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|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 the mind of ordinary American the term "Deep State" and "democracy" happily coexist. Most do not even understand that they are infected with what in famous George Orwell novel 1984 is called "Doublethink." The existence of uncontrollable elite in the form of the "Deep State" that core of which constitute Wall Street bankers, MIC and the top brass of the intelligence agencies is incompatible with the existence of the democracy, unless we assume that democracy exists for the top 1% or even less of the population. It is something like modernized feudalism for all the rest. This strange, but stable combination is called neoliberalism. As neoliberalism came to power with coup d'état facilitated by thinks tanks specifically created for this purpose (th army of "professional revolutionaries" in Bolsheviks terms ;-) neoliberalism and Deep State are closely interrelated. This interrelation is reflected in the Sheldon Wolin term "Inverted totalitarianism" which is the actual name of the somewhat strange social order established in the USA since 70th which US propaganda calls democracy.
In a way, the concept of Corporatism and the concept of "deep state" are very close. Corporatism presuppose the merger of government and corporations. It can be done openly as was the case in Mussolini Italy, or via back door including the "revolving door" mechanism as it was done in the USA. In both case corporations control the government, although in Mussolity case thier absolute power is moderated by the esitable of the fascist party with its program. In the latter case, the case of the USA inverted totalitarism regime a tiny part of power of the "surface state" is preserved. But enough to provid the legitimacy to the rule of the "Deep State" or "Inner Party in terms of Orwell dystopia 1984.
Deep State just adds another component to pre-existing since the end of WWII concept of military industrial complex (see Eisenhower warning about MIC which is a warning about the victory of corporatism in the USA ) -- intelligence agencies. With this addition elections became simply device to legitimize the governance of the current elite, with undesirable for the elite candidates filtered before they can compete in election by various means, including radical as was the case with JFK assassination. Elections serve just of Potemkin village legitimizing the candidate that was chosen by tiny elite (the top 1% or 0.1% depending on how you count).
With the exception of deep social crisis like was the case with election of Trump, who definitely was less preferred by the deep state candidate then Hillary Clinton but manage to win )or more correctly the faction of the elite that tanded behind Trump managed to win) due to the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA due to which the current elite lost legitimacy in the eyes of the majority of population. And, especially, working people and lower middle class which constitute the majority of voters. As many observers pointed out, the election fo Trump was essentially a middle finger shown to the current neoliberal elite in the USA, particularly the Clinton's wing of Democratic Party which betrayed working class as a part of "Clintonization" of the Party in early 90th duing which it became the party of Wall Street and later, under Obama, the second war party. The same happened with Labor Party in the UK under war criminal Blair.
Elections serve just of Potemkin village legitimizing the candidate that was chosen by tiny elite, an important part of which are now intelligence agencies, which acquired political role. The problem of control by the civil society of intelligence agencies so far is unresolved.
We can say that Deep State emerged simultaneously with powerful intelligence agencies after WWII. In case of the USA it was Truman who created added CIA to the roster of intelligence agencies and as such he can be called a godfather of the US deep state. This concept became more well known recently in view of color revolution against Trump launched by Clinton wing of Democratic party (so called "soft neoliberal" wing) in association the supporting them elements of intelligence agencies such as State Department, CIA and FBI.
The concept of the Deep State is related to the answer the another fundamental question: Can democracy exists in a state with powerful intelligence agencies like NSA, CIA, FBI (which plays the role of counterintelligence agency in the USA; look at Russiagate) and the State Department (which has functions, which duplicate those of CIA). Thus the concept of the "deep state" can be viewed as a reformulation of the iron law of oligarchy on a new level (state level), explaining the role of intelligence agencies as an immanent part of the ruling elite. For example, the neoliberals elite which rules the USA since late 70th (Carter not Reagan was the first neoliberal president of the USA).
|The concept of the Deep State is related to the answer the another fundamental question: Can democracy exists in a state with powerful intelligence agencies like NSA, CIA, FBI|
Intelligence agencies acquired a special status under corporatism. They became the backbone and the intellectual center of the Media-Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) which also now includes major Wall Street banks (which historically have very close ties with CIA; CIA was formed by lawyers which served their interests such as Allen Dulles). Under neoliberalism the financial oligarchy became an important part of MIC (especially oligarchy of such banks as Goldman Sachs and Citibank)becaue the power of the US military secure their global expansion. Recently Silicon Valley mega corporations also joined it. And all of them are closely connected to NSA and CIA (especially Amazon, Google and Facebook). In a way, military-industrial complex mutated into Media-Military-Financial-Industrial-Silicon Valley complex.
|This is a new unelected aristocracy with huge financial resources and zero accountability. Members of this clan stand above law and can't be easily demotes from their positions by civil authorities. They now are a new incarnation of the "royal court", or in more modern term Nomenklatura, which can, like in old times, to depose a monarch (or Supreme Leader) or even kill him.|
This is a new unelected aristocracy with huge financial resources and zero accountability. Members of this clan stand above law and can't be easily demotes from their positions by civil authorities (on intelligence agencies level, J. Edgar Hoover who managed to die in his official position, much like the USSR members of Politburo, is an excellent example here). They now are a new incarnation of the "royal court", or in more modern term Nomenklatura, which can, like in old times, to depose a monarch (or Supreme leader) or even kill him.
So in a way the concept of "deep state" implies and emphasizes the hypertrophied role of three letter agencies among unelected government bureaucracy. They are joined at the heap with financial oligarchy, MIC and Silicon Valley in national politics. Especially in formulating foreign policy. Influence of MIC on the US foreign policy is nothing new and power of neocon, who are, in essence, lobbyists of MIC attests that. They dominate the USA foreign policy since then end of WWII. After all one of the most plausible hypotheses of why JFK was killed ( most probably via CIA plot ) because his policies limited the power of intelligences agencies (especially CIA which he hated) and international expansion which Wall Street and MIC depended upon to maintain the current rate of profits.
But devil is always in details and some features of the USA Deep State are unique and different the deep state in other neoliberal countries such as EU, GB, Turkey, or Russia. BTW the term "deep state" originated in Turkey.
The "deep state" victory over voters and political dominance is always "incomplete." The "surface state" is still keeping some positions and periodically even try to counterattack deep state in certain areas (Church Committee.) Second, the merger of interests of three letter agencies like CIA/NSA/ FBI also has its own internal contradictions. For example NSA and CIA competes for funds. State Department, which is forth most important intelligence agency in the USA (and the oldest of all four) now lost its independence and can generally be viewed as a subsidiary of CIA, see Emailgate and Strzogate for details ). Alliance of CIA and Wall Street also can never be absolute. They have somewhat different worldviews on both the USA foreign policy priorities and methods of achieving them. Also there is a fierce competition between intelligence agencies for state resources, which pitch, for example, CIA against NSA and both of then against DIA (just look at Sacrifice of Michael Flynn to neocons story). As we can see from Syria war such differences can lead to essentially supporting hostile to each other groups of insurgent while trying to achieve the same color revolution based "regime change" in the country.
The statement that relations between three letter agencies are far from harmonious are supported by leaked story about how CIA ('humint") was very concerned about recent rise of status and capabilities of NSA ("sigint") and tried to duplicate its capabilities ( Vault 7 scandal) They lie to each other and try to poach funds from the other agencies. Vault 7 scandal is a strong confirmation that CIA brass is very concerted about increased role and influence of NSA in the era on Internet communications and is trying to counterattack and undermine it.
Add to this a special, more independent, status and role of military intelligence which also now is not in best relations with both CIA and NSA. Destiny of General Flynn, who served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and in 2017 was entrapped by FBI with the help of NSA and CIA is a strong sign there not much love left between DIA and other agencies (with DIA probably being the most competent of them all three). So in certain areas they are more like spiders in the cage with CIA perfectly capable attacking NSA and DIA and vise versa. That gives us some hope.
The rise of intelligence agenizes inevitably led to conversion of the state into national security state and we can talk about "election democracy" in such state only with great reservations. Yes some freedom to chose candidatures still exist (as Sanders and, possibly, Trump emergence in 2016 elections attests), but the final choice is more often then not is determined by intelligence agencies, not so much by voters (FBI derailing of Sanders in favor of establishment candidate -- Hillary Clinton -- quite vividly attests this fact; not that Sanders fought a good fight in this respect serving more like a sheep dog in the elections).
Two party system invented by elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for inverted totalitarism type of regimes, including the US neoliberalism. But there is second trend here which increase the elite control of the county: this is dramatic transfer of power to institutions of "deep state", which in certain sense now like TBTF are beyond civil control. As well as a secret alliance between Wall Street and CIA and other three letter agencies.
All those factors essentially make Presidential and Congress election in the USA truly optional, serving mostly ceremonial, decorative function. Yes elections still continue to exist and sometime provide good theater, within the strict rules of an emasculated "two parties, winner takes all" system, which if you think about it is not that different from one party elections in the USSR.
They still have a role in legitimizing the current rulers, although actual rules are not the same as those who were elected. This is especially true about the two recent US Presidents: George W Bush and Barack Obama. And that explains why Barack Obama foreign policy is essentially a continuation of policy of George W Bush with minor tweaks. Just the fact that neocon Victoria Nuland who worked for Cheney was promoted to the key role of the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs tells that Obama controls very little in foreign policy area and that 'deep state" is functioning autonomously and without control of "surface state".
The USA political system does not have a single government. It actually has two distinct governments. They are called "surface state" or Madisonians and "deep state" or Trumanites (national security establishment in alliance with selected members of financial oligarchy, media owners and technocrats). The latter term emerged because it was Harry Truman who signed National Security Act of 1947 which created major three letter agencies (CIA, DOD, FBI and NSA).
Simplifying the complex relation between those two US governments (sometimes Madisonians fight back and have Trumanites to make a temporary retreat) we can say that:
In other words, the "Deep state" represent the actual government of the society by unelected elite, which is composed of high-level officials within the intelligence services, military, law enforcement, judiciary and, often, organized crime. It should be viewed as an extended and more realistic variant of military industrial complex dominance (see Media-Military-Industrial Complex) as it includes selected members of financial oligarchy along with industrialists, Internet moguls, and media owners. In British author John le Carré’s latest novel, A Delicate Truth, a character describes the Deep State as
“… the ever-expanding circle of non-governmental insiders from banking, industry and commerce who were cleared for highly classified information denied to large swathes of Whitehall and Westminster.”
Conversion of system of governance to "deep state" which happened in the USA almost immediately after 1947 essentially made large part of federal elections including Presidential elections optional, but they still continue to exist as a ceremonial function for the sake of providing the legitimacy of the government in an emasculated "two parties system" form. While relationship is more complex then simple dominance, in essence "deep state" is the tail that wags the dog. And JFK assassination (Nov 22, 1963) meant first of all the triumph of "deep state" over "surface state". In this sense 9/11 was just the last nail in the coffin of democracy.
The term “Deep State” was coined in Turkey (and actually Wikipedia discusses only it) but it is widespread modern phenomenon which is a typical model of governance in all major neoliberal states, including the USA, GB and France. For example, it able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process. That's why elected candidates swiftly perform "bat and switch" maneuver and conduct polices radically different from those for which they were elected. As any elite dominance project it is deeply anti-democratic although it uses fig leaf of democracy for foreign expansion via color revolutions and wars.
Like in Third Reich, this dominance is supported by relentless propaganda and brainwashing with mechanisms polished since Reagan to perfection. There is now no problem to create an "enemy of the people" when the elite wants and it does not matter which country or individual is selected as an enemy. The essence of elite politics in this area was best formulated by Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief
Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
In other words this is a hidden set of political actors and powerful institutions that are concealed within the wider, “visible” state which, essentially, took over the functions of traditional state, leaving such organization of Executive branch, President, congress and courts mainly ceremonial role. Such transformation is well explained by the Iron Law of Oligarchy and in various forms happened in Third Reich, the USSR, Turkey, China and many other countries.
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.
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. 
The corridor between Manhattan and Washington is a well trodden highway for the personalities we have all gotten to know in the period since the massive deregulation of Wall Street: Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner and many others. Not all the traffic involves persons connected with the purely financial operations of the government: In 2013, General David Petraeus joined KKR (formerly Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) of 9 West 57th Street, New York, a private equity firm with $62.3 billion in assets. KKR specializes in management buyouts and leveraged finance. General Petraeus’ expertise in these areas is unclear. His ability to peddle influence, however, is a known and valued commodity. Unlike Cincinnatus, the military commanders of the Deep State do not take up the plow once they lay down the sword. Petraeus also obtained a sinecure as a non-resident senior fellow at theBelfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. The Ivy League is, of course, the preferred bleaching tub and charm school of the American oligarchy.
Lofgren goes on to say that Silicon Valley is a node of the Deep State too, and that despite the protestations of its chieftains against NSA spying, it’s a vital part of the Deep State’s apparatus. More:
The Deep State is the big story of our time. It is the red thread that runs through the war on terrorism, the financialization and deindustrialization of the American economy, the rise of a plutocratic social structure and political dysfunction. Washington is the headquarters of the Deep State, and its time in the sun as a rival to Rome, Constantinople or London may be term-limited by its overweening sense of self-importance and its habit, as Winwood Reade said of Rome, to “live upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face.”
Read the whole thing. Steve Sailer says that the Shallow State is a complement to the Deep State. The Shallow State is, I think, another name for what the Neoreactionaries call “The Cathedral,” defined thus:
The Cathedral — The self-organizing consensus of Progressives and Progressive ideology represented by the universities, the media, and the civil service. A term coined by blogger Mencius Moldbug. The Cathedral has no central administrator, but represents a consensus acting as a coherent group that condemns other ideologies as evil. Community writers have enumerated the platform of Progressivism as women’s suffrage, prohibition, abolition, federal income tax, democratic election of senators, labor laws, desegregation, popularization of drugs, destruction of traditional sexual norms, ethnic studies courses in colleges, decolonization, and gay marriage. A defining feature of Progressivism is that “you believe that morality has been essentially solved, and all that’s left is to work out the details.” Reactionaries see Republicans as Progressives, just lagging 10-20 years behind Democrats in their adoption of Progressive norms.
You don’t have to agree with the Neoreactionaries on what they condemn — women’s suffrage? desegregation? labor laws? really?? — to acknowledge that they’re onto something about the sacred consensus that all Right-Thinking People share. I would love to see a study comparing the press coverage from 9/11 leading up to the Iraq War with press coverage of the gay marriage issue from about 2006 till today. Specifically, I’d be curious to know about how thoroughly the media covered the cases against the policies that the Deep State and the Shallow State decided should prevail. I’m not suggesting a conspiracy here, not at all. I’m only thinking back to how it seemed so obvious to me in 2002 that we should go to war with Iraq, so perfectly clear that the only people who opposed it were fools or villains. The same consensus has emerged around same-sex marriage. I know how overwhelmingly the news media have believed this for some time, such that many American journalists simply cannot conceive that anyone against same-sex marriage is anything other than a fool or a villain. Again, this isn’t a conspiracy; it’s in the nature of the thing. Lofgren:
Cultural assimilation is partly a matter of what psychologist Irving L. Janis called “groupthink,” the chameleon-like ability of people to adopt the views of their superiors and peers. This syndrome is endemic to Washington: The town is characterized by sudden fads, be it negotiating biennial budgeting, making grand bargains or invading countries. Then, after a while, all the town’s cool kids drop those ideas as if they were radioactive. As in the military, everybody has to get on board with the mission, and questioning it is not a career-enhancing move. The universe of people who will critically examine the goings-on at the institutions they work for is always going to be a small one. As Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
A more elusive aspect of cultural assimilation is the sheer dead weight of the ordinariness of it all once you have planted yourself in your office chair for the 10,000th time. Government life is typically not some vignette from an Allen Drury novel about intrigue under the Capitol dome. Sitting and staring at the clock on the off-white office wall when it’s 11:00 in the evening and you are vowing never, ever to eat another piece of takeout pizza in your life is not an experience that summons the higher literary instincts of a would-be memoirist. After a while, a functionary of the state begins to hear things that, in another context, would be quite remarkable, or at least noteworthy, and yet that simply bounce off one’s consciousness like pebbles off steel plate: “You mean the number of terrorist groups we are fighting is classified?” No wonder so few people are whistle-blowers, quite apart from the vicious retaliation whistle-blowing often provokes: Unless one is blessed with imagination and a fine sense of irony, growing immune to the curiousness of one’s surroundings is easy. To paraphrase the inimitable Donald Rumsfeld, I didn’t know all that I knew, at least until I had had a couple of years away from the government to reflect upon it.
When all you know is the people who surround you in your professional class bubble and your social circles, you can think the whole world agrees with you, or should. It’s probably not a coincidence that the American media elite live, work, and socialize in New York and Washington, the two cities that were attacked on 9/11, and whose elites — political, military, financial — were so genuinely traumatized by the events.
Anyway, that’s just a small part of it, about how the elite media manufacture consent. Here’s a final quote, one from the Moyers interview with Lofgren:
BILL MOYERS: If, as you write, the ideology of the Deep State is not democrat or republican, not left or right, what is it?
MIKE LOFGREN: It’s an ideology. I just don’t think we’ve named it. It’s a kind of corporatism. Now, the actors in this drama tend to steer clear of social issues. They pretend to be merrily neutral servants of the state, giving the best advice possible on national security or financial matters. But they hold a very deep ideology of the Washington consensus at home, which is deregulation, outsourcing, de-industrialization and financialization. And they believe in American exceptionalism abroad, which is boots on the ground everywhere, it’s our right to meddle everywhere in the world. And the result of that is perpetual war.
This can’t last. We’d better hope it can’t last. And we’d better hope it unwinds peacefully.
I, for one, remain glad that so many of us Americans are armed. When the Deep State collapses — and it will one day — it’s not going to be a happy time.
Questions to the room: Is a Gorbachev for the Deep State conceivable? That is, could you foresee a political leader emerging who could unwind the ideology and apparatus of the Deep State, and not only survive, but succeed? Or is it impossible for the Deep State to allow such a figure to thrive? Or is the Deep State, like the Soviet system Gorbachev failed to reform, too entrenched and too far gone to reform itself? If so, what then?
The second important thinker in this area is Professor Michael J. Glennon who wrote the book “National Security and Double Government.”. The strong point of his views on the subject is that he assumes that there is an internal struggle between those two forms of government, not just passive submission one to another, but in most cases deep state prevails. This move led the USA "beyond a mere imperial presidency to a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of U.S. national security policy."
The "deep state" (call by Professor Michael J. Glennon) The Trumanites, exercise their power due to alliance with Wall Street, almost unlimited funding (with many hidden sources belong US budget), higher efficiency, abuse of secrecy, exaggerated threats, peer pressure to conform, and corruption of the key decision-makers.
Here is how Amazon reviewer Mal Warwick summarized the book in his review written on December 22, 2014
Who makes national security decisions? Not who you think!
Why does Barack Obama's performance on national security issues in the White House contrast so strongly with his announced intentions as a candidate in 2008? After all, not only has Obama continued most of the Bush policies he decried when he ran for the presidency, he has doubled down on government surveillance, drone strikes, and other critical programs.
Michael J. Glennon set out to answer this question in his unsettling new book, National Security and Double Government. And he clearly dislikes what he found.
The answer, Glennon discovered, is that the US government is divided between the three official branches of the government, on the one hand — the "Madisonian" institutions incorporated into the Constitution — and the several hundred unelected officials who do the real work of a constellation of military and intelligence agencies, on the other hand. These officials, called "Trumanites" in Glennon's parlance for having grown out of the national security infrastructure established under Harry Truman, make the real decisions in the area of national security. (To wage the Cold War, Truman created the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Department of Defense, the CIA, the NSA, and the National Security Council.) "The United States has, in short," Glennon writes, "moved beyond a mere imperial presidency to a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of U.S. national security policy. . . . The perception of threat, crisis, and emergency has been the seminal phenomenon that has created and nurtures America's double government." If Al Qaeda hadn't existed, the Trumanite network would have had to create it — and, Glennon seems to imply, might well have done so.
The Trumanites wield their power with practiced efficiency, using secrecy, exaggerated threats, peer pressure to conform, and the ability to mask the identity of the key decision-maker as their principal tools.
Michael J. Glennon comes to this task with unexcelled credentials. A professor of international law at Tufts and former legal counsel for the Senate Armed Services Committee, he came face to face on a daily basis with the "Trumanites" he writes about. National Security and Double Government is exhaustively researched and documented: notes constitute two-thirds of this deeply disturbing little book.
The more I learn about how politics and government actually work — and I've learned a fair amount in my 73 years — the more pessimistic I become about the prospects for democracy in America. In some ways, this book is the most worrisome I've read over the years, because it implies that there is no reason whatsoever to think that things can ever get better. In other words, to borrow a phrase from the Borg on Star Trek, "resistance is futile." That's a helluva takeaway, isn't it?
On reflection, what comes most vividly to mind is a comment from the late Chalmers Johnson on a conference call in which I participated several years ago. Johnson, formerly a consultant to the CIA and a professor at two campuses of the University of California (Berkeley and later San Diego), was the author of many books, including three that awakened me to many of the issues Michael Glennon examines: Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, and Nemesis. Johnson, who was then nearly 80 and in declining health, was asked by a student what he would recommend for young Americans who want to combat the menace of the military-industrial complex. "Move to Vancouver," he said.
Another good summary of the book can be found is review by Bruce Morgan (Shadow Government )
October 28, 2014 | Tufts Now
Elected officials are no longer in charge of our national security—and that is undermining our democracy, says the Fletcher School's Michael Glennon
"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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
- “If constitutional government is to endure in the United States, Americans must confront the fundamental challenges presented by this chilling analysis of the national security state.”
- “Glennon shows how the underlying national security bureaucracy in Washington – what might be called the deep state – ensures that presidents and their successors act on the world stage like Tweedledee and Tweedledum.” John J. Mearsheimer
- “National Security and Double Government is brilliant, deep, sad, and vastly learned across multiple fields–a work of Weberian power and stature. It deserves to be read and discussed. The book raises philosophical questions in the public sphere in a way not seen at least since Fukuyama’s end of history.” David A. Westbrook
- “In our faux democracy, those we elect to govern serve largely ornamental purposes, while those who actually wield power, especially in the realm of national security, do so chiefly with an eye toward preserving their status and prerogatives. Read this incisive and richly documented book, and you’ll understand why.” Andrew J. Bacevich
- “…Michael Glennon provides a compelling argument that America’s national security policy is growing outside the bounds of existing government institutions. This is at once a constitutional challenge, but is also a case study in how national security can change government institutions, create new ones, and, in effect, stand-up a parallel state….” Vali Nasr
- “Instead of being responsive to citizens or subject to effective checks and balances, U.S. national security policy is in fact conducted by a shadow government of bureaucrats and a supporting network of think tanks, media insiders, and ambitious policy wonks. Presidents may come and go, but the permanent national security establishment inevitably defeats their efforts to chart a new course….”Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renee Belfer
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.
If Michael Glennon conceded defeat, but still has some hope, here we enter perfect Dante hell picture along the lines "Leave all hopes those who dare to enter"
Professor Peter Dale Scott book and article represent probably the most comprehensive coverage, especially his book. But the article in the Asia-Pacific journal represents fair summary of his views on the subject (The State, the Deep State, and the Wall Street Overworld (Updated March 13, 2014):
In the last decade it has become more and more obvious that we have in America today what the journalists Dana Priest and William Arkin have called
two governments: the one its citizens were familiar with, operated more or less in the open: the other a parallel top secret government whose parts had mushroomed in less than a decade into a gigantic, sprawling universe of its own, visible to only a carefully vetted cadre – and its entirety…visible only to God.1
And in 2013, particularly after the military return to power in Egypt, more and more authors referred to this second level as America’s “deep state.”2 Here for example is the Republican analyst Mike Lofgren:
There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power.3
At the end of 2013 a New York Times Op-Ed noted this trend, and even offered a definition of the term that will work for the purposes of this essay:
DEEP STATE n. A hard-to-perceive level of government or super-control that exists regardless of elections and that may thwart popular movements or radical change. Some have said that Egypt is being manipulated by its deep state.4
The political activities of the deep state are the chief source and milieu of what I have elsewhere called “deep politics:” “all those political practices and arrangements, deliberate or not, which are usually repressed rather than acknowledged.”5
Others, like Tom Hayden, call the deep state a “state within the state,” and suggest it may be responsible for the failure of the Obama administration to follow the policy guidelines of the president’s speeches:
We have seen evidence of a "state within the state" before, going back as far as the CIA's operations against Cuba. In Obama's time, the president correctly named the 2009 coup in Honduras a "coup", and then seemed powerless to prevent it.6
This development of a two-level or dual state has been paralleled by two other dualities: the increasing resolution of American society into two classes – the “one percent” and the “ninety-nine percent” – and the bifurcation of the U.S. economy into two aspects: the domestic, still subject to some governmental regulation and taxation, and the international, relatively free from governmental controls.7 All three developments have affected and intensified each other – particularly since the Reagan Revolution of 1980, which saw American inequality of wealth cease to diminish and begin to increase.8 Thus for example we shall see how Wall Street – the incarnation of the “one percent” – played a significant role in increasing the deep state after World War Two, and how three decades later the deep state played a significant role in realigning America for the Reagan Revolution.
In earlier books I have given versions of this America-centered account of America’s shift into empire and a deep state. But another factor to be mentioned is the shift of global history towards an increasingly global society dominated by a few emergent superpowers. This trend was accelerated after the Industrial Revolution by new technologies of transport, from the railroad in the 19th century to the jet plane and space travel in the 20th.9
In the fallout from this rearrangement we must include two world wars, as a result of which Britain ceased to act as the dominant superpower it had been since Napoleon. Not surprisingly, the Soviet Union and the United States subsequently competed in a Cold War to fill the gap. It was not however predetermined that the Cold War would be as thuggish and covertly violent as for decades it continued to be. For that we should look to more contingent causes on both sides of the Iron Curtain – starting with the character of Stalin and his party but also including the partly responsive development of the American deep state.
The Deep State, The Shadow Government and the Wall Street Overworld
The “deep state” was defined by the UK newsletter On Religion as “the embedded anti-democratic power structures within a government, something very few democracies can claim to be free from.”10 The term originated in Turkey in 1996, to refer to U.S.-backed elements, primarily in the intelligence services and military, who had repeatedly used violence to interfere with and realign Turkey’s democratic political process. Sometimes the definition is restricted to elements within the government (or “a state-within-the state”), but more often in Turkey the term is expanded, for historical reasons, to include “members of the Turkish underworld.”11 In this essay I shall use “deep state” in the larger sense, to include both the second level of secret government inside Washington and those outsiders powerful enough, in either the underworld or overworld, to give it direction. In short I shall equate the term “deep state” with what in 1993 I termed a “deep political system:” “ one which habitually resorts to decision-making and enforcement procedures outside as well as inside those publicly sanctioned by law and society.”12
Like myself, Lofgren suggests an ambiguous symbiosis between two aspects of the American deep state:
1) the Beltway agencies of the shadow government, like the CIA and NSA, which have been instituted by the public state and now overshadow it, and
2) the much older power of Wall Street, referring to the powerful banks and law firms located there.
In his words,
It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice - certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee.13
I shall argue that in the 1950s Wall Street was a dominating complex. It included not just banks and oil firms but also the oil majors whose cartel arrangements were successfully defended against the U.S. Government by the Wall Street law firm Sullivan and Cromwell, home to the Dulles brothers. This larger complex is what I mean by the Wall Street overworld.
The Long History of the Wall Street Overworld
Lofgren’s inclusion of Wall Street is in keeping with Franklin Roosevelt’s observation in 1933 to his friend Col. E.M. House that “The real truth … is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.”14
FDR’s insight is well illustrated by the efficiency with which a group of Wall Street bankers (including Nelson Rockefeller’s grandfather Nelson Aldrich and Paul Warburg) were able in a highly secret meeting in 1910 to establish the Federal Reserve System – a system which in effect reserved oversight of the nation’s currency supply and of all America’s banks in the not impartial hands of its largest.15 The political clout of the quasi-governmental Federal Reserve Board (where the federal Treasury is represented but does not dominate) was clearly demonstrated in 2008, when Fed leadership secured instant support from the successive administrations of a Texan Republican president, followed by a Midwest Democratic one, for public money to rescue the reckless management of Wall Street banks: banks Too Big To Fail, and of course far Too Big To Jail, but not Too Big To Bail.16
Wall Street and the Launching of the CIA
Top-level Treasury officials, CIA officers, and Wall Street bankers and lawyers think alike because of the “revolving door” by which they pass easily from private to public service and back. In 1946 General Vandenberg, as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), recruited Allen Dulles, then a Republican lawyer at Sullivan and Cromwell in New York, "to draft proposals for the shape and organization of what was to become the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947." Dulles promptly formed an advisory group of six men, all but one of whom were Wall Street investment bankers or lawyers.17 Dulles and two of the six (William H. Jackson and Frank Wisner) later joined the agency, where Dulles proceeded to orchestrate policies, such as the overthrow of the Arbenz regime in Guatemala, that he had previously discussed in New York at the Council on Foreign Relations.18
There seems to be little difference in Allen Dulles’s influence whether he was a Wall Street lawyer or a CIA director. Although he did not formally join the CIA until November 1950, he was in Berlin before the start of the 1948 Berlin Blockade, “supervising the unleashing of anti-Soviet propaganda across Europe.”19 In the early summer of 1948 he set up the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), support of what became by the early 1950s “the largest CIA operation in Western Europe.”20
The Deep State and Funds for CIA Covert Operations
Wall Street was also the inspiration for what eventually became the CIA’s first covert operation: the use of “over $10 million in captured Axis funds to influence the [Italian] election [of 1948].”21 (The fundraising had begun at the wealthy Brook Club in New York; but Allen Dulles, still a Wall Street lawyer, persuaded Washington, which at first had preferred a private funding campaign, to authorize the operation through the National Security Council and the CIA.)22
Dulles’s friend Frank Wisner then left Wall Street to oversee an enlarged covert operations program through the newly created Office of Policy Co-ordination (OPC). Dulles, still a lawyer, campaigned successfully to reconstruct Western Europe through what became known as the Marshall Plan.23 Together with George Kennan and James Forrestal, Dulles also “helped devise a secret codicil [to the Marshall Plan] that gave the CIA the capability to conduct political warfare. It let the agency skim millions of dollars from the plan.”24
This created one of the earlier occasions when the CIA, directly or indirectly, recruited local assets involved in drug trafficking. AFL member Irving Brown, the assistant of AFL official Jay Lovestone (a CIA asset), was implicated in drug smuggling activities in Europe, at the same time that he used funds diverted from the Marshall Plan to establish
a "compatible left" labor union in Marseilles with Pierre Ferri-Pisani. On behalf of Brown and the CIA, Ferri-Pisani (a drug smuggler connected with Marseilles crime lord Antoine Guerini), hired goons to shellack striking Communist dock workers.25
An analogous funding source for the CIA developed in the Far East: the so-called
"M-Fund," a secret fund of money of enormous size that has existed in Japan [in 1991] for more than forty years. The Fund was established by the United States in the immediate postwar era for essentially the same reasons that later gave rise to the Marshall Plan of assistance by the U.S. to Western Europe, including the Federal Republic of Germany….. The M-Fund was used not only for the building of a democratic political system in Japan but, in addition, for all of the purposes for which Marshall Plan funds were used in Europe.26
For at least two decades the CIA lavishly subsidized right-wing parties in countries including Japan and Indonesia, possibly still using captured Axis funds.27 (One frequently encounters the claim that the source of the M-fund was gold looted by Japan during World War Two (“Yamashita’s gold”).28
As a general rule the CIA, rather than assimilating these funds into its own budget, appears to have left them off the books in the hands of cooperative allied powers – ranging from other U.S. agencies like the Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA. set up in 1948 to administer the Marshall Plan) to oil companies to powerful drug kingpins.29
The CIA never abandoned its dependency on funds from outside its official budget to conduct its clandestine operations. In Southeast Asia, in particular, its proprietary firm Sea Supply Inc., supplied an infrastructure for a drug traffic supporting a CIA-led paramilitary force, PARU.30 The CIA appears also to have acted in coordination with slush funds from various U.S. government contracts, ranging from the Howard Hughes organization to (as we shall see) the foreign arms sales of U.S. defense corporations like Lockheed and Northrop.31
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Aug 22, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.comtold Fox News' Maria Bartiromo that Justice Department Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz was "doing a very in-depth dive about the FISA warrant application" and "the behavior regarding the counterintelligence operation."
