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MSM as the attack dog of Russiagate color revolution plotters

Media's Trump coverage has radicalized me. That's why this set of pages about color revolution against Trump was created despite the fact that I am a programmer, not a reporter.  Looking at WaPo and NYT I can only say Wow! That proves the CIA were not joking when their spokesman said: "We shall know we have done our job when everything the public believes is false." It's like the editorial desk of every major MSM has a talking points written personally by Brennan.

News NeoMcCartyism Recommended Links US and British media are servants of security apparatus Purple revolution against Trump Wolff revelations and slander MadCow desease of neoliberal MSM Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria
Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0 Adam Schiff Witch Hunt Demonization of Trump and "Trump is insane" meme Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Strzok-gate Steele dossie DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin
The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Woodward insinuations  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Corporatist Corruption  Media-Military-Industrial Complex Doublespeak The Deep State National Security State Nation under attack meme
NeoMcCartyism UK Government, MI6 and "Integrity Initiative" Luke Harding a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book MSM as attack dogs of color revolution US and British media are servants of security apparatus Was Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. a trap Brennan elections machinations Fake tale about Smolenkov as "Kremlin spy" who provided info for Steele dossier Mistressgate: Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal affairs
Deception as an art form The Iron Law of Oligarchy Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Neoliberalism History of American False Flag Operations FBI Mayberry Machiavellians Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
   

A Suffolk University poll last month showed Fox News viewers have an unfavorable view of the media by a margin off 64-24. Another survey showed 76 percent of Republicans think the media makes up stories about Trump. And a Quinnipiac poll in November showed 91 percent of Republicans disapproved of how the media covered Trump and just 10 percent trusted the media more than Trump.

"Every president gets pounded by the press," Kurtz wrote. "But no president has ever been subjected to the kind of relentless ridicule, caustic commentary and insulting invective that has been heaped on Trump. I have a name for this half-crazed compulsion to furiously attack one man. It's called Trump Trauma

Howard Kurtz Media's Trump coverage has 'radicalized me'

One more comment here about Michael Wolff and his claim that everybody in the White House thinks that Trump’s a child, that he’s a moron, he doesn’t like to read, he’s mentally unbalanced, all this. This is really irresponsibly absurd. And for this claim to be 100% of the people around Trump, and Wolff is the guy saying that he can’t guarantee everything in his book is right, and he’s also admitting that he did anything to get his story, including not tell people they were on the record when he was talking to ’em.

Nuking the Wolff Book The Rush Limbaugh Show

In East Germany, Stasi leader Markus Wolfe took things a step further with the “zersetzung” tactic. The idea was to *induce* a “personal crisis” through clandestine harassment, including at the hands of acquaintances secretly recruited by the Stasi. In other words, ... trying to cause *real* mental illness by relentlessly gaslighting selected individual dissidents until they cracked.

John Grudlos, January 26, 2018 at 9:49 am

 


Introduction

The “Resistance” – the loose affiliation of neoliberals and neo-conservatives opposing Donald Trump – is not a grass-roots movement. They don’t speak for the everyman or the poor, or the oppressed. They are stooges of intelligence agencies and financial oligarchy. The latter are closely interconnected; remember that Allen Dulles was a Wall Street lawyer before becoming the top spy; and  ;-). The Resistance is the voice of the Deep State – Pro-war, pro-globalisation, pro-Imperialism. It just try to hide its true face behind a mask of “progressive values”.

President Trump accuses his neocon and neoliberal critics and MSM of with hunt. And he is right. It is witch hunt of neoliberal MSM against the President  who have the courage (at least during his election campaign) to call things with their proper names and to question neoliberal globalization and redistribution of wealth up, leaving Rust Belt without jobs and without perspectives.  But witch hunt is not the whole story. It is just a part of a color Revolution against Trump.

President Trump accuses critics, the media of with hunt. And he is right. It is witch hunt of neoliberal MSM against the President  who have the courage (at least during his election campaign) to call things with their proper names and to question neoliberal globalization and redistribution of wealth up, leaving Rust belt without jobs and without perspectives.

The Deep State – i.e. the constellation of national security agencies and private actors who have directed and maintained our globalist foreign policy since the end of World War II – would have targeted Trump in any case, due to his hostility to their interventionist foreign policy, Neoliberal presstitutes just follow the orders.

They tell us, in clear voices, who they are and that's why many voters refuse to listen them.  There is, of course, certain percentage of totally brainwashed progressives who  will side with anyone hitting anti-Trump talking points, spouting the right buzzwords, hashtags, etc. But most people understand that neoliberal MSM play a very dirty game.

Completely crazy, 24/7 promotion of mediocre Wolff book  in January 2018 was a typical example of unrelenting campaign to discredit Trump and force him to abandon his  position. And look at all those "kid gloves" interviews with Wolff in neoliberal MSM. And there were other similar books in pipeline. Most flopped (only Woodward book generated some buzz)

Media's treatment of Trump is a classic, textbook case of demonization of the elected leader of country, an essential part of preparation by intelligence agencies of a color revolution against him. Paradoxically this American Don_Quixote Trump fought back and managed to shred the neoliberal MSM credibility, especially CNN and MSNBC.

A Suffolk University poll last month showed Fox News viewers have an unfavorable view of the media by a margin off 64-24. Another survey showed 76 percent of Republicans think the media makes up stories about Trump. And a Quinnipiac poll in November showed 91 percent of Republicans disapproved of how the media covered Trump and just 10 percent trusted the media more than Trump.

This new Trump book could do even more damage than Michael Wolff’s. Here’s why., WaPo, Jan 22, 2018

The bottom line is that the intelligence services of the United States, and top officials of the FBI, have indeed launched a regime change operation comparable to the dozens carried out by these very same spooks over the years from Latin America to the Middle East. One telling sign of a color revolution is when the media use too many anonymous sources when detailing what happens behind the scenes at the White House:

Unnamed sources are way overused, especially by major news outlets. People are allowed to take cheap shots without their names attached. They are empowered to engage in political sniping from behind a curtain of anonymity. And top news executives know this.

This abuse of anonymous sources and comaigh of "leaks" from White House hiding under the curtain of anonymity and weak slander laws. Slander law in the USA  requires public figure to prove malicious intent to win in court. As this is difficult to do slander using anonymous source became the trademark feature of witch hung against Trump.

The media and Hollywood are fully behind this “Resistance to Trump” smear campaign. This would be rather hilarious, if it was not for all gravitas with which the neoliberal MSM are trying to reverse the last election results (in close cooperation with the intelligence agencies).

Actually the USA media coverage of Trump after elections reminds us once again, that key MSM in the USA used to be controlled by CIA. At the highest level, top FBI and CIA officials deploy the assets available, including MSM to harass, undermine, and betray a sitting President. All for deviation from classic neoliberal party line, especially in the area of neoliberal globalization.

So theoretically we can guess who is behind  the curtain  and who is paying for all this dirty show. As well as who is organizing this stream of leaks and salacious detail (Steele dossier via FBI contractor Fusion GPS, Mistressgate, attack of Trump business empire, books like Wolff's book (BTW Wolff was Iraq war reporter:   look at his interview  to Bill Maher Jan 18, 2018 )  or more recent Woodward book. As somebody said about Christopher Steele, the author of Steele dossier "former MI6 agents are never ex." And they are using th full bag of tricks they learned at the agencies.

As neoliberalism is the regime of "by rich for rich" it requires the distortion of reality comparable with Soviet

  If you are the British establishment tabloid press, make Jeremy Corbyn worse than Hitler. Just replace his picture at a recent debate with images of desecrated Jewish cemeteries, while providing a platform for tear-strained Blair-ites to conjure up the coming holocaust under his leadership.

While you are dredging up history to realign it with your own beliefs, why not reincarnate Joe McCarthy to defend liberal establishment plutocrats against Russian oligarchs?

Enlist an elite cadre of lesbians to make the case for endless war and the lovability of war criminals.

Elevate wheezing old apparatchik Josef Bidenevsky to replace the doddering nazi the party’s central committee “elected” while drunk on Grey Goose vodka.

Hybrid warfare, which usually provides cover for the aggressor nation or multinational, allowing it to avoid detection in the ‘grey zone’ it operates within, is no longer a covert strategy, but an openly waged campaign against humanity itself, with both the establishment left and the hard right steering its neoliberal course....

...We are subjected daily to a relentless pummeling against reason, whether it’s Donald Trump’s Twitter feed or Rachel Maddow’s nightly (mis)infomercials for her corporate sponsors. Either way we toe party line, (Collusion! or ‘Covefef’) the result is a cry of “Banzai!” (and the sound of “Ka-Ching”) from the trading floors of Goldman Sachs.

Just as the Corporate State tightens its oxygen-depleting chokehold across the globe, destroying all resistance with the speed and force of a flesh-eating superbug pandemic, its media organizations deliberately transmit this particularly deadly strain of the Neoliberalism Virus.

Jennifer Matsui , CounterPunch

This "war with the reality" of neoliberal MSM, which are ready to defend neoliberalism and globalization against nationalism and isolationalism to the last American,  will continue to the last day of Trump presidency. Because the "war with the reality" is the immanent feature of neoliberalism, which can't exist without myths. Which suggest that it is a secular religion. 

At the same time this #neverTrump campaign revealed several ugly truths about neoliberal MSM, neoliberal establishment, and its fifth column in intelligence agencies, as well as about neoliberal aversion to the truth.

It is important to understand that neoliberal MSM does not act independently, they are just puppets. So all those leaks and revelation are done under supervision or at least in close cooperation with (and individual journalist often with funding by) intelligence agencies. This is very true about any color revolution, including Russiagate revolution against Trump:

SethPoor -> BennyBoy Jan 22, 2018 9:47 AM Permalink

For example, now it is known that FBI contractor Fusion GPS paid some  journalists to blackmail Trump  (redstate.com, Jan 07, 2018):

Why is Fusion GPS fighting so hard to resist the subpoena? Because the redacted records already released showed Fusion GPS paying money to journalists and to media organizations.

We don’t know if these payments were for pushing the totally irrelevant Trump dossier but we can be very sure that we will soon know the names of the journalists and organizations involved.

Being Trotskyism for the rich, neoliberalism not only reuses all Soviet propaganda tricks on a new technological level, it also inevitably creates a new nomenklatura, part of which can be called "national security parasites". Along with  fincancial "masters of the universe" or top 0.1%) they controls a leion share of national wealth (redistribution of wealth up is the goal of neoliberalism).  so huge military expences feed greedy "national security elite" which in the level of greed does not differ much from the financial elite.  This formation of a cast of "national security parasites" is part of parcel of the more general process of the gradual corruption and degeneration of the political elite.  Or how it is now called the "Washington swamp." or simple the swamp. 

This new role of "national security parasites" -- a deeply entrenched in Washington caste of bureaucrats with exorbitant (for government) salaries who are essentially "enjoying their life" in Washington, DC, while understaffed and underfunded field personnel during all the heavy lifting is a completely new phenomenon.  the level of infestation of intelligence agencies is such they they now are capable to influence elections.  Worries of this caste were increased by Trump promises to cut Washington bureaucracy and send some of those Washington "fat cats" to field positions. This perspective might be yet another trigger points of the color revolution against him.

In this sense it looks  like the US political situation after Trump victory is starting to mirror the Eastern European situation under Communism with the security agencies representing  independent and formidable political force.

This is poorly understood but this political change with the intelligence agencies assuming a political role is the key to understanding of the current witch hunt against Trump. It is this development that made launching a color revolution against Trump possible.

And while public stopped trusting neoliberal MSM like CNN and MSNBC, the atmosphere was successfully poisoned.

In this sense that only reliable source of new remain foright sites on Internet (including some maligned by neoliberal MSM) and small web sites, as well as YouTube broadcasts.

They are now a new Samizdat. And this trend clearly worries the establishment (see comments to Are the Clintons Israeli Agents - The Unz Review). 

There is clear analogy between behavior of British neoliberal press as for Brexit
 and USA neoliberal MSM as for Trump elections

  On another level, this regime-change operation is being waged in the media – or, rather, by the media, since 95% of the “mainstream” news outlets have been turned into anti-Trump propaganda outfits, emitting straight polemics 24/7. It’s no different from what they did in Chile, in 1973, when the CIA overthrew Salvador Allende, using clandestine contacts with the media to target the government with black propaganda, false flag incidents, and a general atmosphere of instability and crisis.

Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com, September 13, 2018

In both cases it is clear that the majority of the MSM is controlled by intelligence  agencies. See US and British media are servants of security apparatus

There are clear analogies here between Trump victory and Brexit and most US voters understand that they need to fight “big banks and hell-bent on neoliberal globalization financial elite” like UK voters did:

...the British politician, who was invited by Mississippi governor Phil Bryant, will draw parallels between what he sees as the inspirational story of Brexit and Trump’s campaign. Farage will describe the Republican’s campaign as a similar crusade by grassroots activists against “big banks and global political insiders” and how those who feel disaffected and disenfranchised can become involved in populist, rightwing politics. With Trump lagging in the polls, just as Brexit did prior to the vote on the referendum, Farage will also hearten supporters by insisting that they can prove pundits and oddsmakers wrong as well.

This message resonates with the Trump campaign’s efforts to reach out to blue collar voters who have become disillusioned with American politics, while also adding a unique flair to Trump’s never staid campaign rallies.

... ... ...

“I am going to say to people in this country that the circumstances, the similarities, the parallels between the people who voted Brexit and the people who could beat Clinton in a few weeks time here in America are uncanny,” Farage told Super Talk Mississippi. “If they want things to change they have get up out of their chairs and go out and fight for it. It can happen. We’ve just proved it.”

“I am being careful,” he added when asked if he supported the controversial Republican nominee. “It’s not for me as a foreign politician to say who you should vote for ... All I will say is that if you vote for Hillary Clinton, then nothing will change. She represents the very politics that we’ve just broken through the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom.”

What they do not understand is that intelligence agencies also have  their own elite and it is no less dangerous then the financial elite. They also tent to control MSM competing and allying in this task with the financial elite (CIA was actually created by a Wall Street lawyers, such as Allen Dulles) .  A more general question that arise in this context is: "Can any country with powerful intelligence agencies be  a republic or a democracy?"

And another related question is "Can MSM in a country with powerful intelligence agencies exist outside of their control?".


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[Aug 04, 2020] Russia never saw Trump as a potential ally or friend by The Saker

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Furthermore, it is pretty obvious to the Russians that while Crimea and MH17 were the pretexts for western sanctions against Russia, they were not the real cause. The real cause of the West's hatred for Russia is as simple as it is old: Russia cannot be conquered, subdued, subverted or destroyed. They've been at it for close to 1,000 years and they still are at it. In fact, each time they fail to crush Russia, their russophobia increases to even higher levels (phobia both in the sense of "fear" and in the sense of "hatred"). ..."
"... I would argue that since at least Russia and the AngloZionist Empire have been at war since at least 2013, when Russia foiled the US plan to attack Syria under the pretext that it was "highly likely" that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians (in reality, a textbook case of a false flag organized by the Brits), This means that Russia and the Empire have been at [Cold] war since at least 2013, for no less than seven years (something which Russian 6th columnists and Neo-Marxists try very hard to ignore). ..."
"... True, at least until now, this was has been 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic, but this is a real existential war of survival for both sides: only one side will walk away from this struggle. The other one will simply disappear (not as a nation or a people, but as a polity; a regime). The Kremlin fully understood that and it embarked on a huge reform and modernization of the Russian armed forces in three distinct ways: ..."
"... While some US politicians understood what was going on (I think of Ron Paul, see here ), most did not. They were so brainwashed by the US propaganda that they were sure that no matter what, "USA! USA! USA!". Alas for them, the reality was quite different. ..."
Aug 04, 2020 | www.unz.com

Truth be told, most Russian politicians (with the notable exception of the official Kremlin court jester, Zhirinovskii) and analysts never saw Trump as a potential ally or friend. The Kremlin was especially cautious, which leads me to believe that the Russian intelligence analysts did a very good job evaluating Trump's psyche and they quickly figured out that he was no better than any other US politician.

Right now, I know of no Russian analyst who would predict that relations between the US and Russia will improve in the foreseeable future. If anything, most are clearly saying that "guys, we better get used to this" (accusations, sanctions, accusations, sanctions, etc. etc. etc.).

Furthermore, it is pretty obvious to the Russians that while Crimea and MH17 were the pretexts for western sanctions against Russia, they were not the real cause. The real cause of the West's hatred for Russia is as simple as it is old: Russia cannot be conquered, subdued, subverted or destroyed. They've been at it for close to 1,000 years and they still are at it. In fact, each time they fail to crush Russia, their russophobia increases to even higher levels (phobia both in the sense of "fear" and in the sense of "hatred").

Simply put -- there is nothing which Russia can expect from the upcoming election. Nothing at all. Still, that does not mean that things are not better than 4 or 8 years ago. Let's look at what changed.

I would argue that since at least Russia and the AngloZionist Empire have been at war since at least 2013, when Russia foiled the US plan to attack Syria under the pretext that it was "highly likely" that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians (in reality, a textbook case of a false flag organized by the Brits), This means that Russia and the Empire have been at [Cold] war since at least 2013, for no less than seven years (something which Russian 6th columnists and Neo-Marxists try very hard to ignore).

True, at least until now, this was has been 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic, but this is a real existential war of survival for both sides: only one side will walk away from this struggle. The other one will simply disappear (not as a nation or a people, but as a polity; a regime). The Kremlin fully understood that and it embarked on a huge reform and modernization of the Russian armed forces in three distinct ways:

A "general" reform of the Russian armed forces which had to be modernized by about 80%. This part of the reform is now practically complete. A specific reform to prepare the western and southern military districts for a major conventional war against the united West (as always in Russian history) which would involve the First Guards Tank Army and the Russian Airborne Forces. The development of bleeding-edge weapons systems with no equivalent in the West and which cannot be countered or defeated; these weapons have had an especially dramatic impact upon First Strike Stability and upon naval operations.

While some US politicians understood what was going on (I think of Ron Paul, see here ), most did not. They were so brainwashed by the US propaganda that they were sure that no matter what, "USA! USA! USA!". Alas for them, the reality was quite different.

Russian officials, by the way, have confirmed that Russia was preparing for war . Heck, the reforms were so profound and far reaching, that it would have been impossible for the Russians to hide what they were doing (see here for details; also please see Andrei Martyanov's excellent primer on the new Russian Navy here ).

While no country is ever truly prepared for war, I would argue that by 2020 the Russians had reached their goals and that now Russia is fully prepared to handle any conflict the West might throw at her, ranging from a small border incident somewhere in Central Asia to a full-scaled war against the US/NATO in Europe .

Folks in the West are now slowly waking up to this new reality (I mentioned some of that here ), but it is too late. In purely military terms, Russia has now created such a qualitative gap with the West that the still existing quantitative gap is not sufficient to guarantee a US/NATO victory. Now some western politicians are starting to seriously freak out (see this lady , for example), but most Europeans are coming to terms with two truly horrible realities:

Russia is much stronger than Europe and, even much worse, Russia will never attack first (which is a major cause of frustration for western russophobes)

As for the obvious solution to this problem, having friendly relations with Russia is simply unthinkable for those who made their entire careers peddling the Soviet (and now Russian) threat to the world.

But Russia is changing, albeit maybe too slowly (at least for my taste). As I mentioned last week, a number of Polish, Ukrainian and Baltic politicians have declared that the Zapad2020 military maneuvers which are supposed to take place in southern Russia and the Caucasus could be used to prepare an attack on the West (see here for a rather typical example of this nonsense). In the past, the Kremlin would only have made a public statement ridiculing this nonsense, but this time around Putin did something different. Right after he saw the reaction of these politicians, Putin ordered a major and UNSCHEDULED military readiness exercise which involved no less than 150,000 troops, 400 aircraft & 100 ships ! The message here was clear:

Yes, we are much more powerful than you are and No, we are not apologizing for our strength anymore

And, just to make sure that the message is clear, the Russians also tested the readiness of the Russian Airborne Forces units near the city of Riazan, see for yourself:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/2s2V8iPofFs?feature=oembed

This response is, I think, the correct one. Frankly, nobody in the West is listening to what the Kremlin has to say, so what is the point of making more statements which in the future will be ignored equally as they have been in the past.

If anything, the slow realization that Russia is more powerful than NATO would be most helpful in gently prodding EU politicians to change their tune and return back to reality. Check out this recent video of Sarah Wagenknecht, a leading politician of the German Left and see for yourself:

https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x7uu5fk

The example of Sahra Wagenknecht is interesting, because she is from Germany, one of the countries of northern Europe; traditionally, northern European powers have been much more anti-Russian than southern Europeans, so it is encouraging to see that the anti-Putin and anti-Russia hysteria is not always being endorsed by everybody.

But if things are very slowly getting better in the EU, in the bad old US of A things are only getting worse. Even the Republicans are now fully on board the Russia-hating float (right behind a "gay pride" one I suppose) and they are now contributing their own insanity to the cause, as this article entitled " Congressional Republicans: Russia should be designated state sponsor of terror " shows (designating Russia as a terrorist state is an old idea of the Dems, by the way).

Russian options for the Fall

In truth, Russia does not have any particularly good options towards the US. Both parties are now fully united in their rabid hatred of Russia (and China too, of course). Furthermore, while there are many well-funded and virulently anti-Russian organizations in the US (Neo-cons, Papists, Poles, Masons, Ukrainians, Balts, Ashkenazi Jews, etc.), Russian organizations in the US like this one , have very little influence or even relevance.

Banderites marching in the US

However, as the chaos continues to worsen inside the US and as US politicians continue to alienate pretty much the entire planet, Russia does have a perfect opportunity to weaken the US grip on Europe. The beauty in the current dynamic is that Russia does not have to do anything at all (nevermind anything covert or illegal) to help the anti-EU and anti-US forces in Europe: All she needs to do is to continuously hammer in the following simple message: "the US is sinking -- do you really want to go down with it?".

There are many opportunities to deliver that message. The current US/Polish efforts to prevent the EU from enjoying cheap Russian gas might well be the best example of what we could call "European suicide politics", but there are many, many more.

Truth be told, neither the US nor the EU are a top priority for Russia, at least not in economic terms. The moral credibility of the West in general can certainly be described as dead and long gone. As for the West military might, it is only a concern to the degree that western politicians might be tempted to believe their own propaganda about their military forces being the best in the history of the galaxy. This is why Russia regularly engages in large surprise exercises: to prove to the West that the Russian military is fully ready for anything the West might try. As for the constant move of more and more US/NATO forces closer to the borders of Russia, they are offensive in political terms, but in military terms, getting closer to Russia only means that Russia will have more options to destroy you. "Forward deployment" is really a thing of the past, at least against Russia.

With time, however, and as the US federal center loses even more of its control of the country, the Kremlin might be well-advised to try to open some venues for "popular diplomacy", especially with less hostile US states. The weakening of the Executive Branch has already resulted in US governors playing an increasingly important international role and while this is not, strictly speaking, legal (only the federal government has the right to engage in foreign policy), the fact is that this has been going on for years already. Another possible partner inside the US for Russian firms would be US corporations (especially now that they are hurting badly). Finally, I think that the Kremlin ought to try to open channels of communication with the various small political forces in the US which are clearly not buying into the official propaganda: libertarians, (true) liberals and progressives, paleo-conservatives.

What we are witnessing before our eyes is the collapse of the US federal center. This is a dangerous and highly unstable moment in our history. But from this crisis opportunities will arise. The best thing Russia can do now is to simply remain very careful and vigilant and wait for new forces to appear on the US political scene.

Twilight Patriot , says: • Website July 29, 2020 at 12:26 am GMT

I really agree with you that the “blame Russia” and “blame China” thing has gotten out of hand in US politics. Whether it will turn into a shooting war seems doubtful to me, as the government is still full of people who are looking out for their own interests and know that a full-sized war with Russia, China, Iran or whoever will not advance their interests.

But who would have guessed, a few years ago, that “Russian asset” would become the all-purpose insult for Democrats to use, not just against Republicans, but against other Democrats?

With Republicans I think that “blame China” is stronger. China makes a good scapegoat for the economic situation in the United States. But convincing the working class that China is the source of their problems (and that Mr. MAGA is going to solve those problems by standing up to China) requires ignorance of the crucial facts about the trade relationship between those two countries.

Namely, that the trade deficit exists only because the Federal Reserve chooses to create huge amounts of new dollars each year for export to other countries, and it’s only possible for US exports to fall behind imports so badly (and thus put so many American laborers out of work) because the Fed is making up the difference by exporting dollars. Granted, it isn’t a policy that the US can change without harming the interests of its own upper classes; at the same time, it isn’t a policy that China could force on the US without the people in charge of the United States wanting it.

This is a topic I’ve dealt with a few times on my own blog.

Why I Don’t Fear Chinese Hegemony: https://www.twilightpatriot.com/2020/05/why-i-dont-fear-chinese-hegemony.html

Nobody Will Win The Trade War: https://www.twilightpatriot.com/2019/09/nobody-will-win-trade-war.html

[Aug 03, 2020] The Guardian is running a more sophisticated version of the false flag story about Russian influence

Aug 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Aug 4 2020 0:59 utc | 21

The Guardian is running a more sophisticated version of the story. It claims the Russians hacked the papers and gave them to Jeremy Corbyn so he could win the General Elections of December 2019:

Russians hacked Liam Fox's personal email to get US-UK trade dossier

The stolen documents – a 451-page dossier of emails – ultimately ended up in the hands of Jeremy Corbyn during last winter's election campaign after Russian actors tried to disseminate the material online.

They had been posted on the social media platform Reddit and brought to the attention of the then Labour leader's team. Corbyn said the documents revealed the NHS "was on the table" in trade talks with the US.

Details of Russia's targeting of Fox's emails were first revealed on Monday by Reuters, which said his account was accessed several times between 12 July and 21 October last year. It was unclear if the documents were obtained when the staunch leave supporter was still trade secretary; he was dropped by Boris Johnson on 24 July.

However, it still is keeping the earliest date as July 12th, thus reproducing the entire Reuters' version.

My guess is that The Guardian adapted the story to its center-left (i.e. Blairite) audience, in a way both Corbyn and the Conservative and Unionist Party could be melded together as a single evil force. If that's the case, then it is circumstantial evidence for a highly and centrally coordinated propaganda machine in the UK, possibly ran directly from the MI5/6, which directly involves all the important British newspapers, TV channels and more.

It's interesting to see how The Guardian sophisticated the clearly fake story. In the excerpt I quoted above, it is clear the source of the leak could've only been secretary Fox (or Fox served as the sacrificial lamb, it doesn't matter for the sake of the argument here).

Then, it connected Fox's leak with Raab's public accusation of Russia (that story where he accused Russia in the name of the British government, but didn't reveal the evidence).

To end with a high note, the Guardian then revived a story of hacked e-mails from 2012 and 2017.

You can then see how the British are capable of recycling old, failed propaganda attacks/fake news to transform then into a new "truth". Very curious and sophisticated methodology of building a long-term, sustained, false narrative. It almost mirrors the Christian method of typology, where a previous event is brought up from oblivion to serve as a prelude for the new event (i.e. the newest fake news).

Richard Steven Hack , Aug 4 2020 1:08 utc | 22

"The attack bore the hallmarks of a state-backed operation."

There is no such thing.

Look at the Twitter hack last week. Everyone said "must be some sophisticated actor, possibly state-sponsored". Turns out it was a 17-year-old in Florida. That has happened repeatedly in the last ten years or more: hacks that looked "sophisticated" turned out to be done by a single individual. People forget that some organized crime hacker groups earn millions of dollars from their hacks and can afford to put quite an effort into the development of sophisticated hacking tools that are the equal of anything a state intelligence agency can produce.

People in infosec know the truth: it's not that hard to compromise any corporation or individual. And "attribution by target" - that is, the notion that because a particular person or organization is government or media, therefore it has to be a state-related hacker - is completely false. *Any* hacker will hit *any* target that provides 1) a challenge, and/or 2) personal identification information, and/or intellectual property that can be sold on the Dark Web.

Only situations where specialized knowledge that is not commonly available to individuals or civilian groups was used in the hack can clearly indicate a state actor. Stuxnet is the classic example, requiring access to and the ability to test the malware with specific pieces of hardware that aren't commonly available to persons outside of industrial or nuclear engineering.

Stealing some papers from a government individual off his phone or home or office desktop is almost trivial in comparison.

Richard Steven Hack , Aug 4 2020 1:12 utc | 24

"his account was accessed several times between 12 July and 21 October"

So for three months they did nothing to fix his security? Good work, guys...you're fired. This is typical - hackers sitting in a corporation's network for months or even years without being detected. It's likely they didn't even notice the unauthorized access until they decided to look back. Not to mention that a government worker isn't supposed to be using "personal email" to host classified information. So the idiot involved should be fired.

Typical infosec clusterfuck. That's assuming it happened at all, of course, which is doubtful.

Richard Steven Hack , Aug 4 2020 1:21 utc | 25

Well, lost two post due to the VPN being on...sigh...

OK, to quote the old British comedy radio show, "I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again"...

"...the attack bore the hallmarks of a state-backed operation."

There is no such thing. *Any* hacker will hack *any* target provided it provides 1) a challenge, and/or 2) personal identification information, and/or 3) intellectual property, the latter two being sold on the Dark Web. Trying to attribute the hacker based on his target is a fool's game - not that there is any lack of fools in the infosec space who use such attribution as marketing, such as CrowdStrike.

Then there's the fact that this guy's account was accessed several times over a three-month period - meaning no one was monitoring his email security, least of all him. Not to mention that he was passing classified papers over a personal email account - which should get him fired. Email is *insecure*, period, unless encrypted between the parties involved. And even then, you just compromise one party's desktop, laptop or phone, and bingo, encryption bypassed. And compromising an individual's or organization's email system is not particularly hard, as any penetration tester knows. One phishing email targeted to the right person usually does it.

[Aug 03, 2020] Joe Biden Advance Team Recommends British Approach To Fighting Russia Start The Disinformation Before The Fact, The Fake Before The Truth -- Doubt Is Russian Mind Control

What is missing from Russian side is a consistent, principled opposition to a very crude campaign of warmongering.
Aug 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
jayc , Aug 3 2020 20:35 utc | 10

A poster shared this John Helmer story a few days ago - it is very relevant here:

JOE BIDEN ADVANCE TEAM RECOMMENDS BRITISH APPROACH TO FIGHTING RUSSIA – START THE DISINFORMATION BEFORE THE FACT, THE FAKE BEFORE THE TRUTH -- DOUBT IS RUSSIAN MIND CONTROL
http://johnhelmer.net/joe-biden-advance-team-recommends-british-approach-to-fighting-russia-start-the-disinformation-before-the-fact-the-fake-before-the-truth-doubt-is-russian-mind-control/#more-34229

This is the purpose of the Russia-is-responsible-for-all-malign-events disinformation campaigns as stated by a junior deep-stater:

"An analysis of the UK experience offers some indicators as to what deters Russia .Taken together, this swift, coordinated national response backed by the weight of the international community and imposition of punitive measures exposed Russian malign influence activities and incompetence, embarrassing Russia in the eyes of its citizens. Over time, such reputational damage could cause more serious problems for the Russian government vis-à-vis the Russian people."


Lurk , Aug 3 2020 20:55 utc | 11

@ jayc | Aug 3 2020 20:35 utc | 10

Last time, Putin was seen weaponizing humor. What devious plan is up next in his perverted sadistic mastermind? Weaponizing critical thought?

karlof1 , Aug 3 2020 21:09 utc | 13

As 5-Eyes nations fall further behind Russia & China, the outright lies and disinformation will increase as they'll no longer be capable of honest competition--and that's just the business sphere. In the social sphere, as living standards continue to fall for 5-Eyes residents relative to Russia and China, the shrillness and mendacity of the lying will escalate to cover for the vast political failure that's responsible for the decline. As some have noted, there's been a reversal of positions with the Outlaw US Empire becoming ever more degraded like the USSR previously. Both UK and USA continually behave as spoilt brats, taking their ball home when no longer allowed to win. Self-examination is Taboo. Those watching rightly question how it was that such people rose to dominant positions--completely accidental is the answer.

[Aug 03, 2020] When corporate power is your real government, corporate media is state media by Caitlin Johnstone

Aug 03, 2020 | www.rt.com

By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz In the American corporatist system, where wealthy elites control the elected government through lobbyists, corporate media is state media, promoting narratives that help maintain the corporate-approved status quo.

The New York Times published an astonishingly horrible article the other day titled "Latin America Is Facing a 'Decline of Democracy' Under the Pandemic" accusing governments like Venezuela and Nicaragua of exploiting Covid-19 to quash opposition and oppress democracy.

The article sources its jarringly propagandistic claims in multiple US government-funded narrative management operations like the Wilson Center and the National Endowment for Democracy -sponsored Freedom House , the extensively plutocrat-funded Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the United States Naval Academy.

The crown jewel of this piece of State Department stenography reads as follows:

"Adding to these challenges, democracy in Latin America has also lost a champion in the United States, which had played an important role in promoting democracy after the end of the Cold War by financing good governance programs and calling out authoritarian abuses."

Whoa, nelly.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1288972702716395526&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F496962-caitlin-johnstone-corporate-media%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

The fact that America's most widely regarded newspaper feels perfectly comfortable making such a spectacularly in-your-face lie on behalf of the US government tells you everything you need to know about what the mass media in America really are and what they do.

The United States has never at any time been a champion of democracy in Latin America, before or since the Cold War. It has intervened hundreds of times in the continent's affairs throughout history, with everything from murderous corporate colonialism to deadly CIA regime-change operations to overt military invasions . It is currently trying to orchestrate a coup in Venezuela after failing to stage one during the Bush administration, it's pushing regime change in Nicaragua, and The New York Times itself admitted this year that it was wrong to promote the false US government narrative of electoral shenanigans in Bolivia's presidential race last year, a narrative which facilitated a bloody fascist coup .

This is propaganda. There is no other word for it. And yet the only time Western politicians and news reporters use that word is to talk about nations like Russia and China.

READ MORE Caitlin Johnstone: In post-Iraq invasion world, it's absolutely insane to blindly believe the US narrative on China

Why is propaganda used in an ostensibly free democracy with an ostensibly free media? Why are its news media outlets so consistently in alignment with every foreign policy objective of US government agencies, no matter how destructive and inexcusable? If the media and the government are two separate institutions, why do they so consistently function as though they are not separate?

Well, that's easy. It's because they aren't separate. The only thing keeping this from being seen is the fact that America's real government isn't located where people think it is.

In a corporatist system of government, where no hard lines are drawn between corporate/financial power and state power, corporate media is state media. Since bribery is legal in the US political system in the form of corporate lobbying and campaign donations, America's elected government is controlled by wealthy elites who have money to burn and who benefit from maintaining a specific status quo arrangement.

The fact that this same plutocratic class also owns America's media, which is now so consolidated that it's almost entirely run by just six corporations , means that the people who run the government also run the media. This allows America's true rulers to set up a system which promotes narratives that are favorable to their desired status quo.

Which means that the US has state propaganda. They just don't call it that themselves.

Strip away the phony two-handed sock puppet show of US electoral politics and look at how power actually moves in that country, and you just see one more tyrannical regime which propagandizes its citizens, brutally cracks down on protesters , deliberately keeps its populace impoverished so they don't get powerful enough to change things, and attacks any nation which dares to disobey its dictates.

Beneath the thin layer of narrative overlay about freedom and democracy, the US is just one more despotic, bloodthirsty empire. It's no better than any of the other despotic, bloodthirsty empires throughout history. It just has good PR.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1289095579335720960&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F496962-caitlin-johnstone-corporate-media%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

Plutocrats not only exert control over America's media and politics, they also form alliances with the secretive government agencies whose operators remain amid the comings and goings of the official elected government. We see examples of this in the way new-money tech plutocrats like Jeff Bezos , Peter Thiel and Pierre Omidyar have direct relationships with the CIA and its proxies.

We also see it in the sexual blackmail operation which was facilitated by the late Jeffrey Epstein in connection with billionaire Leslie Wexner and Israeli intelligence , along with potentially the FBI and/or other US intelligence agencies . Today the internet is abuzz as newly unsealed court documents relating to Epstein and his co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell reveal witness testimony regarding underage sex trafficking, with such high-profile names appearing in the documents as Alan Dershowitz , Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew .

The Overton window of acceptable political discourse has been shrunk into such a narrow spectrum of debate that talking about even well-known and extensively documented facts involving the real nature of America's government and media will get you laughingly dismissed as a conspiracy theorist, which is itself a symptom of tight narrative control by a ruling class which much prefers Americans thinking they live in a free democracy whose government they control with their votes.

//www.youtube.com/embed/Yw0qkvvSE7s

In the old days you used to be able to tell who your rulers were because they'd sit on thrones and wear golden crowns and make you bow before them. Human consciousness eventually evolved beyond the acceptability of such brazen indignities, so it became necessary for rulers to take on more of a background role while the citizenry clap and cheer for the illusory puppet show of electoral politics.

But the kings are still among us, just as cruel and tyrannical as ever. They've just figured out how to mask their tyranny behind the facade of freedom.

But 2020 has been a year of revelations , a trend which seems likely to continue accelerating . Truth cannot stay hidden forever.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Aug 03, 2020] Natalie Wynn also refers to Jo Freeman's 1976 piece on "Trashing," in which she describes her experience of being ostracized by fellow feminists for alleged ideological deviation. The dynamic of cancellation predates the internet.

Highly recommended!
Aug 03, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

oldster 08.03.20 at 1:17 am 141

Natalie Wynn also refers to Jo Freeman's 1976 piece on "Trashing," in which she describes her experience of being ostracized by fellow feminists for alleged ideological deviation. The dynamic of cancellation predates the internet.

(I don't know where a young you-tuber probably not born before the millennium encountered Shulamith Firestone's old partner in crime, but I am delighted that she did! I know it shows my age, but I think that young activists today could benefit a lot from reading what my generation's activists wrote. Also, from getting off my lawn.)

oldster 08.03.20 at 1:21 am ( 142 )

and I forgot the link:
https://www.jofreeman.com/joreen/trashing.htm

[Aug 03, 2020] KEEPING YOUR MOUTH SHUT by James L. Gibson & Joseph L. Sutherland

Highly recommended!
This is a shadow of USSR over the USA. Dead are biting from the grave.
Notable quotes:
"... Over the course of the period from the heyday of McCarthyism to the present, the percentage of the American people not feeling free to express their views has tripled. In 2019, fully four in ten Americans engaged in self-censorship. Our analyses of both over-time and cross-sectional variability provide several insights into why people keep their mouths shut. We find that: ..."
"... those possessing more resources (e.g., higher levels of education) report engaging in more self-censorship ..."
"... fully 40% of the American people today reported being less free to speak their minds than they used to. That so many Americans withhold their political views is remarkable -- and portentous. ..."
"... Self-censorship is defined as intentionally and voluntarily withholding information from others in [the] absence of formal obstacles ..."
Aug 03, 2020 | poseidon01.ssrn.com

Over the course of the period from the heyday of McCarthyism to the present, the percentage of the American people not feeling free to express their views has tripled. In 2019, fully four in ten Americans engaged in self-censorship. Our analyses of both over-time and cross-sectional variability provide several insights into why people keep their mouths shut. We find that:

(1) Levels of self-censorship are related to affective polarization among the mass public, but not via an "echo chamber" effect because greater polarization is associated with more self-censorship.

(2) Levels of mass political intolerance bear no relationship to self-censorship, either at the macro- or micro-levels.

(3) Those who perceive a more repressive government are only slightly more likely to engage in self-censorship. And

(4) those possessing more resources (e.g., higher levels of education) report engaging in more self-censorship .

Together, these findings suggest the conclusion that one's larger macro-environment has little to do with self-censorship. Instead, micro-environment sentiments -- such as worrying that expressing unpopular views will isolate and alienate people from their friends, family, and neighbors -- seem to drive self-censorship.

We conclude with a brief discussion of the significance of our findings for larger democracy theory and practice. Electronic copy available at: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3647099

There can be little doubt that Americans today are deeply divided on their values, many issue preferences, and their ideological and partisan attachments (e.g., Druckman and Levendusky 2019). Indeed, these divisions even extend to the question of whom -- or what kind of person -- their children should marry (Iyengar et al. 2019)!

A concomitant of these divisions is that political discourse has become coarse, abrasive, divisive, and intense. When it comes to politics today, it is increasingly likely that even an innocent but misspoken opinion will cause a kerfuffle to break out.

It therefore should not be surprising to find that a large segment of the American people engages in self-censorship when it comes of expressing their views.1 In a nationally representative survey we conducted in 2019 (see Appendix A), we asked a question about self-censorship that Samuel Stouffer (1955) first asked in 1954, with startling results: fully 40% of the American people today reported being less free to speak their minds than they used to. That so many Americans withhold their political views is remarkable -- and portentous.

... ... ...

===

1 Sharvit et al. put forth a useful definition of self-censorship (2018, 331): " Self-censorship is defined as intentionally and voluntarily withholding information from others in [the] absence of formal obstacles ." Studies of self-censorship have taken many forms, ranging from philosophical inquiries (e.g., Festenstein 2018) to studies of those withholding crucial evidence of human rights abuses (e.g., Bar-Tal 2017) to studies of self-censorship among racial minorities (e.g., Gibson 2012).

[Aug 02, 2020] Austria Confirms OPCW Report On Skripal-Faking By The British, Exposes FT Lies Cover-Up -

Aug 02, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Austria Confirms OPCW Report On Skripal-Faking By The British, Exposes FT Lies & Cover-Up by Tyler Durden Sun, 08/02/2020 - 08:10 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by John Helmer via Dances With Bears blog,

Austria officially confirmed this week that the British Government's allegation that Novichok, a Russian chemical warfare agent, was used in England by GRU, the Russian military intelligence service, in March 2018, was a British invention.

Investigations in Vienna by four Austrian government ministries, the BVT intelligence agency, and by Austrian prosecutors have revealed that secret OPCW reports on the blood testing of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, copies of which were transferred to the Austrian government, did not reveal a Russian-made nerve agent.

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https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.400.1_en.html#goog_928075609

Two reports, published in Vienna this week by the OE media group and reporter Isabelle Daniel, reveal that the Financial Times publication of the cover-page of one of the OPCW reports exposed a barcode identifying the source of the leaked documents was the Austrian government. The Austrian Foreign Ministry and the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz und Terrorismusbekämpfung (BVT), the domestic intelligence agency equivalent to MI5 or FBI, have corroborated the authenticity of the documents.

The Austrian disclosures also reveal that in London the Financial Times editor, Roula Khalaf, four of the newspaper's reporters, and the management of the Japanese-owned company have fabricated a false and misleading version of the OPCW evidence and have covered up British government lying on the Skripal blood testing and the Novichok evidence.

On Wednesday afternoon this week, OE24, a news portal of the OE media group in Vienna, broke the first story (lead image, right) that the barcode found on the OPCW document photograph published in London had been traced to several Austrian state ministries . The next day, OE political editor Isabelle Daniel reported the Austrian Foreign, Defence and Economics Ministries had received copies of the barcoded OPCW dossier, and that the Justice Ministry and prosecutors were investigating "potential moles".

Daniel also quoted a Foreign Ministry source as saying its copy of the documents had been securely stored in its disarmament department safe, and that there were "no tips" the leak had come from there. Daniel also quoted a BVT spokesman as confirming the authenticity of the OPCW file had been verified. "We have checked it recently. Officially it has not come to us."

Left: Isabelle Daniel of OE, Vienna. Right, Roula Khalaf Razzouk, editor of the Financial Times since her recent appointment by the Nikkei group, the newspaper's owner. Her full name and concealment of her Lebanese political and business interests can be followed here . The names of the four Financial Times reporters who have participated in the misrepresentation and cover-up are Paul Murphy, investigations editor; Dan McCrum, a reporter; Helen Warrell, NATO correspondent; and Max Seddon of the Moscow bureau.

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The leak had been an "explosive secret betrayal" and a criminal investigation was under way, OE24 reported. OE is a privately owned Austrian media group, based in Vienna. It publishes a newspaper, the news portal OE.at, radio and television.

The Financial Times report first exposing the OPCW documents appeared on July 9. Details of how the newspaper fabricated the interpretation the OPCW had corroborated Russian involvement in the Novichok attack can be read here . For the full Skripal story, read the book .

At an OPCW Executive Council meeting on April 14, 2018, five weeks after the Skripal attack, the British Government confirmed that a few days earlier "all States parties" had received copies of the OPCW dossier. This included Austria, as the Viennese sources now acknowledge.

Source: https://www.opcw.org/

"The OPCW responded promptly to our request to send their experts to the United Kingdom," declared Peter Wilson, the British representative to the OPCW on April 14, 2018.

"They conducted a highly professional mission. The OPCW's designated laboratories have also responded professionally and promptly. What the Director-General said was really important on this, and the Technical Secretariat's presentation shows how professional that work was. The report the Technical Secretariat presented to us on 11 April was thorough and methodical. The Technical Secretariat responded quickly to our request to share that report with all States Parties. All have had the chance to see the quality of that work."

Wilson went on to say:

"As you know, on 4 March Yulia and Sergei Skripal were poisoned in Salisbury, the United Kingdom, with a chemical weapon, which United Kingdom experts established to be a Novichok. OPCW has now clearly verified those findings."

The Austrian copy of the OPCW file now confirms this was a misrepresentation of the chemical formula and other evidence the OPCW had gathered.

Wilson went on to conclude:

"the identification of the nerve agent used is an essential piece of technical evidence in our investigation, neither DSTL's [Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down] analysis, nor the OPCW's report, identifies the country or laboratory of origin of the agent used in this attack. So let me also set out the wider picture, which leads the United Kingdom to assess that there is no plausible alternative explanation for what happened in Salisbury than Russian State responsibility. We believe that only the Russian Federation had the technical means, operational experience, and the motive to target the Skripals."

The first qualifying sentence was the British truth; the conclusion was the British lie. The Austrian evidence now verifies there was no evidence of a Russian source in the blood and other test samples; no evidence of Novichok; and no evidence to corroborate the British allegations of a Russian chemical warfare attack.

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In its report, the Financial Times displayed a partial photograph of the cover-page of one of the OPCW documents in its possession (lead image, left). A classification stamp appears to be showing through the title page, but no barcode is visible. The London newspaper appears to have cropped the published picture so as to hide the barcode . That concealment -- proof of the Austrian source – allowed the newspaper reporters to claim the source of the document was unknown, probably Russian, as the headline implied: "Wirecard executive Jan Marsalek touted Russian nerve gas documents."

A British military source was reported as claiming "the documents were 'unlikely' to have come from OPCW member states in western Europe or the US." Khalaf and her reporters added: "The OPCW, which is based in The Hague, said this week that it was investigating the matter, but declined further comment. The Kremlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment." With the barcode in their possession but hidden, they knew they were publishing a combination of disinformation and lies.

The disclosure of the barcode to the Austrians appears to have followed after they had requested it from Khalaf. She checked with her superiors in the newspaper management before handing it over. They believed they were doing so in secret.

It is not known if Motohiro Matsumoto , the Nikkei executive responsible for the London publishing company, was alerted and gave his authorization; he refuses to answer questions. Matsumoto, one of the five directors of Financial Times Ltd., is the general manager of Nikkei's global business division. He takes his running orders from Nikkei's chairman and a long-time media executive, Tsuneo Kita. Matsumoto replaced Hirotomo Nomura at the head of the Financial Times on March 25, 2020. When Nikkei bought the newspaper from Pearson Plc in 2015, Nikkei became its sole proprietor.

The Austrian press has yet to report how the barcode was obtained from the newspaper. Because the BVT and state prosecutors in Vienna are involved in their search for the "moles", it is likely they contacted their counterparts at MI5 and the Home Office, and that the newspaper agreed to hand over its copy of the OPCW file to the latter. The collaboration of the journalists with the secret services to falsify evidence against Moscow in the Novichok story remains a sensitive secret.

Source: https://m.oe24.at/

Khalaf has refused repeated requests for comment. Max Seddon, the newspaper's Moscow reporter, was also asked for additional information about the photograph of the cover-page. He will not answer.

[Aug 02, 2020] The Dems. are absolute champions of hypocrisy and hysterical obfuscations.

Aug 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Noirette , Aug 1 2020 18:21 utc | 129

The Dems. are absolute champions of hypocrisy and hysterical obfuscations. They are also rather primitive and short-sighted, which all added up means they perpetually accuse others of their own sins, in narcissistic manipulatory fashion. (Like the abusive husband - prove you wasn't unfaithful - the teen vicious girl bully - you are a slut - etc.)

"Trump won't accept the election results" is a meme that has been going around for ages. Now he hinted he might not accept, everyone is all agog. All it signals is that the Dems. are preparing the ground to contest the results and create serious mayhem. (See the prelude BLM.)

In 2016 they were taken up short, thru lack of attention, stupidity and hubris - typical of a small cadre or consigliere group imagining they control everything. They haven't exited that bubble because they can't - reform is impossible. Their choice of Biden as a possible placeholder (he might be 'retired' and replaced, or a VP slot might be the P pick, etc.) probably seems like a good strategy to them, canny and all. Well over 70, brain damaged, senile and with a reputation of sniffing up little girls, the very idea of 'a leader' is dead at the door.

All it evidences is that the whole 'primary process' and what one might generously dub 'will of the ppl' as the Dems institute it is a total sham (see Sanders), a transparent masquerade. Plus that the Dems have no viable, interesting candidate - the last stab was Obama, whom the Clintons loathed, and many in top spots opposed - but then the 'vote' still counted (even if manipulations were going on - imho only for under 5% of the vote and this was accepted by all parties) so Obama was a sure win. Then he was forced of course to nominate Killary this was seen as a temp. aberration to be dealt with.

