

Having confirmed early that the story was False since AMAZON and APPLE BOTH DENIED IT... and their stock was not moving, I turned to Supermicro which was plunging and down over 50%. I checked the options, and noted they were soft, so I put in bids for long shares and filled blocks at 9 from two accounts.

The moronic TRUMPTARD Conspiracy posts continued, Supermicro is now up over 13.

That is the difference between having a brain in your head or having TRUMPTARD **** FOR BRAINS...

Urban Roman , 5 hours ago

On second thought, this story is just ********. Note that the BBG story never mentions the backdoors that were talked about for over a decade, nor did they mention Mr. Snowden's revelation that those backdoors do exist, and are being used, by the surveillance state.

Since the Chinese factories are manufacturing these things, they'd have all the specs and the blobs and whatever else they need, and would never require a super-secret hardware chip like this. Maybe this MITM chip exists, and maybe it doesn't. But there's nothing to keep China from using the ME on any recent Intel chip, or the equivalent on any recent AMD chip, anywhere.

The purpose of this article is to scare you away from using Huawei or ZTE for anything, and my guess is that it is because those companies did not include these now-standard backdoors in their equipment. Maybe they included Chinese backdoors instead, but again, they wouldn't need a tiny piece of hardware for this MITM attack, since modern processors are all defective by design.

Chairman , 5 hours ago

I think I will start implementing this as an interview question. If a job candidate is stupid enough to believe this **** then they will not work for me.

DisorderlyConduct , 4 hours ago

Well, hmmm, could be. To update a PCB is actually really poor work. I would freak my biscuits if I received one of my PCBs with strange pads, traces or parts.

To substitute a part is craftier. To change the content of a part is harder, and nigh impossible to detect without xray.

Even craftier is to change VHDL code in an OTP chip or an ASIC. The package and internal structure is the same but the fuses would be burned different. No one would likely detect this unless they were specifically looking for it.

Kendle C , 5 hours ago

Well written propaganda fails to prove claims. Everybody in networking and IT knows that switches and routers have access to root, built in, often required by government, backdoors. Scripts are no big thing often used to speed up updates, backups, and troubleshooting. So when western manufacturers began shoveling their work to Taiwan and China, with them they sent millions of text files, including instructions for backdoor access, the means and technology (to do what this **** article is claiming) to modify the design, even classes with default password and bypass operations for future techs. We were shoveling hand over foot designs as fast as we could...all for the almighty dollar while stiffing American workers. So you might say greed trumped security and that fault lies with us. So stuff this cobbled together propaganda piece, warmongering ****.

AllBentOutOfShape , 5 hours ago

ZH has definitely been co-oped. This is just the latest propaganda ******** article of the week they've come out with. I'm seeing more and more articles sourced from well known propaganda outlets in recent months.

skunzie , 6 hours ago

Reminds me of how the US pulled off covert espionage of the Russians in the 70's using Xerox copiers. The CIA inserted trained Xerox copy repairmen to handle repairs on balky copiers in Russian embassies, etc. When a machine was down the technician inserted altered motherboards which would transmit future copies directly to the CIA. This is a cautionary tale for companies to cover their achilles heel (weakest point) as that is generally the easiest way to infiltrate the unsuspecting company.

PrivetHedge , 6 hours ago

What another huge load of bollocks from our pharisee master morons.

I guess they think we're as stupid as they are.

CashMcCall , 6 hours ago

But but but the story came from one of the chosen money changers Bloomberg... everyone knows a *** would never lie or print a false story at the market open

smacker , 7 hours ago

With all the existing ***** chips and backdoors on our computers and smartphones planted by the CIA, NSA, M$, Goolag & friends, and now this chip supposedly from China, it won't be long before there's no space left in RAM and on mobos for the chips that actually make the device do what we bought it to do.

Stinkbug 1 , 7 hours ago

this was going on 20 years ago when it was discovered that digital picture frames from china were collecting passwords and sending them back. it was just a test, so didn't get much press.

now they have the kinks worked out, and are ready for the coup de grace.

I Write Code , 7 hours ago

https://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/9lac9k/china_used_a_tiny_chip_in_a_hack_that_infiltrated/?st=JMUNFMRR&sh=10c388fb

ChecksandBalances , 7 hours ago

This story seemed to die. Did anyone find anything indicating someone on our side has actually got a look at the malicious chip, assuming it exists? Technical blogs have nothing, only news rags like NewsMaxx. If 30 companies had these chips surely someone has one. This might be one huge fake news story. Why Bloomberg would publish it is kind of odd.

FedPool , 7 hours ago

Probably a limited evaluation operation to gauge the population's appetite for war. Pentagram market research. They're probably hitting all of the comment sections around the web as we speak. Don't forget to wave 'hi'.

Heya warmongers. No, we don't want a war yet, k thanks.

underlying , 7 hours ago

Since were on the topic let's take a look at the scope hacking tools known to the general public known prior to the Supermicro Server Motherboard Hardware Exploit; (P.S. What the **** do you expect when you have Chinese state owned enterprises, at minimum quasi state owned enterprises in special economic development zones controlled by the Chinese communist party, building motherboards?)

Snowden NSA Leaks published in the gaurdian/intercept

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/the-nsa-files

Wikileaks Vault 7 etc....

https://wikileaks.org/vault7/

Spector/Meltdown vulnerability exploits

https://leeneubecker.com/grc-releases-test-tool-spectre-and-meltdown-vulnerabilities/

Random list compiled by TC bitches

https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/09/names-and-definitions-of-leaked-cia-hacking-tools/

This does not include the private/corporate sector hacking pen testing resources and suites which are abundant and easily available to **** up the competition in their own right.

i.e., https://gbhackers.com/hacking-tools-list/

Urban Roman , 5 hours ago

Exactly. Why would they ever need a super-micro-man-in-the-middle-chip?

Maybe this 'chip' serves some niche in their spycraft, but the article in the keypost ignores a herd of elephants swept under the carpet, and concentrates on a literal speck of dust.

Moribundus , 8 hours ago

A US-funded biomedical laboratory in Georgia may have conducted bioweapons research under the guise of a drug test, which claimed the lives of at least 73 subjects...new documents "allow us to take a fresh look" at outbreaks of African swine fever in southern Russia in 2007-2018, which "spread from the territory of Georgia into the Russian Federation, European nations and China. The infection strain in the samples collected from animals killed by the disease in those nations was identical to the Georgia-2007 strain." https://www.rt.com/news/440309-us-georgia-toxic-bioweapon-test/

Dr. Acula , 8 hours ago

"In a Senate testimony this past February, six major US intelligence heads warned that American citizens shouldn't use Huawei and ZTE products and services." - https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/2/17310870/pentagon-ban-huawei-zte-phones-retail-stores-military-bases

Are these the same intelligence agencies that complain about Russian collusion and cover up 9/11 and pizzagate?

[Oct 04, 2018] Top FBI Lawyer Flips Russia Probe Was Handled In Abnormal Fashion And Rife With Political Bias

Notable quotes:
"... James Baker, a former top FBI lawyer, told congressional investigators on Wednesday that the Russia probe was handled in an "abnormal fashion" and was rife with "political bias" according to Fox News , citing two Republican lawmakers present for the closed-door deposition. ..."
"... Lawmakers did not provide any specifics about the interview, citing a confidentiality agreement signed with Baker and his attorneys, however they said that he was cooperative and forthcoming about the beginnings of the Russia probe in 2016, as well as the FISA surveillance warrant application to spy on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. ..."
"... According to Fox , Baker "is at the heart of surveillance abuse allegations, and his deposition lays the groundwork for next week's planned closed-door interview with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein." ..."
Oct 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

James Baker, a former top FBI lawyer, told congressional investigators on Wednesday that the Russia probe was handled in an "abnormal fashion" and was rife with "political bias" according to Fox News , citing two Republican lawmakers present for the closed-door deposition.

"Some of the things that were shared were explosive in nature," Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told Fox News. "This witness confirmed that things were done in an abnormal fashion. That's extremely troubling."

Meadows claimed the "abnormal" handling of the probe into alleged coordination between Russian officials and the Trump presidential campaign was "a reflection of inherent bias that seems to be evident in certain circles." The FBI agent who opened the Russia case, Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page and others sent politically charged texts, and have since left the bureau. - Fox News

Baker, who worked closely with former FBI Director James Comey, left the bureau earlier this year.

Lawmakers did not provide any specifics about the interview, citing a confidentiality agreement signed with Baker and his attorneys, however they said that he was cooperative and forthcoming about the beginnings of the Russia probe in 2016, as well as the FISA surveillance warrant application to spy on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

"During the time that the FBI was putting -- that DOJ and FBI were putting together the FISA (surveillance warrant) during the time prior to the election -- there was another source giving information directly to the FBI, which we found the source to be pretty explosive," said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

Meadows and Jordan would not elaborate on the source, or answer questions about whether the source was a reporter. They did stress that the source who provided information to the FBI's Russia case was not previously known to congressional investigators. - Fox News

According to Fox , Baker "is at the heart of surveillance abuse allegations, and his deposition lays the groundwork for next week's planned closed-door interview with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein."

As the FBI's top lawyer, baker helped secure the FISA warrant on Page, along with three subsequent renewals .

Rosenstein is scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill on October 11 for a closed-door interview, according to Republican House sources, "not a briefing to leadership," and comes on the heels of a New York Times report that said Rosenstein had discussed secretly recording President Trump and removing him from office using the 25th Amendment.

Rosenstein and Trump pushed off a scheduled meeting into limbo amid speculation of his impending firing.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Wednesday the meeting remains in limbo.

[Oct 04, 2018] Brett Kavanaugh's 'revenge' theory spotlights past with Clintons by Lisa Mascaro

Highly recommended!
Oct 03, 2018 | www.chicagotribune.com

But in blaming "revenge on behalf of the Clintons" for the sexual misconduct allegations against him, the Supreme Court nominee is drawing new attention to his time on the Kenneth Starr team investigating Bill Clinton. And in doing so, he's shown he can deliver a Trump-like broadside against detractors even if it casts him in a potentially partisan light.

As a young lawyer, Kavanaugh played a key role on Starr's team investigating sexual misconduct by then-President Bill Clinton, helping to shape one of the most salacious chapters in modern political history.

Kavanaugh spent a good part of the mid-1990s jetting back and forth to Little Rock, Arkansas, digging into the Clintons' background, according to documents that were made public as part of his nomination to the Supreme Court

[Oct 02, 2018] Recovered memory is a Freudian voodoo. Notice how carefully manicured these charges are such that they can never be falsified? This is the actual proof she is a liar and this whole thing is staged

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Their testimony was usually highly emotional and impassioned, leaving an impression very similar to that conveyed last night by Dr. Ford. ..."
"... The "Recovered" (or "False") Memory Syndrome movement emerged in the midst of the steadily radicalizing Feminist Movement in the United States, probably at the very apogee of its extreme evolution, and was a movement in which Freudian therapy was central and Freudian therapists came to play the leading role. ..."
"... It was only after they had been subjected to extensive pseudo-scientific Freudian "therapy," in which sex always lay prominently at the center, that virtually all of these women came forward with these stories. ..."
"... nd, in this dispute the American ultra-Feminists chose to believe and preach the worst, most salacious, and most vicious possible interpretation of Dr. Freud's highly speculative, evidence-less, and – as subsequent study has overwhelmingly shown – completely contrived diagnoses. ..."
"... Beginning with a conviction that cocaine could provide a substantial therapeutic base for solving psychological problems, Freud seems himself to have become for a period a regular consumer of that drug, but subsequently altered the focus of his therapy to hypnosis. After realizing certain limitations to this approach, he shifted again, turning to the so-called "Talking Cure" rooted in provoking word associations, which provided the basis for the classic Freudian method of popular imagination – with the patient reclining on a couch and the good Dr. seated behind with his notebook and pen in hand. This is the method he retained for the rest of his life. ..."
"... The primary fault which has been cited for Freud's methods generally, but which has been particularly critiqued in both hypnosis and the "Talking Cure" as a reason for their invalidation, is the claim that both – at least inadvertently – incorporate the high probability of suggestion from the therapist. ..."
"... Analysis thus follows a circular course, the analyst's theoretical surmise being first subtly communicated to the patient, then confirmed by the patient's casting of his (or, more often her) own ideas within the framework which had been suggested by the analyst. In the end, nothing new is actually discovered. The patient merely replicates the expressed Freudian doctrine. ..."
"... Those women patients, and a few men, became their victims, but in turn became the perpetrators in the savaging of numerous men's lives, as these men were subjected to the most vicious accusations imaginable. Most of these accusations were, in retrospect, clearly fantasies in a ruthless mid-20th century male-witch hunt. ..."
"... Into this popular intellectual desert walks Dr. Ford, both whose personal history and her strange physical mannerisms in testimony before the Senate clearly indicate she has unfortunately suffered some form of serious psychological disturbance. ..."
"... Seemingly alienated from her own parents and most immediate family members, she has made her home as far away from the Washington, DC area ..."
"... In 2012 she underwent some sort of psychological counseling with her husband, though the details as far as I know have not emerged. But, it hardly seems likely coincidental that her first documentable expressions of antipathy to Judge Kavanaugh occurred in that year, when it was announced that Judge Kavanaugh was considered the likely Supreme Court appointee should Mit Romney win the Presidential election. Her expressions of antipathy to him have only grown from there. ..."
"... Use of weapons and tactics, of which the defender is unprepared for, is a good offense. ..."
"... Are Republicans et al. unable to understand basic military strategy? Do we lack the ability to conceive of new tactics and weapons to use against Democrats and Globalists? ..."
"... I realize that it is unacceptable to attack this poor helpless victim so the "it can't be corroborated" card has to be played. However, who else notices how carefully manicured these charges are such that they can never be falsified? This is the actual proof she is a liar and this whole thing is staged. ..."
"... She always takes everybody on some emotional ride right up to the point where she could be exposed but never with enough information so somebody could come out of the woodwork and prove she is a liar. ..."
"... We also have the infamous letter where we are repeatedly reminded she mailed it BEFORE Kavanaugh was picked. Of course, we only have Feinstein's word for that since nobody saw it until after this crap started. The delay was used to push up the story with new revelation about Mike Judge in a grocery store that shied away from her – again with no specific date so Judge could prove she is a liar. ..."
"... We also have all of our own recollections of high school insecurities and male-female interactions. What freshman or sophomore girl didn't get all giddy at the thought of the older guys hitting on her so she could tell all her friends about her older boyfriend ..."
"... Outside doors enter public areas kitchen sunroom living rooms not bedrooms. An outside door into a master bedroom with attached bathroom is a red flag that it's intended for an illegal what's called in law apartment ..."
"... Your post is very perceptive and just might be how it all went down. With the complications of couples' counseling over her demand for the bizarre double main entry doors. (lulz) Though I would think any family that built an illegal in-law apartment into their Palo Alto house and deployed it, would be ratted out by their neighbors. ..."
Oct 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

Nicephorus says: September 29, 2018 at 7:58 am GMT 2,000 Words

We still have to wait to see whether Judge Kavanaugh's appointment will go through, so the most important practical consequence of this shameful exercise in character assassination is as yet unknown. I'm pretty sure he'll eventually be appointed.