Graham noted that he believed Horowitz's report would be coming out in "weeks -- not days, not months" and would prove to be "ugly and damning regarding the Department of Justice's handling of the Russian probe." Graham noted that the IG's report has been delayed because "every time you turn around, you find something new."
Graham said he wants the IG's report to be as declassified as possible in order for the "American public to hear the story."
Graham said that prosecutor John Durham "will be looking at criminality, did somebody violate the law," while Horowitz "will be telling us about the good, the bad, and the ugly, and what should be done internally." He went so far as to mention exploring a possible restructuring of the Department of Justice.
Toward the end of the segment , Bartiromo asked Graham: "Who do you think is the mastermind of this? Whose idea was it to insert Donald Trump into Russia meddling?"
Graham responded: "You know, I really am very curious about the role the CIA played here. We know that the FISA warrant application was based on a dossier prepared by Christopher Steele, who was biased against Trump, that was unverified. That's one problem. But this whole intelligence operation -- what role did the CIA play?"
Graham then went a step further, asking: "Who knew about this in the White House? Here's a question: Was President Obama briefed on the fact that they were opening up a counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign? I'd like to know that."
Bartiromo, who noted that Brennan was running the CIA at that time and would have likely provided the Obama briefing, asked Graham if he was going to call Brennan to testify before Congress. Graham responded somewhat cryptically, saying only, "We'll see."Brennan's Role
Brennan appears to have played a key role in establishing the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign -- including making repeated use of questionable foreign intelligence.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper personally confirmed foreign intelligence involvement during congressional testimony in May 2017:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein: "Over the spring of 2016, multiple European allies passed on additional information to the United States about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians. Is this accurate?"
James Clapper: "Yes, it is, and it's also quite sensitive. The specifics are quite sensitive."
Brennan has testified to Congress that any information, specifically "anything involving the individuals involved in the Trump campaign was shared with the bureau [FBI]." Brennan also admitted that it was his intelligence that helped establish the FBI investigation:
"I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred."Focus on Intelligence Role Prior to FBI Probe
John Solomon of The Hill, who has extensively covered the Spygate scandal, told Bartiromo in an interview that he was hearing that "John Durham and Bill Barr are focused on the part before the FBI officially got started on July 31, 2016, the period of March to July, and whether intelligence assets -- Western, private, or U.S. -- were deployed in an earlier effort to start probing the Trump campaign and its Russia ties -- maybe lay the breadcrumb trail of evidence that Christopher Steele then collected up and gave to the FBI."
Solomon noted that when Attorney General Barr said, "I believe there was political surveillance going on," this was likely what he was referring to.
This focus on the spring of 2016 is particularly interesting given that during this time, Brennan appeared to have employed the use of reverse targeting on members of the Trump campaign. Reverse targeting refers to the targeting of a foreign individual with the intent of capturing data on a U.S. citizen. During an Aug. 17, 2018, interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, Brennan said:
"We call it incidental collection in terms of CIA's foreign intelligence collection authorities. Any time we would incidentally collect information on a U.S. person, we would hand that over to the FBI because they have the legal authority to do it. We would not pursue that type of investigative, you know, sort of leads. We would give it to the FBI. So, we were picking things up that was of great relevance to the FBI, and we wanted to make sure that they were there -- so they could piece it together with whatever they were collecting domestically here."
As this foreign intelligence -- unofficial in nature and outside of traditional channels -- was gathered on members of the Trump campaign, Brennan began his process of feeding his gathered intelligence to the FBI. Repeated transfers of foreign intelligence from the CIA director helped push the FBI toward establishing a formal counterintelligence investigation.Role of Joseph Mifsud
Solomon also discussed the role of Joseph Mifsud, the individual who told Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos in March 2016 that Russia had Hillary Clinton emails. Solomon noted that he had recently interviewed Stefan Roe, Mifsud's lawyer, who told him that Mifsud "had long worked with Western intelligence" and that he was "asked to connect George Papadopoulos to Russia -- meaning it was an operation, some form of an intelligence operation."
As Solomon noted, this would mean that the "flashpoint that started the whole investigation was, in fact, manufactured from the beginning." Solomon also noted that "both John Durham and two different committees in Congress have recently reached out to get this evidence from the lawyer, which includes an audiotaped deposition that Mr. Mifsud gave his lawyer before he went into hiding."
Bartiromo closed by asking Solomon the same question she put to Graham, "Who do you think is the mastermind?" Solomon responded in a similar fashion to Graham, noting: "I think the CIA. We have to take a closer look at them. We're starting to see some sign of it."Role of UK Intelligence
Luke Harding, a journalist for The Guardian, had previously reported on the early involvement of UK intelligence and their interaction with the U.S. intelligence community, noting that Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) was engaged in collecting information on the Trump campaign and transmitting it to the United States beginning in late 2015:
"In late 2015, the British eavesdropping agency GCHQ was carrying out standard 'collection' against Moscow targets. The intelligence was handed to the U.S. as part of a routine sharing of information," Harding wrote in an article on Nov. 15, 2017.
Additionally, in the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, then-head of GCHQ, traveled to Washington to personally meet with Brennan:
"That summer, GCHQ's then head, Robert Hannigan, flew to the U.S. to personally brief CIA chief John Brennan. The matter was deemed so important that it was handled at 'director level,' face-to-face between the two agency chiefs," Harding reported.
Around the same time, Brennan formed an inter-agency task force comprising an estimated six agencies and government departments. Brennan appeared to describe the task force formation during the Aug. 17, 2018, interview with MSNBC's Maddow:
Maddow: " So, it's an intelligence-sharing operation between "
Brennan: " Right. We put together a Fusion Center at CIA that brought NSA and FBI officers together with CIA to make sure that those proverbial dots would be connected."FBI's 'Mid-Year Exam' Team Shifts to Trump Probe
By the spring of 2016, the Clinton email investigation was winding down. This was due in large part to the fact that the Department of Justice, under Attorney General Loretta Lynch, had decided to set an unusually high threshold for the prosecution of Clinton, effectively ensuring from the outset that she wouldn't be charged.
In order for Clinton to be prosecuted, the department required the FBI to establish evidence of intent -- even though the gross negligence statute explicitly doesn't require that.
It was at this same time that Trump campaign adviser Papadopoulos had his April 26, 2016, meeting with Mifsud, followed a few weeks later with his ill-fated meeting with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer in May. The meeting with Downer, then Australia's high commissioner to the UK, was established through a chain of two intermediaries.
Downer's conversation with Papadopoulos was reportedly disclosed to the FBI on July 22, 2016, through Australian government channels, although it also may have come directly from Downer himself via the U.S. Embassy in London. Details from the conversation between Downer and Papadopoulos were then used by the FBI to open its counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016.
Interestingly, the information allegedly relayed by Papadopoulos during the Downer meeting -- that the Russians had damaging information on Clinton -- appears nearly identical to claims later contained in the first memo from former MI6 spy and dossier author Christopher Steele that the FBI obtained in early July 2016.
Steele's first dossier document , dated June 20, 2016, noted that "a dossier of compromising information on Hillary Clinton has been collated by the Russian Intelligence Services over many years."
Which raises a good question, recently posed by internet researcher Nick Weil on Twitter: "When the FBI got the tip from Alexander Downer that the Russians had Hillary's 33k emails, the appropriate action would have been to re-open Mid Year Exam, no?"
Rather than deciding to re-examine the "Mid-Year Exam" investigation, which looked into Clinton's handling of her emails and use of a private server, the FBI instead used this information to establish an investigation into the Trump campaign.
What makes this sequence of events even more telling is exactly when the FBI first received information from Steele.
After Steele's company was hired by Fusion GPS in June 2016, he began to reach out to the FBI through Michael Gaeta, an FBI agent and assistant legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Rome whom Steele had worked with on the FIFA case. Gaeta also headed up the FBI's Eurasian Organized Crime unit, which specializes in investigating criminal groups from Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine.
Gaeta would later be identified as Steele's FBI handler, in a July 16, 2018, congressional testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees by FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
Following a reported initial meeting that took place during late June 2016 in Rome, Gaeta traveled to London on July 5, 2016, and met with Steele at the offices of Steele's firm, Orbis. During the July 5 meeting, Steele provided the first memo in his dossier to Gaeta for ultimate transmission back to the FBI and the State Department.
At the exact time that Gaeta was meeting with Steele, on July 5, 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey announced the closure of the FBI's investigation into Clinton's use of a personal e-mail system during her time as secretary of state.
During the July 5, 2016, press conference , Comey recommended that Clinton not be charged, stating, "We cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts." Comey also noted that "although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case."
With the July 5 closure of the Clinton investigation, many of the same FBI agents who had worked on the case were assigned to the agency's July 31, 2016, counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign -- the opening of which was based on little more than details from the conversation between Downer and Papadopoulos, provided by the Australian government. Although all investigative focus fell on the Trump campaign, the fact that Downer said that the Russians had Clinton's emails appears not to have been an impetus for the FBI to reopen the Clinton email investigation.CIA's Use of Unofficial Intel on Trump Campaign
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who has seen the electronic communication that was used to officially open the FBI's counterintelligence investigation, has publicly stated , "We now know that there was no official intelligence that was used to start this investigation."
Contrast Nunes's statement with what Brennan testified before Congress on May 23, 2017:
"I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign. I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether or not U.S. persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials."
Brennan has claimed that he didn't see the dossier until "later in that year; I think it was in December ." Brennan also stated in his testimony that the CIA didn't rely on the Steele dossier and that it "was not in any way used as a basis for the intelligence community assessment that was done."
https://g.jwpsrv.com/g/gcid-0.1.2.html?notrack Rewind 10 Seconds Next Up Live 00:00 00:00 00:00 Closed Captions Settings Fullscreen click to watch video
But this claim was countered during the July 16, 2018, testimony of former FBI lawyer Page, when the following discussion took place regarding Brennan's August 2016 briefing of then-Sen. Harry Reid:
Rep. Mark Meadows: "We have documents that would suggest that in that briefing the dossier was mentioned to Harry Reid and then, obviously, we're going to have to have conversations. Does that surprise you that Director Brennan would be aware of [the dossier]?"
Lisa Page: "Yes, sir. Because with all due honesty, if Director Brennan – so we got that information from our source, right? The FBI got this information from our source. If the CIA had another source of that information, I am neither aware of that nor did the CIA provide it to us if they did."
While some within the FBI likely had parts of the dossier in early July, Page testified that the counterintelligence investigative team didn't receive it until mid-September -- likely during a trip to Rome, where they met with Steele:
Rep. Meadows: "So what you're saying is, is that you had no knowledge of these potential unverified memos prior to the middle part of September in your investigation?"
Page: "That is correct, sir."Was Reid's Letter Based on Steele Dossier Info?
In the days following Brennan's briefing, Reid sent a letter on Aug. 27, 2016, to Comey demanding an investigation -- and that the investigation be made public. Based on Brennan's briefing, it's highly likely that Reid knew an FBI investigation was already underway. Some of the details contained within Reid's letter relate to former Trump adviser Carter Page and match details contained only within the Steele dossier at the time.
Specifically, Reid claimed that Page had "conflicts of interest due to investments in Russia energy conglomerate Gazprom" and that he had "met with high-ranking sanctioned individuals while in Moscow in July of 2016, well after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee."
Page's investment in Gazprom was known prior to Reid's letter, but it appears that the first public allegations that Page had met with "high-ranking sanctioned individuals while in Moscow" weren't made until Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff published his article " U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin " on Sept. 23, 2016, based on information directly from Christopher Steele.
Prior to Isikoff's September article, the only place that information had been referenced, aside from Reid's letter, was in a July 19, 2016, Steele dossier memo (there is also a mention in a sequentially earlier, but undated memo from Steele). The Steele dossier wouldn't become public until its Jan. 10, 2017, publication by BuzzFeed.
During his May 2017 testimony, Brennan discussed his briefings to the Gang of Eight. Brennan testified that the briefings were done "in consultation with the White House" and stated that he gave the "same briefing to each of the Gang of Eight members." Notably, Brennan conducted his briefings individually over a period of almost a full month between Aug. 11, 2016, and Sept. 6, 2016.
However, Nunes has stated that he wasn't given the same briefing as was Reid, despite that Nunes held the position of chairman of the House Intelligence Committee at the time. Nunes made this disclosure in a July 28, 2019, interview with Bartiromo, noting: "We now know that John Brennan briefed Harry Reid on the dossier in August 2016. At the same time, he never briefed me or Paul Ryan, who was the speaker of the House at the time."Brennan's Role in Official Reports
The last major segment of Brennan's efforts involved a series of three reports. The first report was released on Oct. 7, 2016, and the second on Dec. 29, 2016.
The third report, "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections " -- also known as the intelligence community assessment (ICA) -- was released Jan. 6, 2017.
This final report was used to continue pushing the Russia-collusion narrative following the election of Trump as president. Notably, Adm. Mike Rogers, then director of the National Security Agency , publicly dissented from the findings of the ICA, assigning it only a moderate confidence level.
As previously noted, while Brennan has denied using the dossier in the ICA, he did attach a two-page summary of the dossier to the intelligence community assessment that he, along with Clapper and Comey, delivered to President Barack Obama on Jan. 6, 2017.
Comey then met with President-elect Trump to inform him of the dossier. This meeting took place just hours after Comey, Brennan, and Clapper formally briefed Obama on both the ICA and the Steele dossier.
Comey would only inform Trump of the "salacious" details contained within the dossier. He later explained on CNN in an April 2018 interview that he'd done so at the request of Clapper and Brennan, "because that was the part that the leaders of the intelligence community agreed he needed to be told about."
Aug 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
As the Russiagate circus attempts to quietly disappear over the horizon, with Democrats preferring to shift the anti-Trump narrative back to "racist", "white supremacist", "xenophobe", and the mainstream media ready to squawk "recession"; the Trump administration may have a few more cards up its sleeve before anyone claims the higher ground in this farce we call an election campaign.
As The Hill's John Solomon details, in September 2018 that President Trump told my Hill.TV colleague Buck Sexton and me that he would order the release of all classified documents showing what the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other U.S. intelligence agencies may have done wrong in the Russia probe.
And while it's been almost a year since then, of feet-dragging and cajoling and deep-state-fighting, we wonder, given Solomon's revelations below, if the president is getting ready to play his 'Trump' card.
Here are the documents that Solomon believes have the greatest chance of rocking Washington, if declassified:
1.) Christopher Steele 's confidential human source reports at the FBI. These documents, known in bureau parlance as 1023 reports, show exactly what transpired each time Steele and his FBI handlers met in the summer and fall of 2016 to discuss his anti-Trump dossier. The big reveal, my sources say, could be the first evidence that the FBI shared sensitive information with Steele, such as the existence of the classified Crossfire Hurricane operation targeting the Trump campaign. It would be a huge discovery if the FBI fed Trump-Russia intel to Steele in the midst of an election, especially when his ultimate opposition-research client was Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The FBI has released only one or two of these reports under FOIA lawsuits and they were 100 percent redacted. The American public deserves better.
2.) The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA.
3.) The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . We know for sure that one or both had contact with targeted Trump aides like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos at the end of the election. My sources tell me there may be other documents showing Halper continued working his way to the top of Trump's transition and administration, eventually reaching senior advisers like Peter Navarro inside the White House in summer 2017. These documents would show what intelligence agencies worked with Halper, who directed his activity, how much he was paid and how long his contacts with Trump officials were directed by the U.S. government's Russia probe.
4.) The October 2016 FBI email chain. This is a key document identified by Rep. Nunes and his investigators. My sources say it will show exactly what concerns the FBI knew about and discussed with DOJ about using Steele's dossier and other evidence to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in October 2016. If those concerns weren't shared with FISA judges who approved the warrant, there could be major repercussions.
5.) Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. If he made that statement with the FBI monitoring, and it was not disclosed to the FISA court, it could be another case of FBI or DOJ misconduct.
6.) The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. Of all the documents congressional leaders were shown, this is most frequently cited to me in private as having changed the minds of lawmakers who weren't initially convinced of FISA abuses or FBI irregularities.
7.) The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. Given Steele's own effort to leak intel in his dossier to the media before Election Day, the public deserves to see the FBI's final analysis of his credibility. A document I reviewed recently showed the FBI described Steele's information as only "minimally corroborated" and the bureau's confidence in him as "medium."
8.) The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump , had a political deadline to make his dirt public, was working for the DNC/Clinton campaign and was leaking to the news media. If he told that to the FBI and it wasn't disclosed to the FISA court, there could be serious repercussions.
9.) The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit.
10.) Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. Members of Congress have searched recently for some key contact documents with British intelligence . My sources say these documents might help explain Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed."
These documents, when declassified, would show more completely how a routine counterintelligence probe was hijacked to turn the most awesome spy powers in America against a presidential nominee in what was essentially a political dirty trick orchestrated by Democrats.
rahrog , 2 minutes ago linkLibertyVibe , 3 minutes ago link
America's Ruling Class is laughing at all you fools still falling for the Rs v Ds scam.
Stupid people lose.Lord Raglan , 5 minutes ago link
I disagree with Solomon. Nothing will "doom" the swamp unless the righteous few are willing to indict, prosecute and carry out sentencing for the guilty. Exposing the guilty accomplishes nothing, because anyone paying attention already knows of their crimes. Those who want to believe lies will still believe them after the truth comes out.
It's ALL A WASTE OF TIME unless we follow through.
#TheDailyNews #DrainTheSwampTheFQ , 16 minutes ago link
Where's all the other, earlier docs Trump was going to declassify? Just wondering..............benb , 12 minutes ago link
Does anyone see a pattern here after the 2009 Tea Party movement began?
2009 - Republicans: "If we win back the House, we can accomplish our agenda."
2011 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House)
2012 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS After winning back the House)
2013 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 1 YEAR after winning back the House and the Senate)
2014 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)
2015 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 3 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)
2016 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 4 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)
2017 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 6 YEARS AGO and the Senate 4 YEARS AGO)
2018 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 7 YEARS AGO and the Senate 5 YEARS AGO)
2019 - John Solomon - "If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed"
I hate to say it, but I DON'T BELIEVE YOU, JOHN.
ALL WE HAVE HEARD OVER THE COURSE OF THIS DECADE IS "IF THIS HAPPENS...THEN THEY ARE DOOMED / WE CAN ACCOMPLISH OUR AGENDA / YADDA YADDA YADDA.
WHEN THE FOLLOWING ARE FOUND GUILTY OF TREASON, THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL I BELIEVE YOU:
- ET AL
WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?
FFS...enfield0916 , 36 minutes ago link
WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?
Because the people doing the indicting are in on it.
As if there's any major philosophical difference between the Librtads and Zionist Cocksuckvatives.
Both sides use the .gov agencies to subvert and ignore the Constitution whenever possible. Best example is WikiLeaks and how each party wished Assange would just go away when he revealed damaging information about both sides on multiple occasions.
Jul 26, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Yves here. In a bit of synchronicity, when a reader was graciously driving me to the Department of Motor Vehicles (a schlepp in the wilds of Shelby County), she mentioned she'd heard local media reports that trucks had had their weight limits lowered due to concern that some overpasses might not be able to handle the loads. Of course, a big reason infrastructure spending has plunged in the US is that it's become an excuse for "public-private partnerships," aka looting, when those deals take longer to get done and produce bad results so often that locals can sometimes block them.
By Tom Conway, the international president of the United Steelworkers Union (USW) . Produced by the Independent Media Institute
Bad news about infrastructure is as ubiquitous as potholes. Failures in a 108-year-old railroad bridge and tunnel cost New York commuters thousands of hours in delays. Illinois doesn't regularly inspect , let alone fix, decaying bridges. Flooding in Nebraska caused nearly half a billion dollars in road and bridge damage -- just this year.
No problem, though. President Donald Trump promised to fix all this. The great dealmaker, the builder of eponymous buildings, the star of "The Apprentice," Donald Trump, during his campaign, urged Americans to bet on him because he'd double what his opponent would spend on infrastructure. Double, he pledged!
So far, that wager has netted Americans nothing. No money. No deal. No bridges, roads or leadless water pipes. And there's nothing on the horizon since Trump stormed out of the most recent meeting. That was a three-minute session in May with Democratic leaders at which Trump was supposed to discuss the $2 trillion he had proposed earlier to spend on infrastructure. In a press conference immediately afterward, Trump said if the Democrats continued to investigate him, he would refuse to keep his promises to the American people to repair the nation's infrastructure.
The comedian Stephen Colbert described the situation best, saying Trump told the Democrats: "It's my way or no highways."
The situation, however, is no joke. Just ask the New York rail commuters held up for more than 2,000 hours over the past four years by bridge and tunnel breakdowns. Just ask the American Society of Civil Engineers , which gave the nation a D+ grade for infrastructure and estimated that if more than $1 trillion is not added to currently anticipated spending on infrastructure, "the economy is expected to lose almost $4 trillion in GDP , resulting in a loss of 2.5 million jobs in 2025."
Candidate Donald Trump knew it was no joke. On the campaign trail, he said U.S. infrastructure was "a mess" and no better than that of a "third-world country. " When an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in 2015, killing eight and injuring about 200 , he tweeted , "Our roads, airports, tunnels, bridges, electric grid -- all falling apart." Later, he tweeted , "The only one to fix the infrastructure of our country is me."
Donald Trump promised to make America great again. And that wouldn't be possible if America's rail system, locks, dams and pipelines -- that is, its vital organs -- were "a mess." Trump signed what he described as a contract with American voters to deliver an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his administration.
He mocked his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton's proposal to spend $275 billion. "Her number is a fraction of what we're talking about. We need much more money to rebuild our infrastructure," he told Fox News in 2016 . "I would say at least double her numbers, and you're going to really need a lot more than that."
In August of 2016, he promised , "We will build the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, seaports and airports that our country deserves. American cars will travel the roads, American planes will connect our cities, and American ships will patrol the seas. American steel will send new skyscrapers soaring. We will put new American metal into the spine of this nation."
In his victory speech and both of his State of the Union addresses, he pledged again to be the master of infrastructure. "We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, school, hospitals. And we will put millions of our people to work," he said the night he won.
That sounds excellent. That's exactly what 75 percent of respondents to a Gallup poll said they wanted. That would create millions of family-supporting jobs making the steel, aluminum, concrete, pipes and construction vehicles necessary to accomplish infrastructure repair. That would stimulate the economy in ways that benefit the middle class and those who are struggling.
That contract Trump signed with American voters to produce an infrastructure plan in the first 100 days: worthless. It never happened. He gave Americans an Infrastructure Week in June of 2017, though, and at just about the 100-day mark, predicted infrastructure spending would "take off like a rocket ship." Two more Infrastructure Weeks followed in the next two years, but no money.
Trump finally announced a plan in February of 2018 , at a little over the 365-day mark, to spend $1.5 trillion on infrastructure. It went nowhere because it managed to annoy both Democrats and Republicans.
It was to be funded by only $200 billion in federal dollars -- less than what Hillary Clinton proposed. The rest was to come from state and local governments and from foreign money interests and the private sector. Basically, the idea was to hand over to hedge fund managers the roads and bridges and pipelines originally built, owned and maintained by Americans. The fat cats at the hedge funds would pay for repairs but then toll the assets in perpetuity. Nobody liked it.
That was last year. This year, by which time the words Infrastructure Week had become a synonym for promises not kept, Trump met on April 30 with top Democratic leaders and recommended a $2 trillion infrastructure investment. Democrats praised Trump afterward for taking the challenge seriously and for agreeing to find the money.
"It couldn't have gone any better," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal , D-Mass., told the Washington Post, even though Neal was investigating Trump for possible tax fraud.
Almost immediately, Trump began complaining that Democrats were trying to hoodwink him into raising taxes to pay for the $2 trillion he had offered to spend.
Trump and the Republicans relinquished one way to pay for infrastructure when they passed a tax cut for the rich and corporations in December of 2017. As a result, the rich and corporations pocketed hundreds of billions -- $1 trillion over 10 years -- and Trump doesn't have that money to invest in infrastructure. Corporations spent their tax break money on stock buybacks, further enriching the already rich. They didn't invest in American manufacturing or worker training or wage increases.
Three weeks after the April 30 meeting, Trump snubbed Democrats who returned to the White House hoping the president had found a way to keep his promise to raise $2 trillion for infrastructure. Trump dismissed them like naughty schoolchildren. He told them he wouldn't countenance Democrats simultaneously investigating him and bargaining with him -- even though Democrats were investigating him at the time of the April meeting and one of the investigators -- Neal -- had attended.
Promise not kept again.
Trump's reelection motto, Keep America Great, doesn't work for infrastructure. It's still a mess. It's the third year of his presidency, and he has done nothing about it. Apparently, he's saving this pledge for his next term.
In May, he promised Louisianans a new bridge over Interstate 10 -- only if he is reelected. He said the administration would have it ready to go on "day one, right after the election." Just like he said he'd produce an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his first term.
He's doubling down on the infrastructure promises. His win would mean Americans get nothing again.
Arizona Slim , July 26, 2019 at 6:26 am
Paging Bernie Sanders: You need to be all over this Trump-fail. And sooner, rather than later.
The Rev Kev , July 26, 2019 at 6:40 am
The whole thing seems so stupid. The desperate need is there, the people are there to do the work, the money spent into the infrastructure would give a major boost to the real economy, the completed infrastructure would give the real economy a boost for years & decades to come – it is win-win right across the board. But the whole thing is stalled because the whole deal can't be rigged to give a bunch of hedge fund managers control of that infrastructure afterwards. If it did, the constant rents that Americans would have to pay to use this infrastructure would bleed the economy for decades to come.
I have seen this movie before. A State builds a highway, it then leases that highway to a corporation for a bucket of cash which it uses to bribe the electorate to win the next election or two. The corporation shoves brand new toll booths on the highway charging sky high rates which puts a crimp in local economic activity. After the lease is up after twenty years, the State gets to take over the highway again to find that the corporation cut back on maintenance so that the whole highway has to be rebuilt again. Rinse and repeat.
When President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act in 1956, can you imagine how history would have gone if they had been handed over to a bunch of corporations who would have built toll booths over the whole network? Would have done wonders for the American economy I bet.
Wukchumni , July 26, 2019 at 6:48 am
One of the things discussed at our town hall meeting the other night, was a much needed $481k public bathroom, and that was the low bid.
It has to be ADA compliant with ramps, etc.
$48,100 seems like it'd be plenty to get 'r done, as you can build a house with a couple of bathrooms, and a few bedrooms, a kitchen and living room for maybe $200k.
Ignacio , July 26, 2019 at 8:58 am
And if toll revenues don't come as high as expected, mother state will come to the rescue of those poor fund managers. I find it amazing that Trump uses the stupid Russia, Russia, Russia! fixation of democrats as an excuse to do nothing about infrastructure. Does this work with his electorate?
cnchal , July 26, 2019 at 7:09 am
Tom, grow up.
Promises by any narcissist mean nothing. You cannot hang your hat on any word that Trump speaks, because it's not about you or anyone else, but about him and only him.
Here is a heads up. If any infrastructure is done it will be airports. The elite fly and couldn't give a crap about the suspension and wheel destroying potholes we have to slalom around every day. They also don't care that the great unwashed waste thousands of hours stuck in traffic when a bridge is closed or collapses.
Carla , July 26, 2019 at 7:47 am
Well, fix the airports and you've still got Boeing, self-destructing as fast as it can. And Airbus can't fill all the orders no matter how hard it tries. Guess everybody will just have to . stay home.
WheresOurTeddy , July 26, 2019 at 7:16 am
Are all the coal jobs back? How about the manufacturing? NAFTA been repealed and replaced with something better yet? How's the wall coming and has Mexico sent the check yet? Soldiers back from Afghanistan/Iraq/Syria yet?
Got that tax cut for rich people and a ton of conservative judges through though, didn't he?
Katniss Everdeen , July 26, 2019 at 8:17 am
"It couldn't have gone any better," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., told the Washington Post, even though Neal was investigating Trump for possible tax fraud.
What a surprise. It's simply "amazing" that the insane status quo jihad that has been waged against Trump since he announced his candidacy had real consequences for the country. Who would have thought that calling ANY president ignorant, ugly, fat, a liar, a traitor, a cheater, an agent of Putin, a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe, a bigot, an isolationist and an illegitimate occupant of the White House 24/7 since he or she won the election would make actual accomplishment nearly impossible.
The mere mention of his name on college campuses has even been legitimized as a fear-inducing, "safety"-threatening "microagression."
It's just so rich that having determined to prevent Trump from doing absolutely anything he promised during the campaign by any and all means, regardless of what the promise was or how beneficial it may have been, his numerous, bilious "critics" now have the gonads to accuse him of not getting anything done.
With all due respect to the author of this piece, the result he laments was exactly the point of this relentless nightmare of Trump derangement to which the nation has been subjected for three years. I tend to think that the specific promise most targeted for destruction was his criticism of NATO and "infrastructure" was collateral damage, but that's neither here nor there.
The washington status quo has succeeded in its mission to cripple a president it could not defeat electorally, and now tries to blame him for their success. Cutting off your nose to spite your face has always been a counterproductive strategy.
Aug 02, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Gabbard calls out the betrayers; Dems try to forget their heroes Mueller and Biden are among them.
Estimates of the number of civilians who died during the war in Iraq range from 151,000 to 655,000. An additional 4,491 American military personnel perished in the war. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, toxicologist at the University of Michigan, has organized several research expeditions to Iraq to measure the contamination and pollution still poisoning the air and water supply from the tons of munitions dropped during the war. It does not require any expertise to assume what the studies confirm: disease is still widespread and birth defects are gruesomely common. Back home, it is difficult to measure just how many struggle with critical injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The gains of war in Iraq remain elusive, especially considering that the justifications for invasion -- weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein's connection to al-Qaeda, the ambition to create a Western-style democracy at gunpoint -- remain "murky at best." That's a quote from the 9/11 Commission's conclusion on the so-called evidence linking Iraq to Osama bin Laden's group, which actually did carry out the worst terrorist attack in American history.
As far as stupid and barbarous decisions are concerned, it is difficult to top the war in Iraq. It is also difficult to match its price tag, which, according to a recent Brown University study, amounts to $1.1 trillion.
Gore Vidal once christened his country the "United States of Amnesia," explaining that Americans live in a perpetual state of a hangover: "Every morning we wake up having forgotten what happened the night before."