Ok, the repubs. So is Trump their candidate or what? :) The democratic 'process' in the US was always an affair of convos in smoke-filled back rooms, and mucho corruption, dirty dealing. What is happening now is that the system is cracking fast and nobody knows if they want dikes to shore it up, to pretend this or that, or to profit from a or b, or to ally with x or y, or to check out, etc. The masks are coming off (oh wait) one thing is for sure is the US population will not move or do anything.

jack at 56 I agree, Skripals being 3-way spies is nonsense. Skripal senior was a washed-out guy who did get some 'kudos' grudgingly from the 'spy' community - ex. he came here (Switz.) and gave some weak talks etc. I reckon he did want to go back to Russia and may have made some feelers or requests to do so, but he would have been ignored or at best shoved to the back of the queue. The Brits never informed him of anything much (imho), etc. Plus, all this going down when his daughter was there makes no sense for a savvy person, etc. No, the unravelling of that story will turn out to be quite humdrum, with a lot of 'accidents' and 'mistakes' etc. (if we ever find out..) with the usual Brit. *Russia Russia Russia* crowd cashing in opportunistically.

[Aug 02, 2020] Russiagate, Nazis, and the CIA by ROB URIE

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. has spent a century or more trying to install a U.S.-friendly government in Moscow. Following the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, the U.S. sent neoliberal economists to loot the country as the Clinton administration, and later the Obama administration, placed NATO troops and armaments on the Russian border after a negotiated agreement not to do so . Subsequent claims of realpolitik are cover for a reckless disregard for geopolitical consequences. ..."
"... The paradox of American liberalism, articulated when feminist icon and CIA asset Gloria Steinem described the CIA as ' liberal, nonviolent and honorable ,' is that educated, well-dressed, bourgeois functionaries have used the (largely manufactured) threat of foreign subversion to install right-wing nationalists subservient to American business interests at every opportunity. ..."
"... To the point made by Christopher Simpson , the CIA could have achieved better results had it not employed former Nazi officers, begging the question of why it chose to do so? ..."
"... Russiagate is the nationalist party line in the American fight against communism, without the communism. Charges of treason have been lodged every time that military budgets have come under attack since 1945. In 1958 the senior leadership of the Air Force was charging the other branches of the military with treason for doubting its utterly fantastical (and later disproven) estimate of Soviet ICBMs. Treason is good for business. ..."
"... Shortly after WWII ended, the CIA employed hundreds of former Nazi military officers, including former Gestapo and SS officers responsible for murdering tens and hundreds of thousands of human beings , to run a spy operation known as the Gehlen Organization from Berlin, Germany. Given its central role in assessing the military intentions and capabilities of the Soviet Union, the Gehlen Organization was more likely than not responsible for the CIA's overstatement of Soviet nuclear capabilities in the 1950s used to support the U.S. nuclear weapons program. Former Nazis were also integrated into CIA efforts to install right wing governments around the world. ..."
"... Under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act passed by Congress in 1998, the CIA was made to partially disclose its affiliation with, and employment of, former Nazis. In contrast to the ' Operation Paperclip ' thesis that it was Nazi scientists who were brought to the U.S. to labor as scientists, the Gehlen Organization and CIC employed known war criminals in political roles. Klaus Barbie, the 'Butcher of Lyon,' was employed by the CIC, and claims to have played a role in the murder of Che Guevara . Wernher von Braun, one of the Operation Paperclip 'scientists,' worked in a Nazi concentration camp as tens of thousands of human beings were murdered. ..."
"... To understand the political space that military production came to occupy, from 1948 onward the U.S. military became a well-funded bureaucracy where charges of treason were regularly traded between the branches. Internecine battles for funding and strategic dominance were (and are) regularly fought. The tactic that this bureaucracy -- the 'military industrial complex,' adopted was to exaggerate foreign threats in a contest for bureaucratic dominance. The nuclear arms race was made a self-fulfilling prophecy. As the U.S. produced world-ending weapons non-stop for decades on end, the Soviets responded in kind. ..."
"... Long story short, the CIA employed hundreds of former Nazi officers who had the ideological predisposition and economic incentive to mis-perceive Soviet intentions and misstate Soviet capabilities to fuel the Cold War. ..."
"... the U.S. had indicated its intention to use nuclear weapons in a first strike -- and had demonstrated the intention by placing Jupiter missiles in Italy, nothing that the U.S. offered during the Missile Crisis could be taken in good faith. ..."
"... Following the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, the Cold War entered a new phase. Cold War logic was repurposed to support the oxymoronic 'humanitarian wars' -- liberating people by bombing them. In 1995 'Russian meddling' meant the Clinton administration rigging the election of Boris Yeltsin in the Russian presidential election. Mr. Clinton then unilaterally reneged on the American agreement to keep NATO from Russia's border when former Baltic states were brought under NATO's control . ..."
"... The Obama administration's 2014 incitement in Ukraine , by way of fostering and supporting the Maidan uprising and the ousting of Ukraine's democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, ties to the U.S. strategy of containing and overthrowing the Soviet (Russian) government that was first codified by the National Security Council (NSC) in 1945. The NSC's directives can be found here and here . The economic and military annexation of Ukraine by the U.S. (NATO didn't exist in 1945) comes under NSC10/2 . The alliance between the CIA and Ukrainian fascists ties to directive NSC20 , the plan to sponsor Ukrainian-affiliated former Nazis in order to install them in the Kremlin to replace the Soviet government. This was part of the CIA's rationale for putting Ukrainian-affiliated former Nazis on its payroll in 1948. ..."
"... That Russiagate is the continuation of a scheme launched in 1945 by the National Security Council, to be engineered by the CIA with help from former Nazi officers in its employ, speaks volumes about the Cold War frame from which it emerges ..."
"... Its near instantaneous adoption by bourgeois liberals demonstrates the class basis of the right-wing nationalism it supports. That liberals appear to perceive themselves as defenders 'democracy' within a trajectory laid out by unelected military leaders more than seven decades earlier is testament to the power of historical ignorance tied to nationalist fervor. Were the former Gestapo and SS officers employed by the CIA 'our Nazis?' ..."
"... Furthermore, are liberals really comfortable bringing fascists with direct historical ties to the Third Reich to power in Ukraine? And while there are no good choices in the upcoming U.S. election, the guy who liberals want to bring to power is lead architect of this move. ..."
Jul 31, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org
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The political success of Russiagate lies in the vanishing of American history in favor of a façade of liberal virtue. Posed as a response to the election of Donald Trump, a straight line can be drawn from efforts to undermine the decommissioning of the American war economy in 1946 to the CIA's alliance with Ukrainian fascists in 2014. In 1945 the NSC (National Security Council) issued a series of directives that gave logic and direction to the CIA's actions during the Cold War. That these persist despite the 'fall of communism' suggests that it was always just a placeholder in the pursuit of other objectives.

The first Cold War was an imperial business enterprise to keep the Generals, bureaucrats, and war materiel suppliers in power and their bank accounts flush after WWII. Likewise, the American side of the nuclear arms race left former Gestapo and SS officers employed by the CIA to put their paranoid fantasies forward as assessments of Russian military capabilities. Why, of all people, would former Nazi officers be put in charge military intelligence if accurate assessments were the goal? The Nazis hated the Soviets more than the Americans did.

The ideological binaries of Russiagate -- for or against Donald Trump, for or against neoliberal, petrostate Russia, define the boundaries of acceptable discourse to the benefit of deeply nefarious interests. The U.S. has spent a century or more trying to install a U.S.-friendly government in Moscow. Following the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, the U.S. sent neoliberal economists to loot the country as the Clinton administration, and later the Obama administration, placed NATO troops and armaments on the Russian border after a negotiated agreement not to do so . Subsequent claims of realpolitik are cover for a reckless disregard for geopolitical consequences.

The paradox of American liberalism, articulated when feminist icon and CIA asset Gloria Steinem described the CIA as ' liberal, nonviolent and honorable ,' is that educated, well-dressed, bourgeois functionaries have used the (largely manufactured) threat of foreign subversion to install right-wing nationalists subservient to American business interests at every opportunity. Furthermore, Steinem's aggressive ignorance of the actual history of the CIA illustrates the liberal propensity to conflate bourgeois dress and attitude with an imagined gentility . To the point made by Christopher Simpson , the CIA could have achieved better results had it not employed former Nazi officers, begging the question of why it chose to do so?

On the American left, Russiagate is treated as a case of bad reporting, of official outlets for government propaganda serially reporting facts and events that were subsequently disproved. However, some fair portion of the American bourgeois, the PMC that acts in supporting roles for capital, believes every word of it. Russiagate is the nationalist party line in the American fight against communism, without the communism. Charges of treason have been lodged every time that military budgets have come under attack since 1945. In 1958 the senior leadership of the Air Force was charging the other branches of the military with treason for doubting its utterly fantastical (and later disproven) estimate of Soviet ICBMs. Treason is good for business.

Shortly after WWII ended, the CIA employed hundreds of former Nazi military officers, including former Gestapo and SS officers responsible for murdering tens and hundreds of thousands of human beings , to run a spy operation known as the Gehlen Organization from Berlin, Germany. Given its central role in assessing the military intentions and capabilities of the Soviet Union, the Gehlen Organization was more likely than not responsible for the CIA's overstatement of Soviet nuclear capabilities in the 1950s used to support the U.S. nuclear weapons program. Former Nazis were also integrated into CIA efforts to install right wing governments around the world.

By the time that (Senator) John F. Kennedy claimed a U.S. 'missile gap' with the Soviets in 1958, the CIA was providing estimates of Soviet ICBMs (Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles), that were wildly inflated -- most likely provided to it by the Gehlen Organization. Once satellite and U2 reconnaissance estimates became available, the CIA lowered its own to 120 Soviet ICBMs when the actual number was four . On the one hand, the Soviets really did have a nuclear weapons program. On the other, it was a tiny fraction of what was being claimed. Bad reporting, unerringly on the side of larger military budgets, appears to be the constant.

Under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act passed by Congress in 1998, the CIA was made to partially disclose its affiliation with, and employment of, former Nazis. In contrast to the ' Operation Paperclip ' thesis that it was Nazi scientists who were brought to the U.S. to labor as scientists, the Gehlen Organization and CIC employed known war criminals in political roles. Klaus Barbie, the 'Butcher of Lyon,' was employed by the CIC, and claims to have played a role in the murder of Che Guevara . Wernher von Braun, one of the Operation Paperclip 'scientists,' worked in a Nazi concentration camp as tens of thousands of human beings were murdered.

The historical sequence in the U.S. was WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, to an economy that was heavily dependent on war production. The threatened decommissioning of the war economy in 1946 was first met with an honest assessment of Soviet intentions -- the Soviets were moving infrastructure back into Soviet territory as quickly as was practicable, then to the military budget-friendly claim that they were putting resources in place to invade Europe. The result of the shift was that the American Generals kept their power and the war industry kept producing materiel and weapons. By 1948 these weapons had come to include atomic bombs.

To understand the political space that military production came to occupy, from 1948 onward the U.S. military became a well-funded bureaucracy where charges of treason were regularly traded between the branches. Internecine battles for funding and strategic dominance were (and are) regularly fought. The tactic that this bureaucracy -- the 'military industrial complex,' adopted was to exaggerate foreign threats in a contest for bureaucratic dominance. The nuclear arms race was made a self-fulfilling prophecy. As the U.S. produced world-ending weapons non-stop for decades on end, the Soviets responded in kind.

What ties the Gehlen Organization to CIA estimates of Soviet nuclear weapons from 1948 – 1958 is 1) the Gehlen Organization was central to the CIA's intelligence operations vis-à-vis the Soviets, 2) the CIA had limited alternatives to gather information on the Soviets outside of the Gehlen Organization and 3) the senior leadership of the U.S. military had long demonstrated that it approved of exaggerating foreign threats when doing so enhanced their power and added to their budgets. Long story short, the CIA employed hundreds of former Nazi officers who had the ideological predisposition and economic incentive to mis-perceive Soviet intentions and misstate Soviet capabilities to fuel the Cold War.

Where this gets interesting is that American whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg was working for the Rand Corporation in the late 1950s and early 1960s when estimates of Soviet ICBMs were being put forward. JFK had run (in 1960) on a platform that included closing the Soviet – U.S. ' missile gap .' The USAF (U.S. Air Force), charged with delivering nuclear missiles to their targets, was estimating that the Soviets had 1,000 ICBMs. Mr. Ellsberg, who had limited security clearance through his employment at Rand, was leaked the known number of Soviet ICBMs. The Air Force was saying 1,000 Soviet ICBMs when the number confirmed by reconnaissance satellites was four.

By 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the CIA had shifted nominal control of the Gehlen Organization to the BND, for whom Gehlen continued to work. Based on ongoing satellite reconnaissance data, the CIA was busy lowering its estimates of Soviet nuclear capabilities. Benjamin Schwarz, writing for The Atlantic in 2013, provided an account, apparently informed by the CIA's lowered estimates, where he placed the whole of the Soviet nuclear weapons program (in 1962) at roughly one-ninth the size of the U.S. effort. However, given Ellsberg's known count of four Soviet ICBMs at the time of the missile crisis, even Schwarz's ratio of 1:9 seems to overstate Soviet capabilities.

Further per Schwarz's reporting, the Jupiter nuclear missiles that the U.S. had placed in Italy prior to the Cuban Missile Crisis only made sense as first-strike weapons. This interpretation is corroborated by Daniel Ellsberg , who argues that the American plan was always to initiate the use of nuclear weapons (first strike). This made JFK's posture of equally matched contestants in a geopolitical game of nuclear chicken utterly unhinged. Should this be less than clear, because the U.S. had indicated its intention to use nuclear weapons in a first strike -- and had demonstrated the intention by placing Jupiter missiles in Italy, nothing that the U.S. offered during the Missile Crisis could be taken in good faith.

The dissolution of the USSR in 1991 was met with a promised reduction in U.S. military spending and an end to the Cold War, neither of which ultimately materialized. Following the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, the Cold War entered a new phase. Cold War logic was repurposed to support the oxymoronic 'humanitarian wars' -- liberating people by bombing them. In 1995 'Russian meddling' meant the Clinton administration rigging the election of Boris Yeltsin in the Russian presidential election. Mr. Clinton then unilaterally reneged on the American agreement to keep NATO from Russia's border when former Baltic states were brought under NATO's control .

The Obama administration's 2014 incitement in Ukraine , by way of fostering and supporting the Maidan uprising and the ousting of Ukraine's democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, ties to the U.S. strategy of containing and overthrowing the Soviet (Russian) government that was first codified by the National Security Council (NSC) in 1945. The NSC's directives can be found here and here . The economic and military annexation of Ukraine by the U.S. (NATO didn't exist in 1945) comes under NSC10/2 . The alliance between the CIA and Ukrainian fascists ties to directive NSC20 , the plan to sponsor Ukrainian-affiliated former Nazis in order to install them in the Kremlin to replace the Soviet government. This was part of the CIA's rationale for putting Ukrainian-affiliated former Nazis on its payroll in 1948.

That Russiagate is the continuation of a scheme launched in 1945 by the National Security Council, to be engineered by the CIA with help from former Nazi officers in its employ, speaks volumes about the Cold War frame from which it emerges.

Its near instantaneous adoption by bourgeois liberals demonstrates the class basis of the right-wing nationalism it supports. That liberals appear to perceive themselves as defenders 'democracy' within a trajectory laid out by unelected military leaders more than seven decades earlier is testament to the power of historical ignorance tied to nationalist fervor. Were the former Gestapo and SS officers employed by the CIA 'our Nazis?'

The Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act came about in part because Nazi hunters kept coming across Nazi war criminals living in the U.S. who told them they had been brought here and given employment by the CIA, CIC, or some other division of the Federal government. If the people in these agencies thought that doing so was justified, why the secrecy? And if it wasn't justified, why was it done? Furthermore, are liberals really comfortable bringing fascists with direct historical ties to the Third Reich to power in Ukraine? And while there are no good choices in the upcoming U.S. election, the guy who liberals want to bring to power is lead architect of this move. Cue the Sex Pistols .

[Jul 31, 2020] Crazy Nancy want to be new Senator McCarthy

Abusing prescription drugs at such an advanced age greatly increases probability of hallucinations
Jul 31, 2020 | www.msn.com

Pelosi upbraids counterintel chief in private briefing over Russian meddling

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top House Democrats admonished the country's top counterintelligence official during a classified election security briefing Friday, accusing him of keeping Americans in the dark about the details of Russia's continued interference in the 2020 campaign. Pelosi hinted at the conflict upon emerging from the briefing Friday morning, saying she thought the administration was "withholding" evidence of foreign election meddling.

[Jul 30, 2020] U.S. Officials Disseminate Disinformation About 'Virus Disinformation'

Notable quotes:
"... Associated Press ..."
"... OneWorld.press ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
Jul 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

U.S. Officials Disseminate Disinformation About 'Virus Disinformation' Getald , Jul 29 2020 17:44 utc | 1

In another round of their anti-Russian disinformation campaign 'U.S. government officials' claim that some websites loosely connected to Russia are spreading 'virus disinformation'.

However, no 'virus disinformation' can be found on those sites.

The Associated Press as well as the New York Times were briefed by the 'officials' and provided write ups.

AP : US officials: Russia behind spread of virus disinformation

Two Russians who have held senior roles in Moscow's military intelligence service known as the GRU have been identified as responsible for a disinformation effort meant to reach American and Western audiences, U.S. government officials said. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The information had previously been classified, but officials said it had been downgraded so they could more freely discuss it. Officials said they were doing so now to sound the alarm about the particular websites and to expose what they say is a clear link between the sites and Russian intelligence.

Between late May and early July, one of the officials said, the websites singled out Tuesday published about 150 articles about the pandemic response, including coverage aimed either at propping up Russia or denigrating the U.S.

Among the headlines that caught the attention of U.S. officials were "Russia's Counter COVID-19 Aid to America Advances Case for Détente," which suggested that Russia had given urgent and substantial aid to the U.S. to fight the pandemic, and "Beijing Believes COVID-19 is a Biological Weapon," which amplified statements by the Chinese.

The first mentioned piece, Russia's Counter-COVID Aid To America Advances The Case For A New Detente , is by the well known author Andrew Korybko, a U.S. political analyst living in Moscow. It was published at OneWorld.press . The essay discussed the Russian Coronavirus aid flown in early April from Russia to the U.S. The analyst concludes that such aid can be seen as the beginning of a new détente between the U.S. and Russia.

There is zero 'virus disinformation' in the Korybko piece. The aid flight did happen and was widely reported. In a response to the allegations the proprietors of O neWorld point out that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a recent Q&A also alluded to a new détente with Russia. Was that also 'virus disinformation'?

The second piece the 'officials' pointed out, Beijing believes COVID-19 is a biological weapon , was written In March by Lucas Leiroz, a "research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro". It is an exaggerating analysis of the comments and questions a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry had made about the possible sources of the Coronavirus.

The original spokesperson quote is in the piece. Referring to additional sources the author's interpretation may go a bit beyond the quote's meaning. But it is certainly not 'virus disinformation' to raise the same speculative question about the potential sources of the virus which at that time many others were also asking.

The piece was published by InfoBRICS.org, a "BRICS information portal" which publishes in the languages of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). It is presumably financed by some or all of those countries.

Another website the 'U.S. officials' have pointed out is InfoRos.ru which publishes in Russian and English. The AP notes of it:

A headline Tuesday on InfoRos.ru about the unrest roiling American cities read "Chaos in the Blue Cities," accompanying a story that lamented how New Yorkers who grew up under the tough-on-crime approach of former Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg "and have zero street smarts" must now "adapt to life in high-crime urban areas."

Another story carried the headline of "Ukrainian Trap for Biden," and claimed that "Ukrainegate" -- a reference to stories surrounding Biden's son Hunter's former ties to a Ukraine gas company -- "keeps unfolding with renewed vigor."

U.S. officials have identified two of the people believed to be behind the sites' operations. The men, Denis Valeryevich Tyurin and Aleksandr Gennadyevich Starunskiy, have previously held leadership roles at InfoRos but have also served in a GRU unit specializing in military psychological intelligence and maintain deep contacts there, the officials said.

InfoRos calls itself a 'news agency' and has some rather boring general interest stuff on its site. But how is its writing in FOX News style about unrest in U.S. cities and about Biden's escapades in the Ukraine 'virus disinformation'? I fail to find any on that site.

In 2018 some "western intelligence agency" told the Washington Post , without providing any evidence, that InfoRos is related to the Russian military intelligence service GU (formerly GRU):

Unit 54777 has several front organizations that are financed through government grants as public diplomacy organizations but are covertly run by the GRU and aimed at Russian expatriates, the intelligence officer said. Two of the most significant are InfoRos and the Institute of the Russian Diaspora.

So InfoRos is getting some public grants and was allegedly previously run by two people who before that worked for the GU. What does that say about the current state and the content it provides? Nothing.

The NYT adds that hardly anyone is reading the websites the 'U.S. officials' pointed out but that their content is at times copied by more prominent aggregator sites:

"What we have seen from G.R.U. operations is oftentimes the social media component is a flop, but the narrative content that they write is shared more broadly through the niche media ecosystem," said Renee DiResta, a research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory, who has studied the G.R.U. and InfoRos ties and propaganda work.

There are plenty of sites who copy content from various outlets and reproduce it under their name. But that does not turn whatever they publish into disinformation.

All the pieces mentioned by AP and NYT and attributed to the 'Russian' sites are basically factual and carry no 'virus disinformation'. That makes the 'U.S.officials' claims that they do such the real disinformation campaign.

And the AP and NYT are willingly falling for it.

People being prepared for Russia having the worlds first covid19 vaccine, the US will of course say it was stolen from them. Infantile politicians create infantile press to feed infantile articles to adult children. Critical thinking skills do not exist in the US population.

vk , Jul 29 2020 17:44 utc | 2

There's a corporativist aspect to all of this.

The development of propagation of information/disinformation through the internet eroded the power of the old newspapers/news agencies. It's not that this or that particular website is getting more views, but that the web of communications - the the imperialistic blunders + decline of capitalism post-2008 -, as a whole, weakened what seemed to be an unshakeable trust on the MSM (the very fact that this term exists already is historical evidence of their loss of power).

And this process manifests itself not only in loss of power, but also loss of money: this is particularly evident in the social media, where Facebook (Whatsapp + Facebook proper) and Google are beginning to siphon advertisement money from both TV and the traditional newspapers (printed press). When those traditional printed newspapers went digital, they behaved badly, by using paywalls - this marketing blunder only accelerated their decline in readership and thus further advertisement money, generating a vicious cycle for them.

The loss of influence of public opinion for the MSM also inaugurated another very important societal shift: the middle class' loss of monopoly over opinion and formation of opinion. Historically, it was the role of the middle class to be highly educated, to go to academia (college) and, most importantly, to daily read the newspapers while eating the breakfast. The middle class was the class of the intellectuals by definition, thus served as the clerical class of the capitalist class, the priests of capitalism. With the popularization of the internet, the smartphone and social media, this sanctity was broken or, at least, begun to deteriorate. We can attest this class conflict phenomenon by studying the rise of the term "expert" as a pejorative one. In the West's case, this shift begun through the far-right side of the political spectrum, but the shift is there.

The popularization of what was once a privilege is nothing new in capitalism. The problem here is that capitalism depends on infinite growth to merely exist (i.e. it can't survive on zero growth, it is mathematically impossible), so it has to "monetize" what still isn't monetize in order to find/create more vital space (Lebensraum - a term coined by the hyper-capitalist Nazis) for its expansion and thus survival. Hence the popularization of college education in the USA (then in Europe). Hence the popularization of daily news through the internet/social media. This process, of course, has its positives and negatives (as is the case with every dialectical process) - the fall of the MSM is one of the positives.

So, in fact, when the likes of AP, Reuters, NYT, WaPo, Guardian, Fox, CNN spread disinformation against "alt-media", they are really just protecting their market share - the fact that it implies in suppression of freedom of speech and to mass disinformation and, ultimately, to war and destruction, is merely collateral damage of the business they operate in. They are, after all, capitalist enterprises above all.

bevin , Jul 29 2020 18:16 utc | 3
Excellent analysis, as always, by b. And vk's points are very pertinent too. One tiny quibble: I doubt that the Nazis coined, though they certainly popularised, the term lebensraum.
There is an air of desperation about these campaigns against "Russian" "disinformation" massive changes are occurring, and, because they are so vast, they are moving relatively slowly.
The old media model, now totally outdated, was the first thing to fall. Now capitalism itself is collapsing as a result of the primary contradiction that, left to itself, the marketplace will solve all problems.
As Washington, where magical thinking is sovereign, is demonstrating, left to itself the hidden hand will bring only misery, famine, death and the Apocalypse. This was once very well understood, as a brief look at the history of the founding of the UN will show, now it is the subject of frantic denial by capitalism's priesthood who have grown to enjoy the glitter and sensuality of life in a brothel. It is a sign of their mental decay that they can do no better than to blame Russians.
jayc , Jul 29 2020 18:23 utc | 4
One should presume the anonymous officials responsible for this ground-breaking report (sarc) are close to the various "combatting Russian disinformation" NGOs. They are merely living up to the mission statements of their benefactors. AP and NYTimes are being unprofessional and spreading fake news by failing to reveal their sources. It's mind-numbing - the BS one must wade through.
donkeytale , Jul 29 2020 18:42 utc | 5
VK @ 2

Good point however with one glaring contradiction in your thinking.

You make valid a very criticism of capitalism yet you tend to applaud Chinese capitalist growth (although you tend to deny Chinese capitalist growth is capitalist, a feat of breathtaking magical thinking).

The great Chinese wealth is fully 75% invested in bubblicious real estate valuations of non-commercial real estate built on a mountain of construction debt. Sound familiar?

The irony is Chinese growth since 2008 has been goosed along entirely by the very same financialized hyper capitalist traits as US: great gobs of debt creating supply-side "growth", huge amounts of middle wealth tied to asset inflated bubbles, and of course the resulting income and wealth inequality that rivals US inequality and continues to increase over time.

I snorted coffee out my nose when Gruff tried to totally excuse Chinese income inequality for being only slightly less than US level....how about the truth? Chinese inequality is heinous, only slightly less than the also heinous US level.

The diseased working class in China only has an an arm and two legs hacked off while the diseased US working class is fully quadriplegic. Much, much better to be a fucked over by globalization Chinese citizen! Lmao

psychohistorian , Jul 29 2020 19:19 utc | 6
@ b who ended his posting with
"
And the AP and NYT are willingly falling for it.
"

Sorry b, but AP and NYT are active participants in the disinformation campaign of failing empire and are not falling for anything

The folks that are falling for it are the American public that has lost its ability to discriminate with the fire hose volume of lies told to them on a daily basis.

Empire is in the process of defeating itself which is the only safe way of ending the tyranny of global private finance. I commend China and Russia for having the patience and fortitude to hold the safe space for the dysfunctional social contract having private control of the lifeblood of human commerce to self destruct.

JohnH , Jul 29 2020 19:21 utc | 7
This is SO hilarious! The propagandists are worried about Russian virus dis-information when most dis-information has come from the US government in the person of Trump and from the CDC, which spent months discrediting the effectiveness of face masks!!!

Theses propagandists need to get real jobs dealing with real world problems.

JohnH , Jul 29 2020 19:21 utc | 8
This is SO hilarious! The propagandists are worried about Russian virus dis-information when most dis-information has come from the US government in the person of Trump and from the CDC, which spent months discrediting the effectiveness of face masks!!!

Theses propagandists need to get real jobs dealing with real world problems.

jason , Jul 29 2020 19:25 utc | 9
there has been no national response to coronavirus but there must be a national acceptance that this national non-response is China's fault. and any sources reporting truthfully about the US or disseminating statements easily found elsewhere, as long as they are Russian, Chinese, Venezuelan, Cuban, Iranian, etc., is pure disinformation. How brittle and weak the US is. Where's the Pericles to say to the Spartans, "enter our city and inspect our defenses"? The US is a nation of heavily-armed mice and sheep.

btw, the China love on display around here is pretty funny. in that the Chinese government has mounted a national response to a very serious threat, China is a nation in a way that the US is not. There is no US or we would not have 50 states doing different things in response to the corona outbreak. the US is already dead. But China is a thoroughly authoritarian capitalist state. they are who they are in a dialectic competition with the US and other capitalist powers, not because of some Maoist-Confucian amalgam that inspires such wisdom in their brilliant leaders, who are just as quick to destroy their environment for capitalist gain as anyone on this planet is. The decline of the US will not make China or Russia or any "emerging" power less authoritarian or violent. au quite the contraire. They are Shylocks who will try to better instruction.

However, none of this is of concern to people in the US, whose only concern is the Nazi spawn who've been running "the West" for much longer than the last 75 years. but it's time to kill the bitch, not let it keep screwing us and breeding.

div> Russia's rush to have the first COVID vaccine will be viewed by the propagandists as just another evil attempt by Putin to embarrass the US. Should it prove safe and effective, you can bet that it will be banned in USA, because anything Russian is by definition bad.
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/russia-hopes-register-worlds-first-covid-19-vaccine-aug-12

Posted by: JohnH , Jul 29 2020 19:30 utc | 10

Russia's rush to have the first COVID vaccine will be viewed by the propagandists as just another evil attempt by Putin to embarrass the US. Should it prove safe and effective, you can bet that it will be banned in USA, because anything Russian is by definition bad.
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/russia-hopes-register-worlds-first-covid-19-vaccine-aug-12

Posted by: JohnH | Jul 29 2020 19:30 utc | 10

Clueless Joe , Jul 29 2020 19:46 utc | 11
As others already said, this is a bit rich, considering that virus disinformation comes from Trump himself, both live and on Twitter, quoting genuine hacks and megalomaniac doctors, depending on the week.
Reality check: Russians will be able to travel across the world way before Americans, for obvious healthcare reasons.
dh , Jul 29 2020 19:50 utc | 12
@2 I would think adblocking has a lot to do with it too. I'm always surprised that it has been allowed to continue.
moon , Jul 29 2020 20:13 utc | 13
Posted by: bevin | Jul 29 2020 18:16 utc | 3

Bevin, I agree, I once had a short exchange on Mondoweiss about the term Lebensraum, it had been used in some type of marketing by my favorite Swizz supermarket. Which then, apparently caused an uproar. The term Lebensraum on its own is rather innocent. Leben (life) Raum (space), a noun compound. Context matters. And I am sure I checked it, and Micros definitively did not use it in any type of world conquering settler context. I haven't stumbled yet across a Micros supermarket anywhere outside Switzerland, ;)

Here is link to the German Wiki entry via Google translate:
https://tinyurl.com/Wikipedia-Lebensraum

vk , Jul 29 2020 20:24 utc | 14
@ Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 29 2020 18:42 utc | 5; Posted by: jason | Jul 29 2020 19:25 utc | 9

Err... this post is not about China.

I think you are the rabid ideologues seeing ghosts, not me.

Perimetr , Jul 29 2020 20:34 utc | 15
AGREE with psychohistorian @ 6

The NTT no longer qualifies as "the paper of record". More like toilet paper if nothing better can be found.

Perimetr , Jul 29 2020 20:35 utc | 16
apologies, meant NYT, i.e. New York Times
barovsky , Jul 29 2020 20:38 utc | 17
I'm under the impression that Info Ros is a Russian government-funded, supported, backed, site, it certainly looks like it and its reportage is decidedly 'neutral'.
donkeytale , Jul 29 2020 20:40 utc | 18
VK @ 14

Actually my comment illustrated the inconsistency of your critique of capitalism post-2008 but nice slide away. Two thumbs up. Way up.

blum , Jul 29 2020 20:41 utc | 19
This is SO hilarious! The propagandists are worried about Russian virus dis-information when most dis-information has come from the US government in the person of Trump and from the CDC, which spent months discrediting ...
Posted by: JohnH | Jul 29 2020 19:21 utc | 8

This is close to my overall take on matters. But I wouldn't put so much emphasis on face masks but on something along the lines of Covid is notthing but a flu. Face masks were initially discussed quite controversially everywhere.

For Georgio Agamben too, strictly a favorite of mine, it was simply another State of Exception too. Suppressive biopolitics:
https://www.journal-psychoanalysis.eu/coronavirus-and-philosophers/

************

Were it gets interesting is here:
A report published last month by a second, nongovernmental organization, Brussels-based EU DisinfoLab, examined links between InfoRos and One World to Russian military intelligence. The researchers identified technical clues tying their websites to Russia and identified some financial connections between InfoRos and the government.

Gotta add that institution to my link list collection on matters.
EU disinfo Lab
https://www.disinfo.eu/publications/how-two-information-portals-hide-their-ties-to-the-russian-news-agency-inforos

They have a competitor which seems Bruxelles based too, Patrick Armstrong alerted me to a while ago:
https://euvsdisinfo.eu/
EUvsDisinfo is the flagship project of the European External Action Service's East StratCom Task Force

************

But yes, on first sight InfoRos seems to be neatly aligned with US alt-Right-Media in basic outlook. More than with the US MSM.

And now I first have to read what has been on Andrew Korybko's mind lately. ;)

blum , Jul 29 2020 20:42 utc | 20

sorry didn't close html tag.
uncle tungsten , Jul 29 2020 21:20 utc | 21
Integrity Initiative strikes again. AP and NYT rush faithfully to print. Journalist gets an extra dime.
Rutherford82 , Jul 29 2020 22:13 utc | 22
Many Americans of all walks of life do not trust their own government, yet most people here seem to have faith that their media outlets are telling the truth. How do you break through to the public that has utter faith in whatever newspaper or television channel they prefer and highlight the lies in a way which gains real traction?

I believe it takes leadership, which, for Americans, mean celebrities have to endorse the idea or it likely won't be taken seriously. This cult of celebrity is mirrored on social media platforms, where millions flock to be a part of some beautiful person's beautiful photograph or some known personalities acceptable opinion du jour.

There is a great bond gripping the minds of American media consumers. They have trained their entire lives to worship at the cult of celebrity and this is the key to breaking the entire media landscape down for them.

This also is the key to unlocking the voices of those who know better with regards to media lies, but keep silent out of fear.

Will a Joe Rogan or Tucker Carlson be able to break the spell? I think it will never happen based on how Hollywood gatekeeps celebrity and based on how hopelessly apathetic most are to Julian Assange.

Ben Barbour , Jul 29 2020 22:36 utc | 23
Lol I write for One World. I'm an American who has never had a piece edited or been told what to write. I was allowed to write a piece about Russia where I was critical of their policy of backing the STC in Yemen (I thought it was bad to divide Yemen). No one makes anybody tow any specific line. I decided not to publish my piece on Russia and the STC in Yemen because I didn't find the topic interesting enough, but I was 100% allowed to be critical of Russia.

If it's a GRU outfit then it's a bad one.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jul 29 2020 23:14 utc | 24
Lol I write for One World. I'm an American who has never had a piece edited or been told what to write.
...
Posted by: Ben Barbour | Jul 29 2020 22:36 utc | 23

Is it possible that you're just the in-house joke at OW?
If they don't care that you'd write "tow" instead of "toe" or that you're too lazy/thoughtless to reproduce the full name of the entity for which STC is an acronym, before using the acronym, then it suggests that One World's Editorial Standards are as lax as your own :-)

Jen , Jul 29 2020 23:29 utc | 25
"... Two Russians who have held senior roles in Moscow's military intelligence service known as the GRU have been identified as responsible for a disinformation effort meant to reach American and Western audiences, U.S. government officials said. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly ..."

Of course GRU agents always work in pairs, guided only by the mysterious telepathic powers of the Russian President and no-one or nothing else, as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov did in Salisbury in March 2018 when they supposedly tried to assassinate or send a warning to Sergei Skripal, and as Dmitri Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoy did in London in November 2006 when they apparently put polonium in a pot of tea served to Alexander Litvinenko in full view of patrons and staff at a hotel restaurant. It's as if each agent carries only half a brain and each half is connected to its complement by the corpus callosum that is Lord Vlademort Putin's thoughts beaming oing-yoing-yoing-like through the atmosphere until they find their targets.

And of course US government officials always speak on condition of anonymity.

As Agence Presse News puts it:

"... The information had previously been classified, but officials said it had been downgraded so they could more freely discuss it. Officials said they were doing so now to sound the alarm about the particular websites and to expose what they say is a clear link between the sites and Russian intelligence ..."

So if US government officials can now freely discuss declassified news, why do they insist on being anonymous? This would be the sort of news announced at a US national press club meeting with Matt Lee in the front row asking awkward and discomfiting questions.

norecovery , Jul 29 2020 23:35 utc | 26
The malicious cultivation (including Gain of Function research) and implantation of this biowarfare agent (and other ones such as Swine Fever) by the U.S. Intelligence services in various places around the world (especially in China and Iran), the intentional faulty responses and deceptive statistics administered by the monopoly-controlled medical establishment, the feigned inability to provide adequate testing, care, and treatment, along with planned economic destruction as a means of restoring investor losses and control of populations through stifling of dissent, are at the heart of the deflection and projection of blame. That broadly-based subject is barely discussed in alternative media and is totally obfuscated in MSM, because the "denier-debunkers" dispute the possibility of such extreme malice existing in our institutions, in spite of previous experience with events such as 9/11 and the '08 financial crisis.
Hoarsewhisperer , Jul 29 2020 23:48 utc | 27
...
So if US government officials can now freely discuss declassified news, why do they insist on being anonymous?
...
Posted by: Jen | Jul 29 2020 23:29 utc | 25

Precisely.
My guess is that they don't know when to quit.
and/or
They embrace the Mythbusters motto...
"If a thing's worth doing, it's worth overdoing."

Benson Barbour , Jul 29 2020 23:54 utc | 28
"Is it possible that you're just the in-house joke at OW?
If they don't care that you'd write "tow" instead of "toe" or that you're too lazy/thoughtless to reproduce the full name of the entity for which STC is an acronym, before using the acronym, then it suggests that One World's Editorial Standards are as lax as your own :-)"

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 29 2020 23:14 utc | 24

Fair point on tow vs toe. That's why editing exists when writing articles. As for the STC part, that is common knowledge if you follow basic geopolitics. When making a post in a comment thread, should I write out "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" before using the acronym ISIS? If I am posting in a comment thread about Iran, do I need to write out "Mujahedin-e Khalq" instead of just using MEK?

It just displays a massive level of ignorance on your part. Nice try though.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jul 30 2020 0:29 utc | 29
...
It just displays a massive level of ignorance on your part. Nice try though.
Posted by: Benson Barbour | Jul 29 2020 23:54 utc | 28

Thanks. Do you realise that you've just wasted 50+ words explaining why BB didn't bother writing the 3 words that STC stands for?

VietnamVet , Jul 30 2020 0:59 utc | 30
Global media moguls are blaming the 1,000 American deaths per day from the Wuhan coronavirus on Donald Trump to finally get him out of the way. But they are silent on their and the Democrats complicity in the death toll due to the lack of a national public health system or the funding to pay for it.

The USA is going to hell. A scapegoat is needed. For the media and Democrats, Russia is to blame. Anybody else rather than themselves, the true culprits. Donald Trump blames China for the pandemic if he acknowledges it at all but that is where all of Tim Cook's iPhones are made. Blaming China is globalist heresy.

Jackrabbit , Jul 30 2020 1:03 utc | 31
norecovery @Jul29 23:35 #26

I think there's a reasonable case to be made that this is what has occurred.

And, if true, it is covered up by sly suggestions that nCov-19 was man-made with hints or a smug attitude that convey the message that China created the virus. As well as a virtual black-out in Western media of Chinese suggestions that the virus may have started in USA or been planted in Wuhan.

But then, I already stand accused of attributing magical powers of self-interested foresight and boldness to US Deep-State due to my belief that Trump was their choice to lead USA in 2016. And so I expect you're theory will receive the same derision. Yet Empires have not been shy about killing millions when it was in their interest to do so.

In any case, I've written many times that USA/West's unwillingness to fight the virus has been dressed up as innocent mistakes. Even if the West wasn't the source of the virus they have much to answer for. Yet very few have taken note of the way that USA/West have played the pandemic to advance their interests - from lining the pockets of Big Pharma to blaming China for their own "incompetence" (a misnomer: the power-elite are very competent at advancing their interests!).

Inconvenient Truths:


!!
Kay Fabe , Jul 30 2020 1:29 utc | 32
It seems disinformation has been redefined to mean information that counters someone else's (yours) belief. We pretend to be in an Age of Reason but really, we have just replaced religious beliefs with secular beliefs. Science has been taken over by pseudoscientists that have replaced priests. The conflict of interest by the science/priests who profit from their deceptions is beyond criminal.

To know what is the truth you just have to look at whats being censored. Nobody being censored for supporting mask mandates, claiming vaccines are safe, and not questioning the blatant data manipulation of COVID cases that anyone with an open mind and IQ of 100 , and who reads the data, definitions and studies can see through.

It seems people on both sides of the fence have replaced their brains with their chosen ideology. Its like watching a Christian, Jew and Muslim arguing which is the best or true religion. No point in it.

james , Jul 30 2020 1:33 utc | 33
thanks b!

so, lets say GRU agents are feeding russian propaganda sites... how does that compare to all the CIA-FBI agents and has been hacks working for the western msm?? seems a bit rich for the pot to be calling a kettle black, even if they are lying thru their teeth! i am sure if someone did a story on how many CIA - m16 people are presently working with the western msm, they would have a story with some legs... this shite from anonymous usa gov't officials is just that - shite..

@ Ben, or Benson Barbour .. thanks for your comments!

Prof K , Jul 30 2020 1:50 utc | 34
Anyone notice that the Democrats still haven't presented any plan whatsoever to flatten the curve in the US? They are just as bad as Trump.
Seer , Jul 30 2020 1:55 utc | 35
Ben Barbou @ 23
Lol I write for One World. I'm an American who has never had a piece edited or been told what to write. I was allowed to write a piece about Russia where I was critical of their policy of backing the STC in Yemen (I thought it was bad to divide Yemen). No one makes anybody tow any specific line. I decided not to publish my piece on Russia and the STC in Yemen because I didn't find the topic interesting enough, but I was 100% allowed to be critical of Russia.

There's such a thing as self-censorship. Mainstream US news has effectively brought up folks to be this way: stay in line or become unemployed- doesn't need to be stated. Not aimed at you, but it needs to be said (und understood).

Ben Barbour , Jul 30 2020 3:14 utc | 36
@35 That's a very good point. I completely agree. Self-censorship and group think are two of the biggest problems in modern journalism/analysis. One World consistently publishes pro-Pakistan and pro-China articles. When I was first sending them submissions, I did a piece on US vs China in Sudan and South Sudan. I considered omitting China's culpability in escalating the conflicts, and instead focus on laying the blame squarely at the feet of the US. In the end I told the truth about both countries' imperialist escalations (to the best of my ability).

There is a lot of incentive to self-censor at just about any outlet. It's more comfortable to fit in with a site's brand.

In the case of the Russia-STC article, I really just found the subject matter to be thin. Russia's support of the STC is mostly just diplomatic. Not a lot to write about.

AntiSpin , Jul 30 2020 3:55 utc | 37
Think you can't possibly be more outraged than you already are?

Try this --
The Government's Weapon Against Reality Winner: COVID-19
By John Kiriakou, Reader Supported News
27 July 20
https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/64239-the-governments-weapon-against-reality-winner-covid-19

One Too Many , Jul 30 2020 4:09 utc | 38
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 30 2020 0:29 utc | 29

Google or duckduckgo "STC in Yemen". First hit, it's not that hard.

J W , Jul 30 2020 5:39 utc | 39
Posted by: james | Jul 30 2020 1:33 utc | 33

Small wonder that food from Anglozionists is so bad, they love being in the kitchen but they can't stand the heat.

ak74 , Jul 30 2020 5:40 utc | 40
The Americans are increasingly unhinged in their spittle-flecked accusations against not only Russia, but also China, Iran, Venezuela, etc.

It's so pathetic as to be humorous.

Underlying the USA's Two Minutes of Hate campaigns, however, is a deeper disease that defines Americans as a nation and as a people.

Namely, Americans have an inbred fundamentalist belief in their own Moral Superiority as the Beacon of Liberty, Land of the Free, blah, blah, blah--no matter how many nations they have bombed back to the Stone Age, invaded, colonized, regime changed, sanctioned, or economically raped in the name of Freedom and Democracy™.

Donald Trump is half correct.

The United States of America is truly a great nation alright--but great only in terms of its deceit, great in terms of its delusions, and great in terms of the horrors that it has inflicted on much of the world.

Comparing America to the Nazis would be a high insult ... to Nazi Germany, as the Third Reich only lasted about 12 years, while the American Reich has unfortunately lasted well over 200 years and gotten away with its crimes against humanity by possessing what are likely the greatest propaganda machine and political deception in human history: the American Free Press and the world historic lie called "American Freedom."

Harold Pinter in his 2005 Nobel Literature Prize speech briefly but powerfully exposes this heart of American darkness:

"The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road. Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self love. It's a winner."

https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/2005/pinter/25621-harold-pinter-nobel-lecture-2005/

Blue Dotterel , Jul 30 2020 6:23 utc | 41
And the disinformation in the USA continues.
https://www.rt.com/usa/496578-fauci-coronavirus-eye-protection/

"Top US immunologist Dr Anthony Fauci is now saying citizens are not "complete" in protecting themselves from the Covid-19 pandemic unless they go beyond wearing a mask and add in eye protection like goggles, too."

More provocation from the oligarchy. Now, that masks are becoming less controversial, time to step up the provocation, division and control.

Fauci is also behind the anti-hydroxychloroquine propaganda, as well, that even b has swallowed. This, despite it being used effectively in other countries. All of this simply because Trump supports it (ergo, it must be bad) and Big Pharma (who control Fauci,
CDC abd WHO) can't profit significantly from its use.

Of course vacines are still an issue:
https://www.globalresearch.ca/kennedy-jr-warns-parents-about-danger-using-largely-untested-covid-vaccines-kids/5719566

"During the course of the debate, Kennedy also talked about the regular vaccines most people take, from Hepatitis B to the flu shot, emphasizing that no proper testing had ever been done, which is mandatory for any other medication. Vaccines "are the only medical product that does not have to be safety-tested against a placebo," he explained."

Kennedy said

"it's not hypothetical that vaccines cause injury, and that injuries are not rare. The vaccine courts have paid out four billion dollars" over the past three decades, "and the threshold for getting back into a vaccine court and getting a judgment – [the Department of Health and Human Services] admits that fewer than one percent of people who are injured ever even get to court."

So, how well has the Russian vaccine been tested? Does anyone know?


Blue Dotterel , Jul 30 2020 6:40 utc | 42
It is interesting how USAians are being played by the oligarchy.

On foreign policy, the dems and reps are in basic agreement and the propaganda is to bring the masses together to hate Russia, Chaina and anyone else who the Western (US) oligarchy has targeted.

Domestically, unity is the enemy of the oligarchy. The masses must be controlled through division and diversion, so the dems and reps play good cop, bad cop (bad and good being relative to the supporter) to ensure the masses are diverted from important oligarch issues to issues of irrelevance to the oligarchs, but easily manipulated emotionnally by the oligarchs for the beast.

It seems so obvious, and yet, works so well.

vato , Jul 30 2020 7:31 utc | 43
Posted by: VietnamVet | Jul 30 2020 0:59 utc | 30

"[...]Donald Trump blames China for the pandemic if he acknowledges it at all but that is where all of Tim Cook's iPhones are made. Blaming China is globalist heresy."


Then why do you phrase it the "Wuhan coronavius" yourself?

Jams O'Donnell , Jul 30 2020 7:59 utc | 44
Posted by: ak74 | Jul 30 2020 5:40 utc | 40

Thanks for that link.

Mark2 , Jul 30 2020 9:32 utc | 45
For those interested in corona virus truth,
I am interested in the question -- - was it spread by negligence or deliberately?
That question must be relivant to this debate on MOA.
I ask this now becouse -- --
Tonight on bbc 'panorama' there investigating the spread of the virus from Hospital to care homes !! I'm told there is some pretty shocking information exposed.
Some may wish to catch that prog. Heads up.

I just add an obversation. -- western psychopathic disinformation and projection has led to a confused public. A public deciding to disengage with politics. To the gain of the psychopaths.

H.Schmatz , Jul 30 2020 10:41 utc | 46
A new candidate to the demonization and disinfo operations has been added...Germany...which has been labeled "delinquent" by the POTUS...in a clear exercise of projection...

https://www.rt.com/news/496584-germany-withdrawl-troops-gas/

Of course, to not be insulted or labeled delinquent, you must act as these other countries enumerated by Southcom commander, to work for the US ( not your country...) and moreover pay for it....Typical mafia extortion, isn´t it?

https://twitter.com/kopamaros/status/1285292016885215237

uncle tungsten , Jul 30 2020 10:49 utc | 47
norecovery #26
That broadly-based subject is barely discussed in alternative media and is totally obfuscated in MSM, because the "denier-debunkers" dispute the possibility of such extreme malice existing in our institutions, in spite of previous experience with events such as 9/11 and the '08 financial crisis.

YES to that and thank you for that post. That the institutions of state and private sectors are the incubators and propagators of extreme malice is axiomatic in the UKUSAI and its five eyed running dogs is beyond doubt. They attack and scorn any critic or unbeliever. They assault and pillory truth speakers and those who might question 'their narrative'.