But, I think some critical theoretical aspects of the context in which this battle was waged were definitively clarified in the course of this shameful and hugely destructive effort by the Democrat leadership to destroy Judge Kavanaugh's reputation in pursuit of narrow political advantage. On balance, although Judge Kavanaugh and his family were the ones who had to pay the price for this bitter learning experience, all of us should be the long-term beneficiaries of this contest's central but often hidden issues being brought to light and subjected to rational analysis. I want to show what I think these hidden issues are.

What this sordid affair was all about was the zombie-like return-from-the-dead of a phenomenon exposed and pretty much completely invalidated more than thirty years ago, which never should have been permitted to raise its ugly head before an assembly of rational, educated Americans: the "Recovered Memory" (aka "False Memory") Syndrome movement of the 1980s, in which numerous troubled, frequently mentally off-balance, women (and a few men) came forward to declare that they had been the victims of incestual sexual abuse – most often actual sexual intercourse – at the hands of mature male family members; usually fathers but sometimes uncles, grandfathers, or others.

Their testimony was usually highly emotional and impassioned, leaving an impression very similar to that conveyed last night by Dr. Ford. Many hearers were completely convinced that these events had occurred. I recall having a discussion in the 1990s with two American women who swore up and down that they believed fully 25% of American women had been forced into sexual intercourse with their fathers. I was dumbfounded that they could believe such a thing. But, vast numbers of American women did believe this at that time, and many – perhaps most – may never have looked sufficiently into the follow-up to these testimonials to realize that the vast majority of such bizarre claims had subsequently been definitively proven invalid.

The "Recovered" (or "False") Memory Syndrome movement emerged in the midst of the steadily radicalizing Feminist Movement in the United States, probably at the very apogee of its extreme evolution, and was a movement in which Freudian therapy was central and Freudian therapists came to play the leading role.

It was only after they had been subjected to extensive pseudo-scientific Freudian "therapy," in which sex always lay prominently at the center, that virtually all of these women came forward with these stories. A major controversy, which arose within the ranks of the Freudians themselves over what was the correct understanding of the Master's teachings, lay at the core of the whole affair. A nd, in this dispute the American ultra-Feminists chose to believe and preach the worst, most salacious, and most vicious possible interpretation of Dr. Freud's highly speculative, evidence-less, and – as subsequent study has overwhelmingly shown – completely contrived diagnoses.

It's now known that Dr. Freud's journey to the theoretical positions which had become orthodoxy among his followers by the mid-20th century had followed a strange, little known, possibly deliberately self-obscured, and clearly unorthodox course. Beginning with a conviction that cocaine could provide a substantial therapeutic base for solving psychological problems, Freud seems himself to have become for a period a regular consumer of that drug, but subsequently altered the focus of his therapy to hypnosis. After realizing certain limitations to this approach, he shifted again, turning to the so-called "Talking Cure" rooted in provoking word associations, which provided the basis for the classic Freudian method of popular imagination – with the patient reclining on a couch and the good Dr. seated behind with his notebook and pen in hand. This is the method he retained for the rest of his life.

The primary fault which has been cited for Freud's methods generally, but which has been particularly critiqued in both hypnosis and the "Talking Cure" as a reason for their invalidation, is the claim that both – at least inadvertently – incorporate the high probability of suggestion from the therapist. In this view, patient testimony moves subtly, and probably without the patient's awareness, from whatever his or her own understanding might originally have been to the interpretation implicitly propounded by the analyst. Analysis thus follows a circular course, the analyst's theoretical surmise being first subtly communicated to the patient, then confirmed by the patient's casting of his (or, more often her) own ideas within the framework which had been suggested by the analyst. In the end, nothing new is actually discovered. The patient merely replicates the expressed Freudian doctrine.

The particular doctrine at hand was undergoing a critical reworking at this very time, and this important reconsideration of the Master's meaning almost certainly constituted a major, likely the predominating, factor which facilitated the emergence of the Recovered Memory Syndrome movement. Freudian orthodoxy at that time included as an important – seemingly its key – component the conviction of a child's (even an infant's) sexuality, as expressed through the hypothesized Oedipus Complex for males, and the corresponding Electra Complex for females. In these complexes, Freud speculated that sexually-based neuroses derived from the child's (or infant's) fear of imagined enmity and possible physical threat from the same-sex parent, because of the younger individual's sexual longing for the opposite-sex parent.

This Freudian idea, entirely new to European, American, and probably most other cultures, that children, even infants, were the possessors of an already well-developed sexuality had been severely challenged by Christian and some other traditional authorities, and had been met with repugnance from many individuals in Western society. But, the doctrine, as it then stood, was subject to a further major questioning in the mid-1980s from Freudian historical researcher Jeffrey Masson, who postulated, after examining a collection of Freud's personal writings long kept from popular examination, that the Child Sexual Imagination thesis itself was a pusillanimous and ethically-unjustified retreat from an even more sinister thesis the Master had originally held, but which he had subsequently abandoned because of the controversy and damage to his own career its expression would likely cause. This was the belief, based on many of his earlier interviews of mostly women patients, that it wasn't their imaginations which lay behind their neuroses. They had told him that they had actually been either raped or molested as infants or young girls by their fathers. This was the secret horror hidden away in those long-suppressed writings, now brought into the light of day by Prof. Masson.

Masson's research conclusions were initially widely welcomed within the psychoanalytical fraternity/sorority and shortly melded with the already raging desire of many ultra-Feminist extremists to place the blame for whatever problems and dissatisfactions women in America were encountering in their lives upon the patriarchal society by which they claimed to be oppressed. The problem was men. Countless fathers were raping their daughters. Wow! What an incentive to revolutionary Feminist insurrection! You couldn't find a much better justification for their man-hate than that. Bring on the Feminist Revolution! Men are not only a menace, they are no longer even necessary for procreation, so let's get rid of them entirely. This is the sort of extreme plan some radical Feminists advocated. Many psychoanalysts became their professional facilitators, providing the illusion of medical validation to the stories the analysts themselves had largely engendered. Those women patients, and a few men, became their victims, but in turn became the perpetrators in the savaging of numerous men's lives, as these men were subjected to the most vicious accusations imaginable. Most of these accusations were, in retrospect, clearly fantasies in a ruthless mid-20th century male-witch hunt.

This radical ideology is built upon the conviction that Dr. Freud, in at least this one of his several historical phases of interpretative psychological analysis, was really on to something. But, subsequent evaluation has largely shown that not to be the case. The same critique which had been delivered against the Child Sexual Imagination version of Freud's "Talking Cure" analytical method was equally relevant to this newly discovered Father Molestation thesis: all such notions had been subtly communicated to the patient by the analyst in the course of the interview. Had thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions of European and American women really been raped or molested by their fathers? Freud offered no corroborating evidence of any kind, and I think it's the consensus of most competent contemporary psychoanalysts to reject this idea. Those few who retain a belief in it betray, I think, an ideological commitment to Radical Feminism, for whose proponents such a view offers an ever tempting platform to justify their monstrous plans for the future of a human race in which males are subjected to the status of slaves or are entirely eliminated.

But, the judicious conclusions of science often – perhaps usually – fail to promptly percolate down to the comprehension of common humanity on the street, and within the consequent vacuum of understanding scheming politicians can frequently find opportunity to manipulate, obfuscate, and distort facts in order to facilitate their own devious and often highly destructive schemes. Such, I fear, is the situation which has surrounded Dr. Ford. The average American of either sex has absolutely no familiarity with the history, character, or ultimate fate of the Recovered Memory Syndrome movement, and may well fail to realize that the phenomenon has been nearly entirely disproved.

Into this popular intellectual desert walks Dr. Ford, both whose personal history and her strange physical mannerisms in testimony before the Senate clearly indicate she has unfortunately suffered some form of serious psychological disturbance.

Seemingly alienated from her own parents and most immediate family members, she has made her home as far away from the Washington, DC area where she was born as possible within the territorial limits of the continental United States. The focus of her professional research and practice in the field of psychology has lain in therapeutic treatment to overcome mental and emotional trauma, a problem she has acknowledged has been her own disturbing preoccupation for many decades. In 2012 she underwent some sort of psychological counseling with her husband, though the details as far as I know have not emerged. But, it hardly seems likely coincidental that her first documentable expressions of antipathy to Judge Kavanaugh occurred in that year, when it was announced that Judge Kavanaugh was considered the likely Supreme Court appointee should Mit Romney win the Presidential election. Her expressions of antipathy to him have only grown from there.

Dr. Ford is clearly an unfortunate victim of something or someone, but I don't believe it was Judge Kavanaugh. Almost certainly she has been influenced in her denunciations against him by both that long-term preoccupation with her own sense of psychological injury, whatever may have been its cause, and her professional familiarization with contemporary currents of psychological theory, however fallacious, likely mediated by the ministrations of that unnamed counselor in 2012. Subsequently, she has clearly been exploited mercilessly by the scheming Democratic Party officials who have viciously plotted to turn her plight to their own cynical advantage. As in so many cases during the 1980s Recovered Memory movement, she has almost certainly been transformed by both the scientifically unproven doctrines and the conscienceless practitioners of Freudian mysticism from being merely an innocent victim into an active victimizer – doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling the pain inherent in her own tragic situation and aggressively projecting it upon helpless others, in this case Judge Kavanaugh and his entire family. She is not a heroine.

PiltdownMan , says: September 29, 2018 at 9:01 am GMT

A recovered memory from more than five decades ago. Violet Elizabeth, a irritating younger child who tended to tag along, often wore expensive Kate Greenaway dresses. Her family was new money. William was no misogynist, though. He liked and respected Joan, who was his friend. The second William book is online.

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/17125/17125-h/17125-h.htm

Coemgen , says: September 29, 2018 at 10:35 am GMT
Rules-of-thumb
-- -- -- -- -- -- -
1. A good offense is the best defense.
2. An ambush backed up by overwhelming force is a good offense.
3. Use of weapons and tactics, of which the defender is unprepared for, is a good offense.

Are Republicans et al. unable to understand basic military strategy? Do we lack the ability to conceive of new tactics and weapons to use against Democrats and Globalists?

MarkinLA , says: September 29, 2018 at 12:49 pm GMT
I realize that it is unacceptable to attack this poor helpless victim so the "it can't be corroborated" card has to be played. However, who else notices how carefully manicured these charges are such that they can never be falsified? This is the actual proof she is a liar and this whole thing is staged.

She always takes everybody on some emotional ride right up to the point where she could be exposed but never with enough information so somebody could come out of the woodwork and prove she is a liar.

We also have the infamous letter where we are repeatedly reminded she mailed it BEFORE Kavanaugh was picked. Of course, we only have Feinstein's word for that since nobody saw it until after this crap started. The delay was used to push up the story with new revelation about Mike Judge in a grocery store that shied away from her – again with no specific date so Judge could prove she is a liar. This all reeks of testimony gone over and coached by a team of lawyers.

We also have all of our own recollections of high school insecurities and male-female interactions. What freshman or sophomore girl didn't get all giddy at the thought of the older guys hitting on her so she could tell all her friends about her older boyfriend and possibility of going to the prom as a lower classman? All he had to do (assuming he wasn't repulsive physically and he was a bit of a jock) was make the usual play of pretending to be interested and he likely would have been at least getting to first base at the party.

From her pictures she was no Pamela Anderson and would likely have been flattered. The idea that you rape someone without trying to get the milk handed to you on a silver platter is ridiculous.

This is another female driven hysteria based on lies like the child molestation and satanic cult hysterias of years past. Those were all driven by crazy or politically motivated women who whipped up the rest of the ignorant females.

Clyde , says: September 29, 2018 at 12:58 pm GMT
@Anon

Outside doors enter public areas kitchen sunroom living rooms not bedrooms. An outside door into a master bedroom with attached bathroom is a red flag that it's intended for an illegal what's called in law apartment

Your post is very perceptive and just might be how it all went down. With the complications of couples' counseling over her demand for the bizarre double main entry doors. (lulz) Though I would think any family that built an illegal in-law apartment into their Palo Alto house and deployed it, would be ratted out by their neighbors.

[Oct 02, 2018] I m puzzled why CIA is so against Kavanaugh?

Highly recommended!
An interesting hypothesis. CIA definitly became a powerful political force in the USA -- a rogue political force which starting from JFK assasination tries to control who is elected to important offices. But in truth Cavanaugh is a pro-CIA candidate so to speak. So why CIA would try to derail him.
Notable quotes:
"... I think I've figured out why they had to go to couples counseling about an outside door and why she came up with claim that she needed an outside bedroom door because she'd been assaulted 37 years ago. The Palo Alto building codes for single family homes were created to make sure single family homes remained single family and weren't chopped up into apartments. ..."
"... An outside door into a master bedroom with attached bathroom is a red flag that it's intended for an illegal what's called in law apartment ..."
"... So she wants the door. Husband says waste of money and trouble. Contractor says call me when you're ready. So they go to counseling Husband explains why the door's unreasonable. Therapist asks wife why she " really deep down" needs the door. Wife makes up the story about attempted rape 35 years ago flashbacks If only there were 2 doors in that imaginary bedroom she could have escaped. ..."
"... Kacanaugh was nominated. CIA searched for sex problems in his working life. Found nothing Searched law school and college found nothing. In desperation searched high school found nothing. Searched CIA personnel records which go back to grade school and found one of their own employees was about Kavanaugh's age and attended a high school near his and the students socialized. ..."
"... She's 3rd generation CIA. grandfather assistant director. Father CIA contractor who managed CIA unofficial band accounts. And she runs a CIA recruitment office. ..."
Oct 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anon [257] Disclaimer says: September 29, 2018 at 8:28 am GMT 400 Words

I think I've figured out why they had to go to couples counseling about an outside door and why she came up with claim that she needed an outside bedroom door because she'd been assaulted 37 years ago. The Palo Alto building codes for single family homes were created to make sure single family homes remained single family and weren't chopped up into apartments.

Outside doors enter public areas kitchen sunroom living rooms not bedrooms. An outside door into a master bedroom with attached bathroom is a red flag that it's intended for an illegal what's called in law apartment

There's a unit It's a stove 2 ft counter space and sink. The stoves electric and plugs into an ordinary household electricity. It's backed against the bathroom wall. Break through the wall, connect the pipes running water for the sink. Add an outside door and it's a small apartment.

Assume they didn't want to make it an apartment just a master bedroom. Usually the contractor pulls the permits routinely. But an outside bedroom door is complicated. The permits will cost more. It might require an exemption and a hearing They night need a lawyer. And they might not get the permit.

So she wants the door. Husband says waste of money and trouble. Contractor says call me when you're ready. So they go to counseling Husband explains why the door's unreasonable. Therapist asks wife why she " really deep down" needs the door. Wife makes up the story about attempted rape 35 years ago flashbacks If only there were 2 doors in that imaginary bedroom she could have escaped.

