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Deep State

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

Introduction


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

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

"For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government.... I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations."

President Harry Truman

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

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

President John_F._Kennedy, speech on April 27, 1961

In a way the concept of  Corporatism and the concept of  "deep state' are very close, almost synonyms. Corporatism presuppose the merger of government and corporations. It can be done openly as was the case in Mussolini Italy or via back door, "revolving door" mechanism as it was done in the USA. In the latter case part of power of 'surface state" is preserved.

But there are agencies that get special status under corporatism. this is so called three-letter agencies (which actually is the backbone of Media-Military-Industrial Complex). Or national security establishment. This is new unelected aristocracy with huge financial resources that stands above law and can't be easily demotes from their positions (J. Edgar Hoover  is an excellent example here).  They now are a new incarnation of "royal court", which can like in old times is able to dismiss a monarch or even kill him.

So in a way the concept of "deep state" -- hypertrophied role of three letter agencies and their brass and certain corporations (aka military industrial complex) in national politics especially in formulating foreign policy is nothing new. But devil is always in details and some features of the USA deep state are different then our analogy predicts.

First of all "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 and Wall Street can never be absolute as they have different worldviews on both the USA foreign policy priorities and methods of achieving them. They only partially coincide.  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").  So in certain areas they are more like spiders in the cage with CIA perfectly capable attacking NSA and vise versa, and 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:

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 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. The term means a shadow alliance of elements of government. security services, selected top-level figures of financial oligarchy, media and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process. 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 classifiedNo 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 conseed defeat but still has some hope, here we enter perfect Danter 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), in 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

Lockheed Payoffs and CIA Clients: the Netherlands, Japan, Italy, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia

 

 

Kodama Yoshio, war criminal, drug trafficker, and purveyor of deep state US funds to Japanese politicians

Through the 1950s payouts from the M-fund were administered by Kodama Yoshio, “probably the CIA's chief asset in Japan;” while ”All accounts say that after the end of the occupation, the fund's American managers came from the CIA.”32  Kodama also received and distributed millions of funds from Lockheed to secure military contracts – an operation the CIA knew about but has never admitted involvement in.33 Lockheed’s system of payoffs was world-wide; and one sees CIA involvement with it in at least four other countries: the Netherlands, Italy, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. (Lockheed, the builder of the U-2, was a major CIA-cleared contractor.)34

The beneficiary in the Netherlands was Prince Bernhard, a close friend of CIA directors Walter Bedell Smith and Allen Dulles, and the organizer of the Bilderberg Group.35 In the case of Italy, payments were handled through a contact (“Antelope Cobbler”) who turned out to be whoever was the Italian Prime Minister of the moment (always from one of the parties subsidized earlier by the CIA).36

In the revealing instance of Indonesia, Lockheed payments were shifted in May 1965, over the legal objections of Lockheed's counsel, to a new contract with a  company set up by the firm's long-time local agent or middleman, August Munir Dasaad.86 This was just six months after a secret U.S. decision to have the CIA covertly assist

“individuals and organizations prepared to take obstructive action against the PKI [Indonesian Communist Party].” Over the longer term this meant identifying and keeping tabs on “anti-regime elements” and other potential leaders of a post-Sukarno regime.37

Although Dasaad had been a long-time supporter of Sukarno, by May 1965 he was already building connections with Sukarno’s eventual successor, Gen. Suharto, via a family relative, General Alamsjah, who knew Suharto and was the beneficiary of the new Lockheed account.38 After Suharto replaced Sukarno, Alamsjah, who controlled certain considerable funds, at once made funds available to Suharto, earning him the gratitude of the new President.39

In July 1965, furthermore, at the alleged nadir of U.S.-Indonesian aid relations, Rockwell-Standard had a contractual agreement to deliver two hundred light aircraft (Aero-Commanders) to the Indonesian Army (not the Air Force) in the next two months. Once again the commission agent on the deal, Bob Hasan or Hassan, was a political associate (and eventual business partner) of Suharto. More specifically, Suharto and Bob Hasan established two shipping companies to be operated by the Central Java army division, Diponegoro. This division, as has long been noticed, supplied the bulk of the personnel on both sides of the Gestapu coup drama in September 1965 -- both those staging the coup attempt, and those putting it down.40

While this was happening, Stanvac (a joint venture of the Standard companies known later as Exxon and Mobil) increased payments to the army's oil company, Permina, headed by an eventual political ally of Suharto, General Ibnu Sutowo. Alamsjah is said to have been allied with Ibnu Sutowo in plotting against Sukarno, along with a well-connected Japanese oilman, Nishijima Shigetada.41 After Suharto's overthrow of Sukarno, Fortune wrote that "Sutowo's still small company played a key part in bankrolling those crucial operations, and the army has never forgotten it."42

We shall deal later with the special case of Lockheed kickbacks to Saudi Arabia, which were far greater than those to Japan. It is important to note, however, the linkage between Middle East oil and arms sales: as U.S. imports of Middle East oil increased, the pressure on the U.S. balance of payments was offset by increased U.S. arms sales to the region. “In the period 1963-1974, arms sales to the Middle East went from 10 per cent of global arms imports to 36 per cent, half of which was supplied by the United States.”43

Iran in 1953: How an Oil Cartel Operation Became a Job for the CIA

The international lawyers of Wall Street did not hide from each other their shared belief that they understood better than Washington the requirements for running the world. As John Foster Dulles wrote in the 1930s to a British colleague,

The word “cartel” has here assumed the stigma of a bogeyman which the politicians are constantly attacking.  The fact of the matter is that most of these politicians are highly insular and nationalistic and because the political organization of the world has under such influence been so backward, business people who have had to cope realistically with international problems have had to find ways for getting through and around stupid political barriers.44

This same mentality also explains why Allen Dulles as an OSS officer in 1945 simply evaded orders from Washington forbidding him to negotiate with SS General Karl Wolff about a conditional surrender of German forces in Italy – an important breach of Roosevelt’s agreement with Stalin at Yalta for unconditional surrender, a breach that is regarded by many as helping lead to the Cold War.45 And it explains why Allen, as CIA Director in 1957, dealt summarily with Eisenhower’s reluctance to authorize more than occasional U-2 overflights of the USSR, by secretly approving a plan with Britain’s MI-6 whereby U-2 flights could be authorized instead by the UK Prime Minister Macmillan.46

This mentality exhibited itself in 1952, when Truman’s Justice Department sought to break up the cartel agreements whereby Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon) and four other oil majors controlled global oil distribution. (The other four were Standard Oil Company of New York, Standard Oil of California or Socony, Gulf Oil, and Texaco; together with Royal Dutch Shell and Anglo-Iranian, they comprised the so-called Seven Sisters of the cartel.) Faced with a government order to hand over relevant documents, Exxon’s lawyer Arthur Dean at Sullivan and Cromwell, where Foster was senior partner, refused: “If it were not for the question of national security, we would be perfectly willing to face either a criminal or a civil suit. But this is the kind of information the Kremlin would love to get its hands on.”47

 

 

Wall Street, the former headquarters of both Sullivan and Cromwell and the J. Henry Schroder Banking Corporation

At this time the oil cartel was working closely with the British Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC, later BP) to prevent AIOC’s nationalization by Iran’s Premier Mossadeq, by instituting, in May 1951, a successful boycott of Iranian oil exports.

In May 1951 the AIOC secured the backing of the other oil majors, who had every interest in discouraging nationalisation.... None of the large companies would touch Iranian oil; despite one or two picturesque episodes the boycott held.48

As a result Iranian oil production fell from 241 million barrels in 1950 to 10.6 million barrels in 1952.

This was accomplished by denying Iran the ability to export its crude oil. At that time, the Seven Sisters controlled almost 99% of the crude oil tankers in the world for such export, and even more importantly, the markets to which it was going.49

But Truman declined, despite a direct personal appeal from Churchill, to have the CIA participate in efforts to overthrow Mossadeq, and instead dispatched Averell Harriman to Tehran in a failed effort to negotiate a peaceful resolution of Mossadeq’s differences with London.50

 

 

 

Allen and John Foster Dulles, pillars of both the state and the deep state

All this changed with the election of Eisenhower in November 1952, followed by the appointment of the Dulles brothers to be Secretary of State and head of CIA. The Justice Department’s criminal complaint against the oil cartel was swiftly replaced by a civil suit, from which the oil cartel eventually emerged unscathed.51

Eisenhower, an open friend of the oil industry…changed the charges from criminal to civil and transferred responsibility of the case from the Department of Justice to the Department of State – the first time in history that an antitrust case was handed to State for prosecution. Seeing as how the Secretary of State was John Foster Dulles and the defense counsel for the oil cartel was Dulles’ former law firm (Sullivan and Cromwell), the case was soon as good as dead.52

Thereafter

Cooperative control of the world market by the major oil companies remained in effect, with varying degrees of success, until the oil embargo of 1973-74. That the cooperation was more than tacit can be seen by the fact that antitrust regulations were specifically set aside a number of times during the 1950-1973 period, allowing the major companies to negotiate as a group with various Mideastern countries, and after its inception [in 1960], with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC.53

Also in November 1952 CIA officials began planning to involve CIA in the efforts of MI6 and the oil companies in Iran54 -- although its notorious Operation TP/AJAX to overthrow Mossadeq was not finally approved by Eisenhower until July 22, 1953.55

The events of 1953 strengthened the role of the oil cartel as a structural component of the American deep state, drawing on its powerful connections to both Wall Street and the CIA.56  (Another such component was the Arabian-American Oil Company or ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia, which increased oil production in 1951-53 to offset the loss of oil from Iran. Until it was fully nationalized in 1980, ARAMCO maintained undercover CIA personnel like William Eddy among its top advisors.)57 The five American oil majors in particular were also strengthened by the success of AJAX, as Anglo-Iranian (renamed BP) was henceforth forced to share 40 percent of the oil from its Iran refinery with them.

Nearly all recent accounts of Mossadeq’s overthrow treat it as a covert intelligence operation, with the oil cartel (when mentioned at all) playing a subservient role. However the chronology, and above all the belated approval from Eisenhower, suggest that it was CIA that came belatedly in 1953 to assist an earlier oil cartel operation, rather than vice versa. In terms of the deep state, the oil cartel or deep state initiated in 1951 a process that the American public state only authorized two years later. Yet the inevitable bias in academic or archival historiography, working only with those primary sources that are publicly available, is to think of the Mossadeq tragedy as simply a “CIA coup.”

The CIA, Booz Allen Hamilton, and the Wall Street Overworld

The “revolving door” also circulates top-level intelligence officials and the chiefs of the cleared contractors referred to by Mike Lofgren as part of the deep state. Tim Shorrock revealed in 2007 that “about 70 percent of the estimated $60 billion the government spends every year on…intelligence” is outsourced to private intelligence contractors like Booz, Allen & Hamilton (now Booz Allen Hamilton) and SAIC.58 For example Mike McConnell “went from being head of the National Security Agency under Bush 41 and Clinton directly to Booz Allen, one of the nation’s largest private intelligence contractors, then became Bush’s Director of National Intelligence (DNI), then went back to Booz Allen, where he is now Executive Vice President.” Intelligence officers in government write the non-competitive contracts for the private corporations that they may have worked for and may work for again.59 And over the years the “revolving door” has also exchanged personnel between Booz Allen and the international oil companies served by the firm.

The original firm of Booz, Allen, & Hamilton split in 2008 into Booz Allen Hamilton, focused on USG business, and Booz & Company in New York, assuming the old company’s commercial and international portfolio. Booz Allen Hamilton is majority owned by the private equity firm the Carlyle Group, noted for its association with political figures like both presidents Bush.60

 

 

 

Booz Allen Hamilton Headquarters

Lofgren points to the deep state importance of Booz Allen Hamilton, 99 percent of whose business dependent on the U.S. government.61 Booz Allen has been linked in the media to NSA ever since its employee Edward Snowden decamped with NSA records. But Booz Allen, one of the oldest and largest of the “cleared contractors,” has been intertwined with the CIA’s covert operations since Allen Dulles became CIA Director in 1953.62 In the same year, Booz Allen began “to take on several overseas assignments…: a land-registration system in the Philippines, a restructuring of Egypt’s customs operations and textile industries, and work for Iran’s national oil company.”63 All three assignments overlapped with CIA covert ops in 1953, including the Philippine land distribution program which Edward Lansdale promoted in order to fight a Huk insurrection, and the CIA’s operation TP/AJAX (with Britain’s MI6) to rescue the Anglo-Iranian oil company (later BP).64

 

 

Miles Copeland, Jr., ex-CIA, ex-Booz Allen & Hamilton, ex-Khashoggi’s private CIA

But the most important CIA-Booz Allen cooperation may have been in Egypt. In March 1953 Miles Copeland, having resigned from the CIA to join Booz-Allen, “returned to Cairo under what was, for all practical purposes, a joint CIA-BA&H mission.”65 In addition to offering management advice to the Egyptian government in general, and to a private textile mill, Miles also gave Nasser advice on establishing his intelligence service (the Mukhabarat), and “soon became his closest Western advisor” (as well as his top channel to the USG, more important than either the local US ambassador or CIA chief)66

Copeland’s role with Nasser did not make him a shaper of U.S. policy; his pro-Nasser views were largely subordinated to the pro-British anti-Nasserism of the Dulles brothers. But they did establish a bond between Copeland and the Eisenhower White House. By 1967, when Nixon was preparing to run for president, Copeland had taken a leave of absence from Booz Allen to become a prestigious and well-paid consultant for oil companies.

The CIA, Miles Copeland, and Adnan Khashoggi

In 1966 Copeland, while technically on leave from Booz Allen, made close contact with Adnan Khashoggi, a young Arab who was in the course of becoming both a “principal foreign agent” of the U.S. and also extremely wealthy on the commissions he earned from Lockheed and other military firms on arms sales to Saudi Arabia.67 (“To give some sense of the size of the business, the company acknowledged in the mid-1970s that it had provided $106 million in commissions to Khashoggi between 1970 and 1975, more than ten times the level of payments made to the next most important connection, Yoshi [sic] Kodama of Japan.”68

 

 

 

Adnan Khashoggi, shadowy backer of politicians (Time, Jan. 19, 1987)

By Copeland’s own account in 1989, this encounter with Khashoggi “put the two of us on a ‘Miles-and-Adnan’ basis that has lasted for more than twenty years of business, parties, and a very special kind of political action.”69 Copeland adds that

Adnan and I, separately had been called on by our respective friends in Langley [i.e., CIA] to… have an official [sic], off-the-record exchange of ideas on the emerging crisis in the Middle East, and come up with suggestions that the tame bureaucrats would like to have made but couldn’t.70

Copeland almost immediately flew to Cairo and immersed himself in a series of high-level but ultimately unsuccessful efforts to forestall what soon became the 1967 Six Day Egyptian-Israeli Six Day War. By his account, his mission, though unsuccessful, gave a “tremendous boost” to his reputation, enabling him “to accelerate the attempt I had already started to establish a ‘private CIA’ by use of confidential arrangements with politically astute members of the client companies.”71

Copeland’s self-promoting claims are controversial, and a number of establishment writers have described his books as “unreliable.”72 But eyewitness Larry Kolb corroborates that Copeland was close to Khashoggi, and that the two of them

had written a white paper… proposing that… rich countries, including not only the United States but also the Arab oil states, should establish a “Marshall Plan” for all the needy countries of the Middle East, including Israel.

Rewritten with Kolb’s assistance after consultation with the Reagan White House, the plan would be backed by a “Mideast Peace Fund” to which “Adnan was pledging a hundred million dollars of his own money.”73

The proposal failed, partly because of the Middle East’s resistance to negotiated solutions, but also partly because by the 1980s Khashoggi was no longer as rich and influential as he had once been. His function as an agent of influence in the Middle East and elsewhere had been sharply limited after the United States, by the Corrupt Federal Practices Act of 1978, outlawed direct payments by US corporations to foreign individuals. Henceforward the function of bestowing money and sexual favors on client politicians passed primarily from Khashoggi to another CIA connection, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).74 A major shareholder in BCCI was Saudi intelligence chief Kamal Adham, Khashoggi’s friend and business partner and (according to the Senate BCCI Report) “the CIA's former principal contact in the Arab Middle East.”75

What the story of the failed “Mideast Peace Fund” reveals is first, that Khashoggi (like BCCI after him) was of interest to Washington because of his ability to negotiate with both Israel and Arab countries; and second, that Copeland and what Copeland called his “private CIA,”76 was in a commanding position as lead adviser to Khashoggi, while still on unpaid leave from Booz Allen Hamilton.

Khashoggi, the CIA’s Asset Edward K. Moss, and Political Corruption

A powerful connection was formed by combining Copeland’s political contacts with Khashoggi’s millions. Copeland may have been responsible for Khashoggi’s inspired choice of the under-recognized Edward K. Moss, another man with CIA connections, as his p.r. agent in Washington.77

Back in November 1962, the CIA, as part of its planning to get rid of Castro, decided  to use Moss for the Political Action Group of the CIA’s Covert Action (CA) staff.78 This was more than a year after the FBI had advised the CIA that Moss’s mistress Julia Cellini and her brother Dino Cellini were alleged to be procurers, while “the Cellini brothers have long been associated with the narcotics and white slavery rackets in Cuba.”79

This FBI report suggests an important shared interest between Moss and Khashoggi: sexual corruption. Just as his uncle Yussuf Yassin had been a procurer of women for King Abdul-Aziz, so Khashoggi himself was said to have “used sex to win over U.S. executives.” The bill for the madam who supplied girls en masse to his yacht in the Mediterranean ran to hundreds of thousands of dollars.80 Khashoggi made a practice of supplying those he wished to influence with dollars as well as sex.

 

 

 

Khashoggi’s Superyacht Kingdom 5KR, now owned by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal

The CIA of course was forbidden to use sex and money in this way in the United States, or to make in the United States the payments to right-wing politicians that characterized its behavior in the rest of the world. But no such prohibition applied to Khashoggi. According to Anthony Summers,

Khashoggi had courted Nixon in 1967 by putting a plane at his disposal to tour the Middle East after the Six-Day War. Soon afterward, using a proxy, he opened an account at Rebozo’s [Bebe Rebozo, Nixon’s close confidante] in Florida. He did so, he explained to Watergate prosecutors, hoping to “curry favor with Rebozo,” to get an entrée to the man who might become president, and to pursue business deals.81

Khashoggi in effect served as a “cutout,” or representative, in a number of operations forbidden to the CIA and the companies he worked with. Lockheed, for one, was conspicuously absent from the list of military contractors who contributed illicitly to Nixon’s 1972 election campaign. But there was no law prohibiting their official representative, Khashoggi, from cycling $200 million through the bank of Nixon’s friend Bebe Rebozo.82

(Pierre Salinger heard from Khashoggi that in 1972 he had donated $1 million to Nixon, corroborating the often-heard claim that Khashoggi had brought it in a briefcase to Nixon’s western White House in San Clemente, and then “forgotten” to take it away.)83

Khashoggi of course did not introduce such corruption to American politics; he merely joined a milieu where defense companies had used money and girls for years to win defense contracts in Washington and Las Vegas.84 Prominent in this practice was Howard Hughes, whom Khashoggi soon joined in international investments. (After a Senate investigator on Khashoggi’s trail registered at the Hughes-owned Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, a blonde came unexpectedly to his hotel room, and said, “I’m here for your pleasure.”)85

But Khashoggi’s corruption channels and targets overlapped with those of others with CIA connections. In 1972 it was alleged that funds from the Paradise Island casino in the Bahamas were being secretly carried to Nixon and his friend Bebe Rebozo, by a casino employee. This was Seymour (Sy) Alter, who was both “a friend of Nixon and Rebozo since 1962” and also an associate of Edward Moss’s brother-in-law Eddie Cellini, the casino manager at Paradise Island. 86 The funds came from the Paradise Island Bridge Company, a company partly owned by an officer of Benguet International, a firm represented in America by Paul Helliwell.87 It is likely that Nixon himself had a hidden interest in the Bridge Company, which might explain the revelation through Operation Tradewinds that a “Richard M. Nixon” (not otherwise identified) had an account at Helliwell’s Castle Bank.88

Three facts point to a deep state interest in what might otherwise seem a matter of personal corruption. The first is that Paul Helliwell had set up two companies for the CIA  -- CAT Inc. (Later Air America) and SEA Supply Inc. in Bangkok -- that became the infrastructure of the CIA’s covert operations with drug-trafficking armies in Southeast Asia.89 The second is that Paul Helliwell’s banking partner, E.P. Barry, had been the postwar head of OSS Counterintelligence (X-2) in Vienna, which oversaw the recovery of SS gold in Operation Safehaven.90 The third is that for over four decades persons from Booz Allen Hamilton have been among the very small group owning the profitable Paradise Island Bridge Company. (A recent partner in the Paradise Island Bridge Company is Booz Allen Senior Vice-President Robert Riegle.)91

 

 

 

The Safari Club today, now the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club

Moss, Khashoggi, the Safari Club, and the International Overworld

The power exerted by Khashoggi and Moss was not limited to Khashoggi’s access to funds and women. By the 1970s, Moss was chairman of the elite Safari Club in Kenya, where he invited Khashoggi in as majority owner.92 The exclusive property became the venue for an alliance between intelligence agencies that wished to compensate for the CIA’s retrenchment in the wake of President Carter’s election and Senator Church’s post-Watergate reforms.93

As former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal once told Georgetown University alumni,

In 1976, after the Watergate matters took place here, your intelligence community was literally tied up by Congress. It could not do anything. It could not send spies, it could not write reports, and it could not pay money. In order to compensate for that, a group of countries got together in the hope of fighting Communism and established what was called the Safari Club. The Safari Club included France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Iran.94

Prince Turki’s candid remarks– “your intelligence community was literally tied up by Congress. …. In order to compensate for that, a group of countries got together … and established what was called the Safari Club.” – made it clear that the Safari Club, operating at the level of the deep state, was expressly created to overcome restraints established by political decisions of the public state in Washington.

Obviously the property owned by Khashoggi and Moss in Kenya should not be confused with the intelligence operation of the same name. But it would be wrong also to make a radical separation between the two: the two men Khashoggi and Moss would appear to be part of this supranational intelligence milieu.

Specifically Khashoggi’s activities of corruption by sex and money, after they too were somewhat curtailed by Senator Church’s post-Watergate reforms, appear to have been taken up by the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), a bank where Khashoggi’s friend and business partner Kamal Adham, the Saudi intelligence chief and Safari Club member, was a part-owner.95

 

 

 

BCCI on the cover of Time, July 6, 1991.

The Deep State, the Safari Club, and BCCI

The usual account of this super-agency’s origin is that it was

the brainchild of Count Alexandre de Marenches, the debonair and mustachioed chief of France’s CIA. The SDECE (Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionnage)…. Worried by Soviet and Cuban advances in postcolonial Africa, and by America’s post-Watergate paralysis in the field of undercover activity, the swashbuckling Marenches had come to Turki’s father, King Faisal, with a proposition…. [By 1979] Somali president Siad Barre had been bribed out of Soviet embrace by $75 million worth of Egyptian arms (paid for… by Saudi Arabia)….96

However the well-informed Mahmood Mamdani sees it as the product of Washington’s search for new proxies after the debacle of the U.S.- South African debacle in Angola in the mid-1970s:

Apartheid South Africa was confirmed to be a political liability. The recognition only aggravated the search for proxies. Its first success was a regional alliance called the Safari Club, put together with the blessing of Henry Kissinger.97

As Kissinger was still Secretary of State when the Safari Club was founded, this would suggest that it was an authorized, not a deep state creation. So would the Club’s early successes that Mamdani cites, especially when

it helped bring about the historic rapprochement between two strategic American Allies, Egypt and Israel, laying the ground for Anwar al-Sadat’s pathbreaking November 1977 visit to Jerusalem. The suggestion for the meeting was first made in a letter from Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to President Sadat, carried by the Moroccan representative in the club.98

But after Carter was elected, according to Trento, the Safari Club allied itself with Richard Helms and Theodore Shackley against the restrained intelligence policies of Jimmy Carter. In Trento’s account, the dismissal by William Colby in 1974 of CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton,

combined with Watergate, is what prompted the Safari Club to start working with [former DCI Richard] Helms [then U.S. Ambassador to Iran] and his most trusted operatives outside of Congressional and even Agency purview. James Angleton said before his death that “Colby destroyed counterintelligence. But because Colby was seen by Shackley and Helms as having betrayed the CIA to Congress, they simply began working with outsiders like Adham and Saudi Arabia. The traditional CIA answering to the president was an empty vessel having little more than technical capability.”99

Joseph Trento adds that “The Safari Club needed a network of banks to finance its intelligence operations,… With the official blessing of George Bush as the head of the CIA, Adham transformed…  the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), into a worldwide money-laundering machine.”100

Trento claims also that the Safari Club then was able to work with some of the controversial CIA operators who were then forced out of the CIA by Turner, and that this was coordinated by perhaps the most controversial of them all: Theodore Shackley.

Shackley, who still had ambitions to become DCI, believed that without his many sources and operatives like [Edwin] Wilson, the Safari Club—operating with [former DCI Richard] Helms in charge in Tehran—would be ineffective. …  Unless Shackley took direct action to complete the privatization of intelligence operations soon, the Safari Club would not have a conduit to [CIA] resources. The solution: create a totally private intelligence network using CIA assets until President Carter could be replaced.101

Kevin Phillips has suggested that Bush on leaving the CIA had dealings with the bank most closely allied with Safari Club operations: the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). In Phillips’ words,

After leaving the CIA in January 1977, Bush became chairman of the executive committee of First International Bancshares and its British subsidiary, where, according to journalists Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin in their 1992 book ‘False Profits’ [p. 345], Bush ‘traveled on the bank’s behalf and sometimes marketed to international banks in London, including several Middle Eastern institutions.’102

It is clear moreover that BCCI operations, like Khashoggi’s before them, were marked by the ability to deal behind the scenes with both the Arab countries and also Israel.103

Khashoggi, Copeland, BCCI, and the Iran-Contra Scandal

Joseph Trento adds that through the London branch of this bank, which Bush chaired, “Adham’s petrodollars and BCCI money flowed for a variety of intelligence operations”104 It is clear moreover that BCCI operations, like Khashoggi’s before them, were marked by the ability to deal behind the scenes with both the Arab countries and also Israel.105

Khashoggi and BCCI together, moreover, with the assistance of Miles Copeland, initiated what we remember as the Iran-Contra arms scandal. According to Theodore Draper, in his exhaustive study of Iran-Contra,

A chance encounter between Adnan Khashoggi and Manucher Ghorbanifar effectively set the Iran affair in motion. As Khashoggi told the story to the French writer Michel Clerc, the meeting took place in Hamburg in April 1985.

Draper notes furthermore that the deal soon involved three Israelis, Yaacov Nimrodi, Adolph (Al) Schwimmer, and David Kimche, for whom “Khashoggi was no newcomer.”Together with Israeli Defense Minister Sharon, the three had “met with President Nimeiri of the Sudan [in May 1982] at a safari resort in Kenya owned by Khashoggi”—i.e., the Safari Club.106 But Khashoggi’s connection to Schwimmer went even further back: the two men had been introduced in Las Vegas by Schwimmer’s partner in gun-running to the infant state of Israel, Hank Greenspun.107

Draper’s account of the Hamburg meeting fails however to note that Miles Copeland and his assistant Larry Kolb were (according to their own accounts) also present. Copeland writes that he and Khashoggi met with the Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar, after which Copeland wrote up an Iran arms sales proposal. Copeland claims this had nothing to do with either Contras or hostages, but was intended as a “second paper to McFarlane…as an appendix to the ‘Marshall Plan’ paper. So far as [Khashoggi} was personally concerned, he was attracted to [Ghorbanifar’s] proposal only to the extent to which it could be tied into plans for over all Middle Eastern peace.”108

Copeland’s aide Larry Kolb agrees that he, Copeland, Khashoggi, and Schwimmer were all present with Ghorbanifar and others at the 1985 Hamburg meeting. There, according to Kolb, Khashoggi

said that in recent meetings in Washington, he’d been told that if the American government was going to participate in this venture…it would have to be structured in such a way that there would be no trail of arms… leading from the United States to Iran. So, Adnan said… it had been arranged that the actual goods could come from the Israeli government… and be transported directly from Israel to Iran….

But arms trading and spare parts and hostages took up very little of the conversation that day. Most of the time was spent thinking, and talking,… about a strategic opening between the United States and Iran – as a means of blunting Soviet attempts to dominate the world’s third largest oil producer.109

Later he and Copeland wrote up the meeting in a paper “titled ‘Adnan Khashoggi’s Views on the Possibilities of a Strategic Initiative Between the United States and Iran’,” that “wasn’t about an arms deal.” They gave it to Khashoggi to present to McFarlane.

We had no idea then that… months later a wild-ass Marine colonel would force the whole thing out into the open by stealing Adnan [Khashoggi]’s fifteen-million-dollar bridge loan which funded the sale and sending the money to the Nicaraguan Contra rebels.110

The Congressional investigation of the Iran-Contra Affair agrees with Kolb that “Khashoggi suggested that Ghorbanifar try to develop access to the United States and its arms through Israel.”111 And the Senate investigation of BCCI also reports:

Both Saudi businessman Adnan Khashoggi and Iranian arms merchant Manucher Ghorbanifar were central agents of the United States in selling arms to Iran in the Iran/Contra affair. According to the official chronologies of the Iran/Contra committees, Khashoggi acted as the middleman for five Iranian arms deals for the United States, financing a number of them through BCCI …. According to his own and other published accounts, he provided some $30 million in loans altogether…. Both Khashoggi and Ghorbanifar banked at BCCI's offices in Monte Carlo, and for both, BCCI's services were essential.112

Both Ghorbanifar and Khashoggi have been presented as mavericks interested in arms sales for their own individual profit. However the participation of Copeland  suggests that, once again,  what Copeland called “friends in Langley” may have been interested in engaging them in an operation to which both the Secretaries of State and of Defense were resolutely opposed.

The Deep State and the BCCI Cover-Up

It is clear that for years the American deep state in Washington was both involved with and protected BCCI. Acting CIA director Richard Kerr acknowledged to a Senate Committee “that the CIA had also used BCCI for certain intelligence-gathering operations.”113

Later, a congressional inquiry showed that for more than ten years preceding the BCCI collapse in the summer of 1991, the FBI, the DEA, the CIA, the Customs Service, and the Department of Justice all failed to act on hundreds of tips about the illegalities of BCCI’s international activities.114

Far less clear is the attitude taken by Wall Street banks towards the miscreant BCCI. The Senate report on BCCI charged however that the Bank of England “had withheld information about BCCI’s frauds from public knowledge for 15 months before closing the bank.”115

Of course the scope and influence of BCCI reflected changes in the global superstructure of finance since the oil price hikes of the 1970s. A recent study of the dangerously unstable concentration of ownership in the world showed only four recognizable Wall Street institutions among the top twenty: JPMorgan Chase & Co, the Goldman Sachs Group, Bank of New York Mellon Corp, and Merrill Lynch.116 Of these, Bank of New York, the bank heavily involved in the 1990s looting of Russia, interlocked with BCCI through the Swiss banking activities of the international banker Bruce Rappaport, “thought to have ties to US and Israeli intelligence.” (Alfred Hartmann, a board member of BCCI, was both vice-chairman of Rappaport's Swiss bank, Bank of New York-Intermaritime, and also head of BCCI’s Swiss subsidiary, the Banque de Commerce et de Placements).117 The mysterious E.P. Barry, the OSS veteran who had overseen the recovery of SS gold in Operation Safehaven before becoming the banking partner of Paul Helliwell, was also a major stockholder in Rappaport’s Inter Maritime Bank.)118

The collapse of BCCI in 1991 did not see an end to systematic Saudi-financed political corruption in the U.S. and elsewhere. After a proposed major arms sale in the 1980s met enhanced opposition in Congress from the Israeli lobby, Saudi Arabia negotiated a multi-billion pound long-term contract with the United Kingdom – the so-called al-Yamamah deal. It developed much later that overpayments for the purchased weapons were siphoned off into a huge slush fund for political payoffs, including “hundreds of millions of pounds to the ex-Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar bin Sultan."119 According to Robert Lacey, the payments to Prince Bandar were said to total one billion pounds over more than a decade, including “a suitcase containing more than $10 million” that went to a Vatican priest for the CIA’s long-time clients, the Christian Democratic Party.120 The money went through a Saudi Embassy account in the Riggs Bank, Washington; according to Trento, the Embassy’s use of the Riggs Bank dated back to the mid-1970s, when, in his words, “the Saudi royal family had taken over intelligence financing for the United States.”121

As we saw earlier. the CIA had “laundered over $10 million in captured Axis funds to influence the [Italian] election [of 1948].”122 These practices, in other words, survived the legal efforts to end them.

Conclusion: A Supranational Deep State

The complex milieu of Khashoggi, the BCCI, and the Safari Club can be characterized as a supranational deep state, whose organic links to the CIA may have helped consolidate it. It is clear however that decisions taken at this level by the Safari Club and BCCI were in no way guided by the political determinations of those elected to power in Washington. On the contrary, Prince Turki’s candid remarks revealed that the Safari Club (with the alleged participation of two former CIA Directors, Bush and Helms) was expressly created to overcome restraints established by political decisions in Washington.

A former Turkish president and prime minister once commented that the Turkish deep state was the real state, and the public state was only a “spare state,” not the real one.123 A better understanding of the American deep state is necessary, if we are to prevent it from assuming permanently the same role.

Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of Drugs Oil and War, The Road to 9/11, and The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War. His most recent book is American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan. His website, which contains a wealth of his writings, is here.

Recommended Citation: Peter Dale Scott, "The State, the Deep State, and the Wall Street Overworld," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Volume 12, Issue 10, No. 5, March 10, 2014.

Notes

1 Dana Priest and William Arkin, Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State (New York: Little Brown, 2011), 52.

2 E.g. Marc Ambinder and D.G. Grady, Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry (New York: Wiley, 2013); cf. John Tirman, “The Quiet Coup: No, Not Egypt. Here,” HuffingtonPost, July 9, 2013: “Now we know: the United States of America is partially governed by a deep state, undemocratic, secret, aligned with intelligence agencies, spying on friend and foe, lawless in almost every respect.”

3 Mike Lofgren, “A Shadow Government Controls America,” Reader Supported News, February 22, 2014.

4 Grant Barrett, “A Wordnado of Words in 2013,” New York Times, December 21, 2013.

5 Peter Dale Scott, Deep politics and the death of JFK (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 7.

6 “Tom Hayden discussing the crisis in Venezuela,” Tikkun, February 25, 2014.

7 To take a single telling example, six of Sam Walton's heirs are now reportedly wealthier than the bottom 30% of Americans, or 94.5 million people (Tim Worstall, “Six Waltons Have More Wealth Than the Bottom 30% of Americans,” Forbes, December 14, 2011). Cf. the devastating picture of a disintegrating America in George Packer, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013).

8 See Kevin Phillips, The politics of rich and poor: wealth and the American electorate in the Reagan aftermath (New York: HarperCollins, 1991). Cf. John T. Stinson, The Reagan Legacy (Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2009), 146; Timothy Noah, The great divergence: America's growing inequality crisis and what we can do about it (New York: Bloomsbury, 2012).

9 For the impact of railroads on expanded social awareness, see Benedict Anderson, Imagined communities: reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism (London: Verso, 1991).

10 “What is the Deep State?” On Religion [2013].

11 Gareth Jenkins, “Susurluk and the Legacy of Turkey’s Dirty War,” Terrorism Monitor, May 1, 2008; quoted in Peter Dale Scott, “9/11, Deep State Violence and the Hope of Internet Politics," Global Research, June 11, 2008. For the Susurluk incident, see also Scott, American War Machine, 19-20, etc.

12 Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, xi-xii.

13 Lofgren, “ A Shadow Government Controls America.”

14 Quoted in Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America, 1.

15 Forbes magazine founder Bertie Charles Forbes wrote six years later: “Picture a party of the nation's greatest bankers stealing out of New York on a private railroad car under cover of darkness, stealthily riding hundred[s] of miles South, embarking on a mysterious launch, sneaking onto an island [the appropriately named Jekyll Island] deserted by all but a few servants, living there a full week under such rigid secrecy that the names of not one of them was once mentioned, lest the servants learn the identity and disclose to the world this strangest, most secret expedition in the history of American finance. I am not romancing; I am giving to the world, for the first time, the real story of how the famous Aldrich currency report, the foundation of our new currency system, was written (B.C. Forbes, Leslie’s Weekly, October 19, 1916; in T. Cushing Daniel, Real money versus false money-bank credits; the most important factor in civilization and least understood by the people [Washington, D.C., The Monetary educational bureau, 1924], 169; cf. B.C. Forbes, Men who are making America [New York: Forbes Publishing Co., 1922], 398; cf. G. Edward Griffin, The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve [Westlake Village, CA: American Media, 1994]). Paul Warburg later wrote that “Though eighteen years have since gone by, I do not feel free to give a description of this most interesting conference, concerning which Senator Aldrich pledged all participants to secrecy” (Paul Warburg, The Federal Reserve System: Its Origin and Growth [New York, Macmillan, 1930], ZZ).

16 Congress was persuaded to provide perfunctory support of the bailout, under an alleged mysterious threat of martial law. See Peter Dale Scott, “Martial Law, the Financial Bailout, and War,” Global Research, January 8, 2009; reprinted in  Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall, eds., The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century (Montreal, Global Research Publishers. Centre for Research on Globalization, 2010), 219-40; Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., “Sen. Inhofe: [Henry] Paulsen [Secretary of the Treasury and former Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs] Threatened Martial Law To Pass Bailout,” LewRockwell.com, November 20, 2008.

17 Richard Helms with William Hood A look over my shoulder: a life in the Central Intelligence Agency (New York: Random House, 2003), 82-83. Cf. Scott, American War Machine, 26-28.

18 Laurence H Shoup and William Minter, Imperial brain trust: the Council on Foreign Relations and United States foreign policy (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977).

19 Gordon Thomas, Secret Wars: One Hundred Years of British Intelligence Inside MI5 and MI6 (New York: Thomas Dunne Books/ St. Martin’s Press, 2009), 98. This may have occurred during Dulles’s visit to Europe in the spring of 1947 (James Srodes, Dulles: Master of Spies [Washington: Henry Regnery, 1999], 392).

20 Richard Aldrich, The Hidden Hand: Britain, America, and Cold War secret intelligence (Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 2001), 343. Dulles also chaired the executive committee of the companion National Committee for a Free Europe (behind the Iron Curtain), whose legal affairs were handled by Sullivan and Cromwell (Wilson D. Miscamble, George F. Kennan and the Making of American Foreign Policy, 1947-1950 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992), 204.

21 Amy B. Zegart, Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC (Stanford: Stanford UP, 1999), 189; citing Christopher Andrew, For the President’s Eyes Only (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), 172; see also Church Committee, Final Report, Book 4, 28-29.

22 David Wise and Thomas B. Ross, The Espionage Establishment (New York: Random House, 1967), 166; Scott, Road to 9/11, 13.

23 “In January 1946 Dulles outlined in some detail a reconstruction plan that is one of the earliest notions of what would, a year later, be known as the Marshall Plan” (Srodes, Allen Dulles: Master of Spies, 374).

24 Tim Weiner, Legacy of ashes: the history of the CIA (New York: Doubleday, 2007), 28.

25 Douglas Valentine, “The French Connection Revisited: The CIA, Irving Brown, and Drug Smuggling as Political Warfare,” Covert Action.

26 Norbert Schlei, “Japan's ‘M-Fund’ Memorandum, January 7, 1991,“ JPRI [Japan Policy Research Institute] Working Paper No. 11: July 1995: “Incident to the revision of the Security Treaty [in 1960], Vice President Nixon agreed to turn over exclusive control of the M-Fund to Japan. It has been alleged that this action by Nixon was part of a corrupt political bargain, whereby it was agreed that if Japan would assist him to become President of the United States, Nixon would agree to release control of the Fund to Japan and, if he became President, would return Okinawa to Japan.”

27 "C.I.A. Spent Millions to Support Japanese Right in 50's and 60's," New York Times, October 9, 1994. Cf. Scott, American War Machine, 93-94, 298-99; citing Chalmers Johnson, “The 1955 System and the American Connection: A Bibliographic Introduction,” JPRI [Japan Policy Research Institute] Working Paper No. 11: July 1995.

28 Sterling Seagrave and Peggy Seagrave, Gold warriors: America's secret recovery of Yamashita's gold (London: Verso, 2003). Cf. Richard Hoyt, Old Soldiers Sometimes Lie (New York: Forge, 2002), 80.

29 Scott, American War Machine, 94, etc.

30 Scott, American War Machine,

31 Norman Mailer, “A Harlot High and Low: Reconnoitering Through the Secret Government,” New York, August 16, 1976 (Hughes); Michael Schaller, Altered states: the United States and Japan since the occupation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 294 (Lockheed).

32 Johnson, “The 1955 System and the American Connection.”

33  David E. Kaplan and Alec Dubro, Yakuza: Japan's Criminal Underworld (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), 89-90. Cf. Jonathan Marshall, in William O. Walker, III, ed., Drug control policy: essays in historical and comparative perspective (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992), 108:

“Yoshio Kodama’s fortune, built of profits from tungsten and opium, established the party that today rules Japan…. Kodama contributed to the pervasive corruption of Japanese politics by steering huge corporate contributions into the coffers of favored LDP members. This pattern culminated in the Lockheed scandal, which revealed that multi-million-dollar payoff by American aerospace firms had swayed key procurement decisions by Japan’s national airline and defense establishment and raised the possibility that the CIA had used Kodama and corporate funds to influence Japanese politics. The money-laundering channel used for Lockheed’s bribes was favored both by the CIA and international drug traffickers.”