Then if all that fails the hunt them down and make preposterous claims about them being anti semitic of anti religion or anti their nation.

Mendacity is the currency of the permanent state and its minions and they need to be outed and shamed and challenged at every opportunity.

uncle tungsten , Jul 30 2020 11:00 utc | 48
VietnamVet #30

Wuhan coronavirus you say?

Fort Detrick coronavirus would be on the mark and as you most likely know, you cannot trust the USA lying eyes once you have served them in their killing fields.

Even that right wing ex special forces advocate Steve Pieczenic testifies to the fact of a deadly virus in USA in November/December plus his beloved bloggers say way earlier than that around Maryland etc. Then there is the small problem of the 'vaping' illness that generated lots of pneumonia like fatalities in June/July. And then the instant closure of Fort Detrick due to its leaking all over the place through a totally inadequate waste water treatment plant that couldn't scrub a turd let alone a virus.

Fort Detrick Virus is closer to the reality imo.

William Gruff , Jul 30 2020 11:00 utc | 49
The problem with presstitutes, possibly including Ben Barbour , (disclaimer: I've never read any media products that particular individual generated) goes beyond the point made by Seer @35 . To be sure, there is no chance that a presstitute would bite the hand that feeds it, but there is more depth to the problem of why they all suck so badly, at least the ones in the US. While journalism degrees are the university equivalent of Special Education (nowadays referred to as "Exceptional Student Education" , which is very fitting for students from such an "exceptional" nation), they still prepare the future presstitute to understand that their capitalist employers have interests beyond their immediately apparent ones. That is, more important to a capitalist employer than tomorrow's sales and profits is the preservation of capitalism itself.

But the problem is deeper still. The presstitute that is successfully employed by a capitalist enterprise will invariably be one that knows not to criticize the employer's business, the capitalist system it depends upon, and the empire that improves that employer's profitability. More importantly, that successful hireling will additionally have been brainwashed from infancy that all of these things are good and necessary aspects of the modern world that need to be ideologically defended. The prospective presstitute will be one that not only voluntarily, but eagerly serves its capitalist masters varied interests. After all, when there are plenty of whores to choose from, would you hire one that requires explicit instructions on every last thing you expect from them and just follows those instructions mechanically or the the one that puts effort into figuring out what would please you and delivers that with enthusiasm? Keeping this dynamic in mind will allow one to better understand the capitalist mass media's products.

Steve , Jul 30 2020 11:24 utc | 50
The contempt at which the American ruling class hold their citizens is galling. The US corporate media operates as if their targeted audience are all morons.
moon , Jul 30 2020 11:37 utc | 51
you cannot trust the USA lying eyes once you have served them in their killing fields. ...
Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 30 2020 11:00 utc | 48

that's not a good argument, uncle t. But yes I wondered to to what extent VV or good old VietnamVet has been won over to the Trump diction.

blum , Jul 30 2020 11:39 utc | 52
I wondered to to
I wondered too to what extent VV seemingly has been ...
William Gruff , Jul 30 2020 12:00 utc | 53
Mark2 @45: "...was it [ novel coronavirus] spread by negligence or deliberately?"

Most likely both.

There is evidence to suggest that the virus was circulating in the US prior to it being discovered in China. While it is possible this could have been the results of testing the transmissibility of the virus, it seems more probable that it was an accidental release from Fort Detrick. This would explain the facility being shut down last year. Military facilities are never shut down simply for breaking a few rules but because those rule violations led to something unpleasant.

An accidental release, coupled with the fact that the synthetic origin of the virus would become apparent to scientists worldwide, resulted in a need to quickly establish an alternate explanation for the virus. Since the US was losing its trade war with China, and use of a bioweapon to turn the tide was already gamed out and on the table anyway, the virus (or possibly a very similar strain that had been pre-selected for the attack) was deliberately sprayed around a market in Wuhan.

The CDC and CIA probably thought that the virus was contained in the West and that since it was a surprise to the Chinese it would run rampant there and result in their economy shutting down and their borders being closed, decoupling China from the world. With the Chinese treating the virus as a bio attack and defeating its spread, followed by the virus rampaging through the West, the dynamic changed. Now in order for the virus to decouple China it must become endemic in the West. The Chinese must be made to close their borders in fear of becoming infected from the rest of the world. To make this backup plan a reality, and to get the economies moving again as fast as possible, some western leaders have decided to accelerate the spread in the hopes of quickly developing "herd immunity" . Taking out some retirees whom the capitalists view as a burden on the economy is just some nice icing on the cake.

Mark2 , Jul 30 2020 12:04 utc | 54
@ 51 & @ 52
I'd say not ! I'm confided Vietnam Vet is doing 'balenced' Reporting ! The subject of this post. Take another look at both this post and his comment. A lesson in how to be unbiased but truthfull.
Soooo any one got a definition of fake news.
Mine would be Truth before personal agenda.
oldhippie , Jul 30 2020 12:18 utc | 55
Self censorship works well.

Straight cash payoffs work well too.

CIA has had total control of media for 70 years now. It was a priority when they set up shop.

Mark2 , Jul 30 2020 12:19 utc | 56
William Gruff @ 53
I think yours is just about the most clear and concise summary of this whole virus catastrophe that I have seen so far. And that's a hell of a statement !
Unrelated I wonder what would have happened if the Chinese whistle blower had not blown the whistle ? Now that's one to ponder ? As bad as this all is world wide, where would be right now ? Dose not bare thinking about.
vig , Jul 30 2020 12:21 utc | 57
Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 30 2020 12:04 utc | 54

What are you trying to tell me? Anyone that does not acknowledge the virus originated in China and that China didn't respond as fast as it could have? And more polemically: there is some kind of African Marxist heading WHO who obfuscated China's late information to the WHO?

There is a dot of truth in everything. There is also a dot of truth in the fact that Trump or his relevant admin was informed early enough.

Mark2 , Jul 30 2020 12:27 utc | 58
Big @ 57
What ?
jadan , Jul 30 2020 12:35 utc | 59
We've been acquainted with this virus about 7 months or so and it is difficult to separate reliable information from disinformation. We know very little about it, eg, we don't know whether those who recover can be reinfected. Is it like the common cold, against which there is no immunity? We just have to assume that the Trump virus has infected every level of the administration so that there is ignorance and unadulterated stupidity from the lowest level in the ministry of propaganda to the secretary of state and, of course, the president himself currently celebrating the wisdom of an animist/Christian hybrid doctor from Africa spewing the foulest disinformation one can imagine.
vig , Jul 30 2020 12:46 utc | 60
Big @ 57
What ?
Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 30 2020 12:27 utc | 58

babbling: look if this is the good old VV from SST, I wouldn't want to nail him on the usage of Wuhan virus. But on the larger content of his comment, I am wondering.

Full discovery: I entered the US conspiracy universe shortly after 9/11. I'll probably never forget there was this one commenter that completely out of then current preoccupations within the diverse theories, you recall?, suggested that the Chinese were approaching via the Southern borders.

There surely should be a way how the US and Russia

vig , Jul 30 2020 12:48 utc | 61
There surely should be a way how the US and Russia

There surely should be a way how the US and Russia repartition their claims. After all historically the Russian had some type of partly real Yellow threat too ... :)

Mark2 , Jul 30 2020 12:54 utc | 62
Vig @ 60
Thanks for clearing that up. Cheers
Hannibal , Jul 30 2020 12:56 utc | 63
Can probably trace this back to the "integrity initiative" and/ or the Atlantic Council. That's a web worth untangling with transparency.

Spot on James @ 33

One Too Many , Jul 30 2020 13:05 utc | 64
Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 30 2020 12:19 utc | 56

Except the "whistle blower" was not a whistle blower since local, provincial, and nations institutions were already advised or in the process of being advised. Dr Wenliang posted his information in a private chatroom with other medical professionals on December 30th. Timeline of events:

Dec 27 -- Dr. Zhang Jixian, director of the respiratory and critical care medicine department of Hubei Provincial Hospital, files a report to the hospital stating that an unknown pneumonia has developed in three patients and they are not responding to influenza treatment.

Dec 29 -- Hubei Provincial Hospital convened a panel of 10 experts to discuss the now seven cases. Their conclusion that the situation was extraordinary, plus information of two similar cases in other hospitals, prompted the hospital to report directly to the municipal and provincial health authorities.

Dec 30 -- The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission issued an urgent notification to medical institutions under its jurisdiction, ordering efforts to appropriately treat patients with pneumonia of unknown cause.

Dec 31 -- The National Health Commission (NHC) made arrangements in the wee hours, sending a working group and an expert team to Wuhan to guide epidemic response and conduct on-site investigations. The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission released a briefing on its website about the pneumonia outbreak in the city, confirming 27 cases and telling the public not to go to enclosed public places or gather. It suggested wearing face masks when going out. The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission released briefings on the pneumonia outbreak in accordance with the law. WHO's Country Office in the PRC relayed the information to the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office, then to the international level headquarters.

Jan 1 -- The NHC set up a leading group to determine the emergency response to the epidemic. The group convened meetings on a daily basis since then.

Jan 2 -- The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) received the first batch of samples of four patients from Hubei Province and began pathogen identification. The NHC came up with a set of guidelines on early discovery, early diagnosis and early quarantine for the prevention and control of the viral pneumonia of unknown cause.

Jan 3 -- Dr. Wenliang signs a statement not to post unsubstantiated rumors.

There's no "whistle blowing" as the information of the cases were already going up the chain of command. These are facts that can be sourced by multiple media outlets. I can't believe this fallacy keeps floating and doesn't flush.

Lurk , Jul 30 2020 13:52 utc | 65
In retrospective analyses, SARS-COV-2 was found in routinely collected samples of European sewage water dating back to at least december 2019. A french doctor reviewed archived medical samples and imagery from patients who had fallen mysteriously ill in the latter half of 2019 and also found that some had been early cases of COVID-19.

The real coronavirus whistle-blower is a doctor in Washington state USA who tested for the virus in Januari 2020 and was silenced by USA medical and federal authorities.

I am afraid that there will never be a sincere investigation into the real cause of the "vaping disease" that caused many deaths from sudden respiratory failure in the USA in the summer of 2019. Tell me again when Ft. Detrick labs was shut down exactly?

Lurk , Jul 30 2020 13:59 utc | 66
@ Hannibal | Jul 30 2020 12:56 utc | 63

Don't forget to mention Mark2's employer, the 77th brigade . We're in an information war , after all.

Piotr Berman , Jul 30 2020 14:00 utc | 67
What are you trying to tell me? Anyone that does not acknowledge the virus originated in China and that China didn't respond as fast as it could have? And more polemically: there is some kind of African Marxist heading WHO who obfuscated China's late information to the WHO?

There is a dot of truth in everything. There is also a dot of truth in the fact that Trump or his relevant admin was informed early enough.

Posted by: vig | Jul 30 2020 12:21 utc | 57

vig repeats widely spread arguments, basically, the "official propaganda" from offices related to an orange-American (excessive time spend on golf courses changes skin color, perhaps in combination with sunscreen, without sunscreen you would get a "redneck look").

1. Origin: somewhat debatable, but any virus has to originate somewhere. Every country was on receiving end of pathogens from other countries.

2. China did not respond as fast as it could have. Now, how fast and effective was USA? One has to note that clusters of fatal lung infections happen regularly, but this is because of mutations that increase impact on health, while separate mutations increase (or decrease) the transmission. Draconian measures are necessary if you get both, but you do not lock cities, provinces, introduce massive quarantine programs until you know that they are necessary. For the same reasons, the response in Western Europe and USA was not as fast as it could have.

3. "African Marxist heading WHO mislead poor naive Americans". What is the budget of American intelligence, and American disease control? Do they collect information, do they have experts? In particular, American authorities knew pretty much what Chinese authorities knew, and they had benefit of several weeks of extra time to devise wise strategy. Giving this benefit to people with limited mental capacities has a limited value. Perhaps China is at fault here too, Pompeo reported about pernicious impact of Chinese Communist Party on PPT meeting in USA, that could have deleterious impact on education and thus on mental capacities.

Pompeo himself may be a victim. He excelled as a West Point student, but if the content of education was crappy, diligence impacted his brain deeper and not for the better. But nobody attempts to blame CCP for that.

vk , Jul 30 2020 14:17 utc | 68
@ Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 30 2020 12:19 utc | 56

It would've changed nothing.

For starters, the "whistleblower" wasn't a whistleblower at all: he thought he had found a resurgence of SARS, not a new pandemic. Secondly, the head of respiratory diseases at the region already was investigating some cases of a "mysterious pneumonia" since end of November or mid-December - so the investigation already was well under way.

Discovering a new disease is not magic: a doctor cannot simply go the market, see a random person, and claim he/she discovered a new virus. Doctors are not gods: they can only diagnose the patients under their care.

The point of discord that the Western MSM capitalized upon was the fact that some random officer from the local police intercepted his private social media and made him sign a letter of reprimand. No Law is ever perfect, and these episodes of false triggers do happen even in Western Democracies.

Little known fact (one which the Western MSM censored) is that the so-called "whistleblower" was a member of the CCP. After knowing the details of the situation (including that the disease was already being investigated), he quickly realized the state-of-the-art and went to the frontlines to fight the pandemic - as any member of the CCP would've done. Revolutionary communist parties have this tradition that comes since the Bolshevik Party, where the leadership always leads by example. The Bolsheviks themselves lost the vast majority of their elite in the Civil War, as they always led in the front (vanguard). Fidel Castro himself led his army in the front when the invasion of the Bay of Pigs begun. So, it is not surprising this doctor, once having the facts on the field, quickly shut up and went to the frontline as a vanguard soldier.

After the whole truth came to the forefront, the Western MSM quickly begun to meltdown over the fake story they fantasized, and the Taiwanese MSM invented a story of some another whistleblower who had discovered the virus "at the end of November". That one never truly gained traction, and silently died out.

But all of this is moot point for the West, because Trump and the other European liberal powers refused to believe either that the virus was real or that it could reach them until February the next year.

But all of this

Den lille abe , Jul 30 2020 14:17 utc | 69
I think it is OK that b nails the US makes yet another display of stupidity.... on the other hand I presume that b also has other things to care about, I mean exposing the US as a "fake" nation is a full time job!
Americans have at least the last 50 years been known for fails, even Churchill commented something like "the Americans will fail numerous times, but eventually they will get it right" well that was back then! Today it is fail upon fail. I know that there must be bright people over there, but it is my sincere impression, that they are a very small minority. Maybe their schooling system has all gone bonkers ?
"3% of all Americans believe the Earth is flat! WTF!!!
America is on a steep slope downward.
Den lille abe , Jul 30 2020 14:31 utc | 70
I am personally not worried much about Covid 19, although I am 63 and live in Sweden, the "black Sheep" in Europe because of our rather lax restrictions, the Swedes themselves are rather good at keeping distance and using common sense.
I am much more worried that the American culture of ignorance, brain farts, stupidity and low IQ media will infest my country further and maybe completely ruin it.
Especially by the junk that comes out of Hollywood, pure Sh*t served nice and hot!
I am happy I know, I have not got to endure further 30 years of this.
Prof K , Jul 30 2020 14:52 utc | 71
A few months ago, b posted a link to a Canadian vlogger who lives in Nanning, China. The vlogger took us on a tour of a so called Wet Market. Here, the vlogger takes us to another Wet Market tour. He does a good job dispelling racist stereotypes and showing real life in China.

https://youtu.be/ppIbzX8JfEw

Mark2 , Jul 30 2020 14:56 utc | 72
One to many @ 64
Thanks ! So there was a group of whistle blowers then. It's down to definitions again. Perhaps mine is a little more loose. But it's of no concern.
For the sake of this excellent thread, perhaps we could all be a little less pedantic. VK ?
cirsium , Jul 30 2020 15:19 utc | 73
@uncle tungsten, 11:00 Jul 30

Also relevant - Crimson Contagion - the pandemic simulation run by the US government from January to August 2019 and was based on an infectious coronavirus coming from a food market in China

PleaseBeleafMe , Jul 30 2020 15:23 utc | 74
@Dla 69,70

Everywhere u go in this world you'll find some version or an "murican" in every country. Even a country like modern first world Switzerland has its "mountain folk".
In my personal experience with Americans I'm most often pleasantly surprised at their levels of sophistication and introspection over their American experiences. An enjoyable and as pleasant a people as anywhere. This may be clouded by mostly meeting these people outside of the US where unless tourists are well educated and travelled and by default more aware of a negative view of their homeland that exists outside of the US. For some reason most of these Americans I've met abroad are decidedly non republican in nature and are mostly
from California and North and North Eastern States. Fellow future Canadians I would call them.
The other side of the coin is when I've travelled to the states. Texas, Florida, Arizona. Whew! What a difference. I've learned that talking politics is impossible and the natives are almost entirely ignorant of anything outside their bubble. Outside of talking points there is no information behind their arguments. Their knowledge of the outside world is incredibly lacking and the view of the US in it is overwhelmingly positive.
It isn't Americans its America and its leadership, its influences, systems and all the other shit that make the US the salad it is. The people r redeemable.

William Gruff , Jul 30 2020 15:34 utc | 75
Calling the professionals doing their jobs in China "whistleblowers" is inaccurate. "Whistleblower" implies revealing information that others are trying to hide. In this case the suggestion is that the Chinese government was trying to hide the outbreak. This is nonsense as the Chinese government was unaware of an outbreak until after the relevant professionals had determined that there was an outbreak. There is no way the Chinese government could have known about an outbreak before the outbreak was identified by the professionals tasked with identifying outbreaks. The only ones who knew about the outbreak before the outbreak occurred were the US "intelligence community" .

[Jul 30, 2020] un gusano sin verg enza

Jul 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

dimitrov , Jul 30 2020 22:04 utc | 26

Roberto is what folks in Latin America would deem is "un gusano sin vergüenza'. A willing neo-colonial lapdog for the ghoulish intelligence agencies. You can disregard this sad waste of matter. The governments of Brasil & Ecuador are willingly allowing their countries to succumb to COVID-19. Bio-genocide, in other words. It's a nightmare.

[Jul 27, 2020] Germany Rejects Trump Bid To Let Russia Back Into G7- 'No Chance Due To Ukraine'

So Merkel and Obama staged the coup and Russia is guilty of consequences.
Jul 27, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

For much of the past year Trump has caused angst among allies by maintaining a consistent position that Russia should be invited back into the Group of Seven (G7), making it as it was prior to 2014, the G-8.

Russia had been essentially booted from the summit as relations with the Obama White House broke down over the Ukraine crisis and the Crimea issue. Trump said in August 2019 that Obama had been "outsmarted" by Putin.

But as recently as May when Germany followed by other countries rebuffed Trump's plans to host the G7 at Camp David, Trump blasted the "very outdated group of countries" and expressed that he planned to invite four additional non-member nations, mostly notably Russia .

... per Reuters :

Germany has rejected a proposal by U.S. President Donald Trump to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin back into the Group of Seven (G7) most advanced economies , German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a newspaper interview published on Monday.

Interestingly enough the Ukraine and Crimea issues were raised in the interview: "But Maas told Rheinische Post that he did not see any chance for allowing Russia back into the G7 as long as there was no meaningful progress in solving the conflict in Crimea as well as in eastern Ukraine," according to the report.

[Jul 27, 2020] The narratives are breaking down: The entire media class will now spend years leading the public on a wild goose chase for Russian collusion and then act like it's no big deal when the whole thing turned out to be completely baseless by Caitlin Johnstone

Jul 27, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

People's old ways of understanding what's going on in the world just aren't holding together anymore.

... ... ...

New Cold War escalations between the U.S.-centralized empire and the unabsorbed governments of China and Russia are going to cause the media airwaves around the planet to become saturated in ever-intensifying propaganda narratives which favor one side or the other and have no interest in honestly telling people the truth about what's going on.

[Jul 27, 2020] Why it is so difficult to understand what's going on in the world

Jul 27, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

It's difficult to understand what's going on in the world because powerful people actively manipulate public understanding of what's going on in the world.

Powerful people actively manipulate public understanding of what's going on in the world because if the public understood what's going on in the world, they would rise up and use their strength of numbers to overthrow the powerful.

The public would rise up and use their strength of numbers to overthrow the powerful if they understood what's going on in their world because then they would understand that the powerful have been exploiting, oppressing, robbing, cheating and deceiving them while destroying the ecosystem, stockpiling weapons of Armageddon and waging endless wars, for no other reason than so that they can maintain and expand their power.

The public do not rise up and use their strength of numbers to overthrow the powerful because they have been successfully manipulated into not wanting to.

[Jul 26, 2020] Cold Wars Profit -

Jul 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Cold Wars & Profit


by Tyler Durden Fri, 07/24/2020 - 02:00 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Craig Murray via ConsortiumNews.com,

If an asteroid runs into the earth, any surviving press will blame it on Russia...

The Guardian a few days ago carried a very strange piece [which has since been removed] under the heading "Stamps celebrating Ukrainian resistance in pictures." The first image displayed a stamp bearing the name of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).

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https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.398.1_en.html#goog_400746718

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.398.1_en.html#goog_29180504 NOW PLAYING

Russian envoy dismisses claims Moscow tried to steal virus vaccine research

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Tliab In Trouble In Re-Election Bid

The UPA was, without any shadow of a doubt, responsible for the slaughter of at least 200,000 Polish civilians; they liquidated whole Polish communities in Volhynia and Galicia, including the women and children. The current Polish government, which is as anti-Russian and pro-NATO as they come, nevertheless has declared this a genocide.

It certainly was an extremely brutal ethnic cleansing. There is no doubt either that at times between 1942 and 1944 the UPA collaborated with the Nazis and collaborated in the destruction of Jews and Gypsies. It is simplistic to describe the UPA as fascist or an extension of the Nazi regime; at times they fought the Nazis, though they collaborated more often.

There is a real sense in which they operated at the level of medieval peasants, simply seizing local opportunities to exterminate rural populations and seize their land and assets, be they Polish, Jew or Gypsy. But on balance any reasonable person would have to conclude that the UPA was an utterly deplorable phenomenon. To publish a celebration of it, disguised as a graphic art piece, without any of this context, is no more defensible than a display of Nazi art with no context.

In fact, The Guardian's very brief text was still worse than no context.

"Ukrainian photographer Oleksandr Kosmach collects 20th-century stamps issued by Ukrainian groups in exile during the Soviet era.

Artists and exiles around the world would use stamps to communicate the horrors of Soviet oppression. "These stamps show us the ideas and values of these people, who they really were and what they were fighting for," Kosmach says."

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That is so misleadingly partial as a description of the art glorifying the UPA movement as to be deeply reprehensible. It does however fit with the anything- goes stoking of Russophobia, which is the mainstay of government and media discourse at the moment. Even at the height of the Cold War, we never saw such a barrage of unprovable accusations leveled at Russia through the media by "security service sources."

Attack on UK Vaccine Research

A whole slew of these were rehearsed by Andrew Marr on his flagship BBC1 morning show. The latest is the accusation that Russia is responsible for a cyber attack on Covid-19 vaccination research. This is another totally evidence-free accusation. But it misses the point anyway.

Andrew Marr, center, in 2014. (Financial Times, Flickr)

The alleged cyber attack, if it happened, was a hack not an attack -- the allegation is that there was an effort to obtain the results of research, not to disrupt research. It is appalling that the U.K. is trying to keep its research results secret rather than share them freely with the world scientific community.

As I have reported before , the U.K. and the USA have been preventing the WHO from implementing a common research and common vaccine solution for Covid-19, insisting instead on a profit driven approach to benefit the big pharmaceutical companies (and disadvantage the global poor).

What makes the accusation that Russia tried to hack the research even more dubious is the fact that Russia had just bought the very research specified. You don't steal things you already own.

Evidence of CIA Hacks

If anybody had indeed hacked the research, we all know it is impossible to trace with certainty the whereabouts of hackers. My VPNs [virtual private networks] are habitually set to India, Australia or South Africa depending on where I am trying to watch the cricket, dodging broadcasting restrictions.

More pertinently, WikiLeaks' Vault 7 release of CIA material showed the specific programs for the CIA in how to leave clues to make a leak look like it came from Russia. This irrefutable evidence that the CIA do computer hacks with apparent Russian "fingerprints" deliberately left, like little bits of Cyrillic script, is an absolutely classic example of a fact that everybody working in the mainstream media knows to be true, but which they all contrive never to mention.

Thus when last week's "Russian hacking" story was briefed by the security services -- that former Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn deployed secret documents on U.K./U.S. trade talks which had been posted on Reddit, after being stolen by an evil Russian who left his name of Grigor in his Reddit handle -- there was no questioning in the media of this narrative. Instead, we had another round of McCarthyite witch-hunt aimed at the rather tired looking Corbyn.

Personally, if the Russians had been responsible for revealing that the Tories are prepared to open up the NHS "market" to big American companies, including ending or raising caps on pharmaceutical prices, I should be very grateful to the Russians for telling us. Just as the world would owe the Russians a favor if it were indeed them who leaked evidence of just how systematically the DNC rigged the 2016 primaries against Bernie Sanders.

But as it happens, it was not the Russians. The latter case was a leak by a disgusted insider, and I very much suspect the NHS U.S. trade deal link was also from a disgusted insider.

When governments do appalling things, very often somebody manages to blow the whistle.

Crowdstrike's Quiet Admission

If you can delay even the most startling truth for several years, it loses much of its political bite. If you can announce it during a health crisis, it loses still more. The world therefore did not shudder to a halt when the CEO of Crowdstrike admitted there had never been any evidence of a Russian hack of the DNC servers.

Crowdstrike's Shawn Henry presenting at the International Security Forum in Vancouver, 2009.
(Hubert K, Flickr)

You will recall the near incredible fact that, even through the Mueller investigation, the FBI never inspected the DNC servers themselves but simply relied on a technical report from Crowdstrike, the Hillary Clinton-related IT security consultant for the DNC.

It is now known for sure that Crowdstrike had been peddling fake news for Hillary. In fact, Crowdstrike had no record of any internet hack at all. There was no evidence of the email material being exported over the internet. What they claimed did exist was evidence that the files had been organized preparatory to export.

Remember the entire "Russian hacking" story was based ONLY on Crowdstrike's say so. There is literally no other evidence of Russian involvement in the DNC emails, which is unsurprising as I have been telling you for four years from my own direct sources that Russia was not involved. Yet finally declassified congressional testimony revealed that Shawn Henry stated on oath that "we did not have concrete evidence" and "There's circumstantial evidence , but no evidence they were actually exfiltrated."

This testimony fits with what I was told by Bill Binney, a former technical director of the National Security Agency (NSA), who told me that it was impossible that any large amount of data should be moved across the internet from the USA, without the NSA both seeing it happen in real time and recording it. If there really had been a Russian hack, the NSA would have been able to give the time of it to a millisecond.

That the NSA did not have that information was proof the transfer had never happened, according to Binney. What had happened, Binney deduced, was that the files had been downloaded locally, probably to a thumb drive.

Bill Binney. (Miquel Taverna / CCCB via Flickr)

So arguably the biggest news story of the past four years -- the claim that Putin effectively interfered to have Donald Trump elected U.S. president -- turns out indeed to be utterly baseless. Has the mainstream media, acting on security service behest, done anything to row back from the false impression it created? No it has doubled down.

Anti-Russia Theme

The "Russian hacking" theme keeps being brought back related to whatever is the big story of the day.

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Then we have those continual security service briefings. Two weeks ago we had unnamed security service sources telling The New York Times that Russia had offered the Taliban a bounty for killing American soldiers. This information had allegedly come from interrogation of captured Taliban in Afghanistan, which would almost certainly mean it was obtained under torture.

It is a wildly improbable tale. The Afghans have never needed that kind of incentivization to kill foreign invaders on their soil. It is also a fascinating throwback of an accusation – the British did indeed offer Afghans money for, quite literally, the heads of Afghan resistance leaders during the first Afghan War in 1841, as I detail in my book "Sikunder Burnes."

Taliban in Herat, Afghanistan, 2001. (Wikipedia)

You do not have to look back that far to realize the gross hypocrisy of the accusation. In the 1980s the West was quite openly paying, arming and training the Taliban -- including Osama bin Laden – to kill Russian and other Soviet conscripts in their thousands. That is just one example of the hypocrisy.

The U.S. and U.K. security services both cultivate and bribe senior political and other figures abroad in order to influence policy all of the time. We work to manipulate the result of elections -- I have done it personally in my former role as a U.K. diplomat. A great deal of the behavior over which Western governments and media are creating this new McCarthyite anti-Russian witch hunt, is standard diplomatic practice.

My own view is that there are malign Russian forces attempting to act on government in the U.K. and the USA, but they are not nearly as powerful as the malign British and American forces acting on their own governments.

The truth is that the world is under the increasing control of a global elite of billionaires, to whom nationality is irrelevant and national governments are tools to be manipulated. Russia is not attempting to buy corrupt political influence on behalf of the Russian people, who are decent folk every bit as exploited by the ultra-wealthy as you or I. Russian billionaires are, just like billionaires everywhere, attempting to game global political, commercial and social structures in their personal interest.

The other extreme point of hypocrisy lies in human rights. So many Western media commentators are suddenly interested in China and the Uighurs or in restrictions on the LBGT community in Russia, yet turn a completely blind eye to the abuse committed by Western "allies" such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

As somebody who was campaigning about the human rights of both the Uighurs and of gay people in Russia a good decade before it became fashionable, I am disgusted by how the term "human rights" has become weaponized for deployment only against those countries designated as enemy by the Western elite.

Finally, do not forget that there is a massive armaments industry and a massive security industry all dependent on having an "enemy." Powerful people make money from this Russophobia. Expect much more of it. There is money in a Cold War. Sign in to comment Viewing Options arrow_drop_down

jmNZ , 2 hours ago

Most of this can be traced to a group of fanatical Dr Strangeloves in the UK, known as the "The Integrity Initiative" (sic) , now continuing under a new name since its cover was blown by ukcolumnnews.

This group is handsomely funded from the public purse by the Foreign Office and its influence is spread by the BBC and a corps of "disinformation officers" known as the 77th brigade and 13 Signals, all under the control of the British cabinet office.

They are the ones trying to destabilize America via the Democratic (sic) Party.

And their cover is weekly Russia-bashing stories.

bumboo , 6 hours ago

Craig Murray sounds a reasonable voice. He quit or was fired from his Ambassador job in Uzbekistan on Iraq war issue. Compare him with our Gen. Collin Powell, Mr. Clean, who lied about Iraqi WMD in UN, covered up My Lia massacre for a lousy promotion. Now writing books, public speaking for money and appearing on TVs as a wiseman. Wow.

Thutmoses , 7 hours ago

I think it wont be Russia, it will be China.

If an asteroid runs into the earth, any surviving press will blame it on China

Scipio Africanuz , 8 hours ago

Thanks Craig..

Any renewed cold War will freeze the instigators, and should it get hot, then they burn as well..

Unfortunately, in the hot version, mankind gets roasted as well and not just by bombs, but by..

As for the cold version however, the script had flipped thus..

As Sólómọ́nì Wise averred wisely, the borrower is slave to the lender, and it doesn't matter if the duplicitous borrower tries to stiff the lender..

The debts will be paid one way or another..

As for those bamboozled into unsustainable liabilities, there's always the merciful jubilee, but first things first, lessons must be learned, thinking rejuvenated, lifestyle changed, recalibration engaged, and vigilance imbibed..

To ensure serfdom culs de sac are avoided once the deceived by delusions are salvaged..

And thus Craig, the necessity of experience that's bitter, so folks may learn by necessity, what they chose not to learn via humility..

Cheers...

Really_Brit , 8 hours ago

The fundamental problem with this kind of revisionist narrative - that the Russian leadership has been wildly misinterpreted as hostile to the west - is actually the existence, in full sight, of Russia's most obvious propaganda tool - RT. What was called Russia Today until someone in Moscow twigged that almost nothing being broadcast was about Russia that was at all likely to upset Putin and his oligarchy or hint at the countries inferiority complex viz a viz the West. So not what would be seen as free press and free broadcasting.
Nothing remotely like the programs RT / Russia Today has put together (or bought) that describe civil unrest in the developed world. Or civil unrest in the developing world but caused by the machinations of the developed world.

The closure or restrictions on Western NGO's in Russia intentionally stops any attempt to replicate RT / Russia Today. So we will never see the Russian equivalents of recognisable US ex-TV anchors or ex-CIA sounding off, within Russia , about corruption and criminality in their motherland. Even sounding off about Russia outside in the developed world carries a heavy price - just remind ourselves of poisoned ex-spies and Salisbury door knobs!

Tarjan , 2 hours ago

"Salisbury door knobs!"

You're chitting me, right?

~

jmNZ , 51 minutes ago

Ha! Ha!

You're as unreal a Brit as can be imagined.

No one believes the Skripal pantomime. Nor the MH17 'narrative'. Nor the farce where a supposedly democratic country like the UK supports one of the richest and most arbitrary regimes, Sadist Barbaria, in the wanton destruction of one of the poorest, the Yemen. And how many times have the US/UK been caught out cooperating with fanatical jihadis terrorizing Syria, the only parliamentary, secular state in the ME?

We wouldn't know any of this from the BBC.

desertboy , 8 hours ago

" It is appalling that the U.K. is trying to keep its research results secret rather than share them freely with the world scientific community."

Assumes the intent is to make people healthier.

capital101 , 9 hours ago

War is a racket , from Smedley Butler, should be mandatory reading in school.

Don't be a tool, wake the **** up and stop mesuring your wealth using toilet paper

mike_1010 , 9 hours ago

I think there is a positive side to this western animosity against Russia and China too. Because Russia and China now have no good reason to respect western imperialism in the rest of the world.

During the last Cold War, Russia and China helped many countries in Africa and Asia throw off their yoke of western imperialism and have some alternatives for their trade and development. And now we are getting a similar situation.

Russia and China are developing financial tools for international trade independent of the US dollar. Which in the future will limit US power to impose sanctions and interfere with trade between other countries. And of course, both Russia and China have goods and technologies that rival those of western countries. They can provide a complete alternative for countries that the West is trying to isolate and subjugate.

Perhaps western animosity isn't good for world peace or for the people in Russia and China. But there is some benefit in this for many less developed countries who need an alternative to the West for their trade and development.

We have some real competition now, where the competitors aren't colluding with each other. Which is good for developing countries that need some real alternatives for their trade and development.

PT , 9 hours ago

"...First they were our enemies. Then they were our friends. Then they were our enemies again. Then they were our friends again..." - Mad Magazine was pointing this out in the 1970s ... or was it the 1960s?

Judging by the wording and the artwork, probably the '60s.

Fun side note: Compare Mad Magazines from each decade. Which ones had the higher quality writers? Which ones had the higher quality art work? The answer is clearly visible. The older, the better.

[Jul 26, 2020] How to Make a Brick from Straw and Bullshit: The UK and US have accused Russia of launching a weapon-like projectile from a satellite in space.

Jul 26, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE July 23, 2020 at 10:50 am

J'accuse! Again!

One hour ago, BBC:

UK and US say Russia fired a satellite weapon in space

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53518238

The UK and US have accused Russia of launching a weapon-like projectile from a satellite in space.
In a statement, the head of the UK's space directorate said: "We are concerned by the manner in which Russia tested one of its satellites by launching a projectile with the characteristics of a weapon."
The statement said actions like this "threaten the peaceful use of space".

Those Russians!

Now they're even weaponizing weapons!!!

MARK CHAPMAN July 23, 2020 at 11:48 am

But of course the USA's anti-satellite weapons do not 'threaten the peaceful use of space'. Like its 'Bold Onion' project 60 years ago.

https://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2019/03/27/history-anti-satellite-weapon-us-asat-missile.html

The USA and UK's constant, unremitting "Putin stole my baby's candy" stories that nobody expects them to prove are merely making the pair of them look ridiculous. If you're trying to get Code-Red support for war, step up to the mark and take your shot, instead of constantly sniveling and making it sound like nobody can draw a peaceful breath until the Russians have been eliminated from the planet. But I promise you if you do, you are going to be so sorry. Russia is not Grenada. Time again to trot out my favourite maxim – 'experience keeps a hard school, but fools will learn at no other'.

ET AL July 23, 2020 at 12:57 pm

Or the US's recently stood up Space Force(skin) USSF – spaceforce.mil (.mil = as in military). Maybe that is why the UK is whining about it, i.e. to put space between the US? Oh, and the Brits don't have a capability, having given up launchers in the 1960s.

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/21/790492010/trump-created-the-space-force-heres-what-it-will-do?t=1595537367261

"Space is the world's newest war-fighting domain," President Trump said during the signing ceremony. "Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we're leading, but we're not leading by enough. But very shortly we'll be leading by a lot."

"This is not a farce. This is nationally critical," Gen. John Raymond, who will lead the Space Force, told reporters on Friday. "We are elevating space commensurate with its importance to our national security and the security of our allies and partners."

About 16,000 Air Force active duty and civilian personnel are being assigned to the Space Force. There's still a lot to figure out, including the force's uniform, logo, and even its official song.

The Space Force will fall within the Department of the Air Force, but after one year it will have its own representation on the Joint Chiefs of Staff,

The new service branch essentially repackages and elevates existing military missions in space from the Air Force, Army and Navy, said Todd Harrison, who directs the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

"It's about, you know, all the different types of missions our military already does in space -- just making sure that we're doing them more effectively, more efficiently," said Harrison.

"It will create a centralized, unified chain of command that is responsible for space, because ultimately when responsibility is fragmented, no one's responsible," he added.
####

The most interesting bit about the article above is the ommission, i.e. it doesn't mention offensive space capabilities, even though we know about the robotic Boing X57* winged spaceplane that swans about for up to a year.

No. Everyone should wait for the US to deploy its weapon systems and then follow! That would be fair and just because the US is a Democracy and it has earned the right and more importantly, the benefit of the doubt ad infinitum. Or is the X-37 just there to sprinkle calming holy water on America's adversaries? ODFO!

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-37

[Jul 25, 2020] Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results

Jul 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Zalamander

One by one the so-called Russiagate "evidence" have collapsed. The fake Steele Dossier, "Russian spy" Joseph Mifsud who is actually a self-admitted member of the Clinton Foundation, Roger Stone's non-existant Wikileaks contacts, Russian Afgan bounties, etc. But the neoliberal mainstream media still presents these as "facts" with no retractions.

This is not journalism, its disinformation designed to distract the American public from the failures of capitalism.

[Jul 24, 2020] Greater Russia -- Is Moscow out to subvert the West by Richard Sakwa

There some interesting parts of this analysis. But as soon as a Professor shows that he believes that The Internet Research Agency (IRA) troll factory influence 2016 elections his credibility falls to zero. The same is true about believing that Gussifer 2.0 was not a false play operation by some US actors.
The key problem in the USA foreign policy toward Russia is the concept of "Full Spectrum Dominance" cherished by Washington Neocons and foreign policy establishment (which are of ten the same people). Add to this a crown of greedy and unprincipled chickenhawks (the Blob) who play the anti-Russian for their own advancement, obtaining lucrative positions and enrichment (Fiona Hill, Victoria Nuland and company) and you see the problem. \
Destruction of the UN attempted by the USA after the dissolution of the USSR is a really tragic event, which probably will backfire for the USA sooner of later
Notable quotes:
"... The Putin elite had earlier welcomed Trump's election, but in practice relations deteriorated further. The foreign policy establishment is deeply sceptical that the EU will be able to act with 'strategic autonomy'. Above all, Russo-Western relations have entered into a statecraft 'security dilemma': ..."
"... Currently, we are again faced with a situation in which mutual intentions are assessed by Washington and Moscow as subversive, while each side considers the statecraft employed by the other side as effective enough to achieve its malign goals. At the same time, each side is more sceptical about its own statecraft and appears (or pretends) to be scrambling to catch up (Troitskiy 2019 ). ..."
Jul 15, 2020 | springer.com
Abstract

Russia today is presented as out to subvert the West. The chosen means are meddling in elections and sowing discord in Western societies. Russia in this imaginary looms over an unsuspecting West, undermining democracy and supporting disruptive forces. No longer couched in terms of the Cold War struggle between capitalism and communism, this is a reversion to great power politics of the rawest sort. However, is this analysis correct? Is Vladimir Putin out to undermine the West to achieve his alleged goal of re-establishing some sort of post-Soviet 'greater Russia' imperial union in Russia's neighbourhood, to weaken the Atlantic power system and to undermine the liberal international order? The paper challenges the view that Russia is trying to reconstitute a Soviet-type challenge to the West, and provides an analytical framework to examine the dynamics of Russian foreign policy and on that basis assesses Russia's real rather than imaginary aspirations.

It has become orthodoxy that Russia under an embittered and alienated Vladimir Putin is out to subvert the West. The chosen means are taken to be meddling in elections and sowing discord in Western societies. The various special operations include propelling Donald J. Trump to the White House and fixing the Brexit vote in 2016 (Snyder 2018 ). Putin's Russia in this imaginary looms over an unsuspecting West, undermining democracy and supporting disruptive forces (Shekhovtsov 2017 ; Umland 2017 ). From this perspective, post-communist Russia is up to its old tricks, with the image of the Russian bear threatening the honour of a defenceless Europe dusted off from the Crimean War and the era of the great game in the late nineteenth century. No longer couched in terms of the Cold War struggle between capitalism and communism, this is a reversion to great power politics of the imperial sort. It also represents the application of the weapons of the weak, since Russia by any definition is but a shadow of the former Soviet Union, with less than half the population and an economy at most one-tenth the size of that of the USA. Is this analysis correct? Is Putin out to undermine the West to achieve his alleged goal of re-establishing some sort of post-Soviet union in Russia's neighbourhood and to weaken the Atlantic power system so that the liberal international order is eroded from within? In other words, is Russia today a revisionist power out to create a greater Russia?

Before attempting an answer we need to define our terms. What does it mean to be a revisionist power today, and how can a strategy designed to 'subvert' be analysed and measured? Some fundamental methodological problems render study of the question inherently difficult. How can revisionism and subversion be measured? How can the specific actors involved in such actions be identified and disaggregated? At what point do normal policy differences between states become an existential challenge to an existing order? The answer will take four forms, each of which further defines the question. First, an assessment of the charge of Russian subversion and the various approaches that can be used to examine the simple but endlessly complex question: is there a new quality to Russia actions that build on Soviet era 'active measures' to denigrate and ultimately to destroy an opponent. This requires an examination of the logic of Russian motives and policy-making, including examination of the structure of the international system and the dynamics of Russian international politics, which will be presented in the second section. Third, an assessment of some of the Kremlin's subversive behaviour in recent years, examined in the light of the earlier sections. Fourth, analysis of the character of Russia's challenge assesses whether Russia today really is an insurgent and revisionist power.

Active measures and the subversion of American democracy

Is Russia really out to subvert the West? Much of the American political establishment believe that this is the case. A comprehensive list of Russian sins is presented by Biden and Carpenter ( 2018 ), including tyranny at home, the violation of the sovereignty of neighbours, meddling in the affairs of countries on the road to NATO membership, 'soft subversion' through electoral interference in the USA and France, the manipulation of energy markets and the 'weaponisation' of corruption. In his warning not to overreact to the Chinese challenge, Zakaria ( 2020 , p. 64) notes that its actions, such as stealing military secrets and cyber-warfare, 'are attempts to preserve what China views as its sovereignty'. However, these actions are 'nothing like Moscow's systematic efforts to disrupt and delegitimize Western democracy in Canada, the United States and Europe'. Why do Russia's actions in his view fall into an entirely different category?

One answer is that it is a question of political culture. The study of Moscow Rules by Giles ( 2019a , p. 23) argues that Russia's 'instinctive rejection of cooperative solutions is reinforced by the belief that all great nations achieve security through the creation and assertion of raw power', and this in turn means that Russia believes 'that the insecurity of others makes Russia itself more secure', predicated 'on the dubious principle that there is only a finite amount of security in the world'. Elsewhere (Giles 2019b ) sums up the policy implications in ten key points, which together do not leave much room for diplomatic manoeuvre or even engagement with such a wily adversary who 'takes a very expansive view of what constitutes Russian territory'. Treating it as an equal by normalising relations, as during Barack Obama's reset, 'delivered entirely the wrong messages to Moscow' (Giles 2019a , p. 25). There can be no common ground with such an existential foe, and any substantive engagement smacks of appeasement.

A second perspective focuses on Russophobia, which builds on the political culture notion of some inalienable and ineradicable essence to Russian behaviour. The concept of Russophobia is often used to discount what may well be legitimate criticism of Kremlin policies, but it nevertheless accurately conveys an approach that denigrates not only Russia's leaders but the people as a whole (Mettan 2017 ; Tsygankov 2009 ). In an interview in May 2017 former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper argued that Russians 'are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favour, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique' (Koenig 2017 ). The work of Smith ( 2019 ) complements that of Foglesong ( 2007 ) on long-standing American anxieties about Russia. Smith argues that recurrent bouts of Russophobia are prompted by what he calls the 'Russia anxiety', a long-term pattern of thinking and sentiments about Russia that alternate between fear, contempt and disregard for the country. The cycle began in the sixteenth century when Russia joined the nascent European international society. Anxiety that Russia threatens Western civilisation was accompanied by various versions of 'fake history', as in the publication in nineteenth-century France of Russia's 14-point plan for world domination -- the Testament of Peter the Great. This forgery is just one example of what Smith calls the 'black legend' of Russian history: the idea that aggression, expansionism and authoritarianism are inherent features of Russia's national character. Smith aims to demonstrate that Russia is far from exceptional, and instead its behaviour is predictable and in conformity with traditional patterns of a country defending its national interests, or as Zakaria argues with reference to China, its sovereignty. The major exception was the Soviet period, but this in many ways ran against Russia's national identity and represented an imposition based on chance and contingency. In his view, Russia today is doing no more than any other state, and its external actions are no more egregiously malevolent than any other.

A third approach looks at Soviet legacies and systemic characteristics. From this perspective, Russia has undergone an 'unfinished revolution' (McFaul 2001 ), allowing the Soviet era anti-Western and anti-democratic forces to regroup after the fall of communism. This particularly concerns the so-called siloviki (the security apparatus and its acolytes), as well as the transformed Soviet apparatchiks who became the core of Putin's model of statist oligarchic capitalism. This 'crony capitalism' spreads its subversion by abusing Western legal and financial institutions for their own malign purposes (Belton 2020 ; Dawisha 2014 ). Despite the change of regime and the end of old-style ideological confrontation, the Soviet system in certain fundamental respects has reproduced itself. This is why the repertoire of tactics is sometimes described as a continuation of Soviet era 'active measures' ( aktivnye meropriyatiya ) (Rid 2020 ). These are designed to undermine 'support in the United States and overseas for policies viewed as threatening to Moscow, discrediting US intelligence and law enforcement agencies, weakening US alliances and US relations with partners, and increasing Soviet power and influence across the globe' (Jones 2019 , p. 2). The term is now used indiscriminately to encompass disinformation and cyber activities as elements of a sustained strategy undertaken by the Soviet and now the Russian security services to undermine an enemy by exploiting divisions and the vulnerabilities of competitive and open democratic societies.

The Communist International (Comintern) was established in March 1919 to spread the revolution globally and prompted the Palmer raids in November of that year in the USA as part of the first Red Scare. During the Cold War there were plenty of times when Moscow tried to influence US politics (Haslam 2012 ). In 1948 the Soviet Union backed the Progressive Party's Henry Wallace, who had been Franklin D. Roosevelt's vice president but split with the Democratic Party over President Harry Truman's hawkish Cold War stance. In 1964 Soviet and Czechoslovak agencies smeared the Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater, as a racist and Ku Klux Klan supporter. In 1968 the Soviet Union offered an unprecedented level of support for the Democratic candidate, Hubert Humphrey, including financial aid (which naturally was refused). In 1976 the KGB adopted 'active measures' against Democratic Senator Henry 'Scoop' Jackson, a virulent anti-Soviet hawk. In 1980 and again in 1984 it appears that Senator Edward Kennedy sought Soviet support for his presidential campaign (Kengor 2018 ). In 1983 KGB agents were instructed to help defeat Reagan in his bid for re-election. The Soviet goals outlined above hold to this day in conditions of renewed Cold War, and this is why the term has regained currency (Abrams 2016 ). This is understandable, given the long history of Cold War conflict and renewed confrontation.

What is striking, however, is that most Soviet actions were inept and remarkably ineffective (Robinson 2019 ). We can also add that today such actions are also intensely counterproductive, arousing the hostility of the authorities against which they are directed and discrediting what may be legitimate policy differences with these countries. Political opponents are tarred with the brush of 'collusion' with an external enemy, as was the case during the second Red Scare in the post-war years overseen by Senator Joseph McCarthy. This is also the case, as we shall discuss below, in the 'Russiagate' collusion allegations, asserting that Trump worked with Moscow in 2016 to get himself elected (Sakwa 2021 ). The question then becomes: why does Russia do it? Is it part of a single and coordinated strategy of subversion using covert means, reflecting an overarching doctrine?