The war in Iraq ended only nine years ago, but it might as well have never taken place, given the curious lack of acknowledgement in our press and political debates. As families mourn their children, babies are born with irreversible deformities, and veterans dread trying to sleep through the night, America's political class, many of whom sold the war to the public, have moved on. When they address Iraq at all, they act as though they have committed a minor error, as though large-scale death and destruction are the equivalent of a poor shot in golf when the course rules allow for mulligans.
As the Robert Mueller fiasco smolders out, it is damning that the Democratic Party, in its zest and zeal to welcome any critical assessment of Trump's unethical behavior, has barely mentioned that Mueller, in his previous role as director of the FBI, played a small but significant role in convincing the country to go to war in Iraq.
Mueller testified to Congress that "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program poses a clear threat to our national security." He also warned that Saddam could "supply terrorists with radiological material" for the purposes of devising a nuclear bomb. Leaving aside any speculation about Mueller's intentions and assuming he had only the best of motives, it is quite bizarre, even dangerous, to treat as oracular someone who was wrong on such a life-or-death question.
Far worse than the worship of Mueller is the refusal to scrutinize the abysmal foreign policy record of Joe Biden, currently the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Of the Democrats in the Senate at that time, Biden was the most enthusiastic of the cheerleaders for war, waving his pompoms and cartwheeling in rhythm to Dick Cheney's music. Biden said repeatedly that America had "no choice but to eliminate the threat" posed by Saddam Hussein. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, his blustering was uniquely influential.
The former vice president now claims that his "only mistake was trusting the Bush administration," implying he was tricked into supporting the war. This line is not as persuasive as he imagines. First, it raises the question -- can't we nominate someone who wasn't tricked? Second, its logic crumbles in the face of Biden's recent decision to hire Nicholas Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, as his campaign's foreign policy advisor. Burns was also a vociferous supporter of the war. An enterprising reporter should ask Biden whether Burns was also tricked. Is the Biden campaign an assembly of rubes?
Instead, the press is likelier to interrogate Biden over his holding hands and giving hugs to women at public events. Criticism of Biden's "inappropriate touching" has become so strident that the candidate had to record a video to explain his behavior. The moral standards of America's political culture seem to rate kissing a woman on the back of the head as a graver offense than catastrophic war.
Polling well below Biden in the race is the congresswoman from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard. She alone on the Democratic stage has made criticism of American militarism central to her candidacy. A veteran of the Iraq war and a highly decorated major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, Gabbard offers an intelligent and humane perspective on foreign affairs. She's called the regime change philosophy "disastrous," advocated for negotiation with hostile foreign powers, and backed a reduction in drone strikes. She pledges if she becomes president to end American involvement in Afghanistan.
When Chris Matthews asked Gabbard about Biden's support for the Iraq war, she said, "It was the wrong vote. People like myself, who enlisted after 9/11 because of the terrorist attacks, were lied to. We were betrayed."
Her moral clarity is rare in the political fog of the presidential circus. She cautions against accepting the "guise of humanitarian justification for war," and notes that rarely does the American government bomb and invade a country to actually advance freedom or protect human rights.
Gabbard's positions are vastly superior to that of the other young veteran in the race, Pete Buttigieg. The mayor of South Bend recently told New York that one of his favorite novels is The Quiet American , saying that its author, Graham Greene, "points out the dangers of well-intentioned interventions."
Buttigieg's chances of winning the nomination seem low, and his prospects of becoming a literary critic appear even lower. The Quiet American does much more than raise questions about interventions: it is a merciless condemnation of American exceptionalism and its attendant indifference to Vietnamese suffering.
Americans hoping for peace won't find much comfort in the current White House either. President Trump has made the world more dangerous by trashing the Iran nuclear deal, and his appointment of John Bolton, a man who makes Donald Rumsfeld look like Mahatma Gandhi, as national security advisor is certainly alarming.
America's willful ignorance when it comes to the use of its own military exposes the moral bankruptcy at the heart of its political culture. Even worse, it makes future wars all but inevitable.
If no one can remember a war that ended merely nine years ago, and there's little room for Tulsi Gabbard in the Democratic primary, how will the country react the next time a president, and the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, declare that they have no choice but to remove a threat?
Norman Solomon, journalist and founder of the Institute for Public Accuracy, knows the answer to that question. He provides it in the title of his book on how the media treats American foreign policy decisions: War Made Easy .
David Masciotra is the author of four books, including Mellencamp: American Troubadour (University Press of Kentucky) and Barack Obama: Invisible Man (Eyewear Publishing).MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR
Walter • a day agoWhere ae the people who told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? Should they be tried for lying to the American public? 4500 troops killed and over $1.1 TRILLION wasted with no good results .With hundreds of thousands of Iraq's killed. .Clyde Schechter Walter • a day agoWhere are they, indeed? They are still running US foreign policy; that's where they are. They are pundits in all the major media; that's where they are.JeffK from PA Walter • 17 hours ago
I cannot even imagine what historians will say about the uncanny persistence of these charlatans' influence in this era after a consistent record of disastrous, abysmal misadventures.You don't have to look too hard to find them. Bolton, Pompeo, and other neocons are hiding in plain sight. The Military Industrial Complex is embedded in our foreign policy like a tick on a dog.Sid Finster JeffK from PA • 13 hours agoWhy not start with Bush and Blair?IanDakar Sid Finster • 10 hours agoBecause you'd be knocking out a storm trooper instead of the emperor, at least as far as Bush goes. Same for why the focus is on Bolton rather than simply Trump.JeffK from PA Sid Finster • 10 hours ago
I CAN see an argument that Trump/Bush knew what they were doing when they brought those people in though. f you feel that way and see it more of an owner of a hostile attack dog then yeah, you'd want to include those two too.Cheney. Pure evil.Sid Finster Walter • 13 hours agoNuremberg provides an instructive precedent. Start at the top with Bush and Blair keep going on down.Disqus10021 Sid Finster • 11 hours agoRecommended viewing: the 1961 movie "Judgment at Nuremberg".L Walter • 12 hours agoOne might wonder where that intelligence was gathered, and then maybe we could find out why these wars have been happening.Alex (the one that likes Ike) • a day agoHere stands Tulsi. A woman, who, unlike their conventional troupe, can win this election. They reject her because... what? Moar war? She's not the member of the Cult? Or it's simply some sort of collective political death wish?Anonne Alex (the one that likes Ike) • 12 hours agoThey reject her because she had the temerity to speak truth to power and supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 race. She stepped down from her position as Vice Chair of the DNC to endorse Sanders. She has real courage, and earned their wrath. She's not perfect but she's braver and stronger than almost the entire field. Only Bernie is on par.Alex (the one that likes Ike) Anonne • 9 hours agoAnd Bernie is the one they also hate, maybe a little bit less openly. Thus they reject those who can win the election. It's either a self-destructiveness or they think that it's better to keep on losing than to rebuild the party into what it needs to be.Nelson Alex (the one that likes Ike) • 8 hours agoWhat do you mean "they"? Anyone is free to support her campaign.former-vet • a day ago • editedDemocrats and the Republican establishment, both, love war. It wasn't a coincidence that Hillary Clinton chose Madeleine Albright to be a keynote speaker at "her" party convention ("we think the deaths of a half million children are worth it"). Liberals know that there isn't really any "free" free, and that taxing the rich won't match their dreams -- it is the blood and bones of innocent foreigners that must pay for their lust. Establishment Republicans are more straightforward: they simply profit off the death and destruction.Sid Finster former-vet • 13 hours ago
This is why Trump is being destroyed, and why Tulsi is attacked. If only "she" (the one who gloated over Khameni's murder) had been elected, we'd be in a proxy war with Russia now! A real war with Iran! This is what the American people want, and what they'll likely get when they vote another chicken-hawk in come 2020.Agree, except that Trump is not governing as a non-interventionist.Nelson former-vet • 8 hours ago
About the only thing one can say is that his is a slightly less reckless militarist than what the political class in this country wants.Khameni is still alive. You're thinking of Gaddafi.Fayez Abedaziz • a day agoTulsi, like Sanders is a 'danger' to everything Israel wants.TomG • 17 hours ago • edited
So, all...all the main 'news' networks and online sites don't like them and give more coverage to the same old Dem bull peddlers like ignorant Booker and the lousy opportunist low IQ Kamala Harris and Gillibrand.Manafort and his ilk can be tried and convicted for their lies. I guess if the lie is big enough we grant a pass on any need for prosecution. Justice for all? I don't think so.OrvilleBerry • 14 hours ago
Max Blumenthal posted a powerful piece at Consortium News (7/31/2019) about Biden's central and south American mis-adventures. Biden still extols his own policies however disastrous. The hubris of the man is worse than nauseating.
Great article, Mr. Masciotra.Whether one thinks Gabbard has a shot at the nomination or not, it's important to keep her on the stage in the next round of debates. Go to Tulsi2020.com and give her just one dollar (or more if you can)Strawman • 12 hours ago
so she has enough unique contributors to make the next round. And if you get polled,early on give her your vote.The moral standards of America's political culture seem to rate kissing a woman on the back of the head as a graver offense than catastrophic war.Disqus10021 • 12 hours ago • edited
Perfectly encapsulates the collective puerility of the American electorate. Thomas Jefferson must be spinning in his grave.The total US costs related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are expected to be considerably larger than $1.1 trillion, according to this study:david • 12 hours ago
Try $4-$6 trillion, according to the author of the study.
Long after I, Andrew Bacevitch and Hillary Clinton have gone to our reward, there will still be thousands of wounded warriors from these US Middle East adventures dependent on VA benefits for their survival and competing with civilian seniors for government handouts. A war with Iran would make the US fiscal situation that much worse.
The religious folks who were so anxious to protect family values only a few years ago seem to have their heads in the sand when it comes to the financial future of today's young Americans.
A few weeks ago, I made a token contribution to Tulsi Gabbard's campaign to help her qualify for the July Democratic debates. She will need more new contributors to qualify for the next round of debates."The war in Iraq ended only nine years ago,..."christopher kelly police ret. • 11 hours ago
Ahh..., really? So why do we still have over 5000 soldiers in Iraq?Tulsi was marvelous in knocking out Harris.Zsuzsi Kruska • 10 hours agoTulsi hasn't a chance of the nomination, but she's exposing things and maybe more people will get a clue about what's really going on with American lives and taxes being squandered for the profit of the few who benefit from these atrocities and wars abroad, done in the name of all Americans.Eric • 10 hours agoDonated my $3 to Tulsi yesterday. She's the only Democrat I would vote for and she needs to stay in this race as long as possible.Steve Naidamast • 10 hours agoBeing a supporter of Tulsi Gabbard for the very reasons that the author writes, has me agreeing with everything he has promoted in his piece.JeffK from PA • 10 hours ago
However, to answer his own question as to why Americans are lured into commenting on such innocuous and foolish things in such an important election such as Biden's touching of women, is answered by the author's own prose.
He states that Americans are only provided such nonsense from the press that is monitoring the election process. What else can people talk about? And even if many Americans are clearheaded enough to understand the charade of the current Democratic debates, what or who will actually provide legitimate coverage with the exception of online sites as the American Conservative, among others?
If most Americans were actually thinking individuals, Tulsi Gabbard would be a shoo-in for the presidency in 2020. However, given the two factors of a highly corrupted mainstream press and too many Americans not studying enough civics to understand what is going on around them, it is highly unlikely that Tulsi Gabbard will even get close to the possibility of being nominated...Cheney, mentioned in the article, was pure evil. I voted for GB2 for two reasons. 1) He was a very good Texas governor. He actually got anti-tax Texas to raise taxes dedicated to support education, in return for stricter standards for teachers. A good trade since Texas public schools were awful. 2) Dick Cheney. I thought he was the adult in the room that would provide steady and reliable guidance for Bush.Mccormick47 • 10 hours ago
Boy was I wrong about Cheney. "Deficits don't matter". Just watch the movie Vice. Christian Bale does an incredible job portraying the pure evil of Cheney and the Military Industrial Complex. The movie is chilling to watch. And it is basically true. Politifact does a good job of scoring the accuracy of Cheney's role in the Bush administration as portrayed in the movie.
https://www.politifact.com/...The trouble is, Conservatives promoting Gabbard and Williamson as their preferred candidates poisons their chances of staying in the race.Mark Thomason • 9 hours agoI remember a friend of mine, a proud Marine, saying before the Iraq War, "Well, they better find some WMD for all this."
They didn't. That should matter.
Aug 02, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
Establishment narrative managers distracted attention from a notable antiwar contender, seizing instead the chance to marshal an old smear against her, writes Caitlin Johnstone.
In the race to determine who will serve as commander in chief of the most powerful military force in the history of civilization, night two of the CNN Democratic presidential debates saw less than six minutes dedicated to discussing U.S. military policy during the 180-minute event.
That's six, as in the number before seven. Not 60. Not 16. Six. From the moment Jake Tapper said "I want to turn to foreign policy" to the moment Don Lemon interrupted Rep. Tulsi Gabbard just as she was preparing to correctly explain how President Donald Trump is supporting Al-Qaeda in Idlib , approximately five minutes and 50 seconds had elapsed. The questions then turned toward the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections and impeachment proceedings.
Night one of the CNN debates saw almost twice as much time, with a whole 11 minutes by my count dedicated to questions of war and peace for the leadership of the most warlike nation on the planet. This discrepancy could very well be due to the fact that night two was the slot allotted to Gabbard, whose campaign largely revolves around the platform of ending U.S. warmongering.
CNN is a virulent establishment propaganda firm with an extensive history of promoting lies and brazen psyops in facilitation of U.S. imperialism, so it would make sense that they would try to avoid a subject which would inevitably lead to unauthorized truth-telling on the matter.
But the near-absence of foreign policy discussion didn't stop the Hawaii lawmaker from getting in some unauthorized truth-telling anyway. Attacking the authoritarian prosecutorial record of Sen. Kamala Harris to thunderous applause from the audience, Gabbard criticized the way her opponent "put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana;" "blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the court's forced her to do so;" "kept people in prisons beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California;" and "fought to keep the cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way."
Harris Folded Under Pressure
Harris, who it turns out fights very well when advancing but folds under pressure, had no answer for Gabbard's attack, preferring to focus on attacking former Vice President Joe Biden instead.
Later, when she was a nice safe distance out of Gabbard's earshot, she uncorked a long-debunked but still effective smear that establishment narrative managers have been dying for an excuse to run wild with.
"This, coming from someone who has been an apologist for an individual, Assad, who has murdered the people of his country like cockroaches," Harris told Anderson Cooper after the debate, referring to the president of Syria. "She who has embraced and been an apologist for him in a way that she refuses to call him a war criminal. I can only take what she says and her opinion so seriously and so I'm prepared to move on."
That was all it took. Harris's press secretary Ian Sams unleashed a string of tweets about Gabbard being an "Assad apologist," which were followed by a deluge of establishment narrative managers who sent the word "Assad" trending on Twitter, at times when Gabbard's name somehow failed to trend despite being the top-searched candidate on Google after the debate.
As of this writing, "Assad" is showing on the No. 5 trending list on the side bar of Twitter's new layout, while Gabbard's name is nowhere to be seen. This discrepancy has drawn criticism from numerous Gabbard defenders on the platform .
"Somehow I have a hard time believing that 'Assad' is the top trending item in the United States but 'Tulsi' is nowhere to be found," tweeted journalist Michael Tracey.
It really is interesting how aggressively the narrative managers thrust this line into mainstream consciousness all at the same time.
The Washington Post 's Josh Rogin went on a frantic, lie-filled Twitter storm as soon as he saw an opportunity, claiming with no evidence whatsoever that Gabbard lied when she said she met with Assad for purposes of diplomacy and that she "helped Assad whitewash a mass atrocity," and falsely claiming that " she praised Russian bombing of Syrian civilians ."
... ... ...
War is the glue that holds the empire together . A politician can get away with opposing some aspects of the status quo when it comes to healthcare or education, but war as a strategy for maintaining global dominance is strictly off limits. This is how you tell the difference between someone who actually wants to change things and someone who's just going through the motions for show; the real rebels forcefully oppose the actual pillars of empire by calling for an end to military bloodshed, while the performers just stick to the safe subjects.
The shrill, hysterical pushback that Gabbard received last night was very encouraging, because it means she's forcing them to fight back. In a media environment where the war propaganda machine normally coasts along almost entirely unhindered in mainstream attention, the fact that someone has positioned themselves to move the needle like this says good things for our future. If our society is to have any chance of ever throwing off the omnicidal, ecocidal power establishment which keeps us in a state of endless war and soul-crushing oppression, the first step is punching a hole in the narrative matrix which keeps us hypnotized into believing that this is all normal and acceptable.
Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work.
Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Follow her work on Facebook , Twitter , or her website . She has a podcast and a new book " Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ."
Realist , August 2, 2019 at 20:06
I'm going to venture a guess and say that the media fixers for the Deep State's political song and dance show are not going to allow Tulsi back on that stage for the next installation of "Killer Klowns on Parade." Just as she had the right to skewer Harris for her sweeping dishonesty and hypocrisy in public office, she has just as much right to proactively respond to the smears and slanders directed against her by both the party establishment and its media colluders.
Her immediate response to the first question directed to her, regardless of topic, should be prefaced with something like "I would appreciate the media and the opposition please refrain from deliberately misrepresenting my policies and remarks, most notably trying to tar me with more of the fallacious war propaganda they both dispense so freely and without any foundation. It is beneath all dignity to attempt to win elections with lies and deceptions, just as it is to use them as pretexts for wars of choice that bring no benefit to either America or the countries being attacked. As I've repeatedly made clear, I only want to stop the wasteful destruction and carnage, but you deceitfully try to imply that I'm aligned with one of the several foreign governments that our leaders have needlessly and foolishly chosen to make war upon. You've done so on this stage and you've continued this misrepresentation throughout the American media. Please stop it. Play fair. Confine your remarks only to the truth."
That would raise a kerfuffle, but one that is distinctly called for. Going gently towards exit stage right consequent to their unanswered lies will accomplish nothing. If the Dems choose to excommunicate her for such effrontery, she should run as a Green, or an independent. This is a danger the Dem power structure dare not allow to happen. They don't even want the particulars of the actual history of these wars discussed in public. Thus, they will not even give her the chance to offer a rejoinder such as I outlined above. They will simply rule that she does not qualify for any further debates based on her polling numbers (which can be faked) and/or her financial support numbers. That is nominally how they've already decided to winnow down the field to the few who are acceptable to the Deep State–preferably Harris, Biden or Booker. Someone high profile but owned entirely by the insider elites. Yes, this rules out Bernie and maybe even Warren unless she secretly signed a blood pact with Wall Street to walk away from her platform if elected.
Gabbard has any chance to be elected only if she starts vigorously throwing over the tables of the money-lenders in the temple, so to speak.
Tom Kath , August 2, 2019 at 20:05
There is a big difference between "PRINCIPLES" and "POLICY". Principles should never change, but policy must. This is where I believe Tulsi can not only make a big difference, but ultimately even win. – Not this time around perhaps, she is young and this difference will take time to reveal itself.
O Society , August 2, 2019 at 16:39
Hide the empire in plain sight, that way no one will notice it. Then someone like Tulsi Gabbard goes and talks about it on national TV. Can't have that, can we? People might begin to see it if we do that
ranney , August 2, 2019 at 16:24
What is happening to Tulsi (the extraordinary spate of lies about her relationship with Assad coming from all directions) provides a good explanation why Bernie and Elizabeth have been smart not to make many comments about foreign policy.
The few Bernie has made indicate to me that he is sympathetic to the Palestinian problem, but smart enough to keep quiet on the subject until, God willing, he is in a position to actually do something about it. It will be interesting to see if debate questions force them to be more forthcoming about their opinions.
Emma Peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:05
Pro war democrats are now using the Russian ruse to go after anti war candidates like Gabbard. It's despicable to even insinuate Gabbard is working for Putin or had any other rationale for going to Syria than seeking peace. This alone proved Harris unfit for the presidency. Her awful record speaks for itself.
JOHN CHUCKMAN , August 2, 2019 at 15:58
Tulsi is the most original and interesting candidate to come along in many years. She's authentic, something not true of most of that pack.
And not true of most of the House and Senate with their oh-so-predictable statements on most matters and all those crinkly-faced servants of plutocracy. She has courage too, a rare quality in Washington where, indeed, cowards often do well. Witness Trump, Biden, Clinton, Bush, Johnson, et al.
If there's ever going to be any change in a that huge country which has become a force for darkness and fear in much of the world, it's going to come from the likes of Tulsi. But I'm not holding my breath. It's clear from many signals, the establishment very much dislikes her. So, the odds are, they'll make sure she doesn't win.
Still, I admire a valiant try. Just as I admire honesty, something almost unheard of in Washington, but she has it, in spades.
emma peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:48
And she has courage. She quit the DNC to support Bernie and went to Syria to seek the truth and peace.
Mike from Jersey , August 2, 2019 at 16:55
She is unique. The media is trying Ron-Paul-Type-Blackout on her, lest the public catches on to the fact that she is exactly what the country needs.
Sally Snyder , August 2, 2019 at 15:17
Here is an article that looks at the level of support from American voters for yet another war in the Middle East:
Warmonger candidates had better reconsider their positions if they believe that voters will back their stance. Just ask Hillary Clinton how that worked out for her and her warrior mentality in 2016.
Robert , August 2, 2019 at 14:49
Tulsi is the most promising candidate to successfully run against Trump for 2 reasons. 1. She has a sane, knowledgeable foreign/military policy promoting peace and non-intervention. 2) She understands the disastrous consequences of the WTO and "free" trade deals on the US economy. No other Democratic candidate has these 2 policies. Unfortunately, these policies are so dangerous to the real rulers of the world, her message is already being shut down and distorted.
emma peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:53
And she has cross over appeal with republicans who want out of the wars. People like Tucker Carson and Paul Craig Roberts support her. Thats why the DNC hate her..
Skip Scott , August 2, 2019 at 14:05
I read this article over on Medium this morning. Thanks for re-printing it here. I made the following comment there as well.
I was a somewhat enthusiastic supporter of Tulsi until just recently when she voted for the anti-BDS resolution. I guess "speaking truth to power" has its limits. What I fear is that the war machine will manipulate her if she ever gets elected. Once you accept any of the Empire's propaganda narrative, it is a slippery slope to being fully co-opted. Tulsi has said she is a "hawk" when it comes to fighting terrorists. All the MIC would have to do is another false flag operation, blame it on the "terrorists", and tell Tulsi it's time to get tough. Just as they manipulated the neo-liberals with the R2P line of bullshit, and Trump with the "evil Assad gasses his own people" bullshit, Tulsi could be brought to heel as well.
I will probably continue to send small donations to Tulsi just to keep her on the debate stage. But I've taken off the rose colored glasses.
Bob Herrschaft , August 2, 2019 at 13:57
Well said, Caitlin! There's an obvious effort to Jane Fodarize Tulsi before she threatens the favorites. She seems to keep a cool head, so much of it is likely to backfire and bring the narrative back where it belongs.
P. Michael Garber , August 2, 2019 at 13:42
Great article! Anderson Cooper in his post-debate interview with Gabbard appeared to be demanding a loyalty oath from her: "Will you say the words 'Bashar Assad is a murderer and torturer'?" In contrast to Gabbard, a service member with extensive middle east combat experience, Cooper is a chickenhawk and a naif to murder and torture; in that context his attack was inappropriate and disrespectful, and as he kept pressing it I thought he appeared unhinged. Gabbard could have done more to call out Cooper's craven attack (personally I think she could have decked him and been well within her rights), but she handled it with her customary grace and poise.
hetro , August 2, 2019 at 13:09
Seems to me Caitlin is right on, and her final statement is worth emphasizing: "Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work."
I read "narrative control" as brainwashing.
Note also that Caitlin is careful to qualify she does not fully agree with Gabbard, in context with year after year of demonizing Assad amidst the murk of US supported type militants, emphasis on barrel bombs, etc etc, all in the "controlling the narrative/propaganda" sphere.
Another interesting piece to consider on the smearing of Gabbard:
Brian Murphy , August 2, 2019 at 16:25
"A soldier knows when you are taking flak you are over your target." nice.
Aug 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Michael Fiorillo , , August 14, 2019 at 11:38 am
I can't add much to Yve's excellent post and the follow-up comments, except to say that the events of recent days and weeks have made Pizzagate (as deranged as it was) into some kind of weird Jungian premonition which is to say, the s&#* is out of control.
When Trump was first elected, I tried to calm down friends with advanced TDS, who expected Kristallnacht to be directed at their favorite brunch spots, by saying that "This is what empires in decline look like."
In regard to this sordid tale, I'm reminded of Robert Graves' (and the superb BBC TV version of) "I, Claudius."
"Don't eat the figs."
adrena , , August 14, 2019 at 11:48 am
In this sordid world, girls/women have absolutely no value.
ambrit , , August 14, 2019 at 12:16 pm
Don't forget the young boys who get traded around like fudge recipes. Something quick on the Hollywood angle on bent dicks. It applies almost everywhere in America now: https://news.avclub.com/corey-feldman-made-a-documentary-about-sexual-abuse-he-1834310252
My reinterpretation of your comment would be; In this sordid world, people without power have absolutely no value. Otherwise, I'm with you all the way. Abuse is abuse. No other definition is logical.
ambrit , , August 14, 2019 at 4:18 pm
Epstein's World was tied in with Hollywood and Wall Street. Both are homoerotic paedophile havens. The world of the Vatican is tied in to Wall Street; it has it's own bank, the Instituto per le Opere de Religioni.
Who knows? Perhaps there will be some Prelates unearthed from the Lolita Express passenger log.
Pelham , , August 14, 2019 at 1:54 pm
As is true with the continued withholding of key documents in the JFK assassination, I believe that if the lousy reporting and official screwups in the Epstein case persist, it will be perfectly fine for the public to conclude and believe the absolute worst and act accordingly.
Actually, we SHOULD believe the worst.
Robin Kash , , August 14, 2019 at 2:16 pm
Given the spotiness and inadequacy of reporting on the Epstein affair I wonder if an avenue for exploration might be that of a more direct involvement of media moguls and highly placed media staff in being serviced by Epstein i.e., the decision-makers regarding what gets covered and published are themselves subject to exposure, embarrassment, and other things that befall men caught in such matters.
Who covers the press and roots out its secret malefactions? Rogue reporters? And who publishes them? Indeed!
Aug 19, 2019 | www.unz.com
Sean McBride says: August 17, 2019 at 7:57 pm GMT 100 Words "dominate both polls" = "dominate both poles"?
A nice analysis of the rhetorical structure of conspiracy theories in general.
Another important aspect of this: the use of conspiracy theories to generate propaganda sufficiently toxic to severely damage or even destroy political opponents. For instance, Russiagate.
The mainstream media, since 2016, while railing against the conspiratorial mindset expressed in Internet alternative media channels, have been wallowing in it, promoting it with all the power at their disposal. Talk about twisty and sinister doublethink. One could almost describe it as diabolical.
They are often portraying false conspiracy theories as truth, and true conspiracy research as lies -- turning reality upside down and inside out.
Aug 19, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Whoa Molly! , July 28, 2018 at 7:31 am
Maher comes across as literally unhinged. Insane.
As James Howard Kunstler said recently, " I think that the thinking class in the United States has literally lost its mind. Donald Trump's persona is so odious that it's just driven them mad and he's like a giant splinter in the eye of the thinking class ."
I don't get it. Either Maher is part of the thinking class that has lost it's mind, or he's a destructive, cynical (familyblog) who is deliberately inflaming his 'Liberal Goodthinking' audience and gaslighting Wilkerson.
The LIberal Goodthinkers have gone so crazy they are making Trump look good.
PS: Thanks for term "Liberal Goodthinkers". Pretty good.
juliania , July 28, 2018 at 10:35 am
It's the thinking class versus the deplorables. And the former is enabling the latter in no uncertain terms. This period of lunacy won't be forgotten come voting time. Whereas, had the dems gracefully accepted defeat and concentrated on real issues that concern us all, they might have had a shot at the midterm merrygoround. Instead, they chose to keep the failed slurs of the last campaign a topic of conversation all the way through, as in fact the term 'transition' on these boards does as well. Transition = transitory.
Something is making Trump a very viable stayer through these turbulent times, and the minefield that these people have turned being President into is a sad commentary on the state of our union. But like the sanctions that are unthinkingly dispersed hither and yon, the blowback can be supercharged, and I can't think of more worthy recipients.
Damson , July 29, 2018 at 10:43 am
The Chattering Class is the UK term.. 'Thinking' is rather too generous for the mind-drool exemplified by Maher and his ilk
NotTimothyGeithner , July 28, 2018 at 9:09 am
Maher was a long time libertarian, and with the rightward shift of Team Blue and medical Marijuana (after all we still need to arrest minorities), Bill became a "liberal" type. He's still the same POS he was in the 90's.
Ur-Blintz , July 28, 2018 at 10:03 am
Bingo! How he ever fooled anyone into thinking he was less than a narcissistic, libertarian. money grubbing sociopath is beyond me. First time I saw him, way back when, he was railing against Social Security and he is perhaps most responsible for making a celebrity out of Arianna Huffington, giving her a nationwide pulpit on his original show when she was repulsively right-wing.
Aug 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Trump Slams NYT After Leaker Reveals Pivot From 'Russiagate' To 'Racism Witch Hunt'
by Tyler Durden Sun, 08/18/2019 - 11:49 0 SHARES
President Trump slammed the "failing New York Times" on Sunday after leaked comments from executive editor Dean Baquet revealed that the paper is pivoting from the Russia narrative (which he described as being "a little tiny bit flat-footed") to 'Trump is a racist.'
"The failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from the Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt ," Trump wrote on Twitter, adding "'Journalism' has reached a new low in the history of our Country. It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke But the public is aware! The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke But the public is aware!"
Sanity Bear , 13 minutes ago linkMrAToZ , 37 minutes ago link
Systematic deception by the press is a national security issue. In a real crisis, 2/3rds of this country is not going to believe either the government nor the media. That will be a real problem, and it's a massive weakness.
Neoliberal MSM propaganda like heroin. Those "news" outlets don't care about actual facts or news, they are more script writers than anything else. These pretend journalists have conjured up a narrative and it is all about repeat repeat repeat, keeping that constant drip going into the vein of the Dem constituency. It's been going on for decades and the only people that are too stupid to see it are the Dems themselves.
Aug 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
stevek , 18 minutes ago linkCreative_Destruct , 22 minutes ago link
Hillary has always loved to kill people. Its in her (evil) blood.TheDayAfter , 1 hour ago link
"This damn Serbian war is a symbol of all that is wrong with the righteous approach to the world and to problems within this nation."
Story of the last several decades (fill in the blank with your pick of the name of a US war or a SJW cause):
This damn _________ war is a symbol of all that is wrong with the righteous approach to the world and to problems within this nation.
Kissinger had many flaws, but he hit the nail on the head when he said:
"The fundamental problem in politics is not the opposition of wickedness, but the restraint of righteousness"TeaClipper , 1 hour ago link
We all know the Hypocrisy of that War. Clinton had to distract the masses from MonicaGate and Hillary had to prove to the MIC that she could be beneficial to them.
Result : Those Kosovo Albanians had a state handed to them, and instead of building it(with uncle Sam's and EU help) as prosperous country, they used their weapons and "expertise" in becoming the low level gangsters of Europe. Every Europol analysis points to the direction of Kosovo Albanians as the criminal thugs in prostitution and drug trade and protection rackets. The largest percentage of a single ethnic group in European jails is that of Albanians.PKKA , 3 hours ago link
The most unjust and illegal of wars in the late 20c.