34 Thomas Fensch, ed. The C.I.A. and the U-2 Program: 1954-1974 (The Woodlands, TX: New Century Books, 2001).

35 William D. Hartung, Prophets of war: Lockheed Martin and the making of the military-industrial complex (New York: Nation Books, 2011), 121; David Boulton, The Grease Machine (New York: Harper & Row, 1978), 97 (friends).

36 Andrew Feinstein, The shadow world: inside the global arms trade (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), 265; Anthony Sampson, The Arms Bazaar (New York: Viking, 1977), 135-36.

37 Bradley R. Simpson, Economists with guns: authoritarian development and U.S.-Indonesian relations, 1960-1968  (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008), 142;

quoting from CIA, “Political Action Project,”, November 19, 1964; FRUS, 1964-1968, 26:181-84.

38 In addition there was “a US deal to deliver 200 light aircraft to the Indonesian Army in July 1965.” The aircraft went to the army’s Diponegoro division, which “ as well as supplying the bulk of the  [September 30] “coup” personnel in Java, … also provided the bulk of the personnel for its suppression” (Nathaniel Mehr, Constructive bloodbath' in Indonesia: the United States, Britain and the mass killings of 1965-66 [Nottingham: Spokesman Books, 2009], 36).

39 Peter Dale Scott, “The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-1967,” Pacific Affairs, 58, Summer 1985; citing

United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations, Multinational corporations and United States foreign policy, hearings before the Subcommittee on Multinational Corporations (Washington: U.S. Govt. Printing Office, 1973-1976), Part 12, 937-65.

40 Scott, “The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno.”

41 Masashi Nishihara, The Japanese and Sukarno's Indonesia: Tokyo-Jakarta relations, 1951-1966 (Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1976), 171, 194, 202; Scott, “The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno.”

42 Fortune, July 1973, 154, cf. Wall Street Journal, April 18, 1967.

43 John Dumbrell and Axel R Schäfer (eds.), America's 'special relationships’: foreign and domestic aspects of the politics of alliance (London: Routledge, 2009), 187.

44 John Foster Dulles to Lord McGowan, Chairman of Imperial Chemical Industries; in Nancy Lisagor and Frank Lipsius, A law unto itself: the untold story of the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell (New York: Morrow, 1988), 127.

45 Charles T. O'Reilly, Forgotten Battles: Italy's War of Liberation, 1943-1945 (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2001), 288; Peter Dale Scott, "How Allen Dulles and the SS Preserved Each Other," Covert Action Information Bulletin, 25 (Winter 1986), 4-14.  Dulles’s plans to use SS resources in post-war Germany cab be seen as part of a successful plan to frustrate the implementation of Roosevelt’s so-called Morgenthau Plan to deindustrialize Germany.

46 Stephen Dorril, MI6, 659-660.

47 Ovid Demaris, Dirty Business: The Corporate-Political Money-Power Game (New York: Avon, 1974), 213-14.

48 J.P.D. Dunbabin, International relations since 1945 : a history in two volumes

(London: Longman, 1994), Vol 2, 344. The boycott is denied without argumentation in Exxon’s corporate history (Bennett H. Wall et al., Growth in a changing environment: a history of Standard Oil Company (New Jersey), Exxon Corporation, 1950-1975 (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1988), Vol. 4, 476: “Despite oft-printed statements to the contrary, the oil majors did not conspire to boycott NIOC oil.”

49 Robert Palmer Smith, Darkest truths of black gold: an oil industry executive breaks the industry's code of silence (New York: iUniverse, 2007), 256. In July 1952 Mossadeq attempted to break the embargo by contracting to sell oil to a small private Italian oil firm. The manoeuver was frustrated by the British Royal Navy, which in July 1952 intercepted the Italian tanker Rose Mary and redirected it to Aden. The news dissuaded other tankers from trying to reach Abadan (Mary Ann Heiss, Empire and Nationhood: The United States, Great Britain, and Iranian Oil, 1950-1954 [New York: Columbia University Press, 1997], 130; Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah's men: an American coup and the roots of Middle East terror [Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2003], 136).

50 Mostafa Elm, Oil, Power, and Principle: Iran's Oil Nationalization and Its Aftermath (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1992), 198-99 (Churchill); Robert Moskin, American Statecraft: The Story of the U.S. Foreign Service (New York: Thomas Dunne Books/ St. Martin's Press, 2013), 627-28 (Harriman).

51 Demaris, Dirty Business, 214-25: “The incoming Eisenhower Administration… quickly dropped the criminal case. The civil suit that was instituted alleged that the five American oil companies violated the Sherman Antitrust and the Wilson Tariff Acts by conspiring to divide and control foreign production and distribution…. An inadequate staff was assigned to the case and the action finally petered out a decade later with a couple of meaningless consent decrees.”

52 Robert Sherrill, The oil follies of 1970-1980: how the petroleum industry stole the show (and much more besides) (Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1983), 221).

53  William R. Freudenburg and Robert Gramling,     Oil in troubled waters: perceptions, politics, and the battle over offshore drilling (Albany : State University of New York Press, 1994); 17; citing Shukri Mohammed Ghanem, OPEC, the Rise and Fall of an Exclusive Club (London : KPI, 1986); Mira Wilkins, “The Oil Companies in Perspective,” in Raymond Vernon (ed.), The Oil Crisis (New York: Norton, 1976).

54 William Roger Louis, “Britain and the Overthrow of Mossadeq,” in Mark J. Gasiorowski and Malcolm Byrne (eds.), Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 coup in Iran (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2004), 168. Cf. William R. Clark, Petrodollar warfare: oil, Iraq and the future of the dollar (Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers, 2005), 125: “[T]he Dulles brothers had already conceived a plot when Eisenhower became president in January 1953.”

55 Scot Macdonald, Rolling the iron dice : historical analogies and decisions to use military force in regional contingencies (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000), 98. Cf. Richard H. Immerman, John Foster Dulles: Piety, Pragmatism, and Power in U.S. Foreign Policy (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1999), 67. Allen Dulles played a personal role in TP/AJAX, by flying to Italy and persuading the frightened Shah to return to Tehran.

56 In the past, wishing to dissociate the term “deep state” from organizational connotations, I have written of the American “deep state” as “a milieu both inside and outside government with the power to steer the history of the public state and sometimes redirect it” (“William Pawley, the Kennedy Assassination, and Watergate,” Global Research, November 29, 2012. But because there are extra-governmental structural components to the deep state, it might be better to think of it as not just a milieu, but more analogous to an oligopolistic market.

57 See Chalmers A Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2004), 218-19; Timothy Mitchell, Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil (New York: Verso Books, 2011), 212.

58 Tim Shorrock, Spies for Hire (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008), 6.

59 Glenn Greenwald, “Mike McConnell, the WashPost & the dangers of sleazy corporatism,” Salon, March 29, 2010.

60 George H. W. Bush was an adviser to Carlyle, which in its early days “backed a management-led buyout of Caterair and appointed George W Bush to the board” (Jamie Doward, “Bush Sr's Carlyle Group Gets Fat On War And Conflict,” The Observer, March 25, 2003.)

61 Lofgren, “ A Shadow Government Controls America.”

62 Booz Allen Hamilton’s headquarters is now in McLean, Virginia, close to the HQ of the CIA.

63 Art Kleiner, Booz Allen Hamilton: Helping Clients Envision the Future, (Old Saybrook, CT: Greenwich Publishing, 2004), 43.

64 John Prados, Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2006.), 139. Cf. Christine N. Halili, Philippine History (Manila: Rex Book Store, 2004), 258 (Philippines land distribution).

65 Miles Copeland, The Game Player: the confessions of the CIA's original political operative (London: Aurum Press, 1989), 158.

66 Ephraim Kahana and Muhammad Suwaed, Historical dictionary of Middle Eastern intelligence (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2009), 65 {“advisor”); Jack O'Connell, King's Counsel: A Memoir of War, Espionage, and Diplomacy in the Middle East, (New York : W.W. Norton & Co., 2011), 20 (channel).

67 The BCCI Affair: BCCI, the CIA and Foreign Intelligence, Report to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations by John Kerry and Hank Brown, December 1992; 102nd Congress, 2nd Session, Senate Print 102-140 (“agent”).

68 William D. Hartung, Prophets of war: Lockheed Martin and the making of the military-industrial complex (New York: Nation Books, 2011), 126.

69 Copeland, The Game Player, 231.

70 Copeland, The Game Player, 233.

71 Copeland, The Game Player, 239.

72 E.g. Evan Thomas, The Very Best Men: Four Who Dared: The Early Years of the CIA

 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), 380.

73 Larry J. Kolb, Overworld: The Life and Times of a Reluctant Spy [New York: Riverhead/Penguin, 2004], 237-38. Cf. Copeland, The Game Player, 230, 262-63; Ronald Kessler, The Richest Man in the World: The Story of Adnan Khashoggi (New York: Warner Books), 300-01: “[O]n May 17, 1983, [Khashoggi] submitted to President Reagan a confidential ‘yellow paper’ [which] proposed an economic aid program similar to the 1949 Marshall Plan developed by the U.S. for Europe. Called a Peace Fund, it would provide up to $300 billion in regional economic aid from the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to Israel and any Arab country that signed a peace treaty with it.”

74 Peter Dale Scott, “Deep Events and the CIA's Global Drug Connection,” 911truth.org, October 12, 2008; American War Machine, 160-65.

75 “The BCCI Affair.” Khashoggi’s status had declined, but by no means vanished. As late as 2003, Khashoggi was negotiating with Richard Perle, a member of the Cheney-Rumsfeld clique who at the time was still Chairman of the U.S. Defense Policy Board, to invest considerable Saudi money in Perle's company Trireme (Seymour Hersh, New Yorker, 3/17/03).

76 Copeland, Game Player, 239; cf. 2128.

77 Kessler, The Richest Man in the World, 84, 188, etc.; Scott, American War Machine, 158-62.

78 “Moss, Edward K. #172 646,” CIA Memo of 19 April 1967, NARA #104-10122-10006; CIA Inspector General’s Report on CIA-Mafia Plots to Assassinate Fidel Castro, NARA # 104-10213-10101, p. 38. Cf. memo of 7 November 1962 in CIA’s Edward K. Moss folder, p. 26, NARA #1994.05.03.10:54:53:780005.

79 “Manuel Antonio Varona,” FBI Memorandum of January 16, 1961 to A. H. Belmont, p. 2, 105-76826-20; NARA #124-90055-10139. Cf. “Moss, Edward K. #172 646,” CIA Memo of 14 May 1973, in Meyer Lansky Security File, p. 9, NARA #1993.08.13.17:42:12:560059; CIA letter of 16 December 1960 to FBI, FBI file 105-76826-18; NARA #124-90055-10133. The CIA itself had notified the FBI on December 16, 1960, that Julia “Cellino” had advised that her brothers “have long been associated in the narcotics and white slavery rackets in Cuba (CIA letter of 16 December 1960 to Director, FBI, FBI File 105-76826-18; NARA #124-90055-10133; apparently no copy of this letter has been released from CIA files).

80 Kessler, Richest Man in the World, 29 (Yassin), 275–78 (Khashoggi). A friend of Khashoggi’s, Larry Kolb, reports that Khashoggi himself essentially corroborated the story that Khashoggi and John Kennedy had a friendship in the 1950s that “evolved primarily out of whoring together” (Larry J. Kolb, Overworld: The Life and Times of a Reluctant Spy [New York: Riverhead/Penguin, 2004], 236). The woman who destroyed the presidential aspirations of Senator Gary Hart in 1987 was one of Khashoggi’s many girls.

81 Anthony Summers with Robbyn Swan, The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon (New York: Viking, 2000), 283. Cf. Kessler, The Richest Man in the World, 171: Khashoggi told the prosecutors “that he churned millions through the tiny [Rebozo] bank to win favor with the president.”

82 Investigative reporter Jim Hougan reports the incredulity of congressional investigators that Lockheed was the only large corporation not to have made a contribution to Nixon’s 1972 election campaign (Hougan, Spooks, 457–58.

83 Scott, Road to 9/11, 35; citing Summers, Arrogance of Power, 283; Robert Baer, Sleeping with the Devil (New York: Crown, 2003), 43. (Baer reports the year of the briefcase as 1968, not 1972.) Kolb (“unequivocally, and from personal experience”) denies the briefcase story (Overworld, 299).

84 Scott, Deep politics and the death of JFK, 234-39.

85 Kessler, Richest Man in the World, 129, 160-61. When Hughes flew from Las Vegas to the Paradise Island casino in the Bahamas (where Edward Moss’s brother-in-law Eddie Cellini was casino manager, he did so on a Khashoggi plane. (Kessler, Richest Man, 149-50).

86 Summers with Swan, The Arrogance of Power, 242, 252; Jim Hougan, Spooks, 398. Cf. Denny Walsh, New York Times, January 21, 1974; Gerth, in Government by Gunplay, 137-39.

87 Block, Masters of Paradise, 94-96; Summers with Swan, The Arrogance of Power, 244-45. Benguet Mines have also been associated with Yamashita’s gold (Seagrave, Gold Warriors, 147; Scott, American War Machine, 322n15).

88 Summers with Swan, The Arrogance of Power, 244-45, 253-54.

89 Scott, American War Machine, 71-72. Cf. Wall Street Journal, April 18, 1980: “In 1951, Mr. Helliwell helped set up and run Sea Supply Corp., a concern controlled by the CIA as a front. For almost 10 years, Sea Supply was used to supply huge amounts of weapons and equipment to 10,000 Nationalist Chinese [KMT] troops in Burma as well as to Thailand’s police.”

90 In the course of Operation Safehaven, the U.S. Third Army took an SS major “on several trips to Italy and Austria, and, as a result of these preliminary trips, over $500,000 in gold, as well as jewels, were recovered” (Anthony Cave Brown, The Secret War Report of the OSS [New York: Berkeley, 1976], 565-66).

91 Who's who in Finance and Industry, Marquis Who's Who, 1979, 568.

92 Kessler, Richest Man in the World, 238-41; Scott, American War Machine, 161-62.

93 The operation kept the name “Safari Club” even after moving from Khashoggi’s Club to a permanent headquarters in Cairo.

94 Ibrahim Warde, The price of fear: the truth behind the financial war on terror (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), 133. Cf. Lacey, Inside the Kingdom, 66, 72, 76.

95 Christopher Byron, "The Senate look at BCCI,” New York Magazine, October 28, 1991, 20–21.

96 Lacey, Inside the Kingdom, 66. Cf. John Cooley, Unholy Wars (London: Pluto Press, 1999), 24-27.

97 Mahmood Mamdani, Good Muslim, bad Muslim:  America, the Cold War, and the roots of terror (New York: Pantheon Books 2004), 84.

98 Mamdani, Good Muslim, bad Muslim, 85.

99 Joseph J. Trento, Prelude to terror: the rogue CIA and the legacy of America's private intelligence network (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005), 61.

100 Trento, Prelude to terror, 104-05. Kevin Phillips also notes that  “Bush cemented strong relations with the intelligence services of both Saudi Arabia and the shah of Iran. He worked closely with Kamal Adham, the head of Saudi intelligence” (Kevin Phillips, “The Barrelling Bushes,” Los Angeles Times, January 11, 2004).

101 Trento, Prelude to terror, 113-14.

102 Phillips, “The Barrelling Bushes,” Los Angeles Times, January 11, 2004.

103 There is no published evidence that Copeland was involved in the Safari Club covert operations. But it may be significant that Copeland’s activity of advising the Egyptian Army became after the creation of the Safari Club a franchise of a “private” U.S. firm, J.J. Cappucci and Associates, owned by Theodore Shackley (Trento, Prelude to Terror, 150, 247).

104 Trento, Prelude to Terror, 139.

105 There is no published evidence that Copeland was involved in the Safari Club covert operations. But it may be significant that Copeland’s activity of advising the Egyptian Army became after the creation of the Safari Club a franchise of a “private” U.S. firm, J.J. Cappucci and Associates, owned by Theodore Shackley (Trento, Prelude to Terror, 150, 247).

106 Theodore Draper, A Very Thin Line (New York: Hill and Wang, 1991), 129, 131. Cf. Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman, Every spy a prince: the complete history of Israel's intelligence community (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990), 261; Mayn Katz, Song of Spies (Heliographica Press, 2005) 136-37.

107 Samuel Segev ; translated by Haim Watzman, The Iranian triangle : the untold story of Israel's role in the Iran-Contra (New York: The Free Press, 1988), 10. For the collaboration of Greenspun, Schwimmer and Meyer Lansky in gun-running, see Leonard Slater, The Pledge (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1970). Paul Helliwell may have been part of this operation; see Scott, American War Machine, 71, 164.

108 Copeland, The Game Player, 263.

109 Kolb, Overworld, 246.

110 Kolb, Overworld, 247.

111 Iran-Contra Affair, Report of the congressional committees investigating the Iran-Contra Affair (U.S. Congress, H. Rept. No. 100-433, S. Rept. No. 100-216), 164.

112 Kerry-Brown Report, Part 11, “BCCI, the CIA and Foreign Intelligence

113 Kerry-Brown Report, Part 11, “BCCI, the CIA and Foreign Intelligence

114 Dan Bawley, Corporate Governance and Accountability: What Role for the Regulator, Director, and Auditor? (Westport, CT: Quorum, 1999). 37.

115 Bawley, Corporate Governance and Accountability, 37.

116 “Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world.” New Scientist, October 24, 2011.

117 Scott, American War Conspiracy, 163; quoting from Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin, False Profits: The Inside Story of BCCI, the World’s Most Corrupt Financial Empire (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992), 384 (“ties”).

118 Alan A. Block and Constance A. Weaver, All is clouded by desire: global banking, money laundering, and international organized crime (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004), 36-37.

119 “Saudi prince 'received arms cash',” BBC, June 7, 2007. It is unclear whether payments continued after 2001, when the UK signed the OECD's Anti-Bribery Convention, making such overpayments illegal.

120 Robert Lacey, Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia (New York: Penguin Books, 2009), 108.

121 Trento, Prelude to Terror, 102.

122 Amy B. Zegart, Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC (Stanford: Stanford UP, 1999), 189; citing Christopher Andrew, For the President’s Eyes Only (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), 172; see also Church Committee, Final Report, Book 4, 28-29.

123 Former Turkish President and Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel commented that “In our country… there is one deep state and one other state…. The state that should be real is the spare one, the one that should be spare is the real one” (Jon Gorvett, “Turkey’s ‘Deep State’ Surfaces in Former President’s Words, Deeds in Kurdish Town,” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, January/February 2006); quoted in Scott, American War Machine, 24.


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The Deep State 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015

[Mar 25, 2017] Hillary and her faction were puppets of deep state. Their liberal interventionist hawk was the same idea as neocons, in many cases it was the same people.

Notable quotes:
"... I suspect that Bill and Hillary Clinton were recruited in the sixties under COINTELPRO (Hillary) and the CIA to do spywork for them. Having been a college student in the late sixties, if you went to a peace rally there was an undercover FBI agent to your left, a CIA asset to your right, a military intelligence officer sitting behind you and a cop from the local red squad in front of you. ..."
"... I understand that Bill's friends in England just presumed he was CIA. ..."
"... Hillary's morphing from Goldwater Girl to neoliberal Democrat occurred while she was hovering around Black Panther legal problems. She observed the Panther trials in New Haven and then spent a summer interning for the law firm in Berkeley that at the time was representing the Black Panthers on the West Coast. The Panthers were the FBI's number one target back then. ..."
"... having "moderate" Dems connected to the Deep State is always helpful. It appears that the role of the Clintons in our unwritten history was to move the Democratic Party to the corporate right. ..."
"... Hillary, when serving on the legal staff for the Democratic Watergate Committee, certainly sat in a place where she could report Democratic progress and how various intelligence leaks were viewed by the other Democrats. ..."
"... The current "Russia hack/Trump traitor" false flag (I describe it more fully below) was originally to give a self-righteous President Clinton the moral high ground to march into Ukraine, the one thing that Trump wouldn't give the Deep State. ..."
Mar 25, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Mark Thomason , March 23, 2017 at 1:08 pm

This should be no real surprise. Hillary and her faction were neo-Republicans. Their liberal interventionist hawk was the same idea as neocons, in many cases it was the same people.

They kept control of the party. It is not Democratic in the sense of opposing war or McCarthyism or corporate abuses or Wall Street or trade agreements. It is bought and paid for by the people who were the Republicans all along.

This is the end state of triangulating courtesy of Bill Clinton. We have two Republican parties, one even crazier than the other.

Bob In Portland , March 23, 2017 at 4:00 pm

I suspect that Bill and Hillary Clinton were recruited in the sixties under COINTELPRO (Hillary) and the CIA to do spywork for them. Having been a college student in the late sixties, if you went to a peace rally there was an undercover FBI agent to your left, a CIA asset to your right, a military intelligence officer sitting behind you and a cop from the local red squad in front of you.

I understand that Bill's friends in England just presumed he was CIA.

Hillary's morphing from Goldwater Girl to neoliberal Democrat occurred while she was hovering around Black Panther legal problems. She observed the Panther trials in New Haven and then spent a summer interning for the law firm in Berkeley that at the time was representing the Black Panthers on the West Coast. The Panthers were the FBI's number one target back then.

After JFK's removal, the Deep State wanted better control of both parties. Nixon wasn't supposed to be the problem he was for them, so Watergate. But having "moderate" Dems connected to the Deep State is always helpful. It appears that the role of the Clintons in our unwritten history was to move the Democratic Party to the corporate right.

Perhaps Bill earned his bones with Asa Hutchinson in the 80s by ignoring Mena. Hillary, when serving on the legal staff for the Democratic Watergate Committee, certainly sat in a place where she could report Democratic progress and how various intelligence leaks were viewed by the other Democrats.

The current "Russia hack/Trump traitor" false flag (I describe it more fully below) was originally to give a self-righteous President Clinton the moral high ground to march into Ukraine, the one thing that Trump wouldn't give the Deep State.

JWalters , March 23, 2017 at 9:14 pm

Interesting speculations. For new readers just getting acquainted with the Deep State, consider the scholarly work by professor Peter Dale Scott. Here are three interviews about his books.

In the Conversations With History series from UC Berkeley.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBGgxU27kJA

Deep Politics on the 50th anniversary of JFK's murder.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0CFpMej3mA

The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QH9yOzhkio

[Mar 25, 2017] Every time the ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California opens his mouth to propagate unsubstantiated allegations against Russia and Russian influence on the last US elections, he makes a reminder, inadvertently, of the First Husband (the philanderer) taking $500.000 from Russians.

Notable quotes:
"... Another official US moron has blamed Russia, this time for "supplying Taliban" in Afghanistan. US Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti announced that "it was conceivable that Russia was providing supplies to the Afghan Taliban". ..."
"... It appears that absolutely any personal or group failure by any US official gets automatically converted into "Russia did it". Little kids are more creative when they say "the dog ate my homework". ..."
"... He showed the two political parties as 'two wings of the same bird of prey" ..."
"... 69 percent of the [US] people have been taken in with the Russia bashing ..."
"... I would trace the transition of the Democrats to a war party, not to the fear of being labeled disloyal after Iraq War 1, but to their being taken over by the zionists. The top ten "donors" to Clinton (Kleinberg) were Jewish, every single one of them! Over $100 million. Obama got over $100 million from a single Jewish "donor." They want those Mideast wars because they are religious fanatics and thieves. Those are the facts of the Democrats. They are owned by zionist traitors. They are Ziocrats. ..."
"... The simplistic notion that the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists" is a dangerous illusion that needs debunking. While there is no doubt that Natanyahu's Israel supports a policy in sync with that of neo-con objectives, it is beyond a stretch to attribute that policy to that Israel's exaggerated influence in the US. ..."
"... Rather, Israel, as well as Israel's Saudi allies, are both instruments of British Empire policy, sometimes called "globalism," which was adopted and embraced by what can be called the Obama faction of the Democratic Party and its backers in the Republican right. ..."
"... US policy, especially in the post-Soviet era has been determined by a failing attempt to maintain a "unipolar" world that no longer exists and should never have been. The freak-out over Trump's exposure of British Intelligence's GCHQ, heralding a possible rupture in Britain's "special relationship" is an indication of the fear gripping the Anglo-American financial oligarchy that their control over the US is slip-sliding away and that the US will pursue its political and economic self-interest by establishing new relationships to true world powers Russia, China, India and Japan. ..."
"... The simplistic notion that the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists" is a dangerous illusion that needs debunking. ..."
"... Can you share with readers why you used the term "dangerous illusion" and why it needs debunking? According to William Binney, Obama's use of GCHQ was nothing more than standard operating procedure, an everyday mode of business, to avoid breaking American laws – nothing new, so therefore presenting no threat of rupturing U.S.-British "special relationship". ..."
"... The top ten "donors" to Clinton (Kleinberg) were Jewish, every single one of them! Over $100 million. Obama got over $100 million from a single Jewish "donor." ..."
"... I can tell you that the atmosphere is such on campus that a social science faculty member needs to be very careful not to be taken for having "sympathies" for either Russia or China. I repeatedly hear comments that are chilling, and just nod and get away. ..."
"... When did the Democratic Party turn into the post-war war party? At the Democratic convention in 1944 when the establishment did a coup against FDR's right hand man, ..."
Mar 25, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Anna , March 23, 2017 at 4:24 pm

Every time the ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California opens his mouth to propagate unsubstantiated allegations against Russia and Russian influence on the last US elections, he makes a reminder, inadvertently, of the First Husband (the philanderer) taking $500.000 from Russians. The money was a bribe intended to make a right impression on Mrs. Clinton. Keep going Mr. Schiff. There were also tens of millions of $US dollars delivered to Clintons Foundation by the major sponsors of terrorism. These tens of millions of dollars from Saudis, Qatari, and Moroccans constitute bribing of a State Department official. As a result of these bribes, the US government has violated the US Constitution by supplying the US-made weaponry to the Middle Eastern warmongering despots/sponsors of terrorism. That is indeed a treason. Let Mr. Schiff talk. He has been making a nice rope for his own hanging.

Skip Scott , March 24, 2017 at 8:02 am

Great post Anna.

Kiza , March 24, 2017 at 8:06 am

Another official US moron has blamed Russia, this time for "supplying Taliban" in Afghanistan. US Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti announced that "it was conceivable that Russia was providing supplies to the Afghan Taliban".

It appears that absolutely any personal or group failure by any US official gets automatically converted into "Russia did it". Little kids are more creative when they say "the dog ate my homework".

But what this sick and unintelligent bull does to Russia? It appears that the US coup in Ukraine and its support for Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria have solidified Putin's popularity rating at around an unimaginable 85%. All this in the middle of a fairly serious economic crisis in Russia. There is and there has been no major country in the World where the leader has had such approval rating, for so long and despite the economy in a bad shape. Read all about it: http://johnhelmer.net/the-us-war-has-been-good-for-president-vladimir-putin-and-the-russian-economy-looks-stable-through-the-presidential-election-so-if-you-are-a-us-warfighter-what-is-the-regime-change-opportunity-no/#more-17368

Therefore, all these US Demopublicans, generals and other assorted officials are obviously all on Putin's payroll, because they keep working to increase his popularity.

Bill Bodden , March 23, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Democrats. Republicans. Same old, same old.

In 1904 Upton Sinclair wrote in The Jungle :

"The original edition of the novel concluded with its proletarian protagonist attending a mass rally addressed by the American Socialist Party's mesmerizing presidential candidate – Sinclair's fictional representation of Eugene Debs. The candidate, Sinclair wrote:

"was a man of electric presence, tall and gaunt, with a face worn think by struggle and suffering. The fury of outraged manhood gleamed in him – and the tears of suffering. When he spoke he paced the stage restlessly; he was lithe and eager, like a panther. He leaned over, reaching out for his audience; he pointed into their souls with an insistent finger. His voice was husky from much speaking, but the hall was still as death, and everyone heard him. He spoke the language of workingmen – he pointed them the way. He showed the two political parties as 'two wings of the same bird of prey" [emphasis added]. The people were allowed to choose between their candidates, and both of them were controlled, and all their nominations were dictated by, the same [money] power."

In a number of essays Walter Karp made similar points backed up by lots of evidence.

Accidental , March 23, 2017 at 8:04 pm

That book should be required reading in this country. I suspect most people have never even heard of it despite the fact that it was undoubtedly one of the most influential books of the early 20th century.

D5-5 , March 23, 2017 at 1:34 pm

The time is extraordinary in the reckless and naked way the PTB (i.e. the two major parties) are exposing themselves as to NOT serving the people. I was disappointed today to read on RT that 69 percent of the [US] people have been taken in with the Russia bashing (showing I've been wrong lately on my estimates), but I'm hopeful that will not last. More important, Robert's article shows us the dedication of the parties to their deeper playbook, which is obviously controlled by financial interests, not the people's interests. The nakedness of this exposure today is unusual in my experience of watching Washington.

Recommended: a look at what could be a companion piece to Robert's article from Mike Whitney in today's counterpunch, titled "Will Washington risk WWIII to block an emerging EU-Russia super-state":

From that article:

"For the last 70 years the imperial strategy has worked without a hitch, but now Russia's resurgence and China's explosive growth are threatening to break free from Washington's stranglehold. The Asian allies have begun to crisscross Central Europe and Asis with pipelines and high-speed rail that will gather together the far-flung statelets scattered across the steppe, draw them into a Eurasian Economic Union, and link them to an expansive and thriving superstate, the epicenter of global commerce and industry."

BannanaBoat , March 23, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Neither the proud Russians nor Chinese will diminish their nation and culture. BRICS is the level of unity they will accept.

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 1:36 pm

I would trace the transition of the Democrats to a war party, not to the fear of being labeled disloyal after Iraq War 1, but to their being taken over by the zionists. The top ten "donors" to Clinton (Kleinberg) were Jewish, every single one of them! Over $100 million. Obama got over $100 million from a single Jewish "donor." They want those Mideast wars because they are religious fanatics and thieves. Those are the facts of the Democrats. They are owned by zionist traitors. They are Ziocrats.

J. D. , March 23, 2017 at 2:02 pm

The simplistic notion that the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists" is a dangerous illusion that needs debunking. While there is no doubt that Natanyahu's Israel supports a policy in sync with that of neo-con objectives, it is beyond a stretch to attribute that policy to that Israel's exaggerated influence in the US.

Rather, Israel, as well as Israel's Saudi allies, are both instruments of British Empire policy, sometimes called "globalism," which was adopted and embraced by what can be called the Obama faction of the Democratic Party and its backers in the Republican right.

US policy, especially in the post-Soviet era has been determined by a failing attempt to maintain a "unipolar" world that no longer exists and should never have been. The freak-out over Trump's exposure of British Intelligence's GCHQ, heralding a possible rupture in Britain's "special relationship" is an indication of the fear gripping the Anglo-American financial oligarchy that their control over the US is slip-sliding away and that the US will pursue its political and economic self-interest by establishing new relationships to true world powers Russia, China, India and Japan.

Brad Owen , March 23, 2017 at 3:15 pm

Well said. It's also time to get rid of the phony "Special Relationship" (between 1%er oligarchs of The City and The Street), to replace it with the actual Special Relationship, so as to ease UK's transition into the New multi-polar Era dawning: this is tribal, in that dear old "Mother Country" need not worry that Her "Four Children" (Australia, Canada, N.Z., USA) will leave Her out in the cold. THAT is the TRUE special relationship; the far-flung, English-speaking Tribe will see to the General Welfare of ALL of its' members, but without degrading the well-being of the rest of the World. War is obsolete, not conducive to anyone's well-being, Geopolitics & divide & conquer is over, finished.

Brad Owen , March 23, 2017 at 4:03 pm

Zionism is a product of Cecil Rhodes' RoundTable Group, which, in concert with the Synarchist Movement for Empire, concerned how to manage African and Middle East colonies and assets belonging mainly to British and French Empires (which also explains WHY the Brits dawdled in North Africa during WWII, much to the chagrin of Stalin and Gen Marshall, who wanted to open up the Western Front ASAP).

They found the perfect opportunity to implement the strategy post-WWII, and suckered USA, via The City's Wall Street Tories, into guaranteeing the existence of Israel. End of story.

Check out the tons of articles on the subject at the EIR website. Tarpley covers it well also. Argue your case with them, F Sam. Good luck. You'll need lots of it.

rosemerry , March 23, 2017 at 4:49 pm

All the talk of "Russian interference" takes over the media, but the ever-present Israeli connection is just accepted as normal. Saudi Arabia, too, is allowed plenty of influence while Iran is demonized.

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Yes, Brad, I agree that Cecil Rhodes and others were involved with the zionists fairly early, although perhaps the greatest British interest was in the Suez canal. Also agree that the US was fooled into taking over the Suez protection and pressuring the UN to create Israel. No doubt there was Wall St interest, although I gather that zionists made direct "donations" to Truman's campaign for the UN pressure.

No doubt there were British zionists involved. But I think that JD's theory that Brits control US policy in the Mideast is a diversion from the obvious zionist control, whether he knows it or not. I will look again at your EIR website. Did not mean to offend.

Brad Owen , March 24, 2017 at 4:27 am

Sam, we just disagree on the location of the REAL enemy. The zionistas are indeed real, and a threat, a real enemy to the USA, but I maintain they are just a weapon wielded by our traditional enemy who has always fought to undermine us here in America; the British Empire (an entity distinct from the Anglo-Celtic people living on the British Isles who are our tribal mates and suffering under the same yoke of Empire as are we).

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Completely wrong: it is an obvious fact that the Democrats have been taken over by the zionists. Obama got over $100 million from a single Jewish "donor." Hillary's major campaign sponsors are all Jewish.
http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/033116/top-10-corporate-contributors-clinton-campaign.asp
The top 10 contributors to HRCs Superpac were as follows:
1. Dustin Moskovitz and Cari Tuna: $35 million
2. Donald Sussman, Paloma Partners: $21,100,000
3. Jay Robert Pritzker (Mary), Pritzker Group and Foundation: $12,600,000
4. Haim Saban and Cheryl Saban, Saban Capital Group: $10,000,000
5. George Soros (Schwartz): $9,525,000 (changed name from Schwartz)
6. S. Daniel Abraham, SDA Enterprises: $9,000,000
7. Fred Eychaner (Eichner), Newsweb Corporation: $8,005,400
8. James Simons (Shimon), Euclidean Capital: $7,000,000
9. Henry Laufer and Marsha Laufer, Renaissance Technologies: $5,500,000
10. Laure Woods (Wald), Laurel Foundation: $5 million

Your suggestion that this is "British empire" policy is way beyond the ridiculous, it is zionist propaganda. The entire UK economy is a small fraction of that of the US, and there is little financial connection.

I challenge you to deny these facts, or to substantiate the absurd theory of British control. US mass media.

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 3:44 pm

To continue, the US mass media are also controlled by Jews, presumably zionists. About 40-60 percent of US newspapers are controlled by persons of identifiable Jewish surnames, while less than half of Jewish people can be so identified. Most of the rest are indirectly controlled by Jews.

No further explanation is needed of the mass media craze for Hillary Clinton (Kleinberg). The DNC emails show that she talks to no one but Jews about Mideast policy.

No further proof is needed of the origins of Democrat policy in the Mideast. It may play to the interests of the MIC and oil companies sometimes, but not in Syria/Libya/Egypt. And we got no special deals on Iraqi oil anyway, and had no reason to expect them.

Your move.

JWalters , March 23, 2017 at 8:33 pm

In support of your points, here is an excellent article at a Jewish-run, anti-Zionist website that points out the huge known influence of Israel on American politics that is being ignored amidst all the speculation about possible Russian influence, "Let's talk about Russian influence"
http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/about-russian-influence/

Mondoweiss is a site of news and analysis with high journalistic standards. Like Consortium News it has also been attacked by the Deep State for its honesty.

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 9:45 pm

Thank you; it is very appropriate to note that many Jewish people are strong critics of zionism and Israeli policies. There is some hope that they will assist in liberating Jews as well as Palestinians from the racism of the zionists, as many whites assisted in greatly reducing racism among whites in the US against African-Americans.

Bill Bodden , March 23, 2017 at 4:02 pm

The simplistic notion that the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists" is a dangerous illusion that needs debunking.

There were references in an earlier post quoting two former Israeli prime ministers saying, in effect, they could take care of U.S. politicians to ensure they would do Israel's bidding. I recall Yitzhak Shamir was one of them. The spectacle of Netanyahu showing contempt for Obama in the way he addressed Congress and the standing ovations Netanyahu got from the senators and Congresspersons who sold their souls to the Israel lobby kind of supports the proposition that "the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists"" Same thing goes for the Republicans.

Anna , March 23, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Have you heard about PNAC? Have you heard about the Lobby?
http://www.oldamericancentury.org/pnac.htm
http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/neocons-as-a-figment-of-imagination/#comment-1810991

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 9:55 pm

Thanks for the links. PNAC founders Kristol and Kagan helped harness forces for zionist goals. PNAC signers W. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz were principal promoters of Iraq War II, as Wolfowitz installed Israeli spy operatives Perl, Feith, and Wurmser at CIA/DIA/NSA offices to select known-bad "intelligence" to incite the war.

Jerry Alatalo , March 23, 2017 at 6:50 pm

J. D.,

"The simplistic notion that the Democrats have been "taken over by the zionists" is a dangerous illusion that needs debunking."

Can you share with readers why you used the term "dangerous illusion" and why it needs debunking? According to William Binney, Obama's use of GCHQ was nothing more than standard operating procedure, an everyday mode of business, to avoid breaking American laws – nothing new, so therefore presenting no threat of rupturing U.S.-British "special relationship".

Can you share the names of major influential figures composing what you describe as the "Anglo-American financial oligarchy" for the benefit of others who pass this way?

It's hard to explain away Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and so many other U.S. politicians fighting each other to get to the head of the pack in supporting Israel. Bernie Sanders only mentioned that Palestinians suffer human and civil rights deficiencies and the world shook, despite it being only a very minor, tiny critique of Israel. Can we imagine what would have happened – the titanic reaction – had Mr. Sanders blurted out during one of the debates with Ms, Clinton the same conclusion that Professor Virginia Tilley and Professor Richard Falk's report arrived at very recently – that the State of Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid?

Years ago while Mr. Sanders appeared weekly with Thom Hartmann on "Brunch With Bernie" we redialed the call-in program until finally getting through and asking two questions. The first was a request for a response from Senator Sanders on the trillion-dollar / year global tax haven-evasion industry facilitated by the world's most powerful accounting, legal and banking firms. The second requested response on the suggestion that it was time to "nationalize the privately-owned Federal Reserve". Mr. Sanders responded to the 1st, then suddenly the show went to music and a break – then after the break until show's end nothing about the Federal Reserve.

My guess is that Mr. Sanders and Mr. Hartmann were aware of a "panic button to break" to be triggered when the live call-in topics became, let's say, "unmanageable". That is just a guess,but another guess is that Mr. Sanders was the recipient of, how shall we put it, very "risky" news during his campaign for president when running against Ms. Clinton. So, long story short, Sanders capitulated because he's fully aware of what happened to JFK, MLK and RFK, Clinton became spoiled goods and unacceptable as America's new CEO, and Donald Trump was selected. Trump's long-time friends include "Lucky" Larry Silverstein, who just happened to avoid being in his Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, breaking his religiously kept routine of breakfast every morning in a restaurant located in the top floors of one of the towers – because his wife fortunately convinced him to keep an appointment with his dermatologist.

Donald Trump, "Lucky Larry" and Benjamin Netanyahu are long-time friends.

***

Men and women wishing to read, copy, save and disseminate the report on Israel apartheid by Professor Tilley and Professor Falk can find it online at the co-author's internet platform, available at:

https://richardfalk.wordpress.com

Bill Bodden , March 23, 2017 at 3:52 pm

The top ten "donors" to Clinton (Kleinberg) were Jewish, every single one of them! Over $100 million. Obama got over $100 million from a single Jewish "donor."

In exchange Israel got a $38 BILLION package of US aid. What a deal!! Presumably, the Israel lobby will show its appreciation to Obama with donations to his presidential library probably making that library the most expensive ever.

Sam F , March 23, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Yes, there can be little doubt that the zionist campaign money comes at least indirectly from US aid to Israel, and that the aid is intended substantially for that purpose. Investigation of such cashflows might turn up evidence, although there is a quid pro quo economy on both sides that could easily obscure the feedback.

You may well be right in suggesting that the vast aid flows simply make campaign donations a great investment for those who would otherwise have invested in Israel. But the Dems and Reps know that this aid to Israel is for campaign bribes, pure and simple.

JWalters , March 23, 2017 at 8:42 pm

In addition to the carrot bribes, there are also the blackmail sticks. This possibility is consistent with the following segment of a 1998 interview with Kay Griggs, former wife of the U.S. Army's director of assassination training.

Kay Griggs: "Even when he [General Al Gray] was General he ran an intelligence operation which was a contract organization trying to hook politicians, and get them. What is the word? In other words "

Interviewer: "In compromising situations?"

Kay Griggs: "Yes, yes. He had and still has an organization which brings in whores, prostitutes, whatever you want to say, who will compromise politicians so they can be used."