This is where the fourth approach, the ideational, comes in. From this perspective, the struggle between communism and capitalism has given way to the conflict between democracies and autocracies, with the latter developing a repertoire of techniques to keep democracy at bay (Hall and Ambrosio 2017 ). Each tries to subvert the other using a range of instruments, while advancing soft power agendas (Sherr 2013 ). Since at least 2004 Russia has been concerned with preventing what it calls 'colour revolutions', in which civil society is mobilised by Western agencies to achieve regime change (Horvath 2011 , 2013 ). This was the issue addressed by Valerii Gerasimov ( 2013 ), the Chief of the Russian General Staff, in his landmark article. The lesson of the Arab spring, he argued, was that the rules of war had changed. Viable states could quickly descend into armed conflict and become victims of foreign intervention and sink into an abyss of state collapse, civil conflict and humanitarian catastrophe. The article was a response to what was perceived to be new forms of Western 'hybrid warfare'. He noted that 'Frontal engagements of large formations of forces at the strategic and operational level are gradually becoming a thing of the past. Long-distance, contactless actions against the enemy are becoming the main means of achieving combat and operational goals'. He identified eight features of modern hybrid warfare that were applied to subvert states and to gain control of territory without resorting to conventional arms. Regime change could be achieved by the use of civil methods such as propaganda, funding and training of protest groups, and information campaigns aimed at discrediting the opponent. He stressed that the 'very rules of war have changed', arguing that non-military means such as the 'use of political, economic and informational, humanitarian, and other non-military measures -- applied in coordination with the protest potential of the population', can exceed 'the power of force of weapons in their effectiveness, and 'that the open use of forces -- often under the guise of peace-keeping and crisis regulation -- is resorted to only at a certain stage, primarily for the achievement of final success in the conflict'.

Gerasimov discounted the element of popular protest against corrupt and authoritarian systems in the Middle East, North Africa and post-Soviet Eurasia and instead framed these events as part of the radicalised West's regime change strategies. Following the Russian actions in Crimea and the Donbas in 2014, the term 'hybrid warfare' was applied to Russia's use of mixed methods (propaganda, disinformation, information warfare and special forces) to achieve what came to be known as a 'nonlinear' military operations (Fridman 2018 ). What Gerasimov had identified as the Western strategy against Russia was now interpreted as the blueprint for the Kremlin's attempts to destabilise its neighbours and Western democracies.

As for motivation, this is where a fifth approach comes in, focusing on questions of identity and Russia's search for status in a competitive international environment. From this perspective, the idealism of Mikhail Gorbachev's 'new political thinking' in international relations in the late 1980s 'offered a global mission that would enhance Soviet international status while preserving a distinctive national identity'. In this way, the Soviet Union could forge a 'shortcut to greatness' by winning great power status not through economic might and military power but through normative innovation and the transformation of international politics (Larson and Shevchenko 2003 ). This instrumental view of ideational innovation is challenged by English ( 2000 ), who stresses the long-term maturation of an intellectual revolution in Soviet thinking, which then carried over into Russian debates. As we shall see, there are many layers to Russia's foreign policy identity, although there is a clear evolution away from an initial enthusiasm for all things European and alignment with the West towards the stronger articulation of a great power version of Russian national interests. These great power aspirations have been interpreted as a type of aspirational constructivism directed towards the identity needs of domestic audiences rather than the expression of an aggressive policy towards the historic West (Clunan 2009 ). Status issues are important (Krickovic and Weber 2018 ), but they have to be understood as part of a larger ensemble of motivations within the structure of international relations.

The final approach focuses on the structural characteristics of international politics, whose specific post-Cold War manifestation will be examined below. Briefly put, defensive neorealism argues that in an anarchic international environment states typically seek to preserve the status quo to maintain their security by preserving the balance of power (Waltz 1979 , p. 121). Offensive realists focus on the maintenance of hegemony in the international system and the struggle to prevent usurpation (Mearsheimer 2001 , p. 21). Revisionism assumes that the balance of power does not adequately guarantee a state's security, hence it seeks to change the balance of power; or that is assumes that the balance of power has changed enough to mount a challenge to the status quo. In Russia's case, classical neorealism of either type would accept regional hegemony, with offshore balancing an adequate mechanism to ensure that it did not mount a global challenge. However, the liberal internationalism that predominated after 1989 makes no provision for regional hegemony of any sort, hence Russia was unable to exert the sort of influence to which it felt entitled, and hence its revisionist challenge was manifested in attacks on Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. This, at least, is the liberal structural perspective, and even the defensive realist position has guarded against any reassertion of Russia's great power ambitions, hence the concern to ensure that Ukraine was distanced as far as possible from any putative Russian 'sphere of influence' (Brzezinski 1994 , 1997 ).

How are we to adjudicate between these six different presentations of Russian interests and concerns? What is the standard against which we can measure the dynamics of Russian identity formation and foreign policy? Is Putin really trying to create a 'greater Russia' by not only challenging the established powers but also by waging a covert war to shape electoral outcomes while destroying the foundations of democracy itself? Undoubtedly, certain Cold War practices of propaganda and covert influence campaigns have been revived, while some (such as deep espionage operations) never stopped, accompanied now by 'black cash' flows (untraceable and illicit payments) to sympathetic movements, cyber-enhanced intelligence operations and outright cyber-warfare. Some of this predates the Cold War and is part of traditional statecraft, some is part of revived Cold War confrontation, while some is new and takes advantage of developing social media and communication technologies. Together they reflect the logic of conflict stopping short of kinetic military action.

Post-Cold War reconstruction of the West and the international system

What is the character of the conflict? We argue here that this is a structural feature of post-Cold War international politics. Two very different and incommensurate models of post-Cold War order were advanced after 1989 (Sakwa 2017a , pp. 12–19). The logic of expansion made perfect sense from the perspective of what came to be seen as the 'victors' at the end of the Cold War. The long-term adversary had not only renounced the ideology in whose name the struggle against capitalist democracy had been waged, but the country itself disintegrated. This really did look like 'the end of history', with no sustained ideological alternative to capitalist modernity on offer. From the first, the logic of expansion was opposed by Russia, the continuer state to the Soviet Union. From Moscow's perspective, the end of the Cold War was a mutual victory -- the triumph of the new political thinking that had matured in various academic institutes and think tanks (Bisley 2004 ; English 2000 ). This is why the logic of expansion was countered by the logic of transformation , the view that the end of the Cold War offered a unique opportunity to move beyond ideological confrontation between and within states. The idea of revolutionary socialism and class war would give way to a politics of reconciliation and all-class development. This is more than a 'shortcut to greatness' or a strategy for status advancement (although it is both of these), but a proposal for a structural transformation of the conduct of international politics. This demand lies at the base of normative developments in international law over the last century as well as in various peace and environmental movements today. There are plenty of credible realist arguments to dismiss such transformative approaches as hopelessly idealistic, but repeated financial and pathogenic shocks and the enduring threats of environmental catastrophe and nuclear annihilation provide the continuing impulse for transformative thinking (Lieven 2020 ).

This relates to a key point at the heart of Russian post-communist self-identity -- the ambition to join not the West as it exists within the accustomed binaries but a transformed West where Cold War antagonisms are structurally transcended. After 1989 the stated Russian ambition was to join the political West as it existed at the time, defined as the embodiment of the democratic ideal, the rule of law, defensible property rights, and above all the realm of freedom and independent associational life. However, because of the way that the political West evolved during the Cold War, when the larger political civilisation, termed after the Cold War the liberal international order, melded with the Atlantic power system, for a large part (but not all) of the Russia elite this became impossible. The power system at the heart of the liberal normative order endows US power with a unique character. The hegemonic aspect provided a range of international public goods, including the framework for economic globalisation. However, this was accompanied by the practices of primacy, which we can credibly describe as dominion, an ascendancy that has spawned a vast literature describing the USA as an empire (indicatively, Bacevich 2003 ; Johnson 2002 ; Mann 2005 ).

Russian leaders from Gorbachev to Putin insisted that the Cold War West -- what in Russian parlance became known as the 'historic West' -- would have to change with the end of the Cold War to become a 'greater West'. This was effectively the condition for Russia to join the expanded community, but in the end it turned out impossible for both sides to make the necessary adjustments. The greater West would not have to repudiate hegemony -- that was too much even for a demandeur state such as Russia to ask -- but Moscow's leaders did seek a change in the terms of dominion through the creation of what it insisted should be a mutually inclusive security order. Hegemony was to a degree acceptable as long as it was constrained by the system of international law grounded in the post-1945 international system, represented above all by the United Nations. Russian neo-revisionism challenges dominance in its various manifestations (empire, primacy, exceptionalism or greatness), but can live with constrained hegemony.

In sum, the fundamental post-Cold War process in the Russian view was to be mutual transformation , whereas the Western view envisaged a straightforward process of enlargement . In the context in which the main antagonist had itself repudiated the ideology on which it had based its opposition to the historical West since 1917, and which in 1991 disintegrated as a state, the Atlanticist pursuit of expansion and its accompanying logic of dominion was understandable (Wohlforth and Zubok 2017 ). Victory in the Cold War and the disintegration of the historic enemy (the Soviet Union) not only inhibited transformative processes in the historic West but in the absence of a counter-ideology or an opposing power system, encouraged the radicalisation of its key features (Sakwa 2018a ). The original liberal world order after 1945 developed as one of the major pillars (the Soviet Union was the other) within a bipolar system and was initially a relatively modest affair, based on the UN Charter defending the territorial integrity of states (although also committed to anti-colonial national self-determination), multilateral institutions, open markets that was later formulated as the 'four freedoms' of labour, capital, goods and services, accompanied by a prohibition on the use of force except in self-defence. After 1989 the liberal world order, as the only surviving system with genuinely universal aspirations, assumed more ambitious characteristics, including a radical version of globalisation, democracy promotion and regime change.

The framing of the 'historic West' against a putative 'greater West' repeats the recurring Russian cultural trope of contrasting 'good' and 'bad' Europes or Wests, 'with which Russians can seek to make common cause in domestic power struggles' (Hahn 2020 ; see also Neumann 2016 ). As the historic West radicalised, it also enlarged. On the global scale its normative system, the liberal international order, made universalist claims, while its power system (dominion) in Europe brought NATO to Russia's western borders and drove the European Union deep into what had traditionally been Russia's economic and cultural sphere. This would be disruptive in the best of circumstances, but when it became part of the expansion of an Atlantic power system accompanied by the universalising practices of the liberal international order, it provoked a confrontation over Ukraine and the onset of a renewed period of confrontation that some call a New Cold War (Legvold 2016 ; Mastanduno 2019 ; Monaghan 2015 ). In the absence of ideational or institutional modification, let alone innovation, after 1989, there was 'no place for Russia' (Hill 2018 , p. 8 and passim ) in this new order.

Does this mean that Russia has become a revisionist power, out to destroy the historic West? Russia's ambition has in fact been rather different, but in the end no less challenging: to change the practices of the power system at the core of the historic West. Once mutual transformation was no longer an option and the idea of a greater West receded (although it remains a residual feature of Russian thinking), Russia turned to neo-revisionism, a rather more modest ambition to change practices rather than systems (Sakwa 2019 ). This was the culmination of an extended thirty-year period of experimentation. Contrary to the view of the Russian power system as some immutable and unchangeable malign force (Lucas 2008 , 2013 ), the first and second models outlined above, foreign policy and more broadly Russia's engagement with the historic West since the end of the Cold War has evolved through four distinct periods. Periodisation is an important heuristic device and in methodological terms repudiates the view that there is some enduring essence to Russian foreign policy behaviour, with 'active measures' seamlessly transferred from the Soviet Union to post-communist Russia. It is important to note that the periodisation outlined here is layered . In other words, each phase does not simply give way to the next, but builds on and incorporates the earlier one, while changing the emphasis and introducing new elements.

The first period in the early 1990s was characterised by an enthusiastic Westernism and embrace of liberal Atlanticism (Kozyrev 2019 ). In conditions of catastrophic social and economic conditions at home and assertions of US hegemony and dominion abroad (although exercised rather reluctantly in Bosnia and elsewhere at this time), this gave way to a more assertive neo-Soviet era of competitive coexistence, masterminded by the foreign minister from January 1996, Yevgeny Primakov, who between September 1998 and May 1999 was prime minister. His assertion of multipolarity, alignment with India and China (the beginning of the RIC's grouping) and foreign policy activism received a harsh rebuff in the NATO bombing of Serbia from March 1999. Putin came to power in 2000 in the belief that the two earlier strategies were excessive in different directions, and through his policy of 'new realism' tried to find a middle way between acquiescence and assertion. Gorbachev-era ideas of 'normality' were revived, and Putin insisted that Russia would be a 'normal' great power, seeking neither favours from the West nor a privileged position for itself (Sakwa 2008 ). This strategy of positive engagement was thrown off course by the expansive dynamic of the Atlantic power system, including the war in Iraq in 2003, NATO enlargement and the Libyan crisis of 2011. As for Russia, the commodities boom of the 2000s fuelled an unprecedented period of economic growth, accompanied by remarkably successful reforms that transformed the Russian armed forces (Renz 2018 ). These fed ideas of Russian resurgence and appeared to provide the material base for a more assertive politics of resistance.

When Putin returned to the Kremlin in May 2012 the new realism gave way to the fourth phase of post-communist Russian foreign policy, the strategy of neo-revisionism. Already in his infamous Munich speech in February 2007, Putin ( 2007 ) objected to the behaviour of the US-led Atlantic power system, but in substance the fundamentals of the new realist strategy continued. Now, however, neo-revisionism challenged the universal claims of the US-led liberal international order and resisted the advance of the Atlantic power system by intensifying alternative integration projects in Eurasia and accelerating the long-term 'pivot to Asia'. By now Moscow was convinced that the normative hegemonic claims of the liberal international order were only the velvet manifestation of the iron fist of American dominion at its core. Russia, and its increasingly close Chinese partner, stressed the autonomy of international governance institutions, insisting that they were not synonymous with the universal claims of the liberal international order. This, in essence, is the fundamental principle of neo-revisionism: a defence of sovereign internationalism and the autonomy of the international system bequeathed by the Yalta and Potsdam conferences of 1945. This is accompanied by a rejection of the disciplinary practices of the US-led hegemonic constellation, including democracy promotion, regime change, humanitarian intervention and nation building (what Gerasimov identified as Western hybrid warfare) (Cunliffe 2020 ). In effect, this means a rejection of the practices of US-led international order, but not of the system in which it operates.

Putin defends a model of conservative (or sovereign) internationalism that maps on to a ternary understanding of the international system. On the top floor are the multilateral institutions of global governance, above all the UN (in which Russia has a privileged position as permanent member (P5) of the Security Council); on the middle floor states compete and global orders (like the US-led liberal international order) seek to impose their hegemony; while on the ground floor civil society groups and civil associations try to shape the cultural landscape of politics (such as groups trying to push responses to the climate catastrophe and nuclear threats up the global agenda). Putin and his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, condemn the liberal order for not living up to its own standards. As Lavrov ( 2019 ) argued, 'How do you reconcile the imperative of defending human rights with the bombardment of sovereign states, and the deliberate effort to destroy their statehood, which leads to the death of hundreds of thousands of people?'.

This is the neo-revisionist framework, which exposes the gulf between hegemonic principles and practices of dominion. It is revisionist to the degree that it repudiates the application of US dominion to itself, but is willing to work with that hegemony on major international issues as long as Russia's status as an autonomous diplomatic interlocutor is recognised (Lo 2015 ). Neo-revisionism is the natural culmination of a policy stance torn by two contradictory positions. The revisionist impulse seeks to reassert Russia into an international system in which great power diplomacy after the end of the Cold War in 1989 had given way to a hegemonic universalism that by definition repudiated the traditional instruments of great power diplomacy, such as spheres of influence, great power summitry and grand bargains. On the other side, Russia remains a conservative status quo power intent on maintaining the post-1945 international system, which grants it the supreme privilege of P5 membership as well as providing a benign framework to advance its model of sovereign internationalism. This is a model of world order favoured by China, India and many other states, wary not so much of the hegemonic implications of the liberal international order but of the power hierarchy associated with the practices of dominion. This is the framework in which Russia (and China) can engage in globalisation but repudiate the universalist ambitions of the power system with which it is associated.

With the USA under Trump withdrawing from multilateral commitments to focus on bolstering its ascendancy in the world of states (the second level), Russia (and China) inevitably stood up in defence of multilateralism, in which they have such a major stake. This is far from a revisionist position, and instead neo-revisionism defends the present international system but critiques the historical claim of the liberal international order to be identical with the multilateral order itself (Sakwa 2017a ). Of course, the US-led liberal order has indelibly marked international society, but this does not entail a proprietary relationship to that society (Dunne and Reut-Smith ( 2017 ). Russia emerges as the defender of the international system as it is presently constituted, but at the same time advances an alternative (non-hierarchical) idea of how it should operate. On occasion this may entail revisionist acts, such as the annexation of Crimea, which from Moscow's perspective was a defensive reaction to a Western-supported putsch against the legitimate authorities in Kiev (Treisman 2016 ), but they are not part of a consistent revisionist strategy. Both at home and abroad Russia is a status quo power. Putin railed against the West's perceived revisionism in both aspects, but the main point of resistance is the element of dominion at the heart of the Atlantic power system. In both respects there is no evidence that Russia seeks to destroy the international system as presently constituted.

This structural interpretation, in which incompatible models of international politics contest, is overwhelmingly rejected by the partisans of what can be called post-Cold War monism. From this perspective, there is only one viable order, the one generated by the USA and its allies. There can be pluralism within that order, but not between orders. This monist perspective is challenged by some recent international relations literature (Acharya 2017 ; Flockhart 2016 ) and of course by states defending a more pluralist understanding of the international system (for example, English School approaches, Buzan 2014 ). In practical terms the monist imperative, when couched in liberal order terms but rather less so when applied in the language of Trumpian 'greatness', renders Russia the structural equivalent of the Soviet Union, or even the dreaded image of Tsarist Russia.

This leads to a fundamental category error. Russia is not a 'revolutionary power' in the sense defined by Henry Kissinger ( 2013 , p 2), a country that can never be reassured of its security and consequently seeks absolute security at the expense of others. Napoleonic France or Hitlerite Germany were determined to overthrow the international systems of their times to create one more suited to their needs.

Russia today is a conservative power, alarmed by the way that the international system that it had helped create at the end of the Second World War became radicalised after the end of the Cold War. Critics argue that this radicalised version of liberal hegemony was 'bound to fail', since its ambitions were so expansive as to classify as delusional, and which in the end provoked domestic and external resistance (Mearsheimer 2018 , 2019 ). Russia's neo-revisionism after 2012 sought to defend the autonomy of the multilateralism inaugurated by the victorious powers after 1945 and was ready to embrace the 'hegemonic' goals of the liberal order as presented in the Cold War years, but came to fear the revisionism implicit in the 'exceptionalist' ideology of the post-Cold War version of the liberal order, especially when it was accompanied by what was perceived as the aggressive expansion of the dominion of the unipolar Atlantic power system.

The Kremlin and subversion

In the context of the distinction between the hegemony of the liberal international order and the dominion of the Atlantic power system, both Russia and China reaffirm their commitment to the normative principles underlying the international system as it developed after the Second World War. These include the primacy of state sovereignty, territorial integrity, the significance of international law and the centrality of the United Nations (Wilson 2019 ). However, both are challenger powers in two respects: first, in questioning the assertive universalism that was radicalised at the end of the Cold War, including various practices of humanitarian intervention and democracy promotion, accompanied by regime change strategies; and second, dissatisfaction with the existing distribution of power in the international system, hence challenge American primacy and hegemonic practices. This combination of commitment to the international system but challenges to the pre-eminence of a particular order in that system is what renders the two states neo-revisionist rather than outright revisionist powers. To label them as such is a category error, with grave and dangerous policy consequences.

This error has now become enshrined doctrinally. The US National Security Strategy ( 2015 ) already warned that Washington 'will continue to impose significant costs on Russia through sanctions' and would 'deter Russian aggression'. Trump's proclaimed intention of improving relations with Russia provoked a storm of hostility in which Republican neo-conservatives and Democrat liberal internationalists united to stymie moves in that direction. This is why the US National Security Strategy ( 2017 , p. 25), at the end of Trump's first year in power, warned against the 'revisionist powers of China and Russia', ranked alongside the 'rogue powers of Iran and North Korea' and the 'transnational threat organisations, particularly jihadist groups'. The National Defense Strategy ( 2018 , p. 2) also identified Russia and China as revisionist states, seeking 'to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model -- gaining veto authority over other nation's economic, diplomatic and security decisions'. The emergence of challengers undoubtedly came as a shock for a power and normative system that had enjoyed largely unquestioned pre-eminence. Responses to that shock range from intensified neo-conservative militarism, democratic internationalist intensification of ideological struggle to delegitimise Russia's aspirations, as well as an increasingly vocal 'realist' call for a return to the diplomatic practices of pre-Cold War sovereign internationalism.

The first two responses make common cause against Russia's perceived revisionist challenge and have mobilised a network of think tanks and strategies against Russia's instruments of subversion. The far from exhaustive list presented here indicates the scope of Moscow's armoury of subversion, as well as the methodological and practical problems in assessing their scale, motivation and effect. The first is support for insurgent populist movements in the West. Russia rides the wave of populist and nationalist insurgency, but it does not mean either that Russia is the main instigator or beneficiary. The Russian leadership has long complained about the 'hermetic' character of the Atlantic power system and thus welcomes the breach in the impregnable walls of rectitude created from within by the various national populisms of left and right. In other words, Moscow perceives national populist insurgency as a struggle for ideational pluralism within the liberal international order, but above all as allies in the struggle for geostrategic pluralism against the monism of the Atlantic power system. Russia supports some of these movements, but not to the extent of jeopardising the existing structures of the international system. Once again, the tempered challenge of neo-revisionism predominates over the insurrectionary behaviour that would characterise a genuinely revisionist power.

The Alliance for Securing Democracy identified at least 60 instances of Russia funding political campaigns beyond its borders, although many of the cases are circumstantial (Foer 2020 ). In his notorious interview with the Financial Times on the eve of the Osaka G20 summit in June 2019, Putin asserted that 'the liberal idea' has 'outlived its purpose' as publics turned against immigration, open borders and multiculturalism, but he immediately brought in the structural context: '[Liberals] cannot simply dictate anything to anyone just like they have been attempting to do over recent decades' (Barber and Foy 2019 , p. 1). The Kremlin has gone out of its way to identify with right wing (and occasionally left wing) 'populists' who argue for a revision of the EU's relations with Russia, including a dismantling of the sanctions regime. Thus, in the 2017 French presidential election Putin welcomed the head of National Rally (formerly the Front National) Marine Le Pen to Moscow, a move that still attracts widespread condemnation in France. Earlier, a Russian bank had made a €9.4 million loan to her party. Even this needs to be seen in context. Putin's favoured candidate in the 2017 French presidential election was not Le Pen but the more conventional social conservative François Fillon. When the latter's campaign as the nominee of the traditional Gaullist party imploded, Moscow was left bereft of a mainstream candidate calling for a revision of the post-Cold War dominion strategy. As for the funding for Le Pen, the loan was called in prematurely, and the bank was closed down as part of the Central Bank of Russia's attempt to clean up the financial sector.

As for Italy, the leader of the Lega (formerly Lega Nord) party, Matteo Salvini, was one of the strongest advocates of resetting relations with Russia as he entered government following the March 2018 elections as part of the coalition with the Five Star Movement. The relationship was no more than a 'marriage of convenience', with Moscow only engaged to the extent that it could advance the goal of weakening the EU's sanctions regime (Makarychev and Terry 2020 ). In a subsequent scandal, one of Salvini's closest associates and the president of Lombardy Russia, Gianluca Savoini, was taped talking in the Metropol Hotel in Moscow about an illicit scheme to funnel funds through oil sales to support the League's electoral campaigns (Nardelli 2019 ).

On his visit to the Vatican in July 2019 Putin met with the national populists, or otherwise put, the geopolitical revisionists. This was his third meeting with Pope Francis, and Putin sounded more Catholic than the Pope: 'Sometimes I get the feeling that these liberal circles are beginning to use certain elements and problems of the Catholic Church as a tool for destroying the Church itself' (Horowitz 2019 ).

The substantive issue remains. National populists in the West repudiate much of the social liberalism that has now become mainstream, but most also reject the geopolitical orthodoxy that in their view has provoked the Second Cold War with Russia. On that basis there is clearly common cause between the populist insurgency in Europe and the Kremlin. For defenders of the liberal order, this commonality turns the populists into a Moscow-inspired fifth column. The old division between capitalist democracy and communism after the Cold War has given way to a new binary, between liberal democracy and authoritarianism. The fundamental divide shifts on to new ground, which can variously be seen as one between patriotism and cosmopolitanism, which is a variant of the tension between revived nationalist movements opposed to the erosion of state efficacy by neoliberalism within the framework of globalisation. Many share concerns about the influx of refugees and fear even greater flows of migrants in the future, which in their view will erode the civic and cultural bonds of Western societies. National populists challenge cosmopolitan liberalism (Eatwell and Goodwin 2018 ) and thus align with the cultural conservatism that characterises the neo-revisionist period in Russian foreign policy (Robinson 2017 ). In this new political spectrum, Russia emerges as an ally of the patriots and the anti-globalisers and is condemned for funding and variously supporting the anti-liberal insurgency in the West. Whole institutes (such as the Political Capital Institute in Hungary headed by Péter Krekó and the Henry Jackson Society in London) are devoted to exposing these links and the various alleged illicit cash flows and networks. There are certainly plenty of lurid tales and examples of European politicians who have been supported by factions in Russia without being transparent about these links.

However, the common anti-liberal platform with Moscow is only part of the story. The geopolitical factor is no less important, with both left and right populists rejecting elements of US dominion in the Atlantic security system, and question the wisdom of the inexorable drive to the East that inevitably alienates Russia. Here they make common cause with international relations realists as well as pragmatists like George Kennan, who in 1998 warned of the deleterious effects on European security of Moscow's inevitable response to NATO enlargement (Friedman 1998 ). Today these groups are in the vanguard in calling for an end to the sanctions regime, which in their view misses the point -- that Russia's actions in Ukraine and elsewhere after 2014 was a response to the provocative actions of the Atlantic power system in the first place. In other words, anti-liberalism is only one dimension of the putative alliance between national populism in Europe and Moscow. Geopolitical revisionism is perhaps the most important one, and thus national populist movements incur the wrath of the national security establishments. In the UK this led to the creation of the Integrity Initiative and its various European and American affiliates, sponsored by the shadowy so-called Institute of Statecraft, funded by the British state.

There is a third dimension -- in addition to geopolitical revisionism and anti-cosmopolitanism -- in the putative alignment of national populism with Moscow, and that is the question of pluralism. Post-Cold War liberalism entered a paradoxical turn that in the end forswore the fundamental principles on which it is based -- tolerance and pluralism (Horsfield 2017 ). In a situation where the liberal idea faced no serious domestic or geopolitical opposition, it became radicalised and thus eroded its own values. The US-led liberal international order, as suggested above, posed as synonymous with order itself. There could be no legitimate outside to its own expansive ambitions. The counterpart to universalism is monism, which eroded the coherence of liberalism in domestic and foreign policy (Sakwa 2017b , 2018b ). This helps explain why relations with the EU deteriorated so drastically after 2004.

The influx of East European countries accentuated monism by embracing the security guarantees offered by American dominion. Extreme partisans of this view have little time for the hegemonic normative agenda and view the EU as just part of the Atlantic alliance system, and not necessarily the most important one. They radically repudiate Gorbachevian ideas about a common European home or a greater Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok and condemn those who suggest rapprochement with Moscow as 'Trojan horses' (Orenstein and Keleman 2017 ), the name of a series of Atlantic Council reports exposing Russian contacts in the West. For them, security guarantees from Washington are the priority. Thus, pan-continental ideas gave way to an intensified Atlanticism, and dominion prevailed over hegemony. One manifestation of this was the Polish-inspired Eastern Partnership, which in the end became an instrument for the expansion of the EU's geopolitical influence in its neighbourhood, provoking the Ukraine crisis in 2014 (Mearsheimer 2014 ). The European Neighbourhood Policy thereafter became more differentiated and thus accepted the pluralism that it had earlier been in danger of repudiating.

In short, geopolitical revisionist forces are at play in Europe and the USA, and Russian neo-revisionism makes common cause with them to the degree that they offer more pluralist perspectives on international politics and challenge the monist dominion of the Atlantic power system, but the degree to which Moscow supports let alone sponsors this challenge to the post-Cold War order is questionable. This links to a second form of Russian subversion, namely collusion with anti-establishment figures. The most spectacular case of this is the charge that Moscow colluded with Trump to steal the 2016 presidential election.

After nearly two years of work, in March 2019 the Robert Mueller Special Counsel Report into Russiagate boldly asserted that 'The Russian government interfered in the 2016 election in sweeping and systematic fashion' (Mueller 2019 , Vol. 1, p. 1). However, it then rather lamely conceded that 'the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities' (Mueller 2019 , Vol. 1, pp. 5 and 173). Once again reinforcing the geopolitical concerns underlying charges of Russian subversion, the instigators of Russiagate became the heart of the 'resistance' to the president. Alongside credible concerns about his impact on American democratic institutions, they also opposed the rapprochement with Russia that Trump had proclaimed as one of his campaign goals.

In his major foreign policy speech delivered at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington on 27 April 2016, Trump argued that 'I believe an easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia -- from a position of strength -- is possible. Common sense says this cycle of hostility must end. Some say the Russians won't be reasonable. I intend to find out'. Trump promised that America would get 'out of the nation-building business and instead [focus] on creating stability in the world' (Transcript 2016 ). This represented a radical rethinking of foreign policy priorities, and although some of the themes had sounded before, together they challenged the foundations of the post-Cold War international order. They also suited Russia, since the expansive Atlantic system had increasingly become a matter of concern in the Kremlin. This geopolitical coincidence of interests intersected with domestic US political conflicts to create Russiagate, which stymied putative moves towards a new détente.

The third subversive strategy imputed to Russia is cyber-warfare in various forms. There are plenty of cases of Russian hacking, including the attack on the German parliament in 2015, which the German chancellor Angela Merkel condemned as 'outrageous', noting that it impeded her attempts 'to have a better relationship with Russia' (Bennhold 2020 ). She had been equally outraged when she discovered that her office had been bugged by the NSA. In France, 2 days before the second-round presidential vote on 7 May 2017 20,000 campaign emails from the Emmanuel Macron campaign were uploaded to Pastebin, a file-sharing site, and then posted on 4chan, an anonymous message board. The Macron team denounced Russia for a 'high level attack', but even the Atlantic Council reported that the relevant French security agency 'declared that no conclusive evidence pointed to Russian groups', and 'that the simplicity of the attacks pointed toward an actor with lower capabilities' (Galante and Ee 2018 , p. 12). The regulation of hostile cyber activity is crucial, especially when accurate attribution is so difficult and 'false flag' attacks so easy.

This applies to the key Russiagate charge that Russian military intelligence (the GRU) 'hacked' into the server of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Campaign Congressional Committee (DCCC) and released embarrassing materials to WikiLeaks, the web-based investigative site founded by Julian Assange in 2006. The publication of the emails was allegedly coordinated in some way with the Trump team. The material revealed that the DNC opposed the campaign of the independent left-leaning senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, to ensure Clinton's nomination. The hackers also gained access to the emails of Clinton's campaign director, John Podesta, following a successful spearphishing email sent on 19 March 2016. The 50,000 Podesta emails exposed Clinton's ties with Wall Street bankers, high speaking fees and apparent hypocrisy in condemning privilege while enjoying its benefits. The Russian hackers undoubtedly sought to mine political intelligence, but whether they intended specifically to help Trump is more questionable. The Mueller report detailed the specific GRU cyber-warfare units which hacked the Clinton campaign and the DNC and then released the emails through Russian-sponsored cut-outs, Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks, as well as WikiLeaks. These were 'designed and timed to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election and undermine the Clinton Campaign' (Mueller 2019 , Vol. 1, p. 36).

Strikingly, the FBI or Mueller never conducted forensic examinations of their own and instead relied on CrowdStrike, a private contractor hired by the Democrats to examine their servers. The material was then published, according to the report, through DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, 'fictitious online personas' created by the GRU, and later through WikiLeaks. Mueller argues that Guccifer 2.0 was the source of the emails and that he was a persona managed by Russian operators (Mueller 2019 , Vol. 1, p. 47). Mueller alleges that Assange worked for or conspired with Russian agencies, but Assange states unequivocally that the Russian government was not the source of the emails, and (surprisingly), he was never questioned by Mueller. The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) group argues that the DNC emails were physically downloaded and then transferred (by unknown persons) to WikiLeaks rather than being extruded via an electronic download (Binney and McGovern 2017 ). In Congressional testimony in December 2017 CrowdStrike president Shawn Henry ( 2017 ) admitted that he could not confirm that material had actually been exfiltrated from the DNC servers.

The fourth major subversive strategy is disinformation as well as media manipulation. The Internet Research Agency (IRA) based in St Petersburg deployed sock puppet accounts (trolls) and their automated versions (bots) to influence public debate by sharing accounts and voicing divisive opinions. These allegedly shaped voter preferences and depressed turnout among some key constituencies, above all people of colour, in the 2016 US election. The US Intelligence Community Assessment ( 2017 , p. 1) on 6 January 2017 accused Russia of trying to undermine American democracy and charged with 'high confidence' that Putin personally ordered 'an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency'. The ICA was issued in the name of 17 intelligence agencies, although later it became clear that it had been prepared by a 'hand-picked' group selected by Office of the DNI head, James Clapper (Full Transcript 2017 ). The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence ( 2020 , Vol. 4, p. 6) in April 2020 issued its fourth report in its Russia investigation arguing that 'the ICA presents a coherent and well-constructed basis for the case of unprecedented Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election', a view that is at odds with most commentary on what is usually considered a slipshod and poorly sourced document (for a summary of critiques, see McCarthy 2019 , 2020; Gessen 2017 ).

The coronavirus pandemic in 2020 prompted a new wave of criticism of Russia's disinformation efforts. The Strategic Communications and Analysis division of the European External Action Service, colloquially known as EUvsDisinfo, identified a 'trilateral convergence of disinformation narratives' being promoted by China, Iran and Russia (Jozwiak 2020 ). The work of EUvsDisinfo work was examined by the Reframing Russia group at the University of Manchester (Hutchings and Tolz 2020 ). They examined the specific stories that had been identified as disinformation, and took a broader look at reportage of the pandemic on Russian television, in particular on Channel 1. They found that 'there was little sign here of the coordinated pro-Kremlin "conspiracy theory propaganda" flagged by EUvsDisinfo'. They went further to note that its misrepresentation of Russian Covid-19 coverage was 'troubling' in two respects. First, through 'omission', with sentences taken out of context and 'rephrased in the form of summaries and headlines which make them sound particularly outrageous'. The second way is through 'blatant distortion'. For example, EUvsDisinfo claimed that Sputnik Latvia stated that 'Covid-19 had been designed specifically to kill elderly people', whereas in fact the article had ridiculed such conspiracy theories and highlighted 'their idiocy'. Reframing Russia questioned EUvsDisinfo's methodology, assuming that 'random websites without any traceable links to Russian state structures' were analogous to state-funded media agencies, and that all were part of a coordinated Kremlin-run campaign. It even included 'conspirological, far-right websites which are actually critical of Putin'. They conclude that 'EUvsDisinfo's headlines and summaries border on disinformation'. Examination of the source material 'cited by EUvsDisinfo demonstrates that the Russian state is, in fact, not targeting Western countries with an organised campaign around the current public health crisis'. They ask how a situation was created in which 'an EU-funded body set up to fight disinformation ends up producing it'. Reframing Russia advances two hypotheses to explain how things could be got so wrong. The first is 'a profound misunderstanding of how the media in neo-authoritarian systems such as Russia's work', with not everything managed by the Kremlin. Second, 'The outsourcing of services by state institutions to third parties without a proper assessment of their qualifications to do the required work', In the case of EUvsDisinfo, research is outsourced to some 400 volunteers, who are 'operating in a post-Soviet space saturated by anti-Russian attitudes'.

It is in this context that a burgeoning literature examines possible responses. An article in Foreign Policy in July 2019 argued that 'Moscow now acts regularly against US interests with impunity'. The question, in the view of the author, was how to rebuild deterrence -- 'how to get Putin to start fearing the United States again'. The problem was defined in broad terms: 'how to convince Putin that he can't afford to keep trying to disrupt the global order and undermine the United States, the West, and democracy itself'. The charge list was a long one:

Over the last decade, Putin has provoked Washington again and again: by invading Georgia, annexing Crimea, attacking Ukraine, assassinating opponents at home and abroad, and interfering in elections throughout the West. In each case the underwhelming US response helped convince Putin that he could get away with more such behaviour.

To 'get Putin to start respecting the United States again' such measures as toughening sanctions, strengthening military alliances, and conducting more assertive diplomacy were recommended (Geltser 2019 ). Simpson and Fritsch ( 2019 ), former Wall Street Journal writers who founded Fusion GPS, the agency that in 2016 hired Christopher Steele to prepare the infamous dossier on Trump's links with Russia, insisted that Britain needed its own Mueller report to investigate Russia's role in the Brexit vote. They argued that such an enquiry was 'essential to halt Russia's attack on Britain's democracy' (Simpson and Fritsch 2019 ). The Kremlin Watch Program ( 2019 ) of the Prague-based European Values Center for Security Policy suggested 20 measures to counter 'hostile Russian interference'.

A Pentagon assessment in June 2019 argued that the USA was ill-equipped to counter 'the increasingly brazen political warfare Russia is waging to undermine democracies' (Bender 2019 ). A 150-page study prepared for the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff argued that the USA was still underestimating the scope of Russia's aggression, including the use of propaganda and disinformation to sway public opinion in Europe and across the globe. The study also warned against the growing alignment of Russia and China, which were opposed to America's system of international alliances and shared a proclivity for 'authoritarian stability'. The authors argued that domestic disarray impeded the USA's ability to respond (Department of Defense 2019 ). Natalia Arno, the head of the Free Russia Foundation, agreed with the report's finding and argued that 'Russia is attacking Western institutions in ways more shrewd and strategically discreet than many realize' (Bender 2019 ). The Pentagon report recommended that the State Department should take the lead in devising more aggressive 'influence operations', including sowing division between Russia and China. The study analysed what it called 'gray zone' activities, the attempt by Putin's regime to undermine democratic nations, in particular those on Russia's periphery, through 'hybrid' measures, falling short of direct military action. However, although warning of Moscow's alignment with Beijing, the report recommended cooperation with Russia in key areas such as strategic nuclear weapons. One of the authors, John Arquilla of the Naval Postgraduate School, argued that Ronald Reagan's offer in the 1980s to share research on ballistic missile defence (BMD) should be revisited. The report suggested that while elites and the people broadly supported Putin's foreign policy and the striving for great power status, this was liable to weaken when faced by socio-economic problems.

Inevitably, forces seeking to break the liberal hegemony at home will make common cause with an external power that is also interested in breaking that expansive hegemony. Russia looks for friends wherever it can find them, and seeks a way out of the impasse of the post-Cold War security order. However, it is important to stress the limits to that alignment. If Russia were a genuinely revisionist power, then it would make sense to ally with any force destructive of the old order; but as argued above, Russia is a neo-revisionist power -- concerned with changing the monist practices of post-Cold War liberalism, but not with changing the international system in its entirety. This means that Russia is quite happy to work within existing structures as long as monism can be kept in check. The struggle against 'fake news' and 'Russian disinformation' threatens the pluralism at the heart of traditional liberalism. That is why the investigation into the alleged collusion between the Trump camp and Russia in the 2016 presidential election was more damaging than the putative original offence. When policy differences and divergences in value preferences are delegitimated and couched in binary Cold War terms, then the Atlantic power system is in danger of becoming dangerously hermetic. Immunity to new ideas, even if they come from a traditional adversary, weakens resistance to domestic degradation.

Russia: challenger or insurrectionary?

We are now in a position to assess whether Putin really is out to subvert the West, as suggested by the US intelligence community, much recent commentary and numerous strategic and doctrinal statements. The 'black legend' charge underlies the Russiagate allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US and other elections. Such accusations are based on the view that a fundamental gulf has opened between the worldviews of the Russian leadership and the Western community. There are some grounds to argue that this is the case, although this needs to be placed into the broader framework of the evolution of Russian foreign policy since the end of the communist era and into the theoretical context of how Russia sees the international system, as described earlier. Above all, as the historic West moved into an era of expansive 'hegemonism', Russia (and China) were inevitably categorised as hostile nations. They had the motive and heft to fight back. Lavrov ( 2019 ) condemned the way that the 'rules-based order' substituted for international law, while the expanded institutions of dominion encircled both countries. Challengers to the radicalised liberal world order become subversive by definition.

Russia is a challenger power but it is not insurrectionary. In other words, it is far from the Soviet position of seeking to advance the ideology of revolutionary socialism, of which 'active measures' were one of the most specific manifestations. Further, Russia is not a revisionist power out to destroy the foundations of the international system as it has taken shape since 1945, but it is neo-revisionist, challenging the practices of the US-led Atlantic order within that system. As a conservative status quo Russia finds itself challenged by the radicalisation of the historic West that it had hoped to transform at the end of the Cold War. Concurrently, Russia's identity as a great power means that it resists the dominion element. It could live with the more modest liberal hegemony of the Cold War years (and in fact, one of the layers of Russia's foreign policy identity still wants to join it), but the combination of radicalised hegemonic universalism and the expansive logic of the power system rendered dominion unacceptable. Russia condemns the Atlantic system for its revolutionary radicalism, manifested in what is perceives to be Western revisionism. Russia thus finds itself divided from the historic West on a range of policy issues, but not ultimately by commitment to the post-1945 international system. This is why Moscow welcomed Trump's post-Atlanticist declarations, since he offered an alternative to the neo-conservative militarism and democratic interventionism of the post-Cold War era. Shackled by Russiagate, Trump was not able to deliver much and in fact the sanctions regime and other forms of neo-containment were intensified. In this context, six observations can help us examine the problem of greater Russia and subversion.

First, it is misleading to see direct continuity between the USSR and Russia. Russia no longer embodies an alternative ideology and is in fact a status quo power in both ideational and territorial terms. Russia is also comparatively far less powerful. If at its peak in the early 1970s Soviet GDP reached 58 per cent that of the USA, today Russia's at most is ten per cent of America's. Russia's defence spending in 2019 was the fourth largest in the world, but at $65 billion this is less than a tenth of the USA at $732 billion (38 per cent of total global military spending) and less than a quarter of China's $261 billion (SIPRI 2020 ). Cold War patterns have been restored, but the dynamics of this confrontation are very different even though some of the procedural rituals of mutual excoriation have returned (Monaghan 2015 ). However, Russia does claim to represent an alternative to the historical West in three ways: as the defender of conservative sovereign internationalism, where states interact on the basis of interests, although norms are far from repudiated; as a socially conservative civilisation state with societal dynamics of its own (Coker 2019 ; Tsygankov 2016 ); and as a European power with a stake in creating some pan-continental framework, while at the same time advocating the establishment of some sort of greater Eurasian unity.

All three open up lines of fracture that Russia seeks to exploit as a challenger but not as an insurrectionary power. In particular, at the civilisational level the identification of the West with the Atlantic system is challenged. This is a process that is advancing in any case within the Atlantic system, with the EU Global Strategy ( 2016 ) talking of 'strategic autonomy'. The election of Trump later that year prompted Merkel ( 2018 ), to argue that Europe could no longer rely on the USA to protect it. The French president Emmanuel Macron ( 2019 ) argued that the corollary of the growing Atlantic divide was rapprochement with Russia. Critics argue that Russia exploits this division and seeks to widen it, and in structural terms they are right. Any breach in the monist wall will be welcomed by any leader in Moscow. It is along this line that charges of Russian subversion lie.

Second, unlike the former Soviet Union where policy was coordinated by the Central Committee and Politburo, today Russia is far from monolithic. The layered phases mean that elements of at least four types of Russian engagement with the West coexist and operate at the same time, although with different intensity. As noted, these range from Atlanticist engagement, competitive coexistence, new realism to neo-revisionism. Commentary on contemporary Russia assumes that it behaves like a unitary actor, with Putin serving as the unique demi-urge with nothing better to do than ceaselessly monitor and manipulate global malign activities. This is indeed a manifestation of Western 'narcissism', and as Paul Robinson ( 2020 ) asks 'where does all this nonsense about Putin wanting to destroy democracy come from? It certainly doesn't come from anything he's ever said'. Russia is a vast and complex country with a vigorous public sphere with plenty of relatively autonomous interests and actors. Institutionalised political pluralism is constrained, but not all roads lead to the Kremlin (Sakwa 2020 ). For example, the national populist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the head of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, has hosted six conferences of far-right politicians since 1992, many attracted by the anti-Western language deployed by much of the Russian elite. They provide an alternative narrative that often coincides with the Kremlin's positions, but this does mean that there is an unbreakable alliance between the two (Moldovanov 2019 ). As the Reframing Russia team argue, not every outlandish comment in Russia's public sphere can be attributed to the Kremlin's propaganda and disinformation department. Equally, we may add, not every oligarch is 'Putin's crony', bent on advancing the Kremlin's malign agenda. This attribution and alignment fallacy is why, among other reasons, sanctions against alleged regime-associated individuals will not achieve the desired effect of changing Russian policy, since they are based on a flawed understanding of how Russia works, as well as the category error noted above about the structural sources of Russian foreign policy.

Third, Russian behaviour is located in the matrix of the changing dynamics of the Atlantic power system, the liberal international order and global power shifts (Karaganov (ed.) 2020 ). Russia is certainly alienated from a particular system that claims to be universal, as well as concerned about the advance of a power system to its borders. The liberal international order may well have been 'doomed to fail' because the key policies on which it is based are deeply flawed (Mearsheimer 2019 ). Spreading liberal democracy around the globe was benign in intent but disastrous in consequence (Walt 2019 ). The illusions generated by exaggerated claims of exceptionalism meant that the US 'squandered' Cold War victory (Bacevich 2020 ). Russia's reaction is just one to an order whose response to the end of the Cold War was to exaggerate the dominion factor and thus undermined its normative hegemony.

Fourth, Russia has returned as a power critical not only of the Atlantic hegemony but also of the values on which it is based. At the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in June 2019 Putin talked of the failure of the 'Euro-Atlantic' economic model and argued that 'the existing model of economic relations is still in crisis and this crisis is of a comprehensive nature' (Putin 2019b ). Here and on other occasions he condemned the Atlantic powers' use of sanctions as a form of economic warfare. On the eve of SPIEF on 6 June, Putin and China's leader, Xi Jinping, announced the upgrade of their relationship to a 'Comprehensive Partnership of Coordination for a New Era', accompanied by a joint statement on global strategic stability (Xinhua 2019 ). There is a tension between the expansive liberal hegemony and countries and social movements who question the identification of liberalism with order itself. Liberalism ultimately generates antinomies, which are not mere correctible aberrations but systemic flaws of the liberal paradigm itself. These above all concern the question of taming the power of capital and dealing with inequality and citizen marginalisation. Moscow does not identify itself with these radical critiques, and its criticisms ultimately have a superficial and reversible character. Russia does not stand outside the contradictions of contemporary liberalism, having entered its own liberal era at the end of the Cold War in 1989. That layer in its identity is far from nugatory. Russia's experience of liberalism is distinctive, characterising the 1990s as a time of liberal excess, yet the Putin system is permeated with neoliberal ideas and even liberal aspirations. His critics in Russia from the left and right condemn the antinomies of the system, whereas Putin simply points out the power and cultural contradictions of post-Cold War liberalism.

Fifth, the struggle for geopolitical pluralism after the neo-revisionist turn in 2012 is accompanied by a programme of cultural conservatism, opening the door to alignment with Europe's national populists. In condemning what he took to be the rampant social liberalism, accompanied by Merkel's 'welcome culture' in 2015 vis-à-vis the influx of refugees, Putin ( 2019a ) sought to bolster support among social conservatives in Europe. As political and social liberals united against Putinite Russia, it appeared that the impasse could only be broken by bolstering conservative (if not outright reactionary) movements in Europe. A European change of heart would allow a rapprochement without Russia having to change its domestic or foreign policies: 'It would be 1989 in reverse. This time it would not be Russia but Europe to go through a traumatic conversion to foreign ideas' (Maçães 2019 ). Russia would be rescued from isolation and policy-makers could once again turn to the creation of a 'greater Europe', reducing Russia's dependence on China and strengthening its position vis-à-vis the USA. This is the foundational argument about Russia being out to subvert the West, and there is some truth in it -- but not in the linear way it is usually interpreted. The alignment is situational and the geopolitics takes precedence over ideological alignment.

Sixth, as the Russiagate affair demonstrates, Russia acts as the scapegoat for problems generated by domestic contradictions. In that case, Russian 'meddling' helped explain how the most improbable of candidates was able to win against an experienced politician, Hillary Clinton, with a long record of public service, to pull off 'the greatest political upset in American history' (Green 2017 , p. 236). This impeded the Democratic Party from coming to terms with its own shortcomings, and the country from addressing its ills. This perhaps is the greatest subversive effect achieved by Russia. As far as we know, this was not achieved deliberately, although there is the view that Russia fed information 'to have the West believe what the Kremlin wants the West to believe' (McCarthy 2019 , p. 166). Even more cunningly, perhaps they were feeding misinformation to Steele to provoke a counter-intelligence investigation that would incapacitate the Trump presidency and set the Democrats off on a wild goose chase that prevented them from reforming and reconnecting with the real concerns of the American people. If the latter is the case, then the operation was a brilliant success. The struggle against presumed Russian 'active measures' does more damage to Western political institutions and the legitimacy of Western normative hegemony than the putative subversive activity itself. The security services and spy agencies of course continue to battle it out behind the scenes, but McCarthyism is as destructive today as it was in the 1950s.