Kacanaugh was nominated. CIA searched for sex problems in his working life. Found nothing Searched law school and college found nothing. In desperation searched high school found nothing. Searched CIA personnel records which go back to grade school and found one of their own employees was about Kavanaugh's age and attended a high school near his and the students socialized.

She's 3rd generation CIA. grandfather assistant director. Father CIA contractor who managed CIA unofficial band accounts. And she runs a CIA recruitment office.

I'm puzzled why CIA is so against Kavanaugh?

[Oct 02, 2018] Democrats, Republicans Unite Populism Destroys Democracy by Caitlin Johnstone

This is a really apt quote: "America's two mainstream political parties agree furiously with one another on war, neoliberalism, Orwellian surveillance, and every other agenda which increases the power and profit of the plutocratic class which owns them both."
Notable quotes:
"... The buzzword "bipartisan" gets used a lot in US politics because it gives the illusion that whatever agenda it's being applied to must have some deep universal truth to it for such wildly divergent ideologies to set aside their differences in order to advance it, but what it usually means is Democrat neocons and Republican neocons working together to inflict new horrors upon the world. ..."
"... America's two mainstream political parties agree furiously with one another on war, neoliberalism, Orwellian surveillance, and every other agenda which increases the power and profit of the plutocratic class which owns them both. The plutocrat-owned mass media plays up the differences between Democrats and Republicans to hysterical proportions, when in reality the debate over which one is worse is like arguing over whether a serial killer's arms or legs are more evil. ..."
Oct 02, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

If there's one thing that brings a tear to my eye, it's the inspiration I feel when watching Republican-aligned neoconservatives and Democrat-aligned neoconservatives find a way to bridge their almost nonexistent differences and come together to discuss the many, many, many, many, many, many many many things they have in common.

In a conference at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, "Resistance" leader and professional left-puncher Neera Tanden met with Iraq-raping neocon Bill Kristol to discuss bipartisanship and shared values. While leprechauns held hands and danced beneath candy rainbows and gumdrop Reaper drones, the duo engaged in a friendly, playful conversation with the event's host in a debate format which was not unlike watching the Pillsbury Doughboy have a pillow fight with himself in a padded room after drinking a bottle of NyQuil.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3oHm5OP621A

To get the event started, the host whose name I refuse to learn asked the pair to discuss briefly what common ground such wildly different people could possibly share to make such a strange taboo-shattering dialogue possible.

"Issues around national security and believing in democratic principles as they relate to foreign policy," replied Tanden . "And opposing authoritarianism, and opposing the kind of creeping populism that undermines democracy itself."

Neera Tanden, in case you are unaware, is a longtime Clinton and Obama insider and CEO of the plutocrat-backed think tank Center for American Progress. Her emails featured prominently in the 2016 Podesta drops by WikiLeaks, which New Republic described as revealing "a pattern of freezing out those who don't toe the line, a disturbing predilection for someone who is a kind of gatekeeper for what ideas are acceptable in Democratic politics." Any quick glance at Tanden's political activism and Twitter presence will render this unsurprising, as she often seems more concerned with attacking the Green Party and noncompliant progressive Democrats than she does with advancing progressive values. Her entire life is dedicated to keeping what passes for America's political left out of the hands of the American populace.

Kristol co-signed Tanden's anti-populist rhetoric and her open endorsement of neoconservative foreign policy, and went on to say that another thing he and Tanden have in common is that they've both served in government, which makes you realize that nothing's black and white and everything's kinda nebulous and amorphous so it doesn't really matter if you, say for example, help deceive your country into a horrific blunder that ends up killing a whole lot of people for no good reason.

"I do think if you've served in government -- this isn't universally true but somewhat true -- that you do have somewhat more of a sense of the complexity of things, and many of its decisions are not black and white, that in public policy there are plusses and minuses to most policies," Kristol said .

"There are authentic disagreements both about values, but also just about how certain things are gonna work or not work and that is what adds a kind of humility to one's belief that one is kind of always right about everything."

I found this very funny coming from the man who is notoriously always wrong about everything, and I'd like to point out that "complexity" is a key talking point that the neoconservatives who've been consistently proven completely wrong about everything are fond of repeating. Everything's complicated and nothing's really known and it's all a big blurry mess so maybe butchering a million Iraqis and destabilizing the Middle East was a good thing . Check out this short clip of John Bolton being confronted by Tucker Carlson about what a spectacular error the Iraq invasion was for a great example of this:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/NPFc9YN7LIE

I listened to the whole conference, but it was basically one long smear of amicable politeness which was the verbal equivalent of the color beige, so I had difficulty tuning in. Both Tanden and Kristol hate the far left (or as those of us outside the US pronounce it, "the center"), both Tanden and Kristol hate Trump, and hey maybe Americans have a lot more in common than they think and everyone can come together and together together togetherness blah blah. At one point Kristol said something about disagreeing with internet censorship, which was weird because his Weekly Standard actively participates in Facebook censorship as one of its authorized "fact checkers".

The buzzword "bipartisan" gets used a lot in US politics because it gives the illusion that whatever agenda it's being applied to must have some deep universal truth to it for such wildly divergent ideologies to set aside their differences in order to advance it, but what it usually means is Democrat neocons and Republican neocons working together to inflict new horrors upon the world.

America's two mainstream political parties agree furiously with one another on war, neoliberalism, Orwellian surveillance, and every other agenda which increases the power and profit of the plutocratic class which owns them both. The plutocrat-owned mass media plays up the differences between Democrats and Republicans to hysterical proportions, when in reality the debate over which one is worse is like arguing over whether a serial killer's arms or legs are more evil.

Neera Tanden and Bill Kristol are the same fucking person. They're both toxic limbs on the same toxic beast, feeding the lives of ordinary people at home and abroad into its gaping mouth in service of the powerful. And populism, which is nothing other than support for the protection of common folk from the powerful, is the only antidote to such toxins. Saying populism undermines democracy is like saying democracy undermines democracy.


Keyser , 29 minutes ago

The only thing the neocons care about is money and dead brown people, in that order, because the more dead people, the more $$$ they make...

Jim in MN , 28 minutes ago

You mean, neolibcon globalist elite sociopath traitors, right?

bshirley1968 , 38 minutes ago

I am confident that if I ever spent time around Caitlin there would be a whole host of things we would disagree about......but this,

" America's two mainstream political parties agree furiously with one another on war, neoliberalism, Orwellian surveillance, and every other agenda which increases the power and profit of the plutocratic class which owns them both. The plutocrat-owned mass media plays up the differences between Democrats and Republicans to hysterical proportions, when in reality the debate over which one is worse is like arguing over whether a serial killer's arms or legs are more evil."

.....is something we can absolutely agree on. This FACT needs to be expounded and driven down the sheeple throats until they are puking it up. Why don't they teach that in screwls? Because school is where the foundation for this lie of two parties is laid .

DingleBarryObummer , 29 minutes ago

It's funny that you say that. I was just thinking about how high school was a microcosm of how the world is.

The football stars were the "protected class." They could park like assholes, steal food from the cafeteria, and show up late, and wouldn't get in trouble.

That's just one of a multitude of examples. That's a whole nother article in itself.

DingleBarryObummer , 39 minutes ago

Tucker Carlson made Bolton look like the dingus he is in that interview. We all know (((who))) he works for.

+1 to tucker

WTFUD , 43 minutes ago

Campaigns are funded, career Politicians become made-men, conduits for the scramble of BILLIONAIRES gorging bigly on-the-public-teat, with a kick-back revolving door supernova gratuity waiting at the end of the rainbow.

Of course they can ALL AGREE . . . eventually.

Chupacabra-322 , 54 minutes ago

"How many people have Kristol and his ilk murdered in their endless wars for israel?"

Countless.

ChiangMaiXPat , 58 minutes ago

As a Trump voter, I believe I have more in common with Caitlin Johnstone then "any" Neocon. Her articles and writing are mostly "spot on." I imagine I would disagree on a couple key social issues but on foreign policy I believe most conservatives are on the same page as her.

ChiangMaiXPat , 54 minutes ago

I thought her piece was "spot on," she's a very good writer. The Neo CONS will be the death of this country.

[Oct 02, 2018] War time propaganda serves for the USA elite as a tool to contain/constrain discontent of allies and citizenry as they attempt to damage or destroy the Russian and Chinese economies.

Notable quotes:
"... Along these lines, the Trump Administration has informed Russia in April 2017 that the period of "strategic patience" is over (well, at least official 'cause being 'patient' didn't seem to deter regime change and covert ops) . They now employ a policy of "maximum pressure" instead. ..."
"... Also note: The Trump Administration has officially labeled Russia and China as enemies when they called them "recidivist" nations in the National Defense Authorization Act in late 2017. (Note: "recidivist" because Russia and China want to return to a world where there is not a hegemonic power, aka a "multi-polar" world). ..."
"... we're already within an ongoing Hybrid Third World War, which is more readily apparent with Trump's Trade War escalation. ..."
"... the "real" US economy is only 5 Trillion, only 25% of what's claimed as the total economy ..."
"... at's clearly happening--and it's been ongoing for quite awhile--for those with open eyes is the Class War between the 1% and 99%. The domestic battle within the Outlaw US Empire for Single Payer/Medicare For All healthcare is one theatre of the much larger ongoing war. ..."
"... Clearly, the upcoming financial crisis must spark a massive political upheaval larger than any ever seen before to prevent institution of the 2008 "solution." ..."
"... The primary dynamic of history is war. This has caused immense suffering. It is now becoming exponentially worse ..."
"... If we think of humankind as a large complex living entity, then like all such entities it will expire at some point. So in the larger picture, what we are moving towards is natural, and to be expected. ..."
Oct 02, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sally Snyder , Oct 2, 2018 12:26:42 PM | link

Here is a detailed look at what the United States is getting for its $700 billion defense budget:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/09/voting-for-war.html

It is rather surprising that the Democrats who have demonized Donald Trump at every turn have voted in favour of the this extremely bloated defense budget, putting even more military might into the hands of a President and Commander-in-Chief that they seem to despise and who they are demonizing because of his alleged collusion with Russia.

m , Oct 2, 2018 1:33:28 PM | link

Speaking of WWIII...
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/10/02/us-switching-ukraine-location-start-world-war-iii-against-russia.html
Mike Maloney , Oct 2, 2018 1:55:09 PM | link
We've been in WW3 for several years now. Bolton went "Full Monty" with his declaration that U.S. forces will stay in Syria until Iran vacates. The introduction of a Yemen War Powers Resolution in the House last week is a hopeful sign. A reason to root for a Blue Wave in November. Dem leadership, already on record backing the War Powers Resolution, would be obligated to block U.S. enabling genocide in Yemen.
Jackrabbit , Oct 2, 2018 2:25:59 PM | link
m @9

I disagree with Eric Zusse's belief that USA wants to start WWIII. I think they want to contain/constrain discontent of allies and citizenry as they attempt to destroy the Russian and Chinese economies. War is only a last resort. But heightened military tensions mean that the major protagonists have to divert resources to their military, causing a drag on the economies.

Along these lines, the Trump Administration has informed Russia in April 2017 that the period of "strategic patience" is over (well, at least official 'cause being 'patient' didn't seem to deter regime change and covert ops) . They now employ a policy of "maximum pressure" instead.

The big concern for me is that "maximum pressure" also means an elevated chance of mistakes and miscalculations that could inadvertently cause WWIII.

Also note: The Trump Administration has officially labeled Russia and China as enemies when they called them "recidivist" nations in the National Defense Authorization Act in late 2017. (Note: "recidivist" because Russia and China want to return to a world where there is not a hegemonic power, aka a "multi-polar" world).

PS IMO Trump election and the Kavanaugh and Gina Haspel nominations are key to the pursuit of global hegemony.

karlof1 , Oct 2, 2018 3:02:57 PM | link
Most warnings have centered on a financial meltdown, as this article reviews . As most know, IMO we're already within an ongoing Hybrid Third World War, which is more readily apparent with Trump's Trade War escalation.

As noted in my link to Escobar's latest, the EU has devised a retaliatory mechanism to shield itself and others from the next round of illegal sanctions Trump's promised to impose after Mid-term elections.

In an open thread post, I linked to Hudson's latest audio-cast; here's what he said on the 10th anniversary of the 2008 crash: "So this crash of 2008 was not a crash of the banks. The banks were bailed out. The economy was left with all the junk mortgages in place, all the fraudulent debts."

Another article I linked to in a comment to james averred the "real" US economy is only 5 Trillion, only 25% of what's claimed as the total economy . Hudson again: "Contrary to the idea that bailing out the banks helps the economy, the fact is that the economy today cannot recover without a bank failure ." [My emphasis]

Wh at's clearly happening--and it's been ongoing for quite awhile--for those with open eyes is the Class War between the 1% and 99%. The domestic battle within the Outlaw US Empire for Single Payer/Medicare For All healthcare is one theatre of the much larger ongoing war.

As Hudson's stated many times, the goal of the 1% is to reestablish Feudalism via debt-peonage. All the other happenings geopolitically serve to mask this Class War within the Outlaw US Empire. Clearly, the upcoming financial crisis must spark a massive political upheaval larger than any ever seen before to prevent institution of the 2008 "solution." Many predict that this crisis will be timed to occur in 2020 constituting the biggest election meddling of all time.

The crisis will likely be blamed on China without any evidence for hacking Wall Street and causing the subsequent crash -- a Financial False Flag to serve the same purpose as 911.

karlof1 , Oct 2, 2018 3:44:26 PM | link
james @16--

Much can occur and be obscured during wartime. The radical changes to USA from 1938-1948 is very instructive--the commonfolk were on the threshold of gaining control over the federal government for the first time in US history only to have it blocked then reversed (forever?) by FDR and the 1% who tried to overthrow him in 1933.

Same with the current War OF Terror's use to curtail longstanding civil liberties and constitutional rights and much more. To accomplish what's being called "Bail-In" within the USA, Martial Law would need to be emplaced since most of the public is to be robbed of whatever cash they have, and World War would probably be the only way to get Martial Law instituted--and accepted by the military which would be its enforcer.

A precedent exists for stealing money from the people--their gold--via Executive Order 6102 , which used a law instituted during WW1 and still on the books.

mike k , Oct 2, 2018 3:51:45 PM | link
The primary dynamic of history is war. This has caused immense suffering. It is now becoming exponentially worse . Critical graphs are going off their charts. The end is near.

If we think of humankind as a large complex living entity, then like all such entities it will expire at some point. So in the larger picture, what we are moving towards is natural, and to be expected.

Like individual humans, the human population as a whole can pursue activities that maintain it's health, or it can indulge in activities that create disease and hasten it's death. Humankind is deep in toxifying behaviors that signal it's demise in the near future.

[Oct 02, 2018] Google should acquire the status of a public utility -- like the Ma Bell telephone system was regulated in the 1950's. Google is too powerful -- it should not have the cultural monopoly power it has over our society.