There was only one reason to bomb white Christian brothers in Serbia thereby aiding the Muslim of Kosovo and Albania, and that was Russia, which by that stage had got its act together and dealt with the traitorous oligarchs who had sold their country out to the west.
Hillary and her cronies no doubt lost a lot of money when the Russians shut their rat lines down.
I hope I live long enough to see those fuckers swing, and Tony Blair, Alistair Campnell and Peter Mandelson as well.Joe A , 3 hours ago link
Again, your Muslims are to blame for everything. Muslims are all different. And it is necessary to separate the faithful Muslims from the bandits who are only covered by Muslim slogans.
NATO and your godless government are to blame!
An Afghan Freedom Fighter in Donbass - ENG SUBTITLE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc2KeSkl5H0HoyeruNew , 3 hours ago link
It happened at the time of the Lewinsky affair and the possible impeachment of Clinton. They needed a distraction.
Milosevic btw. agreed to all conditions imposed on the FR of Yugoslavia except for one condition that nobody would accept: the full and unhindered access to the territory of FRY by NATO troops. That effectively meant an occupation. Nobody would agree to that. NATO and Albright deliberately came up with that condition for they knew it was unacceptable. Even Kissinger said that condition was over the top. NATO and Albright wanted that war. Serbia btw. saved Albright twice when she was still a little Slovakian Jewish girl whose family found refuge twice in Serbia. Once they escaped the Nazis that way and the second time the communists.
NATO thought they would need 48 hours but they needed 78 days and Milosevic only gave in after NATO switched from hitting military targets to civilian targets: Hospitals, commuter trains, civilian industry, an open market, random houses in random villages. After Milosevic pulled out his troops out of Kosovo, the KLA started killing Serbs and moderate Albanians, not to mention engage in organ trafficking (...). As the article said, well over 200k Serbs, moderate Albanians, Roma and other minorities were ethnically cleansed from Kosovo.
The US also used cluster bombs and DU weapons. Of the 4000 Italian KFOR troops that went into Kosovo after the bombing, 700 are dead from cancer and leukemia with several hundreds more seriously ill. The American KFOR troops wore hazmat suits. The Italians did not have them and were not warned. Today, many people in southern Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo itself are sick and dying.ItsDanger , 2 hours ago link
yes just like USA tried to help Vietnam against communists... by killing 2 million Vietnamese. and tried to help Korea by killing 20 % of the population. and by helping Iraq get rid of "bad" Saddam Hussein by killing 2 million Iraqies.
Oh, the Americans are oh so helpfiul!seryanhoj , 1 hour ago link
Not disagreeing with you but lets remember that communists were killing a lot of people in other areas not long before those wars in SE Asia. May have been a wash in the end.Magnum , 3 hours ago link
13 million gallons of agent orange dropped on Vietnamese forests was our way of saying we love you. The genetic deformities are still widespread.
So glad they kicked the US out of there.JoeBattista , 3 hours ago link
That conflict led to hundreds of thousands of BOSNIANS moving to USA. Gotta keep the refugees flowing no matter what....seryanhoj , 1 hour ago link
Bring back the draft. On the whole Americans have no idea what the carnage of combat produces. Combat vets do. And the ones that aren't natural psychopaths never want to experience it again. This volunteer army we have is over loaded with a them. A military draft will actually bring some sort civilian control.seryanhoj , 1 hour ago link
They killed the draft so they would no longer be embarrassed by student protests and having to mow them down.
It worked. Today's snowflakes don't care about slaughter , only mini verbal aggressions against perverts.He–Mene Mox Mox , 3 hours ago link
Such ********. Do the millions we kill have any human rights? It's been going on for 4000 years. Ruthless pursuit of empire and fabricating phony justifications.Red Corvair , 4 hours ago link
Hillary seems to enjoy killing people. If it wasn't Gaddaffi, it was all the people on her body bag count, and now it's known she encouraged killing people in Serbia. Someone needs to take that old cow out into the center of the town and burn her at the stake.
Partially true, otherwise as usually excellent Dr. Paul, ... The Pandora's box situation was opened years before Clinton's bombing of Serbia, which was part of a larger scheme started nearly a decade before.
That was when the US armed the religious extremists in Bosnia, in order to bring war, "civil war" and chaos, and disintegration, the way they more recently tried to do with Syria, or "succeeded" in doing in Libya, bringing chaos and open-air slave markets in a country that was one of the most developed on the African continent under Gaddafi (a truth that was so easily erased by propaganda).
And the whole neocon scheme started two decades before, with the Zbigniew Brzezinski doctrine, when the US started arming the mujahedin in Afghanistan, provoking the trap for the Soviet invasion of 1979, which was the real opening of US neocon's Pandora's box we are regrettably so familiar with by now. We've all fallen in that old neocon/military-industrial-congressional-complex trap by now. And there seems to be no end in sight to those eternal wars "for civilization" (the old colonial trope dressed under new fatigues). Unless serious societal and political changes take place in the US to put an end to the US "imperial" death drive.
Aug 18, 2019 | dergipark.org.tr
To Michels organizations are the only means for the creation of a collective will and they work under the Iron Law of Oligarchy. He explicitly points out the indispensability of oligarchy from the organizations by saying that "It is organization which gives birth to the domination of the elected over electors, of the mandatanes over the mandators, of the delegates over delegators, who says organization, says oligarchy" (Michels 1966, p.365).
Oligarchical tendencies in organizations is not related to ideology or ends of the organizations. Of course, it is evident that any organization which is set up for autocratic aims , it is oligarchic by nature. To Michels, regardless of any ideological concerns, all types of organizations have oligarchic tendencies. It was his major question in political parties that "how can oligarchic tendencies be explained in socialist and democratic parties, which they declared war against it?"( Michels 1966, pp. 50-51).
When he examines this question throughout in his book: Political Parties, he sees organization itself particularly bureaucracy, nature of human being and the phenomenon of leadership as major factors for oligarchical tendencies in organizations. According to Michels' assessments, the crowd is always subject to suggestion and the masses have an apathy for guidance of their need. In contrast the leaders have a natural greed of power ( Michels 1966, pp. 64, 205). To Michels, leadership itself is not compatible with the most essential postulates of democracy, but leadership is a necessary phenomenon in every form of society. He says "At the outset, leaders arise spontaneously, their functions are ACCESSORY and GRATUITOUS. Soon however, they become professional leaders, and in this second stage of development they are stable and irremovable"(
Michels 1966, p. 364).
Leaders also have personal qualities that make them successful as a ruling class. These qualities are , the force of will, knowledge, strength of conviction, self sufficiency, goodness of heart and disinterestedness ( Michels 1966, p. 100 ). Furthermore there is a reciprocal relationship between leadership functions and the organizational structure. Majority of leaders abuse organizational opportunities for their personal aims by using their personal qualities and by creating means, organizational process or principles like party discipline.
As for as organization itself is considered as a source of oligarchy, Michels says that it is generally because of "PSYCHOLOGY OF ORGANIZATION ITSELF, that is to say, upon the tactical and technical necessities which result from the consolidation of every disciplined political aggregate."( Michels 1966, p. 365). Further as a particular type of organization bureaucracy and its features require an oligarchic structure.
At the societal level, although development in the democracy, oligarchy still exists. First of all he says by looking at the state as an organization, which needs a bureaucracy that is the source of enemy of individual freedom, the state represents a single gigantic oligarchy. An attempt to destroy this gigantic* oligarchy in fact brings a number of smaller oligarchies in society but does not eliminate it ( Michels 1966, p. 188,191,202). Secondly he agrees with Jean Jack Rousseau on the idea that "it is always against the natural order of things that the majority rule and the minority ruled." (Michels 1965, p. 106). Along with this idea professional leadership is seen by Michels as an incompatible phenomenon with
democracy, because , although the leaders at once are not more than executive agents off collective will, as soon as they gain the technical specialization, they emancipate themselves form the masses and start to use their power against the majority. ( Michels 1966, p.70). In addition to this, representative political system is not compatible with the ideal democracy, because to Michels, "a mass which delegates its sovereignty, that is to say transfer its sovereignty to the hands of the few individuals, abdicates its sovereign function ( Michels 1966, p. 73).
The third factor is related to level of socio-economic development of societies and experience of democracy in history. To him in this time ideal democracy is impossible due to socio-economic conditions, that further more he says that," The democracy has an inherent preference for the authoritarian solution of the important questions" (Michels 1966, p. 51, 342).
As a logical result of his iron law of oligarchy, he admits there are elites in society but not elite circulation in terms of replacing one another. He does not redefine the concept of elite, he took Pareto's theory of circulation of elites and modified it. To Michels, there is a battle between the old and new elites, leaders.
The end of this war is not an absolute replacement of the old elites by the new elites, but a reunion of elites, a perennial amalgamation. Complete replacement of elites is rare in history. The old elites attract, absorb and assimilate the new ones, and it is a continuous process (Michels 1966, p. 182, 343; Michels 1949, p. 63). Because for Michels, first " old aristocracy does not disappear, does not become proletarian or impoverished ( at least in absolute sense ), does not make way for new group of rulers , but that always remains at the head of nations, which it led over the course of centuries...[and second]...the old aristocracy be it very old rejuvenated, does not exercise the rule alone but is forced to shave it with some kind of new ruler" (Michels 1965, p. 75-76).
Aristocracy for Michels is not homogenous stratum, and consists of nobility and ruling class. Nobility represents a small but strong part of aristocracy. In this sense it seems that nobility represents real oligarchical power in the society. To Michels nobility holds itself at the helm and does not even dream of disappearing from the stage of history. Though not coinciding with aristocracy,
To Michels nobility holds itself at the helm and does not even dream of disappearing from the stage of history. Though not coinciding with aristocracy, and not constituting more than a part of it, nobility generally takes hold of it and makes itself its master. It pervades, conquers, and molds, the high middle class according to its own moral and social essence" ( Michels 1949,p. 77, 80 ). In contrast to nobility aristocracy is heterogeneous and a place where lower classes' members can easily rise and members of aristocracy can be subject to downward social mobility. For his time, he describes elements of aristocracy (1) aristocrats by birth (2) aristocracy of government clerks, (3) aristocracy of money (4) aristocracy of knowledge . All this groups also represent ruling class (Michels 1965, p. 76 ).
Michels does not get in too much special analysis of the relationships between aristocracy, ruling class and majority. I think he doesn't see that there are much differences in oligarchy in organization and oligarchy in society at large.
To me these two must be separated because (1) for individuals society in a sense an unavoidable place to be in contrast to organizations, particularly voluntary organization , (2) while society represent a more natural entity, organizations are more artificial entities and (3) organizations are set to realize certain targets in a certain period of time, in contrast society's targets are relatively unstable, and subject to reconstruction by people. To think of these questions, does not necessarily reject the existence of oligarchical tendencies in societies. In fact as Michels pointed out democracy has a legacy to solve important questions of society, by using oligarchic methods. Furthermore he also points out that at any social organization there is an intermixture of oligarchic and democratic tendencies. He says that"... In modem party life, aristocracy gladly present itself in democratic guise, while the substance of democracy is permeated with aristocratic elements. On the one side we have aristocracy is a democratic form, and on the other hand democracy with an aristocratic context" (Michels 1966, p.50).
... ... ...
In terms of replacement of old elites by new ones, there is a distinction between Pareto and Michels. Michels does not admit replacement of elites, but admits, amalgamation of new and old elites. In fact historically we can see both of them happened. In short term amalgamation of old and new elites, and in long terms replacement of old elites by new ones. This time period depends on changes in society at large. For example, consider socialist revolutions and aftermath of independent movement in developing countries where these two movements took place, old elites were wiped out. This type of changes are rarely in history. In short term, amalgamation of elites takes place and new elites gradually increases its proportion in the elite strata and ruling class. For example as a result of
industrialization in burope, Hughes observes that at the beginning ...upper class oligarchy shared power with the old aristocracy-but with each year that passed the balance seemed to incline more heavily in favor of the former" (Hughes 1965, pp.149-150). It can be concluded that new elites are bom as a result of socio- economic , political, and historical changes in society, and then these new elites via upward mobility, and that in the end the new elites take place the highest position in the society. In this process the adaptation ability of old elites determine their fates.
On democracy, Pareto always separate ideal democracy and democracy applied, and prefers to talk about the subjects of democracy rather than democracy itself. Michels is clearly in favor of democracy, Mosca was previously against democracy but after the experience of Fascism in Italy, he changed his mind.
How elitist theories affected democracy ? Two answers have given for this question. On the negative side, it has been said that these anti-democratic theories helped European ruling classes by restoring their self confidence and by increasing their consciousness about their privileges; therefore, elite theories become a vehicle for ruling classes (Hughes 1965 (b), p. 149), On the positive side, it has said that elitist theories have helped to enhance democratic theories, Michels himself believed that research on oligarchies necessary for development of democracy by saying that "...a serene and frank examination of oligarchical dangers of democracy will enable us to minimize these dangers,...(Michels 1966, p.370).
It can be said that elitist theories extended and increased awareness of masses and scientist against governments and ruling classes. As a result, many researches have been conducted on application of democracy in organizations.
Researches have shown that oligarchical tendencies are dominant in organizations and can not be eliminated totally. Further more, attempts to reduce oligarchic contrgl in organizations with very few exception have failed. In general, in voluntary organizations, the functional requirements of democracy con not be met most of the time (Lipset, Trow, and Coleman 1956, p.4,6,452).
Is democracy still compatible with elite theories? That has been the question that lead to redefine, reconceptualize the democracy. Here we must pay attention that Pareto, Mosca, and Michels worked J.J. Rousseau's definition of democracy: government by the people, but not government for the people (Burnham 1943, pp.156-7).
New democratic theories like political pluralism, theory of the mass society are compatible with elitist theories. Schumpeter was one of the earliest thinker that he redefined democracy considering elitists 1 arguments. To him democracy defined as "...institutional arrangement for arriving the power to decide by means of competitive struggle for the people's vote" (Bottomore 1964, p.10).
In contrast to compatibility of elitist theories with democracy, it can not be compatible with Marxism. Michels pointed out that M [t]he law of circulation of elites destroy the thesis of the possibility of a society without social levels...[and]... destroy equally the supposition of a ruling class that remains closed and inaccessible" (Michels 1965, p. 106). In terms of preference of political systems he clearly says that "the defects inherent in democracy are obvious. It is none the less true that as a form of social life we must choose democracy as the least of evils" (Michels 1966, p.370).
Elitist theorists not only introduced elites but also contributed on better understanding of social and political life of societies. The key concept is "power" and who has the power she/he is the leader of society. Heredity, wealth, intellect, organizations are the means to get power.
Aug 16, 2019 | www.fff.org
Twenty years ago, President Bill Clinton commenced bombing Serbia in the name of human rights, justice, and ethnic tolerance. Approximately 1,500 Serb civilians were killed by NATO bombing in one of the biggest sham morality plays of the modern era. As British professor Philip Hammond recently noted, the 78-day bombing campaign "was not a purely military operation: NATO also destroyed what it called 'dual-use' targets, such as factories, city bridges, and even the main television building in downtown Belgrade, in an attempt to terrorise the country into surrender."
Clinton's unprovoked attack on Serbia, intended to help ethnic Albanians seize control of Kosovo, set a precedent for "humanitarian" warring that was invoked by supporters of George W. Bush's unprovoked attack on Iraq, Barack Oba-ma's bombing of Libya, and Donald Trump's bombing of Syria.
Clinton remains a hero in Kosovo, and there is an 11-foot statue of him standing in the capitol, Pristina, on Bill Clinton Boulevard. A commentator in the United Kingdom's Guardian newspaper noted that the statue showed Clinton "with a left hand raised, a typical gesture of a leader greeting the masses. In his right hand he is holding documents engraved with the date when NATO started the bombardment of Serbia, 24 March 1999." It would have been a more accurate representation if Clinton was shown standing on the corpses of the women, children, and others killed in the U.S. bombing campaign.
Bombing Serbia was a family affair in the Clinton White House. Hillary Clinton revealed to an interviewer in the summer of 1999, "I urged him to bomb. You cannot let this go on at the end of a century that has seen the major holocaust of our time. What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?" A biography of Hillary Clinton, written by Gail Sheehy and published in late 1999, stated that Mrs. Clinton had refused to talk to the president for eight months after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. She resumed talking to her husband only when she phoned him and urged him in the strongest terms to begin bombing Serbia; the president began bombing within 24 hours. Alexander Cockburn observed in the Los Angeles Times,
It's scarcely surprising that Hillary would have urged President Clinton to drop cluster bombs on the Serbs to defend "our way of life." The first lady is a social engineer. She believes in therapeutic policing and the duty of the state to impose such policing. War is more social engineering, "fixitry" via high explosive, social therapy via cruise missile . As a tough therapeutic cop, she does not shy away from the most abrupt expression of the therapy: the death penalty.
I followed the war closely from the start, but selling articles to editors bashing the bombing was as easy as pitching paeans to Scientology. Instead of breaking into newsprint, my venting occurred instead in my journal:
- April 7, 1999: Much of the media and most of the American public are evaluating Clinton's Serbian policy based on the pictures of the bomb damage -- rather than by asking whether there is any coherent purpose or justification for bombing. The ultimate triumph of photo opportunities . What a travesty and national disgrace for this country.
- April 17: My bottom line on the Kosovo conflict: I hate holy wars. And this is a holy war for American good deeds -- or for America's saintly self-image? Sen. John McCain said the war is necessary to "uphold American values." Make me barf! Just another Hitler-of-the-month attack.
- May 13: This damn Serbian war is a symbol of all that is wrong with the righteous approach to the world and to problems within this nation.
The Kosovo Liberation Army's savage nature was well known before the Clinton administration formally christened them "freedom fighters" in 1999. The previous year, the State Department condemned "terrorist action by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army." The KLA was heavily involved in drug trafficking and had close to ties to Osama bin Laden. Arming the KLA helped Clinton portray himself as a crusader against injustice and shift public attention after his impeachment trial. Clinton was aided by many congressmen eager to portray U.S. bombing as an engine of righteousness. Sen. Joe Lieberman whooped that the United States and the KLA "stand for the same values and principles. Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values."
In early June 1999, the Washington Post reported that "some presidential aides and friends are describing [bombing] Kosovo in Churchillian tones, as Clinton's 'finest hour.'" Clinton administration officials justified killing civilians because, it alleged the Serbs were committing genocide in Kosovo. After the bombing ended, no evidence of genocide was found, but Clinton and Britain's Tony Blair continued boasting as if their war had stopped a new Hitler in his tracks.
In a speech to American troops in a Thanksgiving 1999 visit, Clinton declared that the Kosovar children "love the United States because we gave them their freedom back." Perhaps Clinton saw freedom as nothing more than being tyrannized by people of the same ethnicity. As the Serbs were driven out of Kosovo, Kosovar Albanians became increasingly oppressed by the KLA, which ignored its commitment to disarm. The Los Angeles Times reported on November 20, 1999,
As a postwar power struggle heats up in Kosovo Albanian politics, extremists are trying to silence moderate leaders with a terror campaign of kidnappings, beatings, bombings, and at least one killing. The intensified attacks against members of the moderate Democratic League of Kosovo, or LDK, have raised concerns that radical ethnic Albanians are turning against their own out of fear of losing power in a democratic Kosovo.
American and NATO forces stood by as the KLA resumed its ethnic cleansing, slaughtering Serbian civilians, bombing Serbian churches, and oppressing non-Muslims. Almost a quarter million Serbs, Gypsies, Jews, and other minorities fled Kosovo after Clinton promised to protect them. In March 2000 renewed fighting broke out when the KLA launched attacks into Serbia, trying to seize territory that it claimed historically belonged to ethnic Albanians. UN Human Rights Envoy Jiri Dienstbier reported that "the [NATO] bombing hasn't solved any problems. It only multiplied the existing problems and created new ones. The Yugoslav economy was destroyed. Kosovo is destroyed. There are hundreds of thousands of people unemployed now."
U.S. complicity in atrocities
Prior to the NATO bombing, American citizens had no responsibility for atrocities committed by either Serbs or ethnic Albanians. However, after American planes bombed much of Serbia into rubble to drive the Serbian military out of Kosovo, Clinton effectively made the United States responsible for the safety of the remaining Serbs in Kosovo. That was equivalent to forcibly disarming a group of people, and then standing by, whistling and looking at the ground, while they are slaughtered. Since the United States promised to bring peace to Kosovo, Clinton bears some responsibility for every burnt church, every murdered Serbian grandmother, every new refugee column streaming north out of Kosovo. Despite those problems, Clinton bragged at a December 8, 1999, press conference that he was "very, very proud" of what the United States had done in Kosovo.
I had a chapter on the Serbian bombing campaign titled "Moralizing with Cluster Bombs" in Feeling Your Pain: The Explosion and Abuse of Government Power in the Clinton–Gore Years (St. Martin's Press, 2000), which sufficed to spur at least one or two reviewers to attack the book. Norman Provizer, the director of the Golda Meir Center for Political Leadership, scoffed in the Denver Rocky Mountain News, "Bovard chastises Clinton for an illegal, undeclared war in Kosovo without ever bothering to mention that, during the entire run of American history, there have been but four official declarations of war by Congress."
As the chaotic situation in post-war Kosovo became stark, it was easier to work in jibes against the debacle. In an October 2002 USA Today article ("Moral High Ground Not Won on Battlefield") bashing the Bush administration's push for war against Iraq, I pointed out, "A desire to spread freedom does not automatically confer a license to kill . Operation Allied Force in 1999 bombed Belgrade, Yugoslavia, into submission purportedly to liberate Kosovo. Though Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic raised the white flag, ethnic cleansing continued -- with the minority Serbs being slaughtered and their churches burned to the ground in the same way the Serbs previously oppressed the ethnic Albanians."
In a 2011 review for The American Conservative, I scoffed, "After NATO planes killed hundreds if not thousands of Serb and ethnic Albanian civilians, Bill Clinton could pirouette as a savior. Once the bombing ended, many of the Serbs remaining in Kosovo were slaughtered and their churches burned to the ground. NATO's 'peace' produced a quarter million Serbian, Jewish, and Gypsy refugees."
In 2014, a European Union task force confirmed that the ruthless cabal that Clinton empowered by bombing Serbia committed atrocities that included murdering persons to extract and sell their kidneys, livers, and other body parts. Clint Williamson, the chief prosecutor of a special European Union task force, declared in 2014 that senior members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) had engaged in "unlawful killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, illegal detentions in camps in Kosovo and Albania, sexual violence, forced displacements of individuals from their homes and communities, and desecration and destruction of churches and other religious sites."
The New York Times reported that the trials of Kosovo body snatchers may be stymied by cover-ups and stonewalling: "Past investigations of reports of organ trafficking in Kosovo have been undermined by witnesses' fears of testifying in a small country where clan ties run deep and former members of the KLA are still feted as heroes. Former leaders of the KLA occupy high posts in the government." American politicians almost entirely ignored the scandal. Vice President Joe Biden hailed former KLA leader and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in 2010 as "the George Washington of Kosovo." A few months later, a Council of Europe investigative report tagged Thaci as an accomplice to the body-trafficking operation.
Clinton's war on Serbia opened a Pandora's box from which the world still suffers. Because politicians and pundits portrayed that war as a moral triumph, it was easier for subsequent presidents to portray U.S. bombing as the self-evident triumph of good over evil. Honest assessments of wrongful killings remain few and far between in media coverage.
This article was originally published in the July 2019 edition of Future of Freedom .Category: Foreign Policy & War
James Bovard is a policy adviser to The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is a USA Today columnist and has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New Republic, Reader's Digest, Playboy, American Spectator, Investors Business Daily, and many other publications. He is the author of Freedom Frauds: Hard Lessons in American Liberty (2017, published by FFF); Public Policy Hooligan (2012); Attention Deficit Democracy (2006); The Bush Betrayal (2004); Terrorism and Tyranny (2003); Feeling Your Pain (2000); Freedom in Chains (1999); Shakedown (1995); Lost Rights (1994); The Fair Trade Fraud (1991); and The Farm Fiasco (1989). He was the 1995 co-recipient of the Thomas Szasz Award for Civil Liberties work, awarded by the Center for Independent Thought, and the recipient of the 1996 Freedom Fund Award from the Firearms Civil Rights Defense Fund of the National Rifle Association. His book Lost Rights received the Mencken Award as Book of the Year from the Free Press Association. His Terrorism and Tyranny won Laissez Faire Book's Lysander Spooner award for the Best Book on Liberty in 2003. Read his blog . Send him email .
Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
STEPHEN COHEN: I'm not aware that Russia attacked Georgia. The European Commission, if you're talking about the 2008 war, the European Commission, investigating what happened, found that Georgia, which was backed by the United States, fighting with an American-built army under the control of the, shall we say, slightly unpredictable Georgian president then, Saakashvili, that he began the war by firing on Russian enclaves. And the Kremlin, which by the way was not occupied by Putin, but by Michael McFaul and Obama's best friend and reset partner then-president Dmitry Medvedev, did what any Kremlin leader, what any leader in any country would have had to do: it reacted. It sent troops across the border through the tunnel, and drove the Georgian forces out of what essentially were kind of Russian protectorate areas of Georgia.
So that- Russia didn't begin that war. And it didn't begin the one in Ukraine, either. We did that by [continents], the overthrow of the Ukrainian president in 14 after President Obama told Putin that he would not permit that to happen. And I think it happened within 36 hours. The Russians, like them or not, feel that they have been lied to and betrayed. They use this word, predatl'stvo, betrayal, about American policy toward Russia ever since 1991, when it wasn't just President George Bush, all the documents have been published by the National Security Archive in Washington, all the leaders of the main Western powers promised the Soviet Union that under Gorbachev, if Gorbachev would allow a reunited Germany to be NATO, NATO would not, in the famous expression, move two inches to the east.
Now NATO is sitting on Russia's borders from the Baltic to Ukraine. So Russians aren't fools, and they're good-hearted, but they become resentful. They're worried about being attacked by the United States. In fact, you read and hear in the Russian media daily, we are under attack by the United States. And this is a lot more real and meaningful than this crap that is being put out that Russia somehow attacked us in 2016. I must have been sleeping. I didn't see Pearl Harbor or 9/11 and 2016. This is reckless, dangerous, warmongering talk. It needs to stop. Russia has a better case for saying they've been attacked by us since 1991. We put our military alliance on the front door. Maybe it's not an attack, but it looks like one, feels like one. Could be one.
Disturbed Voter , July 30, 2018 at 6:32 am
Real politik. Don't bring a knife to a gun fight. Don't start fights in the first place. The idea that American leadership is any better than mid-Victorian imperialism, is laughable.
Jerri-Lynn Scofield , July 30, 2018 at 8:15 am
Here's the RNN link to part one: The Russia "National Security Crisis" is a U.S. Creation .
integer , July 30, 2018 at 7:12 am
AARON MATE: We hear, often, talk of Putin possibly being the richest person in the world as a result of his entanglement with the very corruption of Russia you're speaking about
Few appear to be aware that Bill Browder is single-handedly responsible for starting, and spreading, the rumor that Putin's net worth is $200 billion (for those who are unfamiliar with Browder, I highly recommend watching Andrei Nekrasov's documentary titled " The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes "). Browder appears to have first started this rumor early in 2015 , and has repeated it ad nauseam since then, including in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017 . While Browder has always framed the $200 billion figure as his own estimate, that subtle qualifier has had little effect on the media's willingness to accept it as fact.
Interestingly, during the press conference at the Helsinki Summit, Putin claimed Browder sent $400 million of ill-gotten gains to the Clinton campaign. Putin retracted the statement and claimed to have misspoke a week or so later, however by that time the $400 million figure had been cited by numerous media outlets around the world. I think it is at least possible that Putin purposely exaggerated the amount of money in question as a kind of tit-for-tat response to Browder having started the rumor about his net worth being $200 billion.
Blue Pilgrim , July 30, 2018 at 11:39 am
The stories I saw said there was a mistranslation -- but that the figure should have $400 thousand and not $400 million. Maybe Putin misspoke, but the $400,000 number is still significant, albeit far more reasonable.
Putin never was on the Forbes list of billionaires, btw, and his campaign finance statement comes to far less. It never seems to occur to rabid capitalists or crooks that not everyone is like them, placing such importance on vast fortunes, or want to be dishonest, greedy, or power hungry. Putin is only 'well off' and that seems to satisfy him just fine as he gets on with other interests, values, and goals.
integer , July 30, 2018 at 12:03 pm
Yes, $400,000 is the revised/correct figure. My having written that "Putin retracted the statement" was not the best choice of phrase. Also, the figure was corrected the day after it was made, not "a week or so later" as I wrote in my previous comment. From the Russia Insider link:
Browder's criminal group used many tax evasion methods, including offshore companies. They siphoned shares and funds from Russia worth over 1.5 billion dollars. By the way, $400,000 was transferred to the US Democratic Party's accounts from these funds. The Russian president asked us to correct his statement from yesterday. During the briefing, he said it was $400,000,000, not $400,000. Either way, it's still a significant amount of money.
JohnnyGL , July 30, 2018 at 2:54 pm
I hadn't heard about the revision/edit to the $400M, thanks!
Seems crazy to think how much Russo-phobia seems to have been ginned up by one tax-dodging hedgie with an axe to grind.
Procopius , July 31, 2018 at 1:11 am
There's something weird about the anti-Putin hysteria. Somehow, many, many people have come to believe they must demonstrate their membership in the tribe by accepting completely unsupported assertions that go against common sense.
Eureka Springs , July 30, 2018 at 7:58 am
In a sane world we the people would be furious with the Clinton campaign, especially the D party but the R's as well, our media (again), and our intel/police State (again). Holding them all accountable while making sure this tsunami of deception and lies never happens again.
It's amazing even in time of the internetz those of us who really dig can only come up with a few sane voices. It's much worse now in terms of the numbers of sane voices than it was in the run up to Iraq 2.
CenterOfGravity , July 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm
Regardless of broad access to far more information in the digital age, never under estimate the self-preservation instinct of American exceptionalist mythology. There is an inverse relationship between the decline of US global primacy and increasingly desperate quest for adventurism. Like any case of addiction, looking outward for blame/salvation is imperative in order to prevent the mirror of self-reflection/realization from turning back onto ourselves.
integer , July 30, 2018 at 9:28 am
we're not to believe we're not supposed to believe we're supposed to believe
Believe whatever you want, however your comment gives the impression that you came to this article because you felt the need to push back against anything that does not conform to the liberal international order's narrative on Putin and Russia, rather than "with an eagerness to counterbalance the media's portrayal of Putin". WRT to whataboutism, I like Greenwald's definition of the term :
"Whataboutism": the term used to bar inquiry into whether someone adheres to the moral and behavioral standards they seek to impose on everyone else. That's its functional definition.
Rojo , July 30, 2018 at 12:25 pm
Invoking "whataboutism" is a liberal team-Dem tell.
Amfortas the Hippie , July 30, 2018 at 2:20 pm
aye. I've never seen it used by anyone aside from the worst Hill Trolls.
Indeed, when it was first thrown at me, I endeavored to look it up, and found that all references to it were from Hillaryites attempting to diss apostates and heretics.
Jonathan Holland Becnel , July 30, 2018 at 8:22 pm
John Oliver, whos been completely sucking lately with TDS, did a semi decent segment on Whataboutism.
Eureka Springs , July 30, 2018 at 9:52 am
The degree of consistency and or lack of hypocrisy based on words and actions separates US from Russia to an astonishing level. That is Russia's largest threat to US, our deceivers. The propaganda tables have turned and we are deceiving ourselves to points of collective insanity and warmongering with a great nuclear power while we are at it. Warmongering is who we are and what we do.