The above is in Part 2 of the whole interview, starting at 48:00 in the video at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-SEA9W6pmA

In Part 1 of the interview she explains the motives behind this.

Kay Griggs: "I'm talking about the Brooklyn-New Jersey mob. My husband, Al Gray, Sheehan, they're all Brooklyn. Cap Weinberger. Heinz Kissinger – there's the Boston mob, which was shipping weapons back and forth to Northern Ireland. And I don't want to get too deeply involved in that, but it goes – Israel – some of the Zionists who came over from Germany, according to my husband, were – he works with those people – they do a lot of money laundering in the banks, cash transactions for the drugs they're bringing over, through Latin America, the Southern Mafia, the Dixie Mafia, which now my husband's involved with in Miami. The military are all involved once they retire. They're – you know, they go into this drug and secondary weapon sales."

The above starts soon after 18:00 in the video at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQNitCNycKQ
(Part 1 of interview)

Further on the following exchange occurs.

Interviewer: "And directly under whose instructions to sell these weapons, do you know that?"

Kay Griggs: "Yeah."

Interviewer: "Okay, who would that be?"

Kay Griggs: "Well, uh, [pause] it's the Israeli-Zionist group in New York."

The above starts at 1:06:45 in the same video at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQNitCNycKQ

Shortly afterward in the same segment is this exchange.

Kay Griggs: "It's kind of like Monica and Bill. I think they put Monica in there to have something on Bill. That's my own feeling. Sarah McClendon feels the same way. Because "

Interviewer: "And Linda Tripp was there to guide the situation."

Kay Griggs: "Absolutely, of course. Linda Tripp was Delta Force. Linda Tripp was trained by Carl Steiner, who's in the diary [her husband's] with my husband. And he [Steiner] tried to trip up Schwarzkopf. I mean, he was trying to take, to take the whole Iraqi thing over because they had been baiting, you know using the Israeli rogues in Turkey. They were having little zig-zag wars. It's all to sell weapons. It's all about weapons sales, it's all about drugs, it's all about funny money."

A blackmail factor, combined with financial carrots, and especially if backed up with a death threat, could easily explain why a reasonably intelligent and educated person would act uninformed and irrational. The surface inconsistency becomes easy to understand. A strategic system of blackmail of the sort Kay Griggs described could easily explain a phalanx of politicians lying in lockstep to American voters, and voting against America's best interests.

backwardsevolution , March 24, 2017 at 12:19 am

JWalters – fascinating! Thanks for posting. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Sam f , March 24, 2017 at 12:33 pm

That is fascinating. There must be material on the linkages of secret agencies, ex-military staff, political gangsters, and money-laundering banksters to the drugs and weapons trade. They would be useful tools for false-flag incidents and to supply terror groups.

Those with connections should contact independent news reporters, who could perhaps train journalism students to investigate further. There may be material in the Wikileaks Vault-7 dump of CIA docs.

Pablo Diablo , March 23, 2017 at 1:39 pm

A military buildup=an empire in decline.

chuck b , March 23, 2017 at 2:25 pm

before they let their hegemony over humanity collapse, they blow up the planet.

what's remarkable, for me as an outsider at least, how many insane people are running the show and that's not exclusive to the psychotic right. seeing the mad general at hillary's DNC coronation and the "U!S!A!" chants from the crowd, i'm under the impression that the majority of Americans, that has not yet been marginalized and impoverished, is as deranged as ecstatic Germans cheering on Goebbels and his total war.

Accidental , March 23, 2017 at 8:29 pm

Actually what's happening now in the US is more like France in 1848

Pauline Saxon , March 23, 2017 at 1:50 pm

I have supported you from the beginning. I would like to understand why you seem to be protecting Trump

D5-5 , March 23, 2017 at 2:15 pm

I don't believe Robert Parry or this site are protecting Trump. Questioning the demonizing and slandering of Trump, and efforts to remove him, also do not constitute "protecting."

Trump was elected legitimately to be the president for better or worse. An assessment means looking at both sides of whatever it is. Trump is obviously not doing well and getting negative evaluations, but some of his views (for one example) that promise toward détente or acceptance of a multi-polar world are worth considering.

Is he genuinely moving in this direction, or faking for some hidden reason? The jury is still considering. So investigating an attack on Trump that is primarily bogus and motivated as a smoke screen to demonize Russia, and prepare the nation for war, is not protecting Trump, but trying to get at the underbrush of what's really going on behind the headlines.

Perhaps you could give us some idea of what you see as protecting Trump?

For myself I'm very critical of Trump. At this time he seems bent on building up ground troops in Syria, but with ISIS already being subdued without this action, we should question why. What's going on. Is he seeking a Ronald Reagan/George W. type of glory moment as One Tough Supreme Commander? Is he now falling in to the neocon overview of controlling the middle east? It's more foolishness in my view, that will not settle the problems and what W uncorked with his phony Iraq war. But this kind of considering doesn't take the heat off the DEM Party for its unconscionable manipulations with Trump and Russia bashing at this time.

Hayden Head , March 23, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Well said! You are spot on in your defense of Parry, who has consistently shown himself to be committed to the truth, regardless of whom he is defending or the consequences of his position. Many of us are waiting to see if Trump might, just might, lead us away from endless war to something approaching a rational foreign policy. Is such hope foolishness? Well, hope usually is.

Bill Bodden , March 23, 2017 at 8:08 pm

Unfortunately, this site is afflicted with the utterances of sloppy readers who are triggered to hit their keyboard when some sentence gets their attention and causes them to ignore other contradictory commentary.

Jake G , March 23, 2017 at 2:27 pm

What are you talking about? There are as many Trump-critic articles from him.

JWalters , March 23, 2017 at 8:49 pm

It seems to me Parry is not so much protecting Trump as trying to protect America from another needless war manufactured by the Deep State, e.g. "War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror"
http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

Gina , March 23, 2017 at 1:52 pm

Excellent article. I am pretty horrified at the direction of the Dems which has become Rethuglican-lite.

LJ , March 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

The Democrats abandoned their core constituency , LABOR, when Clinton got the 1992 nomination promising to sign NAFTA a short time after having been pictured attending a Bilderberg Beer fest, Since then by jumping further under the sheets with High Finance and Tech Billionaires they have continuously bled votes everywhere except the West Coast. Recent Polling you may have noticed has the Democrats declining in favorability even more since the election. Strange Days have found us haven't they?. .when all else fails we can whip the horses eyes and make them sleep and cry .. I say for starters we separate the words Military and Intelligence forever with a Constitutional Amendment .. How then will Senators McCain and Feinstein react? What will they do for God's sake? The rest of the Two Party infrastructure will quickly implode. Sorry. Thank God and the ACA,, the Amazon Drone has just delivered my prescription meds.. Peace in our time.

chuck b , March 23, 2017 at 2:13 pm

i think it's safe to say that the democrats have been equally adept at waging war since the nutcase LBJ didn't know if they were shooting at whales in the bay of tomkin and started the American holocaust. obama let his darling Hillary run amok which resulted in a rise of refugees and idp by 50% to over 60 million, in just his first term. you actually live in a country run by Nazis for a very long time. from Kissinger to McCain, they are people in power who have collaborated with Nazis (phoenix, condor) and continue to do so in Ukraine or with Islamic extremists in syria. the prospect of McCain anywhere near the state dept must be avoided by an means necessary.

Tristan , March 23, 2017 at 2:22 pm

"[B]ut what good that would do for the American people and the world is hard to fathom." That's it Mr. Parry. That is the key that we need to understand. It is not, not, a priority of either political half of the Republican/Democratic dynamic, to do good for the American people. We are being subjected to the policies which previously were our export, the evisceration of nation(s) to benefit private capital.

I had previously wondered, back in the 90's when Russia was being subjected to neo liberal economic intervention, why these vultures hadn't descended upon the United States, being the feted calf that it were. But I was blind, they were already descending, it only has take some time and a couple of "opportunities", such as 9/11, the Katrina hurricane, to implement those same measures here.

We need to understand that our current political structure is indifferent to the well being of the majority of the "citizens" ie; what are now more commonly called consumers. If the prisons stay full and the indebtedness mounts that is part of the program. Stop thinking that our present system is offering anything that would be recognized by a rational and moral human being as something even close to "a government of the People, by the People, for the People; [or] Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

ltr , March 23, 2017 at 2:22 pm

I can tell you that the atmosphere is such on campus that a social science faculty member needs to be very careful not to be taken for having "sympathies" for either Russia or China. I repeatedly hear comments that are chilling, and just nod and get away.

Tristan , March 23, 2017 at 2:38 pm

It is nearly impossible to engage with someone in a political context and advocate for a least a fair mind, some neutrality in examining the domestic political situation and relations with Russia. I have to mute myself unless I am willing to engage in a long and tiring argument/discussion in which my point is lost and I have to defend simple ideas of statesmanship and diplomacy.

Sheryl , March 23, 2017 at 5:22 pm

I can relate. The frustrating part is that they think I'm a nut wearing a tinfoil hat.

Realist , March 23, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Would you go so far as to say that most such discussions now take place on terrain far removed from the real world? And, if you insist on sticking to facts rather than fantasy, are you immediately branded an enemy of the state, an intellectual exile without friends or influence, and probably someone marked for extinction, at least on the professional level, if this country must repeat the greatest mistakes of the 1930's and 40's, as it seems headed? So glad I am retired, and I worked in the natural sciences, not the more volatile and political social sciences. Now their only leverage against me is my state pension and health benefits, which many do want to make into a political football.

Tristan , March 23, 2017 at 7:31 pm

The distinction between the real and the ideological has been blurred in accordance with the principles of public opinion management, ie; propaganda. The prevailing mania, contextualized via the dynamic of globalized free market capitalism masquerading as the promotion of freedom and democracy, is where one finds that the seeds of "treason" are sown wider and wider against heretics.

Kiza , March 24, 2017 at 8:35 am

Just reading what all of you guys have written about the prevailing atmosphere in the so called intellectual community, which is much more serious than the atmosphere in the nutty MSM, makes me think of the Decline of the Roman Empire. Many people here are leftists, therefore they will disagree with me, but I see absolutely solid parallels between Russia-hate and AGW. Both have become religion for the vast majority of the Western intellectual class, devoid of the principal tool of the intellectuals – rationality. If you are a doubter, you will be ostracized .

Enquiring Mind , March 23, 2017 at 2:24 pm

They have no decency, sir.
At least McCarthy was right on the commie threat, even though his methods and execution were unsound.

Miranda Keefe , March 23, 2017 at 3:59 pm

"At least McCarthy was right on the commie threat."

The US was the aggressor in the Cold War. The Soviet Union, after the war, wanted to continue to co-exist under the spheres of influence agreed on by the US at Yalta.

When did the Democratic Party turn into the post-war war party? At the Democratic convention in 1944 when the establishment did a coup against FDR's right hand man, his VP, his chosen future VP and successor, the great Henry Wallace.

Gregory Herr , March 23, 2017 at 7:52 pm

Wallace instead of Truman? One of the big "what might have been" turns of history.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/14297-henry-wallace-americas-forgotten-visionary

[Mar 24, 2017] Democrats Trade Places on War and McCarthyism – Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... At such a point, that might put the Democrats and Republicans in sync as two equally warmongering parties, but what good that would do for the American people and the world is hard to fathom. ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative, ..."
Mar 24, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Exclusive: The anti-Russia hysteria gripping the Democratic Party marks a "trading places" moment as the Democrats embrace the New Cold War and the New McCarthyism, flipping the script on Republicans, writes Robert Parry.

Caught up in the frenzy to delegitimize Donald Trump by blaming his victory on Russian meddling, national Democrats are finishing the transformation of their party from one that was relatively supportive of peace to one pushing for war, including a confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia.

This "trading places" moment was obvious in watching the belligerent tone of Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee on Monday as they impugned the patriotism of any Trump adviser who may have communicated with anyone connected to Russia.

Ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, acknowledged that there was no hard evidence of any Trump-Russia cabal, but he pressed ahead with what he called "circumstantial evidence of collusion," a kind of guilt-by-association conspiracy theory that made him look like a mild-mannered version of Joe McCarthy.

Schiff cited by name a number of Trump's aides and associates who – as The New York Times reported – were "believed to have some kind of contact or communications with Russians." These Americans, whose patriotism was being questioned, included foreign policy adviser Carter Page, Trump's second campaign manager Paul Manafort, political adviser Roger Stone and Trump's first national security adviser retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

In a 15-minute opening statement, Schiff summed up his circumstantial case by asking: "Is it possible that all of these events and reports are completely unrelated and nothing more than an entirely unhappy coincidence? Yes, it is possible. But it is also possible, maybe more than possible, that they are not coincidental, not disconnected and not unrelated."

As an investigative journalist who has covered (and uncovered) national security scandals for several decades, I would never accuse people of something as serious as betraying their country based on nothing more than coincidences that, who knows, might not be coincidental.

Before we published anything on such topics, the news organizations that I worked for required multiple layers of information from a variety of sources including insiders who could describe what had happened and why. Such stories included Nicaraguan Contra cocaine smuggling, Oliver North's secret Contra supply operation, and the Reagan campaign's undermining of President Carter's Iran-hostage negotiations in 1980.

For breaking those stories, we still took enormous heat from Republicans, some Democrats who wanted to show how bipartisan they were, and many establishment-protecting journalists, but the stories contained strong evidence that misconduct occurred – and we were highly circumspect in how the allegations were framed.

Going Whole-Hog

By contrast, national Democrats, some super-hawk Republicans and the establishment media are going whole-hog on these vague suspicions of contacts between some Russians and some Americans who have provided some help or advice to Trump.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a meeting room at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, at the outset of a bilateral meeting on July 14, 2016. [State Department Photo] Given the paucity of evidence – both regarding the claims that Russia hacked Democratic emails and slipped them to WikiLeaks, and the allegations that somehow Trump's advisers colluded in that process – it would appear that what is happening is a political maneuver to damage Trump politically and possibly remove him from office.

But those machinations require the Democratic Party's continued demonization of Russia and implicitly put the Democrats on the side of escalating New Cold War tensions, such as military support for the fiercely anti-Russian regime in Ukraine which seized power in a 2014 U.S.-backed putsch overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych.

One of the attack lines that Democrats have used against Trump is that his people toned down language in the Republican platform about shipping arms to the Ukrainian military, which includes battalions of neo-Nazi fighters and has killed thousands of ethnic Russian Ukrainians in the east in what is officially called an Anti-Terrorism Operation (or ATO).

The Democratic Party leaders have fully bought into the slanted Western narrative justifying the violent overthrow of Yanukovych. They also have ignored the human rights of Ukraine's ethnic Russian minorities, which voted overwhelmingly in Crimea and the Donbass to secede from post-coup Ukraine. The more complex reality is simply summed up as a "Russian invasion."

Key Democrats also have pressed for escalation of the U.S. military attacks inside Syria to force "regime change" on Bashar al-Assad's secular government even if that risks another military confrontation with Russia and a victory by Al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists.

In short, the national Democratic Party is turning itself into the more extreme war party. It's not that the Republicans have become all that dovish; it's just that the Democrats have become all that hawkish. The significance of this change can hardly be overstated.

Questioning War

Since late in the Vietnam War, the Democrats have acted as the more restrained of the two major parties on issues of war, with the Republicans associated with tough-guy rhetoric and higher military spending. By contrast, Democrats generally were more hesitant to rush into foreign wars and confrontations (although they were far from pacifists).

Daniel Ellsberg on the cover of Time after leaking the Pentagon Papers

Especially after the revelations of the Pentagon Papers in the 1971 revealing the government deceptions used to pull the American people into the Vietnam War, Democrats questioned shady rationalizations for other wars.

Some Democratic skepticism continued into the 1980s as President Ronald Reagan was modernizing U.S. propaganda techniques to whitewash the gross human rights crimes of right-wing regimes in Central America and to blacken the reputations of Nicaragua's Sandinistas and other leftists.

The Democratic resolve against war propaganda began to crack by the mid-to-late 1980s – around Reagan's Grenada invasion and George H.W. Bush's attack on Panama. By then, the Republicans had enjoyed nearly two decades of bashing the Democrats as "weak on defense" – from George McGovern to Jimmy Carter to Walter Mondale to Michael Dukakis.

But the Democratic Party's resistance to dubious war rationalizations collapsed in 1991 over George H.W. Bush's Persian Gulf War, in which the President rebuffed less violent solutions (even ones favored by the U.S. military) to assure a dramatic ground-war victory after which Bush declared, "By God, we've kicked the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all."

Fearful of being labeled disloyal to "the troops" and "weak," national Democrats scrambled to show their readiness to kill. In 1992, Gov. Bill Clinton left the campaign trail to return to Arkansas to oversee the execution of the mentally impaired Ricky Ray Rector.

During his presidency, Clinton deployed so-called "smart power" aggressively, including maintaining harsh sanctions on Iraq even as they led to the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. He also intervened in the Yugoslavian civil war by bombing civilian targets in Belgrade including the lethal destruction of the Serb TV station for the supposed offense of broadcasting "propaganda."

After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, many leading congressional Democrats – including presidential hopefuls John Kerry, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton – voted to authorize President George W. Bush to invade Iraq. Though they offered various excuses (especially after the Iraq War went badly), the obvious real reason was their fear of being labeled "soft" in Republican attack ads.

The American public's revulsion over the Iraq War and the resulting casualties contributed to Barack Obama's election. But he, too, moved to protect his political flanks by staffing his young administration with hawks, such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. (and later CIA Director) David Petraeus. Despite receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama also became comfortable with continuing Bush's wars and starting some of his own, such as the bombing war against Libya and the violent subversion of Syria.

By nominating Hillary Clinton in 2016, the Democratic Party completed its transformation into the Party of War. Clinton not only ran as an unapologetic hawk in the Democratic primaries against Sen. Bernie Sanders – urging, for instance, a direct U.S. military invasion of Syria to create "no fly zones" – but positioned herself as a harsh critic of Trump's hopes to reduce hostilities with Russia, deeming the Republican nominee Vladimir Putin's "puppet."

Ironically, Trump's shocking victory served to solidify the Democratic Party's interest in pushing for a military confrontation with Russia over Ukraine. After all, baiting Trump over his alleged "softness" toward Russia has become the centerpiece of Democratic hopes for somehow ousting Trump or at least crippling his presidency. Any efforts by Trump to ease those tensions will be cited as prima facie evidence that he is Putin's "Manchurian candidate."

Being Joe McCarthy

National Democrats and their media supporters don't even seem troubled by the parallels between their smears of Americans for alleged contacts with Russians and Sen. Joe McCarthy's guilt-by-association hearings of the early Cold War. Every link to Russia – no matter how tenuous or disconnected from Trump's election – is trumpeted by Democrats and across the mainstream news media.

Lawyer Roy Cohn (right) with Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

But it's not even clear that this promotion of the New Cold War and the New McCarthyism will redound to the Democrats' political advantage. Clinton apparently thought that her embrace of a neoconservative foreign policy would bring in many "moderate" Republicans opposed to Trump's criticism of the Bush-Obama wars, but exit polls showed Republicans largely rallying to their party's nominee.

Meanwhile, there were many anti-war Democrats who have become deeply uncomfortable with the party's new hawkish persona. In the 2016 election, some peace Democrats voted for third parties or didn't vote at all for president, although it's difficult to assess how instrumental those defections were in costing Clinton the key states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

More broadly, the Democratic obsession with Russia and the hopes for somehow exploiting those investigations in order to oust Trump have distracted the party from a necessary autopsy into why the Democrats have lost so much ground over the past decade.

While many Democratic leaders and activists are sliding into full-scale conspiracy-mode over the Russia-Trump story, they are not looking at the party's many mistakes and failings, such as:

Yet, rather than come up with new strategies to address the future, Democratic leaders would rather pretend that Putin is at fault for the Trump presidency and hope that the U.S. intelligence community – with its fearsome surveillance powers – can come up with enough evidence to justify Trump's impeachment.

Then, of course, the Democrats would be stuck with President Mike Pence, a more traditional Religious Right Republican whose first step on foreign policy would be to turn it over to neocon Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, a move that would likely mean a new wave of "regime change" wars.

At such a point, that might put the Democrats and Republicans in sync as two equally warmongering parties, but what good that would do for the American people and the world is hard to fathom.

[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com's " Yes, Hillary Clinton Is a Neocon " and " Democrats Are Now the Aggressive War Party .]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).

[Mar 24, 2017] Surveillance State Goes After Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Democrats are so eager to take down President Trump that they are joining forces with the Surveillance State to trample the privacy rights of people close to Trump, ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley tells Dennis J Bernstein. ..."
"... 'Red Scare' fear of Communism" famously associated with legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover who collaborated with Sen. Joe McCarthy's hunt for disloyal Americans in the late 1940s and early 1950s. ..."
Mar 24, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Democrats are so eager to take down President Trump that they are joining forces with the Surveillance State to trample the privacy rights of people close to Trump, ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley tells Dennis J Bernstein.

Since Donald Trump's election, former Special FBI Agent Coleen Rowley has been alarmed over how Democratic hawks, neocons and other associates in the "deep state" have obsessed over "resurrecting the ghost of Joseph McCarthy" and have built political support for a permanent war policy around hatred of Russia.

Rowley, whose 2002 memo to the FBI Director exposed some of the FBI's pre-9/11failures, compared the current anti-Russia hysteria to "the

'Red Scare' fear of Communism" famously associated with legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover who collaborated with Sen. Joe McCarthy's hunt for disloyal Americans in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

In an interview, Rowley told me that while Trump was wrong about his claim that President Obama ordered a surveillance "tapp" of Trump Tower, the broader point may have been correct as explained by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-California, who described how U.S. intelligence apparently picked up conversations by Trump associates while monitoring other targets.

Dennis Bernstein: A former high-level FBI whistleblower says Trump is vindicated on his claims of being surveilled by the previous administration. Joining us to take a close look at what's been going on, what's been unfolding in Washington, D.C. is Coleen Rowley. She's a former FBI special agent and division council. She wrote a May 2002 memo to the FBI director that exposed some of the FBI's pre-9/11 failures, major failures. She was Time magazine's person of the year in 2002. Help us explain what chairman Nunes reported in terms of the collecting process and Trumps innocence or guilt?

... ... ...

CR: Well, I don't think there has and it's not just myself, it's really most of our veteran intelligence professionals, retired CIA, retired NSA, we've all been conferring for a while on this. And we have asked, we actually put out a memo asking for evidence. Because it's just been assertions and innuendoes, and demonization

We see a lot of demonization of the Russian T.V. channel. But we have not seen any actual evidence of Russians and there's a lot of reasons to think that this would be illogical. Even if, and I would grant that Comey mentioned this in his testimony, that Putin and other top Russians hated Hillary Clinton. Well, even if you assume that, that they didn't like Hillary Clinton, as much as Donald Trump. They considered Donald Trump their lesser evil, or whatever. Even if you think that, why would they take the risk? Because, at the time Hillary Clinton surprised everyone by everyone thought she was going to win. So it would have been completely illogical for them to have done these things, to take that kind of a risk, when it was presumed that she was going to be the next president. There's just so many things here that don't add up, and don't make sense.

FBI Director James Comey

And yet, and yet, because our mainstream media is owned by what? half a dozen big conglomerates, all connected to the military industrial complex, they continue with the scenario of that old movie the Russians are coming! the Russians are coming! And unfortunately the Democrat Party has become the war party, very clearly. They're the ones that don't see the dangers in ginning up this very dangerous narrative of going after Russia, as meddling, or whatever. And they should ask for, we all should ask for the full evidence of this. If this is case, then we deserve to know the truth about it. And, so far, we haven't seen anything. Look at that report. There's nothing in it.

DB: And, this is the same media who for the last ever since Trump claimed that he was wiretapped using the wrong terminology, these

journalists they couldn't stop saying "if he did lie, this is a felony. He did lie. He did accuse the former president of the United States " So, you're saying, based on your long experience and information this was just a confusion of a term of art, and the idea of the possibility of Trump Towers being under investigation, this was all incredibly not strange, not crazy, and totally normal in the context of an investigation.

CR: Yes, and I again, there could be grounds for legitimate investigation of the periphery of the Trump campaign, certain staffers. And you know what, corruption in Washington, D.C. is quite rampant. And I think many, many of the politicians if they actually put them under the microscope they could find just as you look at foreign leaders, Netanyahu was indicted for corruption, whatever. It's not uncommon to have conflicts of interests, and under the table deals. That's very possible.

So, that's not what our news is saying. Our mainstream news is saying that, what you said at the beginning, the Russians own Trump, and basically that this has undermined our democracy and our electoral process. That part of it we have seen no evidence of. And, Trump is partially vindicated, because obviously whether he was personally targeted, his campaign at least seems to have been monitored, at least in part.

DB: Were you amazed that, for instance, the FBI director raised the issue of the Clinton investigation, but not the Trump investigation?

CR: Well, I've been trying to figure that out. Because back, during when he went public, he was put into the spot because Loretta Lynch should have been the one to be public on these things. But she was tainted because of having met with Bill Clinton on the tarmac. And so my explanation was that that Comey shouldered the burden from Loretta Lynch. He was doing her a favor in a way because he thought it would look like this is more independent and more professional coming from the FBI. Because at the time Loretta Lynch was under a cloud. And I think that is the explanation for why he was so public at the time.

And, of course, things have developed the summer, if any investigation started during the summer, again, it was not known. It was probably legitimate if they got some information in about some act of corruption, or whatever, it was certainly legitimate. But since this summer what has happened is this whole narrative has just gone on steroids, because of the leaks about the Russians, etc. And the fact that they put out this report, the FBI, the NSA, and the director of National Intelligence. And I think that that's the problem right now is the public just is so confused because there has been so much wrong information out there in the media. And no one knows what to believe.

Actually, to Comey's credit he did say this a couple of times that these media accounts are not accurate. And, I think that, again, we there's been a lot of "sources" anonymous sources which I do not think are whistleblowers. But these anonymous sources seem to have come from political operatives, and even higher level people. I'm guessing some of this came from the Obama administration appointees, not Obama, of course, personally.

And, who knows if he knew anything about this, but some of those prior appointees, I think, when all is said and done will be seen as the ones, if they can ever uncover this. It's hard with anonymous sources. But I think they were probably the ones leading this. And maybe over time we can get back to some sanity here without so much of this planted information, and wrongful leaks. And I, again, I'm all for whistle blowing. But, I don't agree with leaks like Scooter Libby's where they were actually using the media to plant false info.

[Mar 24, 2017] Paltering as a new way to not tell the truth

Notable quotes:
"... The palter was to skip the fact that it had broken down twice in the last year, instead saying, "This car drives very smoothly and is very responsive. Just last week it started up with no problems when the temperature was 5 degrees Fahrenheit." The outright lie would have been: "This car has never had problems." Researchers learned that car sellers perceived paltering as more ethical than lying, and thus used it more. ..."
"... Paltering allows people who consider themselves honest to deceive others while getting the same results that lying would. In a third experiment, participants in a pretend real estate negotiation performed just as well when they paltered as they did when they lied. Their successes didn't come without costs, however. When the deception was discovered, negotiation partners deemed palterers as untrustworthy as liars. ..."
"... One occasional advantage of paltering over lying is plausible deniability: You can blame any misunderstanding on the listener. ..."
"... So how can you avoid falling victim? "If you ask a specific question, that specific question should be answered, not a variant of it," Rogers says, even though insistence on clarification "often makes you look like a jerk." ..."
"... Paltering relies on our tendency to trust others and not cause a scene. ..."
Mar 19, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Fred C. Dobbs : March 18, 2017 at 08:39 PM , 2017 at 08:39 PM 'Paltering,' a new way to not tell the truth
http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2017/03/17/paltering-new-way-not-tell-truth/TRB2ap22NK5Ya8KjF4x0GI/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe
Matthew Hutson - March 17, 2017

... ... ..

Although paltering occurs in all realms of life, researchers at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government focused on its use in negotiation. In one of eight studies to be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, study participants pretended to sell a used car on eBay. They answered the buyer's question "Has this car ever had problems?" with a response selected from a list supplied by the researchers.

The palter was to skip the fact that it had broken down twice in the last year, instead saying, "This car drives very smoothly and is very responsive. Just last week it started up with no problems when the temperature was 5 degrees Fahrenheit." The outright lie would have been: "This car has never had problems." Researchers learned that car sellers perceived paltering as more ethical than lying, and thus used it more.

In another study, half of surveyed executives said they paltered in more than "a few" of their negotiations, versus a fifth who said they actively lied more than a few times. Consistent with this discrepancy, executives viewed the behavior as more honest than lying.

Paltering allows people who consider themselves honest to deceive others while getting the same results that lying would. In a third experiment, participants in a pretend real estate negotiation performed just as well when they paltered as they did when they lied. Their successes didn't come without costs, however. When the deception was discovered, negotiation partners deemed palterers as untrustworthy as liars.

Another study found that victims saw palterers as less ethical than palterers saw themselves. We have a "broken mental model" of paltering, the researchers have concluded, seeing this behavior as honest when others do not.

One occasional advantage of paltering over lying is plausible deniability: You can blame any misunderstanding on the listener. Without knowing the speaker's intentions, it's difficult to diagnose paltering with certainty says Todd Rogers, a behavioral scientist at the Kennedy School and the paper's lead author. Few examples are as clear as Bill Clinton's response when asked if he'd had a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky: "There is not a sexual relationship - that is accurate." (Note the slick use of present tense.)

So how can you avoid falling victim? "If you ask a specific question, that specific question should be answered, not a variant of it," Rogers says, even though insistence on clarification "often makes you look like a jerk."

Paltering relies on our tendency to trust others and not cause a scene. "It's pretty amazing how much you can get away with because of people's truth bias," says David Clementson, a researcher at Ohio State University's School of Communication, who was not involved in the study. "Paltering totally takes advantage of that, diabolically and deceptively."

Artful Paltering: The Risks and Rewards
of Using Truthful Statements to Mislead Others
Rogers, Todd; Zeckhauser, Richard; et al.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,
Vol 112(3), Mar 2017,
https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-pspi0000081.pdf

There's a Word for Using
Truthful Facts to Deceive: Paltering
HBR - Francesca Gino - October 05, 2016
https://hbr.org/2016/10/theres-a-word-for-using-truthful-facts-to-deceive-paltering

[Mar 24, 2017] Whether the Soviet union exists or not has nothing to do with it. USA MUST always have an enemy to divert the sheeples attention that their so called American dream is really a nightmare

Mar 24, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
hoyeru , Mar 24, 2017 9:17 PM

Whether the Soviet union exists or not has nothing to do with it. USA MUST always have an enemy to divert the sheeple's attention that their so called American dream is really a nightmare. Besides, USA's empire is failing and Russia is getting stronger. of course USA will be pissed off about it.

daveO -> hoyeru , Mar 24, 2017 9:34 PM

"Oceania was at war with Eurasia; therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia." I'm glad to have lived to see them almost fail. When I first read this in 1984, by coincidence, there seemed to be no end in sight. As soon as the USSR failed they replaced it with terrorism(Eastasia)....

lester1 , Mar 24, 2017 9:21 PM

Help out of you can. Seth Rich was exposing corruption with the DNC against Bernie Sanders. He was mysteriously shot in the back last summer, but his wallet and watch weren't taken.

https://www.gofundme.com/SethRich

xrxs , Mar 24, 2017 9:36 PM

I still can't figure this Russiophobia out. We went from a path to mutual arms reduction and normalizing relations to the shitstorm in Ukraine and Syria. I think I know who started that whole mess, but I still haven't figured out why other than maintaining friendly control of European petrochemicals.

We went from Bush II and Vlad fishing and hanging out at the ranch to where we are today. WTF happened?

HRH Feant -> xrxs , Mar 24, 2017 9:58 PM

Same here. This new obsession is complete and utter insanity.

The leftists in the US remind me of the revolutionaries in Bolshevik Russia. They want a revolution and dream of communal living.

Communal living is my worst nightmare! Anyone that has shared a house with roomies soon understands that one person pays the bills while another eats all the food and one person cleans the toilet while everyone else makes a mess of the entire place. Communal living sounds great, in theory. In practice? It doesn't work.

shovelhead , Mar 24, 2017 9:39 PM

Nobodies "Russo-phobic". That's the story they're trying to sell the world.

That's just a convenient excuse for retaliating on Ukraine, Syria and now Trump. Russia and Putin have become like Mr. Clean in the household.

Good for every mess you make.

Cabreado , Mar 24, 2017 9:49 PM

"This is an American implosion. An historic Made-in-America meltdown. And Russophobia is but a symptom of the internal decay at the heart of US politics."

More importantly, it is a decay in the electorate and how it relates to the elected (isn't that the real heart of US politics?)

And so the elected, naturally, have become a corrupt mass of opportunists.

This is why they ("We") invented Rule of Law. We just have to give a damn like We mean it.

[Mar 24, 2017] C.I.A. Developed Tools to Spy on Mac Computers, WikiLeaks Disclosure Shows

The documents posted by WikiLeaks suggest that the C.I.A. had obtained information on 14 security flaws in Apple's iOS operating system for phones and tablets. The leaked documents also identified at least two dozen flaws in Android, the most popular operating system for smartphones, which was developed by Alphabet's Google division.
Notable quotes:
"... The spy software described in the latest documents was designed to be injected into a Mac's firmware, a type of software preloaded in the computer's chips. It would then act as a "listening post," broadcasting the user's activities to the C.I.A. whenever the machine was connected to the internet. ..."
"... A similar tool called NightSkies was developed in 2009 to spy on iPhones, the documents said, with the agency figuring out how to install it undetected before a new phone was turned on for the first time. (Apple said that flaw affected only the iPhone 3G and was fixed in all later models.) ..."
"... By rewriting the firmware of a computer or a phone, tools that operate at the chip level can hide their existence and avoid being wiped out by routine software updates. ..."
Mar 24, 2017 | www.nytimes.com

The C.I.A. developed tools to spy on Mac computers by injecting software into the chips that control the computers' fundamental operations, according to the latest cache of classified government documents published on Thursday by WikiLeaks .

Apple said in a statement Thursday evening that its preliminary assessment of the leaked information indicated that the Mac vulnerabilities described in the disclosure were previously fixed in all Macs launched after 2013.

However, the documents also indicated that the Central Intelligence Agency was developing a new version of one tool last year to work with current software.

The leaked documents were the second batch recently released by WikiLeaks, which said it obtained a hoard of information on the agency's cyberweapons programs from a former government worker or contractor. The first group of documents , published March 7, suggested that the C.I.A. had found ways to hack Apple iPhones and Android smartphones, Microsoft Windows computers, Cisco routers and Samsung smart televisions.

Since the initial release of the C.I.A. documents, which the agency has not confirmed are authentic, major technology companies have been scrambling to assess whether the security holes exploited by the C.I.A. still exist and to patch them if they do.

All of the surveillance tools that have been disclosed were designed to be installed on individual phones or computers. But the effects could be much wider. Cisco Systems, for example, warned customers this week that many of its popular routers, the backbone of computer networks, could be hacked using the C.I.A.'s techniques.

... ... ...

The spy software described in the latest documents was designed to be injected into a Mac's firmware, a type of software preloaded in the computer's chips. It would then act as a "listening post," broadcasting the user's activities to the C.I.A. whenever the machine was connected to the internet.

A similar tool called NightSkies was developed in 2009 to spy on iPhones, the documents said, with the agency figuring out how to install it undetected before a new phone was turned on for the first time. (Apple said that flaw affected only the iPhone 3G and was fixed in all later models.)

Although most of the tools targeted outdated versions of the Apple devices' software, the C.I.A.'s general approach raises new security concerns for the industry, said Eric Ahlm, who studies cybersecurity at Gartner, a research firm. By rewriting the firmware of a computer or a phone, tools that operate at the chip level can hide their existence and avoid being wiped out by routine software updates.

Under an agreement struck during the Obama administration, intelligence agencies were supposed to share their knowledge of most security vulnerabilities with tech companies so they could be fixed. The C.I.A. documents suggest that some key vulnerabilities were kept secret for the government's use.

The C.I.A. declined to comment Thursday, pointing reporters to its earlier statement about the leaks, in which it defended its use of "innovative, cutting-edge" techniques to protect the country from foreign threats and criticized WikiLeaks for sharing information that could help the country's enemies.

[Mar 24, 2017] Russophobia - Symptom Of US Implosion

Notable quotes:
"... However, the power of the Russophobia propaganda technique over the wider population seems to have greatly diminished from its Cold War heyday. This is partly due to more diverse global communications which challenge the previous Western monopoly for controlling narrative and perception. Contemporary Russophobia – demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin or Russian military forces – does not have the same potency for scaring the Western public. Indeed, due to greater diversity in global news media sources, it is fair to say that "official" Western depictions of Russia as an enemy, for example allegedly about to invade Europe or allegedly interfering in electoral politics, are met with a healthy skepticism – if not ridicule by many Western citizens. ..."
"... What is increasingly apparent here is a gaping chasm between the political class and the wider public on the matter of Russophobia. This is true for Western countries generally, but especially in the US. The political class – the lawmakers in Washington and the mainstream news media – are frenzied by claims that Russia interfered in the US presidential elections and that Russia has some kind of sinister leverage on the presidency of Donald Trump. ..."
"... Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov this week dismissed the Congressional hearings into alleged Russian interference in US politics. He aptly said that US lawmakers and the corporate media have become "entangled" in their own fabrications. "They are trying to find evidence for conclusions that they have already made", said Peskov. ..."
"... There seems to be a collective delusional mindset. ..."
"... the ruling class have fabricated their own excuse for demise by blaming it all on Russia. ..."
"... The American ruling class cannot accept, or come to terms, with the fact of systemic failure in their own political system. The election of Trump is a symptom of this failure and the widespread disillusionment among voters towards the two-party train wreck of Republicans and Democrats. That is why the specter of Russian interference in the US political system had to be conjured up, by necessity, as a way of "explaining" the abject failure and the ensuing popular revolt. ..."
"... Russophobia was rehabilitated from the Cold War closet by the American political establishment to distract from the glaring internal collapse of American politics ..."
"... The toxic political atmosphere of Russophobia in Washington is unprecedented. The Trump administration is being crippled at every turn from conducting normal political business under a toxic cloud of suspicion that it is guilty of treason from colluding with Russia. ..."
"... When Trump's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was reported to be skipping a NATO summit next month but was planning to visit Moscow later in the same month, the itinerary was interpreted as a sign of untoward Russian influence. ..."
"... What makes the spectacle of political infighting so unprecedented is that there is such little evidence to back up allegations of Trump-Russia collusion. It is preponderantly based on innuendo and anonymous leaks to the media, which are then recycled as "evidence". ..."
"... Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said earlier this week that he has seen no actual evidence among classified documents indicating any collusion between the Trump campaign team and the Russian government. ..."
"... Yet, FBI chief James Comey told Congress that his agency was pursuing a potentially criminal investigation into the Trump administration, while at the same time not confirming or denying the existence of any evidence. ..."
"... And, as already noted, this declaration of open-ended snooping by Comey on the White House was met with avid approval by political opponents of Trump, both on Capitol Hill and in the corporate media. ..."
"... Let's just assume for a moment that the whole Trump-Russia collusion story is indeed fake. That it is groundless, a figment of imagination. There are solid reasons to believe that is the case. But let's just assume here that it is fake for the sake of argument. ..."
"... This is an American implosion. An historic Made-in-America meltdown. And Russophobia is but a symptom of the internal decay at the heart of US politics. ..."
Mar 24, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
There was a time when Russophobia served as an effective form of population control – used by the American ruling class in particular to command the general US population into patriotic loyalty. Not any longer. Now, Russophobia is a sign of weakness, of desperate implosion among the US ruling class from their own rotten, internal decay.

This propaganda technique worked adequately well during the Cold War decades when the former Soviet Union could be easily demonized as "godless communism" and an "evil empire". Such stereotypes, no matter how false, could be sustained largely because of the monopoly control of Western media by governments and official regulators.

The Soviet Union passed away more than a quarter of a century ago, but Russophobia among the US political class is more virulent than ever.

This week it was evident from Congressional hearings in Washington into alleged Russian interference in US politics that large sections of American government and establishment media are fixated by Russophobia and a belief that Russia is a malign foreign adversary.

However, the power of the Russophobia propaganda technique over the wider population seems to have greatly diminished from its Cold War heyday. This is partly due to more diverse global communications which challenge the previous Western monopoly for controlling narrative and perception. Contemporary Russophobia – demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin or Russian military forces – does not have the same potency for scaring the Western public. Indeed, due to greater diversity in global news media sources, it is fair to say that "official" Western depictions of Russia as an enemy, for example allegedly about to invade Europe or allegedly interfering in electoral politics, are met with a healthy skepticism – if not ridicule by many Western citizens.

What is increasingly apparent here is a gaping chasm between the political class and the wider public on the matter of Russophobia. This is true for Western countries generally, but especially in the US. The political class – the lawmakers in Washington and the mainstream news media – are frenzied by claims that Russia interfered in the US presidential elections and that Russia has some kind of sinister leverage on the presidency of Donald Trump.