Oct 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

Art , says: August 10, 2017 at 6:28 pm GMT

Clearly Google should acquire the status of a public utility -- like the Ma Bell telephone system was regulated in the 1950's. Google is too powerful -- it should not have the cultural monopoly power it has over our society.

"The people" and their mass interests are preeminent in the hierarchy things. Like it or not -- Google is a product of our culture -- therefor our culture has a valid claim on its actions.

It comes down too private ownership vs. public interest. As a pure libertarian I do not like it -- but as a realist, the mass interests of the people counts.

The "golden mean" must win out. A compromise must be reached.

Google's actions must be regulated.

Peace -- Art

utu , says: August 10, 2017 at 7:01 pm GMT
@Art STEVE BANNON WANTS FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE REGULATED LIKE UTILITIES

https://theintercept.com/2017/07/27/steve-bannon-wants-facebook-and-google-regulated-like-utilities/

Darin , says: August 10, 2017 at 9:30 pm GMT
@Art

Clearly Google should acquire the status of a public utility

Why you think United States Googlemaster General would be more friendly to free speech than current Google leadership?

Igor , says: August 11, 2017 at 5:24 pm GMT
Google wants to be
Ein Land
Ein Volk
Ein Führer

[Oct 02, 2018] "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize

Oct 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

A very shrewd observation, widely misattributed to Voltaire, states that "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." Or put another way, individuals are reluctant to publicly challenge those whose power they fear. Certainly, this simple standard helps to explain many important aspects of America's severely malfunctioning political system.

Wade says: September 24, 2018 at 4:04 pm GMT 300 Words @Tyrion 2 Nice try. But to me this falls flat. First of all I don't think Ron has literally blamed Jews for all the world's evils any more than Southern Christians like me have been blamed for all the world's evils by Hollywood.

The issue is that Zionist leadership plays really dirty. And they are good at it. But having them in control of the West's media means that their negative impact on society goes unremarked upon while the positive things they do are trumpeted from the rooftops. We are allowed to notice Jewish power in relation to their main accomplishments, but we are referred to the nearest holocaust museum when we notice any negative impact that Jewish power has. It's one of the many wars on "noticing" the media is engaged in.

I don't see how all of this ends in mass pogroms, let alone a holocaust if you want my opinion. We're just hoping for a much overdue correction in perspective. Topics like Israel's founding and influence in US politics, The Holocaust, WWII and 911 are being desacralized so they can be discussed rationally, and that's good for everyone. Those who doubt Oswald was the lone assassin have been treated for decades with a smorgasbord of conspiracy theories about JFK ranging from Cuba and Castro, to anti-Castro Cubans, LBJ, The Mafia, the KBG, the CIA all being cast as possible suspects, but not even once has Israel being fingered by anyone anywhere (except by the indefatigable Michael Collins Piper) as a possible suspect, even though they had as clear (or clearer) motives and opportunity than nearly anyone else. Why hasn't this possibility been more fully explored by JFK researchers? Everyone needs to know how much Israel has benefited from 911. Their role in this also needs to be explored much more by researchers and brought out into the open.

mark green , says: September 24, 2018 at 5:45 pm GMT

The Unz Review is a tremendous site. It attracts superior writers as well as commentators. And Ron Unz, fortunately, is untouchable. The ADL understands this. Better for them to remain silent. They want to keep you as obscure as possible. Thus, the silent treatment.

Thus, the MSM would rather talk about crude 'white power' sites than the perspicacious Unz Review. But you can bet, Ron, that they will pounce on you if given the opportunity.

Says Ron: "I do think [the ADL] may be absolutely terrified of the many facts contained within the series of recent columns that I have now published, and such abject terror is what keeps them far, far away." That covers it. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing the UNZ review grow in influence and readership.

John Lilburne , says: September 24, 2018 at 6:25 pm GMT
The quote "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." comes from Tacitus The Life of Agricola
other nice quotes are-

"It is the rare fortune of these days that one may think what one likes and say what one thinks."
― Tacitus, Histories of Tacitus
"It is a principle of nature to hate those whom you have injured."
― Tacitus
"Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity." Annals

and finally
"They have plundered the world, stripping naked the land in their hunger they are driven by greed, if their enemy be rich; by ambition, if poor They ravage, they slaughter, they seize by false pretenses, and all of this they hail as the construction of empire. And when in their wake nothing remains but a desert, they call that peace."
― Tacitus, The Agricola and the Germania

[Oct 02, 2018] I tried really hard, but ended up giving my notice on Wednesday.

You were in an impossible situation with really shit poor management.
Notable quotes:
"... If you wish to appeal this action please don't hesitate to message the moderation team . ..."
Oct 02, 2018 | www.reddit.com

submitted 6 months ago by


chrisanzalone007 6 months ago * (38 children)

[deleted]
Mr_Mars 6 months ago (20 children)
Well, I don't know. My sister is an executive assistant. I thought I knew what that meant and you probably do too. But then one day I sat down with her and we actually talked about her job, and I quickly realized that not only was my understanding of her job so shallow as to be effectively meaningless, but it was so shallow that I didn't even understand how much I was missing. I'd just glanced at the title and said to myself "yep, executive assistant, assist executives, that's what she does" and at no point had it ever even occurred to me that there was anything past that. In fact, it was even worse than that, because half the stuff I imagined she might do wasn't part of her job at all (hint, if you think "executive assistant" and "secretary" are remotely similar you are just as far off track as I was).

I still don't understand what she does but at least now I know how little I know. If she came to me for career advice there's no chance I'd be able to offer her anything other than meaningless platitudes, because I don't even know enough right now to know if her current job is a good one or a bad one. If she'd asked me before I realized how much I don't know I'd be in the same boat, only probably rolling my eyes that she would get so worked up over x, y, or z when her job was so simple and straightforward that there's no possible way it could be that stressful.

Yeah.

All of this is to say that unless your friends are on a career path similar to yours they probably not only fail to understand your job, but they probably fail so bad that they don't even know how far off they are. That's not because your friends are stupid or because IT is so impenetrably complex that only the chosen few can grasp it; its just that most of us don't have a lot of expertise in careers outside of our own. Lacking context, we turn to pop culture for reference. Picture the stereotypical Hollywood "computer guy" (or, if you must, "hacker"). That's probably what your friends think your job is like. Now imagine that guy coming to you complaining about how hard and stressful his job is. How hard could it be anyway? I have a computer at home and don't have to do much to keep it running. These things all basically run themselves, don't they?

So, point is his friends aren't necessarily assholes or in denial. They probably just don't know enough to understand how little they know, as is true for all of us, and are trying to give well-intentioned advice; OP asked, after all, and they want to help their friend. But you can't give good advice if you don't have all the facts, and especially not if you don't even know how much you're missing.

Geminii27 6 months ago (13 children)
Out of curiosity, what kinds of things did she have to cover as an EA?
dmmagic 6 months ago (10 children)
The executive assistants I know (to VPs, presidents, CEOs) practically run the company. Not entirely, but a good chunk of it.

As to what they do, on the surface, it does look like secretary work. Schedule appointments. Schedule venues for meetings/conferences. Book travel. Make sure the exec is prepared for the appointments (knows what they need to know; has met with the right people in advance to get briefed; leaves on time to get to the appointment). Answer emails and phone calls.

But the level of knowledge they need to perform those tasks for an executive is much higher.

upward_bound 6 months ago (1 child)
There is a reason that executive assistants can make north of 100k a year. I know for a fact that the one at my last job made well north of it.
banksnld 6 months ago (1 child)
As someone who splits his time between working at home and commuting 142 miles round-trip for work, I'll take working from home anytime.
changee_of_ways 6 months ago (0 children)
Well, sure, that's an unfortunate commute. You're basically saying "I would take getting paid for X for y hours of work over getting paid (x - costs of transportation ) for y + 4.5 or more hours of work.
Left_of_Center2011 6 months ago (4 children)
Very interesting - reminds me of a chief of staff role in politics, a role that exercises a huge amount of power and responsibility.
fernibble 6 months ago (2 children)
Or perhaps the executive officer to the captain on a ship.
donjulioanejo 6 months ago (0 children)
Well, the XO on a ship is more like the COO.
roo-ster 6 months ago (0 children)
True, but with less blame if the ship collides with a freighter.
TheChance 6 months ago (0 children)
It's a decent jumping-off point for a middle management role of your own, if one opens up at the same company. You're playing a huge role in running your exec's department already, so you've got the lay of the land and you're clearly a competent wrangler of humans.
donjulioanejo 6 months ago (0 children)
So basically Donna from Suits.

Who promoted herself from Harvey's legal secretary to the COO in a span of two episodes, didn't skip a beat, and kept doing exactly what she was doing before.

Mr_Mars 6 months ago (0 children)
Well, seeing as my last post was a big long thing about how I don't fully understand what they do this is a limited view, but a short pithy summary would be that she handles all the stuff her boss should be doing but doesn't have time to actually do. That's everything from negotiating phone plans and insurance rates to making sure all the certifications and permits they need to function are taken care of to planning and booking meetings and seminars. It's very wide ranging and is a ton of responsibility. As noted elsewhere a good EA practically runs the company.
WinOSXBuntu 6 months ago (0 children)

EA

User experience. 😂

Polar_Ted 6 months ago (2 children)
I work from home 2 days a week. My wife thought I was nuts when I brought home a gaming headset and 2nd monitor for the PC I use at home.
She thought I was sitting at home playing minecraft all day.

The reality is I need lots of screen space to doy job and I have conference call meetings several times a day. I can actually hear and be heard with the headset.

I agree the downside is getting tagged for late day or after hours emergency work because I can respond quickly.

Mr_Mars 6 months ago (1 child)
I ended up buying an egpu so I could hook up a third monitor to my laptop. Currently trying to figure out how to arrange stuff on my desk to fit a fourth; may have to start mounting them on swivel arms. I want as much screen space as I can get when I doy job.

I also have an hdmi switch to change the monitors to my gaming machine when it's Minecraft time. Tax deductible 4k 27 " monitors are good for that too.

TheChance 6 months ago (0 children)

may have to start mounting them on swivel arms.

Got a stud above/behind your desk? The fourth one on the wall angled down can work pretty well, throw your notifications bar up there, calendar, anything you rarely glance at but should be able to see without moving another program or window.

br4n1m1r 6 months ago (1 child)
All of these makes sense, but I am just going to add the following: - Your friends should recognize if you are yourself or if you are frustrated, close to being burned out. That is a clear indicator if you are at right job or not. - Your friends should also be able to help you figure out if you are appreciated and in a company with good culture

Good companies/management do everything they can to empower employees, provide adequate training, and set realistic expectations. All of that increases employees' morale and confidence. Without those two, company is bound to fail sooner or later.

harimau22 6 months ago (0 children)
  • Your friends should recognize if you are yourself or if you are frustrated, close to being burned out. That is a clear indicator if you are at right job or not.
  • Your friends should also be able to help you figure out if you are appreciated and in a company with good culture

And, as your friend, you might want to listen to us if we point out these things more than a few times. There are one off vent sessions over a beer then there are long-term, consistent complaints.

Yes, sometimes you just want to vent, but if someone is pointing out the same thing constantly, they may have a point and it's up to you to start on a path to changing the situation.

VirtNinja 6 months ago (6 children)
This. Many resources out there clearly state that your friends either support your success or place negative labels on your success.

Go check out 7 habits of highly effective peeps. Will give you a completely new perspective. Not just about friends but yourself and how you interact with others.

Fen-Jai 6 months ago (5 children)
Have you got a link ?
rrrrea 6 months ago (0 children)
It's quite a famous book. https://www.amazon.com/Habits-Highly-Effective-People-Powerful/dp/0743269519
VA_Network_Nerd 6 months ago (2 children)
Sorry, it seems this comment or thread has violated a sub-reddit rule and has been removed by a moderator.

Community Members Shall Conduct Themselves With Professionalism.


If you wish to appeal this action please don't hesitate to message the moderation team .

Ginfly 6 months ago (1 child)
I wasn't really trying to troll but I can see it. Thanks for keeping the sub clean.
VA_Network_Nerd 6 months ago (0 children)
No permanent damage.
All is well.

Party On.

toomuchtodotoday 6 months ago (3 children)
This. OP needs new friends.
mjcov 6 months ago (2 children)
No, he just needs to understand that people give generic advice that they think sounds good but they really don't understand your job or have never been in your situation. And he does.

Being able to empathize with your friends concerns, to understand their feelings without understanding exactly what they're going through, is a talent that not everybody has. Neither is being self-aware enough to recognize when you lack such a talent and instead say "wow, that sounds tough, I don't have any advice, but good luck." But these are not the only attributes that make someone friend-worthy.

On the other hand, not everybody can tolerate having friends that lack empathy and understanding. So for some the answer "they need new friends" may be true, I just don't think OP necessarily does. In fact, I think it's the same kind of generic, bad advice that I'm talking about to say that he does.

slick8086 6 months ago (1 child)

Neither is being self-aware enough to recognize when you lack such a talent and instead say "wow, that sounds tough, I don't have any advice, but good luck."

When I'm in situations like this (I can't advise because I lack context or experience) I advise flipping a coin. Quit after finding a new job or stay and keep trying to change the place, heads or tails. After you've flipped the coin and seen the result, examine your feeling... disappointed or relieved? There's your answer regardless of the coin toss you know how you really feel, and should trust your gut.

WordBoxLLC 6 months ago (0 children)
And remember not to put that coin in your pocket where it will get mixed in and just become another coin.

E: Which it is.

dublea 6 months ago (0 children)
This! When my friend(s) complain about their current workplace/position/etc I always recommend they get their feelers out and start looking. It may take a while but you'll eventually find something.

It took me almost a year to find something comparable or better but didn't land the final interview this past year. But, my old job lost our largest client and I am now working for said client. Couldn't be happier!

JonnyLay 6 months ago (0 children)
Or they're in a worse paying job wishing ends would meet better...
darksim905 6 months ago (0 children)
You don't know what someone deals with & those people may want to bend over backward to help this person if they could. Don't automatically label them shitty friends. You don't even know them.
chrisanzalone007 6 months ago (0 children)
No. I trust them and usually come to them when I'm emotionally invested/upset and yelling about a situation at work. Making decisions in this mindset is always a bad idea. I was talked off a ledge long enough to make a smart, calculated decision.
djuniore29 6 months ago (0 children)
Shitty friends indeed. Or they're working for the company too.
Karyo_Ten 6 months ago (0 children)
Or maybe they don't work in IT and have poor job prospects.
lusid1 6 months ago (3 children)
You probably figured this out already, but the whole "go hire someone" thing was a ploy to keep you around a little longer. They gave you permission to recruit, not authority to hire. They were never going to green light the position.

You also facilitated management's bad behavior by putting too much effort into doing the right thing. You weren't valued or appreciated, you were just taken advantage of.

You made the right call in the end.

chrisanzalone007 6 months ago (0 children)
Spot on. I was given the illusion of great authority, but in the end - not on the things that matter. I borderline want to say the word 'budget' doesn't exist here.