Does Russia have a GITMO, torture Chelsea Manning, openly say they want to kill Snowden and Assange? Is Russia building up arsenals on our borders while maintaining hundreds of foreign bases and conducting several wars at any given moment while constantly threatening to foment more wars? Is Russia dropping another trillion on nuclear arsenals? Is Russia forcing us to maintain such an anti democratic system and an even worse, an entirely hackable electronic voting system?
You ready to destroy the world, including your own, rather than look in the mirror?
rkka , July 30, 2018 at 9:52 am
You're talking about extending Russian military power into Europe when the military spending of NATO Europe alone exceeds Russia's by almost 5-1 (more like 12-1 when one includes the US and Canada), have about triple the number of soldiers than Russia has, and when the Russian ground forces are numerically smaller than they have been in at least 200 years?
" to put their self-interests above those of their constituents and employees, why can't we apply this same lens to Putin and his oligarchs?"
The oligarchs got their start under Yeltsin and his FreeMarketDemocraticReformers, whose policies were so catastrophic that deaths were exceeding births by almost a million a year by the late '90s, with no end in sight. Central to Yeltsin's governance was the corrupt privatization, by which means the Seven Bankers came to control the Russian economy and Russian politics.
Central to Putin's popularity are the measures he took to curb oligarchic predation in 2003-2005. Because of this, Russia's debt:GDP ratio went from 1.0 to about 0.2, and Russia's demographic recovery began while Western analysis were still predicting the death of Russia.
So Putin is the anti-oligarch in Russian domestic politics.
Blue Pilgrim , July 30, 2018 at 12:17 pm
"While it's true that power corrupts"
I know of many people who sacrifice their own interests for those of their children (over whom they have virtually absolute power), family member and friends. I know of others who dedicate their lives to justice, peace, the well being of their nation, the world, and other people -- people who find far greater meaning and satisfaction in this than in accumulating power or money. Other people have their own goals, such as producing art, inventing interesting things, reading and learning, and don't care two hoots about power or money as long as their immediate needs are met.
I'm cynical enough about humans without thinking the worst of everyone and every group or culture. Not everyone thinks only of nails and wants to be hammers, or are sociopaths. There are times when people are more or less forced into taking power, or getting more money, even if they don't want it, because they want to change things for the better or need to defend themselves.
There are people who get guns and learn how to use them only because they feel a need for defending themselves and family but who don't like guns and don't want to shoot anyone or anything.
There are many people who do not want to be controlled and bossed around, but neither want to boss around anyone else. The world is full of such people. If they are threatened and attacked, however, expect defensive reactions. Same as for most animals which are not predators, and even predators will generally not attack other animals if they are not hungry or threatened -- but that does not mean they are not competent or can be dangerous.
Capitalism is not only inherently predatory, but is inherently expansive without limits, with unlimited ambition for profits and control. It's intrinsically very competitive and imperialist. Capitalism is also a thing which was exported to Russia, starting soon after the Russian Revolution, which was immediately attacked and invaded by the West, and especially after the fall of the Soviet Union. Soviet Russia had it's own problems, which it met with varying degrees of success, but were quite different from the aggressive capitalism and imperialism of the US and Europe.
Not every culture and person are the same.
BenX , July 30, 2018 at 3:28 pm
The pro-Putin propaganda is pretty interesting to witness, and of course not everything Cohen says is skewed pro-Putin – that's what provides credibility. But "Putin kills everybody" is something NOBODY says (except Cohen, twice in one interview) – Putin is actually pretty selective of those he decides to have killed. But of course, he doesn't kill anyone, personally – therefore he's an innocent lamb, accidentally running Russia as a dictator.
rkka , July 31, 2018 at 9:11 am
The most recent dictator in Russian history was Boris Yeltsin, who turned tanks on his legislature while it was in the legal and constitutional process of impeaching him, and whose policies were so catastrophic for Russians (who were dying off at the rate of 900k/yr) that he had to steal his re-election because he had a 5% approval rating.
But he did as the US gvt told him, so I guess that makes him a Democrat.
Under Putin Russia recovered from being helpless, bankrupt & dying, but Russia has an independent foreign policy, so that makes Putin a dictator.
Plenue , July 30, 2018 at 3:54 pm
"Does any sane person believe that there will ever be a Putin-signed contract provided as evidence? Does any sane person believe that Putin actually needs to "approve" a contract rather than signaling to his oligarch/mafia hierarchy that he's unhappy about a newspaper or journalist's reporting?"
Why do you think Putin even needs, or feels a need, to have journalists killed in the first place? I see no evidence to support this basic assumption.
The idea of Russia poised to attack Europe is interesting, in light of the fact that they've cut their military spending by 20%. And even before that the budgets of France, Germany, and the UK combined well exceeded that of Russia, to say nothing of the rest of NATO or the US.
Putin's record speaks for itself. This again points to the absurdity of claiming he's had reporters killed: he doesn't need to. He has a vast amount of genuine public support because he's salvaged the country and pieced it back together after the pillaging of the Yeltsin years. That he himself is a corrupt oligarch I have no particular doubt of. But if he just wanted to enrich himself, he's had a very funny way of going about it. Pray tell, what are these 'other interpretations'?
"The US foreign policy has been disastrous for millions of people since world war 2. But Cohen's arguments that Russia isn't as bad as the US is just a bunch of whattaboutism."
What countries has the Russian Federation destroyed?
witters , July 31, 2018 at 1:30 am
Here is a fascinating essay ["Are We Reading Russia Right?"] by Nicolai N. Petro who currently holds the Silvia-Chandley Professorship of Peace Studies and Nonviolence at the University of Rhode Island. His books include, Ukraine
in Crisis (Routledge, 2017), Crafting Democracy (Cornell, 2004), The Rebirth of Russian Democracy (Harvard, 1995), and Russian Foreign Policy, co-authored with Alvin Z. Rubinstein (Longman, 1997). A graduate of the University of Virginia, he is the recipient of Fulbright awards to Russia and to Ukraine, as well as fellowships from the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies in Washington,
D.C., and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. As a Council on Foreign Relations Fellow, he served as special assistant for policy toward the Soviet Union in the U.S. Department of State from 1989 to 1990. In addition to scholarly publications
on Russia and Ukraine, he has written for Asia Times, American Interest, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian (UK), The Nation, New York Times, and Wilson Quarterly. His writings have appeared frequently on the web sites of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and The National Interest.
I warn you – it is terrifying!
Carolinian , July 30, 2018 at 8:55 am
Thanks for so much for this. Great stuff. Cohen says the emperor has no clothes so naturally the empire doesn't want him on television. I believe he has been on CNN one or two times and I saw him once on the PBS Newshour where the interviewer asked skeptical questions with a pained and skeptical look. He seems to be the only prominent person willing to stand up and call bs on the Russia hate. There are plenty of pundits and commentators who do that but not many Princeton professors.
Thye Rev Kev , July 30, 2018 at 9:04 am
It has been said in recent years that the greatest failure of American foreign policy was the invasion of Iraq. I think that they are wrong. The greatest failure, in my opinion, is to push both China and Russia together into a semi-official pact against American ambitions. In the same way that the US was able to split China from the USSR back in the seventies, the best option was for America to split Russia from China and help incorporate them into the western system. The waters for that idea have been so fouled by the Russia hysteria, if not dementia, that that is no longer a possibility. I just wish that the US would stop sowing dragon's teeth – it never ends well.
NotTimothyGeithner , July 30, 2018 at 9:45 am
The best option, but the "American exceptionalists" went nuts. Also, the usual play book of stoking fears of the "yellow menace" would have been too on the nose. Americans might not buy it, and there was a whole cottage industry of "the rising China threat" except the potential consumer market place and slave labor factories stopped that from happening.
Bringing Russia into the West effectively means Europe, and I think that creates a similar dynamic to a Russian/Chinese pact. The basic problem with the EU is its led by a relatively weak but very German power which makes the EU relatively weak or controllable as long as the German electorate is relatively sedate. I think they still need the international structures run by the U.S. to maintain their dominance. What Russia and the pre-Erdogan Turkey (which was never going to be admitted to the EU) presented was significant upsets to the existing EU order with major balances to Germany which I always believed would make the EU potentially more dynamic. Every decision wouldn't require a pilgrimage to Berlin. The British were always disinterested. The French had made arrangements with Germany, and Italy is still Italy. Putting Russia or Turkey (pre-Erdogan) would have disrupted this arrangement.
John Wright , July 30, 2018 at 11:11 am
>which is oddly not easy to locate on its site
It appeared to me that Aaron Mate knew he was dealing with a weak hand by the end of the interview.
When Mate stated "it's widely held that Putin is responsible for the killing of journalists and opposition activists who oppose him."
There are many widely held beliefs in the world, and that does not make them true.
For example, It was widely held, and still may be believed by some, that Saddam Hussein was involved in the events of 9/11.
It is widely believed that humans are not responsible, in any part, for climate change.
Mate may have been embarrassed when he saw the final version and as a courtesy to him, the interview was made more difficult to find.
pretzelattack , July 30, 2018 at 11:35 am
iirc he didn't say it was true.
Elizabeth Burton , July 30, 2018 at 7:18 pm
The Crimea voted to be annexed by Russia by a clear majority. The US overran Hawaii with total disregard for the wishes of the native population. Your comparison is invalid.
vato , July 31, 2018 at 3:37 am
"Putin's finger prints are all over the Balkan fiasco".How is that with Putin only becoming president in 2000 and the Nato bombing started way beforehand. It's ridiculous to think that Putin had any major influence at that time as govenor or director of the domestic intelligence service on what was going during the bombing of NATO on Belgrad. Even Gerhard Schroeder, then chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, admitted in an interview in 2014 with a major German Newspaper (Die Zeit) that this invasion of Nato was a fault and against international law!
Can you concrete what you mean by "fingerprints" or is this just another platitudes?
ewmayer , July 31, 2018 at 6:05 pm
"Somebody called it Trump derangement syndrome."
I believe that the full and proper name of the psychiatric disorder in question is Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome [PTDS].
o Eager and uncritical ingestion and social-media regurgitation of even the most patently absurd MSM propaganda. For example, the meme that releasing factual information about actual election-meddling (as Wikileaks did about the Dem-establishment's rigging of its own nomination process in 2016) is a grave threat to American Democracy™;
o Recent-onset veneration of the intelligence agencies, whose stock in trade is spying on and lying to the American people, spreading disinformation, election rigging, torture and assassination and its agents, such as liar and perjurer Clapper and torturer Brennan;
o Rehabilitation of horrid unindicted GOP war criminals like G.W. Bush as alleged examples of "norms-respecting Republican patriots";
o Smearing of anyone who dares question the MSM-stoked hysteria as an America-hating Russian stooge.
May 07, 2017 | nationalinterest.org
or a brief period in April, it appeared that the campaign that Democrats and neo-conservative Republicans were waging for a comprehensive investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with the Russian government to influence the 2016 presidential election had peaked and was beginning to ebb. The Trump administration's decision to launch missile strikes against a Syrian air base despite Russian President Vladimir Putin vehement objections to the assault on his ally, quieted accusations that Trump was Putin's puppet. Indeed, hawks in both parties praised Trump for taking action in Syria, and the president's supporters at Fox News and elsewhere contended that the U.S. attack discredited the notion that he was guilty of appeasing Russia.
But the hiatus in the allegations of collusion was only temporary. Worse, the resurgent anti-Russia hysteria has broader, ominous implications for U.S. foreign policy and the health of political discourse in the United States.
Congressional Democrats and their media allies have renewed their offensive in the past two weeks. Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) even argues that the evidence already amassed seems to be enough to warrant President Trump's impeachment. It was especially notable that no prominent Democrat denounced such an inflammatory accusation. Indeed, Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee appear to be escalating their concept of what constitutes a thorough investigation, now insisting that any contact by advisers to the Trump campaign with any Russian official be subject to scrutiny.
They and their neoconservative allies also insist on a laser-like focus on the alleged misdeeds of the Trump people and nothing else. The current scandal erupted full force when leaked reports from the U.S. intelligence community that newly installed National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the campaign and discussed sensitive issues, including the ongoing U.S. economic sanctions against Russia, thus apparently undermining the Obama administration's policies. Flynn's action showed poor judgment, and his attempt to conceal the contact from Vice President Mike Pence, was even worse. A recent Washington Post article contends that Flynn went ahead with his meeting even though senior Trump campaign officials cautioned against it and warned him that it was almost certain that U.S. intelligence agencies were electronically monitoring Kislyak and all of his contacts.
Examining Flynn's behavior is appropriate, but even that investigation should focus not only on his questionable Russia contacts but on the leak of the intelligence report outing him. Indeed, an intelligence official's unmasking the identity of an American citizen in that fashion constitutes a felony. However, except for perfunctory statements from a few Democratic members of Congress that such an illegal leak also needed to be investigated, little interest has emerged in actually doing so.
Such an outrageous accusation might have made even the infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy blush. That it came from a prominent Republican also suggests that the current bout of Russophobia is not purely a partisan phenomenon. The broader implications are extremely worrisome. A campaign appears to be underway to intimidate and silence critics of the current policy toward Russia, and even policy regarding NATO.
Attempting to enshrine Washington's group think on crucial issues is unhealthy for any democratic system. The track record on previous group think on such decisions as the military interventions in Vietnam, Iraq, and Libya also confirms that it can produce truly tragic results. Creating a similar situation of stifling debate regarding U.S. policy toward a nation armed with thousands of nuclear weapons is the essence of folly.
Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at the National Interest, is the author of 10 books, the contributing editor of 10 books, and the author of more than 650 articles on international affairs.
nicksorokin • 2 years ago ,RedBaron9495 • 2 years ago ,
Mr. Carpenter makes the excellent point that political sobriety, rational thought and action, and responsible dialogue is missing from the cadre of drum beating anti-Trump die hearts, who are using the made-up Trump collusion story to destroy the Trump presidency.
Their kamikaze style political tactics will end badly for the democrats, who will be pulverized during the next election for neglecting the people’s business in favor of political scandal, turmoil and extremist partisan behavior.
Keep it up Chuck, you are working overtime to insure greater Republican gains.RussG • 2 years ago ,
Actually, I am an agent of all people who disapprove of Washington’s willingness to use nuclear war in order to establish Washington’s hegemony over the world, but let us understand what it means to be a “Russian agent.”
It means to respect international law, which Washington does not. It means to respect life, which Washington does not. It means to respect the national interests of other countries, which Washington does not. It means to respond to provocations with diplomacy and requests for cooperation, which Washington does not. But Russia does. Clearly, a “Russian agent” is a moral person who wants to preserve life and the national identity and dignity of other peoples.greg789 • 2 years ago ,
Aren't people in the US getting tired of the Russia bashing? Really. And don't the Russia bashers know that the longer this goes on, without evidence, the public is slowly waking up to the truth. Now to blame Russia for the US failings in Afghanistan is beyond ridiculous. Keep it up, kiddies.dsafd asdfasdf • 2 years ago ,
Neo-cons and Democrats - Traitors all.deliaruhe • 2 years ago ,
Russian troll! Carpenter paid by putin! Lock him up! Send him back to Moscow!johnnydavis1 • 2 years ago ,
The success of the web of lies that got 65 to 75 percent of Americans to believe that Saddam had WMD and was responsible for 9/11 only encourages these regime-change lunatics. All they have to do now is articulate the equivalent of Bush’s “We cannot wait for the smoking gun, which might come in the form of a mushroom cloud,” — i.e., we don’t need evidence, we just need to generate enough fear — and they’ll have all the public support they could possibly need to commence with their program of regime change at home, followed by regime change in Russia. That’s the diabolical beauty of governing a population through the politics of fear — which has been the practise since the beginning of the first Cold War.toolateformost johnnydavis1 • 2 years ago ,
It's interesting that the Democrats and the media didn't seem very interested in Hillary Clinton's foreign ties (and the money she received), or the potential blackmail that could have been tied to any of her "missing" emails that the Russians and others probably have.Wyrdless toolateformost • 2 years ago ,
Its interesting that you are ignoring the traitor in the white house.
Trump will look great in orangetoolateformost Wyrdless • 2 years ago ,
Do you have any evidence?Wyrdless toolateformost • 2 years ago ,
I can't share it with you because it's classified and I don't (unlike Trumps administration) believe in sharing sensitive information with Russian stooges.Kizar_Sozay • 2 years ago ,
LOL, love the sarcasmSt Reformed • 2 years ago ,
The media is upset the Russians (allegedly) did what American journalists should have been doing.VoteOutIncumbents • 2 years ago ,
Russia [aka Soviet Union] was simply a "red herring" (pun intended) during the Cold War days when the Left always blamed American first. Now post-Soviet autocratic Russia is a lethal menace behind every GOP trash can. The irony is so rich.odys • 2 years ago ,
I am old enough to have a conscious memory of the end days of the McCarthy smears. This seems a lot like that. Wild charges, no evidence. Senator McCarthy always "had" a list of 57, 95, or 212 active communists in the State Department, he just never got around to disclosing names. Evidence? The Democrats don't seem to need it. Just investigate, investigate, investigate. Anything to distract from the true reasons for Clinton's loss. The party of FDR wrote off the white working class. They thought they'd have enough minority and female voters to win. They didn't.odys • 2 years ago • edited ,
Oh, oh. Mike Rogers, Obama's head of the NSA is testifying that the NSA did NOT have high confidence that the wusskies interfered to help Trump win. I wonder if Boris Badanoff and Natasha threatened him and his family?dannyboy116 • 2 years ago ,
Maybe we should call in moose and squirrel.
Look, Democrats just cannot bring themselves to accept the blame for their loss, no surprise, they truly believe they are on the right side of history, Cuba, North Korea, and venezuela not withstanding. But the aging cold warriors, like McNasty, pine for the days when people used to seek their opinion on the USSR.Robert • 2 years ago ,
Thank you for an excellent article. Building a sense of hysteria against the one country in the world with as many nuclear weapons as us is truly foolish and dangerous.The Dead Rabbits • 2 years ago ,
And the best part in this fishing expedition of democRATS and politicized government agencies is that they have found NOTHING, only the daily, weekly and monthly fabrications cooked backstage by MSM and accomplices agents leaning or part of Obanus regime..R. Arandas • 2 years ago ,
Really good piece. So why does DC go bonkers over Russia but not deeper and more problematic connections of politicians and public figures such as with Turkey, China, or Israel? It's all about the emails and Hillary's lame excuses.Wyrdless • 2 years ago ,
I find it ironic because during the Cold War, it was generally Republicans who opposed the Soviet Union and its foreign policy the most strongly, with both language and action, while Democrats favored conciliation with American rivals. Nowadays, however, conservatives seem more pro-Russia while liberals seem much more hostile.Drinas Philip K • 2 years ago ,
Let's be realistic, given the enormous number of leaks about Trump, if there was anything to this we would know by now.
That's why I say :. Bring on the investigation!
It will just end in the entire media/Dem establishment looking bad.
Also:. Why would Putin want a US president that has a very aggressive pro drilling stance and who wants a larger US military?
I would imagine it's the last thing he wants. Putin would probably *VASTLY* prefer Sanders who is anti-energy, anti-military and honeymooned in Moscow during the cold war as a political statement.Wakko • 2 years ago ,
Buhaha You assume that I am a russian/live in Russia because I dare (oh, by the Gods what a sacrilege!) to support russian foreign policy..
This alone is a good example of the delusional and zealot-like nature of russophobes such as you..
Learn my uneducated "friend" that I live in an EU country, born and raised here-and judging by the median US salary there is a great chance I make more $$ than you..But then again only a cretin would judge a country based solely on these metrics..(Well, a cretin and a russophobe in your case..)
Americans don't see it, but this anti-russian craze is creating serious pressures in Europe, where voters more and more consider EU governments' blind following of U.S. foreign policy as dangerous to their interests. Contrary to U.S. establishment, we Europeans are not supremacists who believe that only their opinions and ways are the right ones and the whole world needs to bow down to them. Remember what is the basis of democracy? It's pluralism of opinions and civilised discussion. If Washington continues this ideological war for longer time, it may cause serious problems for NATO.
May 30, 2017 | observer.com
During an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd on May 28, Clapper said, "If you put that in context with everything else we knew the Russians were doing to interfere with the election," he said. "And just the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So, we were concerned."
It's unclear what Clapper meant or what evidence he has to suggest that Russians are "almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor." His comments are xenophobic towards an entire ethnicity and are far beyond criticism of Putin and the Russian government.
His comments go far into neo-McCarthyist territory, which many critics and skeptics have warned the Democratic Party and intelligence community against. Clapper jumped from explaining the investigation into Russia's role in the election to propagating an unhealthy and unfounded definition of the Russian people. These comments are the type of sentiments that provoke such policies as deporting all Russians from the United States, severing all ties with Russians, banning all multi-national corporations from engaging in business with Russians, dispelling the Russian Embassy, and setting off a chain of events that exponentially increase the likelihood of military conflict between two nuclear superpowers.
In the United States alone, nearly three million people claim direct Russian ancestry and almost one million people speak Russian. However, Russia's interference in the election and the current political climate have fostered an environment in which Clapper could say this on national television without anyone batting an eye. Chuck Todd ignored the comment and proceeded with the interview as though Clapper's response was normal.
The mainstream media have contributed to this Russiophobic rhetoric by perpetuating, elevating and sensationalizing the Russia narrative. Several hucksters and conspiracy theorists have gained massive followings from crying Russia at every opportunity, such as British Conservative Louise Mensch and former Bill Clinton volunteer director Claude Taylo r, who continue duping followers into believing they have exclusive sources or insight into the "smoking gun" on Trump's ties with Russia. By interviewing them, the mainstream media have irresponsibly elevated these people as reliable sources on the subject. The New York Times even published an op-ed by Mensch, who has furthered baseless claims that Russia was behind Anthony Weiner's sexting crimes and has called Bernie Sanders a "Russian agent."
Given the Democratic Party's reliance on the Russia narrative, these types of comments are likely to continue and worsen as the highly polarized investigations continue .
Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
ewmayer , July 31, 2018 at 6:05 pm
"Somebody called it Trump derangement syndrome."
I believe that the full and proper name of the psychiatric disorder in question is Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome [PTDS].
- Eager and uncritical ingestion and social-media regurgitation of even the most patently absurd MSM propaganda. For example, the meme that releasing factual information about actual election-meddling (as Wikileaks did about the Dem-establishment's rigging of its own nomination process in 2016) is a grave threat to American Democracy™;
- Recent-onset veneration of the intelligence agencies, whose stock in trade is spying on and lying to the American people, spreading disinformation, election rigging, torture and assassination and its agents, such as liar and perjurer Clapper and torturer Brennan;
- Rehabilitation of horrid unindicted GOP war criminals like G.W. Bush as alleged examples of "norms-respecting Republican patriots";
- Smearing of anyone who dares question the MSM-stoked hysteria as an America-hating Russian stooge.
Aug 17, 2019 | nationalinterest.org
RAP999 • 2 years ago ,
Look at the bright side. If the Russkies nuke Washington and NYC think how much better off the rest of the country will be.
Aug 17, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
JohnH -> Christopher H.... , August 06, 2019 at 08:03 PMObama didn't lead on race, either. In fact, Obama was largely missing in action: "The Obama administration's civil rights record has been remarkably thin. In the first four years, the administration did not file a single major employment discrimination, housing, or education case, which are three traditional areas of civil rights enforcement. Additionally, in all of these areas, the number of cases filed appears to be either at the same level as the George W. Bush administrationJohnH -> JohnH... , August 07, 2019 at 09:35 AM
In the other area of traditional civil rights enforcement, namely voting rights, the administration has been active, particularly on the divisive issue of voter identification. However, this activity all arose during the 2012 presidential campaign and seems quite likely to have been related to, or motivated by, that campaign. The Obama administration has, in fact, largely been absent on issues relating to redistricting, a traditional activity that often implicates the preclearance mandate of the Department of Justice."
The more you peel the onion, the more pathetic the Democratic leadership gets...In the typical behavior of the two party duopoly, Democrats treated racial discrimination with benign neglect while Republicans pushed the issue.RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to kurt... , August 07, 2019 at 04:30 AM
That's the main difference between Obama's racial policies and Trump's. Democrats ignored their base, Trump is pandering to his"Republican and representative democracy are interchangeable words..... What our big problem is are the legacies of slavery like the EC, property tax based schools and the 2nd Amendment..."
[Little "r" republican is a word with a meaning. Representative democracy is the euphemism of choice by republicans. The US Senate and the related electoral college were concessions from the larger more populous states to the little states (VT, NH, ME, RI, and DE. In the 1790 census VA had the largest population across the board, free white males of age, under age free white males, free female, AND slaves. So, VA was making a concession to the little... ]
[Also the 2nd Amendment was never intended by the Frames to mean anything like what the NRA says it means. Even the NRA knows better themselves, but their political opposition has a severe problem with facts and representing facts in a manner that leads to understanding and consensus.]
Aug 16, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
JohnH -> EMichael... , August 06, 2019 at 07:42 AMWhat a joke! "Pols do care about issues."
EMichael forgets that voters are little more than a necessary evil for political elites, who are driven more by a need for power and to serve those who fund their campaigns. So, yes, pols do care about issues, but mostly only those issues of concern to their puppet masters.
By and large voters get to ratify one of the two evils carefully vetted by the party campaign apparatus with regular inputs from their paymasters.
kurt -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , August 06, 2019 at 02:35 PMNot for nothing, the post you replied to is demonstrably and utterly BS. It is making perfect the enemy of good. It is making progressivism the enemy of itself.JohnH -> kurt... , August 06, 2019 at 03:39 PMLOL!!! "The perfect being the enemy of good." Democrats' message is "don't let the promise of doing something good stand in the way of doing nothing." The latter pretty well summed up Obama's Republican-lite approach to governance.RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to kurt... , August 07, 2019 at 03:42 AM
We're been watching Democrats' promises for 40 years, and what we've seen is a gradual erosion o the social safety net, in concert with their Republican ring leaders."Not for nothing, the post you replied to is demonstrably and utterly BS. It is making perfect the enemy of good. It is making progressivism the enemy of itself."kurt -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , August 07, 2019 at 10:06 AM
[Whereas your response was an entirely well explained and convincing argument :<) ]It was pretty self-evident BS. Nobody gets elected without people voting for them. When the Tea Party was supposedly economic anxiety, sociolgists pointed out that it was really racial fear and anxiety about immigration. The idea that Obama was somehow Republican lite is beyond stupid and contrary to reality. He wasn't perfect but he was a very good President who had to operate with the constraint of also being the first black man in the office - and had to be careful not to scare white people to much.RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to kurt... , August 07, 2019 at 11:44 AMI am sure that is what you believe. OTOH, my confirmation bias has much older roots than yours finding itself emerge into sunshine in 1968 with frequent glimmering rays of hope yet little light of change since then.ilsm -> EMichael... , August 06, 2019 at 02:05 PMMoral and political inconsistency!mulp said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , August 07, 2019 at 02:22 AM
Why public day care in the 60s when 80% of kids got more education playing with their peers in backyards or playgrounds supervised by parents, mostly moms?RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to mulp ... , August 07, 2019 at 03:52 AM
Women for the most part didn't need to work if they had young kids.Perhaps women married to a banker or engineer. My mom was working throughout my childhood, pants factory then High's Ice cream store manager in the early fifties, then childcare in our home in the late fifties in Occoquan because it was too small to have much for jobs, then in a Peebles department store in the early sixties and back to daycare in our home and school crossing guard overlapping until dad had her working in his own boat livery and bait shop business at Lake Orange beginning in 1966. OTOH, most black women had been working throughout the 20th century which is why they were not covered by FDR's AFDC. Stay at home moms were a luxury of the post WWII booming middle class that had a very short shelf life. People that were not beneficiaries of that boom just missed it entirely.kurt -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , August 06, 2019 at 10:22 AMYou know that we deliberately segregated America in the 50's-80's and that prior to that there wasn't nearly as much segregation. It isn't a natural state, it was something that was done deliberately by the Robert Moses flavor of HUD. Redlining, etc. Levittown had deed restrictions that would not allow a home to be sold to an african-american. The invention of Suburbs was fundamentally used to segregate our nation.ilsm -> kurt... , August 06, 2019 at 02:13 PMTell us all who the "we" was who established redlining, a version of you imaginary "deed restrictions".
Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Our Famously Free Press
"The Campaign Press: Members of the 10 Percent, Reporting for the One Percent" [Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone ]. "Anyone who's worked in the business (or read Manufacturing Consent) knows nobody calls editors to red-pencil text.
The pressure comes at the point of hire. If you're the type who thinks Jeff Bezos should be thrown out of an airplane, or that it's a bad look for a DC newspaper to be owned by a major intelligence contractor, you won't rise.
Meanwhile, the Post has become terrific at promoting Jennifer Rubins and Max Boots. Reporters watch as good investigative journalism about serious structural problems dies on the vine, while mountains of column space are devoted to trivialities like Trump tweets and/or simplistic partisan storylines.
Nobody needs to pressure anyone. We all know what takes will and will not earn attaboys in newsrooms. Trump may have accelerated distaste for the press, but he didn't create it. He sniffed out existing frustrations and used them to rally anger toward 'elites' to his side.
The criticism works because national media are elites, ten-percenters working for one-percenters.
The longer people in the business try to deny it, the more it will be fodder for politicians. Sanders wasn't the first, and won't be the last."
• Yep. I'm so glad Rolling Stone has Matt Taibbi on-board. Until advertisers black-list "the One Percent," I suppose.
Aug 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
Marko , August 14, 2019 at 18:24
Remember this ? :
"Ukraine reveals it staged 'murder' of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko"
In this case the authorities voluntarily admitted to the ruse , but if they had chosen to , and with the cooperation of a handful of family members and the like , Babchenko could have remained "dead" , while living a long and happy life in some faraway place.
Aug 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
Tim Jones , August 15, 2019 at 20:47
Because "The links between high government officials, CIA, FBI, and organized crime is astonishing." we will never have an answer, just like John Kennedy, MLK, etc.
In the grand scheme of things, there is a compelling historical argument for the idea that when the NSA/CIA was created, Dulles found an opportunity to consolidate control of information and by logic, populations which was in reality, a velvet coup.
The other aspect this control and coup was NACA being taken over by Nazi Intel/strategists/scientists/war planners through Paper Clip and other relations of the Dulles family were involved with this. Dulles had not one patriotic bone in his body but only cared about elitism, and power. Yes, he made patriotic statements but they were as thin as his skin.
Noam Chomsky has pointed out , the more educated we are, the more we are a target for state-corporate propaganda. Even journalists outside the mainstream may internalize establishment values and prejudices. Which brings us to Parramore's embrace of the term "conspiracy theory." Once a neutral and little-used phrase, "conspiracy theory" was infamously weaponized in 1967 by a memo from the CIA to its station chiefs worldwide.
Troubled by growing mass disbelief in the "lone nut" theory of President Kennedy's assassination, and concerned that "[c]onspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization," the agency directed its officers to "discuss the publicity problem with friendly and elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)" and to "employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose."