But this frenzy of Russophobia is not reflected among the wider public of ordinary American citizens. Rabid accusations that Russia hacked the computers of Trump's Democrat rival Hillary Clinton to spread damaging information about her; that this alleged sabotage of American democracy was an "act of war"; that President Trump is guilty of "treason" by "colluding" with a "Russian influence campaign" – all of these sensational claims seem to be only a preoccupation of the privileged political class . Most ordinary Americans, concerned about making a living in a crumbling society, either don't buy the claims or view them as idle chatter.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov this week dismissed the Congressional hearings into alleged Russian interference in US politics. He aptly said that US lawmakers and the corporate media have become "entangled" in their own fabrications. "They are trying to find evidence for conclusions that they have already made", said Peskov.

Other suitable imagery is that the US political class are tilting at windmills, chasing their own tails, or running from their own shadows. There seems to be a collective delusional mindset.

Unable to accept the reality that the governing structure of the US has lost legitimacy in the eyes of the people, that the people rebelled by electing an outsider in the form of business mogul-turned-politician Donald Trump, that the collapse of American traditional politics is due to the atrophy of its bankrupt capitalist economy over several decades – the ruling class have fabricated their own excuse for demise by blaming it all on Russia.

The American ruling class cannot accept, or come to terms, with the fact of systemic failure in their own political system. The election of Trump is a symptom of this failure and the widespread disillusionment among voters towards the two-party train wreck of Republicans and Democrats. That is why the specter of Russian interference in the US political system had to be conjured up, by necessity, as a way of "explaining" the abject failure and the ensuing popular revolt.

Russophobia was rehabilitated from the Cold War closet by the American political establishment to distract from the glaring internal collapse of American politics.

The corrosive, self-destruction seems to know no bounds. James Comey, the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, told Congress this week that the White House is being probed for illicit contacts with Russia. This dramatic notice served by Comey was greeted with general approval by political opponents of the Trump administration, as well as by news media outlets.

The New York Times said the FBI was in effect holding a "criminal investigation at the doorstep of the White House".

Other news outlets are openly airing discussions on the probability of President Trump being impeached from office.

The toxic political atmosphere of Russophobia in Washington is unprecedented. The Trump administration is being crippled at every turn from conducting normal political business under a toxic cloud of suspicion that it is guilty of treason from colluding with Russia.

President Trump has run afoul with Republicans in Congress over his planned healthcare reforms because many Republicans are taking issue instead over the vaunted Russian probe.

When Trump's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was reported to be skipping a NATO summit next month but was planning to visit Moscow later in the same month, the itinerary was interpreted as a sign of untoward Russian influence.

What makes the spectacle of political infighting so unprecedented is that there is such little evidence to back up allegations of Trump-Russia collusion. It is preponderantly based on innuendo and anonymous leaks to the media, which are then recycled as "evidence".

Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said earlier this week that he has seen no actual evidence among classified documents indicating any collusion between the Trump campaign team and the Russian government.

Even former senior intelligence officials, James Clapper and Michael Morell who are no friends of Trump, have lately admitted in media interviews that there is no such evidence.

Yet, FBI chief James Comey told Congress that his agency was pursuing a potentially criminal investigation into the Trump administration, while at the same time not confirming or denying the existence of any evidence.

And, as already noted, this declaration of open-ended snooping by Comey on the White House was met with avid approval by political opponents of Trump, both on Capitol Hill and in the corporate media.

Let's just assume for a moment that the whole Trump-Russia collusion story is indeed fake. That it is groundless, a figment of imagination. There are solid reasons to believe that is the case. But let's just assume here that it is fake for the sake of argument.

That then means that the Washington seat of government and the US presidency are tearing themselves apart in a futile civil war.

The real war here is a power struggle within the US in the context of ruling parties no longer having legitimacy to govern.

This is an American implosion. An historic Made-in-America meltdown. And Russophobia is but a symptom of the internal decay at the heart of US politics.

[Mar 23, 2017] NSA To Provide Smoking Gun Proof Obama Spied On Trump Zero Hedge

Mar 23, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
NSA To Provide "Smoking Gun" Proof Obama Spied On Trump InjectTheVenom -> hedgeless_horseman , Mar 23, 2017 6:56 PM

Mr Nunes should probably stay away from Texas hunting lodges and high balconies...

just sayin' .

DRAIN THE SWAMP.

Chupacabra-322 -> InjectTheVenom , Mar 23, 2017 7:23 PM

Who ever makes "Obama For Prison 2017" T-Shrits is goi g to make a killing.

johngaltfla -> Manthong , Mar 23, 2017 7:46 PM

Expect some variation of this story below to come from the upcomine revelations. Trump and Nunes want to not only demonstrate that Obama was scum, but put a major wedge between the DNC and Jews and Israel:

BOMBSHELL: Trump Surveillance Data Captured Due to Obama Spying on Israel, not Russia

knukles -> Mano-A-Mano , Mar 23, 2017 7:57 PM

So many crimes, so few diversions

Rubicon727 -> wee-weed up , Mar 23, 2017 7:44 PM

Firstly, there would have to be sufficient information showing Obama initiated the spying. Unless Obama has political knives out after him, these facts won't come out until 2030.

Secondly, the media, and other powers-that-be would muddy the water. We'll never know *who* and *why* of the story.

Thirdly, if the NSA comes out with genuine evidence, then we may be able to assume there IS a conflict between the FBI, the CIA vs the NSA. That, in itself, would be very relevant news.

Growing conflicts in any large government are not conducive to a smooth-operating empire.

BarkingCat -> Rubicon727 , Mar 23, 2017 8:13 PM

More likely conflicts within each organization.

Or maybe you are right and the NSA are the good guys. Maybe Snowden did what he did because the NSA itself is not happy about what they are told to do. Snowden did not go rogue but is following orders from within NSA.

It could also be that the NSA dropped vault 7 onto WikiLeaks as well as the various Hillary leaks during the campaign.

Whoa Dammit -> InjectTheVenom , Mar 23, 2017 7:28 PM

McCain is alledgedly the White House leaker

http://redstatewatcher.com/article.asp?id=69677

And NYPD says Hillary knew that Wiener was sexing underage girl & did not report it to authorities. The NYPD was prevented from pursuing charges against her.

http://redstatewatcher.com/article.asp?id=69678

[Mar 23, 2017] It seems like the intelligence agencies are spending more time monitoring politicians and public than Al queda.

Notable quotes:
"... Freedom Watch lawyer Larry Klayman has a whistle-blower who has stated on the record, publicly, he has 47 hard drives with over 600,000,00 pages of secret CIA documents that detail all the domestic spying operations, and likely much much more. ..."
"... The rabbit hole goes very deep here. Attorney Klayman has stated he has been trying to out this for 2 years, and was stonewalled by swamp creatures, so he threatened to go public this week. Several very interesting videos, and a public letter, are out there, detailing all this. Nunes very likely saw his own conversations transcripted from surveillance taken at Trump Tower (he was part of the transition team), and realized the jig was up. Melania has moved out of Trump Tower to stay elsewhere, I am sure after finding out that many people in Washington where watching them at home in their private residence, whichi is also why Pres Trump sent out those famous angry tweets 2 weeks ago. Democrats on the Committee (and many others) are liars, and very possibly traitors, which is probably why Nunes neglected to inform them. Nunes did follow proper procedures, notifying Ryan first etc, you can ignore the MSM bluster there ..observe Nunes body language in the 2 videos of his dual press briefings he gave today, he appears shocked, angry, disturbed etc. ..."
"... This all stems from Obama's Jan 16 signing of the order broadening "co-operation" between the NSA and everybody else in Washington, so that mid-level analysts at almost any agency could now look at raw NSA intercepts, that is where all the "leaks" and "unmasking" are coming from. ..."
"... AG Lynch, Obama, and countless others knew, or should have known, all about this, but I am sure they will play the usual "I was too stupid too know what was going on in my own organization" card. ..."
Mar 23, 2017 | href="Was%20Obama%20behind%20it? I doubt it and I don't think it would be provable. But it seems like the intelligence agencies are spending more time monitoring repubs than Al queda.">
  • fresno dan March 22, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    So I see where Nunes in a ZeroHedge posting says that there might have been "incidental surveillance" of "Trump" (?Trump associates? ?Trump tower? ?Trump campaign?)
    Now to the average NC reader, it kinda goes without saying. But I don't think Trump understands the scope of US government "surveillance" and I don't think the average citizen, certainly not the average Trump supporter, does either – the nuances and subtleties of it – the supposed "safeguards".

    I can understand the rationale for it .but this goes to show that when you give people an opportunity to use secret information for their own purposes .they will use secret information for their own purposes.

    And at some point, the fact of the matter that the law regarding the "incidental" leaking appears to have been broken, and that this leaking IMHO was purposefully broken for political purposes .is going to come to the fore. Like bringing up "fake news" – some of these people on the anti Trump side seem not just incapable of playing 11th dimensional chess, they seem incapable of winning tic tac toe .

    Was Obama behind it? I doubt it and I don't think it would be provable. But it seems like the intelligence agencies are spending more time monitoring repubs than Al queda. Now maybe repubs are worse than Al queda – I think its time we have a real debate instead of the pseudo debates and start asking how useful the CIA is REALLY. (and we can ask how useful repubs and dems are too)

    Reply
    1. craazyboy March 22, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      If Obama taped the information, stuffed the tape in one of Michelle's shoeboxes, then hid the shoebox in the Whitehouse basement, he could be in trouble. Ivanka is sure to search any shoeboxes she finds.

      Reply
    2. Irredeemable Deplorable March 23, 2017 at 2:57 am

      Oh the Trump supporters are all over this, don't worry. There are many more levels to what is going on than what is reported in the fakenews MSM.

      Adm Roger of NSA made his November visit to Trump Tower, after a SCIF was installed there, to .be interviewed for a job uh-huh yeah.

      Freedom Watch lawyer Larry Klayman has a whistle-blower who has stated on the record, publicly, he has 47 hard drives with over 600,000,00 pages of secret CIA documents that detail all the domestic spying operations, and likely much much more.

      The rabbit hole goes very deep here. Attorney Klayman has stated he has been trying to out this for 2 years, and was stonewalled by swamp creatures, so he threatened to go public this week. Several very interesting videos, and a public letter, are out there, detailing all this. Nunes very likely saw his own conversations transcripted from surveillance taken at Trump Tower (he was part of the transition team), and realized the jig was up. Melania has moved out of Trump Tower to stay elsewhere, I am sure after finding out that many people in Washington where watching them at home in their private residence, whichi is also why Pres Trump sent out those famous angry tweets 2 weeks ago. Democrats on the Committee (and many others) are liars, and very possibly traitors, which is probably why Nunes neglected to inform them. Nunes did follow proper procedures, notifying Ryan first etc, you can ignore the MSM bluster there ..observe Nunes body language in the 2 videos of his dual press briefings he gave today, he appears shocked, angry, disturbed etc.

      You all should be happy, because although Pres Trump has been vindicated here on all counts, the more important story for you is that the old line Democratic Party looks about to sink under the wieght of thier own lies and illegalities. This all stems from Obama's Jan 16 signing of the order broadening "co-operation" between the NSA and everybody else in Washington, so that mid-level analysts at almost any agency could now look at raw NSA intercepts, that is where all the "leaks" and "unmasking" are coming from.

      AG Lynch, Obama, and countless others knew, or should have known, all about this, but I am sure they will play the usual "I was too stupid too know what was going on in my own organization" card.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author March 23, 2017 at 5:12 am

        I'm not seeing any links here.

        Reply
    3. Lambert Strether Post author March 23, 2017 at 4:08 am

      > Was Obama behind it? I doubt it and I don't think it would be provable

      I think he knew about it. After fulminating about weedy technicalities, let me just say that Obama's EO12333 expansion made sure that whatever anti-Trump information got picked up by the intelligence community could be spread widely, and would be hard to trace back to an individual source .

      Reply
  • [Mar 23, 2017] March 22, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Notable quotes:
    "... Revealing this is treason. ..."
    "... People will die. ..."
    Mar 23, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

    There's also this showing evidence that Trump Tower was specifically monitored during the Obama administration, although the probe was targeting Russian mafia and not Trump and was done well before he declared his candidacy.

    The FBI did wiretap Trump Tower to monitor Russian activity, but it had nothing to do with the 2016 Presidential election, it has been reported.

    Between 2011 and 2013 the Bureau had a warrant to spy on a high-level criminal Russian money-laundering ring, which operated in unit 63A of the iconic skyscraper - three floors below Mr Trump's penthouse.

    Not exactly a confirmation of Trump's rather wild claims, but something.

    Still waiting for any evidence to appear that Russians interfered with the elections or colluded with Trump.

    uncle tungsten , March 22, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Ok, so they were just after the Russian mafia, phew I feel better already. So they got the felons and they are all arrested?

    What utter BS! Why is Semion Mogilevitch still at large in Hungary and no extradition process? What about Felix Sater and Steve Wynn and on and on. Why are they incapable of prosecuting mafia mobsters and instead chasing politicians?

    MyLessThanPrimeBeef , March 22, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    That said, it was what happening potentially to all citizens, not just Donald Trump. I dislike this intensely, but why should Trump get special dispensation over other citizens? Would like to know the reason for that.

    Like Watergate, it's really about the denial or the lying.

    "When did you know about the, er, collecting?"

    For how many days have we ridiculed Trump for his alternative universe imagination?

    Lambert Strether Post author , March 23, 2017 at 3:25 am

    > He can join the other 310 million of us who can be "incidentally collected".

    Didn't your mother tell you that 310 million wrongs don't make a right?

    Neither party establishment cares about that quaint concept, civil liberties. If Obama's flip flip on FISA reform in July 2008, giving the telcos retroactive immunity for Bush's warrantless surveillance, didn't convince you, then his 17-city paramilitary crackdown on Occupy should have.

    fritter , March 23, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Not to mention monitoring a politician opens up a whole new can of worms. I'm convinced Trump must pretty clean relatively because the IC hasn't gotten rid of him yet and you know they have all of his communications.
    I'm with Lambert on neither party caring. I knew all I needed to when Obama voted for FISA and the following years just reinforced how corrupt the Dems were. There is an import point here though. I don't think Trump would have thought that all of the surveillance would be applied to him personally. It was just about other people. It was probably a legitimate eye opener. Now Trump is at the head of the surveillance apparatus. Instead of asking wikileaks to release all of clintons emails, he should just do it himself. The Dems who were all for collecting on everyone can't (non-hypocritically) complain about Trump having all that now. I mean, we can never know how far the extremest have penetrated into our government unless we trace where all that Saudi money terrorist influence goes.

    Code Name D , March 22, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Not just incedently, in concreshional hearings, Comie flat out says that Trump and his team were investigated for Rushan connections, and that none were found. The question now is was the investigations properly secured or not. Something completly in the air.

    But team dem is still playing the "wire tap" canad.

    Randy , March 22, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    The surveillance state bites the politicians that created it in the ass. I love that. They are not happy, I love that too.

    allan , March 22, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    This is now turning into high comedy low farce:

    Devin Nunes Commits "Felonious Leaking" [Emptywheel]

    and @mkraju:

    WYDEN, member of Senate Intel, says Nunes' statements "would appear to reveal classified information, which is a serious concern."

    MyLessThanPrimeBeef , March 22, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    It was already a farce when McCain went after Paul.

    Though it was, before that, a horror film, with the 'ways the intelligence community can get you.'

    polecat , March 22, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    they're going all Fellini on us now !

    wilroncanada , March 22, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    And here I thought they were only looking through a glass, darkly.

    fresno dan , March 22, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    MyLessThanPrimeBeef
    March 22, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    It is a satire, wrapped in a parody, hidden in slapstick, on top of a farce, buried in a bro-mance between a man with a tower and another man riding a horse without a shirt (and the man isn't wearing a shirt either .)

    Lambert Strether Post author , March 23, 2017 at 3:31 am

    And scripted by Cersei Lannister

    allan , March 22, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Also, this kind of incidental collection has been known about for years.
    Here's a Barton Gellman, Julie Tate and Ashkan Soltani article (linked to by Emptywheel)
    from the WaPo in 2014 and based on the Snowden documents:

    In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are
    [WaPo]

    Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post.

    Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.

    And what was the reaction of many Congresspersons
    (including many Dems, and all of the GOP except maybe Rand Paul and Justin Amash)?
    Revealing this is treason. People will die.
    And Trump's CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, has called for Snowden's execution.

    fresno dan , March 22, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    allan
    March 22, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Sorry allan – I got all excited at seeing a Nunes article in ZeroHedge and posted a comment – your article is better and it makes for more coherent comment threads to keep them together – I should have looked before I leaped (posted).

    Nunes: "I recently confirmed that, on numerous occasions, the Intelligence Community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.
    Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration-details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value-were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.
    I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked.
    To be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia or any investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team."

    ==============================================
    So the worm turns. The hypocrisy espoused by all sides is ..well, 11th dimensional.

    3.14e-9 , March 22, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    fresno dan, this was a major topic of discussion during the committee hearing with Comey and Rogers on Monday. I listened to the whole thing – all five hours and 18 minutes' worth – because I suspected that the corporate media would omit important details or spin it beyond recognition. And so they did.

    The bipartisan divide is being portrayed as Democrats wanting to get to the truth of Russian efforts to snuff out Democracy, and Republicans wanting to "plug leaks" (see Lambert's RCP except above), with some reports suggesting the Rs are advocating stifling free speech, prosecuting reporters for publishing classified information, and the like.

    Republican committee members were indeed focused on the leaks, and there was talk about how to prevent them, but their concern – at least as they expressed publicly on Monday – was specifically related to whether all those current and former officials, senior officials, etc., quoted anonymously in the NYT and WaPo (the infamous "nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies") violated FISA provisions protecting information about U.S. persons collected incidentally in surveillance of foreign actors.

    Sure, they're playing their own game, and it could be a ruse to divert attention from the Trump campaign's alleged Russian ties or simply to have ammo against the Ds. Even so, after listening to all their arguments, I believe they are on more solid ground than all the Dem hysteria about Russian aggression and Trump camp treason.

    I don't think I'll ever get Trey Gowdy's cringe-worthy performance during the Benghazi hearings out of my head, but he made some pretty good points on Monday, one of which was that investigating Russian interference and possible ties between Trump advisers and Russia is all well and good, but there may or may not have been any laws broken; whereas leaking classified information about U.S. citizens collected incidentally under FISA is clearly a felony with up to 10 years. Comey confirmed that by saying that ALL information collected under FISA is classified.

    And then he repeatedly refused to say whether he thought any classified information had been leaked or existed at all (I counted more than 100 "no comment" answers from Comey, who astonishingly managed to find 50 different ways to say it).

    My beef isn't so much the leak of classified information, but the gross dereliction of duty – if not outright abuse of First Amendment powers – by reporters who collaborate with intelligence agencies and then quote them anonymously, giving everyone cover to say or write whatever they want with zero accountability.

    In fact, there were some interesting comments in Monday's hearing about the possibility that some of what has been reported was fabricated. Then, you might expect Comey to say something like that. For all his talk about not tolerating leaks from his agency, blahblah, it was clear that he'll provide his own people with cover, if necessary. I think that's what Gowdy and a couple other Republicans were getting at.

    It goes without saying, but I'll add that the Dems were hardly even trying to disguise their real goal, which isn't protecting the American People® from the evil Russkies, but taking down Trump.

    fresno dan , March 22, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    3.14e-9
    March 22, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    Thanks for watching the whole thing – the nation owes you a debt of gratitude.

    "My beef isn't so much the leak of classified information, but the gross dereliction of duty – if not outright abuse of First Amendment powers – by reporters who collaborate with intelligence agencies and then quote them anonymously, giving everyone cover to say or write whatever they want with zero accountability."

    First, I a squillion percent agree with you. This is a big, bit deal because essentially the military/IC/neocons is trying to wrest control of the civilian government – the idea that the CIA is some noble institution that wants the best for all Americans is preposterous, yet accepted by the media, which proves how much propaganda we are fed. The sheep like following, the mandatory use of the adjective "murderous thug" before the name of "Putin" just shows that most of the media has been bought off or has lost all their critical thinking faculties.

    But I also don't want to be a hypocrite so I will explain that I don't have too much of a problem with leaks. WHAT I do have a problem with is the purposeful naivete or ignorance of the media that the CIA and/or facets of the Obama administration is trying to thwart rapprochement with Russia. Administrations BEFORE they are sworn in talk to foreign governments – the sheer HYSTERIA, the CRIME of talking to a Russian is beyond absurd. We are being indoctrinated to believe all Russia, all bad

    There is a ton of information about Podesta and the Clintons dealing with Russia for money. If Flynn and whatshisname are just grifting that is pedestrian stuff and everybody in Washington does it (I thing they call it "lobbying"). If there is REAL treason something should have come out by now.

    3.14e-9 , March 23, 2017 at 3:27 am

    Thanks, fd.

    I began covering congressional hearings while I was still in j-school and sat though many like this during my years as a reporter in D.C. Even though I haven't worked as a full-time journalist for many years, I still prefer original sources and am willing to take the time to dig for them or, in this case, to sit through a hearing as though I were covering it as a member of the press – especially when I don't even have to wash my hair or get dressed!

    I didn't mean to imply that I have a problem with leaks. I certainly encouraged enough of them in my time, and I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with publishing leaked material, even certain kinds of classified information. It depends.

    There's the kind of "classified" information that is restricted expressly to keep the public from knowing something they have a right to know, and there's information that's classified to protect individual privacy. The first kind should be leaked early and often. The second kind, close to never (and off the top of my head I can't think of an instance when it would be OK).

    Even though journalists aren't (and shouldn't be) held liable for publishing classified information given to them by a third party, they need to be scrupulous in their decisions to do so. Is it in the public interest? Who or what might be harmed? Would sitting on the information cause more harm than publicizing it? Does it violate someone's constitutional rights?

    These questions can get tricky with someone like Flynn, who's clearly a public figure and thus mostly fair game. However, if I had been reporting that story, I think I would have sat on it until I had more information, even at the risk of getting scooped – unless, of course, I was in cahoots with the leakers and out to get him and his boss.

    At that point, I am no longer an objective journalist committed to fair and accurate reporting, but a participant in a political cause. Although newspapers throughout history have taken sides, and pure "fact-based" journalism is a myth, there's a big difference between having an editorial slant and being an active participant in the story. Evidently, BezPo has decided that the latter is not only acceptable, but advantageous.

    Sorry, didn't mean to ramble on when I'm likely preaching to the converted. I feel very strongly about this issue, and it's disconcerting to me, as a lifelong Democrat, that I agreed more with the Republicans in that hearing. At the same time, the D's propaganda machine is pumping out so much toxic fog that it's shaking my faith in unfettered freedom of the press.

    Exactly what Putin wants, right?

    Lambert Strether Post author , March 23, 2017 at 3:46 am

    > I began covering congressional hearings while I was still in j-school and sat though many like this during my years as a reporter in D.C. Even though I haven't worked as a full-time journalist for many years, I still prefer original sources and am willing to take the time to dig for them

    Hmm. NC needs an in-house emptywheel

    Lambert Strether Post author , March 23, 2017 at 3:41 am

    You did this so we didn't have to. Thanks!

    * * *

    This:

    In fact, there were some interesting comments in Monday's hearing about the possibility that some of what has been reported was fabricated.

    I mean, it's not like we don't have several major players with the expertise and the institutional mandate to fake evidence. Waiting for a shoe to drop on this. Call me foily .

    * * *

    And this:

    My beef isn't so much the leak of classified information, but the gross dereliction of duty – if not outright abuse of First Amendment powers – by reporters who collaborate with intelligence agencies and then quote them anonymously, giving everyone cover to say or write whatever they want with zero accountability.

    For this, we have the First Amendment? Really?

    Lambert Strether Post author , March 23, 2017 at 3:38 am

    I agree that everybody is surveilled all the time, especially in the Beltway, where probably there are multiple simultaneous operations run against . well, everybody.

    It doesn't, er, bug me that 70-year-old Beltway neophyte Trump used sloppy language - "wiretap" - to describe this state of affairs. (I don't expect any kind of language from Trump but sloppy.) All are, therefore one is. It does bug me that the whole discussion gets dragged off into legal technicalities about what legal regimen is appropriate for which form of Fourth Amendment-destruction (emptywheel does this a lot). The rules are insanely complicated, and it's fun to figure them out, rather like taking the cover off the back of a Swiss watch and examining all the moving parts. But the assumption is that people follow the rules, and especially that high-level people (like, say, Comey, or Clapper, or Morrel, or Obama) follow the complicated rules. That assumes facts not in evidence.

    Lambert Strether Post author , March 23, 2017 at 3:28 am

    Incidental collection was always a likely scenario.

    We've also seen statements from people like GHCQ that clains they surveilled Trump at Obama's behest were "absurd," but those are non-denial denials. I can't recall a denial denial. Am I missing something?

    [Mar 23, 2017] Nunes Confirms There Was Incidental Surveillance Of Trump During Obama Administration, Seems To Be Inappropriate Zero Hed

    Mar 23, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
    Update : House Intel Chairman Nunes spoke to reporters when he left the briefing at The White House and had some more stunning things to say:
  • *NUNES: BRIEFED PRESIDENT ON CONCERNS OVER INCIDENTAL COLLECTION
  • *NUNES: `PRESIDENT NEEDS TO KNOW' THESE INTEL REPORTS EXIST
  • *NUNES: SOME OF WHAT I'VE SEEN SEEMS TO BE `INAPPROPRIATE'
  • *NUNES: TRUMP, OTHERS IN TRANSITION PUT INTO INTELLIGENCE REPORT
  • *NUNES: QUESTION IS IF TRUMP SHOULD BE IN THESE `NORMAL' REPORTS
  • And the punchline: there are "multiple FISA warrants outstanding against Trump" Nunes also told reporters:

    Wow - Nunes just said there are "multiple FISA warrants out there" involving Trump.

    - Tom Watson (@tomwatson) March 22, 2017

    * * *

    As we detailed earlier, it appears Trump may have been right, again.

    Two days after FBI director Comey shot down Trump's allegation that Trump was being wiretapped by president Obama before the election, it appears that president Trump may have been on to something because moments ago, the House Intelligence Chairman, Devin Nunes, told reporters that the U.S. intelligence community incidentally collected information on members of President Trump's transition team, possibly including Trump himself, and the information was "widely disseminated" in intelligence reports.

    As AP adds , Nunes said that President Donald Trump's communications may have been "monitored" during the transition period as part of an "incidental collection."

    Nunes told a news conference Wednesday that the communications appear to be picked up through "incidental collection" and do not appear to be related to the ongoing FBI investigation into Trump associates' contacts with Russia. He says he believes the intelligence collections were done legally , although in light of the dramatic change in the plotline it may be prudent to reserve judgment on how "incidental" it was.

    "I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community collected information on U.S. individuals involved in the Trump transition," Nunes told reporters.

    "Details about U.S. persons involved in the incoming administration with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in intelligence community reports."

    The information was "legally brought to him by sources who thought we should know it," Nunes said, though he provided little detail on the source.

    BREAKING!!! Rep Devin Nunes (Intel Cmte Chmn): There was "Incidental collection" of @realDonaldTrump thru IC surveillance <- BOMBSHELL

    - Eric Bolling (@ericbolling) March 22, 2017

    Nunes also said that "additional names" of Trump transition officials had been unmasked in the intelligence reports. He indicated that Trump's communications may have been swept up.

    The House Intel Chair said he had viewed dozens of documents showing that the information had been incidentally collected. He said that he believes the information was legally collected. Nunes said that the intelligence has nothing to do with Russia and that the collection occurred after the presidential election.

    Nunes said he briefed House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on the revelation and will inform the White House later today. Nunes' statement comes after he and other congressional leaders pushed back on Trump's claims that former President Obama had his "wires tapped" in Trump Tower ahead of the election.

    Nunes said Wednesday that it was unclear whether the information incidentally collected originated in Trump Tower.

    The revelation comes in the wake of the committee's explosive hearing on Monday, at which FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the bureau has been investigating Russia's election hacking since July, which includes probing possible coordination between members of Trump's presidential campaign and Moscow.

    The meeting represented the panel's first open hearing on its investigation into Russia's election meddling and also featured testimony from NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers.

    Nunes says the communications of Trump associates were also picked up, but he did not name those associates. He says the monitoring mostly occurred in November, December and January. He added that he learned of the collection through "sources" but did not specify those source

    Politico adds that Nunes is going to the White House later Wednesday to brief the Trump administration on what he has learned, which he said came from "sources."

    Nunes says he is "bothered" by this. Won't say whether or not intel community spied on Trump et. al. But says he is "concerned."

    - David Corn (@DavidCornDC) March 22, 2017

    While there are no further details, we look forward to how the media narrative will change as a result of today's latest dramatic development.

    froze25 , Mar 22, 2017 1:38 PM

    Trump wouldn't of tweeted what he did unless he knew something. He doesn't make blind bets, he only moves on things he knows he can win. Not to mention he has shown that he can bait, watch the other side respond and deny and then present his case to show them as the liars they are.

    Looney -> LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD , Mar 22, 2017 1:40 PM

    James Comey said that there were no LEGAL wiretaps.

    Who would admit to ILLEGALLY wiretapping a campaign?

    I am not a crook I am not a crook ;-)

    Looney

    Chupacabra-322 -> ghengis86 , Mar 22, 2017 1:44 PM

    Bush and Obama both illegally tapped trumps 30+ offices, residences, cell ph since 2004.

    There's a New Snowden - 600M docs Leaked Including Trump Wire Taps on 30+ Phones https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFJ34OAmzP8

    Documents Show Obama Surveilled Entire Trump Family For 8 Years https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTT5FVyGMUU

    New NSA Whistblower Goes Public About Trump Surveillance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq2SaRu9emY

    NSA DOCUMENTS PROVE SURVEILLANCE OF DONALD TRUMP AND ALEX JONES https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lntc9No2vzE

    Joe Davola -> froze25 , Mar 22, 2017 1:49 PM

    By "incidental monitoring" does he mean "gathering everything they can just like they do to everyone else"

    Chupacabra-322 -> Joe Davola , Mar 22, 2017 1:56 PM

    @ Joe,

    "Incidental" is code for "Vault 7." Someone should make T-Shirts.

    Gaius Frakkin' ... -> FrozenGoodz , Mar 22, 2017 2:17 PM

    "incidental surveillance"

    LOL...

    Something like Clapper's "not wittingly" I'm sure...

    While we're at it, let's debate the meaning of "is"...

    remain calm -> Gaius Frakkin' Baltar , Mar 22, 2017 2:29 PM

    "Incidental surveilance" WTF

    That is like being a little gay...

    greenskeeper carl -> remain calm , Mar 22, 2017 2:50 PM

    How all these people still let trump bait them like this is hilarious. How many times has he said something that seemed baseless and everyone was sure would sink him, and then he is vindicated? And they still fucking fall for it.

    And yes, incidental surveillance is a funny term. As in you swept all his up the same way they listen to all of us all the time? Maybe this will piss trump off enough to end this shit. I doubt it though.

    j0nx -> greenskeeper carl , Mar 22, 2017 4:21 PM

    Indeed. Everyone knows Obama and hildabeast were 'tapping his lines' illegally via fake 'legal' methods...

    wildbad -> Gaius Frakkin' Baltar , Mar 22, 2017 3:55 PM

    we've got to start fucking these liberals up.

    the NSA , the CIA, The FBI et al. are watching all of us all the time period.

    we have to beat these motherfuckers back until there is no one willing to fill those illegal and unconstitutional posts.

    the terrorists are in washington and we need to dissemble their illegally constructed fortress.

    Dear donald..attack them now. jail them. hang them.

    Sam.Spade -> FrozenGoodz , Mar 22, 2017 6:16 PM

    Here is what Trump may have known:

    The NSA 'wiretaps' EVERYONE. All of what you say on your phone, on-line, and in any other form of electronic communications is Hoovered up and dumped in their mass storage facilities in Utah and elsewhere. The system is set up to get it all AUTOMATICALLY. In fact, they would have had to go to great efforts to NOT record what Trump and his associates said electronically. Or searched for. Or visited on the web. Or even visited in person if he/she carried a cell phone with when going about.

    Because it is all recorded for ALL OF US! Standard, all the time, no warrant required.

    Of course, if there were FISA warrants issued, then the opposition did more than that, because no warrant is required for any of the above. So they must have also done some non-standard dirty. Like placing recording malware on the relevant cell phones to record conversations, take pictures, upload stored files, and even take video. Or sift through his financial records.

    OK, so why should you care? I don't mean about Trump, although you should care there as well, but about your privacy. You may not be getting the full Monte he did, by everything you do in the first paragraph now rests with the NSA.

    For an answer, consider this conversation between one of the uber-wealthy and a Federal Prosecutor:

    *****

    "With enough data, my lawyers can always find a crime. They'll prosecute. Bury anyone under legal motions, make his life miserable. Maybe even send him up for some felony."

    "Even if he didn't do anything?"

    "Of course he did something. We got 100,000 laws on the books, twice that in regs. Somewhere, sometime, by accident or intentionally, he broke one. We get a moving x-ray of his life, all we have to do is find it."

    *****

    It's called the power of selective prosecution. With enough data, what used to be just an annoyance becomes an unstoppable control technique. Someday, when the deep state wants you cooperation, they will drill down through their Utah stash for your name. Then they will call you in for a little chat.

    Not willing to spy on your best friend or wife? You may change you mind after their little chat.

    So how to avoid this trap? How do you avoid becoming a data serf?

    Learn to hide your data so it can't be hovered in the first place. I suggest you start with www.privacytools.io and work your way up from there.

    And do it now. Because protecting your privacy is like quitting smoking. It doesn't matter how long you have been engaged in unclean behavior, it's never too late to start living right.

    The quote above, by the way, was from Thieves Emporium by Max Hernandez. It's a primer on the ways TPTB control us in the new world of fiat money and ubiquitous surveillance and what we can do to prevent it. I strongly recommend you at least investigate getting a copy.

    The editors of The Daily Bell must agree as they ran it as a serial which you can still read for free at http://www.thedailybell.com/editorials/max-hernandez-introducing-thieves...

    Or you can buy a copy from Amazon (rated 4.6 in 118 reviews), Nook (same rating, not so many reviews), Smashwords (ditto), or iBooks.

    https://www.amazon.com/Thieves-Emporium-Max-Hernandez-ebook/dp/B00CWWWRK0

    Belrev -> Chupacabra-322 , Mar 22, 2017 2:22 PM

    Statement by Devin Nunes on discovery of Trump team surveillance by Obama

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veYcFEZcPpo

    CuttingEdge -> Chupacabra-322 , Mar 22, 2017 2:28 PM

    There is a simple method for Trump to "drain the swamp". Fucked if I know why he hasn't, given how much butt-hurt they are dishing out to him.

    An Executive Order giving immunity and witness protection (and even a fucking Presidential Medal of Freedom, if you ask me) to all whistleblowers who reveal unconstitutional malfeasance within both overt and covert .gov departments. Because these are the true patriots, and all that is stopping them shining a fucking huge spotlight on this bucket of scumfuck is persecution from the swamp dwellers who control all the levers of power.

    Maybe with a (secure) hotline/email direct to the White House, just to bypass Comey and all the other cunts installed by Obama. Or probably better, directly to a morally rock solid independent Special Prosecutor who is prepared to get down and seriously dirty with the insidious morally bereft creatures infesting DC. A Trey Gowdy-type of bloke. Because , as far as relying on the FBI et al is concerned, Trump was fucked before he started.

    Chupacabra-322 -> CuttingEdge , Mar 22, 2017 2:45 PM

    @ Cutting,

    A typewriter can get it done. Hear they're Hot sellers in Germany again.

    What people don't understand is, that the Russian PsyOp / False Narrative Script by the Deep State & Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Psychopath Hillary Clinton Globalist was the game plan all long.

    Win, stolen or lost. They were going & are going "all in" with the PsyOp, Scripted False Narrative of Russia hacking the Elections / Russia / Putin / Trump Propaganda gone full retard via the Deep States Opeatives in the Presstitute Media.

    Plausible Deniability is the name of the game. If the Deep State could of pulled off the False Narrative PsyOp of Russia influencing our Elections the Deep State could & will hack into Russia's National Elections next March. Call it pay back.

    The Deep State's destabilization campaign in Ukraine especially Crimea was part of the ZioNeoConFascist Agenda to destabilize Russia during their upcoming g elections.

    Putin countered by expelling all Geroge Sorros NGO's from Russia. However, rest assured those destabilization cells are in place to ready to be activated come Russia's next election cycle.

    The future meeting between the Two Super Powers will be Epic. The Diplomacy which will Prevail out of those meetings will be a fresh breath of air to the World.

    And, final Death Blows to the Pure Evil Criminal Deep State Elite Compartmentalized Hierarchy.

    vq1 -> Chupacabra-322 , Mar 22, 2017 3:45 PM

    I assume you brought up typewriter because it is "unhackable" and allows people to leak without potentially being linked?

    As we all know the wikileaks revelations show that almost no device is safe from CIA (typewriter obviously is safe).

    That does not mean however that anonymity is unachievable.

    Someone can feel free to point out any hole in my instructions:

    1) purchase an older laptop (no camera or microphone) with cash from a "local" computer store (not a Dell or Microsoft branded business).

    3) run OS from an external CD drive (NO USB). Recommend linux distro, like tails.

    2) https://privacytoolsio.github.io/privacytools.io/ for software recommendations (tor, VPN, protonmail/tutanota, keepass, etc)

    3) All accounts disassociated with you personally - fake names, no phone numbers, do not link to any personal accounts, make no comments, do not message your contacts.

    4) never use your own wifi.

    5) never use your own bank account or credit cards, use crypto currency to pay for VPN, etc.

    This setup, as I understand it, would keep you completely anon with the exception of cameras at the store you purchase laptop at or cameras at the cafe you are using wifi. You can now leak without it being linked to you.

    Not to say that this setup is immune from CIA. In fact the idea is that you know that the CIA is looking, its just important that they do not know WHO they are looking at (identity).

    forexskin -> vq1 , Mar 22, 2017 6:20 PM

    typewriter may be safe.

    my russian compatriot Vlad told me when he was a kid, every typewriter in USSR was cataloged with samples of its output. By microscopic analysis, they could tell which typewriter was responsible for any typed document.

    every computer printer made also has the same kind of ID backdoor - it will print a specific identifier (like a MAC address) somewhere on the page - except for the old dot matrix and early inkjet. Defeat that by running it thru a low res copier a few round trips.

    Jim in MN -> forexskin , Mar 22, 2017 7:22 PM

    East German Stasi, same deal. All typewriters registered and tracked. Such amazing depth of the deep state crap. Coming soon to a ruined Republic near you...unless......we stop it.

    Victory_Garden -> CuttingEdge , Mar 22, 2017 4:09 PM

    "An Executive Order giving immunity and witness protection (and even a fucking Presidential Medal of Freedom, if you ask me) to all whistleblowers who reveal unconstitutional malfeasance within both overt and covert .gov departments. Because these are the true patriots, and all that is stopping them shining a fucking huge spotlight on this bucket of scumfuck is persecution from the swamp dwellers who control all the levers of power.

    Maybe with a (secure) hotline/email direct to the White House, just to bypass Comey and all the other cunts installed by Obama. Or probably better, directly to a morally rock solid independent Special Prosecutor who is prepared to get down and seriously dirty with the insidious morally bereft creatures infesting DC. A Trey Gowdy-type of bloke. Because , as far as relying on the FBI et al is concerned, Trump was fucked before he started."

    [Mar 23, 2017] On the congressional Russian pant sniffing hearings, this is most worthy of a fast read

    Mar 23, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    uncle tungsten , March 23, 2017 at 5:16 am

    On the congressional Russian pant sniffing hearings, this is most worthy of a fast read:

    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/03/23/conspiracy-against-president-trump.html

    [Mar 23, 2017] Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire

    Notable quotes:
    "... to influence our Atlantic Council! ..."
    "... our Atlantic Council! ..."
    Mar 23, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    craazyboy , March 22, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    "Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire" [Politico]. (Furzy Mouse). ZOMG!!!! The Ukrainians were hacking tampering with meddling in seeking to influence our election! Where's that declaration of war I had lying around
    ______________________

    Ukrania IS A NEW WORLD ORDER!!!!!

    Ukrainian World Congress
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_World_Congress

    Members[edit]
    European Congress of Ukrainians (Yaroslava Khortiani)
    Armenia: Federation of Ukrainians of Armenia "Ukraine"
    Belgium: Main Council of Ukrainian Public Organizations
    Bosnia and Herzegovina: Coordination council of Ukrainian associations
    Czech Republic: Ukrainian Initiative in the Czech Republic
    Croatia: Union of Rusyns and Ukrainians of the Republic of Croatia
    Estonia: Congress of Ukrainians of Estonia
    France: Representative Committee of the Ukrainian Community of France
    Georgia: Coordination Council of Ukrainians of Georgia
    Germany: Association of Ukrainian Organizations in Germany
    Greece: Association of the Ukrainian diaspora in Greece "Ukrainian-Greek Thought"
    Hungary: Association of Ukrainian Culture in Hungary
    Italy
    Latvia: Ukrainian Cultural-Enlightening Association in Latvia "Dnieper"
    Lithuania: Community of Ukrainians of Lithuania
    Moldova: Society of Ukrainians of Transnistria
    Norway
    Poland: Association of Ukrainians in Poland (Piotr Tyma)
    Portugal: Society of Ukrainians in Portugal
    Romania: Union of Ukrainians of Romania
    Russia: Association of Ukrainians of Russia
    Serbia
    Slovakia: Union of Rusyn-Ukrainians of the Slovak Republic
    Spain
    Switzerland
    United Kingdom: Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (Zenko Lastowiecki)
    Others
    Australia: Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (Stefan Romaniw)
    Argentina: Ukrainian Central Representation in Argentina
    Brazil: Ukrainian-Brazilian Central Representation
    Canada: Ukrainian Canadian Congress (Paul Grod)
    Kazakhstan: Ukrainians in Kazakhstan
    Paraguay:
    United States: Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (Andriy Futey)
    United States: Ukrainian American Coordinating Council (Ihor Gawdiak) [2]
    Uzbekistan: Ukrainian Cultural Center "Fatherland"

    They also are attempting to influence our Atlantic Council!