Gun slingers!

scfd524 6 months ago (0 children)
This. Why would they hire someone when you're doing it all. IT employees have a much better stress level, work life balance, and career when they learn how to say no or "that's not my role". Unless you're trying to get into that area, never volunteer you do work that should be done by another area. It'll start becoming the norm and will never stop. Good luck on your next gig though!
mega_trex 6 months ago (0 children)
Yeah. I learned at my old job that the "what can we do to keep you?" question is bullshit. It's a way for them to determine what they can lie to your face about to string you along as far as possible. I asked for a team change, and they managed to string me along saying I was approved for almost 9 months, until suddenly I'm not approved anymore and there's not even a spot open for me.

Never again will I attempt to be honest with my manager. You can know that I'm thinking about leaving when I give you my 2 weeks notice.

CatherinCawood 6 months ago (15 children)
Thanks for the story, and the perspective. I'm the sole SA at a smallish entertainment-based development studio, didn't understand half the tech you reference and I do have a senior network architect I can (remotely) fall back on, but many days I'm totally overwhelmed. We had a major product success last year and we've been ramping up like crazy. More office rollout, more servers, more users, more developers (so like users but worse), more backup needs, more bandwidth, more "and can you get better teleconference speakers for the meeting rooms", more baroque software licensing to figure out, also do I have batteries? Mouse pads? Highlighters? Why are you asking me for highlighters? No I can't fix your chair. Etc etc. And I'm waiting for that one crucial system to break that I won't know how to fix.

I guess I'm just saying your post gave me some much-needed perspective. Cheers.

chrisanzalone007 6 months ago * (6 children)
The chair! Omg I burst out laughing. Yes. Desk assembly goes on IT. You just wait until the 'standing desks' are ordered.

I...kid...you...not. Literally yesterday this happened

"My desk is beeping at me and has an ALB error on the controller, what do I do?"

It's a motorized standing/sitting desk. I can't make this shit up.

Hang in there. Someone once told me. The best time to look for a job is when you don't need a job.

Geminii27 6 months ago (0 children)
Chairs, coffee machines, ancient VCRs, doors ... I was asked to fix someone's Tamagotchi once.
4br4c4d4br4 6 months ago (0 children)

The best time to look for a job is when you don't need a job

Hell yeah! I quit about 6 months ago and don't even look. I get sporadic emails from LinkedIn and other avenues and if things look good, I'll apply, otherwise the hell with it. I've had a few interviews but sadly most places look like they have issues with understaffing, overworked, etc.

Ah well, in the next few years I'm sure something good comes up.

Szeraax 6 months ago (0 children)
Had my jr get assigned 2 more standing desks this week (about 8 installed in the last 2 months and I guess we literally can't trust someone to unplug their 3 cables from the little NUC...). I wrote him an email discussing the core parts of his job and how no one cares about how many standing desks are or are not installed at any given time. Focus on doing your job well, please talk to me or CIO if you are getting stressed by any workload (we all know that sometimes it feels like the tickets just stream in and you make no headway no matter what you do). We'll do whatever is needed to either take care of em.
ericrobert 6 months ago (0 children)

ALB error on the controller,

Lower the desk all the way to the bottom. I had this happen a week ago and had to google it.

DamnDirtyHippie 6 months ago (0 children)
I have also done some stand up desk troubleshooting and installation, if it has a wire in it or on it, or even holds something with a sufficient number of wires people can claim it is confusing, it's your problem. 15 years of working in the IT/SA field and I'm unboxing a desk because 'my computer has all the wires and I'll probably just mess it up if I try to move everything myself'. Fortunately our users are very reasonable in general.
krislol22 6 months ago (3 children)
I had a request for a toaster oven come in today.
ITOUTLAW 6 months ago (0 children)
Microwave door release button broke in the break room last week. Guess who got to take apart the microwave to get someone's food out?
jfoughe 6 months ago (1 child)
How about one of those tiny space heaters? A user asked me if I could figure out why it wasn't working, and all I did was flip a big red switch marked "ON."
TwistedViking 6 months ago (0 children)
Everywhere I've ever been has us refer those space heaters to Facilities, who will immediately confiscate them.
madplayshd 6 months ago (0 children)
Start to say no. Do the hours in your contract and go home. When stuff doesn't get done tell them you need more people. Either they get more people or you search for a new job. But if they don't get more people you would search for a new job anyway. Just burned out.

Seems to me like a lot of horror stories here are because people either care too much or are deeply afraid of looking for a new job. These conditions exist because you let them.

banksnld 6 months ago (0 children)
When I worked help desk at a bank, I had a teller contact me about a dead squirrel in the pneumatic tubes.
Steve_78_OH 6 months ago (0 children)
Years ago a manager from a different department (non IT obviously) walked over to us to let us know a toilet was clogged. We all just looked at him and laughed. I was also yelled at once for not helping someone move a file cabinet during an office move, while we still had tons of PC's left to setup.

IT has always been the "well, we don't have above whose responsibility it is to take care of this, so IT can do it" field.

GraphiteBlue 6 months ago (0 children)

more developers (so like users but worse)

It's sad because it's true. :(

qnull 6 months ago (13 children)
I'm going through a similar situation to you OP but for a different reason.

I left a good MSP job (busy and at times frustrating) for a larger employer and the job I was expecting to have is not at all like the one I applied for it's very boring and quite slow with too much idle time sometimes which is weird since it's an operations roles for a billion dollar business but probably half of the "work" I'm doing now is "hey sorry to wake you but we got this alarm and we've raised an incicent can you take a look" when I used to design and manage environments end to end.

My job for some people would be the jackpot but for me it's awful and I'm considering leaving to go back to my way more stressful MSP job.

My problem is I have too many resources to call on (multiple teams to escalate to) and I'm just left watching the screens because of it.

quiterascible 6 months ago (0 children)
This is what I'm afraid of as well but I need more friggin money. The screen watchers actually make more because they exist in big companies with lots of money.
Szeraax 6 months ago (5 children)
Cue the daleks: Automate! Automate! Automate! :)
qnull 6 months ago (1 child)
We definantely do some automation but maybe not enough.

The alarms are mostly validation checks (is it actually p1? Is that event due to a change?) and anything that can be automated is and we don't get alerts for it.

Our alarm dashboard is an aggregator of a ton of systems that all send their alarms to it.

Unfortunately once the infrastructure and databases become self healing we're all out of a job.

Szeraax 6 months ago (0 children)
Same boat here. "is this really going to happen again before this system is decommed?" Should I spend a few hours making a good test that will determine if its really this problem again and fixing it + reporting the result of the fix? Or should I spend the 6 minutes it takes to fix this and move on with my life.

Re: Self healing - out of a job. Oh PLEASE! We're not out of a job when stuff is self healing; we're into a new one. I'm just a regular sys admin and even I am starting to think about how I can use machine learning to solve issues I face or to improve our business. It'll be QUITE some time before I actually start doing anthing with ML, let alone something useful. I'd LOVE to have more time to play with new stuff.

chrisanzalone007 6 months ago (2 children)
We use ansible for automation. I do love it but it's fairly time consuming to setup (half the stuff is in a txt doc waiting for a playbook to be built)
Szeraax 6 months ago (0 children)
Yes it is! Holy crap it is.
DeeBee1968 5 months ago (0 children)
What ?? You mean the Buggers didn't leave an easier way to do it ?
toomuchtodotoday 6 months ago (3 children)
Have you considered looking for another role in management with higher pay and more responsibility?
qnull 6 months ago (1 child)
Management jobs usually require some management experience and I have a little bit of team leading experience but not the sort of "manage this budget and this department" management experience I'm also torn between making that jump to management and getting "off the tools" or doing a deep dive into a specific set of technical tools.
TheBros35 6 months ago (0 children)
My dad was an engineer for various semiconductor factories for years. He hit that same point in his role - but there was a much bigger push to go to management, which he did. after about 5 years of that he quit - he was way to burnt out and hasn't returned to corporate life since. The money was good but the job wasn't worth it.

Hell, the only job he's had in years was as a general contractor putting in sinks and stuff making what I do as a help desk monkey.

chrisanzalone007 6 months ago (0 children)
I'm sort of going into a remote management position. Working for a MSP as problem escalation for 8 techs. Finding 'teachable moments' (probably all of them!) to train on troubleshooting process. In my spare time I'll be getting amazon aws certs and I'll eventually move into a different role. Sounds challenging enough not to be bored :)
SS324 6 months ago (1 child)
Spend your time learning or learning how to do the jobs of those you escalate to.
qnull 6 months ago * (0 children)
Oh I can do their jobs they're like "tier 3" while we're "tier 2" and we can do actual work (permissions allowing) our team holds the same level of certs they do (MCSA, MCSE etc) were just in at a different layer of the business which is changing.

I don't just watch for alarms and escalate it's just a small part of the role really but it's the most prominent part when you're on the graveyards which always makes me a bit resentful of my own choice to come here.

Dr_Legacy 6 months ago (0 children)
"I need more help, I have too many jobs."

"OK, here's another one: hire yourself some staff."

Totally disfunctional company. Obvs does not have an HR dept. worth a shit.

gabrielpereiraalves 6 months ago (1 child)

I talk to friends. Smart people I look up to and trust. The answer?

-the problem is you. Your expectations are too high

-no job is perfect. Be happy you have one and can support your family.

They clearly have NO IDEA what such a job really is.

-IoI- 6 months ago (0 children)
Seriously, the lack of gratification from these jobs can be crushing.
robertito42 6 months ago (0 children)
I got anxious just reading that

Glad you got out

tron_funkin_blow 6 months ago (0 children)
No, he said he had to sweep snow off a satellite dish because it's heater was broke. He said nothing about being on the roof. Sweeping dishes after a heavy snowfall is not uncommon. I had to do the same thing this morning while on-call.

I work in a small environment incredibly similar to OP's, Calix, Metaswitch, etc. We have a SME for each area; one for voice, one for IP/IT systems (me), one for video, and two outside plant guys. We cover/triage each others duties during on-call rotation. It works well enough for us, but sounds like OP is doing it all. It would be one thing if he had to only deal with the non-IT stuff on occasion, but if all those responsibilities are solely his, thats untenable.

DamnDirtyHippie 6 months ago (0 children)
If it's a small company everyone needs to chip in beyond their official responsibility to make things work, but they also need to be compensated at the rate of their top skills and not driven into the ground. IMO
Steev182 6 months ago (3 children)
So how did you find this remote role?
NotFakingRussian 6 months ago (0 children)
Asking the real questions, lol.
chrisanzalone007 6 months ago (1 child)
Indeed.com !

The KEY was expanding the distance of jobs. I live 200+ miles away from the office.

freythman 6 months ago (0 children)
There are tons of remote jobs out there. Just gotta find them.
Red5point1 6 months ago (2 children)
The problem here is that you kept the ship running, even though you told management you needed help, things were still getting done.
Management will not do anything about thing until they break, so while you bust your ass keeping things going they don't care how you did it. All they know is things are still running.
You either have to show them things breaking or put your foot down negotiate a commitment to hire a hand.
Just out of interest what was their reaction when you handed in your notice? Did they counter or they simply decided to hire a replacement. They must have been in a world of hurt if it was the latter and you were the only one doing that role.
chrisanzalone007 6 months ago (1 child)
I think the email went like this 'we want to keep you, would salary make a difference? Give us a number and I'll see what I can do'

I think my reply went something like 'I appreciate the offer but it's too late'

chalbersma 6 months ago (0 children)
Wait, put in Quadruple the number. If they match it bring in 2 contractors to do your job.

I've always wanted to see if this works.

xaijin 6 months ago (2 children)
$500 is a joke. I make that working 1 day a weekend. A lot of companies referral bonus range from $2000-7000.
Merakel 6 months ago (0 children)
It's not even a joke. It's an insult.
IAMA_Cucumber_AMA 6 months ago (0 children)
Yup plus it will get heavily taxed and end up being ~$300 when it hits your wallet
donjulioanejo 6 months ago (0 children)
Yep, a recruiter bringing someone in will cost 15-25k. Giving someone an internal referral for 7k is comparative peanuts, AND you get two happy employees because of that.
DemandsBattletoads 6 months ago (0 children)
At my company it's 2k.
dwerb 6 months ago (5 children)
Heya, I don't know how far into your career you are, but I'm 45, pretty senior level (I've been a c-level exec) and wanted to tell you:

Don't ever compromise. Ever.

I am in a similar situation at an MSP (I'm in a leadership role) and have the same kinds of conversations about resources and losing valuable workers because there's no help. The management above me isn't listening and we are going to lose a very fine employee (like yourself -- someone with skill who is trying to make it better but is not being heard -- and it's because management don't know how to run an ITIL-based shop and hire to that kind of skill set. I put toghether a framework to measure qualifications of our employees and they all measure up to Tier 1 analysts/engineers (in both experience and quals) and some of them are considered Tier 3 employees and they can't do something as simple as read and interpret a Wireshark packet capture. And I keep being told either "we have to make do with what we have" or "you're not seeing what good they can do". So clearly in my case there's a division in vision for leadership and I'm giving up and probably moving on. In your case, you tried, gave your input, and, if they're not gonna listen to you, move on. Your expectations are NOT too high. Their expectations aren't high enough. Move on to somewhere there's a fit. You can only help someone from burning their hand on the stove so many times before you give up and go watch TV.

Good luck in your career.

chalbersma 6 months ago (3 children)

"you're not seeing what good they can do". So clearly in my case there's a division in vision for leadership

Are you?

dwerb 6 months ago (0 children)
Yes. They all are 6 months to 1 year out of technical school. They are able to accomplish SOME tasks. They are unskilled at anything above Tier 1 despite someone saying "you know about X. Here, go do it."

For instance, a windows admin should be able to implement GPO and know what it's about. Maybe have an MS cert. but our main windows admin is working towards his CCNA and has been out of school for 6 months. Not exactly a right fit for that job.

dwerb 6 months ago (1 child)
Also, the "good they do" is things like change light bulbs and take out the trash.

Not exactly what they SHOULD be doing.

chalbersma 6 months ago (0 children)
So you have tier 3 employees who only change lightbulbs and take out trash? This seems unlikely.
Red5point1 6 months ago (0 children)
I've been in a similar situation, the problem is not necessarily an issue with vision. More than likely upper management have been given the mandate to keep costs down or at least same.
So they will come up with any excuse not to hire more people or if someone of good quality leaves they will only hire someone lower quality i.e. lower pay.
That is the problem with corporate culture everyone is there looking only after number one, as long as the job is getting done they don't care how much those doing it care about the company or that they are doing their jobs efficiently, cost effective or to a high standard.
All they care about is that the job is getting done.
jimothyjones 6 months ago (0 children)
Stories like this is why I gave up trying. Used to, I would change my plans to do a last minute cutover on the weekend because you changed the date 3 different times. These days, my response is always, "I have an opening 3 weeks from now".....because I don't let it fuck up my life anymore. Frankly, nothing has happened since I started giving those answers. What are they going to do anyways? Hire someone else? pffft.
4br4c4d4br4 6 months ago (0 children)
Christ, I felt bad for myself when I quit MY job but goddamn, you were in a shithole! Glad you found something better.