As Kevin Ryan writes , and various analyses have shown :In the 45 years before the CIA memo came out, the phrase 'conspiracy theory' appeared in the Washington Post and New York Times only 50 times, or about once per year. In the 45 years after the CIA memo, the phrase appeared 2,630 times, or about once per week."While it turns out that Parramore knows something about this hugely successful propaganda drive, she chose in her NBC piece to deploy the phrase as the government has come to define it, i.e., as "something that requires no consideration because it is obviously not true." This embeds a fallacy in her argument which only spreads as she goes on. Likewise, the authors of the studies she cites, who attempt to connect belief in "conspiracy theories" to "narcissistic personality traits," are not immune to efforts to manipulate the wider culture. Studies are only as good as the assumptions from which they proceed; in this case, the assumption was provided by an interested Federal agency. And what of their suggested diagnosis?
The DSM-5's criteria for narcissism include "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity a need for admiration and lack of empathy." My experience in talking to writers and advocates who -- to mention a few of the subjects Parramore cites -- seek justice in the cases of the political murders of the Sixties , have profound concerns about vaccine safety , or reject the official conspiracy theory of 9/11 , does not align with that characterization.
On the contrary, most of the people I know who hold these varied (and not always shared) views are deeply empathic, courageously humble, and resigned to a life on the margins of official discourse, even as they doggedly seek to publicize what they have learned. A number of them have arrived at their views through painful, direct experience, like the loss of a friend or the illness of a child, but far from having a "negative view of humanity," as Parramore writes, most hold a deep and abiding faith in the power of regular people to see injustice and peacefully oppose it. In that regard, they share a great deal in common with writers like Parramore: ultimately, we all want what's best for our children, and none of us want a world ruled by unaccountable political-economic interests. If we want to achieve that world, then we should work together to promote speech that is free from personal attacks on all sides. Even more importantly, we should all be troubled by efforts to shut down content and discussions labeled "false and misleading" on major social media platforms.
Who will decide what is false and what is true? ... ... ...
President Kennedy said:a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."Perhaps we should take a closer look at ideas that so frighten the powers-that-be. Far from inviting our ridicule, the people who insist that we look in these forbidden places may one day deserve our thanks.
John Kirby is a documentary filmmaker. His latest project, Four Died Trying, examines what John Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were doing in the last years of their lives which may have led to their deaths.
GeorgeI am responding to an earlier comment you made because, for some reason, I cannot reply to it in the proper place.Ragnar
"The old adage 'two men can keep a secret, if one of them is dead' applies here."
Wrong: secrets can be uncovered even if both of them are dead.
"The conspiracies we know about are exposed because someone talks, or a computer gets hacked."
Conspiracies can be found out by many different ways e.g. documents uncovered, discrepancies, evidence that contradicts what has been claimed etc.
"A two decade old CT, like 9/11, or worse, one six decades old (the JFK assassination), are false because they would have involved too many people–someone would have blown the whistle, if only on their deathbed."
Always a bad sign when you start to repeat "would have". Lots of presumption here.
"No new facts have emerged because the only people who knew anything are long dead, taking the reasons to their graves .."
New facts can emerge all the time even regarding the most ancient of events.
" .or in the case of 9/11, because there was no great conspiracy, beyond the one reported."
So you now have godlike omniscience?
"A propensity for subscribing to conspiracy theories, is, sad to say, indicative of mental inadequacy "
There's no point in going much further here. You now devolve into psychobabble which, as always, is based on the dogmatic assertion that you are right. (cf. the formerly mentioned godlike omniscience)"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.George
It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State." These words are attributed to Joseph Goebbels.
-So, George, it would hardly make a difference whether the State is Marxist or Capitalist. It's either power or truth. They are inherently different and can not be reconciled. Ultimately, there is no bridge possible.
However, so-called "common" goals are of a lower order and cooperation here is possible, temporarily. These relationships are unstable and prone to breaking up precisely because they're ultimately not common at all. The principle are different and the personalities too. Ships Passing In The Night, like. -See?We all have common goals. Basically the goals of life and health. And these are hardly goals "of a lower order". If that was true then we must be living in a state of "postmodernist relativity" where anyone can decide arbitrarily what matters. And that would certainly lead to your ships-passing-in-the-night scenario i.e. the ultimate divide-and-rule vision.William HBonney
As for power, the late Marxist writer Ellen Meiksins Wood noted that, in modern times, we have an unprecedented degree of political freedom. But the reason for that is that power no longer lies in politics. It lies in economics. What is the point of having formal rights when your livelihood is gone?TFS
The old adage 'two men can keep a secret, if one of them is dead' applies here.
The conspiracies we know about are exposed because someone talks, or a computer gets hacked. A two decade old CT, like 9/11, or worse, one six decades old (the JFK assassination), are false because they would have involved too many people – someone would have blown the whistle, if only on their deathbed. No new facts have emerged because the only people who knew anything are long dead, taking the reasons to their graves, or in the case of 9/11, because there was no great conspiracy, beyond the one reported.
A propensity for subscribing to conspiracy theories, is, sad to say, indicative of mental inadequacy. Such people are unable to deal with the complexities of the world as it is, and therefore seek to make it a world of black and white, good and evil, heroes and villains. The internet, with its blurring of fantasy and fact enables them. This is why discussions like this get so polarised.r. rebar
1. 9/11 and JFK are false because WILLIAM HBonney has declared it so.
Boom, thanks for watching kids.
2. In other news, some Conspiracy Theorists Imagined 747-E4Bs above Washington at the time of 9/11 and 25+second delay introduced into the Air Traffic Control System but the Official Conspiracy Account of 9/11 didn't discuss it because there was nothing to see.
3. In related news, HWB wack jobs go on one
4. Corbett, goes off on one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXYswf3lzU8
5. And again, Corbett goes even more mental. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWLis-TVB2w
6. But it's ok kidz, because HWB wack jobs, like first responders, police, fire personnel architects, physicists, former military personnel, pilots, Nobel Peace Prixe winners, medical experts, etc etc all collectively asertained that the Official Conspiracy Theory of 9/11 is about as usefull as the Warren Commission Report.
7. HOWEVER, HWB THINKS YOU'RE A WACK JOB.unless & until someone goes to jail -- there are no conspiracies & as silence is -- like any commodity -- only as good as the price paid to maintain it -- those who know have a real vested interest in not talking (it's not a secret if you tell someone)roger morrisMs Parramore is doing nothing more than her profession and tenure demands. Witting or un-witting. This co-ordinated and global media attack on the 'Conspiracy Theorist' is co-ordinated and Global for good reason.mathias alexand
It is the 'Great Wurlitzer' at full throat coinciding with extraordinary reductions in internet freedoms of information flow. The determination of international deepstate to make illegal any question or recognition of it under guise of 'Conspiracy theorist=domestic terrorist/anti-semite/anti-Zionist/BDS/trump supporting white supremacist(etc)'- conflating those ULTRA memes with growing awareness of the Anglo/Yankee/zionist PSYOPS underway globally, mean we are entering a choke point in progression of reason, truth and beauty.
A read of the Cass Sunstein/Cornelius Adrian Comstock Vermeule Paper describing 'Conspiracy theory' as a 'crippled Epistemology' and determining 'COINTELPRO' type strategies to counter the danger of their truth becoming certainty, will enlighten those in the dark of IIO methodology and expose Ms Parramore as a true MOCKINGBIRD.
The danger of the conspiracy theorist to the present world order, is that most of the BIG ones, the nasty ones, are true. And CIA operation Mockingbirds' job (Quote) 'is to Guard against the illicit Transformation of Probability into Certainty," that they are .Try this for conspiracy thinkingGeorge
https://lorenzoae.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/part-2/Good link. I like this bit:Molloy
"Ultimately, the average conspiracy theorist has a better grasp of how the world works than the average liberal. Even the most outlandish "conspiracy theory" in existence -- that people like George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth are shape-shifting, extra-dimensional reptilians -- is closer to the truth than what liberals believe.
The reality is that the ruling class and its public servants really do have a parasitic and predatory relationship to the vast majority of humanity "
I've often felt there is a lot of (metaphorical!) truth in David Icke's ravings, although the reptile image is unfortunate in that actual reptiles are amongst the most sedate and peaceful creatures.Eichmann and today's useful idiots; Hannah ArendtMolloy
(start Arendt quote)
Despite all the efforts of the prosecution, everybody could see that this man was not a "monster," but it was difficult indeed not to suspect that he was a clown. And since this suspicion would have been fatal to the whole enterprise, and was also rather hard to sustain, in view of the sufferings he and his like had caused so many millions of people, his worst clowneries were hardly noticed. What could you do with a man who first declared, with great emphasis, that the one thing he had learned in an ill-spent life was that one should never take an oath ("Today no man, no judge could ever persuade me to make a sworn statement. I refuse it; I refuse it for moral reasons. Since my experience tells me that if one is loyal to his oath, one day he has to take the consequences, I have made up my mind once and for all that no judge in the world or other authority will ever be capable of making me swear an oath, to give sworn testimony.
I won't do it voluntarily and no one will be able to force me"), and then, after being told explicitly that if he wished to testify in his own defense he might "do so under oath or without an oath," declared without further ado that he would prefer to testify under oath? Or who, repeatedly and with a great show of feeling, assured the court, as he had assured the police examiner, that the worst thing he could do would be to try to escape his true responsibilities, to fight for his neck, to plead for mercy -- and then, upon instruction of his counsel, submitted a handwritten document that contained a plea for mercy?
As far as Eichmann was concerned, these were questions of changing moods, not of inconsistencies, and as long as he was capable of finding, either in his memory or on the spur of the moment, an elating stock phrase to go with them, he was quite content.
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1963/02/16/eichmann-in-jerusalem-iChomsky dealing with the indoctrinated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLcpcytUnWU&app=desktop Why it is important to call out the so-called 'Global Elite' facilitators on here.Gary Weglarz
And why it is essential to understand what Eichmann was facilitating (and the madness that morphed into the same apartheid bigotry in the 21st century).
Better understand than be hanged.wardropper
I appreciate the article, but the sentence below is offered with no logical or rational support – it is simply an evidence free assertion:
("But Parramore and many journalists like her are neither assets of an intelligence service nor unthinking tools of big media; ) – really?
It is quite clear that if someone "is" (an asset of an intelligence service) that they will certainly not be broadcasting this fact to the world or to friends and family. And for someone to assert that "conspiracies" don't exist in the real world requires a level of credulity that most intelligent and rational people the least bit familiar with the historical record would find rather difficult to muster up. I dare say it would be much easier in fact to prove the assertion that our Western history is simply the "history of conspiracies" given the oligarchic control of Western populations for millennia. This is hardly "rocket science" as they say. We do have a rather well documented historical record to fall back on to show the endless scheming of Western oligarchy behind the backs of Western populations.I like Michael Moore's response when asked if he believed the conspiracy theories which were floating about at the time: "Just the ones that are true"John ThatcherA conspiracy theory, like any theory is as strong as the evidence put forward to support it. Often people offer as fact conspiracies that only as yet exist as theories,with greater or lesser amounts of evidence to support.I have no doubt that interested parties who are the accused in these theories, will mount efforts to discredit any theory mounted against them or those they represent.Harry Stotle
One of the ways they will do this is to plant "evidence" purporting to support the theory, but easily disproved by easily available information. Unfortunately,it is a sad fact that far too many "conspiracy theorists" readily accept and share along with genuine evidence, this planted "evidence" to the wider internet, thereby undermining the solid evidence of a conspiracy, by associating it with the easily disprovable nonsense.
Isn't it high time we had a term to describe those who always accept the official version of events after controversial political incidents no matter how implausible this account might be?
For example, after the attack on the WTC Kissinger was appointed to the head the 9/11 commission (before stepping down).
'Conspiracy theorists' would have thought – why are neocons appointing a mass-murdering neocon to investigate an event that might have involved neocons (raising obvious credibility issues) – whereas those who regard conspiracy theorists as dribbling fruitcakes would have welcomed the appointment of the nobel peace prize winner.
Anyway, here's a clip of Henry – the believers in everything the government say would never have considered the objections raised in the film – such questions are tantamount to mental illness according to these 'progressives'.
Aug 16, 2019 | www.unz.comanonymous  Disclaimer , says: August 16, 2019 at 1:54 am GMT@Hanrahan Notice the continued exclusion of Representative Gabbard and her criticism of the destructive Empire -- despite focusing on Beltway politics, he hasn't typed her name since June 28. He wants the "Elizabeth Warren-Bernie Sanders-AOC Democrats" to go even kookier because this website's "Mr. Paleoconservative" has become a Beltway fixture, cheerleading for Team Red in the next Most Important Election Ever
Aug 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
swamped , says: August 16, 2019 at 8:20 am GMT"the Great Arsenal of Democracy was looted by" the military-industrial complex Arsenal & it's unending wars & nothing short of nuclear annihilation is going to change that. There is no Democrat who is willing to bet their chance at the presidency on pulling it down.
And the American public, by and large, is put to sleep by lengthy discussions of the intricacies of trade policy.
The election will be waged, like the primaries, around race-baiting. Biden will be the first victim. The other white candidates are running scared & becoming more shrill in their denunciations of whites in general by the hour.
There's no telling where it all may lead but it's becoming clearer day by day that the hostility will outlast the primaries & the general election will be a very ugly affair. There's no turning back to the soothing center now, it will be an us-vs.-them type election & hopefully, Pat Buchanan, still America's shrewdest pundit, will keep us fully apprised.
Aug 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
9/11 Inside job , says: August 14, 2019 at 1:37 pm GMTNeed to investigate the role , if any , of Dr. Michael Baden in the Epstein and JFK autopsy cover-ups .
According to Dr.Crenshaw who treated JFK at the Parkland Hospital Kennedy was shot once or twice from the front and , therefore, Oswald could not possibly have been the killer. See " Trauma Room One , the JFK Medical Coverup Exposed . " By Dr. Michael Crenshaw .
Aug 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org
OffGuardian already covered the Global Media Freedom Conference, our article Hypocrisy Taints UK's Media Freedom Conference , was meant to be all there was to say. A quick note on the obvious hypocrisy of this event. But, in the writing, I started to see more than that. This event is actually creepy. Let's just look back at one of the four "main themes" of this conference:Building trust in media and countering disinformation"Countering disinformation"? Well, that's just another word for censorship. This is proven by their refusal to allow Sputnik or RT accreditation. They claim RT "spreads disinformation" and they "countered" that by barring them from attending. "Building trust"? In the post-Blair world of PR newspeak, "building trust" is just another way of saying "making people believe us" (the word usage is actually interesting, building trust not earning trust). The whole conference is shot through with this language that just feels off. Here is CNN's Christiane Amanpour :Our job is to be truthful, not neutral we need to take a stand for the truth, and never to create a false moral or factual equivalence."Being "truthful not neutral" is one of Amanpour's personal sayings , she obviously thinks it's clever. Of course, what it is is NewSpeak for "bias". Refusing to cover evidence of The White Helmets staging rescues, Israel arming ISIS or other inconvenient facts will be defended using this phrase – they will literally claim to only publish "the truth", to get around impartiality and then set about making up whatever "truth" is convenient. Oh, and if you don't know what "creating a false moral quivalence is", here I'll demonstrate: MSM: Putin is bad for shutting down critical media. OffG: But you're supporting RT being banned and Wikileaks being shut down. BBC: No. That's not the same. OffG: It seems the same. BBC: It's not. You're creating a false moral equivalence . Understand now? You "create a false moral equivalence" by pointing out mainstream media's double standards. Other ways you could mistakenly create a "false moral equivalence": Bringing up Gaza when the media talk about racism. Mentioning Saudi Arabia when the media preach about gay rights. Referencing the US coup in Venezuela when the media work themselves into a froth over Russia's "interference in our democracy" Talking about the invasion of Iraq. Ever. OR Pointing out that the BBC is state funded, just like RT. These are all no-longer flagrant examples of the media's double standards, and if you say they are , you're "creating a false moral equivalence" and the media won't have to allow you (or anyone who agrees with you) air time or column inches to disagree. Because they don't have a duty to be neutral or show both sides, they only have a duty to tell "the truth" as soon as the government has told them what that is. Prepare to see both those phrases – or variations there of – littering editorials in the Guardian and the Huffington Post in the coming months. Along with people bemoaning how "fake news outlets abuse the notion of impartiality" by "being even handed between liars the truth tellers". (I've been doing this site so long now, I have a Guardian-English dictionary in my head).
Equally dodgy-sounding buzz-phrases litter topics on the agenda. "Eastern Europe and Central Asia: building an integrated support system for journalists facing hostile environments" , this means pumping money into NGOs to fund media that will criticize our "enemies" in areas of strategic importance. It means flooding money into the anti-government press in Hungary, or Iran or (of course), Russia. That is ALL it means. I said in my earlier article I don't know what "media sustainability" even means, but I feel I can take a guess. It means "save the government mouthpieces". The Guardian is struggling for money, all print media are, TV news is getting lower viewing figures all the time. "Building media sustainability" is code for "pumping public money into traditional media that props up the government" or maybe "getting people to like our propaganda". But the worst offender on the list is, without a doubt"Navigating Disinformation"
"Navigating Disinformation" was a 1 hour panel from the second day of the conference. You can watch it embedded above if you really feel the need. I already did, so you don't have to. The panel was chaired by Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian Foreign Minister. The members included the Latvian Foreign Minister, a representative of the US NGO Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Information
Have you guessed what "disinformation" they're going to be talking about? I'll give you a clue: It begins with R. Freeland, chairing the panel, kicks it off by claiming that "disinformation isn't for any particular aim" . This is a very common thing for establishment voices to repeat these days, which makes it all the more galling she seems to be pretending its is her original thought. The reason they have to claim that "disinformation" doesn't have a "specific aim" is very simple: They don't know what they're going to call "disinformation" yet. They can't afford to take a firm position, they need to keep their options open. They need to give themselves the ability to describe any single piece of information or political opinion as "disinformation." Left or right. Foreign or domestic. "Disinformation" is a weaponised term that is only as potent as it is vague. So, we're one minute in, and all "navigating disinformation" has done is hand the State an excuse to ignore, or even criminalise, practically anything it wants to. Good start. Interestingly, no one has actually said the word "Russia" at this point. They have talked about "malign actors" and "threats to democracy", but not specifically Russia. It is SO ingrained in these people that "propaganda"= " Russian propaganda" that they don't need to say it.
The idea that NATO as an entity, or the individual members thereof, could also use "disinformation" has not just been dismissed it was literally never even contemplated. Next Freeland turns to Edgars Rinkēvičs, her Latvian colleague, and jokes about always meeting at NATO functions. The Latvians know "more than most" about disinformation, she says. Rinkēvičs says disinformation is nothing new, but that the methods of spreading it are changing then immediately calls for regulation of social media. Nobody disagrees. Then he talks about the "illegal annexation of Crimea", and claims the West should outlaw "paid propaganda" like RT and Sputnik. Nobody disagrees. Then he says that Latvia "protected" their elections from "interference" by "close cooperation between government agencies and social media companies". Everyone nods along. If you don't find this terrifying, you're not paying attention. They don't say it, they probably don't even realise they mean it, but when they talk about "close cooperation with social media networks", they mean government censorship of social media. When they say "protecting" their elections they're talking about rigging them. It only gets worse. The next step in the Latvian master plan is to bolster "traditional media".
The problems with traditional media, he says, are that journalists aren't paid enough, and don't keep up to date with all the "new tricks". His solution is to "promote financing" for traditional media, and to open more schools like the "Baltic Centre of Media Excellence", which is apparently a totally real thing .
It's a training centre which teaches young journalists about "media literacy" and "critical thinking". You can read their depressingly predictable list of "donors" here . I truly wish I was joking. Next up is Courtney Radsch from CPJ – a US-backed NGO, who notionally "protect journalists", but more accurately spread pro-US propaganda. (Their token effort to "defend" RT and Sputnik when they were barred from the conference was contemptible).
She talks for a long time without saying much at all. Her revolutionary idea is that disinformation could be countered if everyone told the truth. Inspiring. Beata Balogova, Journalist and Editor from Slovakia, gets the ship back on course – immediately suggesting politicians should not endorse "propaganda" platforms. She shares an anecdote about "a prominent Slovakian politician" who gave exclusive interviews to a site that is "dubiously financed, we assume from Russia". They assume from Russia. Everyone nods.
It's like they don't even hear themselves.
Then she moves on to Hungary. Apparently, Orban has "created a propaganda machine" and produced "antisemitic George Soros posters". No evidence is produced to back-up either of these claims. She thinks advertisers should be pressured into not giving money to "fake news sites". She calls for "international pressure", but never explains exactly what that means. The stand-out maniac on this panel is Emine Dzhaparova, the Ukrainian First Deputy Minister of Information Policy. (She works for the Ministry of Information – nicknamed the Ministry of Truth, which was formed in 2014 to "counter lies about Ukraine". Even The Guardian thought that sounded dodgy.)
She talks very fast and, without any sense of irony, spills out a story that shoots straight through "disinformation" and becomes "incoherent rambling". She claims that Russian citizens are so brainwashed you'll never be able to talk to them, and that Russian "cognitive influence" is "toxic like radiation." Is this paranoid, quasi-xenophobic nonsense countered? No. Her fellow panelists nod and chuckle. On top of that, she just lies. She lies over and over and over again. She claims Russia is locking up Crimean Tartars "just for being muslims", nobody questions her. She says the war in Ukraine has killed 13,000 people, but doesn't mention that her side is responsible for over 80% of civilian deaths.
She says only 30% of Crimeans voted in the referendum, and that they were "forced". A fact not supported by any polls done by either side in the last four years, and any referenda held on the peninsula any time in the last last 30 year. It's simply a lie. Nobody asks her about the journalists killed in Ukraine since their glorious Maidan Revolution . Nobody questions the fact that she works for something called the "Ministry of Information". Nobody does anything but nod and smile as the "countering disinformation" panel becomes just a platform for spreading total lies.
When everyone on the panel has had their ten minutes on the soapbox, Freeland asks for recommendations for countering this "threat" – here's the list:
- Work to distinguish "free speech" from "propaganda", when you find propaganda there must be a "strong reaction".
- Pressure advertisers to abandon platforms who spread misinformation.
- Regulate social media.
- Educate journalists at special schools.
- Start up a "Ministry of Information" and have state run media that isn't controlled, like in Ukraine.
This is the Global Conference on Media Freedom and all these six people want to talk about is how to control what can be said, and who can say it. They single only four countries out for criticism: Hungary, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Russia .and Russia takes up easily 90% of that. They mention only two media outlets by name: RT and Sputnik. This wasn't a panel on disinformation, it was a public attack forum – a month's worth of 2 minutes of hate. These aren't just shills on this stage, they are solid gold idiots, brainwashed to the point of total delusion.
They are the dangerous glassy eyes of a Deep State that never questions itself, never examines itself, and will do anything it wants, to anyone it wants whilst happily patting itself on the back for its superior morality. They don't know, they don't care. They're true believers. Terrifyingly dead inside. Talking about state censorship and re-education camps under a big sign that says "Freedom". And that's just one talk. Just one panel in a 2 day itinerary filled to the brim with similarly soul-dead servants of authority. Truly, perfectly Orwellian.
Jonathan Jarvishttps://southfront.org/countering-russian-disinformation-or-new-wave-of-freedom-of-speech-suppression/Tim Jenkins
Read and be appalled at what America is up to .keep for further reference. We are in danger.It would serve Ms. Amanpour well, to relax, rewind & review her own interview with Sergei Lavrov:-Einstein
Then she might see why Larry King could stomach the appalling corporate dictatorship, even to the core of False & Fake recording of 'our' "History of the National Security State" , No More
Amanpour was forced to laugh uncontrollably, when confronted with Lavrov's humorous interpretations of various legal aspects of decency & his Judgement of others' politicians and 'Pussy Riots' >>> if you haven't seen it, it is to be recommended, the whole interview, if nothing else but to study the body language and micro-facial expressions, coz' a belly up laugh is not something anybody can easily control or even feign that first spark of cognition in her mind, as she digests Lavrov's response :- hilariousA GE won't solve matters since we have a Government of Occupation behind a parliament of puppets.Tim Jenkins
Latest is the secretive Andy Pryce squandering millions of public money on the "Open Information Partnership" (OIP) which is the latest name-change for the Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, just like al-Qaeda kept changing its name.
In true Orwellian style, they splashed out on a conference for "defence of media freedom", when they are in the business of propaganda and closing alternative 'narratives' down. And the 'media' they would defend are, in fact, spies sent to foreign countries to foment trouble to further what they bizarrely perceive as 'British interests'. Just like the disgraceful White Helmets, also funded by the FO.
Pryce's ventriloquist's dummy in parliament, the pompous Alan Duncan, announced another £10 million of public money for this odious brainwashing programme.Francis LeeThat panel should be nailed & plastered over, permanently:-
and as wall paper, 'Abstracts of New Law' should be pasted onto a collage of historic extracts from the Guardian, in offices that issue journalistic licenses, comprised of 'Untouchables' :-
A professional habitat, to damp any further 'Freeland' amplification & resonance,
of negative energy from professional incompetence.Apropos of the redoubtable Ms Freeland, Canada's Foreign Secretary.mark
The records now being opened by the Polish government in Warsaw reveal that Freeland's maternal grandfather Michael (Mikhailo) Chomiak was a Nazi collaborator from the beginning to the end of the war. He was given a powerful post, money, home and car by the German Army in Cracow, then the capital of the German administration of the Galician region. His principal job was editor in chief and publisher of a newspaper the Nazis created. His printing plant and other assets had been stolen from a Jewish newspaper publisher, who was then sent to die in the Belzec concentration camp. During the German Army's winning phase of the war, Chomiak celebrated in print the Wehrmacht's "success" at killing thousands of US Army troops. As the German Army was forced into retreat by the Soviet counter-offensive, Chomiak was taken by the Germans to Vienna, where he continued to publish his Nazi propaganda, at the same time informing for the Germans on other Ukrainians. They included fellow Galician Stepan Bandera, whose racism against Russians Freeland has celebrated in print, and whom the current regime in Kiev has turned into a national hero.
Those Ukrainian 'Refugees' admitted to Canada in 1945 were almost certainly members of the 14th Waffen SS Division Galizia 1. These Ukie collaboraters – not to be confused with the other Ukie Nazi outfit – Stepan Bandera's Ukrainian Insurgent Army -were held responsible for the massacre of many Poles in the Lviv area the most infamous being carried out in the Polish village of Huta Pienacka. In the massacre, the village was destroyed and between 500] and 1,000 of the inhabitants were killed. According to Polish accounts, civilians were locked in barns that were set on fire while those attempting to flee were killed. That's about par for the course.
Canada's response was as follows:
The Canadian Deschênes Commission was set up to investigate alleged war crimes committed by the collaborators
Memorial to SS-Galizien division in Chervone, Lviv Oblast, western Ukraine
The Canadian "Commission of Inquiry on War Crimes" of October 1986, by the Honourable Justice Jules Deschênesconcluded that in relation to membership in the Galicia Division:
''The Galicia Division (14. Waffen grenadier division der SS [gal.1]) should not be indicted as a group. The members of Galicia Division were individually screened for security purposes before admission to Canada. Charges of war crimes of Galicia Division have never been substantiated, either in 1950 when they were first preferred, or in 1984 when they were renewed, or before this Commission. Further, in the absence of evidence of participation or knowledge of specific war crimes, mere membership in the Galicia Division is insufficient to justify prosecution.''
However, the Commission's conclusion failed to acknowledge or heed the International Military Tribunal's verdict at the Nuremberg Trials, in which the entire Waffen-SSorganisation was declared a "criminal organization" guilty of war crimes. Also, the Deschênes Commission in its conclusion only referenced the division as 14. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (Galizische Nr.1), thus in legal terms, only acknowledging the formation's activity after its name change in August 1944, while the massacre of Poles in Huta Pieniacka, Pidkamin and Palikrowy occurred when the division was called SS Freiwilligen Division "Galizien". Nevertheless, a subsequent review by Canada's Minister of Justice again confirmed that members of the Division were not implicated in war crimes.
Yes, the west looks after its Nazis and even makes them and their descendants political figureheads.Most of these people are so smugly and complacently convinced of their own moral superiority that they just can't see the hypocrisy and doublethink involved in the event.MikalinaEva Bartlett gives a wider perspective:Harry Stotle
https://www.globalresearch.ca/londons-media-freedom-conference-smacks-irony-critics-barred-no-mention-jailed-assange/5683808Freedom-lover, Cunt, will be furious when he hears about this!Tutisicecream
Apparently Steve Bell is doubleplusbad for alluding to the fact Netanyahu has got his hand shoved deep into Tom Watson's arse – the Guardian pulled Bell's most recent ouvre which suggests the media's antisemitism trope might not be quite as politically untainted as the likes of Freedland, Cohen and Viner would have you believe.
Meanwhile Owen Jones has taken to Twitter to rubbish allegations that a reign of terror exists at Guardian Towers – the socialist firebrand is quoted as saying 'journalists are free to say whatever they like, so long as it doesn't stray too far from Guardian-groupthink'.Good analysis Kit, of the cognitive dissonant ping pong being played out by Nazi sympathisers such as Hunt and Freeland.Steve Hayes
The echo chamber of deceit is amplified again by the selective use of information and the ignoring of relevant facts, such as the miss reporting yesterday by Reuters of the Italian Neo-Nazi haul of weapons by the police, having not Russian but Ukrainian links.
Not a word in the WMSM about this devious miss-reporting as the creation of fake news in action. But what would you expect?
Living as I do in Russia I can assure anyone reading this that the media freedom here is on a par with the West and somewhat better as there is no paranoia about a fictitious enemy – Russians understand that the West is going through an existential crisis (Brexit in the UK, Trump and the Clinton war of sameness in the US and Macron and Merkel in the EU). A crisis of Liberalism as the failed life-support of capitalism. But hey, why worry about the politics when there is bigger fish to fry. Such as who will pay me to dance?
The answer is clear from what Kit has writ. The government will pay the piper. How sweet.
I'd like to thank Kit for sitting through such a turgid masquerade and as I'm rather long in the tooth I do remember the old BBC schools of journalism in Yelsin's Russia. What I remember is that old devious Auntie Beeb was busy training would be hopefuls in the art of discretion regarding how the news is formed, or formulated.
In other words your audience. And it ain't the publicThe British government's "Online Harms" White Paper has a whole section devoted to "disinformation" (ie, any facts, opinions, analyses, evaluations, critiques that are critical of the elite's actual disinformation). If these proposals become law, the government will have effective control over the Internet and we will be allowed access to their disinformation, shop and watch cute cat videos.Question ThisThe liberal news media & hypocrisy, who would have ever thought you'd see those words in the same sentence. But what do you expect from professional liars, politicians & 'their' free press?Tim Jenkins
Can this shit show get any worse? Yes, The other day I wrote to my MP regards the SNP legislating against the truth, effectively making it compulsory to lie! Mr Blackford as much as called me a transphobic & seemed to go to great length publishing his neo-liberal ideological views in some scottish rag, on how right is wrong & fact is turned into fiction & asked only those that agreed with him contact him."The science or logical consistency of true premise, cannot take place or bear fruit, when all communication and information is 'marketised and weaponised' to a mindset of possession and control." B.SteereMikalinaI saw, somewhere (but can't find it now) a law or a prospective law which goes under the guise of harassment of MPs to include action against constituents who 'pester' them.Question This
I've found a link for the Jo Cox gang discussing it, though.
https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/new-research-on-the-intimidation-and-harassment-of-mps-featured-in-inaugural-conferenceI only emailed him once! That's hardly harassment. Anyway I sent it with proton-mail via vpn & used a false postcode using only my first name so unlikely my civil & sincere correspondence will see me locked up for insisting my inalienable rights of freedom of speech & beliefs are protected. But there again the state we live in, i may well be incarcerated for life, for such an outrageous expectation.Where to?"The Guardian is struggling for money" Surely, they would be enjoying some of the seemingly unlimited US defense and some of the mind control programmes budgets.Harry StotleIts the brazen nature of the conference that is especially galling, but what do you expect when crooks and liars no longer feel they even have to pretend?Where to?