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

    Funding[edit]
    In September 2014, the New York Times reported that since 2008, the organization has received donations from more than twenty-five governments outside of the United States, including $5 million from Norway.[34] Concerned that scholars from the organization could be covertly trying to push the agendas of foreign governments, legislation was proposed in response to the Times report requiring full disclosure of witnesses testifying before Congress.[35] Other contributors to the organization include the Ukrainian World Congress, and the governments of Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia.[9][36]

    Plus, Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of the famous DNC security firm, Cloudstrike, is a senior fellow of our Atlantic Council!

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

    Cloudstrike also has hired some top FBI security professionals. Revolving Door!

    Keep plenty of Declaration of War forms handy. We're gonna need 'em!!!!

    [Mar 23, 2017] Trump and National Neoliberalism By Sasha Breger Bush Common Dreams

    Notable quotes:
    "... Democracy, Inc. ..."
    Mar 23, 2017 | www.commondreams.org
    Many writers and pundits are currently framing Trump's election in terms of a dispossessed and disenfranchised white, male working class, unsatisfied with neoliberal globalization and the insecurity and hardship it has unleashed-particularly across regions of the United States that were formerly manufacturing powerhouses (like the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, four states believed to have cost Hillary Clinton the election). While there is much truth to this perspective and substantial empirical evidence to support it, it would be a mistake to see Trump's election wholly in these terms.

    "What Trump's election has accomplished is an unmasking of the corporate state."

    Trump's election is in some ways a neoliberal apex, an event that portends the completion of the U.S. government's capture by wealthy corporate interests. While in my opinion Trump's election does not signal the beginning of a rapid descent into European-style fascism, it appears to be a key stage in the ongoing process of American democratic disintegration. American democracy has been under attack from large and wealthy corporate interests for a long time, with this process accelerating and gaining strength over the period of neoliberal globalization (roughly the early 1970s to the present). This time period is associated with the rise of powerful multinational corporations with economic and political might that rivals that of many national governments.

    In terms of the political consequences of these trends in the U.S., certain thinkers have argued that the U.S. political system is not democratic at all, but rather an "inverted totalitarian" system. Political commentator Chris Hedges notes: "Inverted totalitarianism is different from classical forms of totalitarianism. It does not find its expression in a demagogue or charismatic leader but in the faceless anonymity of the corporate state." Citing the American political theorist Sheldon Wolin, Hedges continues, "Unlike the Nazis, who made life uncertain for the wealthy and privileged while providing social programs for the working class and poor, inverted totalitarianism exploits the poor, reducing or weakening health programs and social services, regimenting mass education for an insecure workforce threatened by the importation of low-wage workers." Our inverted totalitarian system is one that retains the trappings of a democratic system-e.g. it retains the appearance of loyalty to "the Constitution, civil liberties, freedom of the press, [and] the independence of the judiciary"-all the while undermining the capacity of citizens to substantively participate and exert power over the system.

    In my view, what Trump's election has accomplished is an unmasking of the corporate state. Trump gives inverted totalitarianism a persona and a face, and perhaps marks the beginning of a transformation from inverted totalitarianism to totalitarianism proper. In spite of this, it makes no sense to me to call the system toward which we are heading (that is, if we do not stand up and resist with all our might right this second) "fascism" or to make too close comparisons to the Nazis. Whatever totalitarian nightmare is on our horizon, it will be uniquely American. And it will bear a striking resemblance to the corporate oriented system we've been living in for decades. Indeed, if the pre-Trump system of inverted totalitarianism solidified in the context of global neoliberalism, the period we are entering now seems likely to be one characterized by what I call "national neoliberalism."

    Trump's Election Doesn't Mean the End of Neoliberalism

    Trump's election represents a triumph of neoliberal thinking and values. Perhaps most importantly, we should all keep in mind the fact that Americans just elected a businessman to the presidency. In spite of his Wall Street background and billionaire status, Trump successfully cast himself as the "anti-establishment" candidate. This configuration-in which a top-one-percenter real estate tycoon is accepted as a political "outsider"-is a hallmark of neoliberal thinking. The fundamental opposition between market and government is a central dichotomy in the neoliberal narrative. In electing Trump, American voters are reproducing this narrative, creating an ideological cover for the closer connections between business and the state that are in store moving forward (indeed, Trump is already using the apparatus of the U.S. federal government to promote his own business interests). As states and markets further fuse in coming years, this representation of Trump and his administration-as being anti-government-will help immunize his administration from accusations of too-cozy relationships with big business. Trump's attempts to "drain the swamp" by imposing Congressional term limits and constraints on lobbying activities by former political officials will also help to hide this relationship. (Has anyone else noticed that Trump only addresses half of the "revolving door," i.e., he plans to limit the lobbying of former politicians, but not the political roles of businessmen?)

    "Whatever totalitarian nightmare is on our horizon, it will be uniquely American."

    Trump's Contract with the American Voter, his plan for the first 100 days in office, discusses policies and programs many of which are consistent with neoliberal thinking. (I understand the term "neoliberalism" to emphasize at its core the importance of private property rights, market-based social organization, and the dangers of government intervention in the economy.) Trump's plan redirects the activities of the U.S. government along the lines touted by neoliberal "market fundamentalists" like Milton Friedman, who advocate limiting government's role to market-supportive functions like national defense (defense stocks are doing very well since the election) and domestic law and order (Trump's proposals have a lot to do with altering immigration policy to "restore security"). Trump also plans to use government monies to revitalize physical infrastructure and create jobs. Other government functions, for example, health care provision and education as well as protecting the environment and public lands, are open for privatization and defunding in Trump's agenda. Under Trump, the scope of federal government activities will narrow, likely to infrastructure, national defense, and domestic policing and surveillance, even if overall government spending increases (as bond markets are predicting).

    Trump also seems content to take neoliberal advice in regard to business regulation (less is best) and the role of the private sector in regulating itself (industry insiders understand regulatory needs better than public officials). Trump's plan for the first 100 days specifies "a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated." As of the time of this writing, his selection of cabinet appointees illustrate a broad willingness to appoint businesspeople to government posts. As of mid-December 2016, a Goldman Sachs veteran, Steven Mnuchin, has been appointed Secretary of the Treasury; billionaire investor Wilbur Ross has been appointed Secretary of Commerce; fossil fuel industry supporter and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been appointed as EPA administrator; and fast-food mogul Andrew Puzder has been appointed as Secretary of Labor. Trump's business council is staffed by the CEOs of major U.S. corporations including JP Morgan Chase, IBM and General Motors. To be fair, the "revolving door" between government and industry has been perpetuated by many of Trump's predecessors, with Trump poised to continue the tradition. But this is not to say that neoliberalism will continue going in a "business as usual" fashion. The world is about to get much more dangerous, and this has serious implications for patterns of global trade and investment.

    Trump's Election Does Mean the End of Globalism

    The nationalism, xenophobia, isolationism, and paranoia of Donald Trump are about to replace the significantly more cosmopolitan outlook of his post-WWII predecessors. While Trump is decidedly pro-business and pro-market, he most certainly does not see himself as a global citizen. Nor does he intend to maintain the United States' extensive global footprint or its relatively open trading network. In other words, while neoliberalism is not dead, it is being transformed into a geographically more fragmented and localized system (this is not only about the US election, but also about rising levels of global protectionism and Brexit, among other anti-globalization trends around the world). I expect that the geographic extent of the US economy in the coming years will coincide with the new landscape of U.S. allies and enemies, as defined by Donald Trump and his administration.

    Trump's Contract with the American Voter outlines several policies that will make it more expensive and riskier to do business abroad. All of these need not occur; I think that even one or two of these changes will be sufficient to alter expectations in business communities about the benefits of certain cross-border economic relationships. Pulling the United States out of the TPP, along with threats to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement and attempts to renegotiate NAFTA, is already signaling to other countries that we are not interested in international cooperation and collaboration. A crackdown on foreign trading abuses will prompt retaliation. Labelling China a currency manipulator will sour relations between the two countries and prompt retaliation by China. As Trump goes forward with his anti-immigration and anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies, he will alienate the United States' traditional allies in Europe (at least until Europe elects its own nationalist and xenophobic leaders) and communities across the Global South. The U.S. election has already undermined performance in emerging markets, and bigoted rhetoric and policy will only increase anti-American sentiment in struggling economies populated largely by people of color. Add to this the risk of conflict posed by any number of the following: his antagonizing China, allying with Russia, deploying ground troops to stop ISIS, and pulling out of the Korean DMZ, among other initiatives that seem likely to contribute to a more confrontational and violent international arena. All of this is to say that Trump will not have to intervene directly in the affairs of business in order to nationalize it. The new global landscape of conflict and risk, combined with elevated domestic spending on infrastructure and security, will bring U.S. business and investment back home nonetheless.

    National Neoliberalism and State-Market Relations

    Fascist states are corporatist in nature, a state of affairs marked by a fusion of state and business functions and interests, with an often significant role for labor interests as well. In the fascist states on the European continent in the 1930s and 1940s-systems that fall under the umbrella of "national socialism"-the overwhelming power of the state characterized this tripartite relationship. Political theorist Sheldon Wolin writes in Democracy, Inc. in regard to Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy (as well as Stalinist Russia), "The state was conceived as the main center of power, providing the leverage necessary for the mobilization and reconstruction of society".

    By contrast, in Trump's America-where an emergent "national neoliberalism" may be gradually guiding us to a more overt and obvious totalitarian politics-we can expect a similar fusion of state and market interests, but one in which the marketplace and big business have almost total power and freedom of movement (I think that labor will do poorly in this configuration). State and market in the U.S. will fuse further together in the coming years, leading some to make close parallels with European fascism. But it will do so not because of heavy handed government dictates and interventions, but rather because domestic privatization initiatives, appointments of businessmen to government posts, fiscal stimulus and the business community's need for protection abroad will bring them closer. Corporate interests will merge with state interests not because corporations are commanded to, but rather because the landscape of risk and reward will shift and redirect investment patterns to a similar effect. This may be where a budding U.S. totalitarianism differs most starkly from its European cousins.

    Of course it helps that much of the fusion of state and market in the United States is already complete, what with decades of revolving doors and privatization initiatives spanning the military, police, prison, healthcare and educational sectors, among others. It will not take much to further cement the relationship.

    [Mar 23, 2017] Houston, we have a problem

    Notable quotes:
    "... Now we have "synthetic" surveillance. You don't even need a court order. Now all incidental communication intercepts can be unmasked. One can search their huge databases for all the incidental communications of someone of interest, then collect all of the unmasked incidental communications that involve that person and put them together in one handy dandy report. Viola! You can keep tabs on them every time they end up being incidentally collected. ..."
    "... You ever went to an embassy party? Talked to a drug dealer or mafia guy without being aware of it? Correspond overseas? Your communications have been "incidentally" collected too. There is so much surveillance out there we have probably all bounced off various targets over the last several years. ..."
    "... This is what police states do. In the past it was considered scandalous for senior U.S. officials to even request the identities of U.S. officials incidentally monitored by the government (normally they are redacted from intelligence reports). John Bolton's nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was derailed in 2006 after the NSA confirmed he had made 10 such requests when he was Undersecretary of State for Arms Control in George W. Bush's first term. The fact that the intercepts of Flynn's conversations with Kislyak appear to have been widely distributed inside the government is a red flag. ..."
    "... Representative Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told me Monday that he saw the leaks about Flynn's conversations with Kislyak as part of a pattern. ..."
    "... The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc? ..."
    "... But no matter what Flynn did, it is simply not the role of the deep state to target a man working in one of the political branches of the government by dishing to reporters about information it has gathered clandestinely. ..."
    "... It is the role of elected members of Congress to conduct public investigations of alleged wrongdoing by public officials.. ..."
    Mar 23, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

    TeethVillage88s , Mar 23, 2017 6:54 PM

    Yes, they have your Apples too:

    Crash Overide -> aloha_snakbar , Mar 23, 2017 7:39 PM

    Maxine Waters: 'Obama Has Put In Place' Secret Database With 'Everything On Everyone'

    Vilfredo Pareto , Mar 23, 2017 7:01 PM

    The rank and file of the IC are not involved in this. So let's not tar everyone with the same brush, but Obama revised executive order 12333 so that communication intercepts incidentally collected dont have to be masked and may be shared freely in the IC.

    Now we have "synthetic" surveillance. You don't even need a court order. Now all incidental communication intercepts can be unmasked. One can search their huge databases for all the incidental communications of someone of interest, then collect all of the unmasked incidental communications that involve that person and put them together in one handy dandy report. Viola! You can keep tabs on them every time they end up being incidentally collected.

    You ever went to an embassy party? Talked to a drug dealer or mafia guy without being aware of it? Correspond overseas? Your communications have been "incidentally" collected too. There is so much surveillance out there we have probably all bounced off various targets over the last several years.

    What might your "synthetic" surveillance report look like?

    Chupacabra-322 , Mar 23, 2017 7:04 PM

    It's worth repeating.

    There's way more going on here then first alleged. From Bloomberg, not my choice for news, but There is another component to this story as well -- as Trump himself just tweeted.

    It's very rare that reporters are ever told about government-monitored communications of U.S. citizens, let alone senior U.S. officials. The last story like this to hit Washington was in 2009 when Jeff Stein, then of CQ, reported on intercepted phone calls between a senior Aipac lobbyist and Jane Harman, who at the time was a Democratic member of Congress.

    Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity.

    This is what police states do. In the past it was considered scandalous for senior U.S. officials to even request the identities of U.S. officials incidentally monitored by the government (normally they are redacted from intelligence reports). John Bolton's nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was derailed in 2006 after the NSA confirmed he had made 10 such requests when he was Undersecretary of State for Arms Control in George W. Bush's first term. The fact that the intercepts of Flynn's conversations with Kislyak appear to have been widely distributed inside the government is a red flag.

    Representative Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told me Monday that he saw the leaks about Flynn's conversations with Kislyak as part of a pattern. "There does appear to be a well orchestrated effort to attack Flynn and others in the administration," he said. "From the leaking of phone calls between the president and foreign leaders to what appears to be high-level FISA Court information, to the leaking of American citizens being denied security clearances, it looks like a pattern."

    @?realDonaldTrump?

    The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?

    President Trump was roundly mocked among liberals for that tweet. But he is, in many ways, correct. These leaks are an enormous problem. And in a less polarized context, they would be recognized immediately for what they clearly are: an effort to manipulate public opinion for the sake of achieving a desired political outcome. It's weaponized spin.............

    But no matter what Flynn did, it is simply not the role of the deep state to target a man working in one of the political branches of the government by dishing to reporters about information it has gathered clandestinely.

    It is the role of elected members of Congress to conduct public investigations of alleged wrongdoing by public officials.. ..... But the answer isn't to counter it with equally irregular acts of sabotage - or with a disinformation campaign waged by nameless civil servants toiling away in the surveillance state.....

    [Mar 23, 2017] Jane Harmon on On Point Radio also denied the existence of an American Deep State. That was especially rich coming from a long time supporter of the Military Industrial Complex

    Mar 23, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    Peter Van Erp , March 22, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    "Why Steve Bannon Wants You to Believe in the Deep State" [Politico]. Yesterday, Jane Harmon on On Point Radio also denied the existence of an American Deep State. That was especially rich coming from a long time supporter of the Military Industrial Complex, and current member of the pundit class from her position as the First Woman to Head the Wilson Center.
    Let the word go forth from this time and place that the government works in your best interests, despite the apparent fact that it doesn't work for most Americans and keeps delivering more and more benefits to the oligarchy. Any attempt to explain it as deliberate policy is a fantasy, a fever dream of rabid leftists right wing nuts.

    Paid Minion , March 22, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Funny how some are getting their undies in a twist over "foreign interference" in our elections.

    Globalists push global markets, global labor pools, global "race to the bottom" rules for white collar crime. Yet are surprised/offended by "global elections". Especially when the US government interferes (directly or indirectly) with every country on the face of the earth.

    Maybe we should be happy that our government is for sale to the highest bidder, worldwide. After all, global competition has done so much for US business and labor.

    So we have Global Kleptocrats. In charge of the Global Banana Republic.

    MyLessThanPrimeBeef , March 22, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    "Domestic interference' is not OK.

    But I think we should ignore it for now, per the Propaganda Ministry.

    Lambert Strether Post author , March 23, 2017 at 3:51 am

    Putin forced the Democrats to lose all those ballots in Brooklyn. It's incredible.

    Lambert Strether Post author , March 23, 2017 at 3:58 am

    > the deep state

    Watch that definite article. (What that Politico article shows is how easy it is to write sloppy articles about the "deep state." That's because the deep state is such a sloppy, amorphous concept. It's very sloppiness is what makes it simultaneously (a) useful to our scribes in the political class, who can (b) bang out stories with click-baity headlines easily, while (c) disempowering to the rest of us (since to have power over your enemies, you have to understand them).

    [Mar 23, 2017] Anti-russian hysteria became a witch hunt which is by-and-large out of control of Democratic leadership, and they feel that they became hostages of it

    Notable quotes:
    "... " The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, R-Calif., does not know "for sure" whether President Donald Trump or members of his transition team were even on the phone calls or other communications now being cited as partial vindication for the president's wiretapping claims against the Obama administration, according to a spokesperson. ..."
    "... I think im1dc along with a couple of other commenters here symbolize perfectly well the problem Democratic leadership got on themselves. ..."
    "... He got the taste of sniffing Russian pants and now he can't stop, despite the fact that all his knowledge of Russia came from US media. Kind of political graphomania, of some sort. Or, incontinence, if you wish. ..."
    "... In other words now in the USA hysteria became detached from the facts and has now its own life. Obtained classic witch hunt dynamics. ..."
    "... "The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies - just as right-wing media polemicists did after both Bill Clinton and Obama were elected - that there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence. ..."
    "... And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed. ..."
    "... Key Democratic officials are clearly worried about the expectations that have been purposely stoked and are now trying to tamp them down. Many of them have tried to signal that the beliefs the base has been led to adopt have no basis in reason or evidence. ..."
    Mar 23, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    im1dc : Reply Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 04:32 PM
    Devin Nunes is unfit to be Intel Chair of the House Committee

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/03/23/nunes-now-unsure-if-trump-team-was-surveilled.html

    "Intel chair Devin Nunes unsure if Trump associates were directly surveilled"

    By Mike Levine...Mar 23, 2017...5:24 PM ET

    " The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, R-Calif., does not know "for sure" whether President Donald Trump or members of his transition team were even on the phone calls or other communications now being cited as partial vindication for the president's wiretapping claims against the Obama administration, according to a spokesperson.

    "He said he'll have to get all the documents he requested from the [intelligence community] about this before he knows for sure," a spokesperson for Nunes said Thursday..."

    libezkova -> im1dc..., March 23, 2017 at 07:04 PM

    I think im1dc along with a couple of other commenters here symbolize perfectly well the problem Democratic leadership got on themselves.

    He got the taste of sniffing Russian pants and now he can't stop, despite the fact that all his knowledge of Russia came from US media. Kind of political graphomania, of some sort. Or, incontinence, if you wish.

    In other words now in the USA hysteria became detached from the facts and has now its own life. Obtained classic witch hunt dynamics.

    It became by-and-large out of control of Democratic leadership, and they feel that they became hostages of it. But they can't call the dogs back.

    It was a dirty but effective trick to avoid sacking Democratic Party failed, corrupt neoliberal leadership (Clinton wing of the party). It worked, but it come with a price.

    As Glenn Greenwald noted.

    "The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies - just as right-wing media polemicists did after both Bill Clinton and Obama were elected - that there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence.

    And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed.

    Key Democratic officials are clearly worried about the expectations that have been purposely stoked and are now trying to tamp them down. Many of them have tried to signal that the beliefs the base has been led to adopt have no basis in reason or evidence.

    The latest official to throw cold water on the MSNBC-led circus is President Obama's former acting CIA chief Michael Morell. What makes him particularly notable in this context is that Morell was one of Clinton's most vocal CIA surrogates. In August, he not only endorsed Clinton in the pages of the New York Times but also became the first high official to explicitly accuse Trump of disloyalty, claiming, "In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

    But on Wednesday night, Morell appeared at an intelligence community forum to "cast doubt" on "allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia." "On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire at all," he said, adding, "There's no little campfire, there's no little candle, there's no spark. And there's a lot of people looking for it."

    https://theintercept.com/2017/03/16/key-democratic-officials-now-warning-base-not-to-expect-evidence-of-trumprussia-collusion/

    [Mar 23, 2017] The Russian Hacking Story Changes Again Zero Hedge

    Mar 23, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

    "Obama's "Russia Hacked The Election" is CODE for "Trump Stole The Election." Any "provable" instance of Russian hacking might also be a false flag operation to justify new round of sanctions. That make Obama to look especially bad as he asked CA to investigate this case, while t might well be that CIA is the agency that needs to be investigated. They now have a lot of friends n Baltic republics and Ukrane to stage also false flag operation attributable to Russia, they wish. Remeber Oswald and JFK assassination.

    Shemp 4 Victory -> Wow72 , Jan 5, 2017 7:46 AM

    In keeping with the theme of providing no proof to the general public, the officials declined to describe the intelligence obtained about the involvement of a third-party in passing on leaked material to WikiLeaks, saying they did not want to reveal how the U.S. government had obtained the information . So just trust them, please.

    Good thing we can completely trust the integrity of 17 Intelligence Agencies ® because this explanation is exactly what a corrupt and politicized institution would use to try to pass off a completely fabricated story as legitimate.

    Tarzan -> Shemp 4 Victory , Jan 5, 2017 8:03 AM

    Would this third party happen to be a disgruntled DNC insider named seth rich?

    MalteseFalcon -> Tarzan , Jan 5, 2017 8:23 AM

    It's like arguing with a teenager.

    You catch them in a lie, and debunk it.

    The teenager processes the debunking and alters the lie to conform with the "new truth".

    The iterations continue until you give up or simply "ground" the punk.

    And who are these 17 intelligence agencies?

    Will they all be called to "Songbird" McCains hearing?

    Will the hearing end before Songbird keels over from old age?

    CuttingEdge -> MalteseFalcon , Jan 5, 2017 8:31 AM

    "Dissolve the CIA"

    The Langley gym swimming pool filled with hydrochloric acid, maybe?

    Works for me, as long as that evil cunt Morell is first in.

    CuttingEdge -> CuttingEdge , Jan 5, 2017 8:41 AM

    Just imagine Friday's meeting if Trump actually knows who lifted the DNC files?

    Only, judging by the way he is playing this thus far in being openly dismissive of anything put forward, that may very well be the case.

    To have the entire combined intel machine by the balls without them knowing, as they project their politicised billion dollar bullshit...now that would be a beautiful thing to behold.

    Joe Davola -> CuttingEdge , Jan 5, 2017 9:03 AM

    Looking at some of the 'information' from previous hacks

    1. Sony - claimed to be North Korea

    2. DNC/Clinton email - claimed to be Russia

    3. Various - claimed to be China

    4. Iranian centrifuges - no claims, but pretty good indication it was CIA/NSA/Israel

    Now, who from that list didn't want HRC to be president. One could make a compelling case that #4, particularly Israel, would go this route and have the wherewithall/foresight to make it look like #2 - and Obama/Kerry allowing the UN vote to go through as punishment. Or, we can believe #2 was sloppy (or intentionally sloppy to send a message/rub our noses in it). Or, it was some 14 year old operating from their parents basement - nah, no 14 year old would think of covering their tracks to make it look like someone else.

    jeff montanye -> Manthong , Jan 5, 2017 3:49 PM

    thought crimes are where you find them, ask the catholic church.

    seriously though, john mccain is an asset of the mossad. no other formation does it justice:

    "We will obviously be talking about the hacking, but the main thing is the whole issue of cybersecurity," the committee's Republican chairman, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, said ahead of the hearing. "Right now we have no policy, no strategy to counter cyberattacks."

    check this shit out (my bold): Guilt By Association: How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War

    By Jeff Gates, State Street Publications, 2008, paperback, 320 pp. List: $27.95; AET: $18 (if you really want to understand why this is going on, read.on; others be assured it is true.).

    In his chapter on "John McCain and the Financial Frauds," Gates reviews McCain's unsavory role in the "Keating Five" scandal. The following chapter recounts the shameful role of McCain's father in helping to cover up Israel's deliberate attack on the USS Liberty during the 1967 Six-Day War in which 34 of the crew were killed and 294 wounded . "From a game theory perspective," Gates explains, "by covering up the murder of Americans aboard the USS Liberty, a U.S. president (with the aid of Admiral John McCain, Jr. ) confirmed that Israeli extremists could murder Americans without endangering U.S. support."

    Reviewed by Andrew I. Killgore

    Books

    GUILT BY Association is an initially confusing masterpiece almost too stuffed with evidence to concentrate on making clear its basic theme. But author Jeff Gates did so in a recent letter to a distinguished retired American diplomat: "The research pivoted off the firsthand experience of "˜John Doe' whose experience spans 56 years of dealing with a transnational criminal syndicate whose senior operatives share a common ideology in fundamental Judaism and a skill set experienced in displacing facts with beliefs. Thus the common source of the fixed intelligence that took us to war in Iraq. And, thus the same network now being employed to expand this war to Iran."

    From 1980 to 1987 Gates served as counsel to the Senate Finance Committee, working with Sen. Russell Long of Louisiana, son of the state's former Gov. Huey Long, who was assassinated at age 42 as he was preparing a presidential campaign. James Farley, postmaster general under President Franklin Roosevelt, had run a "penny postcard" poll confirming that if Huey Long actually ran for president, Roosevelt could not be re-elected. Fifty years later Russell Long remained convinced that Roosevelt's people had killed his father.

    At a 2002 speech Gates gave in London, he met "John Doe," related to one of the well-known people who had endorsed two of Gates' earlier books. Soon afterward, Doe assured him that if Gates undertook the research and analysis the results of which appear in Guilt, the evidence would identify who killed Huey Long, and why. The facts Gates assembled point not to Roosevelt's people but to the syndicate identified in Guilt.

    The brilliantly provocative Guilt by Association consists of nine chapters: "Game Theory and the Mass Murder of 9/11"; "Organized Crime in Arizona"; "John McCain and Financial Frauds"; "McCain Family Secret: The Cover-Up"; "The Presidency and Russian Organized Crime"; "Money, Democracy and the Great Divide"; "The New Anti-Semitism"; "Would Obama Be Better?"; and "The Way Forward."

    In the first chapter Gates illustrates the intergenerational sophistication with which neoconservatives "prepared the minds" of the American public to invade Iraq in response to 9/11. Academics and think tanks pushed Samuel Huntington's 1996 Clash of Civilizations to promote a "clash consensus"-five years before 9/11. That same year Richard Perle along with other neocons such as Douglas Feith wrote "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" for incoming Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. This helped lay more "mental threads" for removing Saddam Hussain. Then Senators McCain, Joe Lieberman, a Jewish Zionist from Connecticut, and Jon Kyl, a Christian Zionist from Arizona, co-sponsored the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. Distracted by the Monica Lewinsky affair, President Bill Clinton signed it.

    Four days after the destruction of the World Trade Towers, then Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was urging President George W. Bush to invade Iraq. Not only was there was no evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, but there was no real connection between Saddam's secular regime and the deeply religious al-Qaeda. At the same time, other Zionists from the U.S. Defense Department under Wolfowitz and, not so coincidentally, Feith were feeding false intelligence to the White House. The war would not be costly, according to Wolfowitz, and the entirely unnecessary and illegal war was launched.

    In the chapter on "The Presidency and Russian Organized Crime," Gates describes a John McCain who was either "ignorant about-or complicit in" Russian organized crime. During Boris Yeltsin's first term as president of Russia, a handful of "oligarchs' financially pillaged Russia. Six of the "Big Seven" oligarchs, whom Gates terms Ashkenazis, qualify for Israeli citizenship.

    McCain described Mikhail Khodorovsky, the most infamous of Russia's corrupt oil oligarchs, as a "political prisoner." Notes Gates: "To claim Khodorovsky as a "˜political prisoner' requires a closer look at how, at 32 years of age, a single Russian-Ashkenazi citizen amassed state-owned assets worth more than $30 billion." Gates goes on to document the widespread criminality involved in Khodorovsky's billions.

    "To solve this systemic criminality," Gates explains, "requires that a broad base of Americans understand how this "˜fields-within-fields' modus operandi operates unseen yet in plain sight, and how its operations progress working through people whose profiled needs become the means for influencing their behavior."

    Guilt describes how Americans were induced to freely choose the very forces that endanger their freedom. Thus the role of those masterful at waging "war by deception" (the motto of the Israeli Mossad) by displacing facts with what the "mark" (i.e., the U.S.) could be deceived to believe: for example, that Iraq had nuclear weapons and mobile biological weapons laboratories and that the secular Saddam Hussain had ties with the fundamentalists of al-Qaeda.

    Crafted as a wake-up call, the author documents how Tel Aviv wields control over U.S. foreign policy in an environment where lawmakers have been intimidated by the Israel lobby. "U.S. national security," Gates writes, "requires a rejection of the self-deception that Israel operates as a trustworthy ally in an unstable region while ignoring its multi-decade role in provoking and sustaining instability."

    As Gates points out, the charge of anti-Semitism is used to misdirect and intimidate. As the criminality he documents becomes transparent, moderate Jews in fact are emerging as allies. The Zionist component-which Gates convincingly portrays as ideology in the service of criminality -has as its goal an extensive, Jews-only realm in an oil-rich region.

    The facts confirm that Tel Aviv will never agree to peace with the Palestinians, as that would preclude their expansionist agenda for a Greater Israel. An oft-employed "entropy strategy" remains Israel's means to preclude settlement of the conflict. Indeed, Huntington's Clash of Civilizations is revealed as only the latest in a long series of manipulations-each of which is designed to ensure a plausible evildoer. Meanwhile, fundamentalist Jews catalyze serial conflicts of opposites, while this transnational criminal syndicate profits off the misery of both.

    Andrew I. Killgore is publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

    America's Defense Line: The Justice Department's Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government

    By Grant F. Smith, Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep), 2008, paperback, 340 pp. List: $14.95; AET: $11.

    Reviewed by Delinda C. Hanley

    Books

    The declassification on June 10, 2008 of long-secret Department of Justice (DOJ) documents is the springboard for Grant F. Smith's latest book revealing the inner workings of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). This ground-breaking study spotlights the Israel lobby's key architect, Isaiah L. Kenen, and uncovers how he and subsequent Israel-firsters morphed from being openly registered as foreign agents, who should have remained employees of the Israeli Embassy's Office of Information, into "American" domestic lobbyists for Israel, a far more benign, if dishonest, nomenclature.

    Smith's very readable book reproduces and analyzes the highly deceptive Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) filings Kenen made while he was still an employee of the Israeli government in New York. It proceeds on to the American Zionist Council (ACZ), the precursor organization where AIPAC gestated. Referencing internal DOJ records, the book painstakingly documents previously undisclosed attempts by the Justice Department and dissenting Jewish groups, including the American Council for Judaism, to close down Kenen's Israeli-financed political propaganda operation-or to at least make it openly register and disclose its activities under FARA.

    Thanks to Kenen's efforts, AIPAC's Zionist financial backers succeeded in laundering money, purchasing arms, smuggling stolen U.S. military hardware, and launching Israel's nuclear and military weapons industries. They paid for some of it with tax-exempt "charitable" donations, though a far larger percentage came from U.S. tax-dollars-without ever having to come out of the shadows.

    Coming 20 years after Kenen's death, Smith's book is a powerful reminder to readers about the effectiveness of stealth public relations and the importance of framing stories for the mainstream media. (Kenen also launched the Near East Report, AIPAC's biweekly flagship publication, which is still a vital public relations tool for Israel.) This close examination of AIPAC's birth and struggle for power is a valuable lesson about nascent foreign interest lobbies, prosecutorial discretion, and the subversion of the rule of law by political elites.

    America's Defense Line reads like a fascinating spy thriller or "who done it" that is hard to put down-until, that is, one remembers that AIPAC and its supporters are still at it-and, usually, getting away with it. (Stay tuned for the espionage trial of former AIPAC officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman.)

    Readers of Smith's book, perhaps alongside Jeff Gates' Guilt By Association, will have all the history and information necessary to loosen AIPAC's grip upon our nation once and for all-but only if we all insist that the rule of law once again become the law of the land.

    Delinda C. Hanley is news editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

    y3maxx -> CuttingEdge , Jan 5, 2017 11:10 AM

    -Clapper is a lying felon.

    DjangoCat -> cali , Jan 5, 2017 10:36 AM

    I call you on the statement "Assange even stated that he received the DNC material from Seth Rich!"

    Wikileaks is dogmatic on the protection of sources. Wikileaks did provide a reward of $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Seth Rich's murderer, however.

    MrBoompi -> DjangoCat , Jan 5, 2017 10:50 AM

    You're correct, but Assange did offer $20,000 for information on Rich's murder. One could infer this was Assange's way of telling us his murder is related to the leaked emails without technically divulging his source.

    cali -> DjangoCat , Jan 5, 2017 1:07 PM

    Your question is absolutely valid! Assange said that the first batch of documents he published were given to him by a 'democratic staffer from the DNC'. After Seth was murdered - he offered the monies to find the murderer. I should have stated it that way in my comment. Be as it may Assange connected the dots for me when using the verbiage 'democratic staffer - DNC - Seth Rich - murdered. My bad!

    Krungle -> cali , Jan 5, 2017 11:09 AM

    You don't have to wonder since Craig Murray has said the source was domestic. That is the absurdity of this entire affair--we have the intermediary on record, a career diplomat, and no one has publicly questioned him. This whole thing is akin to the cops catching a white guy leaving a house with stolen goods, then they go into the house to investigate and find a dead body and there is another guy standing there with a smoking gun and then they decide not only to ignore the murder, they put out a warrant for a black guy who was nowhere near the crime, letting the original burgler off the hook too. That's how idiotic and off the trail of the important crimes these guys are. I mean why the hell are we not talking about the legit classified docs that Hillary allowed to be pilfered by multiple foreign (and probably domestic) sources anymore? Seems to me that is the actual crime.

    Parrotile -> 847328_3527 , Jan 5, 2017 3:56 PM

    > How about we send Congressional children and cia children first into battle against the Russians if they feel so strongly about it. <

    Well, "someone's children" are already being sent to what could easily be the "Front Line" in a land battle against Mother Russia, and you can safely bet that none of these cannon-fodder will have families "with connections". THEIR children are all assured comfortable office jobs in the Pentagon, or similar.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-05/us-has-begun-amassing-troops-ru...

    ChanceIs -> NoDebt , Jan 5, 2017 9:07 AM

    California just hired Eric "Too Big To Jail" Holder as its point man against Trump deporting the illegals. I am dumbfounded. He is obviously such a whore and incompetent/unethical attorney. I figured he would be smart and stay on the gold course. Shows you how stupid and blindly partisan Californians are.

    Add Holder to the list of those who have lied so much that nobody believes jack shit from them. Dems don't get it. The Clintonistas have gone back to the well about one thousand times too many. They are sooooo old and worn. Incapable of flexing with the wind and forming new ideas.

    Nancy Pelosi is starting to look her age all of the sudden. Put on about ten pounds. And wrinkles and saggy jowels.

    BTW: We don't need new ideas, just the Constitution.

    Krungle -> ChanceIs , Jan 5, 2017 11:20 AM

    This cracked me up since Holder is probably going to spend the next four years defending himself against crimes he committed while in office.

    scrappy -> NoDebt , Jan 5, 2017 12:11 PM

    Alternate - Alternate narrative.

    The Grizzly Steepe report is a mishmash.

    http://www.robertmlee.org/critiques-of-the-dhsfbis-grizzly-steppe-report/

    This instance (DNC Wiki) may have been an insider leak. We need more info to be sure.

    That said, we should not be so niave to think that russia does not ever hack us, of course they do.

    We hack them too.

    That is why we need to be careful about attribution .

    https://www.tenable.com/blog/attribution-is-hard-part-1

    https://www.tenable.com/blog/attribution-is-hard-part-2

    [Mar 23, 2017] The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies

    Mar 23, 2017 | onclick="TPConnect.blogside.reply('6a00d83451b33869e201b8d26ddde2970c'); return false;" href="javascript:void 0">

    JohnH said in reply to Anachronism ... Reply Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 08:38 AM

    Where's the collusion? Even former DNI Director Clapper said there is no evidence.

    Glenn Greenwald explains: "The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies - just as right-wing media polemicists did after both Bill Clinton and Obama were elected - that there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence. And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed.

    Key Democratic officials are clearly worried about the expectations that have been purposely stoked and are now trying to tamp them down. Many of them have tried to signal that the beliefs the base has been led to adopt have no basis in reason or evidence.

    The latest official to throw cold water on the MSNBC-led circus is President Obama's former acting CIA chief Michael Morell. What makes him particularly notable in this context is that Morell was one of Clinton's most vocal CIA surrogates. In August, he not only endorsed Clinton in the pages of the New York Times but also became the first high official to explicitly accuse Trump of disloyalty, claiming, "In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

    But on Wednesday night, Morell appeared at an intelligence community forum to "cast doubt" on "allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia." "On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire at all," he said, adding, "There's no little campfire, there's no little candle, there's no spark. And there's a lot of people looking for it."
    https://theintercept.com/2017/03/16/key-democratic-officials-now-warning-base-not-to-expect-evidence-of-trumprussia-collusion/

    Democrats will do just about anything to avoid sacking their failed, corrupt, sclerotic leadership.

    Anachronism said in reply to JohnH... ◾The White House also tweeted that former intelligence director James Clapper was "right" to say there was "no evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump Campaign." But Clapper said he had no such information "at the time," meaning before he left office in January.

    http://www.factcheck.org/2017/03/spinning-the-intel-hearing/

    It further says:

    'No Evidence of Collusion'

    The White House, in a tweet, and Spicer, in his daily press briefing, attempted to dismiss the possibility of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials by citing comments made by intelligence leaders in the Obama administration, as well as by Democratic and Republican leaders who have been briefed on the investigation to date.

    But the White House misrepresented the comments of those officials.

    As the attached video shows, the White House tweet left out an important qualifier. Comey said Clapper was "right" to say that there was no evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign contained in the declassified report released Jan. 6 on Russian activities during the 2016 presidential election.

    Clapper made his remarks about the report in a "Meet the Press" interview on March 5, when he was asked whether there were "improper contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials."

    "We did not include any evidence in our report, and I say, 'our,' that's NSA, FBI and CIA, with my office, the Director of National Intelligence, that had anything, that had any reflection of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians," Clapper said. "There was no evidence of that included in our report."

    Clapper went on to say "at the time, we had no evidence of such collusion." But he added, "This could have unfolded or become available in the time since I left the government."

    Clapper also said, "I do think, though, it is in everyone's interest, in the current president's interests, in the Democrats' interests, in the Republican interest, in the country's interest, to get to the bottom of all this."

    "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd asked, "You admit your report that you released in January doesn't get to the bottom of this?"

    "It did - well, it got to the bottom of the evidence to the extent of the evidence we had at the time," Clapper said. "Whether there is more evidence that's become available since then, whether ongoing investigations will be revelatory, I don't know."

    Asked what the Senate intelligence committee could learn through an investigation that Clapper's agency could not, Clapper replied, "Well, I think they can look at this from a broader context than we could."

    So Clapper did not say there was no collusion. He said there was no evidence of collusion "at the time" he left office in January. And he went on to say that he believed a Senate investigation was warranted to clear the air.

    Reply Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 09:56 AM Anachronism said in reply to Anachronism ... And of course, there's this:

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/key-dem-points-evidence-collusion-between-russia-team-trump/amp

    Key Dem points to evidence of collusion between Russia, Team Trump

    03/23/17 08:00AM - Updated 03/23/17 01:37PM

    By Steve Benen

    . . .

    But on MSNBC yesterday afternoon, the California Democrat again talked to Chuck Todd, and this time he took another step forward when describing the nature of the evidence.


    TODD: But you admit, all you have right now is a circumstantial case?
    SCHIFF: Actually, no, Chuck. I can tell you that the case is more than that. And I can't go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now. So, again, I think -

    TODD: You have seen direct evidence of collusion?

    SCHIFF: I don't to want go into specifics, but I will say that there is evidence that is not circumstantial, and it very much worthy of investigation. So, that is what we ought to do.

    When we contacted the congressman's office, asking if Schiff may have misspoken, and giving him a chance to walk this back, his office said Schiff meant what he said. . . .

    There's some fire along with all the smoke being generated.