Conclusion

Russia has returned as an international conservative power, but it is not a revisionist one, and even less is it out to subvert the West. Russia certainly looks for allies where it can find them, especially if they advocate the lifting of sanctions. When Macron ( 2019 ) argued that it was time to bring Russia out of the cold, arguing that 'We cannot rebuild Europe without rebuilding a connection with Russia', his comments were welcomed in Moscow, although tempered by a justifiable scepticism.

The Putin elite had earlier welcomed Trump's election, but in practice relations deteriorated further. The foreign policy establishment is deeply sceptical that the EU will be able to act with 'strategic autonomy'. Above all, Russo-Western relations have entered into a statecraft 'security dilemma':

Currently, we are again faced with a situation in which mutual intentions are assessed by Washington and Moscow as subversive, while each side considers the statecraft employed by the other side as effective enough to achieve its malign goals. At the same time, each side is more sceptical about its own statecraft and appears (or pretends) to be scrambling to catch up (Troitskiy 2019 ).

In the nineteenth century, Russia became the 'gendarme' of Europe, and while Putin repudiates the country assuming such a role again, Russia has undoubtedly returned as an international conservative power. Maintenance of a specifically historically determined definition of the status quo is the essence of its neo-revisionism: a defence of traditional ideas of state sovereignty and of an internationalism structured by commitment to the structures of the international system as it took shape after 1945. Russia resents its perceived exclusion from the institutions of Atlantic dominion (above all NATO); but is not out to destroy the international system in which this competition is waged. Thus, Anton Shekhovtsov ( 2017 ) is mistaken to argue that Russia's links to right-wing national populist movements are rooted in philosophical anti-Westernism and an instinct to subvert the liberal democratic consensus in the West. In fact, the alignment is situational and contingent on the impasse in Russo-Western relations and thus is susceptible to modification if the situation changes. Moscow's readiness to embrace Trump in 2016 when he repeatedly argued that it made sense to 'get on' with Russia indicates that Western overtures for improved relations would find the Kremlin ready to reciprocate. In 2017 the Kremlin sent Washington various ideas on how to move out of the impasse in US-Russian relations, but given the 'Russiagate' allegations, the White House was in no position to respond. The same applies when in 2019 Russia was invited to resume full voting rights in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which the Kremlin embraced even though powerful domestic neo-traditionalist and Eurasianist voices counselled against.

Russia is not out to subvert the West but seeks to change it. For the defenders of monist enlargement, this is just as bad. Resistance at home and abroad to the post-Cold War Western order has exposed unexpected fragilities and insecurities, hence the turn to the language of 'resilience' (for example, EU Global Strategy 2016 ). Given its strategy of resistance, Russia in turn becomes the object against which resilience is tested, becoming one of Federica Mogherini's 'five principles' ( 2016 ), creating yet another barrier to normal diplomatic relations. In fact, the structural model outlined in this paper suggests that Russia does not seek to create a greater Russia through subversion let alone physical enlargement, although all leaders since the end of the Cold have tried to make the country a great power. This raises the fundamental and still unresolved question: is Russia still interested in joining a transformed West? Or has it realised that the only way to retain great power status and sovereign decision-making is to remain outside the West? Joining the transformed West meant the attempt to create a 'greater Europe', what Gorbachev had earlier termed the common European home. For defenders of the existing West, this is perceived as threatening its existing values, norms and freedoms, and perhaps more importantly, also the existing hierarchy of international power; but for Russia, it is a way out of the perceived geopolitical impasse and offers a common developmental strategy.

The West is faced by a choice 'between containment and engagement on mutually agreed terms' (Trenin 2016 , p. 110). Incompatible understanding of the political character of the historical epoch provokes an intense barrage of propaganda from all sides, with mutual allegations of political subversion and interference. The interaction of hegemony and dominion on the one side and multiple layers of identity on the other provides fertile ground for incomprehension and the attribution of sinister motives, provoking the statecraft 'security dilemma' identified above. Russia maintains a neo-revisionist critique, but this does not mean repudiating improved relations with a post-dominion West. The country increasingly pivoted to the East and strengthened its alignment with China, but this does not mean that Russia seeks an irrevocable break with the West (Monaghan 2019 ). This is why it seeks improved relations with the EU and the USA if a satisfactory formula for restored contact can be found. Moscow's support for insurgent populist movements in Europe and disruptive forces in America will always be tempered by larger strategic concerns and are certainly not unequivocal. The greater Russia envisaged by the Kremlin elite is one whose sovereignty is defended and whose great power status is recognised, but it is not one that seeks more territory or to subvert the West and sow discord. The West can be trusted to do that without Russia's help. The West's response to Russia's neo-revisionism has been neo-containment and counter-subversion strategies, but if the analysis proposed in this article has any validity, then new forms of engagement may be a more productive course. References

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Download references Author information Affiliations

  1. School of Politics and International Relations, Rutherford College, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NX, UK

    Richard Sakwa

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Richard Sakwa . Ethics declarations Conflict of interest

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https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41311-020-00258-0

[Jul 24, 2020] US officials force entry into shuttered Chinese consulate in Houston soon after evicted staff left -- RT USA News

Jul 24, 2020 | www.rt.com

NoisyBaboon dontdenythe 7 minutes ago Both China and Russia can even bulldoze the US embassies in their countries. But they will not do this because doing so is actually NONSENSICAL. Let the foools enjoy themselves.

[Jul 24, 2020] Intelligence agencies, in Israel and elsewhere, are organized criminal syndicates

Jul 24, 2020 | twitter.com

. Jul 22 Funny that people hating on me for covering crimes of Israeli intelligence ignore the fact that Mossad heads openly admit it's a criminal organization. Intelligence agencies, in Israel and elsewhere, are organized criminal syndicates. Ex-spy chief said 'fun part' about Mossad is that it's a crime organization. Netanyahu is not amused *** haaretz.com

[Jul 24, 2020] Nobel peace price hawk and other stories

Jul 24, 2020 | www.rt.com

Roger Thornhill 2 hours ago If I recall correctly, Obama gave the Russians all of 48 hours to leave their consulate in San Francisco, which had been occupied since the 19th Century. This was around Christmas time in 2016. So I don't find this particularly surprising. Two days to have the diplomats, staff, and families completely out of the country.

[Jul 23, 2020] Beyond Trump vs. Trump- We Have a Nation to Safeguard

Jul 23, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The seldom-seen niece's shoddy attempt at psychoanalysis may, despite its flaws, point to worthwhile considerations. (By Gino Santa Maria/Shutterstock)

JULY 23, 2020

|

12:01 AM

JAMES PINKERTON

President Trump is obviously not happy about about the highly unflattering portrait of him painted by his niece, Mary Trump, in her best-selling book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man.
On July 17, reacting to her description of him as "narcissistic," "dysfunctional," and "perverted," the president jabbed back in a tweet , describing her as "a seldom seen niece who knows little about me, says untruthful things about my wonderful parents (who couldn't stand her!) and me."

Of course, the Main Stream Media loves the new book; indeed, pressies are always careful to insert that Mary Trump is a "clinical psychologist," thereby seeking to assign greater weight to her judgment on the famous uncle; she's not just an estranged family member, she's a trained clinician . Thus when Mary declares that Donald's "pathologies are so complex and his behaviors so often inexplicable that coming up with an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis would require a full battery of psychological and neuropsychological tests that he'll never sit for" -- the MSM treats her words as the voice of an oracular psycho-authority.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13045197114175078?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13045197114175078-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com&rid=www.theamericanconservative.com&width=838

Indeed, speaking of long-distance diagnosis, it might be small comfort to the 45th president to know that plenty of other American presidents have been similarly psychoanalyzed. In fact, no less than the father of psychoanalysis himself, Sigmund Freud, co-authored an unsparing assessment of our 28th president, Thomas Woodrow Wilson: A Psychological Study .

Moreover, we've learned, over the last century or so, that the mind of any individual, when perceived though the Freudian prism, appears to be nothing more than a heaving mass of Greek-named complexes and phobias. And yet through it all, most people manage to get off the couch and do things, including becoming politicians -- a very few even becoming president of the United States. So how do they manage that? And what does that mean for the rest of us?

Some enduring answers to such questions can be found in Harold Lasswell's 1930 book, Psychopathology and Politics. Lasswell is obscure now, but in his day, he was a professor at Yale Law School as well as president of the American Political Science Association. Moreover, he was active when Freud was at the peak of his influence; Psychopathology and Politics is much shaped along the contours of the Viennese Herr Doktor 's thought.

Evidently realizing that the word "psychopathology" in the title would send a strong signal, Lasswell opened his book, a bit defensively, with the declaration, "The purpose of this venture is not to prove that politicians are 'insane.'" In fact, Lasswell, being mostly a political scientist, was careful to stipulate that "the specifically pathological is of secondary importance to the central problem of exhibiting the developmental profile of different types of public characters." In other words, for all his fascination with individual minds, in the end, the author was actually most interested in collective political outcomes.

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For purposes of analysis, Lasswell categorized three types of political personality: the "agitator," the "administrator," and the "theorist." To illustrate this triptych, Lasswell named a few names; Herbert Hoover, for instance, was labeled an administrator, while Old Testament prophets were labeled as agitators, and Karl Marx labeled as a theorist. Interestingly, Vladimir Lenin was listed as all three types.

Still, for the most part, Lasswell chose to focus, in the Freudian clinical style, on anonymized exemplars of each political personality type, detailing the mental circuities of "Mr. A," as well as "B," "C," and so on.

From there, Lasswell considers how each type meshes with politics. As he puts it, the state is a "manifold," into which political figures enter, and through which political events "are to be understood."

He writes, "political movements derive their vitality from the displacement of private affects upon public objects." Using dark Freudian terminology, Lasswell asserts that "Political crises are complicated by the concurrent reactivation of specific primitive impulses." In that same bleak spirit, he also avers, "Politics is the process by which the irrational bases of society are brought out into the open."

Yet while phrases such as "primitive impulses" and "irrational bases" are the stuff of psychiatry, Lasswell also wrote in political science-y language, as when he laid out his equation for political action: p } d } r = P . Here, p stands for "private motives," } stands for "transformed into," d equals "displacement on to public objects," r stands for " rationalization in terms of public interest," and P "signifies the political man."

In Lasswell's formula, individuals bring their personality with them into the political arena, and then, if they wish to make a mark in politics, they must reconcile, somehow, their own personalities with the political environment. As Lasswell explains, "The distinctive mark of the homo politicus is the rationalization of the displacement in terms of public interests."

We might note that in no sense was Lasswell saying that homo politicus was necessarily good-hearted, or that people were always wise about their own well-being; as he put it, oftentimes, "people are poor judges of their own interests." And so the "solution" in politics, he continued, is "not the 'rationally best' one," but rather, "the emotionally satisfactory one."

Still, Lasswell did not believe in autocracy or dictatorship; he approvingly quoted another political scientist who argued, "Society is not safe . . . when it is forced to follow the dictations of one individual."

Yet because Lasswell shared Freud's gloomy view of human nature, he argued for a sort of guided system, dubbing it "preventive politics." As he put it, "The politics of prevention draws attention squarely to the central problem of reducing the level of strain and maladaptation in society." Thus Lasswell endorsed the application of therapeutic psychology to the population as a whole -- putting the country, as it were, on the therapist's couch.

If that doesn't sound like a plausible solution, we might note that we often do just that to our country's leaders -- and the latest instance is what Mary Trump has done to her uncle.

Yet even those who mistrust a long-distance diagnosis -- and who might see Mary Trump's book as opportunistically timed to the election -- might nonetheless reflect on Lasswell's political equation, p } d } r = P.

After all, individuals do enter into the political system, and they do what they do -- and so it's best if we understand them as well as we can. Indeed, each new entry can be seen as a case study, providing us with an opportunity to learn: What went right? Or, what went wrong? And who makes a good leader?

Such cumulative study gives us all a chance to practice a Lasswellian "politics of prevention." That is, while we don't seem to be able to cure the mentally ill, we can nevertheless take sterner measures to keep the pathological out of political office, especially high political office.

In particular, we might take the view that the electoral political system should serve as a kind of filter, separating out the gold from the dross. If, as Max Weber put it, politics is "the slow boring of hard boards," then maybe we should favor politicians who actually know how to drill a hole, and who know to drill it in the right place -- and not smash the board.

Indeed, if we think of prosaic electoral politics as a filtering process, we might gain more respect for those who prove themselves in a minor office before seeking a major office -- and major responsibility. To put the matter bluntly, if a wannabe pol is maladaptive, let's know early on, when the stakes are low.

This wisdom was well expressed by Sam Rayburn, the Texas politician who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 48 years, as well as in the Texas state house for six years before that -- and, remarkably, rose to be speaker in both chambers, in Austin as well as in Washington, D.C. As recorded in David Halberstam's classic book about the origins of America's fiasco in the Vietnam War, The Best and the Brightest , in 1961, then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson gushed to his old pal Rayburn about how smart and impressive were the men of John F. Kennedy's administration, bandying about brilliant ideas for saving the world. To which Rayburn responded to LBJ, "You may be right and they may be every bit as intelligent as you say, but I'd feel a whole lot better about them if just one of them had run for sheriff once."

In other words, it would be better if the soaring kites of their intellects were tethered to mundane human experience and political reality -- including the reality of running for office. As we know, absent such tethering, those best and brightest led us into an Asian quagmire, drowning even the political career of LBJ.

So now, in 2020, in these extraordinarily trying times, the voters are about to run their political filter yet again. Indeed, if the presidential polls are to be believed, this filtration system is favoring Joe Biden, who has, after all, undergone the "extreme vetting" of a half-century in elective politics.

So is this an instance in which Lasswell's idea of "preventive politics" is being applied? We can never know from the Yale professor himself, of course, since he long ago went to that great ivory tower in the sky. Yet still, one senses that the author of Psychopathology and Politics would be pleased.

Because, after all, the fate of the nation is more important than the strange case of Trump vs. Trump. ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James P. Pinkerton is a longtime contributing editor at The American Conservative , columnist, and author. He served as longtime regular columnist for Newsday. He has also written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, National Review, The New Republic, Foreign Affairs, Fortune, and The Jerusalem Post. He is the author of What Comes Next: The End of Big Government--and the New Paradigm Ahead (1995) . He worked in the White House domestic policy offices of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and in the 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1992 presidential campaigns.

[Jul 23, 2020] Demorats defeat amedment ot cut Defence by 10%

Highly recommended!
Jul 23, 2020 | news.antiwar.com

Amendment to make across-the-board reductions overwhelmingly defeated by members of both parties

Eric Garris Posted on July 21, 2020 Categories News

By a vote of 324-93 , the House of Representatives soundly defeated an amendment to reduce Pentagon authorized spending levels by 10%. The amendment does not specify what to cut, only that Congress make across-the-board reductions. The amendment to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was offered by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI). No Republicans voted for the amendment. Libertarian Justin Amash supported the amendment.

Earlier, the House defeated an amendment to stop the Pentagon's submission of an unfunded priorities list. Each year, after the Pentagon's budget request is submitted to Congress, the military services send a separate "wish list," termed "unfunded priorities." This list includes requests for programs that the military would like Congress to fund, in case they decide to add more money to the Pentagon's proposed budget.

This article was written while observing the voting on CSPAN. The House Clerk has not yet posted the roll-call vote. Additional information will be added to the article when available.

[Jul 23, 2020] Garbage in, Garbage out, again

Neocon presstitutes like Appelbaum (actually a well paid MIC lobbyist in disguise) and MI6 connected criminals like like Browder are the feature of the US political landscape, not a bug. I actually did laugh at Browder's piece on the BBC though, were a money launderer and tax evader who left his book keeper to die in a Russian prison telling us we shouldn't trust the Russians.
US economic problems are greatly enhanced by the tremendous amount of defense expenditures (outspending the combined next seven leading countries in arms expenditures) and tax payer's money being wasted on paranoid obsessions likes what's mentioned here: http://markcrispinmiller.com/2020/07/a-visit-from-the-fbi/
Jul 23, 2020 | irrussianality.wordpress.com
A.I.S. JULY 21, 2020 AT 11:33 AM

How can anyone think that Bowder is an authority of anything other then high level Nigerian crown prince scams? Enrique JULY 22, 2020 AT 9:55 PM

Russia's goal? ..to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids, of course. Didn't you read the report? Mikhail JULY 22, 2020 AT 8:18 AM

Talk about "Garbage In-Garbage Out", the idiocy behind that is how she/he/it punked out of live discussion:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/worldhaveyoursay/2007/08/a_new_cold_war.html

Much easier to lob pot shots from a distance where there's little, if any challenge. Enrique JULY 22, 2020 AT 9:31 PM

I think she finally found a husband and stopped ragging on western expats drooling over slavic women like schoolboys. 😉


Enrique JULY 22, 2020 AT 9:11 PM

The article mentions Steele as a discredited participant but what about Applebaum, or are we to forget how her Polish husband was demoted by his own government for concocting a story about Putin offering to split Ukraine with Poland, at an alleged meeting that he was shown to have never attended. Poland no doubt sanctioned him for fabricating such an easily disproved event, certainly not out of any such notion as a search for truth.

That said, not having invited even a token moderate voice to this august 'panel of experts' speaks volumes about either the ignorance, the incompetence, the perfidy or just plain 'We don't really care what you think. We've done our duty' arrogance of the report's authors.

[Jul 21, 2020] Russian influence in the UK is the 'new normal,' widely anticipated report claims

This is not simply projection on the part of UK MI5/MI6 duet, this is a real war on reality. UK false flag operation with Skripla poisoning (which probably was designed to hide possible role of Skripal in creating Steele dossier) now will forever be textbook example of evilness MI5/MI6 honchos.
If we think that GRU is the past was able to fight Abwehr to standstill, they really would now be worried about the blowback from Skripal mess.
Jul 21, 2020 | www.msn.com

A highly-anticipated report by the U.K. Parliament into Russia n interference in the country was released on Tuesday, claiming that Russian influence in the U.K. is the "new normal."

The Russia Report, published after months of delay, is the culmination of two years of fact finding by the U.K. Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee (ICS), providing insights on the Salisbury Novichok poisonings , Russian financial influence and social media disinformation. The report said the U.K. was a "top target" for Russian interference.

The publication of the report comes a week after security services in the U.S., U.K. and Canada said that Russian hackers had been attempting to hack into global coronavirus vaccine research . The Kremlin has denied the accusations.

However, the report will likely disappoint observers who expected the ICS to detail how far Russia interfered in the bitterly contested Brexit Referendum of 2016 . Prime Minister Boris Johnson's was accused of withholding the publication of the report until after the election of December 2019, a claim they denied.

[Jul 21, 2020] This Skripal thing smelled to high heaven from day 1. My opinion is that Sergei Skripal was involved (to what degree is open to speculation) with the Steele dossier.

Highly recommended!
Apr 20, 2019 | theduran.com
Marcus April 20, 2019

There is something rotten in the state .. of England.

This Skripal thing smelled to high heaven from day 1. My opinion is that Sergei Skripal was involved (to what degree is open to speculation) with the Steele dossier. He was getting homesick (perhaps his mother getting older is part of this) for Russia and he thought that to get back to Russia he needed something big to get back in Putin's good graces. He would have needed something really big because Putin really has no use for traitors. Skripal put out some feelers (perhaps through his daughter though that may be dicey). The two couriers were sent to seal or move the deal forward. The Brits (and perhaps the CIA) found out about this and decided to make an example of Sergei. Perhaps because they found out about this late, the deep state/intelligence people had to move very quickly. The deep state story was was extremely shaky (to put it mildly) as a result. Or they were just incompetent and full of hubris.

Then they were stuck with the story and bullshit coverup was layered on bullshit coverup. 7 Reply FlorianGeyer Reply to Marcus April 20, 2019

@ Marcus.

To hope to get away with lies, one must have perfect memory and a superior intellect that can create a lie with some semblance of reality in real life, as opposed to the digital 'reality' in a Video game. And a rather corny video game at that.

MI5/6 failed on all parts of Lie creation 2 Reply Mistaron April 21, 2019

If Trump was so furious about being conned by Haspel, how come he then went on to promote her to becoming the head of the CIA? It's quite perplexing.

[Jul 20, 2020] Gavin "Stupid Boy" Williamson was Minister of Defence when he said that Russia should "go away and shut up"

The game now turned against Johnson and Co and it is British government who now probably should follow his immortal advice "go away and shut up".
Jul 20, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE July 19, 2020 at 10:37 am

Not foreign minister: Gavin "Stupid Boy" Williamson was Minister of Defence when he said that Russia should "go away and shut up".

[Jul 20, 2020] The text of the OPCW document is "enhanced" in FT reports

Jul 20, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

CORTES July 19, 2020 at 1:37 pm

To paraphrase the famous line from "Jaws":

"You're gonna need a bigger rewrite" as another wheel falls off the Skripals Saga Wagon:

http://johnhelmer.net/financial-times-editor-khalaf-fakes-opcw-reports-on-skripal-sturgess-cases-hides-original-documents/

The text of the OPCW document is "enhanced" in FT reports. "Sexed up" was the term used about the UN Weapons Inspectors' report on Iraq's WMD programme way back when.

A Dr. David Kelly was involved. I wonder what became of him?

MOSCOWEXILE July 19, 2020 at 7:47 pm

That term "sexed up" really made me cringe when it suddenly came in vogue amongst UK commenters and "journalists" .

I was already in exile when the the shit hit the fan in the UK as regards criminal Blair's warmongering and was at a loss to understand what "sexed up" meant in the British newspaper articles that I read at the time -- no Internet then, so once a week I used to buy a copy of the "Sunday Times" (Woden forgive me!) in the foyer of of the five-star Hotel National, Moscow. Used to cost me an arm and a leg an' all! Robbing bastards!

[Jul 20, 2020] The above link exhaustively details how the fraud was perpetrated and how the White Helmets were funded. The most disturbing facts were the murder of captive Syrian civilians including children for use as props for Western media.

Jul 20, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

A former British officer and gentleman, no less!

PATIENT OBSERVER July 19, 2020 at 11:29 am

http://syriapropagandamedia.org/james-le-mesurier-a-reconstruction-of-his-business-activities-and-covert-role

The above link exhaustively details how the fraud was perpetrated and how the White Helmets were funded. The most disturbing facts were the murder of captive Syrian civilians including children for use as props for Western media. There is little doubt in my mind that these murders were viewed as standard business practice with the only concern being related to complication from being caught. Of course, being "caught" was a minor inconvenience that the MSM could easily manage into oblivion.

Mr. Le Mesurier may have been killed as the White Helmets no longer had value and dead men rarely talk:

https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2019/12/10/british-spy-le-mesurier-was-likely-running-away-from-someone-before-his-death

His wife was not very helpful in the investigation having changed her story several times.

Winberg said she looked for her husband inside the house and saw his lifeless body when she looked out of the window. Police are investigating now how she was able to wake up about half an hour after she took a sleeping pill and why she stacked a large amount of money inside the house into bags immediately after Le Mesurier's body was found.
Among questions that are needed to be addressed in the case is why Le Mesurier, who intended to sleep, did not change his clothes, did not even loosen his belt or remove his watch. It is also not known why he did not choose a definitive suicidal action to kill himself, instead of jumping from a relatively low height and why he chose to walk along the roof, passing around the air conditioning devices on the roof, instead of jumping to the street directly from the section of the roof closer to his window.

Mr. Le Mesurier was previously active in Kosovo.

[Jul 20, 2020] One of the few things that the USA and UK has in common: there is no cost to their lying.

Jul 20, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL July 20, 2020 at 1:56 am

Not much different from the British public (media). UKgov was in trouble last week for failing to have their own man as head of the toothless rubberstamping parliamentary intelligence and security committee, shortly afterwards UKGov amped up 'Russia wot stole our vaccine' and the whole UK media ran with it, save a couple of articles qustioning the 'timing'.

The thinking the US & UK have in common is that there is no cost to their lying. They're only thinking of the short term obviously, but they depend on the other to turn the cheek ignore it as 'domstic politiking.' Last saturday I saw the al-Beeb s'allah preview of RusAmb interview to be broadcast on Sunday. The anchor had an 'expert' to help her. Cue cherry brief picked quotes from the interview to make the Ambassador look weak and the 'expert' saying 'that's what you would expect them to say.'

Today I see that Scotland is now the target, i.e. that Russia 'interfered' with the independence referendum. It's not even anything goes August yet. This whole year has been August reporting.

[Jul 20, 2020] That wanker Cecil has a lot to answer for!

Jul 20, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE July 19, 2020 at 7:35 pm

I just cannot see why the US public -- better said, some of the US public. -- fall for that torrent of verbal diarrhoea that Maddow regularly gushes forth on TV about all things Russian.

The shite that she so regularly spews out is patently untrue and clearly propagandistic. Time and time again, the content of "The Rachel Maddow Show" (Why "show" FFS? Is it because that is what it is -- a distraction, an entertainment vehicle for the uncritical masses?) has repeatedly been shown to be untrue, but never an apology from Maddow.

Oh, what a surprise! Her paternal grandfather's family name was Medvedev, a Four-by-Two who fled the Evil (Romanov) Empire and set up shop in the "Land of the Free".

Something that has often puzzled me is this: If the Russian Empire was such a "Prison of Nations", all crushed by the autocratic state, how come Western Europe and the USA is swarming with the descendants of the Tsar's former Jewish subjects?

To be fair to Maddow -- though I see no reason why I should be, for she is a lying cnut -- her family background is not really kosher: her mother hails from Newfoundland and is of English/Irish descent, and one of her grandmother's forebears were from the Netherlands. Furthermore, Maddow says that she had a conservative Catholic upbringing. I suppose that's why she's now a liberal lesbian. And guess what: she's a Rhodes Scholar with an Oxford PhD.

That wanker Cecil has a lot to answer for!

[Jul 20, 2020] The Real 'Russian Playbook' Is Written in English -- Strategic Culture

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There was a deeply held assumption that, when the countries of Central and Eastern Europe joined NATO and the European Union in 2004, these countries would continue their positive democratic and economic transformation. Yet more than a decade later, the region has experienced a steady decline in democratic standards and governance practices at the same time that Russia's economic engagement with the region expanded significantly. ..."
"... Are these developments coincidental, or has the Kremlin sought deliberately to erode the region's democratic institutions through its influence to 'break the internal coherence of the enemy system'? ..."
"... a false flag operation" involving "an alliance of the far right organizations, specifically the Right Sector and Svoboda, and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland". There is little in Sharp's book to suggest that non-violent resistance would have had much effect on a really brutal and determined government. He also has the naïve habit of using "democrat" and "dictator" as if these words were as precisely defined as coconuts and codfish. But any "dictatorship" – for example Stalin's is a very complex affair with many shades of opinion in it. So, in terms of what he was apparently trying to do, one can see it only succeeding against rather mild "dictators" presiding over extremely unpopular polities. With a great deal of outside effort and resources. ..."
"... His "playbook" is useful to outside powers that want to overthrow governments they don't like. Especially those run by "dictators" not brutal enough to shoot the protesters down. ..."
Jul 17, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

I hadn't given The Russian Playbook much attention until Susan Rice, Obama's quondam security advisor, opined a month ago on CNN that " I'm not reading the intelligence today, or these days -- but based on my experience, this is right out of the Russian playbook ". She was referring to the latest U.S. riots.

Once I'd seen this mention of The Russian Playbook (aka KGB, Kremlin or Putin's Playbook), I saw the expression all over the place. Here's an early – perhaps the earliest – use of the term. In October 2016, the Center for Strategic and International studies (" Ranked #1 ") informed us of the " Kremlin Playbook " with this ominous beginning

There was a deeply held assumption that, when the countries of Central and Eastern Europe joined NATO and the European Union in 2004, these countries would continue their positive democratic and economic transformation. Yet more than a decade later, the region has experienced a steady decline in democratic standards and governance practices at the same time that Russia's economic engagement with the region expanded significantly.

And asks

Are these developments coincidental, or has the Kremlin sought deliberately to erode the region's democratic institutions through its influence to 'break the internal coherence of the enemy system'?

Well, to these people, to ask the question is to answer it: can't possibly be disappointment at the gap between 2004's expectations and 2020's reality, can't be that they don't like the total Western values package that they have to accept, it must be those crafty Russians deceiving them. This was the earliest reference to The Playbook that I found, but it certainly wasn't the last.

Russia has a century-old playbook for 'disinformation' 'I believe in Russia they do have their own manual that essentially prescribes what to do,' said Clint Watts, a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a former FBI agent. (Nov 2018)

The Russian playbook for spreading fake news and conspiracy theories is the subject of a new three-part video series on The New York Times website titled 'Operation Infektion: Russian Disinformation: From The Cold War To Kanye.' (Nov 2018)

I found headlines such as these: Former CIA Director Outlines Russian Playbook for Influencing Unsuspecting Targets (May 2017) ; Fmr. CIA op.: Don Jr. meeting part of Russian playbook (Jul 2017) ; Americans Use Russian Playbook to Spread Disinformation (Oct 2018) ; Factory of Lies: The Russian Playbook (Nov 2018) ; Shredding the Putin Playbook: Six crucial steps we must take on cyber-security -- before it's too late. (Winter 2018) ; Trump's spin is 'all out of the KGB playbook': Counterintelligence expert Malcolm Nance (May 2019) .

Of course, all these people are convinced Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Somehow. To some effect. Never really specified but the latest outburst of insanity is this video from the Lincoln Project . As Anatoly Karlin observes: "I think it's really cool how we Russians took over America just by shitposting online. How does it feel to be subhuman?" He has a point: the Lincoln Project, and the others shrieking about Russian interference, take it for granted that American democracy is so flimsy and Americans so gullible that a few Facebook ads can bring the whole facade down. A curious mental state indeed.

So let us consider The Russian Playbook. It stands at the very heart of Russian power. It is old: at least a century old . Why, did not Tolstoy's 1908 Letter to a Hindu inspire Gandhi to bring down the British Indian Empire and win the Great Game for Moscow? The Tolstoy-Putin link is undeniable as we are told in A Post-Soviet 'War and Peace': What Tolstoy's Masterwork Explains About Putin's Foreign Policy : "In the early decades of the nineteenth century, Napoleon (like Putin after him) wanted to construct his own international order ". Russian novelists: adepts of The Playbook every one . So there is much to consider about this remarkable Book which has had such an enormous – hidden to most – role in world history. Its instructions on how to swing Western elections are especially important: the 2016 U.S. election ; Brexit ; " 100 years of Russian electoral interference "; Canada ; France ; the European Union ; Germany and many more. The awed reader must ask whether any Western election since Tolstoy's day can be trusted. Not to forget the Great Hawaiian Pizza Debate the Russians could start at any moment.

What can we know about The Playbook? For a start it must be written in Russian, a language that those crafty Russians insist on speaking among themselves. Secondly such an important document would be protected the way that highly classified material is protected. There would be a very restricted need to know; underlings participating in one of the many plays would not know how their part fitted into The Playbook; few would ever see The Playbook itself. The Playbook would be brought to the desk of the few authorised to see it by a courier, signed for, the courier would watch the reader and take away the copy afterwards. The very few copies in existence would be securely locked away; each numbered and differing subtly from the others so that, should a leak occur, the authorities would know which copy read by whom had been leaked. Printed on paper that could not be photographed or duplicated. As much protection as human cunning could devise; right up there with the nuclear codes .

So, The Russian Playbook would be extraordinarily difficult to get hold of. And yet every talking head on U.S. TV has a copy at his elbow! English copies, one assumes. Rachel Maddow has comprehended the complicated chapter on how to control the U.S. power system . Others have read the impenetrably complex section on how to control U.S. voting machines or change vote counts . Many are familiar with the lists of divisions in American society and directions for exploiting them . Adam Schiff has mastered the section on how to get Trump to give Alaska back . Susan Rice well knows the chapter "How to create riots in peaceful communities".

And so on. It's all quite ridiculous: we're supposed to believe that Moscow easily controls far-away countries but can't keep its neighbours under control.

There is no Russian Playbook, that's just projection. But there is a "playbook" and it's written in English, it's freely available and it's inexpensive enough that every pundit can have a personal copy: it's named " From Dictatorship To Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation " and it's written by Gene Sharp (1928-2018) . Whatever Sharp may have thought he was doing, whatever good cause he thought he was assisting, his book has been used as a guide to create regime changes around the world. Billed as "democracy" and "freedom", their results are not so benign. Witness Ukraine today. Or Libya. Or Kosovo whose long-time leader has just been indicted for numerous crimes . Curiously enough, these efforts always take place in countries that resist Washington's line but never in countries that don't. Here we do see training, financing, propaganda, discord being sown, divisions exploited to effect regime change – all the things in the imaginary "Russian Playbook". So, whatever he may have thought he was helping, Sharp's advice has been used to produce what only the propagandists could call " model interventions "; to the "liberated" themselves, the reality is poverty , destruction , war and refugees .

The Albert Einstein Institution , which Sharp created in 1983, strongly denies collusion with Washington-sponsored overthrows but people from it have organised seminars or workshops in many targets of U.S. overthrows . The most recent annual report of 2014 , while rather opaque, shows 45% of its income from "grants" (as opposed to "individuals") and has logos of Euromaidan, SOSVenezuela, Umbrellamovement , Lwili , Sunflowersquare and others. In short, the logos of regime change operations in Ukraine, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Burkina Faso and Taiwan. (And, ironically for today's USA, Black Lives Matter). So, clearly, there is some connection between the AEI and Washington-sponsored regime change operations.

So there is a "handbook" but it's not Russian.

Reading Sharp's book, however, makes one wonder if he was just fooling himself. Has there ever been a "dictatorship" overthrown by "non-violent" resistance along the lines of what he is suggesting? He mentions Norwegians who resisted Hitler; but Norway was liberated, along with the rest of Occupied Europe, by extremely violent warfare. While some Jews escaped, most didn't and it was the conquest of Berlin that saved the rest: the nazi state was killed . The USSR went away, together with its satellite governments in Europe but that was a top-down event. He likes Gandhi but Gandhi wouldn't have lasted a minute under Stalin. Otpor was greatly aided by NATO's war on Serbia. And, they're only "non-violent" because the Western media doesn't talk much about the violence ; "non-violent" is not the first word that comes to mind in this video of Kiev 2014 . "Colour revolutions" are manufactured from existing grievances, to be sure, but with a great deal of outside assistance, direction and funding; upon inspection, there's much design behind their "spontaneity". And, not infrequently, with mysterious sniping at a expedient moment – see Katchanovski's research on the "Heavenly Hundred" of the Maidan showing pretty convincingly that the shootings were " a false flag operation" involving "an alliance of the far right organizations, specifically the Right Sector and Svoboda, and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland". There is little in Sharp's book to suggest that non-violent resistance would have had much effect on a really brutal and determined government. He also has the naïve habit of using "democrat" and "dictator" as if these words were as precisely defined as coconuts and codfish. But any "dictatorship" – for example Stalin's is a very complex affair with many shades of opinion in it. So, in terms of what he was apparently trying to do, one can see it only succeeding against rather mild "dictators" presiding over extremely unpopular polities. With a great deal of outside effort and resources.

His "playbook" is useful to outside powers that want to overthrow governments they don't like. Especially those run by "dictators" not brutal enough to shoot the protesters down. It's not Russian diplomats that are caught choosing the leaders of ostensibly independent countries . It's not Russians who boast of spending money in poor countries to change their governments . It's not Russian diplomats who meet with foreign opposition leaders . Russia doesn't fabricate a leader of a foreign country . It's not Russia that invents a humanitarian crisis , bombs the country to bits , laughs at its leader's brutal death and walks away. It's not Russia that sanctions numerous countries . It's not Russia that gives fellowships to foreign oppositionists . Even the Washington Post (one of the principals in sustaining Putindunnit hysteria) covered " The long history of the U.S. interfering with elections elsewhere "; but piously insisted "the days of its worst behavior are long behind it". Whatever the pundits may claim about Russia, the USA actually has an organisation devoted to interfering in other countries' business ; one of whose leading lights proudly boasted: " A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA. "

The famous "Russian Playbook" is nothing but projection onto Moscow of what Washington actually does: projection is so common a feature of American propaganda that one may certain that when Washington accuses somebody else of doing something, it's a guarantee that Washington is doing it.

[Jul 19, 2020] Real cancel culture is a psyop to cancel truth or make it unrecognizable from lie via coloring and half-truths such as Russiagate, White Helmets, Skripals, MH-17, Integrity Initiative, Russian Bounties

Jul 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Jul 18 2020 21:38 utc | 53

The establishment's massive propaganda campaigns and psyops CANCEL the truth or make it unrecognizable via coloring and half-truths. Russiagate, White Helmets, Skripals, MH-17, Integrity Initiative, Assange, Russian Bounties & remaining in Afghanistan, "China virus", hydroxyChloroquine, etc.

The Trump Administration has CANCELED entire countries via terminating peace treaties, imposing sanctions, covert war, and conducting a propaganda war.

Where is the outrage from writers, artists, and academics about THAT?

[Jul 19, 2020] What the MSM cliche According to former U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the matter actually means

Highly recommended!
Yet another evil rumor designed to poison relations with Russia. This time from Yahoo
Jul 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

JLee2027 , 1 hour ago

according to former U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

So, it's made up garbage.

[Jul 18, 2020] That self-admitted CIA linked, deep state propaganda puppet outlet lecturing the rest of us about the virtues of fact-checking and journalistic integrity

Notable quotes:
"... Any NYT reporting on Epstein is meant as a distraction -- to cover up the facts. The NYT is the elites' protector, it punches down instead of up. The NYT 'revelations' about guards are a) punching down to protect elites and b) a distraction to protect elites. The NYT is one of the Augean Stables. ..."
Aug 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Aug 12 2019 2:05 utc | 42

@ Posted by: vk | Aug 11 2019 20:42 utc | 11

Oops, it seems I was too optimistic about the NYT. Not even 24h later, we already have these in its home page:

Jeffrey Epstein's Opaque Finances Could Become a Focus for Investigators

[emphasis on the "could"]

Epstein Suicide Conspiracies Show How Our Information System Is Poisoned

Now, people who are doubting the USG are automatically labelled "conspiracy theorists". Except that, in this case, it is perfectly sensible to doubt about his death. He could've put down really powerful people. He wasn't your daily mafia-boy struggling against his mafia boss over US$ 1 billion in cocaine; no: he could put down half the American royalty.


JW , Aug 12 2019 2:48 utc | 48

Ah yes, that self-admitted CIA linked, totally-not deep state propaganda puppet outlet lecturing the rest of us about the virtues of fact-checking and journalistic integrity...
bjd , Aug 11 2019 21:33 utc | 19
Any NYT reporting on Epstein is meant as a distraction -- to cover up the facts. The NYT is the elites' protector, it punches down instead of up. The NYT 'revelations' about guards are a) punching down to protect elites and b) a distraction to protect elites. The NYT is one of the Augean Stables.

[Jul 18, 2020] Divide We Fall -- America Has Been Blacklisted and McCarthyism Refashioned for a New Age

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Not to be outdone, the censors are also taking aim at To Kill a Mockingbird , Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about Atticus Finch, a white lawyer in the Jim Crow South who defends a black man falsely accused of rape. Sixty years after its debut, the book remains a powerful testament to moral courage in the face of racial bigotry and systemic injustice , told from the point of view of a child growing up in the South, but that's not enough for the censors. They want to axe the book -- along with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- from school reading curriculums because of the presence of racial slurs that could make students feel "humiliated or marginalized." ..."
"... What started with Joseph McCarthy's headline-grabbing scare tactics in the 1950s about Communist infiltrators of American society snowballed into a devastating witch hunt once corporations and the American people caught the fever. ..."
"... McCarthyism was a contagion, like the plague, spreading like wildfire among people too fearful or weak or gullible or paranoid or greedy or ambitious to denounce it for what it was: an opportunistic scare tactic engineered to make the government more powerful. ..."
"... Battlefield America: The War on the American People ..."
Jul 18, 2020 | www.mintpressnews.com

For those old enough to have lived through the McCarthy era, there is a whiff of something in the air that reeks of the heightened paranoia, finger-pointing, fear-mongering, totalitarian tactics that were hallmarks of the 1950s.

Back then, it was the government -- spearheaded by Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee -- working in tandem with private corporations and individuals to blacklist Americans suspected of being communist sympathizers.

By the time the witch hunts carried out by federal and state investigative agencies drew to a close, thousands of individuals ( the vast majority of them innocent any crime whatsoever ) had been accused of communist ties, investigated, subpoenaed and blacklisted. Regarded as bad risks, the accused were blacklisted, and struggled to secure employment. The witch hunt ruined careers, resulting in suicides, and tightened immigration to exclude alleged subversives.

Seventy years later, the vitriol, fear-mongering and knee-jerk intolerance associated with McCarthy's tactics are once again being deployed in a free-for-all attack by those on both the political Left and Right against anyone who, in daring to think for themselves, subscribes to ideas or beliefs that run counter to the government's or mainstream thought

It doesn't even seem to matter what the issue is anymore (racism, Confederate monuments, Donald Trump, COVID-19, etc.): modern-day activists are busily tearing down monuments, demonizing historic figures, boycotting corporations for perceived political transgressions, and using their bully pulpit to terrorize the rest of the country into kowtowing to their demands

All the while, the American police state continues to march inexorably forward.

This is how fascism, which silences all dissenting views, prevails.

The silence is becoming deafening.

After years of fighting in and out of the courts to keep their 87-year-old name, the NFL's Washington Redskins have bowed to public pressure and will change their name and team logo to avoid causing offense . The new name, not yet announced, aims to honor both the military and Native Americans.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, a delegate to the House of Representatives who supports the name change, believes the team's move " reflects the present climate of intolerance to names, statues, figments of our past that are racist in nature or otherwise imply racism [and] are no longer tolerated."

Present climate of intolerance, indeed.

Yet it wasn't a heightened racial conscience that caused the Redskins to change their brand. It was the money. The team caved after its corporate sponsors including FedEx, PepsiCo, Nike and Bank of America threatened to pull their funding

So much for that U.S. Supreme Court victory preventing the government from censoring trademarked names it considers distasteful or scandalous.

Who needs a government censor when the American people are already doing such a great job at censoring themselves and each other, right?

Now there's a push underway to boycott Goya Foods after its CEO, Robert Unanue, praised President Trump during a press conference to announce Goya's donation of a million cans of Goya chickpeas and a million other food products to American food banks as part of the president's Hispanic Prosperity Initiative.

Mind you, Unanue -- whose grandfather emigrated to the U.S. from Spain -- also praised the Obamas when they were in office, but that kind of equanimity doesn't carry much weight in this climate of intolerance.

Not to be outdone, the censors are also taking aim at To Kill a Mockingbird , Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about Atticus Finch, a white lawyer in the Jim Crow South who defends a black man falsely accused of rape. Sixty years after its debut, the book remains a powerful testament to moral courage in the face of racial bigotry and systemic injustice , told from the point of view of a child growing up in the South, but that's not enough for the censors. They want to axe the book -- along with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- from school reading curriculums because of the presence of racial slurs that could make students feel "humiliated or marginalized."

Never mind that the N-word makes a regular appearance in hip-hop songs. The prevailing attitude seems to be that it's okay to use the N-word as long as the person saying the word is not white . Rapper Kendrick Lamar "would like white America to let black people exclusively have the word."

Talk about a double standard.

This is also the overlooked part of how oppression becomes systemic: it comes about as a result of a combined effort between the populace, the corporations and the government.

McCarthyism worked the same way.

What started with Joseph McCarthy's headline-grabbing scare tactics in the 1950s about Communist infiltrators of American society snowballed into a devastating witch hunt once corporations and the American people caught the fever.

McCarthyism was a contagion, like the plague, spreading like wildfire among people too fearful or weak or gullible or paranoid or greedy or ambitious to denounce it for what it was: an opportunistic scare tactic engineered to make the government more powerful.

The parallels to the present movement cannot be understated.

The contagion of fear that McCarthy helped spread with the help of government agencies, corporations and the power elite is still poisoning the well, whitewashing our history, turning citizen against citizen, and stripping us of our rights.

What we desperately need is the kind of resolve embodied by Edward R. Murrow, the most-respected newsman of his day.

On March 9, 1954, Murrow dared to speak truth to power about the damage McCarthy was inflicting on the American people. His message remains a timely warning for our age.

We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine; and remember that we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular.

America is approaching another reckoning right now, one that will pit our commitment to freedom principles against a level of fear-mongering that is being used to wreak havoc on everything in its path.

The outcome rests, as always, with "we the people." As Murrow said to his staff before the historic March 9 broadcast: "No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices."

Take heed, America.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People , this may be your last warning.

Feature photo | Nehemiah Nuk Nuk Johnson, left, with JUICE (Justice Unites Individuals and Communities Everywhere), confronts a counter protester who did not give his name in Martinez, Calif., July 12, 2020, during a protest calling for an end to racial injustice and accountability for police. Jeff Chiu | AP

John W. Whitehead is a constitutional attorney, author and founder and president of The Rutherford Institute . His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org .

[Jul 18, 2020] Real Russiagate bombshell -- FBI knew Steele dossier was fiction, Strzok notes show NYTimes reporting misleading and inaccurate

Notable quotes:
"... "primary sub-source" ..."
"... "misleading and inaccurate" ..."
"... "no evidence" ..."
"... Interestingly, June 2017 is when the FBI and DOJ signed off on the last extension of the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign via adviser Carter Page. The warrant was signed by acting FBI director and Comey's former deputy Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who wrote both the memo used to fire Comey and the scope memo for the Mueller investigation. ..."
"... Evidence has shown that the initial FISA warrant against Page – in October 2016, shortly before the election – and the three renewals all relied heavily on the Steele Dossier, without making it clear to the court that it was unverified opposition research compiled at the behest of a rival political party. ..."
"... "miscarriage of justice" ..."
"... "collusion" ..."
"... Think your friends would be interested? Share this story! ..."
"... the infamous dossier used as a pretext to spy on President Donald Trump's campaign was unreliable ..."
Jul 17, 2020 | www.rt.com

New documents show the FBI was aware that the infamous dossier used as a pretext to spy on President Donald Trump's campaign was unreliable, and that the New York Times published false information about the 'Russiagate' probe.

The two documents were published on Friday by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), as part of an ongoing probe of the FBI's investigation of Trump. One is a 59-page, heavily redacted interview of the "primary sub-source" for Christopher Steele, the British spy commissioned through a series of cut-outs by the Hillary Clinton campaign to dig up dirt on Trump during the 2016 election campaign.

While the identity of the source is hidden, the document makes it clear it was not a current or former Russian official, but a non-Russian employee of Steele's British company, Orbis. The source's testimony seriously questioned the claims made in the dossier – which is best known for the salacious accusation that Trump was being blackmailed by Russia with tapes of an alleged sex romp in a Moscow hotel.

The second, and more intriguing, document is a five-page printout of a February 14, 2017 article from the New York Times, along with 13 notes by Peter Strzok, one of the senior FBI agents handling the Russiagate probe. The article was published five days after the FBI interview with the sub-source, and Strzok actually shows awareness of it (in note 11, specifically).

In the very first note, Strzok labeled as "misleading and inaccurate" the claim by the New York Times that the Trump campaign had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials before the 2016 election, noting there was "no evidence" of this.

Likewise, Strzok denied the FBI was investigating Roger Stone (note 10) – a political operative eventually indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller over allegedly lying about (nonexistent) ties to WikiLeaks, whose sentence Trump recently commuted to outrage from 'Russiagate' proponents. Nor was Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort on any calls involving Russian government officials, contrary to claims by the Times (note 3).

Not only did the FBI know the story was false, in part based on the knowledge they had from Steele's source, but the recently ousted FBI director Jim Comey had openly disputed it in June 2017. The paper stood by its reporting.

Interestingly, June 2017 is when the FBI and DOJ signed off on the last extension of the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign via adviser Carter Page. The warrant was signed by acting FBI director and Comey's former deputy Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who wrote both the memo used to fire Comey and the scope memo for the Mueller investigation.

Evidence has shown that the initial FISA warrant against Page – in October 2016, shortly before the election – and the three renewals all relied heavily on the Steele Dossier, without making it clear to the court that it was unverified opposition research compiled at the behest of a rival political party.

ALSO ON RT.COM So it wasn't 'by the book'? Strzok notes reveal Obama & Biden were involved in FBI going after General Flynn

The last two renewals, in April and June 2017, were requested after the sub-source interview. Commenting on the document release, Sen. Graham called these two renewals a "miscarriage of justice" and argued that the FBI and the Department of Justice should have stopped and re-evaluated their case.

Mueller eventually found no "collusion" between Trump and Russia as alleged by the Democrats, but not before a dozen people – from Stone and Manafort to Trump's first national security adviser Michael Flynn and innocent Russian student Maria Butina – became casualties of the investigation.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story! 236 13


Austin Rock 22 hours ago Staggering is the monumental deceitful effort to hitch Trump to Russia. And yet for MSM and their poodles in the press no barb thrown is too outragious, no smear is too false enough. With Google, Twitter and Facebook on board we Europeans are being played. But we Europeans are not as stupid as your average US punter. These pathetic fairy tales are an embarressement to journalism.

[Jul 17, 2020] The "Russian vaccine hack" is a 3-for-1 deal on propaganda

Looks like Guardian is another intelligence agencies controlled entity.
Notable quotes:
"... Nothing shows just how much the Guardian has become the voice of the Deep State more than its coverage of anything Russia-related. And nothing serves as a better exemplar of how modern propaganda works. ..."
"... As it was anti-Russian I expected it to be accompanied with a Luke Harding byline but this is from the Defence and Security Editor, Dan Sabbagh, Harding, as well as being a plagiarist, has written four anti-Russian books including "Collusion" about how Russia helped Donald Trump get into power (using the discredited Steele dossier as his main source). Here Aaron Mate interviews him leaving him totally uncomfortable by the end. ..."
Jul 16, 2020 | off-guardian.org

The Guardian, and all the other predictable voices, are currently reporting that Russian "state sponsored hackers" have been attempting to steal "medical secrets" from British pharmaceutical researchers.