Nothing will change so long as politicians (or their shady backers) are never held to account for public assets diverted toward a rapacious off-shore economic system, or the fact millions of lives have been shattered by the 'war on terror' and its evil twin, 'humanatarian regime change' (while disingenuous Labour MPs wail about the 'horrors' of antisemitism rather than the fact their former leader is a key architect of the killings).
Kit remains a go-to voice when deconstructing claims made by political figures who clearly regard the MSM as a propaganda vehicle for promoting western imperialism – the self-satisfied smugness of cunts like Jeremy Cunt stand in stark contrast to a real journalist being tortured by the British authorities just a few short miles away.
It's a sligtly depressing thought but somebody has the unenviable task of monitoring just how far our politicians have drifted from the everyday concerns of the 'just about managing' and as I say Mr Knightly does a fine job in informing readers what the real of agenda of these media love-ins are actually about – it goes without saying a very lengthy barge pole is required when the Saudis are invited but not Russia.This Media Freedom Conference is surely a creepy theatre of the absurd.Mikalina
It is a test of what they can get away with.Yep. Any soviet TV watcher would recognise this immediately. Message? THIS is the reality – and you are powerless.markWhen are they going to give us the Ministry of Truth we so desperately need?
Aug 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org
Lapdogs for the Government
Here was, of course, another surreal spectacle, this time courtesy of one of the Deep State's most dangerous, reviled, and divisive figures, a notable protagonist in the Russia-Gate conspiracy, and America's most senior diplomat no less.
Not only is it difficult to accept that the former CIA Director actually believes what he is saying, well might we ask, "Who can believe Mike Pompeo?"
And here's also someone whose manifest cynicism, hypocrisy, and chutzpah would embarrass the much-derided scribes and Pharisees of Biblical days.
We have Pompeo on record recently in a rare moment of honesty admitting – whilst laughing his ample ass off, as if recalling some "Boy's Own Adventure" from his misspent youth with a bunch of his mates down at the local pub – that under his watch as CIA Director:
We lied, cheated, we stole we had entire training courses.'
It may have been one of the few times in his wretched existence that Pompeo didn't speak with a forked tongue.
At all events, his candour aside, we can assume safely that this reactionary, monomaniacal, Christian Zionist 'end-timer' passed all the Company's "training courses" with flying colours.
According to Matthew Rosenberg of the New York Times, all this did not stop Pompeo however from name-checking Wikileaks when it served his own interests. Back in 2016 at the height of the election campaign, he had ' no compunction about pointing people toward emails stolen* by Russian hackers from the Democratic National Committee and then posted by WikiLeaks."
[NOTE: Rosenberg's omission of the word "allegedly" -- as in "emails allegedly stolen" -- is a dead giveaway of bias on his part (a journalistic Freudian slip perhaps?), with his employer being one of those MSM marques leading the charge with the "Russian Collusion" 'story'. For a more insightful view of the source of these emails and the skullduggery and thuggery that attended Russia-Gate, readers are encouraged to check this out.]
And this is of course The Company we're talking about, whose past and present relationship with the media might be summed up in two words: Operation Mockingbird (OpMock). Anyone vaguely familiar with the well-documented Grand Deception that was OpMock, arguably the CIA's most enduring, insidious, and successful psy-ops gambit, will know what we're talking about. (See here , here , here , and here .) At its most basic, this operation was all about propaganda and censorship, usually operating in tandem to ensure all the bases are covered.
After opining that the MSM is 'totally infiltrated' by the CIA and various other agencies, for his part former NSA whistleblower William Binney recently added , ' When it comes to national security, the media only talk about what the administration wants you to hear, and basically suppress any other statements about what's going on that the administration does not want get public. The media is basically the lapdogs for the government.'
Even the redoubtable William Casey , Ronald Reagan's CIA Director back in the day was reported to have said something along the following lines:
We know our disinformation program is complete when almost everything the American public believes is false.'
In order to provide a broader and deeper perspective, we should now consider the views of a few others on the subjects at hand, along with some history. In a 2013 piece musing on the modern significance of the practice, my compatriot John Pilger ecalled a time when he met Leni Riefenstahl back in 70s and asked her about her films that 'glorified the Nazis'.
Using groundbreaking camera and lighting techniques, Riefenstahl produced a documentary that mesmerized Germans; as Pilger noted, her Triumph of the Will 'cast Adolf Hitler's spell'. She told the veteran Aussie journalist the "messages" of her films were dependent not on "orders from above", but on the "submissive void" of the public.
All in all, Riefenstahl produced arguably for the rest of the world the most compelling historical footage of mass hysteria, blind obedience, nationalistic fervour, and existential menace, all key ingredients in anyone's totalitarian nightmare. That it also impressed a lot of very powerful, high profile people in the West on both sides of the pond is also axiomatic: These included bankers, financiers, industrialists, and sundry business elites without whose support Hitler might've at best ended up a footnote in the historical record after the ill-fated beer-hall putsch. (See here , and here .)
" Triumph " apparently still resonates today. To the surprise of few one imagines, such was the impact of the film -- as casually revealed in the excellent 2018 Alexis Bloom documentary Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes -- it elicited no small amount of admiration from arguably the single most influential propagandist of recent times.
[Readers might wish to check out Russell Crowe's recent portrayal of Ailes in Stan's mini-series The Loudest Voice , in my view one the best performances of the man's career.]
In a recent piece unambiguously titled "Propaganda Is The Root Of All Our Problems", my other compatriot Caitlin Johnstone also had a few things to say about the subject, echoing Orwell when she observed it was all about "controlling the narrative".
Though I'd suggest the greater "root" problem is our easy propensity to ignore this reality, pretend it doesn't or won't affect us, or reject it as conspiratorial nonsense, in this, of course, she's correct. As she cogently observes,
I write about this stuff for a living, and even I don't have the time or energy to write about every single narrative control tool that the US-centralised empire has been implementing into its arsenal. There are too damn many of them emerging too damn fast, because they're just that damn crucial for maintaining existing power structures.'The Discreet Use of Censorship and Uniformed Men
It is hardly surprising that those who hold power should seek to control the words and language people use' said Canadian author John Ralston Saul in his 1993 book Voltaire's Bastards–the Dictatorship of Reason in the West .
Fittingly, in a discussion encompassing amongst other things history, language, power, and dissent, he opined, ' Determining how individuals communicate is' an objective which represents for the power elites 'the best chance' [they] have to control what people think. This translates as: The more control 'we' have over what the proles think, the more 'we' can reduce the inherent risk for elites in democracy.
' Clumsy men', Saul went on to say, 'try to do this through power and fear. Heavy-handed men running heavy-handed systems attempt the same thing through police-enforced censorship. The more sophisticated the elites, the more they concentrate on creating intellectual systems which control expression through the communications structures. These systems require only the discreet use of censorship and uniformed men.'
In other words, along with assuming it is their right to take it in the first place, ' those who take power will always try to change the established language ', presumably to better facilitate their hold on it and/or legitimise their claim to it.
For Oliver Boyd-Barrett, democratic theory presupposes a public communications infrastructure that facilitates the free and open exchange of ideas.' Yet for the author of the recently published RussiaGate and Propaganda: Disinformation in the Age of Social Media , 'No such infrastructure exists.'
The mainstream media he says, is 'owned and controlled by a small number of large, multi-media and multi-industrial conglomerates' that lie at the very heart of US oligopoly capitalism and much of whose advertising revenue and content is furnished from other conglomerates:
The inability of mainstream media to sustain an information environment that can encompass histories, perspectives and vocabularies that are free of the shackles of US plutocratic self-regard is also well documented.'
Of course the word "inability" suggests the MSM view themselves as having some responsibility for maintaining such an egalitarian news and information environment. They don't of course, and in truth, probably never really have! A better word would be "unwilling", or even "refusal". The corporate media all but epitomise the " plutocratic self-regard" that is characteristic of "oligopoly capitalism".
Indeed, the MSM collectively functions as advertising, public relations/lobbying entities for Big Corp, in addition to acting as its Praetorian bodyguard , protecting their secrets, crimes, and lies from exposure. Like all other companies they are beholden to their shareholders (profits before truth and people), most of whom it can safely be assumed are no strangers to "self-regard", and could care less about " histories, perspectives and vocabularies" that run counter to their own interests.
It was Aussie social scientist Alex Carey who pioneered the study of nationalism , corporatism , and moreso for our purposes herein, the management (read: manipulation) of public opinion, though all three have important links (a story for another time). For Carey, the following conclusion was inescapable: 'It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda achievements of the twentieth century.' This former farmer from Western Australia became one of the world's acknowledged experts on propaganda and the manipulation of the truth.
Prior to embarking on his academic career, Carey was a successful sheep grazier . By all accounts, he was a first-class judge of the animal from which he made his early living, leaving one to ponder if this expertise gave him a unique insight into his main area of research!
In any event, Carey in time sold the farm and travelled to the U.K. to study psychology, apparently a long-time ambition. From the late fifties until his death in 1988, he was a senior lecturer in psychology and industrial relations at the Sydney-based University of New South Wales, with his research being lauded by such luminaries as Noam Chomsky and John Pilger, both of whom have had a thing or three to say over the years about The Big Shill. In fact such was his admiration, Pilger described him as "a second Orwell", which in anyone's lingo is a big call.
Carey unfortunately died in 1988, interestingly the year that his more famous contemporaries Edward Herman and Chomsky's book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media was published, the authors notably dedicating their book to him.
Though much of his work remained unpublished at the time of his death, a book of Carey's essays – Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty -- was published posthumously in 1997. It remains a seminal work.
In fact, for anyone with an interest in how public opinion is moulded and our perceptions are managed and manipulated, in whose interests they are done so and to what end, it is as essential reading as any of the work of other more famous names. This tome came complete with a foreword by Chomsky, so enamoured was the latter of Carey's work.
For Carey, the three "most significant developments" in the political economy of the twentieth century were: the growth of democracy the growth of corporate power; and the growth of propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.
Carey's main focus was on the following: advertising and publicity devoted to the creation of artificial wants; the public relations and propaganda industry whose principal goal is the diversion to meaningless pursuits and control of the public mind; and the degree to which academia and the professions are under assault from private power determined to narrow the spectrum of thinkable (sic) thought.
For Carey, it is an axiom of conventional wisdom that the use of propaganda as a means of social and ideological control is 'distinctive' of totalitarian regimes. Yet as he stresses: the most minimal exercise of common sense would suggest a different view: that propaganda is likely to play at least as important a part in democratic societies (where the existing distribution of power and privilege is vulnerable to quite limited changes in popular opinion) as in authoritarian societies (where it is not).' In this context, 'conventional wisdom" becomes conventional ignorance; as for "common sense", maybe not so much.
The purpose of this propaganda barrage, as Sharon Bader has noted, has been to convince as many people as possible that it is in their interests to relinquish their own power as workers, consumers, and citizens, and 'forego their democratic right to restrain and regulate business activity. As a result the political agenda is now confined to policies aimed at furthering business interests.'
An extreme example of this view playing itself right under our noses and over decades was the cruel fiction of the " trickle down effect " (TDE) -- aka the 'rising tide that would lift all yachts' -- of Reaganomics . One of several mantras that defined Reagan's overarching political shtick, the TDE was by any measure, decidedly more a torrent than a trickle, and said "torrent" was going up not down. This reality as we now know was not in Reagan's glossy economic brochure to be sure, and it may have been because the Gipper confused his prepositions and verbs.
Yet as the GFC of 2008 amply demonstrated, it culminated in a free-for all, dog eat dog, anything goes, everyman for himself form of cannibal (or anarcho) capitalism -- an updated, much improved version of the no-holds-barred mercenary mercantilism much reminiscent of the Gilded Age and the Robber Barons who 'infested' it, only one that doesn't just eat its young, it eats itself!Making the World Safe for Plutocracy
In the increasingly dysfunctional, one-sided political economy we inhabit then, whether it's widgets or wars or anything in between, few people realise the degree to which our opinions, perceptions, emotions, and views are shaped and manipulated by propaganda (and its similarly 'evil twin' censorship ,) its most adept practitioners, and those elite, institutional, political, and corporate entities that seek out their expertise.
It is now just over a hundred years since the practice of propaganda took a giant leap forward, then in the service of persuading palpably reluctant Americans that the war raging in Europe at the time was their war as well.
This was at a time when Americans had just voted their then-president Woodrow Wilson back into office for a second term, a victory largely achieved on the back of the promise he'd "keep us out of the War." Americans were very much in what was one of their most isolationist phases , and so Wilson's promise resonated with them.
But over time they were convinced of the need to become involved by a distinctly different appeal to their political sensibilities. This "appeal" also dampened the isolationist mood, one which it has to be said was not embraced by most of the political, banking, and business elites of the time, most of whom stood to lose big-time if the Germans won, and/or who were already profiting or benefitting from the business of war.
For a president who "kept us out of the war", this wasn't going to be an easy 'pitch'. In order to sell the war the president established the Committee on Public Information (aka the Creel Committee) for the purposes of publicising the rationale for the war and from there, garnering support for it from the general public.
Enter Edward Bernays , the nephew of Sigmund Freud, who's generally considered to be the father of modern public relations. In his film Rule from the Shadows: The Psychology of Power , Aaron Hawkins says Bernays was influenced by people such as Gustave le Bon , Walter Lippman , and Wilfred Trotter , as much, if not moreso, than his famous uncle.
Either way, Bernays 'combined their perspectives and synthesised them into an applied science', which he then 'branded' "public relations".
For its part the Creel committee struggled with its brief from the off; but Bernays worked with them to persuade Americans their involvement in the war was justified -- indeed necessary -- and to that end he devised the brilliantly inane slogan, "making the world safe for democracy" .
Thus was born arguably the first great propaganda catch-phrases of the modern era, and certainly one of the most portentous. The following sums up Bernays's unabashed mindset:
The conscious, intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.'
The rest is history (sort of), with Americans becoming more willing to not just support the war effort but encouraged to view the Germans and their allies as evil brutes threatening democracy and freedom and the 'American way of life', however that might've been viewed then. From a geopolitical and historical perspective, it was an asinine premise of course, but nonetheless an extraordinary example of how a few well chosen words tapped into the collective psyche of a country that was decidedly opposed to any U.S involvement in the war and turned that mindset completely on its head.
' [S]aving the world for democracy' (or some 'cover version' thereof) has since become America's positioning statement, 'patriotic' rallying cry, and the "Get-out-of-Jail Free" card for its war and its white collar criminal clique.
At all events it was by any measure, a stroke of genius on Bernays's part; by appealing to people's basic fears and desires, he could engineer consent on a mass scale. It goes without saying it changed the course of history in more ways than one. That the U.S. is to this day still using a not dissimilar meme to justify its "foreign entanglements" is testament to both its utility and durability.
The reality as we now know was markedly different of course. They have almost always been about power, empire, control, hegemony, resources, wealth, opportunity, profit, dispossession, keeping existing capitalist structures intact and well-defended, and crushing dissent and opposition.The Bewildered Herd
It is instructive to note that the template for 'manufacturing consent' for war had already been forged by the British. And the Europeans did not 'sleepwalk' like some " bewildered herd ' into this conflagration.
For twenty years prior to the outbreak of the war in 1914, the then stewards of the British Empire had been diligently preparing the ground for what they viewed as a preordained clash with their rivals for empire the Germans.
To begin with, contrary to the opinion of the general populace over one hundred years later, it was not the much touted German aggression and militarism, nor their undoubted imperial ambitions, which precipitated its outbreak. The stewards of the British Empire were not about to let the Teutonic upstarts chow down on their imperial lunch as it were, and set about unilaterally and preemptively crushing Germany and with it any ambitions it had for creating its own imperial domain in competition with the Empire upon which Ol' Sol never set.
The "Great War" is worth noting here for other reasons. As documented so by Jim Macgregor and Gerry Docherty in their two books covering the period from 1890-1920, we learn much about propaganda, which attest to its extraordinary power, in particular its power to distort reality en masse in enduring and subversive ways.
In reality, the only thing "great" about World War One was the degree to which the masses fighting for Britain were conned via propaganda and censorship into believing this war was necessary, and the way the official narrative of the war was sustained for posterity via the very same means. "Great" maybe, but not in a good way!
In these seminal tomes -- World War One Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War and its follow-up Prolonging the Agony: How the Anglo-American Establishment Deliberately Extended WWI by Three-And-A-Half Years -- Macgregor and Docherty provide a masterclass for us all of the power of propaganda in the service of firstly inciting, then deliberately sustaining a major war.
The horrendous carnage and destruction that resulted from it was of course unprecedented, the global effects of which linger on now well over one hundred years later.
Such was the enduring power of the propaganda that today most folks would have great difficulty in accepting the following; this is a short summary of historical realities revealed by Macgregor and Docherty that are at complete odds with the official narrative, the political discourse, and the school textbooks:It was Great Britain (supported by France and Russia) and not Germany who was the principal aggressor in the events and actions that let to the outbreak of war; The British had for twenty years prior to 1914 viewed Germany as its most dangerous economic and imperial rival, and fully anticipated that a war was inevitable; In the U.K. and the U.S., various factions worked feverishly to ensure the war went on for as long as possible, and scuttled peacemaking efforts from the off; key truths about this most consequential of geopolitical conflicts have been concealed for well over one hundred years, with no sign the official record will change; very powerful forces (incl. a future US president) amongst U.S. political, media, and economic elites conspired to eventually convince an otherwise unwilling populace in America that U.S. entry onto the war was necessary; those same forces and many similar groups in the U.K. and Europe engaged in everything from war profiteering, destruction/forging of war records, false-flag ops, treason, conspiracy to wage aggressive war, and direct efforts to prolong the war by any means necessary, many of which will rock folks to their very core.
But peace was not on the agenda. When, by 1916, the military failures were so embarrassing and costly, some key players in the British government were willing to talk about peace. This could not be tolerated. The potential peacemakers had to be thrown under the bus. The unelected European leaders had one common bond: They would fight Germany until she was crushed.
Prolonging the Agony details how this secret cabal organised to this end the change of government without a single vote being cast. David Lloyd George was promoted to prime minister in Britain and Georges Clemenceau made prime minister in France. A new government, an inner-elite war cabinet thrust the Secret Elite leader, Lord Alfred Milner into power at the very inner-core of the decision-makers in British politics.
Democracy? They had no truck with democracy. The voting public had no say. The men entrusted with the task would keep going till the end and their place-men were backed by the media and the money-power, in Britain, France and America.Propaganda Always Wins
But just as the pioneering adherents of propaganda back in the day might never have dreamt how sophisticated and all-encompassing the practice would become, nor would the citizenry at large have anticipated the extent to which the industry has facilitated an entrenched, rapacious plutocracy at the expense of our economic opportunity, our financial and material security, our physical, social and cultural environment, our values and attitudes, and increasingly, our basic democratic rights and freedoms.
We now live in the Age of the Big Shill -- cocooned in a submissive void no less -- an era where nothing can be taken on face value yet where time and attention constraints (to name just a few) force us to do so; [where] few people in public life can be taken at their word; where unchallenged perceptions become accepted reality; where 'open-book' history is now incontrovertible not-negotiable, upon pain of imprisonment fact; where education is about uniformity, function, form and conformity, all in the service of imposed neo-liberal ideologies embracing then prioritising individual -- albeit dubious -- freedoms.
More broadly, it's the "Roger Ailes" of this world -- acting on behalf of the power elites who after all are their paymasters -- who create the intellectual systems which control expression through the communications structures, whilst ensuring these systems require only 'the discreet use of censorship and uniformed men.'
They are the shapers and moulders of the discourse that passes for the accepted lingua franca of the increasingly globalised, interconnected, corporatised political economy of the planet. Throughout this process they 'will always try to change the established language.'
And we can no longer rely on our elected representatives to honestly represent us and our interests. Whether this decision making is taking place inside or outside the legislative process, these processes are well and truly in the grip of the banks and financial institutions and transnational organisations. In whose interests are they going to be more concerned with?
We saw this all just after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) when the very people who brought the system to the brink, made billions off the dodge for their banks and millions for themselves, bankrupted hundreds of thousands of American families, were called upon by the U.S. government to fix up the mess, and to all intents given a blank cheque to so do.
That the U.S. is at even greater risk now of economic implosion is something few serious pundits would dispute, and a testament to the effectiveness of the snow-job perpetrated upon Americans regarding the causes, the impact, and the implications of the 2008 meltdown going forward.
In most cases, one accepts almost by definition such disconnects (read: hidden agendas) are the rule rather than the exception, hence the multi-billion foundation -- and global reach and impact -- of the propaganda business. This in itself is a key indicator as to why organisations place so much importance on this aspect of managing their affairs.
At the very least, once corporations saw how the psychology of persuasion could be leveraged to manipulate consumers and politicians saw the same with the citizenry and even its own workers, the growth of the industry was assured.
As Riefenstahl noted during her chinwag with Pilger after he asked if those embracing the "submissive void" included the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? " Everyone ," she said.
By way of underscoring her point, she added enigmatically: 'Propaganda always wins if you allow it'.
Greg Maybury is a freelance writer based in Perth, Australia. His main areas of interest are American history and politics in general, with a special focus on economic, national security, military, and geopolitical affairs. For 5 years he has regularly contributed to a diverse range of news and opinion sites, including OpEd News, The Greanville Post, Consortium News, Dandelion Salad, Global Research, Dissident Voice, OffGuardian, Contra Corner, International Policy Digest, the Hampton Institute, and others.
nottheonly1This brilliant essay is proof of the reflective nature of the Universe. The worse the propaganda and oppression becomes, the greater the likelihood such an essay will be written.GMW
Such is the sophistication and ubiquity of the narrative control techniques used today -- afforded increasingly by 'computational propaganda' via automated scripts, hacking, botnets, troll farms, and algorithms and the like, along with the barely veiled censorship and information gatekeeping practised by Google and Facebook and other tech behemoths -- it's become one of the most troubling aspects of the technological/social media revolution.
Very rarely can one experience such a degree of vindication. My moniker 'nottheonly1' has received more meaning with this precise depiction of the long history of the manipulation of the masses. Recent events have destroyed but all of my confidence that there might be a peaceful way out of this massive dilemma. Due to this sophistication in controlling the narrative, it has now become apparent that we have arrived at a moment in time where total lawlessness reigns. 'Lawlessness' in this case means the loss of common law and the use of code law to create ever new restrictions for free speech and liberty at large.
Over the last weeks, comments written on other discussion boards have unleashed a degree of character defamation and ridicule for the most obvious crimes perpetrated on the masses through propaganda. In this unholy union of constant propaganda via main stream 'media' with the character defamation by so called 'trolls' – which are actually virtual assassins of those who write the truth – the ability of the population, or parts thereof to connect with, or search for like minded people is utterly destroyed. This assault on the online community has devastating consequences. Those who have come into the cross hairs of the unintelligence agencies will but turn away from the internet. Leaving behind an ocean of online propaganda and fake information. Few are now the web sites on which it is possible to voice one's personal take on the status quo.
There is one word that describes these kind of activities precisely: traitor. Those who engage in the character defamation of commenters, or authors per se, are traitors to humanity. They betray the collective consciousness with their poisonous attacks of those who work for a sea change of the status quo. The owner class has all game pieces positioned. The fact that Julian Assange is not only a free man, but still without a Nobel price for peace, while war criminals are recipients, shows just how much the march into absolute totalitarianism has progressed. Bernays hated the masses and offered his 'services' to manipulate them often for free.
Even though there are more solutions than problems, the time has come where meaningful participation in the search for such solution has been made unbearable. It is therefore that a certain fatalism has developed – from resignation to the acceptance of the status quo as being inevitable. Ancient wisdom has created a proverb that states 'This too, will pass'. While that is a given, there are still enough Human Beings around that are determined to make a difference. To this group I count the author of this marvelous, albeit depressing essay. Thank you more that words can express. And thank you, OffGuardian for being one of the last remaining places where discourse is possible.Really great post! Thanks. I'm part of the way through reading Alex Carey's book: "Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty," referenced in this article. I've learned more about the obviously verifiable history of U.S. corporate propaganda in the first four chapters than I learned gaining a "minor" in history in 1974 (not surprisingly I can now clearly see). I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in just how pervasive, entrenched and long-standing are the propaganda systems shaping public perception, thought and behavior in America and the West.NorcalWow Greg Maybury great essay, congratulations. This quote is brilliant, I've never see it before, "For Carey, the following conclusion was inescapable: 'It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda achievements of the twentieth century.' "nondimenticare
Too, Rodger Ailes was the man credited with educating Nixon up as how to "use" the TV media, and Ailes never looked back as he manipulated media at will. Thank you!That is also one of the basic theses of Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize speech.vexarbI read in 'Guns, Germs and Steel' about Homo Sapiens and his domesticated animals. Apparently we got on best in places where we could find animals that are very like us: sheep, cattle, horses and other herd animals which instinctively follow their Leader. I think our cousins the chimpanzee are much the same; both species must have inherited this common trait from some pre-chimpanzee ancestor who had found great survival value in passing on the sheeple trait to their progeny. As have the sheep themselves.Andy
By the way, has anybody observed sheeple behaviour in ants and bees? For instance, quietly following a Leader ant to their doom, or noisily ganging up to mob a worker bee that the Queen does not like?Almost unbelievable that this was commisioned by the BBC 4 part series covering much of what is in Gregs essay. Some fabulous old footage too. https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-century-of-the-self/S.R.PasserbyI'd say the elites are both for and against. Competing factions. It's clear that many are interested in overturning democracy, whilst others want to exploit it.
The average grunt on the street is in the fire, regardless of the pan chosen by the elites.
Aug 16, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
In our tense populist moment, Jeffrey Epstein's crimes land like a grenade. • August 15, 2019Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in Cambridge, MA on 9/8/04. (Photo by Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images) Hands up, those of you who made a Fort Marcy Park joke last Saturday. Anyone? Surely there were a few. Fort Marcy Park was the Washington, D.C. woodland where White House attorney Vince Foster was found dead in 1993, and while his demise was repeatedly ruled a suicide, certain conservatives spent years afterwards hallucinating that the Clintons had him killed. Now, a quarter century later, both right and left are back in conspiracy mode. Mere hours after pedo-to-the-stars Jeffrey Epstein was reported to have killed himself, the hash tag #ClintonBodyCount began circulating on Twitter, followed closely by #TrumpBodyCount. Both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump had been associates of Epstein's; both, the thinking went, might have been desperate for him not to take the stand.
It is wrong, of course, to publicly speculate that Epstein was whacked, given that all available evidence points to gross negligence on the part of the jail. But can you really blame people? Twenty-five years ago, if you'd said that a roll call of America's elites, everyone from a former president to the most famous lawyer in the country, would be implicated in a sex trafficking ring masterminded by an enigmatic Wall Street financier who was also a member of the Trilateral Commission , you would have been laughed into the darkest corner of the local subway platform (next to the guy holding the "Vatican Hides Pedophiles" sign, presumably). Today, you'd be reading AP copy. Validate an improbable conspiracy theory, and you grant license to all the related improbable conspiracy theories: Bill Clinton flew dozens of times on the Lolita Express; was it really beyond him to order a hit?
And if we know one thing about the Epstein story, it's that everything about it is utterly improbable. Epstein stands credibly accused of assembling a veritable underage harem . One of his victims, Virginia Guiffre, has already implicated Prince Andrew , the third-born of Queen Elizabeth II, and a picture has since emerged showing the royal with his arm around the then-teenager's waist. Guiffre says she was also ordered to have sex with , among others, a "foreign president," a "well-known prime minister," and a "large hotel chain owner." Such an open secret was all this perversion that the current president of the United States made cheeky reference to it back in 2002. So invincible did Epstein think himself that he discussed underage sex openly, telling a New York Times reporter that laws against pedophilia were a "cultural aberration."
That Epstein looked to other cultures to rationalize his behavior is nothing new -- Oscar Wilde wrapped his similar predilections in lofty talk about the Greek ideal. What is different is that rather than being hunted and exposed by the powerful, as Wilde was, Epstein was protected by them for decades. Even after he was convicted of soliciting an underage prostitute in 2008, he was sentenced to only 18 months in prison, held in a private wing of the Palm Beach County stockade, and let out on generous "work release."
Study the Epstein case long enough and you end up at Alex Jones's favorite conclusion: they're all sons of bitches. Everyone who was anyone seemed to be in on this, or at least acting at the behest of someone who was. The essence of the conspiratorial mindset is that powerful shadowy forces are, first, capable of and engaged in the most dastardly skullduggery imaginable, and, second, in cabal-like cooperation with each other across all levels of power. The Epstein case seems to affirm both planks. It makes our elites seem like aliens, of a different culture, a different moral code, a different species -- how else could they have let slide what none of us ever would? Mary Colum's remark to Ernest Hemingway, "The only difference between the rich and other people is that the rich have more money," has rarely rang less true.
There's been for some time now a sense of drift between most Americans and their elites, driven by factors like income inequality, geographic enclaving, and cultural differences. We are living in a populist moment, to be sure, an era when the usual purveyors of class warfare sound more apt than they otherwise would. In such a fraught environment, the Epstein revelation lands like a grenade. Not only are America's gentry hitching rides on the Acela while mumbling about deplorables -- so the feeling goes -- they're also running cover for a Caligula who's preying on little Susie down the street. Suddenly the populist divide doesn't just run between classes or races or regular toast versus avocado, but between ethical extremes, good and literal evil.
This is, of course, what most populists profess: the people as a group are wholesome, the elites as a group are venal, and the former has to be vaulted over the latter in order for society to be made whole again. Yet Epstein's crimes are so wicked as to potentially set this moral chasm ablaze like never before. That's why, though Trump may have associated with Epstein, he's unlikely to be damaged by him: everything that's happened only confirms what he's been saying for years. In fact, you might view the Epstein fracas as a dialectic between two of his former associates, Trump's throw-them-out populism versus Clinton's benevolent stewardship of society by the smart set. And Trump won out.
Just as populisms aren't driven entirely by economic causes, so too are revolutions often about more than bread. Consider the Russian Revolution, sparked at least in small part by the people's perception of Rasputin as a sexual deviant. Consider, too, the French Revolution's rage against the profligate "Madame Déficit" Marie Antoinette. In such cases, the moral tends to get intertwined with the economic; license is seen as enabling decadence while the people pray and starve. This can be a blind spot in traditional conservative thinking. We rightly detest (most) revolutions and the tremors they cause, but we sometimes fail to notice that the Jacobins have good reason to be angry and that the ruling classes they overthrow really are that loathsome.
America is nowhere near 1789 France, or armed revolution in general. But we are anxious, restive, hungry for justice. A republic likes ours depends on the harmonious coexistence of its people and its elites, a matter that our Founders spent a good deal of time worrying about. Now we have a hideous face f0r elite corruption, one that's enabled fever in the national mind and dehumanized those around him. For those of us who prize stability and liberty in a polity, who think populism is always best in modest doses, the weeks ahead may be reason for worry.
Because it seems there's only more to come. On Wednesday, another victim came forward , alleging that Epstein raped her when she was 14 after she turned down sex with him. That this carnal omega, this pathetic loser, this finger-sniffing pervert from every teen comedy lurking outside the pretty girl's home longing for a piece of discarded lingerie was somehow elevated into a Teflon-coated Wall Street sun god is beyond comprehension. My friend Michael Davis calls Epstein and company the Hellfire Club , but just how much will they torch on their way down?