    Reply Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 11:12 AM RGC said in reply to Anachronism ... " Info suggests"

    " may have coordinated"

    "possibly coordinate"

    "FBI is investigating"

    "according to one source"

    "now reviewing that information"

    "according to those U.S. officials"

    "raising the suspicions"

    " may have taken place'

    "officials cautioned that the information was not conclusive"

    "investigation is ongoing"

    " began looking into possible coordination"

    "a credible allegation of wrongdoing or reasonable basis to believe"

    "One law enforcement official said the information in hand suggests"

    " it appeared"

    "it's premature to draw that inference"

    " it's largely circumstantial"

    "cannot yet prove that collusion took place"

    "CNN has not confirmed"

    " according to U.S. intelligence agencies"

    " investigations are notoriously lengthy"

    "can make it difficult for investigators to bring criminal charges"

    "Investigators continue to analyze"

    "unverified information"

    "suggested coordination"

    Reply Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 08:43 AM Gerald said in reply to RGC... And what did you expect at this point? A little investigative realism, please. Reply Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 11:33 AM Paine said in reply to Anachronism ... Assume you are a business man looking for experts on Russia tht share your
    Dovish views and your business posture and view point

    Surely you'll scoop up Russian tools and mercenaries etc

    My guess these guys operated beyond trumps awareness and control
    in as Much as they were Russian state contract drones etc

    Reply Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 11:39 AM Paine said in reply to Paine... Trump likes doing business with out castes marginal in the shadows players
    Dark operatives etc

    Criminal corrupt co opted ..whatever

    Why ?


    THEY PAY BETTER THEN MNC outfits

    He instinctively sees
    Opportunities in Russia Iran and china

    Rule one

    Wave a carrot or threaten to kick them in the cubes

    Reply Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 11:43 AM

    [Mar 23, 2017] CNN doubles down on Russia threat hysteria

    Mar 23, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    Anachronism : March 23, 2017 at 04:41 AM , 2017 at 04:41 AM
    The story is starting to get interesting:

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/22/politics/us-officials-info-suggests-trump-associates-may-have-coordinated-with-russians/index.html

    US officials: Info suggests Trump associates may have coordinated with Russians

    By Pamela Brown, Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Jim Sciutto, CNN

    US officials: Trump associates may have coordinated with Russians 14:11

    Washington (CNN) - The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign, US officials told CNN.

    This is partly what FBI Director James Comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, according to one source.

    The FBI is now reviewing that information, which includes human intelligence, travel, business and phone records and accounts of in-person meetings, according to those U.S. officials. The information is raising the suspicions of FBI counterintelligence investigators that the coordination may have taken place, though officials cautioned that the information was not conclusive and that the investigation is ongoing.

    In his statement on Monday Comey said the FBI began looking into possible coordination between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives because the bureau had gathered "a credible allegation of wrongdoing or reasonable basis to believe an American may be acting as an agent of a foreign power."

    The White House did not comment and the FBI declined to comment.

    White House press secretary Sean Spicer maintained Monday after Comey's testimony that there was no evidence to suggest any collusion took place.

    "Investigating it and having proof of it are two different things," Spicer said.

    One law enforcement official said the information in hand suggests "people connected to the campaign were in contact and it appeared they were giving the thumbs up to release information when it was ready." But other U.S. officials who spoke to CNN say it's premature to draw that inference from the information gathered so far since it's largely circumstantial.

    The FBI cannot yet prove that collusion took place, but the information suggesting collusion is now a large focus of the investigation, the officials said.

    The FBI has already been investigating four former Trump campaign associates -- Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Carter Page -- for contacts with Russians known to US intelligence. All four have denied improper contacts and CNN has not confirmed any of them are the subjects of the information the FBI is reviewing.

    One of the obstacles the sources say the FBI now faces in finding conclusive intelligence is that communications between Trump's associates and Russians have ceased in recent months given the public focus on Russia's alleged ties to the Trump campaign. Some Russian officials have also changed their methods of communications, making monitoring more difficult, the officials said.

    Last July, Russian intelligence agencies began orchestrating the release of hacked emails stolen in a breach of the Democratic National Committee and associated organizations, as well as email accounts belonging to Clinton campaign officials, according to U.S. intelligence agencies.

    The Russian operation was also in part focused on the publication of so-called "fake news" stories aimed at undermining Hillary Clinton's campaign. But FBI investigators say they are less focused on the coordination and publication of those "fake news" stories, in part because those publications are generally protected free speech.

    The release of the stolen emails, meanwhile, transformed an ordinary cyber-intrusion investigation into a much bigger case handled by the FBI's counterintelligence division.

    FBI counterintelligence investigations are notoriously lengthy and often involve some of the U.S. government's most highly classified programs, such as those focused on intelligence-gathering, which can make it difficult for investigators to bring criminal charges without exposing those programs.

    Investigators continue to analyze the material and information from multiple sources for any possible indications of coordination, according to US officials. Director Comey in Monday's hearing refused to reveal what specifically the FBI was looking for or who they're focusing on.

    US officials said the information was not drawn from the leaked dossier of unverified information compiled by a former British intelligence official compiled for Trump's political opponents, though the dossier also suggested coordination between Trump campaign associates and Russian operatives.

    kthomas -> Anachronism ... , March 23, 2017 at 04:51 AM
    He's probably bangin' his daughter.
    anne -> kthomas... , March 23, 2017 at 05:54 AM
    He's probably ------- his --------.

    [ This person is continually obscene. This person is continually trying to terrorize and destroy. ]

    kthomas -> anne... , March 23, 2017 at 06:40 AM
    Piss off. Nobody elected you to blog sheriff, you hypocrite.
    Peter K. -> kthomas... , March 23, 2017 at 07:06 AM
    troll.
    anne -> kthomas... , March 23, 2017 at 07:21 AM
    He's probably ------- his --------.

    ---- off.

    Oh look, a new ------- ----------.

    [ This person is continually obscene. This person is continually trying to terrorize and destroy. This person continually threatens others.

    I am afraid of this person. ]

    Gerald -> Anachronism ... , March 23, 2017 at 06:24 AM
    "The story is starting to get interesting."

    There's little doubt in my mind that Trump's team did in fact collude with the Russians, and that the investigation will ultimately come to the same conclusion. That's when the fun begins, if impeachment proceedings can be called fun. Trump will deny, deny, deny that he had any knowledge of the collusion; the fact that he's a serial liar won't prevent most Republicans from voting against his impeachment. Only Trump can save us by doing a Nixon and resigning. He won't though, and we'll be right back where we are, with one huge exception: we'll have a proven traitor sitting in the White House, kept there by a spineless GOP.

    Anachronism -> Gerald... , March 23, 2017 at 06:41 AM
    Agreed. If in fact the FBI can prove substantial ties between the Russians and the Trump team co-ordinating the Wikileak email dump, that has to qualify as "high crimes and misdemeanors".

    And given that, at this point, President Cheeto is so unpopular, plus the FBI's evidence (yet to be proven), they would almost have to vote for impeachment or risk losing re-election in their home districts.

    Go make some popcorn, grab your favorite beverage, sit back and enjoy the sound of them imploding.

    Gerald -> Anachronism ... , March 23, 2017 at 07:18 AM
    "...and enjoy the sound of them imploding." Can't wait to hear it. :)
    JohnH -> Anachronism ... , March 23, 2017 at 07:15 AM
    Like Whitewater, this investigation will take years and may well come up empty.

    Meanwhile, Democrats can obsess about how unfair the election was, deny any notion that Hillary was a lousy candidate, and refuse to figure out how to talk to working people or come up with any kind of coherent economic message.

    Trump-Putin shows that they are willing to do most any distraction to keep from having to keep their eye on the ball!

    As a result, Democrats will mostly likely circle the wagons to foist another mealy mouthed neoliberal on the electorate in 2020 in the tradition of Gore, Kerry, and Hillary, a candidate who will almost certainly assure Trump a second term.

    Despite a string of congressional losses, the sclerotic, corrupt leadership refuses get rid of their losing leadership. It would appear that Democrats have grown to love playing Washington Generals to Republicans' Harlem Globetrotters.

    The current requirement for a duopoly assures that there is always a place for losers.

    JohnH -> Anachronism ... , March 23, 2017 at 08:02 AM
    Mark my words: "The Trump-Putin investigation [will take] years because [investigators can't] find any wrongdoing from [Trump-Putin] and so then continued looking into [Trump-Putin] whenever they could, simply to keep the witch hunt going."

    If they had any evidence beyond innuendo and hearsay, we would have seen some of it by now.

    Trump-Putin has become an elaborate distraction to keep Democrats from looking honestly at their failure, and to keep the American public entertained as Trump guts the remnants of their safety net.

    [Mar 22, 2017] BOMBSHELL CIA Whistleblower Leaked Proof Trump Under Systematic Illegal Surveillance Over Two Years Ago FBI Sat On It

    Mar 22, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
    Common_Cents22 , Mar 22, 2017 11:38 PM

    Is this the same Dennis Montgomery who had some fraud in his past? or was that disinfo to discredit him then as well?

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/reno-casino-conman-pulled-greatest-h...

    horseman , Mar 22, 2017 11:22 PM

    This is probably why Nunes went public today. What a shame. If not for Klayman, Nunes would have gone along with the committee.

    AKKadian , Mar 22, 2017 11:21 PM

    They are spying on everyone. Pelosi, Schumer, Waters Judges. You name it, they are spying on everyone. No exceptions.!!!

    wcole225 , Mar 22, 2017 11:21 PM

    And the plot thickens. Whoever said may you live in interesting times......had no idea. Can you feel the desperation from the filthy corrupt democrats? The demonic spirits that reside in them are going berserk. The light is starting to shine on them and their evil deeds are more transparent than ever. It's only gonna get better

    deoxy , Mar 22, 2017 11:15 PM

    Fox better rehire Napolitano before it is too late. But it is too late for the Wall Street Journal comparing Trump to 'a drunk' clinging to 'an empty gin bottle' in scathing editorial.

    Not Too Important , Mar 22, 2017 11:06 PM

    Nunes saw what he saw, got scared to death, and went directly to the President of the United States, because he can't trust anyone else, anywhere.

    He is now facing ruthless fuckers that will kill and kill and kill some more to protect themselves and their masters.

    He's thinking he's in waay over his head with this, and there's no way out.

    This is a fight between kiddie fuckers that worship Satan, the people that work for them, and the people that don't.

    Buckle up, folks, there's no putting this genie back in the bottle.

    JamesBond , Mar 22, 2017 11:01 PM

    We incidentally lied to some folks.

    techpriest -> JamesBond , Mar 22, 2017 11:05 PM

    The best thing about this presidency so far, is that everything is being laid out on the table. Soon it will be impossible to hide the swamp.

    hustler etiquette -> techpriest , Mar 22, 2017 11:17 PM

    it's better than homeland X game of thrones.

    [Mar 22, 2017] Reply

    Mar 22, 2017 | onclick="TPConnect.blogside.reply('6a00d83451b33869e201b8d26d71b7970c'); return false;" href="javascript:void 0">
    Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 06:10 AM https://twitter.com/BenjaminNorton/status/844247162817003520

    Ben Norton @BenjaminNorton

    6 years after catastrophic regime change in Libya, read the UK Parliament report on how NATO's war was based on lies

    http://www.salon.com/2016/09/16/u-k-parliament-report-details-how-natos-2011-war-in-libya-was-based-on-lies/

    U.K. Parliament report details how NATO's 2011 war in Libya was based on lies

    British investigation: Gaddafi was not going to massacre civilians; Western bombing made Islamist extremism worse

    10:59 AM - 21 Mar 2017

    anne said in reply to anne... https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/21/world/africa/libya-isis.html

    March 20, 2017

    Warnings of a 'Powder Keg' in Libya as ISIS Regroups
    By ERIC SCHMITT

    Punishing strikes in December and January hurt the terrorist group, but it is exploiting the chaos and political vacuum gripping the country, American and allied officials say. Reply Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 06:11 AM

    [Mar 22, 2017] At least 400K people were

    Mar 22, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    killed directly by the USA's wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. yuan -> Jerry Brown... Reply Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 08:41 PM , March 19, 2017 at 08:41 PM
    367-395,000 people killed directly by the USA's wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

    ~800,000 killed indirectaly by the USA's wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

    http://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/figures

    ~4.8 trillion dollars spent killing people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

    http://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/figures/2016/us-budgetary-costs-wars-through-2016-479-trillion-and-counting

    http://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/figures/2016/direct-war-death-toll-iraq-afghanistan-and-pakistan-2001-370000

    Jerry Brown -> yuan... , March 19, 2017 at 08:58 PM
    Yes, George W. Bush will never get a thank you from me.
    yuan -> Jerry Brown... , March 20, 2017 at 08:00 AM
    The unnecessary killing and spending did not end under Obama.
    Jerry Brown -> yuan... , March 20, 2017 at 08:30 AM
    I am of the opinion that less killing is an improvement over more killing. There was a lot less killing under Obama.
    Jerry Brown -> Jerry Brown... , March 20, 2017 at 08:40 AM
    Yuan, why don't you reread the comment I wrote that you decided to respond to and ask yourself where in that comment I said President Obama never made any mistakes or that he was some kind of saint. It was a nice story that Mark Thoma posted. That doesn't mean everything the government does is right or that I believe that the government has not done evil things. I am thankful for the improvements as they occur and continue to try for further improvement.

    [Mar 22, 2017] The Men Who Stole the World

    Notable quotes:
    "... History will look back at us with the same wonder that we look back on the mad excesses of certain nations founded in devotion to extreme, almost other-worldly, ideologies of the last century. ..."
    "... Apparently the slashing of health benefits for the unfortunate is not severe enough in the proposed Trump/Ryan plan. Our GOP house neo-liberals are enthusiastic to unleash the wonders of the cure-all deregulated market on the American public, again. Like a dog returns to its vomit. ..."
    Mar 22, 2017 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com
    "The problem of the last three decades is not the 'vicissitudes of the marketplace,' but rather deliberate actions by the government to redistribute income from the rest of us to the one percent. This pattern of government action shows up in all areas of government policy."

    Dean Baker

    "When the modern corporation acquires power over markets, power in the community, power over the state and power over belief, it is a political instrument, different in degree but not in kind from the state itself. To hold otherwise - to deny the political character of the modern corporation - is not merely to avoid the reality.

    It is to disguise the reality. The victims of that disguise are those we instruct in error."

    John Kenneth Galbraith

    And unfortunately the working class victims of that disguise are going to be receiving the consequences of their folly, and then some.

    Secure in their monopolies and key positions with regard to reform and the law, the corporations are further acquiring access to the protections of the rights of individuals as well, it appears, at least according to Citizens United .

    Maybe our leaders and their self-proclaimed technocrats will finally do the right thing. I personally doubt it, except that if they do it will probably be by accident.

    More likely, the right thing will eventually come about the old-fashioned way- under the duress of a crisis, and the growing protests of the much neglected and long suffering.

    History will look back at us with the same wonder that we look back on the mad excesses of certain nations founded in devotion to extreme, almost other-worldly, ideologies of the last century.

    ... ... ...

    Apparently the slashing of health benefits for the unfortunate is not severe enough in the proposed Trump/Ryan plan. Our GOP house neo-liberals are enthusiastic to unleash the wonders of the cure-all deregulated market on the American public, again. Like a dog returns to its vomit.

    Better if they start breaking up corporate health monopolies and embrace real reform at the sources of the soaring costs. The US pays far, far too much for drugs and healthcare, and deregulating the markets is not the solution. We do have the example of the rest of the developed world for what to do about this. It is called 'single payer.'

    But players keep on playing. And politicians and their enablers in the professions will not see what their big money donors do not wish them to see. And that is one of their few bipartisan efforts.

    Might one suggest that our political animals stop trying to do all the reforming and cost controls bottom up, while applying the stimulus top down? That approach they have been flogging to no avail for about thirty years is a recipe for a dying middle class.

    Here is a short video from the Bernie Sanders WV town hall that shows The Face of American Desperation. By the way, the governor of West Virginia is a Democrat. He wasn't there.

    ...

    [Mar 22, 2017] Notes From the House Select Intelligence Hearing on Russia

    Mar 22, 2017 | www.rollingstone.com

    10:05 a.m. It's a small issue in the grand scheme of things, but the effort to describe the Russia Today network as diabolical propaganda without mentioning Voice of America and Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe continues to amaze. Apparently Russia is the only country that funds a media network intended to influence foreign audiences.

    Nunes in his opening statement characterizes RT as a disinformation effort that "traffics in anti-American conspiracies," rivaling Soviet propaganda. Here it is hard not to think of the joint intel report that cited the network's reporting on Occupy Wall Street, "corporate greed" and fracking as evidence of its anti-American nature. It also decried the network's use of the term "surveillance state" to describe the U.S., which will be pretty ironic considering the content of today's hearing.

    Again, it's a small point, but by these standards pretty much any alternative media outlet is "anti-American," and it's alarming to hear Democrats later ape this language in reference to RT.

    10:20 a.m. Schiff delivers a long speech that essentially lays out the Trump-Russia conspiracy. Twitter seems to be unanimous that it's a powerful piece of rhetoric.

    Among other things, he unblinkingly cites the Christopher Steele's "golden showers" dossier as a source. This seems like a pretty intense political calculation given that Michael Morell, who would have been Hillary Clinton's CIA director, basically called the dossier useless just last week. The dossier "doesn't take you anywhere, I think," Morell said. But it's all over this hearing, with multiple Democratic members citing it. What that means, who knows, but it's interesting to see that level of commitment from the Democrats.

    10:32 a.m. Comey creates the big headline of the day by saying, "I have been authorized ... to confirm that the FBI is investigating" the Russia story.

    This both is and isn't big news. Although it's the first time it's been stated publicly, the existence of this investigation has been common knowledge for a long time. Most of the leaked reports on the topic have included this information.

    For instance, The New York Times story from February 14th, about Trump officials having had "contact" with Russian intelligence, spoke definitively of an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Putin government.

    Still, that doesn't mean Comey had to do what he did today. Is this payback to Trump for accusing the FBI of illegally wiretapping him? Is it a good-faith effort to square the ledger in terms of his previous highly controversial decision to out the Clinton email investigation? It's curious and bold either way. One wonders if Trump might fire him.

    The true newsworthy detail, of course, isn't that Comey disclosed the existence of an FBI investigation into Trump – as Democrats should know better than anyone, that doesn't necessarily mean anything – but that Comey is doing this now and didn't do so earlier, before the election. Obviously, he made a different choice with regard to the Clinton email story, and the Democrats rightfully should be furious about that.

    10:36 a.m. Nunes asks Rogers if Russians hacked vote tallies in Michigan. Rogers answers no, noting that the NSA doesn't do domestic surveillance. Nunes goes on to ask about Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin, knowing Rogers won't answer. It's a totally meaningless exchange, but instantly becomes Twitter fodder:

    This is what these hearings are for, primarily. Except for very rare occasions when mega-careful witnesses like Comey and Rogers decide to give up tidbits, for the most part these hearings are held so that House members can ping-pong talking points off witnesses, and then circulate clips of themselves asking questions to which they already know the answers.

    10:39 a.m. Florida Republican Tom Rooney asks Rogers about incidental collection of data about "U.S. persons" under the Section 702 program. Admiral Rogers' explanation for how they use that data, and how they protect the rights of U.S. companies and citizens – redacting or "masking" identities, for instance – is almost comically non-reassuring.

    Reading between the lines, the NSA seems to have basically unrestricted ability to snoop on foreigners. When their targets are speaking to American persons or communicating with American companies, the agency also seems to have an absurdly permissive mandate to listen to whatever they want to listen to. Only later, it seems, do they figure out how to justify it legally.

    This is an example of how the hyper-partisan nature of these hearings spoils American politics. Liberals especially should be seriously concerned about such surveillance overreach by the intelligence agencies, and also about leaks directed against individuals by intelligence officials. Similarly, conservatives should be mortified by the possibility of foreign interference in our electoral process.

    But because both of these issues are tied in highly specific ways to the political fortunes of Donald Trump, each issue will be ignored by one side and thundered over by the other.

    11:03 a.m. Schiff asks both men if Obama wiretapped Trump as Trump claimed. "I have no information that supports those tweets," Comey says. Asked if he engages in McCarthyism, Comey says he tries "not to engage in any isms of any kind, including McCarthyism." He gets laughs. Comey is a very, very slick witness, difficult to read.

    An interesting development in this hearing is that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are treating these witnesses as hostile. And both Comey and Rogers are in their own ways giving both Nunes and Schiff what they want so far. They're allowing members of both parties to make speeches and ask their suggestive questions, while giving them next to nothing.

    11:19 a.m. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, last seen spending two expensive years stepping on his weenie in a pathetic effort to dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton through the Benghazi probe, comes on to the delight of, well, nobody. Gowdy is the first to cross over into open unfriendliness. Ominously, he starts trying to get Comey to say reporters could be held criminally liable for disclosing secret information.

    Gowdy later scores a point by getting Comey to explain a hypothetical: how he would go about investigating the leak of a U.S. citizen's name that appears in a newspaper. (He's clearly talking about Flynn.)

    Comey, with the caveat that he's not talking about anyone specific, lays out how he would do that, talking about identifying the "universe" of people with access to that information and then using investigative techniques to further narrow the field. Indirectly, Comey confirms Gowdy's interpretation of a "felonious" disclosure to a newspaper that must be prosecuted. It sets up a demand that Comey investigate and prosecute that leak.

    Gowdy does in fact go on to make such a demand. But Comey cockblocks Gowdy and says he "can't" promise that he will investigate the leaks.

    Gowdy looks like someone just stole his box of Mike and Ikes. He seems surprised, like he didn't expect Comey's answer. Comey smiles and glares at Gowdy like the third-rater he is.

    11:43 a.m. Jim Himes asks Comey if Ukraine used to be part of the Soviet Union. Comey says yes. Glad we cleared that up.

    11:52 a.m. Mike Conaway of Texas points out that determining the source of a hacking campaign is a forensic enterprise, but asks how they determine intent. In the process, he pins down Rogers as saying he had a "lower level" of confidence in the idea that the Russians preferred Trump to Clinton.

    Conaway then plunges into a bizarre metaphor about how his wife went to Texas Tech, so he roots for the Red Raiders and dislikes the Longhorns, or something. Conaway seemed to want to ask if it is possible to root against Texas without liking the Red Raiders, or the opposite, but pretty much everyone watching instantly loses track of whether Hillary Clinton is Texas or Texas Tech in the metaphor.

    Comey confidently goes with it. "Wherever the Red Raiders are playing, you want them to win and their opposition to lose," he says. He goes on to elaborate on the metaphor, talking about how the Russians later in the year knew the Red Raiders were going to lose, "so you hope key people on the other team get hurt so they are not as tough an opponent down the road."

    The substantively interesting thing here is Comey's sly disclosure that the Russians late in the game expected Trump to lose the election. But his deft handling of Conaway's bumbling hypothetical overshadows the answer.

    12:21 p.m. Nunes tries on a new rhetorical line: It's absurd to say Russians prefer Republicans, because Reagan!

    This is silly, of course, because Trump is a different animal from Reagan, but then Comey and Rogers do something equally silly. On the question of whether the Russians preferred Romney or McCain over Obama, they both look at each other like it's crazy to suggest they ever considered the question. Isn't it their job to know things like that? They're clearly dissembling.

    12:25 p.m. Peter King, the most mumbly member on the panel, asks about the report that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told Reince Priebus that one of the New York Times stories on Russia was "BS."

    "Is there any way you can comment on whether or not Mr. McCabe told that to Mr. Priebus?" King asks.

    Comey gives a classically Comeyish answer:

    "I can't, Mr. King, but I can agree with your general premise. Leaks have always been a problem. I read over the weekend [about] George Washington and Abraham Lincoln complaining about them. But I do agree in the last six weeks and months there apparently have been a lot of instances of conversations appearing in the media, and a lot of it is dead wrong. Which is one of the challenges, because we don't correct it. It's made it difficult because people are talking, or at least reporters are saying people are talking, in ways that have struck me as being unusually active."

    Translation: blow me, I'm not telling you what McCabe said to Priebus. King basically thanks them both and retreats. King will spend much of the day apologizing for asking perfectly legitimate questions.

    Although the hearing has generated tons of headlines before it hits the halfway mark, it's really a giant tease.

    Both Comey and Rogers indicated from the start that they will reserve their more candid testimony for a later classified hearing with these same members. For the public, this means one thing: we'll continue to get no real answers, and a heavily partisan and politicized version of events, no matter what happens. So long as the investigations aren't closed, and the real information is kept behind closed doors, both parties can pursue their rhetorical campaigns unchecked. And the testimony of people like Comey and Rogers will be useful only for driving interest in the reading of tea leaves.

    There should probably be three entirely separate investigations. One should concern the question of whether, or to what extent, the Russians interfered with the election. That's a non-partisan question, really, one everyone should care about, but Republicans won't do anything about it because they will perceive the entire issue as a partisan attack on Trump.

    A second inquiry could deal with the question of illegal/politicized leaks of secret surveillance data coming from the "IC." Again, in reality this is a non-partisan concern. Were congressional Democrats really interested in getting at whatever the intelligence community has on Trump, a bipartisan inquiry of this nature would be an excellent pressure point.

    Lastly, you could have a completely separate set of hearings into the question of whether or not the Trump campaign engaged in anything untoward in its dealings with Russians last year. If there's anything to this, the public needs to hear it, and it all needs to be public.

    But don't expect answers anytime soon. Hearings like today's only add to the frustrating strangeness of this scandal, and it looks like this will continue for quite some time.

    [Mar 22, 2017] A Breach in the Anti-Putin Groupthink

    Anti-Russian campaign is too profitable to be affected by minor setbacks.
    Notable quotes:
    "... Does Russia Have a Future? ..."
    Mar 21, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

    The mainstream U.S. media has virtually banned any commentary that doesn't treat Russian President Putin as the devil, but a surprising breach in the groupthink has occurred in Foreign Affairs magazine, reports Gilbert Doctorow.

    Realistically, no major change in U.S. foreign and defense policy is possible without substantial support from the U.S. political class, but a problem occurs when only one side of a debate gets a fair hearing and the other side gets ignored or marginalized. That is the current situation regarding U.S. policy toward Russia.

    For the past couple of decades, only the neoconservatives and their close allies, the liberal interventionists, have been allowed into the ring to raise their gloves in celebration of an uncontested victory over policy. On the very rare occasion when a "realist" or a critic of "regime change" wars somehow manages to sneak into the ring, they find both arms tied behind them and receive the predictable pounding.

    While this predicament has existed since the turn of this past century, it has grown more pronounced since the U.S.-Russia relationship slid into open confrontation in 2014 after the U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych and sparking a civil war that led Crimea to secede and join Russia and Ukraine's eastern Donbass region to rise up in rebellion.

    But the only narrative that the vast majority of Americans have heard – and that the opinion centers of Washington and New York have allowed – is the one that blames everything on "Russian aggression." Those who try to express dissenting opinions – noting, for instance, the intervention in Ukrainian affairs by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland as well as the U.S.-funded undermining on Yanukovych's government – have been essentially banned from both the U.S. mass media and professional journals.

    When a handful of independent news sites (including Consortiumnews.com) tried to report on the other side of the story, they were denounced as "Russian propagandists" and ended up on "blacklists" promoted by The Washington Post and other mainstream news outlets.

    An Encouraging Sign

    That is why it is encouraging that Foreign Affairs magazine, the preeminent professional journal of American diplomacy, took the extraordinary step (extraordinary at least in the current environment) of publishing Robert English's article , entitled "Russia, Trump, and a new Détente," that challenges the prevailing groupthink and does so with careful scholarship.

    A wintery scene in Moscow, near Red Square. (Photo by Robert Parry)

    In effect, English's article trashes the positions of all Foreign Affairs' featured contributors for the past several years. But it must be stressed that there are no new discoveries of fact or new insights that make English's essay particularly valuable. What he has done is to bring together the chief points of the counter-current and set them out with extraordinary writing skills, efficiency and persuasiveness of argumentation. Even more important, he has been uncompromising.

    The facts laid out by English could have been set out by one of several experienced and informed professors or practitioners of international relations. But English had the courage to follow the facts where they lead and the skill to convince the Foreign Affairs editors to take the chance on allowing readers to see some unpopular truths even though the editors now will probably come under attack themselves as "Kremlin stooges."

    The overriding thesis is summed up at the start of the essay: "For 25 years, Republicans and Democrats have acted in ways that look much the same to Moscow. Washington has pursued policies that have ignored Russian interests (and sometimes international law as well) in order to encircle Moscow with military alliances and trade blocs conducive to U.S. interests. It is no wonder that Russia pushes back. The wonder is that the U.S. policy elite doesn't get this, even as foreign-affairs neophyte Trump apparently does."

    English's article goes back to the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s and explains why and how U.S. policy toward Russia was wrong and wrong again. He debunks the notion that Boris Yeltsin brought in a democratic age, which Vladimir Putin undid after coming to power.

    English explains how the U.S. meddled in Russian domestic politics in the mid-1990s to falsify election results and ensure Yeltsin's continuation in office despite his unpopularity for bringing on an economic Depression that average Russians remember bitterly to this day. That was a time when the vast majority of Russians equated democracy with "shitocracy."

    English describes how the Russian economic and political collapse in the 1990s was exploited by the Clinton administration. He tells why currently fashionable U.S. critics of Putin are dead wrong when they fail to acknowledge Putin's achievements in restructuring the economy, tax collection, governance, improvements in public health and more which account for his spectacular popularity ratings today.

    English details all the errors and stupidities of the Obama administration in its handling of Russia and Putin, faulting President Obama and Secretary of State (and later presidential candidate) Hillary Clinton for all of their provocative and insensitive words and deeds. What we see in U.S. policy, as described by English, is the application of double standards, a prosecutorial stance towards Russia, and outrageous lies about the country and its leadership foisted on the American public.

    Then English takes on directly all of the paranoia over Russia's alleged challenge to Western democratic processes. He calls attention instead to how U.S. foreign policy and the European Union's own policies in the new Member States and candidate Member States have created all the conditions for a populist revolt by buying off local elites and subjecting the broad populace in these countries to pauperization.

    English concludes his essay with a call to give détente with Putin and Russia a chance.

    Who Is Robert English?

    English's Wikipedia entry and biographical data provided on his University of Southern California web pages make it clear that he has quality academic credentials: Master of Public Administration and PhD. in politics from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He also has a solid collection of scholarly publications to his credit as author or co-editor with major names in the field of Russian-Soviet intellectual history.

    Red Square in Moscow with a winter festival to the left and the Kremlin to the right. (Photo by Robert Parry)

    He spent six years doing studies for U.S. intelligence and defense: 1982–1986 at the Department of Defense and 1986-88 at the U.S. Committee for National Security. And he has administrative experience as the Director of the USC School of International Relations.

    Professor English is not without his political ambitions. During the 2016 presidential election campaign, he tried to secure a position as foreign policy adviser to Democratic hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders. In pursuit of this effort, English had the backing of progressives at The Nation, which in February 2016 published an article of his entitled "Bernie Sanders, the Foreign Policy Realist of 2016."

    English's objective was to demonstrate how wrong many people were to see in Sanders a visionary utopian incapable of defending America's strategic interests. Amid the praise of Sanders in this article, English asserts that Sanders is as firm on Russia as Hillary Clinton.

    By the end of the campaign, however, several tenacious neocons had attached themselves to Sanders's inner circle and English departed. So, one might size up English as just one more opportunistic academic who will do whatever it takes to land a top job in Washington.

    While there is nothing new in such "flexibility," there is also nothing necessarily offensive in it. From the times of Machiavelli if not earlier, intellectuals have tended to be guns for hire. The first open question is how skilled they are in managing their sponsors as well as in managing their readers in the public. But there is also a political realism in such behavior, advancing a politician who might be a far better leader than the alternatives while blunting the attack lines that might be deployed against him or her.

    Then, there are times, such as the article for Foreign Affairs, when an academic may be speaking for his own analysis of an important situation whatever the political costs or benefits. Sources who have long been close to English assure me that the points in his latest article match his true beliefs.

    The Politics of Geopolitics

    Yet, it is one thing to have a courageous author and knowledgeable scholar. It is quite another to find a publisher willing to take the heat for presenting views that venture outside the mainstream Establishment. In that sense, it is stunning that Foreign Affairs chose to publish English and let him destroy the groupthink that has dominated the magazine and the elite foreign policy circles for years.

    President Barack Obama meets with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on the sidelines of the G20 Summit at Regnum Carya Resort in Antalya, Turkey, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice listens at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    The only previous exception to the magazine's lockstep was an article by University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer entitled "Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West's Fault" published in September 2014. That essay shot holes in Official Washington's recounting of the events leading up to the Russian annexation of Crimea and intervention in the Donbass.

    It was a shock to many of America's leading foreign policy insiders who, in the next issue, rallied like a collection of white cells to attack the invasive thinking. But there were some Foreign Affairs readers – about one-third of the commenters – who voiced agreement with Mearsheimer's arguments. But that was a one-time affair. Mearsheimer appears to have been tolerated because he was one of the few remaining exponents of the Realist School in the United States. But he was not a Russia specialist.

    Foreign Affairs may have turned to Robert English because the editors, as insider-insiders, found themselves on the outside of the Trump administration looking in. The magazine's 250,000 subscribers, which include readers from across the globe, expect Foreign Affairs to have some lines into the corridors of power.

    In that regard, the magazine has been carrying water for the State Department since the days of the Cold War. For instance, in the spring issue of 2007, the magazine published a cooked-up article signed by Ukrainian politician Yuliya Tymoshenko on why the West must contain Russia, a direct response to Putin's famous Munich speech in which he accused the United States of destabilizing the world through the Iraq War and other policies.

    Anticipating Hillary Clinton's expected election, Foreign Affairs' editors did not hedge their bets in 2016. They sided with the former Secretary of State and hurled rhetorical bricks at Donald Trump. In their September issue, they compared him to a tin-pot populist dictator in South America.

    Thus, they found themselves cut off after Trump's surprising victory. For the first time in many years in the opening issue of the New Year following a U.S. presidential election, the magazine did not feature an interview with the incoming Secretary of State or some other cabinet member.

    Though Official Washington's anti-Russian frenzy seems to be reaching a crescendo on Capitol Hill with strident hearings on alleged Russian meddling in the presidential election, the underlying reality is that the neocons are descending into a fury over their sudden loss of power.

    The hysteria was highlighted when neocon Sen. John McCain lashed out at Sen. Rand Paul after the libertarian senator objected to special consideration for McCain's resolution supporting Montenegro's entrance into NATO. In a stunning breach of Senate protocol, a livid McCain accused Paul of "working for Vladimir Putin."

    Meanwhile, some Democratic leaders have begun cautioning their anti-Trump followers not to expect too much from congressional investigations into the supposed Trump-Russia collusion on the election.

    In publishing Robert English's essay challenging much of the anti-Russian groupthink that has dominated Western geopolitics over the past few years, Foreign Affairs may be finally bending to the recognition that it is risking its credibility if it continues to put all its eggs in the we-hate-Russia basket.

    That hedging of its bets may be a case of self-interest, but it also may be an optimistic sign that the martyred Fifteenth Century Catholic Church reformer Jan Hus was right when he maintained that eventually the truth will prevail.

    Gilbert Doctorow is a Brussels-based political analyst. His latest book, Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015.

    [Mar 22, 2017] The Rachel Maddow Show on msnbc

    Rachel Maddow looks at the role of Russian bot networks and cyber war tactics during the 2016 U.S. election and notes that those things didn't just go away after the election. She proves to be a talented anti-Russian warmonger. Very impressive piece of propaganda. Classic brainwashing.
    MSNC clearly is in neo-McCarthyism camp and try to capitalize on anti-Russian hysteria. Of cause, Rachel Maddow was and still is a Hillary puppet, so she should have her credibility already destroyed. but people still watching her show and that's a problem. Previously she supported this neocon warmonger, now she became one. The problem with her blabbing is that accounting to FBI Russians have written off Trump in Summer 2016.
    Looks like Democratic party brass can no longer control the anti-Russian hysteria why wiped up, even if they realized that they went too far and the ability to lick thier wound by launching anti-Russian hysteria and getting it to the sky level pitch has some adverse effects in a long run ...
    Notable quotes:
    "... This anti-Russian warmonger Rachel Maddow is a Hillary puppet. That is a known fact. She has been dyed-in-the-wool supported neocon warmonger Hillary Clinton for the duration of the campaign. ..."
    "... A company related to a NATO aligned "think-tank", which is financed by weapon producers and other special interests, raises allegations against Russia that are quite possibly unfounded. These allegations are then used by NATO to build up a public boogeyman picture of "the Russian enemy". In consequence the budgets for NATO militaries and the profits of weapon producers increase. ..."
    "... It is a simple racket, but with potentially very bad consequences for all of us. ..."
    Mar 22, 2017 | www.msnbc.com

    Duration: 20:44

    libezkova -> Peter K .... March 22, 2017 at 04:24 PM

    This anti-Russian warmonger Rachel Maddow is a Hillary puppet. That is a known fact. She has been dyed-in-the-wool supported neocon warmonger Hillary Clinton for the duration of the campaign.

    All her blows were below the belt.

    This selective reporting of pieces of information is actually pretty disingenuous. Anybody using those methods and by selective reporting of bits of information that support your viewpoint can be painted as a Russian agent. Even EMichael :-)

    The problem with her blabbing is that according to FBI Russians have written off Trump in Summer 2016.

    Listening to this show by MSNBC is so disguising, that I lost any respect for it.

    RGC -> EMichael... March 22, 2017 at 04:45 PM
    Fool Me Once ... - Crowdstrike Claimed Two Cases
    Of "Russian Hacking" - One Has Been Proven Wrong

    The cyber-security company Crowdstrike claimed that the "Russia" hacked the Democratic National Committee. It also claimed that "Russia" hacked artillery units of the Ukrainian army. The second claim has now be found to be completely baseless. That same is probably the case with its claims related to the DNC.
    ..........................

    The DNC was likely not hacked at all. Some insider with access to its servers may have taken the emails to publish them. On July 10 2016 the DNC IT administrator Sean Rich was found fatally shot on the streets of Washington DC. To this day no culprit has been found. The crime is unsolved. Five Congressional staffers and IT administrators from Pakistan, some of whom also worked for the DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, are under criminal investigation for unauthorized access to Congressional computers. They had the password of Wasserman-Schultz and may have had access to the DNC servers.

    Crowdstrike's claims of "Russian hacking" have evidently been false with regards to the Ukrainian artillery. Crowdstrike's claims of "Russian hacking" in the case of the DNC have never been supported or confirmed by independent evidence. There are reasons to believe that the loss of control of the DNC's email archives were a case of unauthorized internal access and not a "hack" at all.

    A company related to a NATO aligned "think-tank", which is financed by weapon producers and other special interests, raises allegations against Russia that are quite possibly unfounded. These allegations are then used by NATO to build up a public boogeyman picture of "the Russian enemy". In consequence the budgets for NATO militaries and the profits of weapon producers increase.

    It is a simple racket, but with potentially very bad consequences for all of us.

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/ Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 04:45 PM

    [Mar 22, 2017] New Cold War and anti-Russian hysteria news March 2017 edition

    Notable quotes:
    "... the wrong foreign power ..."
    Mar 22, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

    "Devin Nunes is a conservative Republican from the San Joaquin Valley who advised Donald Trump through his transition to the presidency. Adam Schiff is a Los Angeles Democrat who campaigned for Hillary Clinton and isn't shy in his criticisms of the man who defeated her" [ RealClearPolitics ]. Now the two California congressmen find themselves at the center of the political universe, leading a House probe into Russian meddling in American politics . The two have no qualms about expressing disagreements with what they deduce from the same pot of information, but their joint appearances are a vestige of the kind of bipartisanship that has all but disappeared from Washington. And yet, Monday's hearing showed the partisan divide on the issue, with Republican members focused on plugging government leaks of sensitive information and Democrats interested in possible collusion." "Meddling," "collusion." Pretty squishy words

    "Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire" [ Politico ]. (Furzy Mouse). ZOMG!!!! The Ukrainians were hacking tampering with meddling in seeking to influence our election! Where's that declaration of war I had lying around

    "From Russia, with Panic" [Yasha Levine, The Baffler (DG)]. This is an important post. Key point: "But in private conversations, as well as little-noticed public discussions, security professionals take a dimmer view of the cybersecurity complex. And the more I've looked at the hysteria surrounding Russia's supposed hacking of our elections, the more I've come to see it as a case study of everything wrong and dangerous about the cyber-attribution business." For example: "Matt Tait, a former GCHQ analyst and founder of Capital Alpha Security who blogs under the influential Twitter handle @pwnallthethings, found a Word document pilfered from the DNC and leaked by Guccifer 2.0. As he examined its data signatures, he discovered that it had been edited by Felix Edmundovich-a.k.a. Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Cheka. To him, it was proof that Guccifer 2.0 was part of the same Russian intelligence operation. He really believed that the super sophisticated spy group trying to hide its Russian ties would register its Microsoft Word processor in the name of the leader of the infamously brutal Soviet security service."

    "Could the President Spy on His Political Opponents?" [ The American Conservative ]. "But regardless of whether [Trump's "wiretapping"] claims turn out to be completely false, which is all but certain now, they do raise a question that shouldn't be casually dismissed: Could President Obama's administration have surveiled his political opponents under its interpretation of the law? Could President Trump's administration now do the same? The answer, unfortunately, is yes."

    "Report: Paul Manafort Drafted a Plan in 2005 to Influence American Politics for Putin's Benefit" [ Slate ]. I used Slate because "2005" somehow didn't get into the headlines in the other stories. Here's a blow-by-blow from NPR .