At this stage they offer no substantiation, but it does serve as good teaching exercise in the techniques of modern propagandists.

  1. First the lack of evidence. Observe the Guardian article, note the complete absence of sources or references. There's not a link in sight. There's no content there beyond the parroted words of UK government officials, whose honesty and/or competence is never interrogated.
  2. Second, the lies by omission. They don't mention, for example, the Vault 7 revelations from Wikileaks that the CIA/Pentagon have developed technology to make one of their own cyber-attacks appear to come from anywhere in the world , Russia obviously included. This is clearly vital information.
  3. Third, the multitasking. When you splash a huge red lie on your front pages, it's always best to make it serve several agendas at once. In fact, an unsupported statement which serves multiple state-backed narratives at the same time is one of the telltale signs of propaganda.

With this one completely unverified claim, the Guardian – or rather the people who tell the Guardian what to say – back up three narratives:

The further demonisation of an "enemy". Russia is portrayed as pursuing "selfish interests with reckless behaviour" , whilst we (and our allies) are "getting on with the hard work of finding a vaccine and protecting global health." Promoting the vaccine. The vaccine is coming. It will likely be mandatory, it will certainly have been insufficiently tested, if tested at all. They need some pro-vaccine advertising, and nothing sells better than "our vaccine is so good, people are trying to steal it". Most importantly – Enhancing the idea that Sars-Cov-2 is a unique global threat which puts us all in danger. The unspoken assumption is that Russia needs to steal our research because the virus is so dangerous we all need to be afraid of it despite it being harmless to the vast majority of people .

Whether it's the (totally unsubstantiated) allegation that Russia put bounties on NATO servicemen in Afghanistan , or the (very predictable) "leak" that "Russian interference" was backing Corbyn in the general election, it's clear that any Globalist deal on the coronavirus is dead and buried, and it's very much open season on Putin's Russia again.

Nothing shows just how much the Guardian has become the voice of the Deep State more than its coverage of anything Russia-related. And nothing serves as a better exemplar of how modern propaganda works.

As it was anti-Russian I expected it to be accompanied with a Luke Harding byline but this is from the Defence and Security Editor, Dan Sabbagh, Harding, as well as being a plagiarist, has written four anti-Russian books including "Collusion" about how Russia helped Donald Trump get into power (using the discredited Steele dossier as his main source). Here Aaron Mate interviews him leaving him totally uncomfortable by the end.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9Ikf1uZli4g


John Pretty , Jul 17, 2020 12:03 AM Reply to John Goss

This is a favorite piece on Harding, published by Spiked in 2011:

https://www.spiked-online.com/2011/10/04/face-it-the-fsb-is-just-not-that-into-you/

Grafter , Jul 16, 2020 11:10 PM

It's all so dumb and fraudulent . Not worthy of anyone's attention who may possess a few brain cells. Those who serve up this shit in the name of journalism should be sent back to primary school for some basic education . Really, we have had enough of this crap from American morons ever since the Cold War era and here we have the same corrupt media parroting exactly the same dross about those evil Russians . This scum need a history lesson for had it not been for Russia's sacrifice and bravery in WW2 these cretins would not be sitting on their arses writing this dross. This ongoing malevolent campaign against Russia is extremely disturbing and has all the hallmarks of a psychopathic mindset and all coming from a nation whose main "industry" is the production of weaponry and who is responsible for the deaths of between 20 to 30 million people, directly and indirectly since the end of WW2.

Eyes Open , Jul 16, 2020 10:35 PM

It's so obvious the media are pulling a 'dog in a manger' psyop on us. Ie. 'oh no! I never wanted the vaccine in the first place, but the Russians want to steal ours, so all of a sudden I want my vaccine' etc.

Most likely Gate's vaccines will cause harm to some, so take them all I say. (My condolences to the Russians.)

This video – from the horse's mouth. Notice the duping delight:

https://twitter.com/BeachMilk/status/1265265434741272576?s=20

S Cooper , Jul 16, 2020 9:35 PM

"Russian vaccine hack"
So the CORPORATE FASCISTS are saying that the Russian Federation got its vaccine against the CORPORATE FASCIST MASS HYSTERIA FEAR PANIC FRENZY PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN by hacking? This is not going to end well for the OLIGARCH MOBSTER PSYCHOPATHS.

John Ervin , Jul 16, 2020 11:35 PM Reply to S Cooper

"For The Record" (spitfirelist.com) began reporting 4 or 5 years ago that all the Russiagate baloney, hacks of Hillary et al., was a CIA inside job ~ and related matters like it, long before that ~ referring listeners to much evidence that CIA cyber-technology had long been working on black op devices that could hack while leaving "Russian" or "CCP" digital fingerprints, etc., all the one-trick pony of ceaseless false-flaggery that our Intel has been using for years, for nearly everything. And that stuff isn't really new.

Oliver Stone interviewed Putin for 4 hrs a couple years ago, carried by cable here, and asked him point blank, "Did your agencies hack the DP?" Or words to that effect.

And he answered merely, "That was an internal affair of yours."

Of course, VP is a high spymaster himself, it would seem one of the best, ever, and no stranger to purposeful misdirection certainly, but by the same token of his eminence in that global realm, he is well supported by the evidence.

Especially, "If past is prologue " and all of its preponderance? Endless .

S Cooper , Jul 17, 2020 12:40 AM Reply to John Ervin

The aspect which most concerns me is the no holds barred publicly funded sales and marketing campaign that Psychopath Billy and BIG PHARMA are mounting to find dupes and Guinea Pigs for their toxic patent medicine snake oil brew. It is going to hurt a lot of people.

"The hack" bull shit fairy tale store is just one of the means employed by those criminal psychopaths.

John Ervin , Jul 17, 2020 2:16 AM Reply to S Cooper

Yes indeed, there are many such signs, all of them bad. I don't know why I feel pleased when I get confirmations of all the worst suspicions, if it only confirms my antennae are still functioning, whilst being shamed by the brainwashed and the same old headlines . It should take a lot more or better to please the sensibilities.

I guess it's the sense of vindication, that one can't help but thrill when that terrible thirst for some reality is slaked.

Or that you have cause to be thankful. Faith tells you this won't last forever, and it's a real gift that you weren't fooled.

But it can still feel like "cold comfort" when "almost" everyone you see or know, is.

Too many take the bit too nicely. What good does that do?

It shows up a pale country, too dead, as living only in the flesh, really, too numb in the spirit, not vigilant.

About to be rolled!

voxpox , Jul 16, 2020 9:25 PM

I like this article, it says it all. I have also long harbored a theory that the US intelligence are behind most of the worlds financial cyber-crime, systematically fleecing the world to fund their many many operations around the world. They have the tech with Windows back-doors, the motivation to hide 'off the book' operations and a proven lack of morals as demonstrated during the Iran–Contra affair, many years ago. but what do I know. As Bill Maher says, 'I can't prove it but I know it's true'.

John Ervin , Jul 16, 2020 11:59 PM Reply to voxpox

The USA foreign policy shows a penchant for amoral deceptiveness of ALL other countries, even best allies, chronically.

So that gives heft to Bill Maher's maxim.

Perennial treaty busters and oath breakers, why would anyone trust?

Fool me once etc.

That's at the core of my take on all USA has said about C-19(84). Been there, done that, with 100 other false flags, always the same tune.

The boy who cried wolf: Uncle Scam.

Always proven false after all the marbles are stolen. Or at some point down the road. If not, it shall be, like the JFK fiasco. Like the lone holdout among nations on the Napalm Ban, or sole rogue to drop an A bomb (75th Anniversary of that cowardly Holocaust coming up in a few weeks.)

Lone, lone, lone.

A sad little homeboy in the Land of the Lone Gunman. So many, though. Too many, for the world's good .

~~~~~~~~~£4£&$4$

Don't take it from me, though, I'm a total patriot, really, compared to Mr. Gonzo, Hunter S. Thompson:

"America just a nation of 200 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms at all about using them on anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable."

Hunter always said it like it is, at least at yhr time he saw it, he rode with the Hell's Angels and wrote the 1st book about them, and wasn't much shy about calling a spade a spade.

And. Like my own old man: another highly assisted apparent suicide.

~~~~~~~~

Old Radio broadcast:

"Who was that masked man?!

Why, it's the Lone Ranger!"

[Jul 16, 2020] NYT 'Chief Threat To Democracy'- Eric Weinstein Takes Flamethrower To Paper Of Record After Bari Weiss Quits

Bari Weiss probably deserved what she got as she practiced the same methods herself.
Jul 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Eric Weinstein, managing director of Thiel Capital and hsot of The Portal podcast, has gone scorched earth on the New York Times following the Tuesday resignation of journalist Bari Weiss.

Illustration via DanielMiessler.com

Weinstein describes how The Times has morphed into an activist rag - refusing to cover "news" unpaletable to their narrative, while ignoring key questions such as whether Jeffrey Epstein's sex-trafficking ring was "intelligence related."

Jump into Weinstein's Twitter thread by clicking on the below tweet, or scroll down for your convenience.

me title=

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https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.395.0_en.html#goog_1119462986 NOW PLAYING

Trump Administration is Reportedly Out to Smear Dr. Anthony Fauci for Early Comments on Coronavirus

Image Deleted From Trump's Tweet After NYT Complaint

New York Times Ends Apple News Partnership

Trump Says His Niece Is Not Allowed To Publish 'Tell-All' Book

Book with 'Salacious' Stories on Trump Set to Be Published by His Niece

Jon Stewart Spoke Out About Police Issues

Trump Accuses New York Times Of `Virtual Act Of Treason` Over Russia Story

Ben Smith Departs BuzzFeed To Join New York times

* * *

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(continued)


At that moment Bari Weiss became all that was left of the "Paper of Record." Why? Because the existence of Black Racists with the power to hunt professors with Baseball Bats and even redefine the word 'racism' to make their story impossible to cover ran totally counter-narrative.

At some point after 2011, the NYT gradually stopped covering the News and became the News instead. And Bari has been fighting internally from the opinion section to re-establish Journalism inside tbe the NYT. A total reversal of the Chinese Wall that separates news from opinion.

about:blank

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me title=

This is the paper in 2016 that couldnt be interested in the story that millions of Americans were likely lying to pollsters about Donald Trump.

The paper refusing to ask the CIA/FBI if Epstein was Intelligence related.

The paper that can't report that it seeks race rioting:

I have had the honor of trying to support both @bariweiss at the New York Times and @BretWeinstein in their battles simply to stand alone against the internal mob mentality. It is THE story all over the country. Our courageous individuals are being hunted at work for dissenting.

Before Bari resigned, I did a podcast with her. It was chilling. I'd make an innocuous statement of simple fact and ask her about it. She'd reply " That is obviously true but I'm sorry we can't say that here. It will get me strung up ." That's when I stopped telling her to hang on.

So what just happened? Let me put it bluntly: What was left of the New York Times just resigned from the New York Times. The Times canceled itself. As a separate Hong Kong exists in name only, the New New York Times and affiliated "news" is now the chief threat to our democracy.

This is the moment when the passengers who have been becoming increasingly alarmed, start to entertain a new idea: what if the people now in the cockpit are not airline pilots? Well the Twitter Activists at the @nytimes and elsewhere are not journalists.

What if those calling for empathy have a specific deadness of empathy?

Those calling for justice *are* the unjust?

Those calling "Privilege" are the privileged?

Those calling for equality seek to oppress us?

Those anti-racists are open racists?

The progressives seek regress?

The journalists are covering up the news?

Try the following exercise: put a minus sign in front of nearly every banner claim made by "the progressives".

Q: Doesn't that make more sense?

NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST

ZEROHEDGE DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX

Receive a daily recap featuring a curated list of must-read stories.

Those aren't the pilots you imagine. And we are far closer to revolution than you think.

Bari and I agree on a lot but also disagree fiercely. And so I have learned that she is tougher than tough. But these university and journalistic workplaces are now unworkable. They are the antithesis off what they were built to stand for. It is astounding how long she held out.

Read her letter. I have asked her to do a make-up podcast & she has agreed. Stay tuned If you don't want to be surprised again by what's coming understand this: just as there has been no functioning president, there's now no journalism. We're moving towards a 🌎 of pure activism.

Prepare to lose your ability to call the police & for more autonomous zones where kids die so that Govenors & Mayors can LARP as Kayfabe revolutionaries . Disagree with Ms Weiss all you want as she isn't perfect. But Bari is a true patriot who tried to stand alone. Glad she's out.

We are not finished by a long shot. What the Intellectual Dark Web tried to do MUST now be given an institutional home.

Podcast with Bari on The Portal to come as soon as she is ready.

Stay tuned. And thanks for reading this. It is of the utmost importance.

Thank you all. 🙏

P.S. Please retweet the lead tweet from this thread if you understand where we are. Appreciated.


[Jul 16, 2020] Cancel culture letter is about stifling free speech, not protecting it by JONATHAN COOK

Criticisms of "cancel culture" often is hypocrtical, as was the case with Weiss, and are connected with prioritizing speech that shores up the status quo -- necon dominance in the US MSM.
Jul 13, 2020 | mondoweiss.net

An open letter published by Harper's magazine, and signed by 150 prominent writers and public figures, has focused attention on the apparent dangers of what has been termed a new "cancel culture".

The letter brings together an unlikely alliance of genuine leftists, such as Noam Chomsky and Matt Karp, centrists such as J K Rowling and Ian Buruma, and neoconservatives such as David Frum and Bari Weiss, all speaking out in defence of free speech.

Although the letter doesn't explicitly use the term "cancel culture", it is clearly what is meant in the complaint about a "stifling" cultural climate that is imposing "ideological conformity" and weakening "norms of open debate and toleration of differences".

It is easy to agree with the letter's generalized argument for tolerance and free and fair debate. But the reality is that many of those who signed are utter hypocrites, who have shown precisely zero commitment to free speech, either in their words or in their deeds.

Further, the intent of many them in signing the letter is the very reverse of their professed goal: they want to stifle free speech, not protect it.

To understand what is really going on with this letter, we first need to scrutinize the motives , rather than the substance, of the letter.

A new 'illiberalism'

"Cancel culture" started as the shaming, often on social media, of people who were seen to have said offensive things. But of late, cancel culture has on occasion become more tangible, as the letter notes, with individuals fired or denied the chance to speak at a public venue or to publish their work.

The letter denounces this supposedly new type of "illiberalism":

"We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.

"Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; The result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement."

Tricky identity politics

The array of signatories is actually more troubling than reassuring. If we lived in a more just world, some of those signing – like Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W Bush, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former US State Department official – would be facing a reckoning before a Hague war crimes tribunal for their roles in promoting "interventions" in Iraq and Libya respectively, not being held up as champions of free speech.

That is one clue that these various individuals have signed the letter for very different reasons.

Chomsky signed because he has been a lifelong and consistent defender of the right to free speech, even for those with appalling opinions such as Holocaust denial.

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Frum, who coined the term "axis of evil" that rationalised the invasion of Iraq, and Weiss, a New York Times columnist, signed because they have found their lives getting tougher. True, it is easy for them to dominate platforms in the corporate media while advocating for criminal wars abroad, and they have paid no career price when their analyses and predictions have turned out to be so much dangerous hokum. But they are now feeling the backlash on university campuses and social media.

Meanwhile, centrists like Buruma and Rowling have discovered that it is getting ever harder to navigate the tricky terrain of identity politics without tripping up. The reputational damage can have serious consequences.

Buruma famously lost his job as editor of the New York Review of Books two years ago after after he published and defended an article that violated the new spirit of the #MeToo movement. And Rowling made the mistake of thinking her followers would be as fascinated by her traditional views on transgender issues as they are by her Harry Potter books.

'Fake news, Russian trolls'

But the fact that all of these writers and intellectuals agree that there is a price to be paid in the new, more culturally sensitive climate does not mean that they are all equally interested in protecting the right to be controversial or outspoken.

Chomsky, importantly, is defending free speech for all , because he correctly understands that the powerful are only too keen to find justifications to silence those who challenge their power. Elites protect free speech only in so far as it serves their interests in dominating the public space.

If those on the progressive left do not defend the speech rights of everyone, even their political opponents, then any restrictions will soon be turned against them. The establishment will always tolerate the hate speech of a Trump or a Bolsonaro over the justice speech of a Sanders or a Corbyn.

By contrast, most of the rest of those who signed – the rightwingers and the centrists – are interested in free speech for themselves and those like them . They care about protecting free speech only in so far as it allows them to continue dominating the public space with their views – something they were only too used to until a few years ago, before social media started to level the playing field a little.

The center and the right have been fighting back ever since with claims that anyone who seriously challenges the neoliberal status quo at home and the neoconservative one abroad is promoting "fake news" or is a "Russian troll". This updating of the charge of being "un-American" embodies cancel culture at its very worst.

Social media accountability

In other words, apart from in the case of a few progressives, the letter is simply special pleading – for a return to the status quo. And for that reason, as we shall see, Chomsky might have been better advised not to have added his name, however much he agrees with the letter's vague, ostensibly pro-free speech sentiments.

What is striking about a significant proportion of those who signed is their self-identification as ardent supporters of Israel. And as Israel's critics know only too well, advocates for Israel have been at the forefront of the cancel culture – from long before the term was even coined.

For decades, pro-Israel activists have sought to silence anyone seen to be seriously critiquing this small, highly militarized state, sponsored by the colonial powers, that was implanted in a region rich with a natural resource, oil, needed to lubricate the global economy, and at a terrible cost to its native, Palestinian population.

Nothing should encourage us to believe that zealous defenders of Israel among those signing the letter have now seen the error of their ways. Their newfound concern for free speech is simply evidence that they have begun to suffer from the very same cancel culture they have always promoted in relation to Israel.

They have lost control of the "cancel culture" because of two recent developments: a rapid growth in identity politics among liberals and leftists, and a new popular demand for "accountability" spawned by the rise of social media.

Cancelling Israel's critics

In fact, despite their professions of concern, the evidence suggests that some of those signing the letter have been intensifying their own contribution to cancel culture in relation to Israel, rather than contesting it.

That is hardly surprising. The need to counter criticism of Israel has grown more pressing as Israel has more obviously become a pariah state. Israel has refused to countenance peace talks with the Palestinians and it has intensified its efforts to realize long-harbored plans to annex swaths of the West Bank in violation of international law.

Rather than allow "robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters" on Israel, Israel's supporters have preferred the tactics of those identified in the letter as enemies of free speech: "swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought".

Just ask Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of the Labour party who was reviled, along with his supporters, as an antisemite – one of the worst smears imaginable – by several people on the Harper's list, including Rowling and Weiss . Such claims were promoted even though his critics could produce no actual evidence of an antisemitism problem in the Labour party.

Similarly, think of the treatment of Palestinian solidarity activists who support a boycott of Israel (BDS), modeled on the one that helped push South Africa's leaders into renouncing apartheid. BDS activists too have been smeared as antisemites – and Weiss again has been a prime offender .

The incidents highlighted in the Harper's letter in which individuals have supposedly been cancelled is trivial compared to the cancelling of a major political party and of a movement that stands in solidarity with a people who have been oppressed for decades.

And yet how many of these free speech warriors have come forward to denounce the fact that leftists – including many Jewish anti-Zionists – have been pilloried as antisemites to prevent them from engaging in debates about Israel's behavior and its abuses of Palestinian rights?

How many of them have decried the imposition of a new definition of antisemitism, by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, that has been rapidly gaining ground in western countries?

That definition is designed to silence a large section of the left by prioritizing the safety of Israel from being criticized before the safety of Jews from being vilified and attacked – something that even the lawyer who authored the definition has come to regret .

Why has none of this "cancel culture" provoked an open letter to Harper's from these champions of free speech?

Double-edge sword

The truth is that many of those who signed the letter are defending not free speech but their right to continue dominating the public square – and their right to do so without being held accountable.

Bari Weiss, before she landed a job at the Wall Street Journal and then the New York Times, spent her student years trying to get Muslim professors fired from her university – cancelling them – because of their criticism of Israel. And she explicitly did so under the banner of "academic freedom", claiming pro-Israel students felt intimidated in the classroom.

The New York Civil Liberties Union concluded that it was Weiss, not the professors, who was the real threat to academic freedom. This was not some youthful indiscretion. In a book last year Weiss cited her efforts to rid Columbia university of these professors as a formative experience on which she still draws.

Weiss and many of the others listed under the letter are angry that the rhetorical tools they used for so long to stifle the free speech of others have now been turned against them. Those who lived for so long by the sword of identity politics – on Israel, for example – are worried that their reputations may die by that very same sword – on issues of race, sex and gender.

Narcissistic concern

To understand how the cancel culture is central to the worldview of many of these writers and intellectuals, and how blind they are to their own complicity in that culture, consider the case of Jonathan Freedland, a columnist with the supposedly liberal-left British newspaper the Guardian. Although Freedland is not among those signing the letter, he is very much aligned with the centrists among them and, of course, supported the letter in an article published in the Guardian.

Freedland, we should note, led the "cancel culture" campaign against the Labour party referenced above. He was one of the key figures in Britain's Jewish community who breathed life into the antisemitism smears against Corbyn and his supporters.

But note the brief clip below. In it, Freedland's voice can be heard cracking as he explains how he has been a victim of the cancel culture himself: he confesses that he has suffered verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of Israel's most extreme apologists – those who are even more unapologetically pro-Israel than he is.

He reports that he has been called a "kapo", the term for Jewish collaborators in the Nazi concentration camps, and a "sonderkommando", the Jews who disposed of the bodies of fellow Jews killed in the gas chambers. He admits such abuse "burrows under your skin" and "hurts tremendously".

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And yet, despite the personal pain he has experienced of being unfairly accused, of being cancelled by a section of his own community, Freedland has been at the forefront of the campaign to tar critics of Israel, including anti-Zionist Jews, as antisemites on the flimsiest of evidence.

He is entirely oblivious to the ugly nature of the cancel culture – unless it applies to himself . His concern is purely narcissistic. And so it is with the majority of those who signed the letter.

Conducting a monologue

The letter's main conceit is the pretence that "illiberalism" is a new phenomenon, that free speech is under threat, and that the cancel culture only arrived at the moment it was given a name.

That is simply nonsense. Anyone over the age of 35 can easily remember a time when newspapers and websites did not have a talkback section, when blogs were few in number and rarely read, and when there was no social media on which to challenge or hold to account "the great and the good".

Writers and columnists like those who signed the letter were then able to conduct a monologue in which they revealed their opinions to the rest of us as if they were Moses bringing down the tablets from the mountaintop.

In those days, no one noticed the cancel culture – or was allowed to remark on it. And that was because only those who held approved opinions were ever given a media platform from which to present those opinions.

Before the digital revolution, if you dissented from the narrow consensus imposed by the billionaire owners of the corporate media, all you could do was print your own primitive newsletter and send it by post to the handful of people who had heard of you.

That was the real cancel culture. And the proof is in the fact that many of those formerly obscure writers quickly found they could amass tens of thousands of followers – with no help from the traditional corporate media – when they had access to blogs and social media.

Silencing the left

Which brings us to the most troubling aspect of the open letter in Harper's. Under cover of calls for tolerance, given credibility by Chomsky's name, a proportion of those signing actually want to restrict the free speech of one section of the population – the part influenced by Chomsky.

They are not against the big cancel culture from which they have benefited for so long. They are against the small cancel culture – the new more chaotic, and more democratic, media environment we currently enjoy – in which they are for the first time being held to account for their views, on a range of issues including Israel.

Just as Weiss tried to get professors fired under the claim of academic freedom, many of these writers and public figures are using the banner of free speech to discredit speech they don't like, speech that exposes the hollowness of their own positions.

Their criticisms of "cancel culture" are really about prioritizing "responsible" speech, defined as speech shared by centrists and the right that shores up the status quo. They want a return to a time when the progressive left – those who seek to disrupt a manufactured consensus, who challenge the presumed verities of neoliberal and neoconservative orthodoxy – had no real voice.

The new attacks on "cancel culture" echo the attacks on Bernie Sanders' supporters, who were framed as "Bernie Bros" – the evidence-free allegation that he attracted a rabble of aggressive, women-hating men who tried to bully others into silence on social media.

Just as this claim was used to discredit Sanders' policies, so the center and the right now want to discredit the left more generally by implying that, without curbs, they too will bully everyone else into silence and submission through their "cancel culture".

If this conclusion sounds unconvincing, consider that President Donald Trump could easily have added his name to the letter alongside Chomsky's. Trump used his recent Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore to make similar points to the Harper's letter. He at least was explicit in equating "cancel culture" with what he called "far-left fascism":

"One of [the left's] political weapons is 'Cancel Culture' – driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees. This is the very definition of totalitarianism This attack on our liberty, our magnificent liberty, must be stopped, and it will be stopped very quickly."

Trump, in all his vulgarity, makes plain what the Harper's letter, in all its cultural finery, obscures. That attacks on the new "cancel culture" are simply another front – alongside supposed concerns about "fake news" and "Russian trolls" – in the establishment's efforts to limit speech by the left.

Attention redirected

This is not to deny that there is fake news on social media or that there are trolls, some of them even Russian. Rather, it is to point out that our attention is being redirected, and our concerns manipulated by a political agenda.

Despite the way it has been presented in the corporate media, fake news on social media has been mostly a problem of the right. And the worst examples of fake news – and the most influential – are found not on social media at all, but on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

What genuinely fake news on Facebook has ever rivaled the lies justifying the invasion of Iraq in 2003 that were knowingly peddled by a political elite and their stenographers in the corporate media. Those lies led directly to more than a million Iraqi deaths, turned millions more into refugees, destroyed an entire country, and fuelled a new type of nihilistic Islamic extremism whose effects we are still feeling.

Most of the worst lies from the current period – those that have obscured or justified US interference in Syria and Venezuela, or rationalized war crimes against Iran, or approved the continuing imprisonment of Julian Assange for exposing war crimes – can only be understood by turning our backs on the corporate media and looking to experts who can rarely find a platform outside of social media.

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Algorithms changed

I say this as someone who has concerns about the fashionable focus on identity politics rather than class politics. I say it also as someone who rejects all forms of cancel culture – whether it is the old-style, "liberal" cancel culture that imposes on us a narrow "consensus" politics (the Overton window), or the new "leftwing" cancel culture that too often prefers to focus on easy cultural targets like Rowling than the structural corruption of western political systems.

But those who are impressed by the letter simply because Chomsky's name is attached should beware. Just as "fake news" has provided the pretext for Google and social media platforms to change their algorithms to vanish left-wingers from searches and threads, just as "antisemitism" has been redefined to demonize the left, so too the supposed threat of "cancel culture" will be exploited to silence the left.

Protecting Bari Weiss and J K Rowling from a baying left-wing "mob" – a mob that that claims a right to challenge their views on Israel or trans issues – will become the new rallying cry from the establishment for action against "irresponsible" or "intimidating" speech.

Progressive leftists who join these calls out of irritation with the current focus on identity politics, or because they fear being labelled an antisemite, or because they mistakenly assume that the issue really is about free speech, will quickly find that they are the main targets.

In defending free speech, they will end up being the very ones who are silenced.

UPDATE:

You don't criticise Chomsky however tangentially and respectfully – at least not from a left perspective – without expecting a whirlwind of opposition. But one issue that keeps being raised on my social media feeds in his defence is just plain wrong-headed, so I want to quickly address it. Here's one my followers expressing the point succinctly:

"The sentiments in the letter stand or fall on their own merits, not on the characters or histories of some of the signatories, nor their future plans."

The problem, as I'm sure Chomsky would explain in any other context, is that this letter fails not just because of the other people who signed it but on its merit too . And that's because, as I explain above, it ignores the most oppressive and most established forms of cancel culture, as Chomsky should have been the first to notice.

Highlighting the small cancel culture, while ignoring the much larger, establishment-backed cancel culture, distorts our understanding of what is at stake and who wields power.

Chomsky unwittingly just helped a group of mostly establishment stooges skew our perceptions of free speech problems so that we side with them against ourselves. There is no way that can be a good thing.

UPDATE 2:

There are still people holding out against the idea that it harmed the left to have Chomsky sign this letter. And rather than address their points individually, let me try another way of explaining my argument:

Why has Chomsky not signed a letter backing the furore over "fake news", even though there is some fake news on social media? Why has he not endorsed the "Bernie Bros" narrative, even though doubtless there are some bullying Sanders supporters on social media? Why has he not supported the campaign claiming the Labour party has an antisemitism problem, even though there are some antisemites in the Labour party (as there are everywhere)?

He hasn't joined any of those campaigns for a very obvious reason – because he understands how power works, and that on the left you hit up, not down. You certainly don't cheerlead those who are up as they hit down.

Chomsky understands this principle only too well because here he is setting it out in relation to Iran:

"Suppose I criticise Iran. What impact does that have? The only impact it has is in fortifying those who want to carry out policies I don't agree with, like bombing."

For exactly the same reason he has not joined those pillorying Iran – because his support would be used for nefarious ends – he shouldn't have joined this campaign. He made a mistake. He's fallible.

Also, this isn't about the left eating itself. Really, Chomsky shouldn't be the issue. The issue should be that a bunch of centrists and right-wingers used this letter to try to reinforce a narrative designed to harm the left, and lay the groundwork for further curbs on its access to social media. But because Chomsky signed the letter, many more leftists are now buying into that narrative – a narrative intended to harm them. That's why Chomsky's role cannot be ignored, nor his mistake glossed over.

UPDATE 3:

I had not anticipated how many ways people on the left might find to justify this letter.

Here's the latest reasoning. Apparently, the letter sets an important benchmark that can in future be used to protect free speech by the left when we are threatened with being "cancelled" – as, for example, with the antisemitism smears that were used against anti-Zionist Jews and other critics of Israel in the British Labour party.

I should hardly need to point out how naive this argument is. It completely ignores how power works in our societies: who gets to decide what words mean and how principles are applied. This letter won't help the left because "cancel culture" is being framed – by this letter, by Trump, by the media – as a "loony left" problem. It is a new iteration of the "politically correct gone mad" discourse, and it will be used in exactly the same way.

It won't help Steven Salaita, sacked from a university job because he criticised Israel's killing of civilians in Gaza, or Chris Williamson, the Labour MP expelled because he defended the party's record on being anti-racist.

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The "cancel culture" furore isn't interested in the fact that they were "cancelled". Worse still, this moral panic turns the whole idea of cancelling on its head: it is Salaita and Williamson who are accused – and found guilty – of doing the cancelling, of cancelling Israel and Jews.

Israel's supporters will continue to win this battle by claiming that criticism of Israel "cancels" that country ("wipes it off the map"), "cancels" Israel's Jewish population ("drives them into the sea"), and "cancels" Jews more generally ("denies a central component of modern Jewish identity").

Greater awareness of "cancel culture" would not have saved Corbyn from the antisemitism smears because the kind of cancel culture that smeared Corbyn is never going to be defined as "cancelling".

For anyone who wishes to see how this works in practice, watch Guardian columnist Owen Jones cave in – as he has done so often – to the power dynamics of the "cancel culture" discourse in this interview with Sky News. I actually agree with almost everything Jones says in this clip, apart from his joining yet again in the witch-hunt against Labour's anti-Zionists. He doesn't see that witch-hunt as "cancel culture", and neither will anyone else with a large platform like his to protect:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=mondoweiss&dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-4&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1281957010880307201&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fmondoweiss.net%2F2020%2F07%2Fcancel-culture-letter-is-about-stifling-free-speech-not-protecting-it%2F&siteScreenName=mondoweiss&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px

This essay first appeared on Jonathan Cook's blog: https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/

[Jul 14, 2020] Trump confirms he ordered a cyberattack on a notorious Russian troll farm during the 2018 midterms

"It is unusual for countries to publicly talk about cyberwarfare tactics" Is not the USA position itself to consider such an attack to be a declaration fo war?
Jul 14, 2020 | news.yahoo.com

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

President Trump confirmed in an interview with the Washington Post that the US launched a cyberattack against infamous Russian troll farm the Internet Research Agency (IRA) during the 2018 midterms.

The Post reported the attack in February 2019, but this is the first time Trump has confirmed it took place. It is unusual for countries to publicly talk about cyberwarfare tactics.

The IRA was indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller in 2018 for conspiracy to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. Russian influence campaigns were also detected during the 2018 midterms .

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories .

President Trump has confirmed that the US launched a cyberattack on the Internet Research Agency (IRA), an infamous Russian troll farm, during the 2018 midterm elections.

The Washington Post first reported on the attack, which blocked the IRA's internet access, in February 2019. The administration did not comment on the report at the time, but Trump confirmed the attack in an interview with Post columnist Marc Thiessen published Friday.

Thiessen asked whether Trump had launched the attack, to which the president replied "correct." This is the first time Trump or the White House has confirmed the attack, and it is unusual for countries to publicly talk about cyberwarfare tactics.

According to The Post's 2019 report, US Cyber Command's attack started on the first day of voting for the November 2018 midterm elections, and continued for a few days while votes were tallied. "They basically took the IRA offline," one source familiar with the matter told The Post.

"Look, we stopped it," Trump told Thiessen. The Internet Research Agency was indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller in 2018 for conspiracy to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. Russian influence campaigns were also detected during the 2018 midterms .

Trump also claimed that Obama had remained silent on the issue of Russian disinformation campaigns ahead of the 2016 election.

"[Obama] knew before the election that Russia was playing around. Or, he was told. Whether or not it was so or not, who knows? And he said nothing. And the reason he said nothing was that he didn't want to touch it because he thought [Hillary Clinton] was winning because he read phony polls. So, he thought she was going to win. And we had the silent majority that said, 'No, we like Trump,'" Trump said.

In October 2016, the Obama administration formally accused Russia of hacking into Democratic computers to steal emails that ended up on Wikileaks. In December 2016, one month after Trump had won the election, Obama ejected 35 suspected Russian intelligence officers in retaliation .

Trump's assertion that he took a tougher stance against Russian disinformation campaigns than Obama comes the week after he commuted the prison sentence of former aide Roger Stone , a move that came just days after Facebook announced it had taken down a network of disinformation accounts after an "investigation linked this network to Roger Stone and his associates."

Trump's attitude to Russia has come under fire from critics recently after reports emerged in late June that he was briefed on Russia offering the Taliban bounties to kill US troops in Afghanistan , and chose not to retaliate.

Read the original article on Business Insider


[Jul 11, 2020] Why Bolton Matters - FPIF

Jul 11, 2020 | fpif.org

Why Bolton Matters

You don't need to lionize Bolton, a far-right hawk, to understand what makes his observations about Trump valuable.

By John Feffer , June 24, 2020 .

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Unreliable narrators are a staple of literature. Consider the delusional, self-serving narrator of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl or the way Humbert Humbert used his cultured references and gorgeous prose to dress up his crimes in Nabokov's Lolita .

Now along comes John Bolton and his account of time served in the Trump administration as national security advisor.

Bolton's latest book has been attacked as fiction by the president, members of his administration, and even members of the administrations of other countries (like South Korea ). Bolton is a thoroughly unpleasant hatchet man who has opposed arms control treaties, diplomacy in most forms, and international institutions of all varieties. He is reliably paleoconservative. But does that make him a reliable narrator of his own story as well?

The picture Bolton paints of the Trump administration is a familiar one. We've been treated to a succession of tell-all accounts of the horror that has been Donald Trump's tenure as president: Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury , Philip Rucker and Carol Leonig's A Very Stable Genius , even A Warning by Anonymous. Each one has added a little more paint to the Hieronymus Bosch picture of the presidency: monsters, unspeakable acts, darkness, and chaos.

Other than a morbid, rubbernecking fascination with atrocity, why is yet another account necessary, and from such a potentially unreliable narrator as John Bolton to boot?

The critics of Bolton's trustworthiness have a point. But Bolton's unreliability resides not so much in his ideology as his opportunism.

As a "kiss-up, kick-down kind of guy," he'll do whatever it takes to attain power. He has a terminal case of Washingtonitis: he thinks he's the smartest man in the room and he reeks of entitlement. He entered the Trump administration not as a true believer in Trump, only a true believer in himself. His book not surprisingly portrays John Bolton as the only person in the Trump administration with any sense at all.

It's easy enough to dismiss Bolton's so-called revelations.

Here's why you shouldn't.

Taking China Off the Table

Foreign policy will not likely be the tipping point for the 2020 presidential election. Trump's base generally doesn't care what happens beyond America's borders (except to keep it beyond America's borders). And the anti-Trump camp just wants to get rid of the president, regardless of what he has done in the international arena.

Still, Trump is running on his foreign policy record. For instance, he has been busy trying to portray his opponent, Joe Biden, as somehow pro-China. "China wants Sleepy Joe sooo badly," Trump tweeted back in April. "They want all of those billions of dollars that they have been paying to the U.S. back, and much more. Joe is an easy mark, their DREAM CANDIDATE!"

Then came the ad campaign that portrayed "Beijing Biden" as "China's puppet" who favors engagement with Beijing without caveats and Biden's son as the beneficiary of sweetheart deals with the Chinese. The Trump ads slam China for its handling of the coronavirus and suggest that Biden would have fumbled the U.S. response out of deference to Beijing (uh, sound familiar?).

The inconvenient truth, however, is that Trump, to quote Nicholas Kristof , "has been China's stooge, a sycophantic flatterer and enabler of President Xi Jinping."

In fact, Beijing would prefer four more years of Trump, not so much because of this sycophancy, but because Trump has been busy upending U.S. alliances that have constrained Chinese geopolitical influence. The trade disputes are an irritant, but China can't expect Joe Biden to be any easier to deal with on that score. Four more years of Trump, on the other hand, would mean four more years of the ebbing of U.S. engagement in world affairs.

As Trump and Biden escalate their China-bashing, along comes Bolton. No friend of Beijing, the national security advisor is appalled at Trump's exchanges with Xi Jinping. In one such conversation, Trump effectively signs up the Chinese leader as an in-kind contributor to his reelection campaign. Bolton had to excise Trump's actual words from his book, but Vanity Fair has filled in the blanks :

According to an unredacted passage shown to Vanity Fair by a source, Trump's ask is even more crudely shocking when you read Trump's specific language. "Make sure I win," Trump allegedly told Xi during a dinner at the G20 conference in Osaka, Japan last summer. "I will probably win anyway, so don't hurt my farms. Buy a lot of soybeans and wheat and make sure we win.

Trump was, of course, impeached for attempting the same strategy with Ukraine.

The other shocking revelation from Bolton's book is Trump's response to China's construction of "re-education" camps for the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang province. It's not simply that Trump ignored China's action, as he contends, to ensure that trade negotiations moved forward. According to Bolton , "Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do."

An American president encouraged another country to engage in a massive human rights violation?

True, American presidents have given the green light to such things in the past: Sukarno's slaughter of suspected Communists in Indonesia in 1965, Pinochet's coup and subsequent crackdown on Allende supporters in Chile in 1973, the Salvadoran government's widespread human rights violations in the 1980s. Horrifying as these atrocities were, American conservatives could rationalize U.S. support for these dictatorships because they were U.S. allies.

But China? That's going to be a difficult sell for an electorate that's already been primed, by the Trump administration itself, to demonize Beijing.

So, in effect, the Bolton book has removed China from the 2020 election campaign. Trump will think twice about accusing Biden of cozy ties with Beijing when the Democrats can literally throw the book (Bolton's, that is) at the president.

Impeachment: Not Dead Yet

Trump loves to play the role of a cornered badger that emerges triumphant in the end. Impeachment would have given an ordinary politician pause. Trump simply held up the Senate's failure to convict as exoneration, despite all the damning evidence produced by the whistleblower and the subsequent Mueller investigation.

The Democrats wanted Bolton to testify during the hearings. He refused to do so voluntarily. Later, he said that he would testify before the Senate if it issued a subpoena. The Republicans, with the exception of Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), voted against calling additional witnesses.

Bolton argues in his book that the Democrats made a mess of the impeachment inquiry. Yet, he could have corroborated the charge of collusion with Ukraine and provided evidence of impeachable offenses in other realms of foreign policy. He didn't do so.

Now, of course, some Republicans are saying that it would have been better for Bolton to have testified before Congress rather than save his revelations for now. "One of the things about making allegations in a book for $29.95 -- certainly it's going to be a best-seller I'm sure -- the problem is that when you're selling it in a book, you're not putting yourself in a position to be cross-examined," Tim Scott (R-SC) recently said .

If Scott and one other Republican had simply voted for additional witnesses, they could have made that happen. And they could have saved themselves the cost of buying Bolton's book.

In the end, it probably wouldn't have made much of a difference in the final votes on impeachment. Except for Romney, the Republicans were unwilling to break with the president.

Bolton's book, however, is disinterring all the issues surrounding impeachment and in a light unfavorable to the president. Bolton confirms the infamous quid pro quo -- military assistance in exchange for an investigation into the Ukraine dealings of Biden's son -- that Trump discussed in a phone call with the Ukrainian president and that was flagged by a whistleblower. "Nor, at the time, did I think Trump's comments in the call reflected any major change in direction; the linkage of the military assistance with the Giuliani fantasies was already baked in. The call was not the keystone for me, but simply another brick in the wall," Bolton writes .

Before you shell out $29.95 for the book (actually $32.50 list price), you might wait to see if Congress drags Bolton back to tell his story. This week, Adam Schiff (D-CA) hinted that he might depose the former national security advisor before the House Intelligence Committee.

Who knows? Trump might have to reckon with a second impeachment hearing as he heads into November.

The Benefits of Being Bolton

Bolton predictably criticizes Trump for not being sufficiently hawkish. The president wanted to withdraw troops from the Middle East. He wanted to make nice with North Korea. He had the gall to prioritize trade with China.

From a progressive point of view, that makes Bolton an unreliable narrator. Maybe he was tweaking the facts to make himself look stalwart and wise at the expense of a slow-witted, insufficiently martial president.

But here's the thing: Bolton hasn't written anything in his book that contradicts other accounts of the presidency. There was plenty of evidence of the quid pro quo with Ukraine. Trump did not hide his admiration for Xi Jinping. The president is obsessed with getting re-elected, not because he particularly likes his job but because he must prove that he is a winner.

What makes Bolton's observations most valuable is not their novelty or their acuity but his credentials as a hawk's hawk. His book isn't going to make any Democrats or independents or moderate Republicans change their minds about Trump. But it will introduce some doubts into hardcore conservative supporters. They might not publicly renounce the president. Like Bolton himself , they might not even pull the lever for the Democratic candidate.

But they might decide, because of Bolton, to stay home on November 3, just like so many Republicans decided not to attend Trump's rally in Tulsa this last weekend.

And that, ultimately, is what really puts the fear of Bolton into the Trump reelection campaign.

John Feffer is the director of Foreign Policy In Focus.

[Jul 11, 2020] Mutiny on the Bounties by Ray McGovern

Jul 03, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House, as Obama's former ambassador to Russia piles on the nonsense about Trump being in Putin's pocket?


Special to Consortium News

C orporate media are binging on leaked Kool Aid not unlike the WMD concoction they offered 18 years ago to "justify" the U.S.-UK war of aggression on Iraq.

Now Michael McFaul, ambassador to Russia under President Obama, has been enlisted by The Washington Post 's editorial page honcho, Fred Hiatt, to draw on his expertise (read, incurable Russophobia) to help stick President Donald Trump back into "Putin's pocket." (This has become increasingly urgent as the canard of "Russiagate" -- including the linchpin claim that Russia hacked the DNC -- lies gasping for air.)

In an oped on Thursday McFaul presented a long list of Vladimir Putin's alleged crimes, offering a more ostensibly sophisticated version of amateur Russian specialist, Rep. Jason Crow's (D-CO) claim that: "Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with McFaul meeting Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, on May 7, 2013. (State Department)

McFaul had -- well, let's call it an undistinguished career in Moscow. He arrived with a huge chip on his shoulder and proceeded to alienate just about all his hosts, save for the rabidly anti-Putin folks he openly and proudly cultivated. In a sense, McFaul became the epitome of what Henry Wooton described as the role of ambassador -- "an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country." What should not be so readily accepted is an ambassador who comes back home and just can't stop misleading.

Not to doubt McFaul's ulterior motives; one must assume him to be an "honest man" -- however misguided, in my opinion. He seems to be a disciple of the James Clapper-Curtis LeMay-Joe McCarthy School of Russian Analysis.

Clapper, a graduate summa cum laude , certainly had the Russians pegged! Clapper was allowed to stay as Barack Obama's director of national intelligence for three and a half years after perjuring himself in formal Senate testimony (on NSA's illegal eavesdropping). On May 28, 2017 Clapper told NBC's Chuck Todd about "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."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/tcN_tWk089w?feature=oembed

As a finale, in full knowledge of Clapper's proclivities regarding Russia, Obama appointed him to prepare the evidence-impoverished, misnomered "Intelligence Community Assessment" claiming that Putin did all he could, including hacking the DNC, to help Trump get elected -- the most embarrassing such "intelligence assessment" I have seen in half a century .

Obama and the National Security State

I have asked myself if Obama also had earned some kind of degree from the Clapper/LeMay/McCarthy School, or whether he simply lacked the courage to challenge the pitiably self-serving "analysis" of the National Security State. Then I re-read "Obama Misses the Afghan Exit-Ramp" of June 24, 2010 and was reminded of how deferential Obama was to the generals and the intelligence gurus, and how unconscionable the generals were -- like their predecessors in Vietnam -- in lying about always seeing light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Thankfully, now ten years later, this is all documented in Craig Whitlock's, "The Afghanistan Papers: At War With the Truth." Corporate media, who played an essential role in that "war with the truth", have not given Whitlock's damning story the attention it should command (surprise, surprise!). In any case, it strains credulity to think that Obama was unaware he was being lied to on Afghanistan.

Some Questions

Clark Gable (l.) with Charles Laughton (r.) in Mutiny on the Bounty, 1935.

Does no one see the irony today in the Democrats' bashing Trump on Afghanistan, with the full support of the Establishment media? The inevitable defeat there is one of the few demonstrable disasters not attributable directly to Trump, but you would not know that from the media. Are the uncorroborated reports of Russian bounties to kill U.S. troops aimed at making it appear that Trump, unable to stand up to Putin, let the Russians drive the rest of U.S. troops out of Afghanistan?

Does the current flap bespeak some kind of "Mutiny on the Bounties," so to speak, by a leaker aping Eric Chiaramella? Recall that the Democrats lionized the CIA official seconded to Trump's national security council as a "whistleblower" and proceeded to impeach Trump after Chiaramella leaked information on Trump's telephone call with the president of Ukraine. Far from being held to account, Chiaramella is probably expecting an influential job if his patron, Joe Biden, is elected president. Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House?

And what does one make of the spectacle of Crow teaming up with Rep. Liz Cheney (R, WY) to restrict Trump's planned pull-out of troops from Afghanistan, which The Los Angeles Times reports has now been blocked until after the election?

Hiatt & McFaul: Caveat Editor

And who published McFaul's oped? Fred Hiatt, Washington Post editorial page editor for the past 20 years, who has a long record of listening to the whispers of anonymous intelligence sources and submerging/drowning the subjunctive mood with flat fact. This was the case with the (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the U.S.-UK attack. Readers of the Post were sure there were tons of WMD in Iraq. That Hiatt has invited McFaul on stage should come as no surprise.

To be fair, Hiatt belatedly acknowledged that the Post should have been more circumspect in its confident claims about the WMD. "If you look at the editorials we write running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass destruction," Hiatt said in an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review . "If that's not true, it would have been better not to say it." [CJR, March/April 2004]

At this word of wisdom, Consortium News founder, the late Robert Parry, offered this comment: "Yes, that is a common principle of journalism, that if something isn't real, we're not supposed to confidently declare that it is." That Hiatt is still in that job speaks volumes.

'Uncorroborated, Contradicted, or Even Non-Existent'

It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the "intelligence" on WMD in Iraq was not "mistaken;" it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account.

Announcing on June 5, 2008, the bipartisan conclusions from a five-year study by the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Jay Rockefeller ( D-WV) said the attack on Iraq was launched "under false pretenses." He described the intelligence conjured up to "justify" war on Iraq as "uncorroborated, contradicted, or even non-existent."

Homework

Yogi Berra in 1956. (Wikipedia)

Here's an assignment due on Monday. Read McFaul's oped carefully. It appears under the title: "Trump would do anything for Putin. No wonder he's ignoring the Russian bounties: Russia's pattern of hostility matches Trump's pattern of accommodation."

And to give you a further taste, here is the first paragraph:

"Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have paid Taliban rebels in Afghanistan to kill U.S. soldiers. Having resulted in at least one American death, and maybe more, these Russian bounties reportedly produced the desired outcome. While deeply disturbing, this effort by Putin is not surprising: It follows a clear pattern of ignoring international norms, rules and laws -- and daring the United States to do anything about it."

Full assignment for Monday: Read carefully through each paragraph of McFaul's text and select which of his claims you would put into one or more of the three categories adduced by Sen. Rockefeller 12 years ago about WMD on Iraq. With particular attention to the evidence behind McFaul's claims, determine which of the claims is (a) "uncorroborated"; which (b) "contradicted"; and which (c) "non-existent;" or (d) all of the above. For extra credit, find one that is supported by plausible evidence.