I still hear from people at my old job that nothing has changed. They hire someone else but never fix the problems. Overworked, understaffed, complaints are listened too with great concern and then ignored.

gilias 6 months ago (0 children)
It does sound very much like they're, perhaps unwittingly, taking advantage of you and you're right to want to leave a job that's damaging your life so terribly.

I mean, works sucks most of the time, but it doesn't have to suck ALL the time and there should be at least enough people to have the work ease off from time to time or you just go manic from the stress.

Everybody expects different things from their job and not all jobs are right for all people. IMO, life is too short to spend it doing a job you hate or working in a toxic environment. I applaud your efforts to try and improve things but ultimately you've got to draw a line where enough is enough and just move on. Do what's right by you, because your company is working every day to do what's right by them and not necessarily what's good for you.

moofishies 6 months ago (0 children)
You told them what you needed to stay, brought them the perfect candidate for it, and they didn't do it. Should have started looking right then.

Congrats on the new job though, hope you found somewhere more relaxed :)

djgizmo 6 months ago (2 children)
Something sounds off. You talked to the ceo about what they can do, and they have their own headend, but won't outsource the printers? That's always the first thing that needs to be sourced out because it's petty shit like toner or pain in ass like the fuser.

Sounds like they needed someone to streamline the processes, and have 2-3 more people on board. A senior network guy and two more minions eager to learn and take those 'patch cable broken' or port security tickets.

chrisanzalone007 6 months ago (1 child)
Let's just say things were done correctly when they got a large grant from the government 6 years ago.
djgizmo 6 months ago (0 children)
Weren't?
salgat 6 months ago (0 children)
You were used hard and long and have been fed bad advice. You should have left that place long ago and hopefully this lesson will stick with you forever.
nirach 6 months ago (0 children)
That sounds like a shitty environment, and some less than stellar friends.
12thetechguy 6 months ago (0 children)

Multicast not working in one segment of our network? Good luck! No one knows how it works.

truer words have never been spoken

kellyzdude 6 months ago (0 children)
The same two questions, every time, before you go looking. And then the third, when you have an offer on the table (sometimes it's one you went looking for, sometimes it's one that just appeared in your inbox).
  1. Are you happy? If not, why not?
  2. Will a different job make you happier?
  3. Will this opportunity make you happier?

Sometimes the problem is at home, and changing your work life might help (if it brings more money or a shorter commute), and sometimes it won't. Sometimes the problem is at work, and you can influence change either within the organization or within yourself (changing your expectations, adjusting your work schedule to be earlier or later, discussing with your management group about changes to your role, etc) in order to improve the situation. Or you improve your work situation by leaving it behind, if there is no way to improve it or the people who can help improve it are unwilling (or themselves unable) to do so.

Yes, sometimes the easy opportunities for change just aren't there, and you need to make harder decisions about the change your life needs. In those moments one should be grateful for what they have, but it doesn't necessarily mean they should accept that this is their lot in life. Maybe you need to move. Maybe you're looking for a remote position. Maybe you take the plunge and live off savings for a few months -- though unless you're on the verge of a breakdown, this can cause complications later; it's generally true that it is easier to find a job if you have a job. Not universally, but generally. Maybe you give up IT and become a Birthday Clown, because you enjoy making children happy more than you enjoy clicking buttons anymore.

Best of luck to you in your new place, hopefully it works out!

d00ber 6 months ago * (0 children)
Are your friends in IT in any way? I find that most people have no idea what IT means, or the individual fields. They expect the same person who helps them with spreadsheets also makes/updates the websites, sets up the phone system, maintains the network.. and may even think they plug in their power bar. Most people can't discern the difference between facilities, an electrician and someone in one of the many fields of IT in my experience.

Heck, at my company the executives have no idea what I do. They ask me to do things from investigate and roll out MDM.. to go to one of our communities and setup one of the resident's televisions. I've even been asked to install generator power outlets.. I've just learned to say "no" and explain to them who's responsibility it is. If they are unwilling to hire someone or even just bring the proper person from within the organization, the problem can stay a problem.

Your friends may not be crappy, they might just be clueless.

SideburnsOfDoom 6 months ago (0 children)

The CEO found out and we sat down ... He puts that responsibility on me.

I've seen my own managers do the same, and still am thinking through if, when and how it's a mistake. Managers are there to support and enable important things happening. If it's a small thing then all they need to do is give you permission to do it. But if it's a big thing then they need to mange it, e.g track it, ask how it's going, ask what you need, get other people involved, set priorities etc. Not just give a pep talk, say "it's on you now" and wash hands of it. That basically means, "cheer up, but I don't care". If I wanted someone to listen carefully and then do nothing about it I'd go to therapy, thanks.

r0ck0 6 months ago * (0 children)
Being that IT is generally a self-taught field, where we can play around with and test things before doing them in production...

I recommend sticking to jobs where you're doing commonly reproducible/testable software stuff. i.e. standard Windows/Linux servers + standard software. Basically things that can be completely learned and tested in virtual machines, without needing any special hardware at all.

I reckon all the proprietary "black box" / vendor specific devices etc you mentioned make working in "IT" much much more stressful. You basically have to learn a whole heap of different systems where what you learn is only applicable to one device. And you can't easily play around with them like you can with pure software and virtual machines etc. So you're often learning & testing in production, and even then, only once something has already failed. And you're likely not going to have spare parts, or even be able to get them easily. The same goes for network engineers dealing with lots of cisco routers etc to a certain degree. Basically anything that involves hardware except for standard PCs and servers running Windows or Linux.

I worked for a post-production company for a while, and yeah it was similar. I was busy as fuck with the regular standard everyday IT shit, yet still had the responsibly to figure out all there proprietary devices etc that I'd never even heard of before. And because they're not commonplace IT stuff, there's fuckall information on the internet to learn about them and troubleshoot etc. And of course learning about that shit doesn't translate into useful skills you can take elsewhere in other IT jobs.

So yeah these days, I'm 100% software. I actually do IT consulting part time, and even when my clients want to buy hardware, I just give them some recommendations and get them to order it directly from Dell or whoever. I don't want to be responsible for hardware failures, of which I have zero control over.

jsmith1300 6 months ago (0 children)
OP I'm in the same boat. COO found out that my medial issues I may jump ship. Had a chat and he said he would do everything to get people hired. My boss has had approval for hiring for weeks now and not one person has been interviewed. I have also been thinking about getting medicated because I'm in denial with work. I'm going to jump ship soon take time off and see what happens.
br4n1m1r 6 months ago (0 children)
That is what MSP is. MSP is the environment where self-driven, stoic people survive and other people crumble. MSP is especially tough in the role like yours as you have no one to rely on anymore, but everyone else is coming to you to fix a problem they can't figure out. I am there, been there for awhile. People think you are smarter than them, but all you are is more persistent and willing to sacrifice your sanity and your free time to figure out a problem by going to 10th page of google and performing advanced search queries on reddit.

I think MSP life after age of 35 is impossible to do unless you are crazy. :)

ryanknapper 6 months ago (0 children)
The good news is that after doing all that you should be a star employee somewhere else, able to handle catastrophes with calm grace and skill.
Ailbe 6 months ago (0 children)
You were in an impossible situation with really shit poor management. Don't waste a second thought. They'll either figure out why they can't keep people or they'll fail in spectacular fashion. The bottom line is you have to protect yourself and your interests, you owe that company nothing. The only time you owe a company that isn't your own is if the company makes significant investment in your and your career, which your former company clearly didn't. Good for you on recognizing that you had options. In many ways in that former situation you were the one with the power and its great that you exercised it.

Good luck with your new job!

liquidose 6 months ago (1 child)
I went through practically the same thing. Found a nice job down the street from my house I could just walk to. They had a full web team to handle all their websites and web problems, but their skills were about 20 years old. At first I didn't notice because I would handle IT / network problems all day.

Then eventually I started getting web site issues pushed to me, then web design issues. Eventually I was building all their web sites and running their entire web platform while everyone else on that team just sat around all day making emails. All this extra work never came with any pay increase and everyone would always say "You do everything here, if you leave we're screwed".

A day came when there was a landslide of issues combined with an HR nightmare and nobody seemed to wanted to handle anything. By the end of the day I realized I had wanted to leave the job for over a year and I was only staying to keep things together until I got everything to a stable point. Unfortunately this place could never reach a stable point because their management was an absolute shit show and never wanted to step up to face any big problems.

This seems really common after reading some stories here. A good amount of IT people probably feel obligated to keep things running even when they hate their job.

I also found a remote job with a ridiculous salary increase after going through so many interviews to the point of utter mental exhaustion. The grass definitely can be greener sometimes its just much harder to find than you would ever think.

[Oct 02, 2018] Trump is light fare compared to where the Neoliberal Democrats will go and has been, regarding women, sex, and all things crass

Oct 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

Iberiano says: September 29, 2018 at 11:47 am GMT 300 Words Looking at that photo of the former primary contenders, reminded me of all the holier-than-though talk we got from the right-of-center, about how Trump was too gruff, and crass, about everything, including sexual topics, interactions with women, etc.

What these hearings demonstrated, that we already knew, was that the Puritan-Jew alliance is obsessed with all things sexual, perverted, distasteful theirs is a world of, as you point out, "preppy white boy" fantasies, where the bad guys look like the blond jock in Karate Kid, and drive around in their Dad's 1982 Buick Regal or their own '79 Camero, looking to "score" with virginal know-nothing, Red Riding Hoods, that happen to find themselves at 'gang rape parties' (?), out of nowhere. Who go on to have Leftist careers only to resurrect repressed memories 35 years later–projected in front of the world

It's a silly framework from which they obsess, but it's similar to Kinsey, Mead and others of the Left. Sex. Projection, doubling-down, and an absence of due process to punish people for the very things that actually occupy their minds. Even in her advanced age, you could tell, Feinstein was enjoying the open air discussions regarding sexual topics.

Let the Right / Never-Trumpers be on notice–Trump is light fare compared to where the Left will go and has been, regarding women, sex, and all things crass.

[Oct 01, 2018] US Navy Aircraft Carrier Deployments Fall as Financial Concerns Loom - Sputnik International

Oct 01, 2018 | sputniknews.com

After 9/11," said US Navy Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran, "our focus was supporting the ground fight, which meant we were operating that force a lot, and when you operate the force a lot it eats up a lot of your cash, it eats up a lot of your service life."

Operating a Nimitz-class carrier runs about $298 million per year, the Government Accountability Office estimated in a 1997 study. The current carrier fleet is made up entirely of Nimitz-class carriers, with the lone ship of the new Ford-class still undergoing sea trials.

"Add on to this the cost of the air wing, the combat power behind the aircraft carrier," a US Navy lieutenant commander wrote in thesis paper from 2012. "An average current air wing is composed of four fighter/attack squadrons of 10-12 aircraft each, an electronic warfare squadron of four aircraft, an airborne command and control squadron of four aircraft, two onboard delivery aircraft and a helicopter squadron of six aircraft."

The workhorse F/A-18 carrier aircraft, according to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller, costs about $10,507 to fly per hour. Brett Odom, former F/A-18 pilot and financial expert at Fighter Sweep, has disputed the Pentagon's cost accounting, however, on the grounds that it only covers marginal costs.

Odom estimated that the cost to pay pilots and support crews, conduct engine maintenance and fuel the aircraft for an hour was $11,140 -- approximately in line with DoD's estimate. But then there is the cost of the aircraft itself: an F/A-18 runs about $65 million. Odom refers to this figure as capital cost. Incorporating the average acquisition cost smoothed out over an expected life of 6,000 flight hours into the equation, the expert reached $22,000 in cost per flight hour.

"There are valid reasons to ignore capital costs and treat them as sunk costs in certain situations. However, by ignoring capital costs, the Department of Defense is implicitly stating that its fighter aircraft are free, or -- like the pyramids -- they can be expected to function forever," Odom wrote for Fighter Sweep in 2016.

"This has all been building up" for 17 years "through overuse of the carrier force and naval aviation," former Pentagon official Bob Work said in comments to USNI.

"When we kept two carriers in the Persian Gulf for a period of time, we kept telling the senior leadership that this was going to have a downstream effect, and it would really put a crimp maintenance-wise, and there would be gaps both in the Pacific as well as the Middle East. That is coming home to roost," Work said.

While the US Navy carrier fleet was taxed abroad, Washington's defense budgets continued to grow.

"It's fairly obvious that corporate interests for the defense industry like Raytheon and others have driven a lot of our spending in the last 20 years or so, especially given the War on Terror post-9/11," Daniel Sankey, a California-based financial policy analyst, said in an interview with Sputnik News.

"We've carried this huge, outsized expenditure," he noted. "Eventually the money supply starts going down. It's not infinite, even though the US pockets are pretty deep."

The carrier force is now facing the music of the Pentagon's "credit card wars" since 9/11, conflicts that have been paid for with mostly borrowed funds. Brown University's Institute for International and Public Affairs found that post-9/11 war expenses add up to about $5.6 trillion.

"You have a thoroughbred horse in the stable that you're running in a race every single day. You cannot do that. Something's going to happen eventually," Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer told reporters in August.

[Sep 29, 2018] Google should acquire the status of a public utility -- like the Ma Bell telephone system was regulated in the 1950's. Google is too powerful -- it should not have the cultural monopoly power it has over our society.

Sep 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

Art , says: August 10, 2017 at 6:28 pm GMT

Clearly Google should acquire the status of a public utility -- like the Ma Bell telephone system was regulated in the 1950's. Google is too powerful -- it should not have the cultural monopoly power it has over our society.

"The people" and their mass interests are preeminent in the hierarchy things. Like it or not -- Google is a product of our culture -- therefor our culture has a valid claim on its actions.

It comes down too private ownership vs. public interest. As a pure libertarian I do not like it -- but as a realist, the mass interests of the people counts.

The "golden mean" must win out. A compromise must be reached.

Google's actions must be regulated.

Peace -- Art

utu , says: August 10, 2017 at 7:01 pm GMT
@Art STEVE BANNON WANTS FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE REGULATED LIKE UTILITIES

https://theintercept.com/2017/07/27/steve-bannon-wants-facebook-and-google-regulated-like-utilities/

Darin , says: August 10, 2017 at 9:30 pm GMT
@Art

Clearly Google should acquire the status of a public utility

Why you think United States Googlemaster General would be more friendly to free speech than current Google leadership?

[Sep 29, 2018] Hopefully the FBI will investigate this collusion between Soros and the Democrats and Ms. Katz to influence the results of the judicial nomination process.

Sep 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

wren , says: September 29, 2018 at 10:37 am GMT

It seems that Flake was not only emotionally abused by those ladies in the elevator, he was played as well.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/09/women-screaming-at-flake-in-elevator-were-soros-funded-astroturfed-activist-leaders-not-sex-abuse-victims/

Hopefully the FBI will investigate this collusion between Soros and the Democrats and Ms. Katz to influence the results of the judicial nomination process.