    I can well believe that the Democrats are so feckless that they ginned up a Trump scandal with the wrong foreign power :

    on Twitter
    Follow Mark Ames @MarkAmesExiled

    One claim in piss-Trump dossier that rang true-Trump happy media focus on his Russia ties rather than his China biz https:// twitter.com/matthewstoller /status/843888616774483968

    2:48 PM - 20 Mar 2017

    Heatlh Care

    "A White House in full-court press mode deployed President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to Capitol

    [Mar 22, 2017] Trumps billionaire coup détat

    Mar 22, 2017 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

    Donald Trump is about to break the record of withdrawing his promises faster than any other US president in history. It's not only the fact that his administration has been literally taken over by Goldman Sachs, the top vampire-bank of the Wall Street mafia.

    Recently, Trump announced another big alliance with the vulture billionaire, Paul Singer, who, initially, was supposedly against him. It looks like the Trump big show continues.

    The 'anti-establishment Trump' joke has already collapsed and the US middle class is about be eliminated by the syndicate of the united billionaires under Trump administration.

    As Greg Palast told to Thom Hartmann:

    Paul Singer whose nickname is "the vulture", he didn't get that nickname because he is a sweet an honest businessman. This is the guy who closed the Delphi auto plants in Ohio and sent them to China and also to Monterrey-Mexico. Donald Trump as a candidate, excoriated the billionaires who sent Delphi auto parts company down to Mexico.

    Paul Singer has two concerns: one of them is that we eliminate the banking regulations known as Dodd–Frank. He is called 'the vulture' cause he eats companies that died. He has invested heavily in banks that died. He makes his billions from government bail-outs, he has never made a product in his life, it's all money and billions made from your money, out of the US treasury.

    He is against what Obama created, which is a system under Dodd–Frank, called 'living wheels', where if a bank starts going bankrupt, they don't call the US treasury for bail-out. These banks go out of business and they are broken up so we don't have to pay for the bail-out. Singer wants to restore the system of bailouts because that's where he makes his money.

    The Mercers are the real big money behind Donald Trump. When Trump was in trouble in the general election he was out of money and he was out of ideas and he was losing. It was the Mercers, Robert, who is the principal at the Renaissance Technologies, basically investment banking sharks, that's all they are. They are market gamblers and banking sharks, and that's how he made his billions, he hasn't created a single job as Donald Trump himself like to mention.

    Both the vulture and the Mercers, they don't pay the same taxes as the rest. They don't pay regular income taxes. They have a special billionaires loophole called 'carried interest'. They were two candidates who said that they would close that loophole: one was Bernie Sanders and the other, believe it or not, was Donald Trump, it was part of his populist movie, he said ' These Wall Street sharks, they don't build anything, they don't create a single job, when they lose we pay, when they win, they get a tax-break called carried interest. I will close that loophole. ' Has he said a word about that loophole? It passed away.

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/z-q5R4k_3rE"

    Take a taste of Paul Singer from Wikipedia :

    His political activities include funding the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and he has written against raising taxes for the 1% and aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act. Singer is active in Republican Party politics and collectively, Singer and others affiliated with Elliott Management are "the top source of contributions" to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

    A number of sources have branded him a "vulture capitalist", largely on account of his role at EMC, which has been called a vulture fund. Elliott was termed by The Independent as "a pioneer in the business of buying up sovereign bonds on the cheap, and then going after countries for unpaid debts", and in 1996, Singer began using the strategy of purchasing sovereign debt from nations in or near default-such as Argentina, ]- through his NML Capital Limited and Congo-Brazzaville through Kensington International Inc. Singer's business model of purchasing distressed debt from companies and sovereign states and pursuing full payment through the courts has led to criticism, while Singer and EMC defend their model as "a fight against charlatans who refuse to play by the market's rules."

    In 1996, Elliott bought defaulted Peruvian debt for $11.4 million. Elliott won a $58 million judgement when the ruling was overturned in 2000, and Peru had to repay the sum in full under the pari passu rule. When former president of Peru Alberto Fujimori was attempting to flee the country due to facing legal proceedings over human rights abuses and corruption, Singer ordered the confiscation of his jet and offered to let him leave the country in exchange for the $58 million payment from the treasury, an offer which Fujimori accepted. A subsequent 2002 investigation by the Government of Peru into the incident and subsequent congressional report, uncovered instances of corruption since Elliott was not legally authorized to purchase the Peruvian debt from Swiss Bank Corporation without the prior approval of the Peruvian government, and thus the purchase had occurred in breach of contract. At the same time, Elliott's representative, Jaime Pinto, had been formerly employed by the Peruvian Ministry of Economy and Finance and had contact with senior officials. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Peruvian government paid Elliott $56 million to settle the case.

    After Argentina defaulted on its debt in 2002, the Elliott-owned company NML Capital Limited refused to accept the Argentine offer to pay less than 30 cents per dollar of debt. With a face value of $630 million, the bonds were reportedly bought by NML for $48 million, with Elliott assessing the bonds as worth $2.3 billion with accrued interest. Elliott sued Argentina for the debt's value, and the lower UK courts found that Argentina had state immunity. Elliott successfully appealed the case to the UK Supreme Court, which ruled that Elliott had the right to attempt to seize Argentine property in the United Kingdom. Alternatively, before 2011, US courts ruled against allowing creditors to seize Argentine state assets in the United States. On October 2, 2012 Singer arranged for a Ghanaian Court order to detain the Argentine naval training vessel ARA Libertad in a Ghanaian port, with the vessel to be used as collateral in an effort to force Argentina to pay the debt. Refusing to pay, Argentina shortly thereafter regained control of the ship after its seizure was deemed illegal by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Alleging the incident lost Tema Harbour $7.6 million in lost revenue and unpaid docking fees, Ghana in 2012 was reportedly considering legal action against NML for the amount.

    His firm... is so influential that fear of its tactics helped shape the current 2012 Greek debt restructuring." Elliott was termed by The Independent as "a pioneer in the business of buying up sovereign bonds on the cheap, and then going after countries for unpaid debts", and in 1996, Singer began using the strategy of purchasing sovereign debt from nations in or near default-such as Argentina, Peru-through his NML Capital Limited and Congo-Brazzaville through Kensington International Inc. In 2004, then first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund Anne Osborn Krueger denounced the strategy, alleging that it has "undermined the entire structure of sovereign finance."

    we wrote that " Trump's rhetoric is concentrated around a racist delirium. He avoids to take direct position on social matters, issues about inequality, etc. Of course he does, he is a billionaire! Trump will follow the pro-establishment agenda of protecting Wall Street and big businesses. And here is the fundamental difference with Bernie Sanders. Bernie says no more war and he means it. He says more taxes for the super-rich and he means it. Free healthcare and education for all the Americans, and he means it. In case that Bernie manage to beat Hillary, the establishment will definitely turn to Trump who will be supported by all means until the US presidency. "

    Yet, we would never expect that Trump would verify us, that fast.

    [Mar 22, 2017] Noted Putin Critic Warns Of Confrontation Between Trump And Russia, Not Collaboration Zero Hedge

    Mar 22, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

    Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

    One thing we should have learned over the past year or so is you can take any narrative being pushed by the corporate media and Democrats, and assume that the exact opposite is true . The current Trump-Russia hysteria could very well turn out to be the latest and most embarrassing example of this phenomenon. In fact, well known Putin-critic, Masha Gessen, recently warned in an interview with Politico that her biggest fear is a Trump-Putin conflict, not some imagined alliance.

    Below I provide the excerpts from this lengthy interview which I believe are relevant to the topic.

    From Politico :

    Glasser : I want to talk a little bit about where we are right now. And then back up to why it is, in your life, you've figured out this expecting the unimaginable. But recently, you know, American politics has been consumed by Russia. Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia. And you wrote something that a lot of people were surprised by the other day, although I was not. And you said, "Beware the conspiracy trap."

    And that, in fact, the Russia scandal that now threatens to engulf President Trump's very new presidency, you wrote, "In effect, could be actually helping President Trump and amount to a sort of a colossal distraction for us." What did you mean by that?

    Gessen : Well, a couple things. One is that, if you look at, you know, what we actually know about the Russia story, which changes every day, but what-at this point, what we actually know suggests that the likelihood that there's going to be a causal link between the Russian interference in the American election and the outcome of the election. The likelihood that was a causal link, and that that causal link can be shown, is basically vanishingly small, right?

    So-and I think that part of the reason-there are basically two reasons that a lot of journalists and a lot of activists have been focusing on Russia is because it serves as a crutch for the imagination. And again, I'm coming back to this topic of imagination, which obsesses me.

    So one way in which it serves as a crutch for the imagination is that it allows us to imagine that, maybe, Trump will be so sullied by this Russia scandal, by this connection, even if he can't prove a cause-causal link, just that the darkness of the scandal will be thick enough of a cloud that he will eventually be impeached by a Republican Congress.

    That's a huge leap. And it also, I think, doesn't take into account the tools-the rhetorical tools that will have to be used to sully Trump in such a way, right? Which are basically xenophobic and, you know, corrosive to the public sphere. And the other way in which it serves as a crutch for the imagination is it also serves to explain how Trump could have happened to us, right? The Russians did it.

    Glasser : That's exactly right; if it's an external thing. And you wrote that very, very early on. Actually, before this latest round, that the real threat to Trump would be to misunderstand where this comes from. And if it's not Americans who voted for him, but somehow, it's a wily, dark conspiracy theory. That leads you down a whole different set of responses to Trump.

    Gessen : Right. Which-

    Glasser : I think that's your point.

    Gessen : That is my point. And also that it's destructive to politics. Politics is what happens out in the open. And there's lots of politics happening, right? There's this endless barrage of frightening bills being filed at this point. There are the Cabinet appointments. There's the, you know, dismantling of the federal government as we have known it for generations.

    All of that is going on out in the open. And we only have so much bandwidth. If we're not talking about what's going on out in the open, if we're talking about conspiracy instead, then we are, by doing that, destroying the politics that we should be preserving, right? I mean, how do we emerge out the other end, when Trump ends, and Trump will eventually end. Everything ends, right?

    If we've engaged in conspiracy theorizing this whole time, instead of engaging in politics-and only by engaging in politics can we actually preserve the political space

    Gessen : I'm worried about Russia. I'm-this is-I mean, we're already out of the honeymoon phase, and it's been less than two months. And I think it's-I mean, the danger of having these two unhinged power-hungry men at their-respective nuclear buttons cannot be overestimated. But-

    Glasser : So you would see them as potential enemies as much as potential friends? That this scenario-

    Gessen : Oh, absolutely.

    Glasser : -we should worry about is Trump versus Putin, not just Trump and Putin uniting?

    Gessen : Right. I'm actually worried about a collision with them.

    She's exactly right. I completely agree that the disaster scenario with Putin and Trump is if and when they actually clash. Once that happens, the corporate media and Democrats will pretend they had nothing to do with it, as they always do. As Mark Ames noted on Twitter:

    All the worst Iraq war liars still have their fat media jobs-where they now tell us public distrust in Establishment is a Kremlin conspiracy

    - Mark Ames (@MarkAmesExiled) March 20, 2017

    Moving on, I want to once again turn to Robert Parry of Consortium News to highlight just how ridiculous the whole "Putin bought off Trump aides" conspiracy is. From yesterday's piece, The Missing Logic of Russia-gate :

    Democrats circulated a report showing that retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who served briefly as President Donald Trump's national security adviser, had received payments from several Russia-related entities, totaling nearly $68,000.

    The largest payment of $45,386 came for a speech and an appearance in Moscow in 2015 at the tenth anniversary dinner for RT, the international Russian TV network, with Flynn netting $33,750 after his speakers' bureau took its cut. Democrats treated this revelation as important evidence about Russia buying influence in the Trump campaign and White House. But the actual evidence suggests something quite different.

    Not only was the sum a relative trifle for a former senior U.S. government official compared to, say, the fees collected by Bill and Hillary Clinton, who often pulled in six to ten times more, especially for speeches to foreign audiences. ( Former President Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin, The New York Times reported in 2015,)

    Yet, besides Flynn's relatively modest speaking fee, The Washington Post reported that RT negotiated Flynn's rate downward.

    Deep inside its article on Flynn's Russia-connected payments, the Post wrote, "RT balked at paying Flynn's original asking price. 'Sorry it took us longer to get back to you but the problem is that the speaking fee is a bit too high and exceeds our budget at the moment,' Alina Mikhaleva, RT's head of marketing, wrote a Flynn associate about a month before the event."

    So, if you accept the Democrats' narrative that Russian President Vladimir Putin is engaged in an all-out splurge to induce influential Americans to betray their country, how do you explain that his supposed flunkies at RT are quibbling with Flynn over a relatively modest speaking fee?

    Of course, you'll never hear any of this emphasized in the corporate media, they're too busy pushing for a conflict between the U.S. and Russia. A conflict that once it happens, they will vehemently deny playing any role in propagating.

    [Mar 20, 2017] Senator Hints That Trump May Resign I Think He Is Going To Get Himself Out

    Mar 20, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
    After Flynn left the odds might well be against Trump
    by Pinto Currency -> xythras , Mar 19, 2017 9:19 PM

    March 19 BREAKING - Documents Show Obama Surveiled Entire Trump Family For 8 Years https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTT5FVyGMUU

    Now we'll see who resigns (and gets arrested)

    xythras , Mar 19, 2017 9:18 PM

    An Alpha Male NEVER quits. By the look at that trophy wife, we can guarantee Trump is an Alpha Male

    First Lady Melania Looked Stunning in her St. Patrick's Day Outfit

    http://dailywesterner.com/news/2017-03-18/first-lady-melania-looked-stun...

    LetThemEatRand -> wee-weed up , Mar 19, 2017 9:36 PM

    It's all about fostering division. Give the snowflakes hope and anger. Give the Trumpbots something to rail against. Hell, in reading this article, I almost forgot that Goldman Sachs runs the Trump administration and Feinstein.

    nmewn -> LetThemEatRand , Mar 19, 2017 9:46 PM

    DiFi, DiFi...wasn't she the one who freaked out when she found out Obama's NSA was spying on her...or was it..."government officials who wished to remain anonymous" working for the CIA?

    It all gets sooo confusing ;-)

    LetThemEatRand -> nmewn , Mar 19, 2017 9:50 PM

    They are all publicly against the Deep State spying on themselves except when it comes to doing anything about it (Trump included).

    Simple question: Trump says he was wiretapped illegally by intelligence agencies. Why is he doubling down and saying those same agencies need more $$ and power?

    DeadFred -> nmewn , Mar 19, 2017 10:05 PM

    Where is Obama anyway? Laying low? We can always hope he just disappears. Did Eric Braverman ever show up? I know he got a job with Google but has anyone seen him?

    SilverRoofer -> DeadFred , Mar 19, 2017 10:08 PM

    Getting pounded by gay men

    And Michael of course

    BlindMonkey -> jcaz , Mar 19, 2017 10:19 PM

    Does anyone think Feinstein would pass a deep look into her buisiness dealings with her husband Richard Blum? I fucking doubt it very, very seriously. If the deep state turned the eye of sauron on her, she would be wearing county jumpers rather quickly.

    sleigher -> BlindMonkey , Mar 19, 2017 10:36 PM

    "Does anyone think Feinstein would pass a deep look into her buisiness dealings with her husband Richard Blum?"

    "~20% of congress people could not pass a background check."

    Yes We Can. But... -> Pinto Currency , Mar 19, 2017 10:28 PM

    I'm thinking the breaking of this news of Obama wrongdoing has got to be why in the span of two weeks he went from being 1) newly HQ'd/bunkered in DC and 'ready to roll' against Trump, to 2) on the other side of the planet for a long stay in French Polynesia, apparently w/o his 'wife'.

    Whatcha runnin' from, Barry?

    Lorca's Novena , Mar 19, 2017 9:19 PM

    (((Feinstein))) fake news, rumors, gossip, everything evil in the world. This bitch is one of the many who destroyed California.

    pilager -> Lorca's Novena , Mar 19, 2017 9:35 PM

    Drain that perverted awamp... no mercy, take them all down ...

    Drain it!

    Giant Meteor , Mar 19, 2017 9:25 PM

    Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein says ...

    Another not the onion piece ..

    [Mar 19, 2017] Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst and blogger, acknowledges he was one of the sources for Fox News commentator Andrew Napolitano's claim - later repeated by the White

    Mar 19, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    im1dc : March 18, 2017 at 01:34 PM , 2017 at 01:34 PM
    The who behind Trump's Obama wire tapping claim is now known

    The why appears to be that he's an anti- Hillary Clintonista

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/trump-gchq-spying-larry-johnson-intelligence-community-236220

    "How the U.K. spying claim traveled from an ex-CIA blogger to Trump's White House"

    'Former intelligence analyst Larry Johnson, who has long attacked the U.S. intel community, is standing by his allegation that triggered a feud with America's closest ally'

    By Matthew Nussbaum...03/18/17...02:38 PM EDT

    "...Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst and blogger, acknowledges he was one of the sources for Fox News commentator Andrew Napolitano's claim - later repeated by the White House..."

    [Mar 19, 2017] Intel Chair No Collusion Between Trump and Russia... Leak Is The Only Crime Zero Hedge

    Mar 19, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
    Intel Chair: "No Collusion Between Trump and Russia... Leak Is The Only Crime" Shemp 4 Victory , Mar 19, 2017 11:57 AM

    Reason won't matter to snowflakes. They'll cling to the comfort of their illusions.

    Erek -> Shemp 4 Victory , Mar 19, 2017 11:59 AM

    Hmm. It seems the "Intelligence" chair is leaking on the snowflakes.

    Looney -> Erek , Mar 19, 2017 12:01 PM

    ... No evidence of collusion

    But but 0bama said Hillary said 17 intelligence agencies said CNN said

    LetThemEatRand -> Shemp 4 Victory , Mar 19, 2017 11:59 AM

    The Deep State/MSM trots out shit like this precisely because the facts don't matter once the narrative is set. Half the country will go on thinking there's no way the story would have made it this far were there not some there there.

    MsCreant -> chunga , Mar 19, 2017 12:55 PM

    I have wondered if some of the strategy is to keep him on the run, on the defensive, so that if he does go after some of the elite who need to go down for their crimes, that it will be framed as a dictator abusing his power, engaged in partisan politics.

    I wonder if he can go after them at all without looking like Mussolini?

    chunga -> MsCreant , Mar 19, 2017 1:07 PM

    Guys like Schiff, Schumer, and Blitzer will say that but they hate Trump no matter what.

    Trump's deplorable supporters know the score and will criticize if he doesn't go after them hard and now is a perfect opportunity. It was the Dummycrats who demanded this investigation but want the scope restricted to Russia, and Russia only. And the rEpublicans won't bring this up either because they suck too.

    The first rule of Swamp Club is you DO NOT talk about Anthony Weiner's laptop.

    Jubal Early -> chunga , Mar 19, 2017 1:46 PM

    "Guys like Schiff, Schumer, and Blitzer will say that but they hate Trump no matter what."

    This whole "jew media hates Trump" meme is starting to put off a foul stench. For one thing Trump has yet to do anything to stop this war for greater Israel. Or take this latest leak/Russian collusion news. After months of bluster, its a nothing burger. Is Trump really made of that much teflon, or is this all a show for the goyim and all the ignorant jews.

    Just keep on scrolling. It really is starting to look like Trump is a crypto jew:

    http://thezog.info/who-controls-donald-trump/

    Lurk Skywatcher -> kellys_eye , Mar 19, 2017 12:27 PM

    Baseless accusations to try and draw attention away from what the Dems actually DID, with evidence and all.

    Libtards wreck everything they touch, even the hard work of theorists who until recently achieved an amazing level of success in converting conspiracys into fact.

    DaddyO -> Shemp 4 Victory , Mar 19, 2017 12:07 PM

    <- They'll cling to the comfort of their illusions ->

    Isn't delusions a better word choice?

    There's a part of me that wants the tide to change quickly, for the intel and deep state apparatus pendulum to swing back the other way.

    This slow motion train wreck is wreaking havoc on my libertarian leanings. I keep hoping against hope for a dramatic event like indictments and perp walks.

    The best outcome would be the elimination of the many 3 letter agencies that have become pygmalian.

    DaddyO

    Giant Meteor -> DaddyO , Mar 19, 2017 12:41 PM

    Yes, delusion, due to the illusion ...

    Madness .. in short

    Pathologic insanity if ya wanna go clinical

    Giant Meteor -> Canary Paint , Mar 19, 2017 12:24 PM

    Most reasonable people are sickened by this entire shit show, feel they have no say, nor control. As always it is mostly a partisan echo chamber, while the real events take on a life of their own. The great many, the unwashed masses are merely riding on the crazy train, and the reality is could give two shits. Other than that, another percentage spits back up what they are told on the tee vee .

    Yes, this paints a bleak picture, but there you have it.

    Giant Meteor -> Automatic Choke , Mar 19, 2017 1:09 PM

    Sure its been goin on forever. Partisan head games, lying, spying, stealing, cheating, theft, deep state parlor tricks, hat tricks, etc. all that .. I didn't say the game nor human beings were / was invented yesterday, and of course you're spot on about glimpsing past the curtain, thank you interwebs. I am merely saying, the depth of of problem, the extent, is becoming increasingly "larger" by degrees of magnitude, as will the eventual blow off top in my opinion, and also the blowback, I would imagine ..

    Obviously I could be completely wrong on this and things will just swim along such as they are, forever ..

    TheLastTrump -> Shemp 4 Victory , Mar 19, 2017 1:08 PM

    That IS what they say about Trump voters you know ....

    Watched more media this am, Trump kicked their ass into a puddle with this Obama wiretapping charge. Totally bitch slapped them. Now he's made Merkel & the EU & G20 look stupid along with the media.

    post turtle saver -> Shemp 4 Victory , Mar 19, 2017 2:30 PM

    it was a lie from the beginning

    HRC and Soros should be in jail

    if it comes to it, former President Obama should be in jail... probably has too mucn plausible deniability to shield him, but where there's smoke there's fire

    if I were Trump D.C. would be undergoing a serious witch hunt as we speak... the people who did this need to do time and the lying lapdog 'media' needs to be sanctioned

    fbazzrea -> DirtySanchez , Mar 19, 2017 12:29 PM

    should be on the front lines of the war with Russia.

    what war with Russia?

    chubbar -> fbazzrea , Mar 19, 2017 12:43 PM

    We start a war with Russia, we'll all be on the "front line". The retarded snowflakes don't even know that they are supporting this effort to start a war with Russia.

    az_patriot , Mar 19, 2017 12:00 PM

    ...and the liberal snowflakes and their puppets in the "news" media will run from this story like a vampire from garlic. Anything that proves them wrong or might in any way bolster Trump is bad medicine for them...

    [Mar 18, 2017] The Role of Experts in Public Debate

    Notable quotes:
    "... Economist James K. Galbraith disputes these claims of the benefit of comparative advantage. He states that "free trade has attained the status of a god" and that ". . . none of the world's most successful trading regions, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and now mainland China, reached their current status by adopting neoliberal trading rules." He argues that ". . . comparative advantage is based upon the concept of constant returns: the idea that you can double or triple the output of any good simply by doubling or tripling the inputs. But this is not generally the case. For manufactured products, increasing returns, learning, and technical change are the rule, not the exception; the cost of production falls with experience. With increasing returns, the lowest cost will be incurred by the country that starts earliest and moves fastest on any particular line. Potential competitors have to protect their own industries if they wish them to survive long enough to achieve competitive scale."[42] ..."
    "... Galbraith, as always, is very succinct and readable. I well remember sitting in an economics lecture in the 1980's when the Professor mentioned Galbraith and described him as with distain someone 'who's ideas were more popular with the public than with economists'. The snigger of agreement that ran around the students in the hall made me realise just how ingrained the ideology of economics was as I'm pretty sure I was the only one of the students who'd actually read any Galbraith. ..."
    "... I'd also recommend Ha-Joon Chang as someone who is very readable on the topic of the many weaknesses of conventional ideas on comparative advantage. ..."
    "... "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." ..."
    "... I've noticed many experts are especially bad at verbosity. Maybe they think somehow that quantity of words is a form of potency. Maybe that's it. Also individuals with a grievance who write posts about their grievance. I know when I have a grievance it's hard to shut up. I'm just being honest. I'll keep rambling and rambling, repeating myelf and fulminating. Thankfully I know better than to write like that. ..."
    "... Thing 13: Making rich people richer doesn't make the rest of us richer. Trickle down economics doesn't work because wealth doesn't trickle down. It trickles up, which is why the rich are the rich in the first place ..."
    "... Thing 23: Good economic policy does not require good economists. Most of the really important economic issues, the ones that decide whether nations sink or swim, are within the intellectual reach of intelligent non-economists. Academic Economics with a capital "E" has remarkably little to say about the things that really matter. Concerned citizens need to stop being intimidated by the experts here. ..."
    "... Although Ha Joon Chang is an excellent economist, I would also strongly recommend Michael Hudson, Michael Perelman, Steve Keen and E. Ray Canterbery - they are really great, along with Samir Amin of Senegal. ..."
    "... A major issue is that those incapable politicians do rely upon experts, but they have consistently selected experts not on their track record (such as how good economists were at predicting the evolution of the economy, or how good political scientists were at predicting the evolution of communist or Arab societies), but on whether pronouncements of experts corresponded to their ideological preconceptions and justified their intended policies. ..."
    "... A bit like rejecting physicians' diagnoses when they do not suit you and preferring the cure of a quack. ..."
    "... This is not restricted to economists, it pervasive in science in general. I can't remember how many times I got a paper for peer review where I couldn't figure out what the person was trying to say because they layered the jargon ten levels deep. ..."
    "... I think it is as simple as: if you create something that justifies the behaviors of the rich and powerful, you have something to sell and willing buyers. If you create something that delegitimizes the behaviors of the rich and powerful, you not only have no willing patrons but you have made powerful enemies. ..."
    "... It is the law of supply and demand for pretentious bullshit. ..."
    "... Leave workers exposed to starvation long enough and they'll work for next- to-nothing. The solution to James O'Connor's Fiscal Crisis of the State is to clean house in a big way, a very big way. Put everyone out on the street and start all over again. (Everyone but the 1% of course.) ..."
    "... It's Andrew Mellon's advice for getting out of the Depression: "liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate it will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up from less competent people." ..."
    "... The Reserve Army of Labor saves the Capitalist Day, once again. (Except for the little problem that the 1% won't accept their own liquidation, so Goldman Sachs and the rest must be exempted from the purging–which means that the purging can't work.) ..."
    "... Not too long before he died, Paul Samuelson said: "Maybe I was wrong on the subject of jobs offshoring." (I.e., maybe offshoring all the jobs and dismantling the US economy wasn't so intelligent after all!) ..."
    "... C. Wright Mills called them "crackpot realists." ..."
    "... It's all a part and parcel of the meritocracy. If you don't have a degree in Econ, your opinion doesn't matter about why your job moved to China. If you don't have a degree in Urban Planning, you don't get to comment on how the city wants to tear down the park and put up condos. ..."
    "... Their advice helped lead to this 2008 Financial Crisis. The promise of neoliberalism was faster growth. It did not happen. Quite the opposite. It gave the rich intellectual cover to loot society. That"s what this was always about. ..."
    "... Then there's the matter of the Iraq War. Another example. Many foreign policy "experts", particularly affiliated with the neoconservative assured the American people that invading Iraq would be easy to do and lead to lots of long term benefits. Others insisted, despite evidence to the contrary, that Saddam was developing weapons of mass destruction. Now look at where we are. No WMDs, long and cost war, with no long-term solutions. Many of said "experts" later endorsed Clinton. ..."
    "... We do not need pro-Establishment experts who sell themselves out to enrich themselves. We need experts who act in the public interest. ..."
    Mar 18, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

    By Sandwichman. Originally published at Angry Bear

    Jonathan Portes asks, " What's the role of experts in the public debate? " He assumes it is his prerogative, as an expert, to define that role:

    I think we have three really important functions.

    First, to explain our basic concepts and most important insights in plain English. Famously, Paul Samuelson, the founder of modern macroeconomics, was asked whether economics told us anything that was true but not obvious. It took him a couple of years, but eventually he gave an excellent and topical example – simply the theory of comparative advantage.

    Similarly, I often say that the most useful thing I did in my 6 years as Chief Economist at DWP was to explain the lump of labour fallacy – that there isn't a fixed number of jobs in the economy, and increased immigration or more women working adds to both labour demand and labour supply – to six successive Secretaries of State. So that's the first.

    Second is to call bullshit.

    O.K. I call bullshit. What Portes explained "to six successive Secretaries of State" was a figment of the imagination of a late 18th century Lancashire magistrate, a self-styled " friend to the poor " who couldn't understand why poor people got so upset about having their wages cut or losing their jobs - to the extent they would go around throwing rocks through windows, breaking machines and burning down factories - when it was obvious to him that it was all for the best and in the long run we would all be better off or else dead.

    I call bullshit because what Portes explained to six successive Secretaries of State was simply the return of the repressed - the obverse of "Say's Law" (which was neither Say's nor a Law) that "supply creates its own demand," which John Maynard Keynes demolished in The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money and that John Kenneth Galbraith subsequently declared " sank without trace " in the wake of Keynes's demolition of it.

    I call bullshit because when Paul Samuelson resurrected the defunct fallacy claim that Portes explained to six successive Secretaries of State, he did so on the condition that governments pursued the sorts of "Keynesian" job-creating policies that the discredited principle of "supply creates its own demand" insisted were both unnecessary and counter-productive.

    But the lump of labor argument implies that there is only so much useful remunerative work to be done in any economic system, and that is indeed a fallacy . If proper and sound monetary, fiscal, and pricing policies are being vigorously promulgated , we need not resign ourselves to mass unemployment. And although technological unemployment is not to be shrugged off lightly, its optimal solution lies in offsetting policies that create adequate job opportunities and new skills.

    [Incidentally, as Robert Schiller has noted, the promised prevention of mass unemployment by vigorous policy intervention did not imply the preservation of wage levels. Schiller cited the following passage from the Samuelson textbook, " a decrease in the demand for a particular kind of labor because of technological shifts in an industry can he adapted to - lower relative wages and migration of labor and capital will eventually provide new jobs for the displaced workers."]

    I call bullshit because what Portes explained to six successive Secretaries of State was not even Paul Samuelson's policy-animated zombie lump-of-labour fallacy but a supply-side, anti-inflationary retrofit cobbled together by Richard Layard and associates and touted by Tony Blair and Gerhard Schroeder as the Third Way " new supply-side agenda for the left. " Central to that agenda were tax cuts to promote economic growth and "active labour market policies" to foster non-inflationary expansion of employment by making conditions more "flexible" and lower-waged:

    Part-time work and low-paid work are better than no work because they ease the transition from unemployment to jobs.

    Encourage employers to offer 'entry' jobs to the labour market by lowering the burden of tax and social security contributions on low-paid jobs.

    Adjustment will be the easier, the more labour and product markets are working properly. Barriers to employment in relatively low productivity sectors need to be lowered if employees displaced by the productivity gains that are an inherent feature of structural change are to find jobs elsewhere. The labour market needs a low-wage sector in order to make low-skill jobs available.

    I call bullshit because in defending the outcomes of supply-side labour policies, Portes soft-pedaled the stated low-wage objectives of the Third Way agenda. In a London Review of Books review, Portes admitted that "it may drive down wages for the low-skilled, but the effect is small compared to that of other factors (technological change, the national minimum wage and so on)." In the Third Way supply-side agenda, however, a low-wage sector was promoted as a desirable feature - making more low-skill jobs available - not a trivial bug to be brushed aside. In other words, in "driving down wages for the low skilled" the policy was achieving exactly what it was intended to but Portes was "too discreet" to admit that was the stated objectives of the policy.

    dk , March 18, 2017 at 4:47 am

    I found this helpful in better understanding the economics discussed:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage#Criticism

    Economist James K. Galbraith disputes these claims of the benefit of comparative advantage. He states that "free trade has attained the status of a god" and that ". . . none of the world's most successful trading regions, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and now mainland China, reached their current status by adopting neoliberal trading rules." He argues that ". . . comparative advantage is based upon the concept of constant returns: the idea that you can double or triple the output of any good simply by doubling or tripling the inputs. But this is not generally the case. For manufactured products, increasing returns, learning, and technical change are the rule, not the exception; the cost of production falls with experience. With increasing returns, the lowest cost will be incurred by the country that starts earliest and moves fastest on any particular line. Potential competitors have to protect their own industries if they wish them to survive long enough to achieve competitive scale."[42]

    Galbraith also contends that "For most other commodities, where land or ecology places limits on the expansion of capacity, the opposite condition – diminishing returns – is the rule. In this situation, there can be no guarantee that an advantage of relative cost will persist once specialization and the resultant expansion of production take place. A classic and tragic example, studied by Erik Reinert, is transitional Mongolia, a vast grassland with a tiny population and no industry that could compete on world markets. To the World Bank, Mongolia seemed a classic case of comparative advantage in animal husbandry, which in Mongolia consisted of vast herds of cattle, camels, sheep, and goats. Opening of industrial markets collapsed domestic industry, while privatization of the herds prompted the herders to increase their size. This led, within just a few years in the early 1990s, to overgrazing and permanent desertification of the subarctic steppe and, with a slightly colder than normal winter, a massive famine in the herds."

    PlutoniumKun , March 18, 2017 at 5:45 am

    Galbraith, as always, is very succinct and readable. I well remember sitting in an economics lecture in the 1980's when the Professor mentioned Galbraith and described him as with distain someone 'who's ideas were more popular with the public than with economists'. The snigger of agreement that ran around the students in the hall made me realise just how ingrained the ideology of economics was as I'm pretty sure I was the only one of the students who'd actually read any Galbraith.

    I'd also recommend Ha-Joon Chang as someone who is very readable on the topic of the many weaknesses of conventional ideas on comparative advantage.

    /L , March 18, 2017 at 6:39 am

    James K Galbraith is the son of the famous New Deal economist John K Galbraith.

    John K G:

    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

    "In the case of economics there are no important propositions that cannot be stated in plain language."

    /L , March 18, 2017 at 7:10 am

    John K G on The Art of Good Writing

    "I was an editor of Fortune under Henry Luce, the founder of Time, Inc., who was one of the most ruthless editors that I have ever known, that anyone has ever known. Henry could look over a sheet of copy and say, "This can go, and this can go, and this can go," and you would be left with eight to ten lines which said everything that you had said in twenty lines before.

    And I can still, to this day, not write a page without the feeling that Henry Luce is looking over my shoulder and saying, "That can go." That illuminate one "problem" in our age of internet, unlimited space to be verbose and no editors that de-obscure the writers "thoughts".

    JEHR , March 18, 2017 at 8:24 am

    /L–This site is just wonderful! Anything you want to know about knowing seems to be here. Thanks for the great link.

    sgt_doom , March 18, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Recommendation: Wealth, Power and the Crisis of Laissez-Faire Capitalism , by Donald Gibson

    Norb , March 18, 2017 at 8:54 am

    I wonder if this phenomenon – the desirability succinct communication -- was a holdover of earlier times, when accurate communication made the difference between life and death. Settling and developing a continent would place a high value on such purposeful human exchanges.

    Today, we are awash in branding and marketing intended to maintain the current order. The language is used to obfuscate, not clarify experience or goals.

    An expert in any field that has the ability to communicate in a general , popular mode, is of great value to society. Truth and understanding is its main function. Knowledge, or insight that cannot be shared is more often than not just an excuse to hide methods of control and exploitation.

    If citizens can't get the generalities right, the specifics will be impossible to comprehend.

    craazyman , March 18, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    Almost everything can go. I remember seeing a video of the photographer William Klein saying a master photographer is remembered for just a handfull of images. Maybe 10 or 15, tops. Out of probably at least 100,000 serious photos.

    Of course what goes is necessary fertilizer for what doesn't go. You can't avoid it. Hahahah. But you have to let it go anyway. Or your editor has to be williing to cut.

    I've noticed lots and lots of posts here could be a lot better if the post author had said the same thing in half as many words. Most wouldn't lose any persuasion, if they had any to begin with. And they'd gain reader attention for the pruning.

    I've noticed many experts are especially bad at verbosity. Maybe they think somehow that quantity of words is a form of potency. Maybe that's it. Also individuals with a grievance who write posts about their grievance. I know when I have a grievance it's hard to shut up. I'm just being honest. I'll keep rambling and rambling, repeating myelf and fulminating. Thankfully I know better than to write like that.

    Having saidd all that, Say was rite. If the supply of labor increases, that createes its own demand for jobs! How is that not completely obvious.

    PlutoniumKun , March 18, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Ah yeah, sorry, getting my JK's mixed up. Both are good.

    fresno dan , March 18, 2017 at 7:03 am

    PlutoniumKun
    March 18, 2017 at 5:45 am

    Huffington Post review has a synopsis of the Ha-Joon Change book. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ian-fletcher/a-review-of-ha-joon-chang_b_840417.html
    My favorite:
    Thing 13: Making rich people richer doesn't make the rest of us richer. Trickle down economics doesn't work because wealth doesn't trickle down. It trickles up, which is why the rich are the rich in the first place

    shinola , March 18, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks for the tip PK & thank you fd for the link to the review. I'm going to check this fellow out; sounds like he has some interesting things to say. One of the "things" that may apply to the above article:

    Thing 23: Good economic policy does not require good economists. Most of the really important economic issues, the ones that decide whether nations sink or swim, are within the intellectual reach of intelligent non-economists. Academic Economics with a capital "E" has remarkably little to say about the things that really matter. Concerned citizens need to stop being intimidated by the experts here.

    sgt_doom , March 18, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Although Ha Joon Chang is an excellent economist, I would also strongly recommend Michael Hudson, Michael Perelman, Steve Keen and E. Ray Canterbery - they are really great, along with Samir Amin of Senegal.

    Anonymous2 , March 18, 2017 at 8:10 am

    A word of warning from the UK. Denigrate experts too much and you end up like us with government by people who really are inexpert. That is not an improvement.

    Mael Colium , March 18, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Ha! I think an anti brexiter just rolled the white eye.

    Strange that the awful things that the experts told us all would happen haven't and don't look like happening since the people called bullshit on the EU mess. Britain with or without those blokes in dresses up north will do just fine as they steer themselves out of the EU quagmire. I'll take the people anytime anonymous – they have more common sense than the experts. Didn't you read the article?

    Anonymous2 , March 18, 2017 at 9:51 am

    If you are referring to economic forecasters, they, by definition, are not experts.

    sgt_doom , March 18, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Thank you!!!

    I remember back in the 1980s, when so-called "experts" were prattling about such nonsense as . . .

    "Computers don't make mistakes, humans make mistakes !"

    Which was surely untrue as anyone with any real IT expertise back then would have explained that 97% or more of hardware crashes generate software problems (for obvious reasons).

    visitor , March 18, 2017 at 9:16 am

    A major issue is that those incapable politicians do rely upon experts, but they have consistently selected experts not on their track record (such as how good economists were at predicting the evolution of the economy, or how good political scientists were at predicting the evolution of communist or Arab societies), but on whether pronouncements of experts corresponded to their ideological preconceptions and justified their intended policies.

    A bit like rejecting physicians' diagnoses when they do not suit you and preferring the cure of a quack.

    voislav , March 18, 2017 at 8:28 am

    This is not restricted to economists, it pervasive in science in general. I can't remember how many times I got a paper for peer review where I couldn't figure out what the person was trying to say because they layered the jargon ten levels deep. This is in chemistry, so things are typically straightforward, no need for convoluted explanations and massaging of the data.

    But people still do it because that's the culture that they've been educated in, a scientific paper has to be high-brow, using obscure words and complicated sentences.

    Steve Ruis , March 18, 2017 at 8:55 am

    I think it is as simple as: if you create something that justifies the behaviors of the rich and powerful, you have something to sell and willing buyers. If you create something that delegitimizes the behaviors of the rich and powerful, you not only have no willing patrons but you have made powerful enemies.

    It is the law of supply and demand for pretentious bullshit.

    Paul Hirschman , March 18, 2017 at 9:03 am

    So in the end, we wind up with Say's Law anyway, since creating a "low wages" sector is exactly how Say's Law functions–supply creates its own demand because declining wages means investment spending can increase, which keeps aggregate demand where it needs to be for full employment.

    This is the solution, we are told, to Keynes "sticky prices." Jim Grant makes this very argument in his book about the "short-lived" crisis of the early 1920s. Leave workers exposed to starvation long enough and they'll work for next- to-nothing. The solution to James O'Connor's Fiscal Crisis of the State is to clean house in a big way, a very big way. Put everyone out on the street and start all over again. (Everyone but the 1% of course.)

    It's Andrew Mellon's advice for getting out of the Depression: "liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate it will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up from less competent people."

    The Reserve Army of Labor saves the Capitalist Day, once again. (Except for the little problem that the 1% won't accept their own liquidation, so Goldman Sachs and the rest must be exempted from the purging–which means that the purging can't work.)

    Back to managing stagnation.

    Paul Hirschman , March 18, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Managing stagnation is what we have "experts" for in the first place.

    sgt_doom , March 18, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Not too long before he died, Paul Samuelson said: "Maybe I was wrong on the subject of jobs offshoring." (I.e., maybe offshoring all the jobs and dismantling the US economy wasn't so intelligent after all!)

    Just finished a book called, The Death of Expertise , by a professor of national security (oh give me a frigging break!!!!), Tom Nichols.