Yogi Berra might be surprised to hear us keep quoting him with "Deja vu, all over again." Sorry, Yogi, that's what it is; you coined it.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27-year career as a CIA analyst, he prepared and briefed The President's Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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Tags: Clark Gabel Curtis LeMay Donald Trump Eric Chiaramella Henry Wooton James Clapper Joe Biden Joe McCarthy Michael McFaul Ray McGovern Vladimir Putin Yogi Berra


Tarus77 , July 6, 2020 at 14:25

Gad, one wonders if it can ever get much lower in the press and the answer is yes, it can and will go lower, i.e. the mcfaul/hiatt tag team. They are still plumbing for the lows.

The question becomes just how stupid these two are or how stupid do they believe the readership is to read and believe this garbage.

Voice from Europe , July 6, 2020 at 11:58

By now the Russia did it ! is in effect a joke in Russia. Economically, politically, geo strategically China and Asia and Africa have become more important and reliable partners of Russia than the USA. And Europe is also dropping fast on the trustworthy partners list…..

John , July 5, 2020 at 12:55

Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both long-time members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), flagship of the globalist “liberal world order”. The CFR and its many interlocking affiliates, along with their media assets and frontmen in government, have dominated US policy since WW2. Most of the Fed chairmen and secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense and CIA have been CFR members, including Jerome Powell and Mark Esper.

The major finance, energy, defense and media corporations are CFR sponsors, and several of their execs are members. David Rubenstein, billionaire founder of the notorious Carlyle Group, is the current CFR chairman. Laurence Fink, billionaire chairman of BlackRock, is a CFR director. See lists at the CFR website.

Anna , July 6, 2020 at 09:38

Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both very active promoters of hate crimes. Neither has any decency hence decency is allergic to war profiteers and opportunistic liars.
The poor USA; to descend to such a deep moral hole that both Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are still alive and prospering. Shamelessness and presstituting are paid well in the US.

Juan M Escobedo , July 5, 2020 at 11:35

Dems and Reps are already mad.You cannot destroy what does not exist;like Democracy in these United States.Nor God or Putin could.This has always being a fallacy.This is not a democracy;same thing with”comunist China or the USSR.Those two were never socialist.There has never being a real Socialist or Communist country.

Guy , July 4, 2020 at 12:26

“It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the “intelligence” on WMD in Iraq was not “mistaken;” it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account.”
That statement goes to the crux of the matter .Why should journalists care about what is true or a lie in their reports ,they know they will never be held to account .They should be held to account through the court system . A lie by any journalist should be actionable by any court of law . The fear of jail time would sort out the scam journalists we presently have to endure . As it is they have perverted the profession of journalism and it is the law of the jungle .No true democracy should put up with this. We are surrounded with lies that are generated by the very establishment that should protect it’s citizens from same .

Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 15:36

They are spoon fed those lies by our “intelligence” agencies. As CNN’s Jeff Zucker said, “We’re not investigators, we’re journalists”.
Replace “journalists” with “toadies” or “shills” for our “intelligence” community and you’ve gotten to the truth of the matter.

Anna , July 6, 2020 at 09:50

The ‘journalists’ observe how things have been going on for Cheney the Traitor and Bush the lesser — nothing happened to the mega criminals. The hate-bursting and war-profiteering Cheney’s daughter has even squeezed into US Congress.
In a healthy society where human dignity is cherished, the Cheney family will be ostracized and the family name became a synonym for the word ‘traitor.’ In the unhealthy scoiety of Clintons, Obamas, Epstein, Mueller, Adelsons, Clapper, and Krystols, human dignity is a sin.

Ricard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 11:42

Our institutions including journalism are not merely corrupt, they are degenerate. That is, the corruption is not occasional or the exception is is by design, desired and entirely normal.

Stan W. , July 4, 2020 at 12:10

I’m still confident that Durham’s investigation will expose and successfully prosecute the maggots that infest our government.

Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 15:29

What is the basis for this confidence?

John Puma , July 4, 2020 at 12:03

Re: whether Obumma “had earned some kind of degree from the Clapper/LeMay/McCarthy School” of Russia Analytics.

It would be a worthy addition to his degree collection featuring that earned from the Neville Chamberlain Night School of Critical Political Negotiation.

Jeff Harrison , July 4, 2020 at 11:16

Hmmm. Lessee. The US attacks Afghanistan with about the same legitimacy that we had when we attacked Iraq and the Taliban are in charge. We oust the Taliban from power and put our own puppets in place. What idiot thinks that the Taliban are going to need a bounty to kill Americans?

Wendy LaRiviere , July 4, 2020 at 18:29

Jeff Harrison, I like your logic. Plus, I understand that far fewer Americans are being killed in Afghanistan than were under Obama’s administration.

AnneR , July 4, 2020 at 10:27

Frankly, I am sick to death of the unwarranted, indeed bestial Russophobia that is megaphoned minute by minute on NPR and the BBC World Service (only radio here since my husband died). If it isn’t this latest trumped up (ho ho) charge, there are repeated mentions, in passing, of course, of the Russiagate, hacking, Kremlin control of the Strumpet to back up the latest bunch of lies. Doesn’t matter at *all* that Russiagate was debunked, that even Mueller couldn’t actually demonstrably pull the DNC/ruling elites rabbit out of the hat, that the impeachment of the Strumpet went nowhere. And it clearly – by its total absence on the above radio broadcasts – doesn’t matter one iota that the Pentagonal hasn’t gone along, that gaping holes in the confabulation are (and were) obvious to those who cared to think with half a mind awake and reflecting on past US ruling elite lies, untruths, obfuscations. Nope. Just repeat, repeat, repeat. Orwell would clap his hands (not because he agreed with the atrocious politics but the lesson is learnt).

Added to the whipped up anti-Russia, decidedly anti-Putin crapola – is of course the Russian peoples’ vote, decision making on their own country’s changes to the Basic Law (a form of Constitution). When the radio broadcasts the usual sickening anti-Russian/Putin propaganda regarding this vote immediately prior they would state that the changes would install Putin for many more years: no mention that he would have to be elected, i.e. voted by the populace into the presidency. (This was repeated ad infinitum without any elaboration.) No other proposed changes were mentioned – certainly not that the Duma would gain greater control over the governance of the country and over the president’s cabinet. I.e. that the popularly elected (ain’t that what we call democracy??) representatives in the Duma (parliament) would essentially have more power than the president.

But most significantly, to my mind, no one has (well of course not – this is Russia) raised the issue of the fact that it was the Russian people, the vox populi/hoi polloi, who have had some say in how they are to be governed, how their government will work for them. HOW much say have we had/do we have in how our government functions, works – let alone for us, the hoi polloi? When did we the citizenry last have a voting say on ANY sentence in the Constitution that governs us??? Ummm I do believe it was the creation of the wealthy British descended slave holding, real estate ethnic-cleansing lot who wrote and ratified the original document and the hardly dissimilar Congressional and state types who have over the years written and voted on various amendments. And it is the members of the upper classes in the Supreme Court who adjudicate on its application to various problems.

BUT We the hoi polloi have never, ever had a direct opportunity to individually vote for or against any single part of the Constitution which is supposed to be the “democratic” superstructure which governs us. Unlike the Russians a couple of days ago.

Richard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 15:48

“HOW much say have we had/do we have in how our government functions, works…” See, that’s your mistake right there. WE don’t have a government. We need one, but we ain’t got one. THEY have a government which they let us go through the motions of electing. ‘Member back when Bernie was talking about a Political Revolution?

Here’s a little fact for you. The five most populous states have a total of 123,000,000 people. That’s 10 Senators. The five least populated states have a total of 3.5 million. That’s also 10 Senators. Democracy anyone?

vinnieoh , July 4, 2020 at 09:37

There have been three coup d’état within the US within the lifetimes of most that read these pages. The first was explained to us by Eisenhower only as he was exiting his time from the national stage; the MIC had co-opted our government. The second happened in 2000, with the putsch in Florida and then the adoption by the neocon cabal of Bush /Chaney of the PNAC blueprint “Strategies for Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (Defenses – hahahaha – shit!). The third happened late last year and early this year when the bottom-up grass-roots movement of progressivism was crushed by the DNC and the cold-warrior hack Biden was inserted as the champion of “the opposition party.”

And, make no mistake that Kamala Harris WILL be his running mate. It was always going to be Harris. It was to be Harris at the TOP of the ticket as the primaries began, but she wasn’t even placing in the top tier in any of the contests. However, the poohbahs and strategists of the DNC are nothing if not determined and consistent. If Biden should win, we should all start practicing now saying “President Harris” because that is what the future holds. For the DNC, she looks the part, she sounds the part, but more importantly she is the very definition of the status quo, corporate ass-kisser, MIC tool.

The professional political class have fully colluded to fatally cripple this democratic republic. “Democracy” is just a word they say like, “Where’s my kickback?” (excuse me – my “motivation”.) This bounty scam and the rehabilitation of GW Bush are nothing but a full blitzkrieg flanking of Trump on the right. And Trump of course is so far out of his depth that he actually believes that Israel is his friend. (A hint Donny: Israel is NO-ONE’S friend.)

What is most infuriating? hope-crushing? plain f$%&*#g scary? is that the majority of Americans from all quarters do not want any of what the professional political class keeps dumping on us. The very attempt at performing this upcoming election will finally and forever lay completely bare the collapse of a functioning government. It’s going to be very ugly, and it may very well be the end. Dog help us all.

Richard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 15:51

Don’t you think that the assassination of JFK counts as a coup d’etat?

Zhu , July 7, 2020 at 02:10

Apres moi, le Deluge.

John Drake , July 7, 2020 at 11:25

Oh gosh how can you forget the Kennedy Assassination. Most people don’t realize he was had ordered the removal of a thousand advisors from Vietnam starting the process of completely cutting bait there, as he had in Laos and Cambodia. All of which made the generals apoplectic. The great secret about Vietnam-which Ellsberg discovered much latter, and mentioned in his book Secrets, another good read- was that every president had been warned it was likely futile. Kennedy was the only one who took that intelligence seriously-like it was actually intelligent intelligence.

Enter stage right Allen Dulles(fired CIA chief), the anti Castro Cubans, the Mafia and most important the MIC; exit Jack Kennedy.

Douglas, JFK why he died and why it matters is the best work on the subject. And no Oswald did not do it; it was a sniper team from different angles, but read the book it gets complicated.

Roger , July 4, 2020 at 09:11

from Counterpunch.org : “Around 15,000 Soviet troops perished in the Afghan War between 1979 and 1989. The US funneled more than $20 billion to the Mujahideen and other anti-Soviet fighters over that same period. This works out to a “bounty” of $1.33 million for each Soviet soldier killed.”

Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 08:35

I am wondering how Cheney and Crow can block Trump from withdrawing the troops from Afghanistan. Is Trump Commander in Chief, or not? How can two senators stop the Commander in Chief from commanding troop movements? I realize they control the budget, but aren’t they crossing into illegality by restricting Trump’s ability to “command”?

Toad Sprocket , July 4, 2020 at 16:49

Yeah, I imagine it’s illegal. Didn’t Lindsay Graham threaten the same thing when Trump was thinking of pulling troops/”advisers” from Syria? And other congress warmongers joined in though I don’t think any legislation was passed. They can’t be bothered to authorize the starts of wars but want to step in when someone tries to end them.

Oh, and Schumer on South Korea troops, I think that one did pass. Almost certainly illegal if it came down to it, but our government is of course lawless. And our courts full of judges who are bought off or moronic or both.

dean 1000 , July 4, 2020 at 06:52

The soft coup attempt continues Ray. More lies and bullshit. It may continue until election day. Will the media fess-up to its lies after the fact again?

Francis Lee , July 4, 2020 at 04:49

“Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy.”

Yes, of course it is a well-known ‘fact’ that Putin has nothing better to do than destory American democracy, and I bet he has dreams about it too! But I am minded to think that if anybody has a penchant for destroying American democracy it is the powers that be in the US deep state, intelligence agencies, and zionist cliques controlling the President and Congress.

”Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.”

The American establishment seems to be suffering from a bad case of ‘projection’ as psychiatrists call it. That is to say accusing others of what they are themselves actually doing.

The whole idiotic circus would be hilarious if it were not so serious.

Antonia Young , July 4, 2020 at 12:20

Putin’s (and by extension the Russian Federation’s) primary objective is international stability. “Destroying America, dividing Americans is the last thing he wants.) Putin learned many lessons during the break-up of the U.S.S.R. observing the carpet baggers/oligarchs/vultures who descended on the weak nation, absconding with it’s wealth and resources at mere fractions of their real value. The deep state’s worst fear is the co-operation btwn Putin and President Trump to make the world more peaceful, stable, co-operative and prosperous.

rosemerry , July 4, 2020 at 16:10

The whole conceited and arrogant “belief” that
1. the USA has any resemblance to a democracy and
2 Pres. Putin has nothing else to do but think how he could do a better job of showing the destructive and irresponsible behavior of the USA than its own leaders” and media can do with no help
has no basis in reality.

If anything, Putin is such a stickler for international law, negotiations, avoidance of conflict that he is regarded by many as too Christian for this modern, individualistic, LBGTQ,”nobody matters but me” worldview of the USA!

Steve Naidamast , July 5, 2020 at 19:54

“If the enemy is self destructing, let them continue to do so…”

Napoleon

Zhu , July 7, 2020 at 02:17

“zionist cliques”: Christian Zionist fighting Fundies, eager for the End of the World, the Second Coming of Jesus.

delia ruhe , July 4, 2020 at 01:09

Yup, we got a Bountygate. Since my early morning visit to the Foreign Policy site, the place has exploded with breathless articles on the dastardly Putin and the cowardly Trump, who has so far failed to hold Putin to account. Reminded me of a similar explosion there when Russiagate finally got the attention the Dems thought it deserved.

(Anyone think that the intel community pays a fee to each of the FP columnists whenever one of their a propaganda narratives needs a push to get it off the ground?)

JOHN CHUCKMAN , July 4, 2020 at 08:52

Udo Ulfkotte was a German journalist.

He wrote a sensational book about the practices he experienced of the CIA paying German journalists to publish certain stories.

The book was a big best seller in Germany.

Its English translation was suppressed for years, but I believe is now available.

Susan Siens , July 5, 2020 at 16:30

Reply to John Chuckman: I’d love to read this book but it wasn’t available a few years ago when I looked. I’ll look again!

Voice from Europe , July 6, 2020 at 11:52

Gekaufte journalisten.
Ulfkotte admitted he signed off on numerous articles that were prepared for him during his career. The last year’s of his life he changed his mores and advocated “better die in truth than live with lies”.

Richard A. , July 4, 2020 at 00:59

I remember the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour from decades ago. Real experts on Russia like Dimitri Simes and Stephen Cohen were the ones to appear on that NewsHour. The NewsHour of today rarely has experts on Russia, just experts on Russia bashing–like Michael McFaul. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Antonia Young , July 3, 2020 at 23:35

Thank you, Ray for your clarion voice in the midst of WMD-seventeen-point-oh. Will the American people have the wisdom to notice how many times we’re being fooled? And finally wake up and stop supporting these questionable news outlets? With appreciation for your excellent analysis, as usual. ~Tonia Young (Formerly with the Topanga Peace Alliance)

Blessthebeasts , July 4, 2020 at 11:55

The majority of Americans have a lot more to worry about than the latest nonsense about Russia. I think most people just tune it out.
The ones being fooled are the fools who have been lapping this crap up from the get go. The supposed educated class who think themselves superior and well informed because they read and listen to the propaganda of PBS, NPR, NYT etc.
They don’t seem to realize the ship is sinking while they’re playing these ridiculous games.

Susan Siens , July 5, 2020 at 16:34

The supposedly educated class, yes! It can be stunning how people believe anything they hear on PBS or NPR, and then they make fun of people who believe anything they hear on Fox News. What’s the difference? Both are propaganda tools.

And, yes, watch us go down in flames while so-called progressives boo-hoo about Trump thinking he’s above the law (like every other president before him). Our local “peace and justice” group sent me an email asking me to sign a petition supporting Robert Mueller. I was gobsmacked, and then I realized our local “peace and justice” group had been taken over by Democratic Party “resisters.” Jeezums, why is every word hijacked?

[Jul 10, 2020] The man behind Iraq WDM hoax rips Fake Russia Bounty Story

Jul 10, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

When Colin Powell of all people has to appear on MSNBC to slam fake reporting you know mainstream media has lost the plot.

In a rare moment, the former Secretary of State under Bush slammed the wall-to-wall coverage of the Russian bounties in Afghanistan story as "almost hysterical" . It's all the more awkard for MSNBC, which had him on the network Thursday to talk about it, given he's one of those 'never Trump' Bush-era officials, who despite a legacy of having fed the world lie after lie to invade Iraq, has since been given "resistance hero" status among liberals.

Describing that military commanders on the ground didn't give credence to The New York Times claim that Russia's GRU was paying Taliban and other militants to kill American soldiers, Powell said the media "got kind of out of control" in the first days after the initial report weeks ago.

"I know that our military commanders on the ground did not think that it was as serious a problem as the newspapers were reporting and television was reporting," Powell told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. "It got kind of out of control before we really had an understanding of what had happened. I'm not sure we fully understand now."

"It's our commanders who are going to go deal with this kind of a threat, using intelligence given to them by the intelligence community," Powell continued. "But that has to be analyzed. It has to be attested. And then you have to go find out who the enemy is. And I think we were on top of that one, but it just got almost hysterical in the first few days."

He also deflated the ongoing manufactured atmosphere which seeks to maintain a perpetual Washington hawkish position vis-a-vis Moscow, based on perceived "Russian aggression".

"I don't think we're in a position to go to war with the Russians," Powell said. "I know Mr. Putin rather well. He's just figuring out a way to stay in power until 2036. The last thing he's looking for is a war, and the last thing he's looking for is a war with the United States of America."

[Jul 07, 2020] Mutiny on the Bounties by RAY McGOVERN

Highly recommended!
So they dusted of McFaul to provide the support for bounty provocation. I wonder whether McFaul one one of Epstein guests, or what ?
So who was the clone of Ciaramella this time? People want to know the hero
Notable quotes:
"... Not to doubt McFaul's ulterior motives; one must assume him to be an "honest man" -- however misguided, in my opinion. He seems to be a disciple of the James Clapper-Curtis LeMay-Joe McCarthy School of Russian Analysis. ..."
"... Clapper, a graduate summa cum laude , certainly had the Russians pegged! Clapper was allowed to stay as Barack Obama's director of national intelligence for three and a half years after perjuring himself in formal Senate testimony (on NSA's illegal eavesdropping). On May 28, 2017 Clapper told NBC's Chuck Todd about "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." ..."
"... As a finale, in full knowledge of Clapper's proclivities regarding Russia, Obama appointed him to prepare the evidence-impoverished, misnomered "Intelligence Community Assessment" claiming that Putin did all he could, including hacking the DNC, to help Trump get elected -- the most embarrassing such "intelligence assessment" I have seen in half a century . ..."
"... Does no one see the irony today in the Democrats' bashing Trump on Afghanistan, with the full support of the Establishment media? The inevitable defeat there is one of the few demonstrable disasters not attributable directly to Trump, but you would not know that from the media. Are the uncorroborated reports of Russian bounties to kill U.S. troops aimed at making it appear that Trump, unable to stand up to Putin, let the Russians drive the rest of U.S. troops out of Afghanistan? ..."
"... Does the current flap bespeak some kind of "Mutiny on the Bounties," so to speak, by a leaker aping Eric Chiaramella? Recall that the Democrats lionized the CIA official seconded to Trump's national security council as a "whistleblower" and proceeded to impeach Trump after Chiaramella leaked information on Trump's telephone call with the president of Ukraine. Far from being held to account, Chiaramella is probably expecting an influential job if his patron, Joe Biden, is elected president. Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House? ..."
"... It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the "intelligence" on WMD in Iraq was not "mistaken;" it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account. ..."
"... Here's an assignment due on Monday. Read McFaul's oped carefully. It appears under the title: "Trump would do anything for Putin. No wonder he's ignoring the Russian bounties: Russia's pattern of hostility matches Trump's pattern of accommodation." ..."
"... Full assignment for Monday: Read carefully through each paragraph of McFaul's text and select which of his claims you would put into one or more of the three categories adduced by Sen. Rockefeller 12 years ago about WMD on Iraq. With particular attention to the evidence behind McFaul's claims, determine which of the claims is (a) "uncorroborated"; which (b) "contradicted"; and which (c) "non-existent;" or (d) all of the above. For extra credit, find one that is supported by plausible evidence. ..."
"... Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both long-time members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), flagship of the globalist “liberal world order”. The CFR and its many interlocking affiliates, along with their media assets and frontmen in government, have dominated US policy since WW2. Most of the Fed chairmen and secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense and CIA have been CFR members, including Jerome Powell and Mark Esper. ..."
"... The major finance, energy, defense and media corporations are CFR sponsors, and several of their execs are members. David Rubenstein, billionaire founder of the notorious Carlyle Group, is the current CFR chairman. Laurence Fink, billionaire chairman of BlackRock, is a CFR director. See lists at the CFR website. ..."
"... “It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the “intelligence” on WMD in Iraq was not “mistaken;” it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account.” ..."
"... They are spoon fed those lies by our “intelligence” agencies. As CNN’s Jeff Zucker said, “We’re not investigators, we’re journalists”. Replace “journalists” with “toadies” or “shills” for our “intelligence” community and you’ve gotten to the truth of the matter. ..."
"... In the unhealthy society of Clintons, Obamas, Epstein, Mueller, Adelsons, Clapper, and Krystols, human dignity is a sin. ..."
"... Our institutions including journalism are not merely corrupt, they are degenerate. That is, the corruption is not occasional or the exception is is by design, desired and entirely normal. ..."
"... from Counterpunch.org : “Around 15,000 Soviet troops perished in the Afghan War between 1979 and 1989. The US funneled more than $20 billion to the Mujahideen and other anti-Soviet fighters over that same period. This works out to a “bounty” of $1.33 million for each Soviet soldier killed.” ..."
"... Yes, of course it is a well-known ‘fact’ that Putin has nothing better to do than destory American democracy, and I bet he has dreams about it too! But I am minded to think that if anybody has a penchant for destroying American democracy it is the powers that be in the US deep state, intelligence agencies, and zionist cliques controlling the President and Congress. ..."
"... Udo Ulfkotte was a German journalist. He wrote a sensational book about the practices he experienced of the CIA paying German journalists to publish certain stories. The book was a big best seller in Germany. Its English translation was suppressed for years, but I believe is now available. ..."
"... Gekaufte journalisten. Ulfkotte admitted he signed off on numerous articles that were prepared for him during his career. The last year’s of his life he changed his mores and advocated “better die in truth than live with lies”. ..."
Jul 03, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

RAY McGOVERN: Mutiny on the Bounties

Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House, as Obama's former ambassador to Russia piles on the nonsense about Trump being in Putin's pocket?

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

C orporate media are binging on leaked Kool Aid not unlike the WMD concoction they offered 18 years ago to "justify" the U.S.-UK war of aggression on Iraq.

Now Michael McFaul, ambassador to Russia under President Obama, has been enlisted by The Washington Post 's editorial page honcho, Fred Hiatt, to draw on his expertise (read, incurable Russophobia) to help stick President Donald Trump back into "Putin's pocket." (This has become increasingly urgent as the canard of "Russiagate" -- including the linchpin claim that Russia hacked the DNC -- lies gasping for air.)

In an oped on Thursday McFaul presented a long list of Vladimir Putin's alleged crimes, offering a more ostensibly sophisticated version of amateur Russian specialist, Rep. Jason Crow's (D-CO) claim that: "Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with McFaul meeting Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, on May 7, 2013. (State Department)

McFaul had -- well, let's call it an undistinguished career in Moscow. He arrived with a huge chip on his shoulder and proceeded to alienate just about all his hosts, save for the rabidly anti-Putin folks he openly and proudly cultivated. In a sense, McFaul became the epitome of what Henry Wooton described as the role of ambassador -- "an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country." What should not be so readily accepted is an ambassador who comes back home and just can't stop misleading.

Not to doubt McFaul's ulterior motives; one must assume him to be an "honest man" -- however misguided, in my opinion. He seems to be a disciple of the James Clapper-Curtis LeMay-Joe McCarthy School of Russian Analysis.

Clapper, a graduate summa cum laude , certainly had the Russians pegged! Clapper was allowed to stay as Barack Obama's director of national intelligence for three and a half years after perjuring himself in formal Senate testimony (on NSA's illegal eavesdropping). On May 28, 2017 Clapper told NBC's Chuck Todd about "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."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/tcN_tWk089w?feature=oembed

As a finale, in full knowledge of Clapper's proclivities regarding Russia, Obama appointed him to prepare the evidence-impoverished, misnomered "Intelligence Community Assessment" claiming that Putin did all he could, including hacking the DNC, to help Trump get elected -- the most embarrassing such "intelligence assessment" I have seen in half a century .

Obama and the National Security State

I have asked myself if Obama also had earned some kind of degree from the Clapper/LeMay/McCarthy School, or whether he simply lacked the courage to challenge the pitiably self-serving "analysis" of the National Security State. Then I re-read "Obama Misses the Afghan Exit-Ramp" of June 24, 2010 and was reminded of how deferential Obama was to the generals and the intelligence gurus, and how unconscionable the generals were -- like their predecessors in Vietnam -- in lying about always seeing light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Thankfully, now ten years later, this is all documented in Craig Whitlock's, "The Afghanistan Papers: At War With the Truth." Corporate media, who played an essential role in that "war with the truth", have not given Whitlock's damning story the attention it should command (surprise, surprise!). In any case, it strains credulity to think that Obama was unaware he was being lied to on Afghanistan.

Some Questions

Clark Gable (l.) with Charles Laughton (r.) in Mutiny on the Bounty, 1935.

Does no one see the irony today in the Democrats' bashing Trump on Afghanistan, with the full support of the Establishment media? The inevitable defeat there is one of the few demonstrable disasters not attributable directly to Trump, but you would not know that from the media. Are the uncorroborated reports of Russian bounties to kill U.S. troops aimed at making it appear that Trump, unable to stand up to Putin, let the Russians drive the rest of U.S. troops out of Afghanistan?

Does the current flap bespeak some kind of "Mutiny on the Bounties," so to speak, by a leaker aping Eric Chiaramella? Recall that the Democrats lionized the CIA official seconded to Trump's national security council as a "whistleblower" and proceeded to impeach Trump after Chiaramella leaked information on Trump's telephone call with the president of Ukraine. Far from being held to account, Chiaramella is probably expecting an influential job if his patron, Joe Biden, is elected president. Has there been another mutiny in Trump's White House?

And what does one make of the spectacle of Crow teaming up with Rep. Liz Cheney (R, WY) to restrict Trump's planned pull-out of troops from Afghanistan, which The Los Angeles Times reports has now been blocked until after the election?

Hiatt & McFaul: Caveat Editor

And who published McFaul's oped? Fred Hiatt, Washington Post editorial page editor for the past 20 years, who has a long record of listening to the whispers of anonymous intelligence sources and submerging/drowning the subjunctive mood with flat fact. This was the case with the (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the U.S.-UK attack. Readers of the Post were sure there were tons of WMD in Iraq. That Hiatt has invited McFaul on stage should come as no surprise.

To be fair, Hiatt belatedly acknowledged that the Post should have been more circumspect in its confident claims about the WMD. "If you look at the editorials we write running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass destruction," Hiatt said in an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review . "If that's not true, it would have been better not to say it." [CJR, March/April 2004]

At this word of wisdom, Consortium News founder, the late Robert Parry, offered this comment: "Yes, that is a common principle of journalism, that if something isn't real, we're not supposed to confidently declare that it is." That Hiatt is still in that job speaks volumes.

'Uncorroborated, Contradicted, or Even Non-Existent'

It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the "intelligence" on WMD in Iraq was not "mistaken;" it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account.

Announcing on June 5, 2008, the bipartisan conclusions from a five-year study by the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Jay Rockefeller ( D-WV) said the attack on Iraq was launched "under false pretenses." He described the intelligence conjured up to "justify" war on Iraq as "uncorroborated, contradicted, or even non-existent."

Homework

Yogi Berra in 1956. (Wikipedia)

Here's an assignment due on Monday. Read McFaul's oped carefully. It appears under the title: "Trump would do anything for Putin. No wonder he's ignoring the Russian bounties: Russia's pattern of hostility matches Trump's pattern of accommodation."

And to give you a further taste, here is the first paragraph:

"Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have paid Taliban rebels in Afghanistan to kill U.S. soldiers. Having resulted in at least one American death, and maybe more, these Russian bounties reportedly produced the desired outcome. While deeply disturbing, this effort by Putin is not surprising: It follows a clear pattern of ignoring international norms, rules and laws -- and daring the United States to do anything about it."

Full assignment for Monday: Read carefully through each paragraph of McFaul's text and select which of his claims you would put into one or more of the three categories adduced by Sen. Rockefeller 12 years ago about WMD on Iraq. With particular attention to the evidence behind McFaul's claims, determine which of the claims is (a) "uncorroborated"; which (b) "contradicted"; and which (c) "non-existent;" or (d) all of the above. For extra credit, find one that is supported by plausible evidence.

Yogi Berra might be surprised to hear us keep quoting him with "Deja vu, all over again." Sorry, Yogi, that's what it is; you coined it.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27-year career as a CIA analyst, he prepared and briefed The President's Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


Tarus77 , July 6, 2020 at 14:25

Gad, one wonders if it can ever get much lower in the press and the answer is yes, it can and will go lower, i.e. the mcfaul/hiatt tag team. They are still plumbing for the lows.

The question becomes just how stupid these two are or how stupid do they believe the readership is to read and believe this garbage.

Voice from Europe , July 6, 2020 at 11:58

By now the Russia did it ! is in effect a joke in Russia. Economically, politically, geo strategically China and Asia and Africa have become more important and reliable partners of Russia than the USA. And Europe is also dropping fast on the trustworthy partners list…..

John , July 5, 2020 at 12:55

Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both long-time members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), flagship of the globalist “liberal world order”. The CFR and its many interlocking affiliates, along with their media assets and frontmen in government, have dominated US policy since WW2. Most of the Fed chairmen and secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense and CIA have been CFR members, including Jerome Powell and Mark Esper.

The major finance, energy, defense and media corporations are CFR sponsors, and several of their execs are members. David Rubenstein, billionaire founder of the notorious Carlyle Group, is the current CFR chairman. Laurence Fink, billionaire chairman of BlackRock, is a CFR director. See lists at the CFR website.

Anna , July 6, 2020 at 09:38

Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are both very active promoters of hate crimes. Neither has any decency hence decency is allergic to war profiteers and opportunistic liars.

The poor USA; to descend to such a deep moral hole that both Michael McFaul and Fred Hiatt are still alive and prospering. Shamelessness and presstituting are paid well in the US.

Juan M Escobedo , July 5, 2020 at 11:35

Dems and Reps are already mad. You cannot destroy what does not exist; like Democracy in these United States. Nor God or Putin could. This has always being a fallacy. This is not a democracy; same thing with ”communist" China or the USSR .Those two were never socialist. There has never being a real Socialist or Communist country.

Guy , July 4, 2020 at 12:26

“It is sad to have to remind folks 18 years later that the “intelligence” on WMD in Iraq was not “mistaken;” it was fraudulent from the get-go. The culprits were finally exposed but never held to account.”

That statement goes to the crux of the matter.Why should journalists care about what is true or a lie in their reports ,they know they will never be held to account .They should be held to account through the court system . A lie by any journalist should be actionable by any court of law . The fear of jail time would sort out the scam journalists we presently have to endure .

As it is they have perverted the profession of journalism and it is the law of the jungle .No true democracy should put up with this. We are surrounded with lies that are generated by the very establishment that should protect it’s citizens from same .

Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 15:36

They are spoon fed those lies by our “intelligence” agencies. As CNN’s Jeff Zucker said, “We’re not investigators, we’re journalists”. Replace “journalists” with “toadies” or “shills” for our “intelligence” community and you’ve gotten to the truth of the matter.

Anna , July 6, 2020 at 09:50

The ‘journalists’ observe how things have been going on for Cheney the Traitor and Bush the lesser — nothing happened to the mega criminals. The hate-bursting and war-profiteering Cheney’s daughter has even squeezed into US Congress.

In a healthy society where human dignity is cherished, the Cheney family will be ostracized and the family name became a synonym for the word ‘traitor.’ In the unhealthy society of Clintons, Obamas, Epstein, Mueller, Adelsons, Clapper, and Krystols, human dignity is a sin.

Ricard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 11:42

Our institutions including journalism are not merely corrupt, they are degenerate. That is, the corruption is not occasional or the exception is is by design, desired and entirely normal.

Stan W. , July 4, 2020 at 12:10

I’m still confident that Durham’s investigation will expose and successfully prosecute the maggots that infest our government.

Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 15:29

What is the basis for this confidence?

John Puma , July 4, 2020 at 12:03

Re: whether Obumma “had earned some kind of degree from the Clapper/LeMay/McCarthy School” of Russia Analytics.

It would be a worthy addition to his degree collection featuring that earned from the Neville Chamberlain Night School of Critical Political Negotiation.

Jeff Harrison , July 4, 2020 at 11:16

Hmmm. Lessee. The US attacks Afghanistan with about the same legitimacy that we had when we attacked Iraq and the Taliban are in charge. We oust the Taliban from power and put our own puppets in place. What idiot thinks that the Taliban are going to need a bounty to kill Americans?

Wendy LaRiviere , July 4, 2020 at 18:29

Jeff Harrison, I like your logic. Plus, I understand that far fewer Americans are being killed in Afghanistan than were under Obama’s administration.

AnneR , July 4, 2020 at 10:27

Frankly, I am sick to death of the unwarranted, indeed bestial Russophobia that is megaphoned minute by minute on NPR and the BBC World Service (only radio here since my husband died). If it isn’t this latest trumped up (ho ho) charge, there are repeated mentions, in passing, of course, of the Russiagate, hacking, Kremlin control of the Strumpet to back up the latest bunch of lies.

Doesn’t matter at *all* that Russiagate was debunked, that even Mueller couldn’t actually demonstrably pull the DNC/ruling elites rabbit out of the hat, that the impeachment of the Strumpet went nowhere. And it clearly – by its total absence on the above radio broadcasts – doesn’t matter one iota that the Pentagonal hasn’t gone along, that gaping holes in the confabulation are (and were) obvious to those who cared to think with half a mind awake and reflecting on past US ruling elite lies, untruths, obfuscations. Nope. Just repeat, repeat, repeat. Orwell would clap his hands (not because he agreed with the atrocious politics but the lesson is learnt).

Added to the whipped up anti-Russia, decidedly anti-Putin crapola – is of course the Russian peoples’ vote, decision making on their own country’s changes to the Basic Law (a form of Constitution). When the radio broadcasts the usual sickening anti-Russian/Putin propaganda regarding this vote immediately prior they would state that the changes would install Putin for many more years: no mention that he would have to be elected, i.e. voted by the populace into the presidency. (This was repeated ad infinitum without any elaboration.) No other proposed changes were mentioned – certainly not that the Duma would gain greater control over the governance of the country and over the president’s cabinet. I.e. that the popularly elected (ain’t that what we call democracy??) representatives in the Duma (parliament) would essentially have more power than the president.

But most significantly, to my mind, no one has (well of course not – this is Russia) raised the issue of the fact that it was the Russian people, the vox populi/hoi polloi, who have had some say in how they are to be governed, how their government will work for them. HOW much say have we had/do we have in how our government functions, works – let alone for us, the hoi polloi? When did we the citizenry last have a voting say on ANY sentence in the Constitution that governs us??? Ummm I do believe it was the creation of the wealthy British descended slave holding, real estate ethnic-cleansing lot who wrote and ratified the original document and the hardly dissimilar Congressional and state types who have over the years written and voted on various amendments. And it is the members of the upper classes in the Supreme Court who adjudicate on its application to various problems.

BUT We the hoi polloi have never, ever had a direct opportunity to individually vote for or against any single part of the Constitution which is supposed to be the “democratic” superstructure which governs us. Unlike the Russians a couple of days ago.

Richard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 15:48

“HOW much say have we had/do we have in how our government functions, works…” See, that’s your mistake right there. WE don’t have a government. We need one, but we ain’t got one. THEY have a government which they let us go through the motions of electing. ‘Member back when Bernie was talking about a Political Revolution?

Here’s a little fact for you. The five most populous states have a total of 123,000,000 people. That’s 10 Senators. The five least populated states have a total of 3.5 million. That’s also 10 Senators. Democracy anyone?

vinnieoh , July 4, 2020 at 09:37

There have been three coup d’état within the US within the lifetimes of most that read these pages. The first was explained to us by Eisenhower only as he was exiting his time from the national stage; the MIC had co-opted our government. The second happened in 2000, with the putsch in Florida and then the adoption by the neocon cabal of Bush /Chaney of the PNAC blueprint “Strategies for Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (Defenses – hahahaha – shit!). The third happened late last year and early this year when the bottom-up grass-roots movement of progressivism was crushed by the DNC and the cold-warrior hack Biden was inserted as the champion of “the opposition party.”

And, make no mistake that Kamala Harris WILL be his running mate. It was always going to be Harris. It was to be Harris at the TOP of the ticket as the primaries began, but she wasn’t even placing in the top tier in any of the contests. However, the poohbahs and strategists of the DNC are nothing if not determined and consistent. If Biden should win, we should all start practicing now saying “President Harris” because that is what the future holds. For the DNC, she looks the part, she sounds the part, but more importantly she is the very definition of the status quo, corporate ass-kisser, MIC tool.

The professional political class have fully colluded to fatally cripple this democratic republic. “Democracy” is just a word they say like, “Where’s my kickback?” (excuse me – my “motivation”.) This bounty scam and the rehabilitation of GW Bush are nothing but a full blitzkrieg flanking of Trump on the right. And Trump of course is so far out of his depth that he actually believes that Israel is his friend. (A hint Donny: Israel is NO-ONE’S friend.)

What is most infuriating? hope-crushing? plain f$%&*#g scary? is that the majority of Americans from all quarters do not want any of what the professional political class keeps dumping on us. The very attempt at performing this upcoming election will finally and forever lay completely bare the collapse of a functioning government. It’s going to be very ugly, and it may very well be the end. Dog help us all.

Richard Coleman , July 6, 2020 at 15:51

Don’t you think that the assassination of JFK counts as a coup d’etat?

Zhu , July 7, 2020 at 02:10

Apres moi, le Deluge.

John Drake , July 7, 2020 at 11:25

Oh gosh how can you forget the Kennedy Assassination. Most people don’t realize he was had ordered the removal of a thousand advisors from Vietnam starting the process of completely cutting bait there, as he had in Laos and Cambodia. All of which made the generals apoplectic. The great secret about Vietnam-which Ellsberg discovered much latter, and mentioned in his book Secrets, another good read- was that every president had been warned it was likely futile. Kennedy was the only one who took that intelligence seriously-like it was actually intelligent intelligence.

Enter stage right Allen Dulles (fired CIA chief), the anti Castro Cubans, the Mafia and most important the MIC; exit Jack Kennedy.

Douglas, JFK why he died and why it matters is the best work on the subject. And no Oswald did not do it; it was a sniper team from different angles, but read the book it gets complicated.

Roger , July 4, 2020 at 09:11

from Counterpunch.org : “Around 15,000 Soviet troops perished in the Afghan War between 1979 and 1989. The US funneled more than $20 billion to the Mujahideen and other anti-Soviet fighters over that same period. This works out to a “bounty” of $1.33 million for each Soviet soldier killed.”

Skip Scott , July 4, 2020 at 08:35

I am wondering how Cheney and Crow can block Trump from withdrawing the troops from Afghanistan. Is Trump Commander in Chief, or not? How can two senators stop the Commander in Chief from commanding troop movements? I realize they control the budget, but aren’t they crossing into illegality by restricting Trump’s ability to “command”?

Toad Sprocket , July 4, 2020 at 16:49

Yeah, I imagine it’s illegal. Didn’t Lindsay Graham threaten the same thing when Trump was thinking of pulling troops/”advisers” from Syria? And other congress warmongers joined in though I don’t think any legislation was passed. They can’t be bothered to authorize the starts of wars but want to step in when someone tries to end them.

Oh, and Schumer on South Korea troops, I think that one did pass. Almost certainly illegal if it came down to it, but our government is of course lawless. And our courts full of judges who are bought off or moronic or both.

dean 1000 , July 4, 2020 at 06:52

The soft coup attempt continues Ray. More lies and bullshit. It may continue until election day. Will the media fess-up to its lies after the fact again?

Francis Lee , July 4, 2020 at 04:49

“Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy.”

Yes, of course it is a well-known ‘fact’ that Putin has nothing better to do than destory American democracy, and I bet he has dreams about it too! But I am minded to think that if anybody has a penchant for destroying American democracy it is the powers that be in the US deep state, intelligence agencies, and zionist cliques controlling the President and Congress.

”Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.”

The American establishment seems to be suffering from a bad case of ‘projection’ as psychiatrists call it. That is to say accusing others of what they are themselves actually doing.

The whole idiotic circus would be hilarious if it were not so serious.

Antonia Young , July 4, 2020 at 12:20

Putin’s (and by extension the Russian Federation’s) primary objective is international stability. “Destroying America, dividing Americans is the last thing he wants.) Putin learned many lessons during the break-up of the U.S.S.R. observing the carpet baggers/oligarchs/vultures who descended on the weak nation, absconding with it’s wealth and resources at mere fractions of their real value. The deep state’s worst fear is the co-operation btwn Putin and President Trump to make the world more peaceful, stable, co-operative and prosperous.

rosemerry , July 4, 2020 at 16:10

The whole conceited and arrogant “belief” that

  1. The USA has any resemblance to a democracy and
  2. Pres. Putin has nothing else to do but think how he could do a better job of showing the destructive and irresponsible behavior of the USA than its own leaders” and media can do with no help has no basis in reality.

If anything, Putin is such a stickler for international law, negotiations, avoidance of conflict that he is regarded by many as too Christian for this modern, individualistic, LBGTQ, ”nobody matters but me” worldview of the USA!

Steve Naidamast , July 5, 2020 at 19:54

“If the enemy is self destructing, let them continue to do so…”

Napoleon

Zhu , July 7, 2020 at 02:17

“zionist cliques”: Christian Zionist fighting Fundies, eager for the End of the World, the Second Coming of Jesus.

delia ruhe , July 4, 2020 at 01:09

Yup, we got a Bountygate. Since my early morning visit to the Foreign Policy site, the place has exploded with breathless articles on the dastardly Putin and the cowardly Trump, who has so far failed to hold Putin to account. Reminded me of a similar explosion there when Russiagate finally got the attention the Dems thought it deserved.

(Anyone think that the intel community pays a fee to each of the FP columnists whenever one of their a propaganda narratives needs a push to get it off the ground?)

JOHN CHUCKMAN , July 4, 2020 at 08:52

Udo Ulfkotte was a German journalist. He wrote a sensational book about the practices he experienced of the CIA paying German journalists to publish certain stories. The book was a big best seller in Germany. Its English translation was suppressed for years, but I believe is now available.

Susan Siens , July 5, 2020 at 16:30

Reply to John Chuckman: I’d love to read this book but it wasn’t available a few years ago when I looked. I’ll look again!

Voice from Europe , July 6, 2020 at 11:52

Gekaufte journalisten. Ulfkotte admitted he signed off on numerous articles that were prepared for him during his career. The last year’s of his life he changed his mores and advocated “better die in truth than live with lies”.

Richard A. , July 4, 2020 at 00:59

I remember the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour from decades ago. Real experts on Russia like Dimitri Simes and Stephen Cohen were the ones to appear on that NewsHour. The NewsHour of today rarely has experts on Russia, just experts on Russia bashing–like Michael McFaul. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Antonia Young , July 3, 2020 at 23:35

Thank you, Ray for your clarion voice in the midst of WMD-seventeen-point-oh. Will the American people have the wisdom to notice how many times we’re being fooled? And finally wake up and stop supporting these questionable news outlets? With appreciation for your excellent analysis, as usual. ~Tonia Young (Formerly with the Topanga Peace Alliance)

Blessthebeasts , July 4, 2020 at 11:55

The majority of Americans have a lot more to worry about than the latest nonsense about Russia. I think most people just tune it out.

The ones being fooled are the fools who have been lapping this crap up from the get go. The supposed educated class who think themselves superior and well informed because they read and listen to the propaganda of PBS, NPR, NYT etc.

They don’t seem to realize the ship is sinking while they’re playing these ridiculous games.

Susan Siens , July 5, 2020 at 16:34

The supposedly educated class, yes! It can be stunning how people believe anything they hear on PBS or NPR, and then they make fun of people who believe anything they hear on Fox News. What’s the difference? Both are propaganda tools.

And, yes, watch us go down in flames while so-called progressives boo-hoo about Trump thinking he’s above the law (like every other president before him). Our local “peace and justice” group sent me an email asking me to sign a petition supporting Robert Mueller. I was gobsmacked, and then I realized our local “peace and justice” group had been taken over by Democratic Party “resisters.” Jeezums, why is every word hijacked?

[Jul 07, 2020] Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy

Jul 07, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

In an oped on Thursday McFaul presented a long list of Vladimir Putin's alleged crimes, offering a more ostensibly sophisticated version of amateur Russian specialist, Rep. Jason Crow's (D-CO) claim that: "Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy."

Francis Lee , July 4, 2020 at 04:49

“Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy.”

Yes, of course it is a well-known ‘fact’ that Putin has nothing better to do than destory American democracy, and I bet he has dreams about it too! But I am minded to think that if anybody has a penchant for destroying American democracy it is the powers that be in the US deep state, intelligence agencies, and zionist cliques controlling the President and Congress.

”Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.”

The American establishment seems to be suffering from a bad case of ‘projection’ as psychiatrists call it. That is to say accusing others of what they are themselves actually doing.

The whole idiotic circus would be hilarious if it were not so serious.

[Jul 07, 2020] The value of Trumpo in exposing the Deep State and controlled by intelligence services MSM

Jul 07, 2020 | www.unz.com

David Rodriguez , says: July 6, 2020 at 12:56 pm GMT

@Robert White how self-important, arrogant, and entitled these jerks are, they would understand the volcanic rage directed at Trump. But there is more. Many of these people really are utterly corrupt in the sense that they have made huge amounts of money through illegal deals, influence-peddling, etc. They felt secure in the knowledge that Hillary Clinton was surely not going to go after them, though she might have insisted on a piece of the pie,, like the greasy, small-town lawyer she is. Now things are not nearly so sure and they know it.
Trump is far from perfect, in any way you can imagine. Come November, after he has used Joe Biden as a dishrag, Mr. White and friends will suffer a real case of the sadz.

[Jul 07, 2020] The five Eyes need an enemy to keep budgets up, anyone will do, and Russia is Wall street's favorite bogey, keeping China out of the limelight.

Jul 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Antonym , Jul 6 2020 3:07 utc | 82

My impression at this point:

Russia since Putin does not offer much global profit; Xi Jinping on the other hand does, for (manufacturing) stock market darlings like Apple, Amazon or Walmart etc. The five Eyes need an enemy to keep budgets up, anyone will do, and Russia is Wall street's favorite bogey, keeping China out of the limelight.

Western left keeps on supporting Xi, bedazzled by his orchestrated propaganda of being a benign ruler. They barely care about Russia, the main activity is denigrating their own West: "we" are bad = some European colonialists and fascists of two or more generations ago .

[Jul 06, 2020] US claim of 'Russian Bounty' plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous - The Grayzone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the essential backdrop for the timing of this story. It really reveals how completely decayed mainstream media is as an institution, that none of these reporters protested the story, didn't see fit to do any independent investigation into it. At best they would print a Russian denial which counts for nothing in the US, or a Taliban denial which counts for nothing in the US. And then and this gets into the domestic political angle because so much of Russiagate, while it's been crafted by former or current intelligence officials, depends on the Democratic Party and it punditocracy, MSNBC and mainstream media as a projection megaphone, as its Mighty Wurlitzer. ..."
"... That took place in this case because, according to this story, Donald Trump had been briefed on Putin paying bounties to the Taliban and he chose to do nothing. Which, of course Trump denies, but that counts for nothing as well. But, again, there's been no independent confirmation of any of this. And now we get into the domestic part, which is that this new Republican anti-Trump operation, The Lincoln Project, had a flashy ad ready to go almost minutes after the story dropped. ..."
"... They're just, like, on meth at Steve Schmidt's political Batcave, just churning this material out. But I feel like they had an inkling, like this story was coming. It just the coordination and timing was impeccable. ..."
"... And The Lincoln Project is something that James Carville, the veteran Democratic consultant, has said is doing more than any Democrat or any Democratic consultant to elect Joe Biden. ..."
"... the Carter Administration, at the urging of national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski, had enacted what would become Operation Cyclone under Reagan, an arm-and-equip program to arm the Afghan mujahideen. The Saudis put up a matching fund which helped bring the so-called Services Bureau into the field where Osama bin Laden became a recruiter for international jihadists to join the battlefield. And, you know, the goal was, in the words of Brzezinski, as he later admitted to a French publication, was to force the Red Army, the Soviet Red Army, to intervene to protect the pro-Soviet government in Kabul, which they proceeded to do. ..."
"... What he means is by basically paying bounties, which the US was literally doing along with its Gulf allies, to exact the toll on the allies of Assad, Russia. So, let's just say it's true, according to your question, let's just say this is all true. It would be a retaliation for what the United States has done to Russia in areas where it was actually legally invited in by the governments in charge, either in Kabul or Damascus. And that's, I think, the kind of ironic subtext that can hardly be understated when you see someone like Dan Rather wag his finger at Putin for paying the Taliban as proxies. But, I mean, it's such a ridiculous story that it's just hard to even fathom that it's real. ..."
"... just kind of neocon resistance mind-explosion, where first John Bolton was hailed as this hero and truthteller about Trump. ..."
"... And then you have this and it, you know, today as you pointed out, Chuck Todd, "Chuck Toddler", welcomes on Meet the Press John Bolton as this wise voice to comment on Donald Trump's slavish devotion to Vladimir Putin and how we need to escalate. ..."
"... This is what Russiagate has done. It's taken one of the most Strangelovian, psychotic, dangerous, bloodthirsty, sadistic monsters in US foreign policy circles and turned him into a sober-minded, even heroic, truthteller. ..."
Jul 06, 2020 | thegrayzone.com

US claim of 'Russian Bounty' plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous

Max Blumenthal breaks down the "Russian bounty" story's flaws and how it aims to prolong the war in Afghanistan -- and uses Russiagate tactics to continue pushing the Democratic Party to the right

Multiple US media outlets, citing anonymous intelligence officials, are claiming that Russia offered bounties to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan, and that President Trump has taken no action.