Matt Purple is the managing editor of .
Amy Ehlers • a day ago • editedWhen I started to see what was going on in this country, which was my journey, I was amazed to find out that there is sex trafficking 8 blocks from the White House and I learned of this in 2011. Lisa Ling did a great documentary on it. "Night time traffic greater than the day time." Pimps attempting to recruit girls walking home from school. If you pay attention it is also a journey of the food chain of Corporate America that supports this.Krazy Uncle • a day ago
This is a Money Changer issue, that is about the closing of eyes from both parties. and please don't tell me this is not so. I know better than that.To be absolutely, clear there was speculation that Epstein was going to be assassinated weeks before it happened. For the most part citizens aren't so much surprised, as disappointed that Justice is once again foiled.Krazy Uncle Bill In Montgomey • 15 hours ago
Are the Elites the arch villains from the comic books, probably not, but then again many of them operate corporations that cause suffering to economically deprived populations all over the world.
When the World's 26 richest people own as much as poorest 50%, just how close do they seem to achieve a god like status when looking up from the bottom? Maybe that's one reason that people are so angry when it seems that the most vulnerable among us, our children, are the victims of a limited number of the Elites and their twisted and horrific appetites.
I personally doubt much will come of the Epstein affair it will most likely be just one more myth added to the tally of injustice, and the people will have to bitterly swallow it whole. It will probably take many more cases like this being exposed before the people actually have their fill, and decide to do something about it. In the meantime, prepare to see more of the same by the laughing and mocking ElitesIn this day and age, I doubt a reporter will touch this story, and if they did, the real story would never make it into the Main Stream Media. And, most likely the reporter would be permanently black balled, and never work in Journalism again. It's happened many times before, because it doesn't fit within the approved propaganda message.polistra24 • a day ago
Give the story a couple decades or more, and it may come out, but otherwise it will be handled as a whack-job Conspiracy Theory.
The Fourth Estate is the only business that is protected by the Constitution, and yet it has been neutered, and those in the Press, who were supposed to be the Watchdogs for the people, have become the Lapdogs of the Elites.
What passes as News today is formulaic programming, passed on from the Propagandist to the Media, both nationally and locally.
Have you ever seen Conan O'Brian's local news videos?
Newscasters Agree: Rising Gas Prices Edition
There is one reporter, Julie K. Brown, of the Miami Herald that actually brought to light the Epstein story again.
Here's the Thing: How Julie Brown broke the Jeffrey Epstein story
So, there is at least one reporter that has the guts to do investigative journalism hope her life insurance policy is up to date.
p.s. I didn't listen to the broadcast in the second link I just posted it in case others are interested. I've read the story elsewhere.Why is this surprising? Aristocrats have always behaved this way.minsredmash • a day agoTwo Republican state senators and two New York City Policemen died violently within 72 hours ....Jessica Ramer Amy Ehlers • a day ago
1. On June 4, former Arkansas Senator Linda Collins-Smith, 57, was found dead outside her home, her body unrecognizable on discovery. Police are now investigating her death as a homicide. On June 5, the county prosecutor announced that the circuit judge sealed the documents and statements obtained by police.
2. On June 5, Deputy Chief Steven Silks, 62, weeks away from retirement, was found in an unmarked police car with a gunshot wound to the head. News reports reported indicate it seemed self-inflicted.
3. On June 5, former Oklahoma Sen. Jonathan Nichols, 53, was found shot dead in his home. Police have not announced whether they are investigating a suicide or homicide..
4. On June 6, Detective Joseph Calabrese, 58, was found near his police car on a Brooklyn, NY beach, dead of a gunshot wound in what one report called an apparent suicide.
Many other Americans died violently this past week. Why link these four together?
The answer comes down to a dark suspicion and a few hard facts which suggest that one or more of these four deaths might have had something to do with these individuals' work against pedophiles and human trafficking, or the official corruption so often surrounding both.
Now Jeffrey Epstein...The sexual abuse of children and kids in their early teens is a very democratic crime. While physical abuse and neglect are linked to lower-income parents, sexual abuse occurs in all strata of society. It is not confined to the elites or to money changers. Nor to Jews, if that is what you are implying.mrscracker Jessica Ramer • 16 hours ago
Just about everyone in America has a family member who was sexually abused by someone who was usually not elite. Therefore, I cannot get worked up about class issues because of Jeffrey Epstein.
What I can get worked up about are the way elites start wars for poor people to die in and the way poor people get cruel sentences while the elite either walk or get the Epstein treatment--private wing, generous work release.I agree. Young girls are trafficked in more circles than the elite. I don't understand the connection to any particular social class. But better connected people do have better lawyers and can get away with more. Until like Mr. Epstein , they don't.Bill In Montgomey • a day ago • editedThe true character of these people is starting to be revealed. This (lack of) character is not only displayed when these men travel to Pedo Island, it's on display everywhere they go, in everything they do. Every organization they lead, or have anything to do with, is likely rotten to the core.Krazy Uncle Bill In Montgomey • a day ago
Unconcerned about negative consequences, these people have become increasingly brazen. They certainly know that the laws that apply to you and me do not apply to them.
If the system is so corrupt to have protected Epstein for decades, who else is being protected? Who else is getting away with figurative rape in every department of government, or house of finance?
The sooner the public recognizes the "true face" of our elites and rulers the better. Left to their own devices, these people - who think they have class but in reality are the worst kind of trash - can bring down a nation.prodigalson • a day agowho else is being protected?
Good point... who else indeed... and how many more children are suffering?Literally no one I know thought this guy would make it to trial alive with the exception of me, as I still had some hope in the system, and I was proven wrong. I've lost whatever remaining faith I had in the system.Sid Finster • a day ago
In the words of George Carlin, "it's a big club, and you ain't in it." I stopped reading after the first two para's on this, tone is exactly the same as the sneering disdain from the empire's various MSM propaganda arms aimed at those "not in the club."There are two possibilities here:Mccormick47 Sid Finster • a day ago
1) Either our intelligence agencies knew what was going on with Epstein and did nothing to stop him. Or...
2) They had no clue ... which would mean our much vaunted intelligence community knew nothing about the travel habits of the "ruling class" of the world, about Jeff Epstein's real activities, had received no tips, had no insiders, and were incapable of "putting two and two together," etc. In short, Big Brother - with all its resources and intelligence and sources - with capabilities that put the Gestapo or the KGB to shame - had no idea.
Occam's Razor says Possibility No. 1 is more likely to be the truth. But what would such a truth tell us?The third possibility is that BigBrother was in on it and didn't object to sacrificing teenage girls to get compromising information on people they wanted tp blackmail.Sid Finster • a day ago"What I am saying is that Epstein's direct testimony – AND ONLY EPSTEIN'S DIRECT TESTIMONY – had the potential to create a Common Knowledge moment that could bring down – not just specific sociopathic oligarchs like Mob Boss Donald or Mob Boss Bill or Mob Boss Andrew if they were the specific targets of that testimony – but the entire Mob system of sociopathic oligarchy.Bill In Montgomey Sid Finster • a day ago
Jeffrey Epstein was the Missionary to bring down the monsters behind the monster, to bring down the SYSTEM of monsters. Jeffrey Epstein's books and records are not. The individual voices of Jeffrey Epstein's victims are not.
And that's what makes me angriest of all.
That while the individual victims of Jeffrey Epstein's crimes will maybe (maybe!) get some smattering of "justice" and recompense from the show trial of a monster's estate, there will be no Justice served against the monsters behind the monster, that the Mob system of sociopathic oligarchy that CREATED this Jeffrey Epstein and the next Jeffrey Epstein and the next and the next will continue unabated. Untouched. Golden."
https://www.epsilontheory.c...One strongly suspects that Ghislaine Maxwell knows just as much as Epstein did. Her participation was just as important to the operation of this "trafficking" ring. She was the lead recruiter, handled logistics, "grooming" and also was Epstein's "in" to many of his VIP associates (who were really clients). If witness accounts are accurate, she was also a participant in a good number of these depraved, criminal acts.Tony55398 • a day ago
The fact she has not been charged is quite the tell about our system of "justice."Whether Epstein was killed or committed suicide I don't know. I would however like to know who these elites were who participated in the rapes of these young girls. They are just as guilty as Epstein whether they knew the ages of these girls or not, it was there responsibility to find out.ChristopherRobin1 • a day agoThis is a dangerous slope. People once bowed to the elites because there was a principle of enforcement called nobless oblige. Society felt that elites had to be held to a higher standard because they carried greater responsibilities and burdens for society and the welfare of the national good.atimoshenko ChristopherRobin1 • a day ago
Since the 1960s nobless oblige has been downgraded to sound bites and photo ops for publicity and marketing. The elites have all but abandoned their responsibilities to support religion, to support education (except to indocrinate), to support tradition and society and the national good. The elites have become inward looking, inbred and narcissistic with little to no outward focus except in a marxist totalitarian vein of thought which serves their interest, indulges their hungers, preserves their wealth and power.
What you are have been seeing since the 1960s is the veneer being pulled off the rich and powerful. I would say Nixon and Princess Diana and Ted Kennedy did the most to pull down the veneer from the rich and powerful but it could be argued that Nixon and Princess Diana and Ted Kennedy were accidental victims of circumstance. However Epstein's human trafficking of children for sex and blackmail .... breaks the most because his crimes were no accident nor was he a victim of circumstance. Epstein planned this and created an organization around it elevating his elitist crimes to a level no that I dont think anyone in modern history can match.I doubt that history's elites were ever any better. It's just that with far less transparency and access, it was much easier for them to hide how awful they were. The 1960s was the start of mass media, and so the veneer started to crack.Bill In Montgomey ChristopherRobin1 • a day agoI do think this COULD qualify as "the story of the century." That is, If the story was told in its entirety - all "names" exposed.BXVI • a day ago • edited
If fully told, the swamp might, in fact, be "drained."
Now the people in said swamp have a strong incentive to protect their domain. Which is why so many of us are skeptical the true story will ever be told.
If there was ever a time where brave and patriotic whistleblowers were needed ..."This is, of course, what most populists profess: the people as a group are wholesome, the elites as a group are venal, and the former has to be vaulted over the latter in order for society to be made whole again."johnhenry • a day ago
Sorry, but take a look at the average American. The so-called "people" are for the most part just as morally obtuse as the "elites" but they carry the additional burden of being not only ignorant but also stupid. Just look around. Best recent example of the utter stupidity of the American people: a recent survey shows they think 23% of the population is gay. Really."Hands up, those of you who made a Fort Marcy Park joke last Saturday."atimoshenko • a day ago
Matt, are you tired of people making jokes about *purple prose*?
Just wondering :)But isn't the issue exactly that the "only difference between the rich and other people is that the rich have more money" comment is perfectly true?Cosmin Visan atimoshenko • 20 hours ago
The rich and powerful are us, but corrupted by riches and power. Many of them behave the way many of us would quickly start to behave if we found ourselves in their shoes. If the gap in power between you and most other people is so huge that you can do anything to them and get away with it, your morals stop applying to them because you start to view them as somewhat subhuman. In this sense, I'm sure Epstein never even thought of raping the underage daughters of other elites.
Thus, the issue is stratospheric inequality of power (by whatever fungible measure you choose - money, political, religious, social, etc). And we see it happen ALL the time throughout history and across geographies - as soon as the power gap is in excess of social boundaries, as soon as there is a group of people you can do pretty much anything you want to and get away with it, you start going a little crazy. Exploitation, rape, torture, murder, slavery - everything starts looking justified. Then it's just a matter of degree, with tin-pot dictators on one end and Epstein somewhere in the middle.Read Machiavelli. He observed that the popolo minuti (regular folks) just wished to be left alone by authorities whereas popolo grossi (fat cats) were of a different psychological composition: they delighted in deception, were vain, greedy and hungry for power.atimoshenko Cosmin Visan • 11 hours ago • edited
Centuries later, studies of psychopaths reveal these creatures are different from regular humans at the brain level. The elites are psychopathic (the key ones are) and no, they ain't like regular people. They are literally a different kind.My point was that as popolo minuti transform into popolo grossi in terms of access to power, they tend to start to transform into them in terms of moral character as well. (Inequality of) power corrupts, and absolute (inequality of) power corrupts absolutely. Thus, it seems that the over-representation of psychopaths in positions of power is because the psychopathy is acquired (and plenty of studies show drastic declines in empathy with even a little priming for power), rather than because it is easier for psychopaths to rise to the top. The worst of the popolo grossi tend to be hereditary.minsredmash atimoshenko • 6 hours ago • edited
In my opinion, there is nothing so dangerous as to believe that evil people are a different breed from the rest of us. Instead, they tend to simply be us, but in different circumstances. History tends to show that revolutions aimed at replacing the evil people with better people end up with corrupted revolutionaries, rather than a fundamentally less abusive system."It reminds me of a well known speech by a defense counsel, who pleaded his client's poverty as an excuse of robbing and murdering six of his victims, on the lines that "My client's poverty drove him to murder six people, everybody else would have done the same!"phreethink • a day ago
Dostoevsky, The Idiot.Outstanding article. However, I think we're a lot closer to 1789 France than we want to believe. Read some Chris Hedges to see how the socialists see the current situation. Here's an example. https://www.commondreams.or...Zsuzsi Kruska • a day agoElites, that is those with more wealth and/or power than the rest of the masses have always been this way. Remember how decadent the European aristocracy was with their sport of "wenching"? that is going around in groups raping young peasant girls. Also, there was the Hellfire Club which you can research if you want details. This scandal will get less and less coverage in the MSM until it fades away like all the others involving the rich and powerful.Jr. • a day agoThe Global "Elite" control our Ruling Class by means of blackmail. A person does not get raised to high truly influential positions of power(Politicians, Judges, Hollywood, etc.) unless they have enough dirt on you to know that they can control you without question. The most powerful form of blackmail that they have is ped0filia because it is THE most abhorrent crime that someone can commit, so much so that even criminals in prison refuse to allow ped0 scumbags to be housed near them.Cosmin Visan • 20 hours ago
Trump has an obvious penchant for beautiful WOMEN not kids. He was helping and somewhat part of the "Elite" in that he was joining in with them to buy politicians for influence but Trump neutralized that being over his head by openly admitting to buying politicians. They thought it was safe to allow him to run because they thought it was a joke and he would never get elected. They were wrong. In my opinion, they don't have enough dirt on him to get him to go along with their agenda of selling out the USA to the highest bidder hence the all-out attacks on him.
The key to understanding the "Elite"/Ruling Class dynamic is not conflating the two and realizing that blackmail is the main tool used by the one to keep the other under their control.
*Sorry about the Trump tangent above but it's absolutely ridiculous that people are trying to tie Trump to Epstein even though Trump has been trying to bring national attention to the Epstein case FOR YEARS."given that all available evidence points to gross negligence on the part of the jail." How is gross negligence different from deliberate negligence?stevek9 • 19 hours ago • edited
You can tell? And btw the WaPo just came out with news that broken bones in Epstein's neck are more usual in cases of homicide.
I generally see anyone who belittles
'Conspiracy theorists' as part of an Establishment that uses 'incompetence' as the perennial excuse for everything that goes wrong.The old accusation, that you are a 'conspiracy theorist' (a term invented by the CIA after the Kennedy assassination) is holding less and less weight. The irrational kooks now seem to be the people who think Epstein committed suicide. Jokes were everywhere about how 'we were shocked to hear about the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, next Tuesday' when a day later we hear, 'Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide'.JeffK from PA stevek9 • 5 hours ago • edited
By the way, this equivalence between Trump and Clinton is bogus, I believe. There isn't much evidence of any involvement of Trump (some evidence to the contrary in fact), but there is a load of evidence suggesting 'Wild Bill' was availing himself.Remember when Maxine Waters was labelled a kook for saying the CIA was bringing cocaine into her LA district? She was mocked and ridiculed. Now we know she was right. You can't make this stuff up.YoungHegelian2020 • 18 hours agoI'm sorry, but this case stinks to high heaven, and if you're ready to accept "gross negligence" as the explanation you're likely to believe ANYTHING the authorities tell you. Epstein was either murdered, as the autopsy and reports of shrieking from his cell indicate, or subbed out by intelligence services and replaced by a murdered homeless person who received plastic surgery. Study the history of modern intelligence services: appearances are deceiving, and systemic disinformation is endemic to politics. Careful public speculation, acknowledging where we're uncertain, is very much the responsible thing to do; otherwise there is no hope of democratic accountability. The investigation we're being promised will be conducted by the exact same institution -- the US Department of Justice -- that was responsible for keeping Epstein safe and securing his public testimony about his criminal network. These are the people you want us to trust? Come on, a little critical reasoning, please!Bryan • 10 hours agoThe most ridiculous part is the idea that being rich and powerful gives you a predilection to turn a blind eye. My wife's family turned a blind eye to a perverted uncle that molested multiple family members over decades. No one stood up, it would've been a shame to them to admit it. How is this any different?Will Thomas • 10 hours ago • editedNo one really cares. He was pretty rich. Talk radio and weird cable conspiracies shows will benefit. Truth is irrelevant.
Aug 15, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Grant , , , August 15, 2019 at 3:50 pm
"they = the voters in the Dem primaries?"
Isn't it interesting that the Democrats are only about a third of the country now, but because they and the other rotten party have rigged our political system so no other parties can emerge, that they essentially will determine who will go up against Trump? The Democratic voters are just as lost as the politicians they vote for. Turnout is often low for primaries within that party, in a party that only a third of the country identifies with, and there is little chance that anyone will get a majority of voters. So, it is entirely possible that the person chosen to go against Trump will have support of, what, 4-5% of the US electorate? And if they are stupid enough to choose Biden, and they are, the general election will be Biden vs Trump. The USSR at least ended in interesting ways. We're just going to vote in two corrupt, out of touch and mentally declining frauds to throw hot garbage at each other, and what is the left supposed to do? There will never be a better argument for a third party if those two are the options given to us by the duds in the two major parties. I can't even contemplate who Biden would choose as his VP, and possibly lock us into a decade of hell, and then the environmental crisis hits.
notabanker , , August 15, 2019 at 4:28 pm
If the US electorate allows 4-5% to decide, then they deserve who they get. It’s not difficult to vote in a primary.
Grant , , August 15, 2019 at 5:07 pm
It is not an issue in regards to difficulty, generally, it is the options people are given and how often it is that the options people are given are net negatives regardless as to who wins, and people realizing that what the general public wants is not reflected in policy. Bernie is an exceptuon, and look at all the nonsense thrown at him, and all the undemocratic means those in power use to maintain their power. I am not saying that justifies inactivity, but it does help to explain it. But, lets say Biden or someone similar is chosen by Democrats in the primaries. What percentage of the electorate, given all I mentioned, will have chosen him?
edmondo , , August 15, 2019 at 5:29 pm
If the US electorate allows 4-5% to decide, then they deserve who they get. It’s not difficult to vote in a primary.
Depends where you live. If you live in most states and you want to vote in a Democratic Party presidential primary, you have to be registered as a Democrat. Here in AZ I can vote for every office except president by being a No Party Preference voter registrant. If I want to vote against Joe Biden, I have to change my voter registration to “D”. Not gonna happen.
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Grant , August 15, 2019 at 8:07 pm
“Here in California, owned and operated by the Democratic Party, voting for someone other than the approved candidate could quickly get your vote “lost” or “disqualified” and that is not mentioning the rigging of convention delegates.”
This ultimately why Bernie is up against it. I think he has a real shot to win and am not very concerned about the polls, he is doing well despite all that is aligned against him. Palast showed what that rotten party did in 2016 in the primaries (it is entirely possible that Bernie won the state or at least came even closer to winning), and you could include tons since. My favorite was how they used superdelegates at the state level in California to get Bauman to lead the state party, and he had to resign in shame. He was previously a pharma lobbyist that was paid to lobby the state against bargaining down the price of drugs. Then there is stuff like this:
As the DNC has argued in court though, they don’t have to run a fair primary and can pick whoever those at the top of the party want, right? It would be amazing if someone within the DNC and the state party here (I live in Southern California) would leak what they are doing. Not expecting it, but it would be great.
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Carey , August 15, 2019 at 6:33 pm
“It’s not difficult to vote in a primary.”
True. However, if one is voting™ for
a non-corporatist candidate, getting
that vote counted has been problematic,
and I expect it to be more so in 2020:
Off The Street , August 15, 2019 at 4:06 pm
Once people spoke of TINA. Biden’s campaign now gives rise to VANITY.
Aug 15, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
"Judge: Georgia must scrap old voting machines after 2019" [ Associated Press ]. "U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg's order on Thursday prohibits the state from using its antiquated paperless touchscreen machines and election management system beyond this year. She also said the state must be ready to use hand-marked paper ballots if its new system isn't in place for the March 24 presidential primary election."
Aug 15, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Michael Fiorillo , , August 14, 2019 at 11:53 am
" (the) factional struggle evident in the rise of Trump "
One of the many purposes of Russiagate was to misdirect people away from the fact that Trump's election represents (among other things) a huge split in the ruling class, which can roughly be described as one between extractive industries (energy, agriculture, mining, etc.) and finance, media and tech. A map of the 2016 election results strongly supports this analysis. Thus, Comcast was more than happy to give free reign to Rachel Maddow's two+ years of disinfotainment
This split in the ruling class would provide an immense opportunity if the US had a real functioning Left, rather than lumpen bourgeois and childish virtue signalling about open borders and reparations.
Aug 14, 2019 | averypublicsociologist.blogspot.com
... ... ...
The problem, however, is because this is overlaid by factional struggle ...
This, of course, is compounded by the over-amplifying of anti-Semitism by the media and the alacrity with which it has been taken up by Corbyn opponents, including hypocrites who floated "rootless cosmopolitan" criticisms of Ed Miliband when it suited just a few years ago.
Here's the thing. Just because your opponents take up an issue, some times cynically and in bad faith. and use it to inflict as much damage as they can does not mean the problem is fictitious.
Precisely because they can point to Facebook groups full of useful fools, and Twitter accounts with Corbyn-supporting hashtags acting as if the Israel lobby and "Zionists" are the only active force in British politics, this is the stuff that makes the attacks effective and trashes the standing of the party in the eyes of many Jews and the community's allies and friends.
The institutional anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is, therefore, somewhat different to the kind you find in other institutions. It is sustained by the battle for the party, a grim battlefront in a zero sum game of entrenched position vs entrenched position. As such, whatever the leadership do, whatever new processes the General Secretary introduces for one side it will never be enough because, as far as many of them concerned, the leadership are politically illegitimate; and for the other it's a sop and capitulation.
The resolution of the anti-Semitism crisis then is not a matter of compromise -- for each side the issue will only go away with the complete crushing and driving out of the party of the other. A situation that can only poison the well further, and guarantee anti-Semitism won't honestly and comprehensively be confronted.
Boffy said... 3 March 2019 at 16:42A good analysis. But, it emphasizes the point I made in the previous post, which is that, the right are currently engaged in an all out push to remove Corbyn and crush the left with the same old bureaucratic means. Whatever else Williamson may or may not be guilty of, his point that the leadership have facilitated this situation by their continual appeasement of the right is absolutely valid. Its that he is being attacked for, not anti-Semitism.asquith said... 3 March 2019 at 18:54
It is first necessary to close ranks, and defeat the assault of the Right. As Marr said to Blair this morning, had Prescott announced he was forming a separate group, and was establishing his own witch-hunting bureaucratic apparatus in the party, Blair would have sacked him immediately - actually not so easy as the Deputy is elected. But the thrust is valid. Unless Corbyn deals with Watson, the Right will roll over the Left, despite the huge disparity in numbers.
Again it comes down to whether Corbyn is up for that task, or whether we need a leadership of the left with a bit more backbone to see it through.I'm afraid this IS due to the "intersectionality" cult, whereby certain groups are always privileged and wrong, and some are always oppressed and right. Jews are, according to this "analysis", the uber-privileged and uber-white.Ian Gibson said... 4 March 2019 at 05:30
We've heard several times that according to "intersectionality" that it's impossible to be racist against white people because racism requires both prejudice and power, and white people are by definition powerful. Therefore, anti-Semitism is dismissed because it can't be a thing because Jews are all-powerful and even more oppressive than other whites.
Those who don't subscribe to all of these beliefs are nevertheless tinged with them, which is why people who aren't staunch antisemites will nevertheless fail to take anti-Semitism seriously.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66qe76gkCxo&t=166sComing on the day when the FT have a column seriously positing that criticizing capitalism is inherently anti-Semitic, it seems to me that dancing on the head of a pin about whether the 'careless' anti-Semitism you've described means the party is institutionally anti-Semitic is rather missing the point. (OK, the column is by John McTernan, but the FT gave him column inches to argue that case, and I guess they didn't mean it as the satire it most certainly is.)Boffy said... 4 March 2019 at 09:47
As many of the comments on your blog on Williamson attest, the salient feature of this - well, call it witch-hunt for the sake of argument - is the double standards where we have to be whiter than white, whilst no account whatsoever is taken of the most egregious racism elsewhere. We live in society: we can never, ever be that whiter than white - especially when it comes to Israel/Palestine, which is so full of contradictions and traps for the unwary (e.g. the position of the Israeli state claiming to speak for all Jewry around the world, in the way that the Board of Deputies position themselves as speaking for all British Jews - neither close to being true, but small wonder that opponents of what they do and stand for take that universality at face value.)
The fight we need to take up is to compare and contrast just how pro-active the current party is against anti-Semitism in its constitution and machinery with the glaring absence of such elsewhere, and to present a positive picture of what we are doing, rather than mumbling apologetically into our beards. We need to take the fight to the rigged system at the same time as being unstinting in rooting out the troubling stuff.The other nonsense that has grown up is that it is only those that suffer any form of discrimination who can define what that discrimination is, i.e. only Jews can define anti-Semitism, only black people can define racism against them, only women can define discrimination against women.Jim Denham said... 4 March 2019 at 15:25
That then assumes that the members of each of these groups are themselves homogeneous, and agreed in such definitions. In reality, it means that dominant elements, i.e. those connected to the ruling class and ruling ideas get to make those determinations.
If we look at anti-Semitism, for example, it is quite clear that there is no agreement amongst Jews on what constitutes anti-Semitism. The JVL, certainly have a different definition than the JLM.
But, just rationally, the concept that only those discriminated against get to define the discrimination is bonkers. Suppose you come from Somalia or some other country that practices FGM, you could argue that it is part of your cultural heritage, and that anyone seeking to prevent you from undertaking this barbaric practice was thereby racist, on your self-definition of what that discrimination against you amounts to. Or Saudis might argue that it is racist to argue against their practice of lopping off women's heads, or stoning them to death for adultery, including having been raped, etc.The JVL come pretty close to arguing that there is *no* anti-Semitism in the Labour party (Jenny Manson, for instance, says she's never witnessed any)and Glyn Secker wrote a piece in the Morning Star last year comparing claims of anti-Semitism within Labour to the story of the emperor's new clothes.Boffy said... 5 March 2019 at 09:00Given that the actual data, even allowing for all of the spurious and mischievous accusations of anti-Semitism in the party, made by right-wing enemies of the the party, and particularly of Corbyn and his supporters, amounts to only 0.1% of the membership, and given that of these, 40% were straight away found to be accusations against people who were not even LP members, with a further 20%, being found to have absolutely no evidence to back them, its quite possible that individual members of the LP, have never seen any instance of it.Boffy said... 5 March 2019 at 09:22
Take out all those mischievous and malicious allegations made in order to whip up the hysteria, so as to to damage the party, by its enemies, and you arrive at a figure of only 400 potential cases, out of a membership of 600,000, which is 1 member in 1500. If the average branch size if 100 active members, it means on average there is one potential case of anti-Semitism in every 15 branches. So, if you are a member in any of the other 14 branches, you would never see that one potential case of anti-Semitism.
In fact, based upon the actual facts, as opposed to the fiction and factional hysteria that is being whipped up by right-wing opponents of Corbyn and the party, and by supporters of Zionism for their own narrow political reasons, the chances are about 14: that you will never see any even potential instance of anti-Semitism, even on the narrow definition that the party has now imposed upon itself, which comes pretty close if not entirely to identifying anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism, or even just criticism of the current Bonapartist regime of Netanyahu.
In the US, Jewish groups that have long been ardent defenders of Israel have more recently come out to criticize the regime of Netanyahu, and the actions of the Israeli state. The main defenders of Zionism, besides the actual Zionists themselves, appear to be people like the AWL, who for whatever reason hitched their wagon to Zionist ideology some time ago, probably in their usual knee-jerk reaction of putting a plus sign wherever the SWP put a minus. Having done so, and as a result of the bureaucratic centrist nature of the sect, they find themselves now having to follow through on the position they adopted on the basis of the "practical politics" - opportunism - as it dictated itself to them at the time.
If, and probably more likely when, they change position, it will come as with all their previous changes of position with the assertion that "nothing has changed", as when after claiming a few years ago that the LP was a stinking corpse - as they ridiculously stood their own candidates in elections with the inevitable result - and the next minute proclaimed themselves as its most ardent militants, as they sought to use their sharp elbows to gain positions on Momentum's leading bodies!Incidentally, on the question of "observance", the only time I have seen someone get stabbed, is more than 50 years ago, when I was at school. I've seen plenty of other violent stuff in the intervening period, for example, people getting glassed, people having wrought iron tables smashed over their heads. My sister, who is several years older than me, and was out bopping during the days of the Teddy Boys, saw more people getting slashed, in the 1950's, because the flick knife was the Ted's favoured weapon.Jim Denham said... 5 March 2019 at 11:14
But, that doesn't mean that I disbelieve the media when it talks about the current spate of knife crimes. Its just that, however, terrible such crimes are for those that suffer or witness them, and no matter how much the media that has to sensationalise every story, for its own commercial purposes, talks about an epidemic or a knife crime crisis, the number of knife crimes per head of population is extremely small.
The chances that 999 out of 1,000 of us will never be the victim of, or witness knife crime does not mean it doesn't exist. But, those that then claim that the 999 out of 1,000 of us who say we have not seen it, must be somehow being dishonest, are not dealing with the facts, and are simply fuelling a moral panic.
When some phenomena is statistically insignificant, which 1 in 1,500 cases, is, and when as with many such phenomena there is no normal distribution of the occurrence of such cases - for example, knife crime will tend to be concentrated in particular areas - trying to present any kind of rational analysis based upon personal observation is a mug's game.
Just because the only case of stabbing I have witnessed was more than 50 years ago, does not, and should not lead me to think that knife crime was worse 50 years ago than it is today. The actual data would seem to suggest that cases of anti-Semitism were greater in the LP in previous times than they are currently, contrary to what the media and those with factional motives would have us believe. It is certainly thec ase that anti-Semitism is a bigger problem in the Tory party, and other right-wing organisations than it is in the LP, again not that you would know that from the reporting of it, or from the attitude of certain factional sects, such as the AWL.
Labour has 'much larger' group of antisemitic members which Corbyn has failed to deal with, Momentum founder warns
By Rob Merrick Deputy Political Editor The Independent, Monday 25 February 2019 16:10 |
Labour has "a much larger" group of antisemitic members than it recognises which Jeremy Corbyn has failed to "deal with", Momentum founder Jon Lansman has warned.
The Labour leader's long-standing ally said "conspiracy theorists" had infiltrated the party – a consequence of its huge surge in membership in recent