[Sep 29, 2018] Graham was chosen to publicly throw a fit ecaquse he's inside-the-Beltway safe. He can huff and puff and talk tough on this hearing, precisely because the Establishment knows he'll never really go against them on issues like immigration or foreign policy.

Sep 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

Digital Samizdat , says: September 29, 2018 at 12:15 pm GMT

If you don't know all the local issues and controversies -- and I'll admit I don't -- it makes the mid-terms hard to call.

In general–about 80% of the time–midterms go against a sitting president. But in this case, I agree with the Derb: I think the Dims are in a rude awakening.

It's nice that our Israeli embassy has been moved to Jerusalem

Nice? Speak for yourself!

It's nice that Senator Graham has found his high dudgeon at last. Now that he's found it, though, how long will it be before he turns it against immigration patriots?

That's probably the only reason Graham was chosen to publicly throw a fit: he's inside-the-Beltway safe. He can huff and puff and talk tough on this hearing, precisely because the Establishment knows he'll never really go against them on issues like immigration or foreign policy. Remember the Clarence Thomas hearings? Remember how Arlen Specter was the Republican standard-bearer back then? Nuff said.

anon [317] Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2018 at 12:39 pm GMT
@ advancedatheist It is difficult in these trying times to find good entertainers.

I thought confirmation hearings,were to test for qualifications required to be a Supreme?

Such things as ability to write, understanding of the complexities of the constitution, beliefs and past rulings, convictions about the bill of rights, and things like that? The Constitution is supposed to create the structure of government, authorize payment of fat salaries to 527 elected entertainers and limit the scope of the personal financial activities while in office. I can't image a confirmation hearing that would review the judicial history of the past rulings and professional activities of a candidate. The audience would not be interested to hear what those who practice law and interact with the candidate had to say about him and his legal abilities. When and in which tent are those hearings to begin?

Where are the opinions by Judge Kavanaugh? Why have they not been produced for inspection in the hearings? What does this man think? Why did Trump select Judge Kavanaugh to be a supreme? At the moment it looks like the the hearings have been conducted to cover for the attacks by Israel on Russian Airplanes in Syria. I can think of no other reason for such a circus?

What I have seen, heard and read describe another propaganda guided privately owned media production with side shows by two of the best known acts in circus life ( shows by the Gods of poop and by the Democraps were featured).

I still don't know anything about Judge Kavanaugh do you?

Charles Pewitt , says: September 29, 2018 at 4:31 pm GMT
I hereby claim that Lindsey Graham and Larry Kudlow are horrible whores for the GOP Cheap Labor Faction. Both Lindsey Graham and Larry Kudlow push wage-reducing open borders mass immigration and amnesty for illegal alien invaders.

I also strongly suggest that Larry Kudlow and Lindsey Graham were big backers of the Iraq War debacle.

Larry Kudlow and Lindsey Graham both push sovereignty-sapping trade deal scams.

Larry Kudlow has no memory whatsoever of any guest ever at his house. Is Larry Kudlow a ruling class louse?

Trump brought on board his ship of state all sorts of louts such as Larry Kudlow, Gary Cohn, Steve Mnuchin, Nikki Haley, John Bolton and many other no good bastards. Trump invited the swamp into the White House.

Tweets from 2015:

[Sep 29, 2018] Anti-White-Male Kavanaugh Hatefest May Close Midterm Enthusiasm Gap -- And Get GOP Senators On The Trump Train! by John Derbyshir

Notable quotes:
"... Christine Ford has taken the false allegations racket a bit too far. She is probably lying, as how come she did not call 911 or file a police report if this happened? She comes from a family of lawyers. She has an army of attorneys who would have rushed and filed police reports and filed civil suits if any man had dared touch her. ..."
Sep 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

advancedatheist , says: September 29, 2018 at 3:35 am GMT

I don't know about anyone else, but I found Dr. Gidget, the aging surfer girl with the vocal fry and the uptalk, just ridiculous and annoying.
Rational , says: September 29, 2018 at 4:21 am GMT
FBI SHOULD CHARGE CHRISTINE FORD FOR PERJURY.

Christine Ford has taken the false allegations racket a bit too far. She is probably lying, as how come she did not call 911 or file a police report if this happened? She comes from a family of lawyers. She has an army of attorneys who would have rushed and filed police reports and filed civil suits if any man had dared touch her.

That did not happen for 3 decades for one reason -- nothing happened on the night in question.

The Democrats, who are a criminal party, must have coached her and offered her a few 100K under the table, disguised as speaking fees, or scholarship, for manufacturing this racket.

PANCHO PERICO , says: September 29, 2018 at 4:25 am GMT
Kavanaugh has proved himself unfit for the position of supreme court justice. Under heavy fire, he has shown that he is a spineless coward, a crying baby incapable of fighting back like a man. Moreover, he is a total idiot.

What did he expect, that the baby killers were going to accept even the possibility of a supreme court justice who may vote to overturn Wade VS Roe and the end of Planned Parenthood? He has shown that this totally expected attack took him by surprise. What a fool!

Courage under fire? Call the Marines, but not Kavanaugh.

anon [694] Disclaimer , says: September 29, 2018 at 5:17 am GMT

The key word there is of course "gentlemanly." Could any concept be more at odds with the zeitgeist than gentlemanliness? It's hard not to think there's a demographic dimension to this. That older style of courtesy, forbearance, and compromise that used to inform our politics was a white-European thing, perhaps particularly an Anglo-Saxon-Celtic thing.

I agree that politics in the US is coarsening like our pop culture and increasingly looking like 3rd world politics. This is where America is headed as we become more culturally enriched:

The neocons and neolibs has always been the indignant, end justifies the means crowd. Since Trump's election they've completely gone off the rails....

You're right about Trump being a big disappointment so far in immigration. Caving here and calling for an FBI investigation makes him look as stupid as Flake. Fat chance FBI will close it in a week. This is the same agency that gave us Mueller, Comey, McCabe, Ohr, Strzok, Page, the Steele Dossier, owned by Deep State and corrupt to the core. These GOP fools are once again playing right into the hands of the (((Dems))) – Feinstein, Blumenthal, Schumer and Ford's lawyer Bromwich, already complaining about the 'artificial timeline'. No one can ever outcon the financial elite.

[Sep 29, 2018] The Schizophrenic Deep State is a Symptom, Not the Disease by Charles Hugh Smith

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "a key feature of the Roman Empire in its final slide to collapse ... shared values and consensus which had held the Empire's core together dissolved, leaving petty fiefdoms to war among themselves for what power and swag remained." ..."
"... If we understand the profound political disunity fracturing the nation and its Imperial Project, we understand the Deep State must also fracture along the same fault lines. ..."
"... If we consider the state of the nation from 40,000 feet, several key indicators of profound political disunity within the elites pop out: ..."
"... Psychopaths with no moral principles. The nation's elites are not just divided--they're exhibiting signs of schizophrenic breakdown : disassociation and a loss of the ability to discern the difference between reality and their internal fantasies. ..."
"... A funny thing happens when a nation allows itself to be ruled by Imperial kleptocrats: such rule is intrinsically destabilizing, as there is no longer any moral or political center to bind the nation together. The public sees the value system at the top is maximize my personal profit by whatever means are available , i.e. complicity, corruption, monopoly and rentier rackets , and they follow suit by pursuing whatever petty frauds and rackets are within reach: tax avoidance, cheating on entrance exams, gaming the disability system, lying on mortgage and job applications, and so on. ..."
"... But the scope of the rentier rackets is so large, the bottom 95% cannot possibly keep up with the expanding wealth and income of the top .1% and their army of technocrats and enablers, so a rising sense of injustice widens the already yawning fissures in the body politic. ..."
"... As the Power Elites squabble over the dwindling crumbs left by the various rentier rackets, there's no one left to fight for the national interest because the entire Status Quo of self-interested fiefdoms and cartels has been co-opted and is now wedded to the Imperial Oligarchy as their guarantor of financial security. ..."
"... The divided Deep State is a symptom of this larger systemic political disunity. I have characterized the divide as between the Wall Street-Neocon-Globalist Neoliberal camp--currently the dominant public face of the Deep State, the one desperately attempting to exploit the "Russia hacked our elections and is trying to destroy us" narrative--and a much less public, less organized "rogue Progressive" camp, largely based in the military services and fringes of the Deep State, that sees the dangers of a runaway expansionist Empire and the resulting decay of the nation's moral/political center. ..."
Jul 31, 2018 | russia-insider.com

"a key feature of the Roman Empire in its final slide to collapse ... shared values and consensus which had held the Empire's core together dissolved, leaving petty fiefdoms to war among themselves for what power and swag remained."

If we understand the profound political disunity fracturing the nation and its Imperial Project, we understand the Deep State must also fracture along the same fault lines.

If we consider the state of the nation from 40,000 feet, several key indicators of profound political disunity within the elites pop out:

  1. The overt politicization of the central state's law enforcement and intelligence agencies: it is now commonplace to find former top officials of the CIA et al. accusing a sitting president of treason in the mainstream media. What was supposed to be above politics is now nothing but politics.
  2. The overt politicization of the centralized (corporate) media: evidence that would stand up in a court of law is essentially non-existent but the interpretations and exaggerations that fit the chosen narrative are ceaselessly promoted--the classic definition of desperate propaganda by those who have lost the consent of the governed.
Psychopaths with no moral principles.
The nation's elites are not just divided--they're exhibiting signs of schizophrenic breakdown : disassociation and a loss of the ability to discern the difference between reality and their internal fantasies.

I've been writing about the divided Deep State for a number of years, for example, The Conflict within the Deep State Just Broke into Open Warfare . The topic appears to be one of widespread interest, as this essay drew over 300,000 views.

It's impossible to understand the divided Deep State unless we situate it in the larger context of profound political disunity , a concept I learned from historian Michael Grant, whose slim but insightful volume The Fall of the Roman Empire I have been recommending since 2009.

As I noted in my 2009 book Survival+ , this was a key feature of the Roman Empire in its final slide to collapse. The shared values and consensus which had held the Empire's core together dissolved, leaving petty fiefdoms to war among themselves for what power and swag remained.

A funny thing happens when a nation allows itself to be ruled by Imperial kleptocrats: such rule is intrinsically destabilizing, as there is no longer any moral or political center to bind the nation together. The public sees the value system at the top is maximize my personal profit by whatever means are available , i.e. complicity, corruption, monopoly and rentier rackets , and they follow suit by pursuing whatever petty frauds and rackets are within reach: tax avoidance, cheating on entrance exams, gaming the disability system, lying on mortgage and job applications, and so on.

But the scope of the rentier rackets is so large, the bottom 95% cannot possibly keep up with the expanding wealth and income of the top .1% and their army of technocrats and enablers, so a rising sense of injustice widens the already yawning fissures in the body politic.

Meanwhile, diverting the national income into a few power centers is also destabilizing , as Central Planning and Market Manipulation (a.k.a. the Federal Reserve) are intrinsically unstable as price can no longer be discovered by unfettered markets. As a result, imbalances grow until some seemingly tiny incident or disruption triggers a cascading collapse, a.k.a. a phase shift or system re-set.

As the Power Elites squabble over the dwindling crumbs left by the various rentier rackets, there's no one left to fight for the national interest because the entire Status Quo of self-interested fiefdoms and cartels has been co-opted and is now wedded to the Imperial Oligarchy as their guarantor of financial security.

The divided Deep State is a symptom of this larger systemic political disunity. I have characterized the divide as between the Wall Street-Neocon-Globalist Neoliberal camp--currently the dominant public face of the Deep State, the one desperately attempting to exploit the "Russia hacked our elections and is trying to destroy us" narrative--and a much less public, less organized "rogue Progressive" camp, largely based in the military services and fringes of the Deep State, that sees the dangers of a runaway expansionist Empire and the resulting decay of the nation's moral/political center.

What few observers seem to understand is that concentrating power in centralized nodes is intrinsically unstable. Contrast a system in which power, control and wealth is extremely concentrated in a few nodes (the current U.S. Imperial Project) and a decentralized network of numerous dynamic nodes.

The disruption of any of the few centralized nodes quickly destabilizes the entire system because each centralized node is highly dependent on the others. This is in effect what happened in the 2008-09 Financial Meltdown: the Wall Street node failed and that quickly imperiled the entire economy and thus the entire political order, up to and including the Global Imperial Project.

Historian Peter Turchin has proposed that the dynamics of profound political disunity (i.e. social, financial and political disintegration) can be quantified in a Political Stress Index, a concept he describes in his new book Ages of Discord .

If we understand the profound political disunity fracturing the nation and its Imperial Project, we understand the Deep State must also fracture along the same fault lines. There is no other possible output of a system of highly concentrated nodes of power, wealth and control and the competing rentier rackets of these dependent, increasingly fragile centralized nodes.

[Sep 29, 2018] Civil War II Coming by Kevin Barrett

Notable quotes:
"... The corporatist state naturally strives to perfect itself, imposing a "final solution" to the ASP (anti-social person) problem by mandating that henceforth no non-genetically-engineered babies may be born. The result is a very one-sided "race war" in which a few antisocial malcontents try to hold out against what amounts to a genocide against "uncorrected" humanity. The plot follows two of those ASP antiheroes as they throw rocks at the Israeli bulldozer of corporatist genocide. ..."
Aug 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

In El-Akkad's dystopian vision, the War on Muslims mutates into the War on Southerners -- but has nothing to do with race. Instead, the Yankee Terror State turns its savagery against the New Rebels of the Free Southern States because those good ole boys and girls (of all shades of skin pigmentation and sexual preference) refuse to give up fossil fuels, choosing instead to secede from the Union.

Al-Akkad's vision of blue vs. red global-warming-driven war run amok in a near-future America that has completely forgotten about the whole concept of race is surprisingly plausible, at least while you are reading it. (Civil War I, after all, was really about economics not race , so why shouldn't Civil War II also be over an economic issue?) The plot turns on the adventures of Sarat, a young Red State woman of mixed and meaningless (near-black Chicano and po' white trash) ancestry who awakens politically and goes after the Blue State occupiers in pretty much the same way the Iraqi resistance went after George W. Bush's storm troopers.

... ... ...

C.J. Hopkins offers a deeper, more accurate, vastly funnier, more genuinely subversive vision. His far-future America, which bears an uncanny resemblance to our nightmarish present, features drone-patrolled hyper-surveiled cities, each of which is divided by an Israeli-style Wall complete with Israeli-style checkpoints and incursions featuring Israeli-style killings of hapless untermenschen. But instead of Israelis vs. Palestinians, the divide here is between the Normals on one side of the wall and the Anti-Socials on the other. The Normals -- good corporate citizens who are submitting to pharmaceutical and genetic correction so they can work and consume and conform and live meaningless lives like everybody else without batting an eyelash -- are conditioned to fear and loathe the Antisocials, who retain enough humanity to rebel, in whatever pathetically insignificant way, against corporatist dystopia.