    Biggest pile of crapola I have ever read! The author was also yearning for the days when "experts" were blindly followed!

    Sandwichman , March 18, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    C. Wright Mills called them "crackpot realists."

    marku52 , March 18, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    It's all a part and parcel of the meritocracy. If you don't have a degree in Econ, your opinion doesn't matter about why your job moved to China. If you don't have a degree in Urban Planning, you don't get to comment on how the city wants to tear down the park and put up condos.

    Altandmain , March 18, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    The answer is that said "experts" have failed the general public miserably.

    Their advice helped lead to this 2008 Financial Crisis. The promise of neoliberalism was faster growth. It did not happen. Quite the opposite. It gave the rich intellectual cover to loot society. That"s what this was always about.

    Now people wonder, why they don't trust "experts"?

    Then there's the matter of the Iraq War. Another example. Many foreign policy "experts", particularly affiliated with the neoconservative assured the American people that invading Iraq would be easy to do and lead to lots of long term benefits. Others insisted, despite evidence to the contrary, that Saddam was developing weapons of mass destruction. Now look at where we are. No WMDs, long and cost war, with no long-term solutions. Many of said "experts" later endorsed Clinton.

    We do not need pro-Establishment experts who sell themselves out to enrich themselves. We need experts who act in the public interest.

    [Mar 17, 2017] Orwells 1984 was not a complete work of fiction, but a successful blueprint for full statist control

    Notable quotes:
    "... His book Animal Farm was a satire on Stalin and Trotsky and 1984 * gave readers a glimpse into what would happen if the government controlled every detail of a person's life, down to their own private thoughts. (*online bio). The battles in Europe were life and death with the goal of survival. ..."
    "... We are now programed (propagandized) from pre school to the home for the elderly. We are initially taught as children, continue through college, and are forever conditioned by media such as TV, Movies, Radio, Newspapers and Advertising our entire lives. The younger generations are not taught to think independently or critically but instead indoctrinated with pre packaged knowledge 'propaganda' while older generations assess outcomes from a different perspective. There is as a result, a clash within the society which we are experiencing today. ..."
    "... 1984 was about controlling the news and airwaves. Farenheit 451 was about burning history. The two go hand in hand. ..."
    "... The similarity of the major networks evening "news" programs has given rise to a report that, each day, a list of ten or twelve "acceptable" news stories is prepared by British Intelligence in London for the networks, teletyped to Washington, where the CIA routinely approves it, and then delivered to the networks. ..."
    "... The "selectivity" of the broadcasters has never been in doubt. Edith Efron, in "The News Twisters," (Manor Books, N.Y., 1972) cites TV Guide's interview with David Brinkley, April 11, 1964, with Brinkley's declaration that "News is what I say it is. It's something worth knowing by my standards." This was merely vainglorious boasting on Brinkley's part, as he merely reads the news stories previously selected for him. ..."
    "... "REMEMBER THE MAINE!" That false flag headline is over a century old. ..."
    "... Next time you are in a Best Buy.. go up to the Geek Squad guy and say... "So how does it feel to work for the CIA " ..."
    "... Fuck the Washington Post. As Katherine Austin Fitts has suggested, it is essentially the CIA's Facebook wall. The same could be said of the NYT as well. ..."
    "... James Rosen from Fox, he was at a state dept briefing with that little weasel Kirby, and Kirby stated that the negotiations over the Iran "deal" were all overt and "above the table." He remembered, tho, a briefing years earlier from the witch Psaki, who stated that sometimes, in interests of expedience, aspects of the negotiations are not made public. ..."
    "... Rosen goes back to state dept video archives, finds out that his whole exchange with Psaki has been erased. Weasel Kirby, when asked how this happened, who did it, who ordered it, blames it on a "technical glitch." ..."
    Mar 11, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

    FreedomWriter -> TheWrench , Mar 11, 2017 10:12 AM

    Snowflakes should also learn the depressing fact that Orwell's 1984 was not a complete work of fiction, but a successful blueprint for full statist control.

    Orwell was dying of tuberculosis when he wrote "1984" and passed away after its publication in 1949. Once you have their attention and they have read the book, it is time to show snowflakes the MANY obvious parallels between Orwellian concepts and modern society.

    NEWSPEAK AND THOUGHT CRIME

    You can start with soft targets like Newspeak (today's examples include gems like cis-gender labels and other politically correct BS).

    Now move to the "thought police" and thought crime in general.

    Explain how thought and speech crime keep the globalist model alive and ticking by discouraging independent thought and discussion.

    Explain how state-financed institutions seek to implant these concepts at an early age and onwards into university education.

    Provide real-life newspeak and double-think examples, such as "police-action" "regime-change", "coalition of the willing" and "collateral damage". Show how these are really just PC euphemisms for "wars of aggression" and "murder". If you have a picture of a droned wedding party handy, now is the time to use it.

    Also mention people who have been silenced, prosecuted or even killed for committing "hate crimes" or other political blasphemies. Explain how this often occurs while they are standing up for or using their constitutionally protected human rights.

    Name some of these people: Randy and Vicki Weaver, David Koresh, Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders, Julian Assange, William Binney, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning

    Show them how this trend is ongoing both in the USA and abroad, and is primarily being deployed against populist politicians who promote more individual rights and reduced state control over citizens. Ask them whether or not they can see a pattern developing here.

    Above all, d on't waste time with cheap shots at identity politics and its absurd labelling. This will just polarize the more brainwashed members of your audience. Stick to the nitty gritty and irrefutable facts.

    And be very careful here, because if they have insufficient vocabulary to understand or critique what you are saying, you will lose them. Which was the whole point of Newspeak. Of course you can use this failed learning opportunity to demonstrate just how successful the Newspeak program has been.

    TELESCREENS

    Tell them about the real life "Telescreens" that can now listen to you, even when turned off. Name one of their known manufacturers: Samsung and users: Central Intelligence Agency

    Show them how these same telescreens are used to pump out constant lies from the MSM whenever they are turned on. Name some of these organizations: CNN, BBC, MSNBC, FOX, etc.

    MASS SURVEILLANCE and the "PANOPTICON"

    Talk to them about the modern surveillance state and how it will always be abused by corporate globalists and corrupt elites.

    Describe how mass-surveillance service providers (MSSPs) and MSM stooges have become obscenely rich and powerful as the real-life proles (who were 85% of the population in "1984") struggle to put food on the table, pay their debts, find a decent job or buy a home. Tell them to find out how much wealth is owned by 8 very wealthy people relative to the poorest half of the world, and how this trend is accelerating. Name a few of them: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Carlos Slim, etc.

    Show how the previously enacted, totalitarian US policies, programs and laws have been extensively deployed, lobbied for, used and abused by the very Big-Brothers (Clinton and Obama) they so adored. Even George W is swooning progressives again.

    Name some of these policies, programs and laws: Patriot Act, SOPA, US Telecommunications Act, FISA, Echelon, PRISM, and Umbrage

    Explain why this whole surveillance system, its operators and proponents must be completely dismantled and reined in or imprisoned, unless we wish all whistle blowers, dissidents and normal citizens to end up like Winston Smith.

    ETERNAL WAR AND THE BROTHERHOOD

    Explain how eternal war keeps the proles from getting too restless and questioning their leaders. How it leads to modern strategic idiocies like "Osama Bin Laden and the Mujahedeen are steadfast allies against Russian totalitarianism, which is why the CIA needs to give them Stingers" (aka Operation Cyclone). Or the illegal provision of arms and funds to countries with questionable human rights records (KSA, Iran, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Israel.....)

    Explain how this leads to, nay requires, state-propagated lies like WMD to justify illegal military actions against sovereign nation states like Iraq, Libya and Syria.

    Show how 9/11 was used to target a former-ally Osama and his Taliban brotherhood and prepare the terrain for eternal war, even though the real criminals were actually in DC, Riyadh and other world capitals. Explain how letting Osama escape from Tora Bora was all part of this intricate plan for the PNAC, until he finally outlived his usefulness as a bogeyman. If they disagree, ask for their counter-argument and proofs.

    Explain how these same criminals then made a financial killing when our real life Oceania went to war bigly with Eastasia. How this resulted in over a million civilian deaths (half of them children), around 80,000 terrorists and perhaps 10,000 uniformed soldiers/contractors. Show them videos where US officials justify this slaughter as "worth it", unimportant or irrelevant. Ask what kind of individuals could even say these things or let them happen. If they can't answer, name a few: Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

    At this point, you may need to take a break as listeners will soon have trouble distinguishing between real-life events and those in Orwell's book.

    WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

    Next, explain how real, imagined or simulated terrorist outrages can be manipulated to influence electorates. This is done by creating or allowing atrocities that frighten citizens into seeking "safety". These citizens will then vote in corrupt, globalist leaders who promise to keep them safe. These same leaders can then curtail freedoms in their previously democratic, freedom-loving nation states. New terrorist threats can always be used to justify more restrictions on free movement and state-mandated invasions of personal privacy.

    If your snowflakes don't agree with this, name some leaders responsible for bad laws, policies and the ensuing restrictions on civil liberties:

    Tony Blair, George W Bush, Angela Merkel, Theresa May and Francois Hollande.

    Name some events as well: Oklahoma City, 911, 7/7 Sandy Hook, 11-M

    Also mention that the USA has not waged a single legal, constitutional, Congress-declared war since 1945. But that the USA has been involved in hot or cold wars for all but 5 of the past 71 years.

    HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

    Tell them that Orwell's original book title was actually "1944" (already past), but that his publisher vetoed this choice saying it could hurt sales.

    Then explain how 1944-45 was actually the perfect crucible for the divisive, right-left political paradigm we live in today and many of the concepts presciently described in Orwell's chilling masterpiece.

    EPILOGUE

    Tell them everything, until their brains hurt, their eyes water and their ears bleed.

    Eventually even the iciest snowflakes will get it.

    Of course, some will cry, and some will have temper tantrums and meltdowns.

    But a few might just wake up, start reading real books and get a proper education.

    This is when the healing can begin.

    Those thinking a career in gender-diversity-issue management is still the way forward may figure it out later, God help them. Until then, we should just pity them.

    dearth vader , Mar 11, 2017 5:03 AM

    Ira Levin's "This Perfect Day" (1970) is from the same dystopian mold. In the late Eighties, my then teenage daughter kept reading it, till it literally fell apart.

    How technology has "advanced"! People in this phantasy had to wear bracelets with which they checked in and out of buildings and areas. Reality always seems to surpass the imaginative powers of SF-writers.

    Maestro Maestro , Mar 11, 2017 5:16 AM

    The problem is not your government.

    YOU are the problem.

    Your government is not populated by reptilians from outer space. The politicians and the bankers, lawyers are YOUR sons and daughters. You gave birth to them, you educated them, you taught them their values.

    YOU pull the trigger when the government says KILL! YOU vote Democrat or Republican EVERY TIME. Yet you have the temerity to blame them when you don't get what you wanted.

    Scum,

    Hitler didn't kill anyone as fas as we know, in WWII. People [YOU] killed people. You blame the Jews because the wars they incite you to fight result in blowback to you. Why do you blame them because YOU jumped when they said JUMP! YOU are the ones flying the fighter jets and firing the tank shells against foreign populations living 10,000 miles away from your land, and who have not attacked you. NO ONE does anything unless they wanted to, in the first place. In any case, YOU are responsible for YOUR actions. This we all know.

    Even your own money the US dollar is illegal according to your own US Constitution (Article 1, Section 10) yet you commit mass murder and mass torture throughout the world in order to impose it on everyone?

    Fuck you, American.

    BrownCoat , Mar 11, 2017 6:59 AM

    The liberals are promoting the book (Nineteen Eighty-Four). IMO, that's great! Orwell's book is a classic and accurately describes features in our current society.

    The downside is that the liberals won't understand it . They are promoting the idea that Trump is a fascist. They don't see that they themselves are fascists (albeit a different brand of fascism). Ironic that the book could help them see past the indoctrinated haze of their perspective, but it won't. The future, from my perspective, is a boot stamping on a human face forever.

    Robert of Ottawa -> BrownCoat , Mar 11, 2017 8:09 AM

    Fascism as a style of government rather than philosophy .

    RevIdahoSpud3 , Mar 11, 2017 9:07 AM

    I read 1984 in 1960 as a freshman in HS. Spent the next 24 years waiting. I don't remember details but I do remember it was upsetting at the time to picture my future as depicted by Orwell. It might be more interesting to me now to go back to the publishing date and study the paradigm that Orwell lived under to get a perspective of his mindset. He wasn't a US citizen. He was born in India, moved to England with his mother, had little contact with his father, was sickly and lonely as a child and suffered from tuberculosis as an adult, served in Burma for five years as a policeman, fought Soviet backed Communsts in the Spanish Civil War, fought Facism, believed in Democratic socialism or Classless socialism.

    His book Animal Farm was a satire on Stalin and Trotsky and 1984 * gave readers a glimpse into what would happen if the government controlled every detail of a person's life, down to their own private thoughts. (*online bio). The battles in Europe were life and death with the goal of survival.

    The European cauldron produced or nurtured, IMO, the seeds of most social evils that exist today. In Orwell's era society was changing and reacting to the Machine age which was followed by the Atomic age, the Space age and to the current Information age. He died in 1950 but in his environment, the Machine age is where he related. The forces (of evil) at work in his era still exist today with the additions of the changes brought by the later ages. We don't contend with the physical (at least not initially) conquerors such as the Genghis Khan, Mohamed, Alexander, Roman conquest etc. of the past but the compulsion of others to control our lives still exists just in different forms. We as a society react or comply and have the same forces to deal with as did Orwell but also those that resulted in the later eras. 1984 was actually the preview of the information age that Orwell didn't experience.

    We are now programed (propagandized) from pre school to the home for the elderly. We are initially taught as children, continue through college, and are forever conditioned by media such as TV, Movies, Radio, Newspapers and Advertising our entire lives. The younger generations are not taught to think independently or critically but instead indoctrinated with pre packaged knowledge 'propaganda' while older generations assess outcomes from a different perspective. There is as a result, a clash within the society which we are experiencing today.

    Through the modern (at least recorded) ages the underlying force no matter what era humans lived through was the conflict of...religion. In the name or names of God and whose god is the true god and which god will rule. Even in the most 'godless' societies it is the underlying force. There are many who do not believe in god or a god and by extension should or do not believe in satin. Good vs Evil? It's always there, although we are encouraged not to mention it?

    Can't say I need another go at 1984 from Costco but I do need another indoor/outdoor vacuum and right now they have one with a manufacturers discount of $5. See you there!

    Collectivism Killz , Mar 11, 2017 9:24 AM

    1984 is really just a knock off of Evgeny Zemyatin's "We," which is frankly a better account of dystopian authoritarianism from someone who wrote shortly after the Russian Revolution.

    FrankDrakman -> Collectivism Killz , Mar 11, 2017 9:39 AM

    This is not true. Orwell's book touched on major points, such as the destruction of people's ability to communicate real ideas by perversion and simplification of language, that are not discussed elsewhere. It is a unique and disturbing view of totalitarian regimes.

    Atomizer , Mar 11, 2017 10:22 AM

    Tyler, your missing the point. 1984 was about controlling the news and airwaves. Farenheit 451 was about burning history. The two go hand in hand.

    Fahrenheit 451 (1966) Full Movie | Julie Christie ...

    Nobodys Home , Mar 11, 2017 10:23 AM

    Manipulation of the news is not new folks:

    The similarity of the major networks evening "news" programs has given rise to a report that, each day, a list of ten or twelve "acceptable" news stories is prepared by British Intelligence in London for the networks, teletyped to Washington, where the CIA routinely approves it, and then delivered to the networks.

    The "selectivity" of the broadcasters has never been in doubt. Edith Efron, in "The News Twisters," (Manor Books, N.Y., 1972) cites TV Guide's interview with David Brinkley, April 11, 1964, with Brinkley's declaration that "News is what I say it is. It's something worth knowing by my standards." This was merely vainglorious boasting on Brinkley's part, as he merely reads the news stories previously selected for him.

    Sinophile -> Nobodys Home , Mar 11, 2017 11:33 AM

    "REMEMBER THE MAINE!" That false flag headline is over a century old.

    Dragon HAwk , Mar 11, 2017 10:53 AM

    Next time you are in a Best Buy.. go up to the Geek Squad guy and say... "So how does it feel to work for the CIA "

    Al Bondiga , Mar 11, 2017 11:13 AM

    Fuck the Washington Post. As Katherine Austin Fitts has suggested, it is essentially the CIA's Facebook wall. The same could be said of the NYT as well.

    SurfinUSA , Mar 11, 2017 1:37 PM

    Bezos has no problem selling "1984" on Amazon. https://tinyurl.com/hdmhu75 He's collecting the sales price and sticking it in his pocket. He's not making a joke out of it. Bezos is a lunatic. The Washington Post is full of shit. End of story.

    Amy G. Dala -> SurfinUSA , Mar 11, 2017 2:23 PM

    James Rosen from Fox, he was at a state dept briefing with that little weasel Kirby, and Kirby stated that the negotiations over the Iran "deal" were all overt and "above the table." He remembered, tho, a briefing years earlier from the witch Psaki, who stated that sometimes, in interests of expedience, aspects of the negotiations are not made public.

    Rosen goes back to state dept video archives, finds out that his whole exchange with Psaki has been erased. Weasel Kirby, when asked how this happened, who did it, who ordered it, blames it on a "technical glitch."

    It's a slippery fuckin slope. Only now the progressives are finding relevance in 1984?

    [Mar 17, 2017] Did former President Barack Obama use a British spy agency and if yes, in what capacity

    Mar 17, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    Fred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs... March 17, 2017 at 07:58 PM
    Britain Livid on Spying Claim, but Trump Isn't Apologizing

    White House aides scrambled to deal with an unusual rupture after suggesting that former President Barack Obama used a British spy agency to wiretap Donald J. Trump during the campaign.

    At a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mr. Trump made clear that he felt the White House had nothing to retract.

    Trump Offers No Apology for Claim on British Spying https://nyti.ms/2nzpTHO

    NYT - PETER BAKER and STEVEN ERLANGER - March 17

    WASHINGTON - President Trump provoked a rare public dispute with America's closest ally on Friday after his White House aired an explosive and unsubstantiated claim that Britain's spy agency had secretly eavesdropped on him at the behest of President Barack Obama during last year's campaign.

    Livid British officials adamantly denied the allegation and secured promises from senior White House officials never to repeat it. But a defiant Mr. Trump refused to back down, making clear that the White House had nothing to retract or apologize for because his spokesman had simply repeated an assertion made by a Fox News commentator. Fox itself later disavowed the report. ...

    libezkova -> Fred C. Dobbs..., March 17, 2017 at 07:59 PM
    Repeating myself:

    == quote ==

    libezkova -> DeDude...

    "He really is a moron."

    this equally applied to those with the virulent fixation on Russia completely out of control.

    == end of quote ==

    Neoliberal DemoRats might pay dearly for this "poisoning of the well" trick -- McCarthyism witch hunt.

    We need to remember that corruption of politician is sine qua non of neoliberalism. "Greed is good" completely replaced 10 Commandments.

    But the first rule of living in a glass house that modern Internet provides (in cooperation with intelligence agencies, Google, Microsoft and Facebook) is not to throw stones.

    Russia is not Serra Leon with rockets. I am afraid that Russia might have a lot of info about corruption of major Democratic politicians as most of them took bribes from Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs (whom they essentially created) and some (old Clinton "associates" like Summers) closely participated in "great economic rape of Russia" of 1991-2000. All neatly recorded and waiting their hour for release.

    At some point Putin's nerves might break and he can order to release this information. Then what ?

    [Mar 17, 2017] Trump Responds To Obama Wiretap Question At Least Merkel And I Have Something In Common Zero Hedge

    Mar 17, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

    Following today's latest developments over Trump's allegations that the UK's GCHQ may or may not have helped Obama to wiretap the Trump Tower, an allegation which the infuriated British Spy Agency called "utterly ridiculous" and prompted it to demand an apology from the White House, a German reporter asked Trump for his current opinion on whether Obama had indeed wiretapped Trump. The president's response: he gestured to Angela Merkel and said " on wiretapping by this past administration, at least we have something in common."

    "At least we have something in common, perhaps": Trump addresses wiretapping claim in news conference with Merkel https://t.co/xSd5c02Crh pic.twitter.com/wrF6cJ4jEE

    - CNN International (@cnni) March 17, 2017

    Trump doubles down on unsubstantiated wiretapping claims, says he & Merkel 'have something in common, perhaps' https://t.co/MmUIzRWyjR pic.twitter.com/pF466XfMtC

    - CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) March 17, 2017

    Merkel's reaction was similarly amusing: almost as if she had heard for the first time that in 2010, and for years onward, Barack Obama had been wiretapping her and countless other heads of state.

    For those unsure what the exchange was about, we suggest you read the Telegraph's " Barack Obama 'approved tapping Angela Merkel's phone 3 years ago'... President Barack Obama was told about monitoring of German Chancellor in 2010 and allowed it to continue, says German newspaper ."

    And incidentally, in yet another change in the official narrative, after both Sky News and the Telegraph reported earlier today that the White House had apologized to Britain over the accusation that its spy agency had helped Obama spy on Trump, the NYT reported that the White House has said there was no apology from either Spicer or McMaster, and that instead the Administration defended Spicer's mention of the wiretapping story.

    WH now sez there was no apology to Brits from @PressSec /McMaster; they fielded complaints & defended Spicer's mention of wiretapping story

    - Julie Davis (@juliehdavis) March 17, 2017

    Finally, as Axios adds , after Trump and Merkel left the stage reporters again asked Sean Spicer whether he apologized for repeating an anonymously sourced Fox News claim that British intelligence helped in wiretapping Trump Tower. His response: " I don't think we regret anything. "

    [Mar 17, 2017] The Never-Ending War in Afghanistan

    Permanent war for permanent peace
    Notable quotes:
    "... What are we to make of the chasm between effort expended and results achieved? Why on those increasingly infrequent occasions when Afghanistan attracts notice do half-truths and pettifoggery prevail, rather than hard-nosed assessments? Why has Washington ceased to care about the Afghan war? ..."
    "... The answer, it seems to me, is this: As with budget deficits or cost overruns on weapons purchases, members of the national security apparatus - elected and appointed officials, senior military officers and other policy insiders - accept war as a normal condition. ..."
    "... Once, the avoidance of war figured as a national priority. On those occasions when war proved unavoidable, the idea was to end the conflict as expeditiously as possible on favorable terms. ..."
    "... These precepts no longer apply.... ..."
    "... As of August 2016, the US has already appropriated, spent, or taken on obligations to spend more than $3.6 trillion in current dollars on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria and on Homeland Security (2001 through fiscal year 2016). To this total should be added the approximately $65 billion in dedicated war spending the Department of Defense and State Department have requested for the next fiscal year, 2017, along with an additional nearly $32 billion requested for the Department of Homeland Security in 2017, and estimated spending on veterans in future years. When those are included, the total US budgetary cost of the wars reaches $4.79 trillion. ..."
    "... When was the last time you saw a major economist...or a prominent Democrat complain about wasteful 'defense' spending? ..."
    Mar 14, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    anne : March 13, 2017 at 05:04 AM , 2017 at 05:04 AM

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/13/opinion/the-never-ending-war-in-afghanistan.html

    March 12, 2017

    The Never-Ending War in Afghanistan
    By ANDREW J. BACEVICH

    BOSTON - Remember Afghanistan? The longest war in American history? Ever?

    When it comes to wars, we Americans have a selective memory. The Afghan war, dating from October 2001, has earned the distinction of having been forgotten while still underway.

    President Trump's Inaugural Address included no mention of Afghanistan. Nor did his remarks last month at a joint session of Congress. For the new commander in chief, the war there qualifies at best as an afterthought - assuming, that is, he has thought about it all.

    A similar attitude prevails on Capitol Hill. Congressional oversight has become pro forma. Last week Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of Central Command, told Congress that the Pentagon would probably need more troops in Afghanistan, a statement that seemed to catch politicians and reporters by surprise - but that was old news to anyone who's been paying attention to the conflict.

    And that's the problem. It doesn't seem that anyone is. At the Senate hearings on the nomination of James Mattis as defense secretary, Afghanistan barely came up.

    To be fair, Mr. Mattis did acknowledge that "our country is still at war in Afghanistan," albeit without assessing the war's prospects. In response to a comment by Senator John McCain, the Armed Services Committee chairman, that "we are in serious trouble in Afghanistan," Mr. Mattis merely allowed that the Taliban had "eroded some of our successes."

    That was it. No further follow up. Other members of the committee, Republican and Democratic, focused on more pressing concerns like seeking to induce Mr. Mattis to endorse military programs and installations in their home state.

    The military brass deserves some of the blame. Soon after Mr. Mattis's hearing, Gen. John Nicholson, the latest in a long line of American commanders to have presided over the Afghan mission, arrived in Washington to report on its progress. While conceding that the conflict is stalemated, General Nicholson doggedly insisted that it is a "stalemate where the equilibrium favors the government." Carefully avoiding terms like "victory" or "win," he described his strategy as "hold-fight-disrupt." He ventured no guess on when the war might end.

    All of this flies in the face of what the conflict in Afghanistan has become, a reality made clear in a recent report from the Defense Department's special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction.

    Despite appropriating over three-quarters of a trillion dollars on Afghanistan since 2001, Afghan security forces continue to be plagued by the problem of inflated rolls, with local commanders pocketing American-supplied funds to pay for nonexistent soldiers; according to the report, "The number of troops fighting alongside 'ghost soldiers' is a fraction of the men required for the fight."

    Large-scale corruption persists, with Afghanistan third from the bottom in international rankings, ahead of only Somalia and North Korea. Adjusted for inflation, American spending to reconstruct Afghanistan now exceeds the total expended to rebuild all of Western Europe under the Marshall Plan; yet to have any hope of surviving, the Afghan government will for the foreseeable future remain almost completely dependent on outside support.

    And things are getting worse. Although the United States has invested $70 billion in rebuilding Afghan security forces, only 63 percent of the country's districts are under government control, with significant territory lost to the Taliban over the past year. Though the United States has spent $8.5 billion to battle narcotics in Afghanistan, opium production there has reached an all-time high.

    For this, over the past 15 years, nearly 2,400 American soldiers have died, and 20,000 more have been wounded.

    What are we to make of the chasm between effort expended and results achieved? Why on those increasingly infrequent occasions when Afghanistan attracts notice do half-truths and pettifoggery prevail, rather than hard-nosed assessments? Why has Washington ceased to care about the Afghan war?

    The answer, it seems to me, is this: As with budget deficits or cost overruns on weapons purchases, members of the national security apparatus - elected and appointed officials, senior military officers and other policy insiders - accept war as a normal condition.

    Once, the avoidance of war figured as a national priority. On those occasions when war proved unavoidable, the idea was to end the conflict as expeditiously as possible on favorable terms.

    These precepts no longer apply....

    anne -> anne... , March 13, 2017 at 05:06 AM
    http://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2016/Costs%20of%20War%20through%202016%20FINAL%20final%20v2.pdf

    September, 2016

    US Budgetary Costs of Wars through 2016: $4.79 Trillion and Counting
    Summary of Costs of the US Wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan and Homeland Security

    By Neta C. Crawford

    Summary

    Wars cost money before, during and after they occur - as governments prepare for, wage, and recover from them by replacing equipment, caring for the wounded and repairing the infrastructure destroyed in the fighting. Although it is rare to have a precise accounting of the costs of war - especially of long wars - one can get a sense of the rough scale of the costs by surveying the major categories of spending.

    As of August 2016, the US has already appropriated, spent, or taken on obligations to spend more than $3.6 trillion in current dollars on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria and on Homeland Security (2001 through fiscal year 2016). To this total should be added the approximately $65 billion in dedicated war spending the Department of Defense and State Department have requested for the next fiscal year, 2017, along with an additional nearly $32 billion requested for the Department of Homeland Security in 2017, and estimated spending on veterans in future years. When those are included, the total US budgetary cost of the wars reaches $4.79 trillion.

    But of course, a full accounting of any war's burdens cannot be placed in columns on a ledger. From the civilians harmed or displaced by violence, to the soldiers killed and wounded, to the children who play years later on roads and fields sown with improvised explosive devices and cluster bombs, no set of numbers can convey the human toll of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or how they have spilled into the neighboring states of Syria and Pakistan, and come home to the US and its allies in the form of wounded veterans and contractors. Yet, the expenditures noted on government ledgers are necessary to apprehend, even as they are so large as to be almost incomprehensible....

    JohnH -> anne... , March 13, 2017 at 08:05 AM
    Thanks, anne. Seems that most economists turn a blind eye when it comes to 'defense' spending and its crowding out of spending for social programs.

    When was the last time you saw a major economist...or a prominent Democrat complain about wasteful 'defense' spending?

    [Mar 17, 2017] Chickenhawks from Kagan family

    Notable quotes:
    "... "The Warrior Kagan Family", that must have been Greenwald's big joke, I hope. Those people give a meaning to the name chickenhawks, they would not know from which end a gun fires, but they certainly know how to get millions killed by others. ..."
    "... Their money ensures that their aggressive writings still get published in the usual Deep State media. I particularly liked a touch of light humor by Mr Parry: "There was also hope that a President Hillary Clinton would recognize how sympatico the liberal hawks and the neocons were by promoting Robert Kagan's neocon wife, Victoria Nuland, to Secretary of State." ..."
    "... What is troublesome is with the Kagan's screaming out, 'watch the Russians, beware of the Russians' and with the 24/7 MSM alarm bells going off over Russia, will the Trump Adminstration need to craft their foreign policy around the likes of these Russia Haters? ..."
    "... The common denominator is profit and increased market share fueled by greed ..Part of the blame can be laid at the feet of the average USA investor who fuels the stock market looking for the best return on his/her money. ..."
    "... After finding this early warning essay by Cartalucci I have often wondered that if our MSM were to have scooped this kind of news regarding the travels of Senator John McCain would the tragedy of Benghazi have never happened. ..."
    "... http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2012/03/john-mccain-founding-father-of.html ..."
    "... Plus this article adds insight to how the Deep State operates. McCain should be the one held for high treason, but as things are that will never happen. The more you may learn the more you may find that Donald Trump seems to be less of a problem than we all know. Now that isn't an endorsement of Trump, as much as it is a heads up to notice who all is behind the curtain. ..."
    "... I recommend reading the latest blog by Moon of Alabama and enlightened comments. You will get further details on what the Kagans' plans are – what they would have done for sure under their L'Amour Toujours, Clinton as President. ..."
    "... I read that moonofalabama, b is always right on. In fact b and Robert Parry are excellent examples of how 'small' is good. http://journal-neo.org/2017/03/15/us-expands-defacto-syrian-invasion/ The above article by Tony Cartalucci is along the same lines as moonofalabama. ..."
    "... Excellent point – how to quickly recognise psychopaths: "psychopathy is the habit of using emotionally loaded language in tones which betray no actual connection to the content". A large proportion of our politicians fit the description. ..."
    "... "I noted two years ago in an article entitled "A Family Business of Perpetual War": "Neoconservative pundit Robert Kagan and his wife, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, run a remarkable family business: she has sparked a hot war in Ukraine and helped launch Cold War II with Russia and he steps in to demand that Congress jack up military spending so America can meet these new security threats. This extraordinary husband-and-wife duo makes quite a one-two punch for the Military-Industrial Complex, an inside-outside team that creates the need for more military spending, applies political pressure to ensure higher appropriations, and watches as thankful weapons manufacturers lavish grants on like-minded hawkish Washington think tanks." ..."
    "... "the so-called "#Resistance" to Trump's presidency and President Obama's unprecedented use of his intelligence agencies to paint Trump as a Russian "Manchurian candidate" gave new hope to the neocons and their agenda. It has taken them a few months to reorganize and regroup but they now see hope in pressuring Trump so hard regarding Russia that he will have little choice but to buy into their belligerent schemes. As often is the case, the Family Kagan has charted the course of action – batter Republicans into joining the all-out Russia-bashing and then persuade a softened Trump to launch a full-scale invasion of Syria. In this endeavor, the Kagans have Democrats and liberals as the foot soldiers." ..."
    "... For instance, Robert's brother Frederick works at the American Enterprise Institute, which has long benefited from the largesse of the Military-Industrial Complex, and his wife Kimberly runs her own think tank called the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). ..."
    "... Andrew Bacevich referred to Kagan as "the chief neoconservative foreign-policy theorist" in reviewing Kagan's book The Return of history and the end of dreams.[21] ..."
    "... Here's Andrew Bacevich's 2014 piece on the Kagans: https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/duplicity-ideologues ..."
    "... But Mr Parry, I think it will also be interesting to examine the 'Vault 7' disclosure with regards to this Russia bashing. If the CIA has the ability to put out any email or documentation without a trail as to its origin, the Kagans could be shown as the charlatans they are if it was the CIA who meddled with the US election. ..."
    "... "The US military will try to take Raqqa from ISIS with the help of the Kurds in coordination with Syrian government forces. The Syrian government will also destroy al Qaeda in Idleb. The chance that Trump will pick up on any of these neo-con plans is practically zero. But who knows?" ..."
    "... On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show, Friedman demanded that the Russia hacking allegations be treated as a casus belli: "That was a 9/11 scale event. They attacked the core of our democracy. That was a Pearl Harbor scale event." Both Pearl Harbor and 9/11 led to wars. ..."
    "... It's just reported on Global Research that Russia has absorbed 2.5 million Ukrainian refugees since the US 2014 coup and Europe 900,000 more, according to a Kremlin parliamentarian in February. Thanks to Victoria Nuland! ..."
    "... Far too much money which MIC wants play with. ..and as Admiral Thomas Moorer commented, " No American President can stand up to Israel " ..."
    "... the virulent fixation on Russia is out of control. ..."
    Mar 17, 2017 | consortiumnews.com
    Bart in Virginia March 15, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    It's not the Family Kagan, but rather as Glenn Greenwald dubbed them, The Warrior Kagan Family with a trade mark sign as suffix.

    I'll bet Victoria resigned from State, seeing her future there granting visas in Baku.

    Thanks, Robert, I haven't had a Kagan fix in quite a while!

    Kiza , March 15, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    "The Warrior Kagan Family", that must have been Greenwald's big joke, I hope. Those people give a meaning to the name chickenhawks, they would not know from which end a gun fires, but they certainly know how to get millions killed by others.

    As to Mr Parry, calling them the American neocon royalty, it certainly is some foul-mouth royalty, telling another Zio servant EU to get f'ed.

    Thank you Robert Parry for a great article, just like Bart I was wondering what happened to the cookie distributing "royalty" after the Clinton fail. It is not surprising that they are now learning to manipulate outcomes from the opposition. Their money ensures that their aggressive writings still get published in the usual Deep State media. I particularly liked a touch of light humor by Mr Parry: "There was also hope that a President Hillary Clinton would recognize how sympatico the liberal hawks and the neocons were by promoting Robert Kagan's neocon wife, Victoria Nuland, to Secretary of State."

    Between the Clinton liberals and the Ziocons C'est une Affaire d'Amour Toujours , as Pepé Le Pew likes to say.

    Skip Edwards , March 15, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    "The Warrior Kagan Family", that must have been Greenwald's big joke, I hope. Those people give a meaning to the name chickenhawks, they would not know from which end a gun fires, but they certainly know how to get millions killed by others.

    I learned how to laugh again; and, at the expense of all those despicable Kagen's.

    Joe Tedesky , March 15, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    KIza there is good news inside Robert Parry's article if you look for it. One good thing is that Hillary isn't the president, and if she were one could only imagine what her and the Kagan's would be up to right now. The other piece of good news, is that the Kagan's are writing op-eds and not working for the Trump Adminstration.

    Now I have read somewhere where the U.S. is working with Russia, and that for the most part for now has to be done on the low key. Of course with news being 'fake' and all of that, who's to know?

    What is troublesome is with the Kagan's screaming out, 'watch the Russians, beware of the Russians' and with the 24/7 MSM alarm bells going off over Russia, will the Trump Adminstration need to craft their foreign policy around the likes of these Russia Haters?

    Cheney and Rumsfeld developed 'the Continuity of Government Program' and I'm wondering if that cast of characters could seep into the mix of things? Plus don't forget the ever reliable CIA. So with all of that working against you, one could only wonder if Ghandi and Jesus could do much better up against this evil array of villains.

    Joe Tedesky , March 16, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Here is something worth reading Tony Cartalucci explains the Deep State, and goes on to talk about how it may be defeated. Here's a hint, the world will not be run by the New World Order.

    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2017/03/exposing-real-deep-state.html

    John , March 16, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Very good link, Joe!! The common denominator is profit and increased market share fueled by greed ..Part of the blame can be laid at the feet of the average USA investor who fuels the stock market looking for the best return on his/her money. I would not look for much altruistic behavioral changes in human nature Greed is still the preferred method of operation .and firmly in control ..

    Common Tater , March 16, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Joe T.
    Excellent article, thanks!

    D5-5 , March 16, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Joe, many thanks for this powerful link on the deep state, and its explanation of the multi-polar conditions needed, and as happening, plus the link you supplied below related to what's going on in Syria, also clear and helpful.

    Joe Tedesky , March 16, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    I'm glad that you all found the link to be informative. I am posting another link to a Tony Cartalucci article that got my attention of his work a few years ago, and ever since I look forward to reading his reporting.

    This link is interesting for the fact that the original article was published March 2012 which was somewhere in the neighborhood of six months before the deadly attack took place in Benghazi. After finding this early warning essay by Cartalucci I have often wondered that if our MSM were to have scooped this kind of news regarding the travels of Senator John McCain would the tragedy of Benghazi have never happened.

    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2012/03/john-mccain-founding-father-of.html

    Plus this article adds insight to how the Deep State operates. McCain should be the one held for high treason, but as things are that will never happen. The more you may learn the more you may find that Donald Trump seems to be less of a problem than we all know. Now that isn't an endorsement of Trump, as much as it is a heads up to notice who all is behind the curtain.

    Curious , March 16, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Thanks for the two links Joe. I didn't think it was possible for me to dislike McCain more than I already did, but I was wrong. I did like Senator Pauls' comment about McCain today however. He basically said McCain is a perfect example of why we should have term limits in the Senate, which is so true.

    Kiza , March 16, 2017 at 12:24 am

    Oh no, I did not mean that it is bad news this is why I wrote that the Kagans are learning to spew hate from the opposition not from the government. Like D5-5, I recommend reading the latest blog by Moon of Alabama and enlightened comments. You will get further details on what the Kagans' plans are – what they would have done for sure under their L'Amour Toujours, Clinton as President.

    As to Jesus, he self-sacrificed himself to show the way out of human predicament. Jesus was fighting against such ideologues of hate and moneychangers as the Kagans, who are an exemplar of the mad-gleaming-eye-greedy-finger types so well known in the old Europe. Just observe the first photo to the article: she looks like she would murder just about any baby in the world to take her sweet candy.

    Joe Tedesky , March 16, 2017 at 1:08 am

    I read that moonofalabama, b is always right on. In fact b and Robert Parry are excellent examples of how 'small' is good.

    http://journal-neo.org/2017/03/15/us-expands-defacto-syrian-invasion/

    The above article by Tony Cartalucci is along the same lines as moonofalabama.

    At this stage of the game the best that I can put forward with, is we got to take one day at a time, in order to make sense of whatever the real news is going on inside Syria. From one article to another it's hard to tell who's fighting, or going to fight who. With the atmosphere here in America I'm waiting for an arrest to be made if you talk favorably about Russia, or Putin. Seriously, our MSM cable news networks are going hells bells on this Russian hacking, Russian tampering with our democracy, Russia has a puppet in the White House, Russia _______fill in the blank. We have gone totally nuts this time, and it looks like we are going to stay that way for awhile.

    I always like to ponder the politics that would have prevailed during the time of Jesus. If you get a grasp on that then Jesus really stands out better for what he was preaching too, and preaching against. I'm sure Herod or Ceasar had their Kagan's around in their day, and who knows how discreetly those ancient Kagan's could have whispered vile and nasty ideas of war and conquest into their leaders head. When it's all about power and money it's easy to lose ones head, or so they say. Let's all hope the Kagan's amount to be nothing more than sore losers.

    Peter Loeb , March 16, 2017 at 6:13 am

    WITH MCCAIN AS HELPER

    A good comment Joe Tedesky.

    As to Syria, we already have invaded and already plan more (see Defense Appropriation). Of interest would be Putin's response on the ground.

    (When Netanyahu went to Moskow to ask for help in getting Syria to reign in Iran, he was referred to the sovereign government of Syria! Is the current (and future) US invasion of the sovereign state of Syria at the invitation of the Syrian Government??

    Ans: No! See UN Charter on aggression, I think it is Article 4(2) if memory serves. Besides the current administration wants to make all its sins of commission such as drones done by the CIA. Which is to say covert and not accountable to anyone (such as DOD, White House etc.).Our invasion will evidently be
    accountable to Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    I am certain Moscow has a plan, a response (diplomatic or otherwise).

    Donald Trump likes war and being "Commander-in-Chief". All countries involved in war are always absolutely persuaded that their victory will be quick, easy etc.It also helps(??) the US economy as all wars have for hundreds of years. No one will oppose more money for defense. I have already contacted my Mass. Senators in regard to funds for the invasion of Syria as well as my Congressional Representative. (I expect little support. All lawgivers are dependent on AIPAC support )

    --Peter Loeb, Boston, M