Zone 23 , like American War , imagines the future as post-racial: Hopkins' Normal vs. Antisocial divide isn't about race. But it is, nonetheless, very much about behavioral genetics. In this (not so) far future, the Hadley Corporation of Menomonie, Wisconsin has developed a variant-corrected version of the MAO-A gene. Inserted into embryos via germline genetic engineering, this patented DNA produces "clears": people who are intelligent but incurious, incapable of emotionally-driven fight-or-flight aggression (including the most common defensive variety), "easily trained, highly responsive to visual and verbal commands," and so on. In other words, perfect corporate citizens!

The corporatist state naturally strives to perfect itself, imposing a "final solution" to the ASP (anti-social person) problem by mandating that henceforth no non-genetically-engineered babies may be born. The result is a very one-sided "race war" in which a few antisocial malcontents try to hold out against what amounts to a genocide against "uncorrected" humanity. The plot follows two of those ASP antiheroes as they throw rocks at the Israeli bulldozer of corporatist genocide.

Hopkins' ferociously funny yarn is not just a satire on our ever-worsening techno-dystopia. In imagining a genetic basis to the difficulties many of us experience adjusting to hyperconformist "technologically-enhanced" lifestyles, and in portraying individuals struggling and flailing against the uber-civilization around them like flies caught a spider web, Zone 23 resonates with the great critiques of technological civilization .

[Sep 29, 2018] "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize

Sep 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

A very shrewd observation, widely misattributed to Voltaire, states that "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." Or put another way, individuals are reluctant to publicly challenge those whose power they fear. Certainly, this simple standard helps to explain many important aspects of America's severely malfunctioning political system.

Wade , says: September 24, 2018 at 4:04 pm GMT

@Tyrion 2 Nice try. But to me this falls flat. First of all I don't think Ron has literally blamed Jews for all the world's evils any more than Southern Christians like me have been blamed for all the world's evils by Hollywood.

The issue is that Zionist leadership plays really dirty. And they are good at it. But having them in control of the West's media means that their negative impact on society goes unremarked upon while the positive things they do are trumpeted from the rooftops. We are allowed to notice Jewish power in relation to their main accomplishments, but we are referred to the nearest holocaust museum when we notice any negative impact that Jewish power has. It's one of the many wars on "noticing" the media is engaged in.

I don't see how all of this ends in mass pogroms, let alone a holocaust if you want my opinion. We're just hoping for a much overdue correction in perspective. Topics like Israel's founding and influence in US politics, The Holocaust, WWII and 911 are being desacralized so they can be discussed rationally, and that's good for everyone. Those who doubt Oswald was the lone assassin have been treated for decades with a smorgasbord of conspiracy theories about JFK ranging from Cuba and Castro, to anti-Castro Cubans, LBJ, The Mafia, the KBG, the CIA all being cast as possible suspects, but not even once has Israel being fingered by anyone anywhere (except by the indefatigable Michael Collins Piper) as a possible suspect, even though they had as clear (or clearer) motives and opportunity than nearly anyone else. Why hasn't this possibility been more fully explored by JFK researchers? Everyone needs to know how much Israel has benefited from 911. Their role in this also needs to be explored much more by researchers and brought out into the open.

mark green , says: September 24, 2018 at 5:45 pm GMT
The Unz Review is a tremendous site. It attracts superior writers as well as commentators. And Ron Unz, fortunately, is untouchable. The ADL understands this. Better for them to remain silent. They want to keep you as obscure as possible. Thus, the silent treatment.

Thus, the MSM would rather talk about crude 'white power' sites than the perspicacious Unz Review. But you can bet, Ron, that they will pounce on you if given the opportunity.

Says Ron: "I do think [the ADL] may be absolutely terrified of the many facts contained within the series of recent columns that I have now published, and such abject terror is what keeps them far, far away." That covers it. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing the UNZ review grow in influence and readership.

[Sep 29, 2018] Trump Surrenders to the Iron Law of Oligarchy by Dan Sanchez

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Trump's nationalist fans are sick of the globalist wars that America never seems to win. They are hardly against war per se. They are perfectly fine with bombing radical Islamists, even if it means mass innocent casualties. But they have had enough of expending American blood and treasure to overthrow secular Arab dictators to the benefit of Islamists; so, it seemed, was Trump. They also saw no nationalist advantage in the globalists' renewed Cold War against Assad's ally Russian president Vladimir Putin, another enemy of Islamists. ..."
"... The Syrian pivot also seemed to fulfill the hopes and dreams of some antiwar libertarians who had pragmatically supported Trump. For them, acquiescing to the unwelcome planks of Trump's platform was a price worth paying for overthrowing the establishment policies of regime change in the Middle East and hostility toward nuclear Russia. While populism wasn't an unalloyed friend of liberty, these libertarians thought, at least it could be harnessed to sweep away the war-engineering elites. And since war is the health of the state, that could redirect history's momentum in favor of liberty. ..."
"... But then it all evaporated. Shortly after Bannon's ouster from the NSC, in response to an alleged, unverified chemical attack on civilians, Trump bombed one of Assad's airbases (something even globalist Obama had balked at doing when offered the exact same excuse), and regime change in Syria was top priority once again. The establishment media swooned over Trump's newfound willingness to be "presidential." ..."
"... Since then, Trump has reneged on one campaign promise after another. He dropped any principled repeal of Obamacare. He threw cold water on expectations for prompt fulfillment of his signature promise: the construction of a Mexico border wall. And he announced an imminent withdrawal from NAFTA, only to walk that announcement back the very next day. ..."
"... Poor white people, "the forgotten men and women of our country," have been forgotten once again. Their "tribune" seems to be turning out to be just another agent of the power elite. ..."
"... Who yanked his chain? Was there a palace coup? Was the CIA involved? Has Trump been threatened? ..."
"... Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy ..."
"... Even in a political system based on popular sovereignty, Michels pointed out that, "the sovereign masses are altogether incapable of undertaking the most necessary resolutions." This is true for simple, unavoidable technical reasons: "such a gigantic number of persons belonging to a unitary organization cannot do any practical work upon a system of direct discussion." ..."
"... " while Trump might be able to seize the presidency in spite of establishment opposition, he will never be able to wield it without establishment support." ..."
May 02, 2017 | original.antiwar.com
Did the Deep State deep-six Trump's populist revolution?

Many observers, especially among his fans, suspect that the seemingly untamable Trump has already been housebroken by the Washington, "globalist" establishment. If true, the downfall of Trump's National Security Adviser Michael Flynn less than a month into the new presidency may have been a warning sign. And the turning point would have been the removal of Steven K. Bannon from the National Security Council on April 5.

Until then, the presidency's early policies had a recognizably populist-nationalist orientation. During his administration's first weeks, Trump's biggest supporters frequently tweeted the hashtag #winning and exulted that he was decisively doing exactly what, on the campaign trail, he said he would do.

In a flurry of executive orders and other unilateral actions bearing Bannon's fingerprints, Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, declared a sweeping travel ban, instituted harsher deportation policies, and more.

These policies seemed to fit Trump's reputation as the " tribune of poor white people ," as he has been called; above all, Trump's base calls for protectionism and immigration restrictions. Trump seemed to be delivering on the populist promise of his inauguration speech (thought to be written by Bannon), in which he said:

"Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

For too long, a small group in our nation's Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation's capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.

It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America. This is your day. This is your celebration. And this, the United States of America, is your country.

What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

Everyone is listening to you now." [Emphasis added.]

After a populist insurgency stormed social media and the voting booths, American democracy, it seemed, had been wrenched from the hands of the Washington elite and restored to "the people," or at least a large, discontented subset of "the people." And this happened in spite of the establishment, the mainstream media, Hollywood, and "polite opinion" throwing everything it had at Trump.

The Betrayal

But for the past month, the administration's axis seems to have shifted. This shift was especially abrupt in Trump's Syria policy.

Days before Bannon's fall from grace, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley declared that forcing Syrian president Bashar al-Assad from power was no longer top priority. This too was pursuant of Trump's populist promises.

Trump's nationalist fans are sick of the globalist wars that America never seems to win. They are hardly against war per se. They are perfectly fine with bombing radical Islamists, even if it means mass innocent casualties. But they have had enough of expending American blood and treasure to overthrow secular Arab dictators to the benefit of Islamists; so, it seemed, was Trump. They also saw no nationalist advantage in the globalists' renewed Cold War against Assad's ally Russian president Vladimir Putin, another enemy of Islamists.

The Syrian pivot also seemed to fulfill the hopes and dreams of some antiwar libertarians who had pragmatically supported Trump. For them, acquiescing to the unwelcome planks of Trump's platform was a price worth paying for overthrowing the establishment policies of regime change in the Middle East and hostility toward nuclear Russia. While populism wasn't an unalloyed friend of liberty, these libertarians thought, at least it could be harnessed to sweep away the war-engineering elites. And since war is the health of the state, that could redirect history's momentum in favor of liberty.

But then it all evaporated. Shortly after Bannon's ouster from the NSC, in response to an alleged, unverified chemical attack on civilians, Trump bombed one of Assad's airbases (something even globalist Obama had balked at doing when offered the exact same excuse), and regime change in Syria was top priority once again. The establishment media swooned over Trump's newfound willingness to be "presidential."

Since then, Trump has reneged on one campaign promise after another. He dropped any principled repeal of Obamacare. He threw cold water on expectations for prompt fulfillment of his signature promise: the construction of a Mexico border wall. And he announced an imminent withdrawal from NAFTA, only to walk that announcement back the very next day.

Here I make no claim as to whether any of these policy reversals are good or bad. I only point out that they run counter to the populist promises he had given to his core constituents.

Poor white people, "the forgotten men and women of our country," have been forgotten once again. Their "tribune" seems to be turning out to be just another agent of the power elite.

Who yanked his chain? Was there a palace coup? Was the CIA involved? Has Trump been threatened? Or, after constant obstruction, has he simply concluded that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em?

The Iron Law of Oligarchy

Regardless of how it came about, it seems clear that whatever prospect there was for a truly populist Trump presidency is gone with the wind. Was it inevitable that this would happen, one way or another?

One person who might have thought so was German sociologist Robert Michels, who posited the "iron law of oligarchy" in his 1911 work Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy .

Michels argued that political organizations, no matter how democratically structured, rarely remain truly populist, but inexorably succumb to oligarchic control.

Even in a political system based on popular sovereignty, Michels pointed out that, "the sovereign masses are altogether incapable of undertaking the most necessary resolutions." This is true for simple, unavoidable technical reasons: "such a gigantic number of persons belonging to a unitary organization cannot do any practical work upon a system of direct discussion."

This practical limitation necessitates delegation of decision-making to officeholders. These delegates may at first be considered servants of the masses:

"All the offices are filled by election. The officials, executive organs of the general will, play a merely subordinate part, are always dependent upon the collectivity, and can be deprived of their office at any moment. The mass of the party is omnipotent."

But these delegates will inevitably become specialists in the exercise and consolidation of power, which they gradually wrest away from the "sovereign people":

"The technical specialization that inevitably results from all extensive organization renders necessary what is called expert leadership. Consequently the power of determination comes to be considered one of the specific attributes of leadership, and is gradually withdrawn from the masses to be concentrated in the hands of the leaders alone. Thus the leaders, who were at first no more than the executive organs of the collective will, soon emancipate themselves from the mass and become independent of its control.

Organization implies the tendency to oligarchy. In every organization, whether it be a political party, a professional union, or any other association of the kind, the aristocratic tendency manifests itself very clearly."

Trumped by the Deep State

Thus elected, populist "tribunes" like Trump are ultimately no match for entrenched technocrats nestled in permanent bureaucracy. Especially invincible are technocrats who specialize in political force and intrigue, i.e., the National Security State (military, NSA, CIA, FBI, etc.). And these elite functionaries don't serve "the people" or any large subpopulation. They only serve their own careers, and by extension, big-money special interest groups that make it worth their while: especially big business and foreign lobbies. The nexus of all these powers is what is known as the Deep State.

Trump's more sophisticated champions were aware of these dynamics, but held out hope nonetheless. They thought that Trump would be an exception, because his large personal fortune would grant him immunity from elite influence. That factor did contribute to the independent, untamable spirit of his campaign. But as I predicted during the Republican primaries:

" while Trump might be able to seize the presidency in spite of establishment opposition, he will never be able to wield it without establishment support."

No matter how popular, rich, and bombastic, a populist president simply cannot rule without access to the levers of power. And that access is under the unshakable control of the Deep State. If Trump wants to play president, he has to play ball.

On these grounds, I advised his fans over a year ago, " don't hold out hope that Trump will make good on his isolationist rhetoric " and anticipated, "a complete rapprochement between the populist rebel and the Republican establishment." I also warned that, far from truly threatening the establishment and the warfare state, Trump's populist insurgency would only invigorate them:

"Such phony establishment "deaths" at the hands of "grassroots" outsiders followed by "rebirths" (rebranding) are an excellent way for moribund oligarchies to renew themselves without actually meaningfully changing. Each "populist" reincarnation of the power elite is draped with a freshly-laundered mantle of popular legitimacy, bestowing on it greater license to do as it pleases. And nothing pleases the State more than war."

Politics, even populist politics, is the oligarchy's game. And the house always wins.

Dan Sanchez is the Digital Content Manager at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), developing educational and inspiring content for FEE.org , including articles and courses. The originally appeared on the FEE website and is reprinted with the author's permission.

[Sep 27, 2018] The power elites goal is to change its appearance to look like something new and innovative to stay ahead of an electorate who are increasingly skeptical of the neoliberalism and globalism that enrich the elite at their expense.

Highly recommended!
Sep 27, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
james , Sep 26, 2018 10:19:13 PM | link

Pft , Sep 26, 2018 9:58:02 PM | link

In my own words then. According to Cook the power elites goal is to change its appearance to look like something new and innovative to stay ahead of an electorate who are increasingly skeptical of the neoliberalism and globalism that enrich the elite at their expense.

Since they do not actually want change they find actors who pretend to represent change , which is in essence fake change. These then are their insurgent candidates

Trump serves the power elite , because while he appears as an insurgent against the power elite he does little to change anything

Trump promotes his fake insurgency on Twitter stage knowing the power elite will counter any of his promises that might threaten them

As an insurgent candidate Trump was indifferent to Israel and wanted the US out of Syria. He wanted good relations with Russia. He wanted to fix the health care system, rebuild infrastructure, scrap NAFTA and TTIPS, bring back good paying jobs, fight the establishment and Wall Street executives and drain the swamp. America First he said.

Trump the insurgent president , has become Israel's biggest cheerleader and has launched US missiles at Syria, relations with Russia are at Cold War lows, infrastructure is still failing, the percentage of people working is now at an all time low in the post housewife era, he has passed tax cuts for the rich that will endanger medicare, medicaid and social security and prohibit infrastructure spending, relaxed regulations on Wall Street, enhanced NAFTA to include TTIPS provisions and make US automobiles more expensive, and the swamp has been refilled with the rich, neocons , Koch associates, and Goldman Sachs that make up the power elites and Deep State Americas rich and Israel First

@34 pft... regarding the 2 cook articles.. i found they overly wordy myself...