Others are contesting that claim. "Officials said there was disagreement among intelligence officials about the strength of the evidence about the suspected Russian plot," the New York Times reports. "Notably, the National Security Agency, which specializes in hacking and electronic surveillance, has been more skeptical."

"The constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base is moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War," Blumenthal says.

Guest: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone and author of several books, including his latest "The Management of Savagery."

TRANSCRIPT

AARON MATÉ: Welcome to Pushback, I'm Aaron Maté. There is a new supposed Trump-Russia bombshell. The New York Times and other outlets reporting that Russia has been paying bounties to Afghan militants to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan. Trump and the White House were allegedly briefed on this information but have taken no action.

Now, the story has obvious holes, like many other Russiagate bombshells. It is sourced to anonymous intelligence officials. The New York Times says that the claim comes from Afghan detainees. And it also has some logical holes. The Taliban have been fighting the US and Afghanistan for nearly two decades and never needed Russian payments before to kill the Americans that they were fighting; [this] amongst other questions are raised about this story. But that has not stopped the usual chorus from whipping up a frenzy.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Vladimir Putin is offering bounties for the scalps of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Not only offering, offering money [to] the people who kill Americans, but some of the bounties that Putin has offered have been collected, meaning the Russians at least believe that their offering cash to kill Americans has actually worked to get some Americans killed.

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin. He had has [sic] this information according to The Times, and yet he offered to host Putin in the United States and sought to invite Russia to rejoin the G7. He's in his entire presidency has been a gift to Putin, but this is beyond the pale.

CHUCK TODD, NBC: Let me ask you this. Do you think that part of the that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER: I was not briefed on the Russian military intelligence, but it shows that we need in this coming defense bill, which we're debating this week, tough sanctions against Russia, which thus far Mitch McConnell has resisted.

Joining me now is Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone, author of The Management of Savagery . Max, welcome to Pushback. What is your reaction to this story?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, it just feels like so many other episodes that we've witnessed over the past three or four years, where American intelligence officials basically plant a story in one outlet, The New York Times , which functions as the media wing of the Central Intelligence Agency. Then no reporting takes place whatsoever, but six reporters, or three to six reporters are assigned to the piece to make it look like it was some last-minute scramble to confirm this bombshell story. And then the story is confirmed again by The Washington Post because their reporters, their three to six reporters in, you know, capitals around the world with different beats spoke to the same intelligence officials, or they were furnished different officials who fed them the same story. And, of course, the story advances a narrative that the United States is under siege by Russia and that we have to escalate against Russia just ahead of another peace summit or some kind of international dialogue.

This has sort of been the general framework for these Russiagate bombshells, and of course they can there's always an anti-Trump angle. And because, you know, liberal pundits and the, you know, Democratic Party operatives see this as a means to undermine Trump as the election heats up. They don't care if it's true or not. They don't care what the consequences are. They're just gonna completely roll with it. And it's really changed, I think, not just US foreign policy, but it's changed the Democratic Party in an almost irreversible way, to have these constant "quote-unquote" bombshells that are really generated by the Central Intelligence Agency and by other US intelligence operations in order to turn up the heat to crank up the Cold War, to use these different media organs which no longer believe in reporting, which see Operation Mockingbird as a kind of blueprint for how to do journalism, to turn them into keys on the CIA's Mighty Wurlitzer. That's what happened here.

AARON MATÉ: What do you make of the logic of this story? This idea that the Taliban would need Russian money to kill Americans when the Taliban's been fighting the US for nearly two decades now. And the sourcing for the story, the same old playbook: anonymous intelligence officials who are citing vague claims about apparently what was said by Afghan detainees.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: This story has, as I said, it relies on zero reporting. The only source is anonymous American intelligence officials. And I tweeted out a clip of a former CIA operations officer who managed the CIA's operation in Angola, when the US was actually fighting on the side of apartheid South Africa against a Marxist government that was backed up by Cuban troops. His name was John Stockwell. And Stockwell talked about how one-third of his covert operations staff were propagandists, and that they would feed imaginary stories about Cuban barbarism that were completely false to reporters who were either CIA assets directly or who were just unwitting dupes who would hang on a line waiting for American intelligence officials to feed them stories. And one out of every five stories was completely false, as Stockwell said. We could play some of that clip now; it's pretty remarkable to watch it in light of this latest fake bombshell.

JOHN STOCKWELL: Another thing is to disseminate propaganda to influence people's minds, and this is a major function of the CIA. And unfortunately, of course, it overlaps into the gathering of information. You, you have contact with a journalist, you will give him true stories, you'll get information from him, you'll also give him false stories.

OFF-CAMERA REPORTER: Can you do this with responsible reporters?

JOHN STOCKWELL: Yes, the Church Committee brought it out in 1975. And then Woodward and Bernstein put an article in Rolling Stone a couple of years later. Four hundred journalists cooperating with the CIA, including some of the biggest names in the business.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: So, basically, I mean, you get the flavor of what someone who was in the CIA at the height of the Cold War I mean, he did the same thing in Vietnam. And the playbook is absolutely the same today. These this story was dumped on Friday in The New York Times by "quote-unquote" American intelligence officials, as a breakthrough had been made in Afghan peace talks and a conference was finally set for Doha, Qatar, that would involve the Taliban, which had been seizing massive amounts of territory.

Now, it's my understanding, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the Taliban had been fighting one of the most epic examples of an occupying army in modern history, just absolutely chewing away at one of the most powerful militaries in human history in their country for the last 19 years, without bounties from Vladimir Putin or private-hotdog-salesman-and-Saint-Petersburg-troll-farm-owner Yevgeny Prigozhin , who always comes up in these stories. It's always the hotdog guy who's doing everything bad from, like, you know, fake Facebook ads to poisoning Sergei Skripal or whatever.

But I just don't see where the Taliban needs encouragement from Putin to do that. It's their country. They want the US out and they have succeeded in seizing large amounts of territory. Donald Trump has come into office with a pledge to remove US troops from Afghanistan and ink this deal. And along comes this story as the peace process begins to advance.

And what is the end-result? We haven't gotten into the domestic politics yet, but the end-result is you have supposedly progressive senators like Chris Murphy of Connecticut attacking Trump for not fighting Russia in Afghanistan. I mean, they want a straight-up proxy war for not escalating. You have Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, someone who's aligned with the Democratic Party, who supported the war in Iraq and, you know, supports just endless war, demanding that the US turn up the heat not just in Afghanistan but in Syria. So, you know, the escalatory rhetoric is at a fever pitch right now, and it's obviously going to impact that peace conference.

Let's remember that three days before Trump's summit with Putin was when Mueller chose to release the indictment of the GRU agents for supposedly hacking the DNC servers. Let's remember that a day before the UN the United Nations Geneva peace talks opened on Syria in 2014 was when US intelligence chose to feed these shady Caesar photos, supposedly showing industrial slaughter of Syrian prisoners, to The New York Times in an investigation that had been funded by Qatar. Like, so many shady intelligence dumps have taken place ahead of peace summits to disrupt them, because the US doesn't feel like it has enough skin in the game or it just simply doesn't want peace in these areas.

So, that's what happened here. That's really, I think, the essential backdrop for the timing of this story. It really reveals how completely decayed mainstream media is as an institution, that none of these reporters protested the story, didn't see fit to do any independent investigation into it. At best they would print a Russian denial which counts for nothing in the US, or a Taliban denial which counts for nothing in the US. And then and this gets into the domestic political angle because so much of Russiagate, while it's been crafted by former or current intelligence officials, depends on the Democratic Party and it punditocracy, MSNBC and mainstream media as a projection megaphone, as its Mighty Wurlitzer.

That took place in this case because, according to this story, Donald Trump had been briefed on Putin paying bounties to the Taliban and he chose to do nothing. Which, of course Trump denies, but that counts for nothing as well. But, again, there's been no independent confirmation of any of this. And now we get into the domestic part, which is that this new Republican anti-Trump operation, The Lincoln Project, had a flashy ad ready to go almost minutes after the story dropped.

THE LINCOLN PROJECT AD: Now we know Vladimir Putin pays a bounty for the murder of American soldiers. Donald Trump knows, too, and does nothing. Putin pays the Taliban cash to slaughter our men and women in uniform and Trump is silent, weak, controlled. Instead of condemnation he insists Russia be treated as our equal.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, maybe they're just really good editors and brilliant politicians who work overtime. They're just, like, on meth at Steve Schmidt's political Batcave, just churning this material out. But I feel like they had an inkling, like this story was coming. It just the coordination and timing was impeccable.

And The Lincoln Project is something that James Carville, the veteran Democratic consultant, has said is doing more than any Democrat or any Democratic consultant to elect Joe Biden. They're always out there doing the hard work. Who are they? Well, Steve Schmidt is a former campaign manager for John McCain 2008. And you look at the various personnel affiliated with it, they're all McCain former McCain aides or people who worked on the Jeb and George W. Bush campaigns, going back to Texas and Florida. This is sort of the corporate wing of the Republican Party, the white-glove-country-club-patrician Republicans who are very pro-war, who hate Donald Trump.

And by doing this, by them really taking the lead on this attack, as you pointed out, Aaron, number one, they are sucking the oxygen out of the more progressive anti-Trump initiatives that are taking place, including in the streets of American cities. They're taking the wind out of anti-Trump more progressive anti-Trump critiques. For example, I think it's actually more powerful to attack Trump over the fact that he used, basically, chemical weapons on American peaceful protesters to do a fascistic photo-op. I don't know why there wasn't some call for congressional investigations on that. And they are getting skin in the game on the Biden campaign. It really feels to me like this Lincoln campaign operation, this moderate Republican operation which is also sort of a venue for neocons, will have more influence after events like this than the Bernie Sanders campaign, which has an enormous amount of delegates.

So, that's what I think the domestic repercussion is. It's just this constant it's the constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base that's moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War that only serves, you know, people who are associated with the national security state who need to justify their paycheck and the budget of the institutions that employ them.

AARON MATÉ: Let's assume for a second that the allegation is true, although, you know, you've laid out some of the reasons why it's not. Can you talk about the history here, starting with Afghanistan, something you cover a lot in your book, The Management of Savagery, where the US aim was to kill Russians, going right on through to Syria, where just recently the US envoy for the coalition against ISIS, James Jeffery, who handles Syria, said that his job now is to basically put the Russians in a quagmire in Syria.

JAMES JEFFREY: This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Vietnam. This isn't a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, I mean, it feels like a giant act of psychological and political projection to accuse Russia of using an Islamist militia in Afghanistan as a proxy against the US to bleed the US into leaving, because that's been the US playbook in Central Asia and the Middle East since at least 1979. I just tweeted a photo of Dan Rather in Afghanistan, just crossing the Pakistani border and going to meet with some of the Mujahideen in 1980. Dan Rather was panned in The New York in The Washington Post by Tom Toles [Tom Shales], who was the media critic at the time, as "Gunga Dan," because he was so gung-ho for the Afghan mujahideen. In his reports he would complain about how weak their weaponry was, you know, how they needed more how they needed more funding. I mean, you could call it bounties, but it was really just CIA funding.

DAN RATHER: These are the best weapons you have, huh? They only have about twenty rounds for this?

TRANSLATOR: That's all. They have twenty rounds. Yes, and they know that these are all old weapons and they really aren't up to doing anything to the Russian weaponry that's around. But that's all they have, and this is why they want help. And he is saying that America seems to be asleep. It doesn't seem to realize that if Afghanistan goes and the Russians go over to the Gulf, that in a very short time it's going to be the turn of the United States as well.

DAN RATHER: But I'm sure he knows that in Vietnam we got our fingers burned. Indeed, we got our whole hands burned when we tried to help in this kind of situation.

TRANSLATOR [translating to the Afghan man and then his reply]: Your hands were burned in Vietnam, but if you don't agree to help us, if you don't ally yourself with us, then all of you, your whole body will be burnt eventually, because there is no one in the world who can really fight and resist as well as the as much and as well as the Afghans are.

DAN RATHER: But no American mother wants to send her son to Afghanistan.

TRANSLATOR [translating to the Afghan man and then his reply]: We don't need anybody's soldiers here to help us, but we are being constantly accused that the Americans are helping us with weapons. What we need, actually, are the American weapons. We don't need or want American soldiers. We can do the fighting ourselves.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: And a year or several months before, the Carter Administration, at the urging of national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski, had enacted what would become Operation Cyclone under Reagan, an arm-and-equip program to arm the Afghan mujahideen. The Saudis put up a matching fund which helped bring the so-called Services Bureau into the field where Osama bin Laden became a recruiter for international jihadists to join the battlefield. And, you know, the goal was, in the words of Brzezinski, as he later admitted to a French publication, was to force the Red Army, the Soviet Red Army, to intervene to protect the pro-Soviet government in Kabul, which they proceeded to do.

And then with the introduction of the Stinger missile, the Afghan mujahideen, hailed as freedom fighters in Washington, were able to destroy Russian supply lines, exact a heavy toll, and forced the Red Army to leave in retreat. They helped create what's considered the Soviet Union's Vietnam.

So that was really but the blueprint for what Russian for what Russia is being accused of now, and that same model was transferred over to Syria. It was also actually proposed for Iraq in the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998. Then Senate Foreign Relations chair Jesse Helms actually said that the Afghan mujahideen should be our model for supporting the Iraqi resistance. So, this kind of proxy war was always on the table. Then the US did it in Syria, when one out of every $13 in the CIA budget went to arm the so-called "moderate rebels" in Syria, who we later found out were 31 flavors of jihadi, who were aligned with al-Qaeda's local affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and helped give rise to ISIS. Michael Morell, I tweeted some video of him on Charlie Rose back in, I think, 2016. He's the former acting director for the CIA, longtime deputy director. He said, you know, the reason that we're in Syria, what we should be doing is causing Iran and Russia, the two allies of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, to pay a heavy price.

MICHAEL MORELL: We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price. The other thing

CHARLIE ROSE: We make them pay the price by killing killing Russians?

MICHAEL MORELL: Yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: And killing Iranians.

MICHAEL MORELL: Yes, covertly. You don't tell the world about it, right? You don't stand up at the Pentagon and say we did this, right? But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: What he means is by basically paying bounties, which the US was literally doing along with its Gulf allies, to exact the toll on the allies of Assad, Russia. So, let's just say it's true, according to your question, let's just say this is all true. It would be a retaliation for what the United States has done to Russia in areas where it was actually legally invited in by the governments in charge, either in Kabul or Damascus. And that's, I think, the kind of ironic subtext that can hardly be understated when you see someone like Dan Rather wag his finger at Putin for paying the Taliban as proxies. But, I mean, it's such a ridiculous story that it's just hard to even fathom that it's real.

AARON MATÉ: Let me read Dan Rather's tweet, because it's so it speaks to just how pervasive Russiagate culture is now. People have learned absolutely nothing from it.

Rather says, "Reporters are trained to look for patterns that are suspicious, and time and again one stands out with Donald Trump. Why is he so slavishly devoted to Putin? There is a spectrum of possible answers ranging from craven to treasonous. One day I hope and suspect we will find out."

It's like he forgot, perhaps, that Robert Mueller and his team spent three years investigating this very issue and came up with absolutely nothing. But the narrative has taken hold, and it's, as you talked about before, it's been the narrative we've been presented as the vehicle for understanding and opposing Donald Trump, so it cannot be questioned. And now it's like it's a matter of, what else is there to find out about Trump and Russia after Robert Mueller and the US intelligence agencies looked for everything they could and found nothing? They're still presented as if it's some kind of mystery that has to be unraveled.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: And it was after, like, a week of just kind of neocon resistance mind-explosion, where first John Bolton was hailed as this hero and truthteller about Trump. Then Dick Cheney was welcomed into the resistance, you know, because he said, "Wear a mask." I mean, you know, his mask was strangely not spattered with the blood of Iraqi children. But, you know, it was just amazing like that. Of course, it was the Lincoln project who hijacked the minds of the resistance, but basically people who used to work on Cheney's campaign said, "Dick Cheney, welcome to the resistance." I mean, that was remarkable. And then you have this and it, you know, today as you pointed out, Chuck Todd, "Chuck Toddler", welcomes on Meet the Press John Bolton as this wise voice to comment on Donald Trump's slavish devotion to Vladimir Putin and how we need to escalate.

CHUCK TODD, NBC: Let me ask you this. Do you think that part of the that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, just a few years ago, maybe it was two years ago, before Bolton was brought into the Trump NSC, he was considered just an absolute marginal crank who was a contributor to Fox News. He'd been forgotten. He was widely hated by Democrats. Now here he is as a sage voice to tell us how dangerous this moment is. And, you know, he's not being even brought on just to promote his book; he's being brought on as just a sober-minded foreign policy expert on Meet the Press . That's where we're at right now.

AARON MATÉ: Yeah, and when his critique of Trump is basically that Trump was not hawkish enough. Bolton's most the biggest critique Bolton has of Trump is, as he writes about in his book, is when Trump declined to bomb Iran after Iran shot down a drone over its territory. And Bolton said that to him was the most irrational thing he's ever seen a president do.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, Bolton was mad that Trump confused body bags with missiles, because he said Trump thought that there would be 150 dead Iranians, and I said, "No, Donald, you're confused. It will be 150 missiles that we're firing into Iran." Like that's better! Like, "Oh, okay, that makes everything all right," that we fire a hundred missiles for one drone and maybe that wouldn't that kill possibly more than 150 people?

Well, in Bolton's world this was just another stupid move by Trump. If Bolton were, I mean, just, just watch all the interviews with Bolton. Watch him on The View where the only pushback he received was from Meghan McCain complaining that he ripped off a Hamilton song for his book The Room Where It Happened , and she asked, "Don't you have any apology to offer to Hamilton fans?" That was the pushback that Bolton received. Just watch all of these interviews with Bolton and try to find the pushback. It's not there. This is what Russiagate has done. It's taken one of the most Strangelovian, psychotic, dangerous, bloodthirsty, sadistic monsters in US foreign policy circles and turned him into a sober-minded, even heroic, truthteller.

AARON MATÉ: And inevitably the only long-term consequence that I can see here is ultimately helping Trump, because, if history is a pattern, these Russiagate supposed bombshells always either go nowhere or they get debunked. So, if this one gets forcefully debunked, because I think it's quite possible, because Trump has said that he was never briefed on this and they'll have to prove that he's lying, you know. It should be easy to do. Someone could come out and say that. If they can't prove that he's lying, then this one, I think, will blow up in their face. And all they will have done is, at a time when Trump is vulnerable over the pandemic with over a hundred thousand people dead on his watch, all these people did was ultimately try to bring the focus back to the same thing that failed for basically the entirety of Trump's presidency, which is Russiagate and Trump's supposed―and non-existent in reality―subservience to Vladimir Putin.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: But have you ever really confronted one of your liberal friends who maybe doesn't follow these stories as closely as you do? You know, well-intentioned liberal friend who just has this sense that Russia controls Trump, and asked them to really defend that and provide the receipts and really explain where the Trump administration has just handed the store to Russia? Because what we've seen is unprecedented since the height of the Cold War, an unprecedented deterioration of US-Russia relations with new sanctions on Russia every few months. You ask them to do that. They can't do it. It's just a sense they get, it's a feeling they get. And that's because these bombshells drop, they get reported on the front pages under banners of papers that declare that "democracy dies in darkness," whose brand is something that everybody trusts, The New York Times , The Washington Post , Woodward and Bernstein, and everybody repeats the story again and again and again. And then, if and when it gets debunked, discredited or just sort of disappears, a few days later everybody forgets about it. And those people who are not just, like, 24/7 media consumers but critical-minded media consumers, they're left with that sense that Russia actually controls us and that we must do something to escalate with Russia. So, that's the point of these: by the time the disinformation is discredited, the damage has already been done. And that same tactic was employed against Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, to the point where so many people were left with the sense that he must be an antisemite, although not one allegation was ever proven.

AARON MATÉ: Yeah, and now to the point where, in the Labour Party―we should touch on this for a second―where you had a Labour Party member retweet an article recently that mentioned some criticism of Israel and for that she was expelled from her position in the shadow cabinet.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, well, you know, as a Jew I was really threatened by that retweet [laughter]. I don't know about you.

I mean, this is Rebecca Long Bailey. She's one of the few Corbynites left in a high position in Labour who hasn't been effectively burned at the stake for being a, you know, Jew hater who wants to throw us all in gas chambers because she retweets an interview with some celebrity I'd never heard of before, who didn't even say anything that extreme. But it really shows how the Thought Police have taken control of the Labour Party through Sir Keir Starmer, who is someone who has deep links to the national security state through the Crown Prosecution Service, which he used to head, where he was involved in the prosecution of Julian Assange. And he has worked with The Times of London, which is a, you know, favorite paper of the national security state and the MI5 in the UK, for planting stories against Jeremy Corbyn. He was intimately involved in that campaign, and now he's at the head of the Labour Party for a very good reason. I really would recommend everyone watching this, if you're interested more in who Keir Starmer really is, read "Five Questions for [New Labour Leader] Sir Keir Starmer" by Matt Kennard at The Grayzone. It really lays it out and shows you what's happening.

We're just in this kind of hyper-managed atmosphere, where everything feels so much more controlled than it's ever been. And even though every sane rational person that I know seems to understand what's happening, they feel like they're not allowed to say it, at least not in any official capacity.

AARON MATÉ: From the US to Britain, everything is being co-opted. In the US it's, you know, genuine resistance to Trump, in opposition to Trump, it gets co-opted by the right. Same thing in Britain. People get manipulated into believing that Jeremy Corbyn, this lifelong anti-racist is somehow an antisemite. It's all in the service of the same agenda, and I have to say we're one of the few outlets that are pushing back on it. Everyone else is getting swept up on it and it's a scary time.

We're gonna wrap. Max, your final comment.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, yeah, we're pushing back. And I saw today Mint Press [News], which is another outlet that has pushed back, their Twitter account was just briefly removed for no reason, without explanation. Ollie Vargas, who's an independent journalist who's doing some of the most important work in the English language from Bolivia, reporting on the post-coup landscape and the repressive environment that's been created by the junta installed with US help under Jeanine Áñez, his account has been taken away on Twitter. The social media platforms are basically under the control of the national security state. There's been a merger between the national security state and Silicon Valley, and the space for these kinds of discussions is rapidly shrinking. So, I think, you know, it's more important than ever to support alternative media and also to really have a clear understanding of what's taking place. I'm really worried there just won't be any space for us to have these conversations in the near future.

AARON MATÉ: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone, author of The Management of Savagery , thanks a lot.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Thanks for having me.

[Jul 03, 2020] My take on Tucker and Maddow: both serve those who write their paychecks, but one of the two bosses is a better businessman.

Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Jul 3 2020 5:43 utc | 96

My take on Tucker and Maddow: both serve those who write their paychecks, but one of the two bosses is a better businessman.

Tucker does not duplicate Hannity which lets them serve different (if overlapping) segments of the audience. Showing Paralimpil and Gabbard to the viewers did not lead to any major perturbation in American politics, but it lets his viewer feel that they are better informed than the fools who watch Maddow. And it helps that to a degree they are.

uncle tungsten , Jul 3 2020 6:53 utc | 103

JC #72

I get that Tucker invites good a reasonable people on his show and gives voice space where they would not otherwise get it. That is deliberate.

I bet you that the stats show that the demented monotone oozing out of MSNBC and CNN etc has been a serious turn off for a sector of audience that is well informed and exercise critical faculties. That is exactly what Tucker needs to pay for his program as I would be fairly sure these people are Consumers of a desirable degree and advertisers like Tucker's formula and Fox Bosses like Tuckers income generator.

I don't think it is more complex than that and his bosses will entertain most heresies as long as the program generates advertiser demand for that time slot.

So Tucker is OK and he is reasonable and he will interview a broad spectrum. Good for him. But he smooths the pillow and caresses the establishment arse.

[Jul 01, 2020] Russiagate's Last Gasp by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia paid the Taliban to kill GIs as an attempt to pre-empt the findings into Russiagate's origins. ..."
"... But Moscow recognized from the start that Washington was embarked on a fool's errand in Vietnam. There would be no percentage in getting directly involved. And so, the Soviets sat back and watched smugly as the Vietnamese Communists drove U.S. forces out on their "own resources." As was the case with the Viet Cong, the Taliban needs no bounty inducements from abroad. ..."
"... Former CIA Director William Casey said: "We'll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false." ..."
"... If Durham finds it fraudulent (not a difficult task), the heads of senior intelligence and law enforcement officials may roll. That would also mean a still deeper dent in the credibility of Establishment media that are only too eager to drink the Kool Aid and to leave plenty to drink for the rest of us. ..."
"... I am not a regular Maddow-watcher, but to me she seemed unhinged -- actually, well over the top. ..."
Jun 29, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia paid the Taliban to kill GIs as an attempt to pre-empt the findings into Russiagate's origins.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

O n Friday The New York Times featured a report based on anonymous intelligence officials that the Russians were paying bounties to have U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan with President Donald Trump refusing to do anything about it. The flurry of Establishment media reporting that ensued provides further proof, if such were needed, that the erstwhile "paper of record" has earned a new moniker -- Gray Lady of easy virtue.

Over the weekend, the Times ' dubious allegations grabbed headlines across all media that are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Americans -- which seems to have been the main objective. To keep the pot boiling this morning, The New York Times' David Leonhardt's daily web piece , "The Morning" calls prominent attention to a banal article by a Heather Cox Richardson, described as a historian at Boston College, adding specific charges to the general indictment of Trump by showing "how the Trump administration has continued to treat Russia favorably." The following is from Richardson's newsletter on Friday:

Historian Richardson added:

"All of these friendly overtures to Russia were alarming enough when all we knew was that Russia attacked the 2016 U.S. election and is doing so again in 2020. But it is far worse that those overtures took place when the administration knew that Russia had actively targeted American soldiers. this bad news apparently prompted worried intelligence officials to give up their hope that the administration would respond to the crisis, and instead to leak the story to two major newspapers."

Hear the siren? Children, get under your desks!

The Tall Tale About Russia Paying for Dead U.S. Troops

Times print edition readers had to wait until this morning to learn of Trump's statement last night that he was not briefed on the cockamamie tale about bounties for killing, since it was, well, cockamamie.

Late last night the president tweeted: "Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or the VP. "

For those of us distrustful of the Times -- with good reason -- on such neuralgic issues, the bounty story had already fallen of its own weight. As Scott Ritter pointed out yesterday:

"Perhaps the biggest clue concerning the fragility of the New York Times ' report is contained in the one sentence it provides about sourcing -- "The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals." That sentence contains almost everything one needs to know about the intelligence in question, including the fact that the source of the information is most likely the Afghan government as reported through CIA channels. "

And who can forget how "successful" interrogators can be in getting desired answers.

Russia & Taliban React

The Kremlin called the Times reporting "nonsense an unsophisticated plant," and from Russia's perspective the allegations make little sense; Moscow will see them for what they are -- attempts to show that Trump is too "accommodating" to Russia.

A Taliban spokesman called the story "baseless," adding with apparent pride that "we" have done "target killings" for years "on our own resources."

Russia is no friend of the Taliban. At the same time, it has been clear for several years that the U.S. would have to pull its troops out of Afghanistan. Think back five decades and recall how circumspect the Soviets were in Vietnam. Giving rhetorical support to a fraternal Communist nation was de rigueur and some surface-to-air missiles gave some substance to that support.

But Moscow recognized from the start that Washington was embarked on a fool's errand in Vietnam. There would be no percentage in getting directly involved. And so, the Soviets sat back and watched smugly as the Vietnamese Communists drove U.S. forces out on their "own resources." As was the case with the Viet Cong, the Taliban needs no bounty inducements from abroad.

Besides, the Russians knew painfully well -- from their own bitter experience in Afghanistan, what the outcome of the most recent fool's errand would be for the U.S. What point would they see in doing what The New York Times and other Establishment media are breathlessly accusing them of?

CIA Disinformation; Casey at Bat

Former CIA Director William Casey said: "We'll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false."

Casey made that remark at the first cabinet meeting in the White House under President Ronald Reagan in early 1981, according to Barbara Honegger, who was assistant to the chief domestic policy adviser. Honegger was there, took notes, and told then Senior White House correspondent Sarah McClendon, who in turn made it public.

If Casey's spirit is somehow observing the success of the disinformation program called Russiagate, one can imagine how proud he must be. But sustained propaganda success can be a serious challenge. The Russiagate canard has lasted three and a half years. This last gasp effort, spearheaded by the Times , to breathe more life into it is likely to last little more than a weekend -- the redoubled efforts of Casey-dictum followers notwithstanding.

Russiagate itself has been unraveling, although one would hardly know it from the Establishment media. No collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Even the sacrosanct tenet that the Russians hacked the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks has been disproven , with the head of the DNC-hired cyber security firm CrowdStrike admitting that there is no evidence that the DNC emails were hacked -- by Russia or anyone else .

U.S. Attorney John Durham. (Wikipedia)

How long will it take the Times to catch up with the CrowdStrike story, available since May 7?

The media is left with one sacred cow: the misnomered "Intelligence Community" Assessment of Jan. 6, 2017, claiming that President Putin himself ordered the hacking of the DNC. That "assessment" done by "hand-picked analysts" from only CIA, FBI and NSA (not all 17 intelligence agencies of the "intelligence community") reportedly is being given close scrutiny by U. S. Attorney John Durham, appointed by the attorney general to investigate Russiagate's origins.

If Durham finds it fraudulent (not a difficult task), the heads of senior intelligence and law enforcement officials may roll. That would also mean a still deeper dent in the credibility of Establishment media that are only too eager to drink the Kool Aid and to leave plenty to drink for the rest of us.

Do not expect the media to cease and desist, simply because Trump had a good squelch for them last night -- namely, the "intelligence" on the "bounties" was not deemed good enough to present to the president.

(As a preparer and briefer of The President's Daily Brief to Presidents Reagan and HW Bush, I can attest to the fact that -- based on what has been revealed so far -- the Russian bounty story falls far short of the PDB threshold.)

Rejecting Intelligence Assessments

Nevertheless, the corporate media is likely to play up the Trump administration's rejection of what the media is calling the "intelligence assessment" about Russia offering -- as Rachel Maddow indecorously put it on Friday -- "bounty for the scalps of American soldiers in Afghanistan."

I am not a regular Maddow-watcher, but to me she seemed unhinged -- actually, well over the top.

The media asks, "Why does Trump continue to disrespect the assessments of the intelligence community?" There he goes again -- not believing our "intelligence community; siding, rather, with Putin."

In other words, we can expect no let up from the media and the national security miscreant leakers who have served as their life's blood. As for the anchors and pundits, their level of sophistication was reflected yesterday in the sage surmise of Face the Nation's Chuck Todd, who Aaron Mate reminds us, is a "grown adult and professional media person." Todd asked guest John Bolton: "Do you think that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election, and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?"

"This is as bad as it gets," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday, adding the aphorism she memorized several months ago: "All roads lead to Putin." The unconscionably deceitful performance of Establishment media is as bad as it gets, though that, of course, was not what Pelosi meant. She apparently lifted a line right out of the Times about how Trump is too "accommodating" toward Russia.

One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia as a reflection of the need to pre-empt the findings likely to issue from Durham and Attorney General William Barr in the coming months -- on the theory that the best defense is a pre-emptive offense. Meanwhile, we can expect the corporate media to continue to disgrace itself.

Vile

Caitlin Johnstone, typically, pulls no punches regarding the Russian bounty travesty:

"All parties involved in spreading this malignant psyop are absolutely vile, but a special disdain should be reserved for the media class who have been entrusted by the public with the essential task of creating an informed populace and holding power to account. How much of an unprincipled whore do you have to be to call yourself a journalist and uncritically parrot the completely unsubstantiated assertions of spooks while protecting their anonymity? How much work did these empire fluffers put into killing off every last shred of their dignity? It boggles the mind.

It really is funny how the most influential news outlets in the Western world will uncritically parrot whatever they're told to say by the most powerful and depraved intelligence agencies on the planet, and then turn around and tell you without a hint of self-awareness that Russia and China are bad because they have state media.

Sometimes all you can do is laugh."

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. During his 27-years as a CIA analyst he led the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and prepared The President's Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. In retirement, he co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


Aaron , June 30, 2020 at 12:33

If anything, all roads lead to Israel. You have to consider the sources, the writers, journalists, editors, owners, and rich people from which these stories come. This latest ridiculous story will certainly help Trump, so the sources of these Russia stories are actually fans of Trump, they love his tax cuts, he helps their revenue streams, and he's the greatest friend and Zionist to Israel so far and also Wall Street. I think most Americans can understand that Putin doesn't possess all of the supernatural all-encompassing powers and mind-controlling omnipotence that Pelosi and her ilk attribute to him. That's why at his rallies, when Trump points to where the journalists are and sneers at them calling them bloodsuckers and parasites and all that, the people love it, because of stuff like this. It's like saying "look at those assholes, those liberal journalists over at CNN say that you voted for me because of Vladimir Putin?!" It just pisses off people to keep hearing that mantra over and over. So it's a gift to Trump, it helps him so much. And seeing that super expensive helicopter flying around the barren rocky slopes of the middle east, seems like it's out of some Rambo movie. And like Rambo, the tens of thousands of American servicemen that were sacrificed over there, and still commit suicides at a horrific rate, have always been treated by the architects of these wars that only helped the state of Israel, as the expendables. Whether it's a black life, a soldier fighting in Iraq, a foreclosed on homeowner by Mnuchin's work, or a brainwashed New York Times subscriber, we don't seem to matter, we seem to feel the truth that to these people were are indeed expendable. The question to answer I think is, not who is a Russian asset, but who is an Israeli asset?

Andrew Thomas , June 30, 2020 at 12:04

Great reporting as usual, Ray. But special kudos for the NYT moniker 'Gray lady of easy virtue.' I almost laughed out loud. A rare occurrence these days.

Michael P Goldenberg , June 30, 2020 at 10:45

Thanks for another cogent assessment of our mainstream media's utter depravity and reckless irresponsibility. They truly have become nothing more than presstitutes and enemies of the people.

Bob Van Noy , June 30, 2020 at 10:42

"It's all over but the shouting" goes the idiom and I think that is true of Russiagate, especially, thank all goodness, here at Robert Parry's Journalistic site!

I have a theory that propaganda has a lifetime but when it reaches a truly absurd level, it's all over. Clearly, we've reached that level Thanks to all at CN

evelync , June 30, 2020 at 10:33

You call Rachel Madcow "unhinged", Ray ..well, yes, I'm shocked at myself that there was a time that I tuned in to her show .
Sorry Ms Madcow you've turned yourself into a character from Dr Strangelove

The key threats – climate change, pandemics, nuclear war – and why we continue to fail to address these real things while filling the airwaves instead with the tiresome russia,russia,russia mantra – per Accam's razer suggests that it serves very short term interests of money and power whoever whatever the MICIMATT answers to.
"Former CIA Director William Casey said: "We'll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false." "

Who exactly was the "we" Casey was answering to each day?
I know it wasn't me or the planet or humanity or anyone I know.

Bill Rice , June 30, 2020 at 10:20

If only articles like this were read by the masses. Maybe people would get a clue. Blind patriotism is not patriotic at all. Skepticism is healthy.

torture this , June 30, 2020 at 09:54

It's a shame that VIPS reporting is top secret. It's the only information coming from people familiar with the ins and outs of spy agencies that can be trusted.

GeorgeG , June 30, 2020 at 09:45

Ray,
You missed the juicy stuff. See: tass.com/russia/1172369 Russia Foreign Ministry: NYT article on Russia in Afghanistan fake from US intelligence. Here is the kicker:

The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed to US intelligence agencies' involvement in Afghan drug trafficking.
"Should we speak about facts – moreover, well-known [facts], it has not long been a secret in Afghanistan that members of the US intelligence community are involved in drug trafficking, cash payments to militants for letting transport convoys pass through, kickbacks from contracts implementing various projects paid by American taxpayers. The list of their actions can be continued if you want," the ministry said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry suggested that those actions might stem from the fact that the US intelligence agencies "do not like that our and their diplomats have teamed up to facilitate the start of peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban (outlawed in Russia – TASS)."

"We can understand their feelings as they do not want to be deprived of the above mentioned sources of the off-the-books income," the ministry stressed.

Thomas Fortin , June 30, 2020 at 12:08

Affirmative Ray, two of my old comrades who were SF both did security on CIA drug flights back in the day, and later on both while under VA care decided to die off God I miss them, great guys and honest souls.

DH Fabian , June 30, 2020 at 09:41

One point remains a mystery. Why would anyone think that when the US invades a country, someone would need to pay the people of that country a bounty to fight back?

Mark Clarke , June 30, 2020 at 09:27

If Biden wins the presidency and the Democrats take back the Senate, Russiagate will strengthen and live on for many years.

Al , June 30, 2020 at 12:11

All to deflect from Clinton's private server while SOS, 30,000 deleted emails, and the sale of US interests via the Clinton Foundation.

Zedster , June 30, 2020 at 12:56

That, or we learn Chinese.

Skip Scott , June 30, 2020 at 09:08

Another interesting aside is that Tulsi Gabbard's "Stop funding Terrorists" bill went nowhere in Congress. So it's Ok for us and our Arab allies to fund them, but not the Russians? Maybe we should go back to calling them the Mujahideen?

Thomas Scherrer , June 30, 2020 at 12:10

Preach, my child.

And aloha to the last decent woman in those halls.

HARRY M HAYS , June 30, 2020 at 09:01

Do you not think that the timing of all this (months after the report was allegedly presented to Trump) is an attempt to stop Trump from signing an agreement with the Taliban that will allow him to withdraw American troops from that country?

Skip Scott , June 30, 2020 at 08:58

Great article Ray, but I have to question whether Durham will fulfill his role and get to the bottom of the origins of RussiaGate. If he actually does name names and prosecute, how will the MSM cover it? What will Ms. Madcow have to say? Ever since the fizzling failure of the Epstein investigation, I have had my doubts about Barr and his minion Durham. I hope I'm wrong. Time will tell.

Thomas Fortin , June 30, 2020 at 12:24

I think on here I can talk about this issue you brought up Scott, on other places when I tried to have a rational discussion on the matter, I got shouted down, well they tried anyway.
I highly suggest to any readers of this here on Consortium to get Gore Vidal's old book, Imperial America, and also watch his old documentary, THE UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA.
Here is the point of it,
"Officially we have two parties which are in fact wings of a common party of property with two right wings. Corporate wealth finances each. Since the property party controls every aspect of media they have had decades to create a false reality for a citizenry largely uneducated by public schools that teach conformity with an occasional advanced degree in consumerism."
-GORE VIDAL, The United States of Amnesia
Also,
"There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt -- until recently and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties."
? Gore Vidal
Others have pointed out the same like this,
"Nobody should have any illusions. The United States has essentially a one-party system and the ruling party is the business party."
? Noam Chomsky
"In the United States [ ] the two main business-dominated parties, with the support of the corporate community, have refused to reform laws that make it virtually impossible to create new political parties (that might appeal to non-business interests) and let them be effective. Although there is marked and frequently observed dissatisfaction with the Republicans and Democrats, electoral politics is one area where notions of competitions and free choice have little meaning. In some respects the caliber of debate and choice in neoliberal elections tends to be closer to that of the one-party communist state than that of a genuine democracy."
? Robert W. McChesney, Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order
"The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies is a foolish idea. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies."
? Carroll Quigley [1910 – 1977 was an American historian and theorist of the evolution of civilizations. He is remembered for his teaching work as a professor at Georgetown University, for his academic publications.]
Teddy Roosevelt, whose statue is under attack in NYC, had this to say,
"The bosses of the Democratic party and the bosses of the Republican party alike have a closer grip than ever before on the party machines in the States and in the Nation. This crooked control of both the old parties by the beneficiaries of political and business privilege renders it hopeless to expect any far-reaching and fundamental service from either."
-THEODORE ROOSEVELT, The Outlook, July 27, 1912
I suggest also that you look up on line this article, Heads They Win, Tails We Lose: Our Fake Two-Party System
by Prof. Stephen H. Unger at Columbia, here is his concluding thought,
"The drift toward loss of liberty, unending wars, environmental degradation, growing economic inequality can't be stopped easily, but it will never be halted as long as we allow corporate interests to rule our country by means of a pseudo-democracy based on the two-party swindle."
With this all in mind, and if your my age, you might recall about how over the past more then 50 years, no matter which party gets in power, nothing of any significance changes, the wars continue, the transfer of wealth to the few, and the erosion of basic civil liberties continues pretty well unabated.
Trump is surrounded by neo-cons and I expect nothing will happen to change anything. I would get into how most called liberals are hardly that, but in reality neo-cons, but I've said enough for now, when you consider the statements I shared, then the Matrix begins to come unraveled.

Grady , June 30, 2020 at 08:01

Not to mention the potential peace initiative with Afghanistan and Taliban that is looming. Peace is not profitable, so who has the dual interests in maintaining protracted war in a strategic location while ensuring the poppy crop stays the most productive in the world? It seems said poppy production under the pre war Taliban government was minimal as they eliminated most of it. Attacking the Taliban and thwarting its rule allowed for greater production, to the extent it is the global leader in helping to fulfill the opiate demand. Gary Webb established long ago that the intelligence community, specifically the CIA, has somewhat of a tradition in such covert operations and logic would dictate they're vested interest lies in maintaining a high yield crop while feeding the profit center that is the MIC war machine. While certainly a bit digressive, the dots are there to connect.

Paul , June 30, 2020 at 07:54

My friend, I love your columns. Thank you, you have been one of the few sane voices on Russiagate from the beginning.

Sadly most Americans and most people in the world will not receive these simple truths you are telling. (not their fault)

We will continue our fight against the system.

Peace, Paul from South Africa

Voice from Europe , June 30, 2020 at 07:38

Don't think this will be the last Russiagate gasp whoever becomes the next president.
The 'liberal democrats' believe their own delusions and as long as they control the MSM, they won't stop. Lol.

Thomas Fortin , June 30, 2020 at 12:29

You should read my reply to Scott, most of these Democrats are not liberals, but neo-cons who just liberal virtue signal while in reality supporting the neo-con agenda. I hate it how the so called alternative or independent media abuse terms and words, which obscures realities. Anyway, take a look at my reply and the quotes I shared.
"Definition of liberal, one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways, progressive, broad-minded, . willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one's own; open to new ideas, denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise."
? Derived from Webster's and the Oxford Dictionaries

"Liberal' comes from the Latin liberalis, which means pertaining to a free man. In politics, to be liberal is to want to extend democracy through change and reform. One can see why that word had to be erased from our political lexicon."
? Gore Vidal, "The Great Unmentionable: Monotheism and its Discontents," The Lowell Lecture, Harvard University, April 20, 1992.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:23

Er, hypocrisy much?

"'Kill Russians and Iranians, threaten Assad,' says ex-CIA chief backing Clinton"
hXXps://www.rt.com/usa/355291-morrell-kill-russians-clinton/

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:13

Once again I would like to compliment Mr McGovern on his magnificently Biblical appearance. That full set would do credit to any Old Testament prophet.

I see him as the USA's own Jeremiah.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:12

Seeing that picture of Johnson's sad, wicked bloodhound features really, really makes me wish I had had a chance to be outside his tent pissing in. I'd have been careful to drink as many gallons of beer as possible beforehand.

Although it would have been better, from a humanitarian pont of view, just to set fire to the tent.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:10

"Historian Richardson "

Clearly a serious exaggeration.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:09

Ah, the Chinook! The 60-year-old helicopter that epitomises everything Afghan patriots love about the USA. It's big, fat, slow, clumsy, unmanoeuvrable, and may carry enough US troops to make shooting it down a damaging political blow against Washington.

Vivek , June 30, 2020 at 05:43

Ray,
What do you make of Barbara Honeggar's second career as a alternative story peddler?
see hXXps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB21BVFOIjw

CNfan , June 30, 2020 at 03:43

A brilliant piece, with a deft touch depicting the timeless human follies running our foreign policy circus. Real-world experience, perspective, and courage like Ray's were the dream of the drafters of our 1st Amendment. And ending with Caitlin's hammer was effective. As to who benefits? I suspect the neocons – our resident war-addicts and Israeli assets. Paraphrasing Nancy, "All roads lead to Netanyahu."

Ehzal , June 30, 2020 at 03:12

So,Russia what will do in next Upcoming Years during these covid-19.

Realist , June 30, 2020 at 02:54

Ray, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has embraced these allegations against Russia as the gospel truth and has threatened to seek revenge against Putin once he occupies the White House.

He said Americans who serve in the military put their life on the line. "But they should never, never, never ever face a threat like this with their commander in chief turning a blind eye to a foreign power putting a bounty on their heads."

"I'm quite frankly outraged by the report," Biden said. He promised that if he is elected, "Putin will be confronted and we'll impose serious costs on Russia."

This is the kind of warmongering talk that derailed the expected landslide victory for the Queen of Warmongers in 2016. This time round though, Trump has seemingly already swung and badly missed three times in his responses to the Covid outbreak, the public antics attributed to BLM, and the Fed's creation of six trillion dollars in funny money as a gift to the most privileged tycoons on the planet. In baseball, which will not have a season in spite of the farcical theatrics between ownership and players, that's called a "whiff" and gets you sent back to the bench.

According to all the pollsters, Donnie's base of white working class "deplorables" are already abandoning his campaign–bigly, prompting the none-too-keen Biden to assume that over-the-top Russia bashing is back in season, especially since trash-talking Nobel Laureate Obama is now delivering most of the mute sock puppet Biden's lines. It was almost comical to watch Joe do nothing but grin in the framed picture to the left of his old boss during their most recent joint interview with the press. This dangerous re-set of the Cold War is NOT what the people want, nor is it good for them or any living things.

DH Fabian , June 30, 2020 at 10:18

Biden already lost 2020 -- in spite of the widely-disliked Trump. This is why Democrats began working to breath life back into Russia-gate by late last year, setting the stage to blame Russia for their 2020 defeat. We spent the past 25 years detailing the demise of the Democratic Party (replaced by the "New Democrat Party"), and it turned out that the party loyalists didn't hear a word of it.

John A , June 30, 2020 at 02:15

As a viewer from afar, in Europe, I find it mindboggling how the American public seem to believe all this nonsense about Russia. Have the people there really been that dumbed down by chewing gum for the eyes television and disgusting chemical and growth h0rmone laced food? Sad, sad, sad.

Tom Welsh , June 30, 2020 at 06:17

John, I think there is something to what you say about dumbing down. I recall Albert Jay Nock lamenting, in about 1910, how dreadfully US education had already been dumbed down – and things have been going steadily downhill ever since.

But I don't think we can quite release the citizenry from responsibility on account of their ignorance. (Isn't it a legal maxim that ignorance is not an excuse?)

There is surely deep down in most people a sly lust for dominance, a desire to control and forbid and compel; and also a quiet satisfaction at hearing of inferior foreigners being harmed or killed by one's own "world class" armed forces.

TS , June 30, 2020 at 11:14

> As a viewer from afar, in Europe, I find it mindboggling how the American public seem to believe all this nonsense about Russia.

May I remind you that most of the mass media in Europe parrot all this nonsense, and a large segment of the public swallows it?

Charles Familant , June 30, 2020 at 00:50

Mr. McGovern has not made his case. To his question as to why Taliban militants need any additional incentive to target U.S. troops in Afghanistan, it is not far-fetched to believe these militants would welcome additional funds to continue their belligerency. Waging war is not cheap and is especially onerous for relatively small organizations as compared to major powers. What reason would Putin have to pay such bounty? The increase in U.S. troop casualties would provide Trump an additional rationale to bring the troops home, as he had promised during his campaign speeches in 2015 and 2016. This action would be a boon to his re-election prospects. Putin is well aware that if Biden wins in November, there is little likelihood of the hostility in Afghanistan or anywhere else being brought to an end. But, more to the point, the likelihood of U.S. sanctions against Russia being curtailed under a Biden presidency is remote. To what he deemed rhetorical, Mr. McGovern asks how successful were U.S. interrogators of such captured Taliban in the past, I remind him that there were opposing views regarding which techniques were most effective. Might not these interrogators have, in the present case, employed more effective means? Finally, it should not even be a question as to why any news agency does not reveal its sources. But in this case, the New York Times specifically mentions that the National Security Council discussed the intelligence finding in late March. Further, if it is true that Trump, Pence et al ignored the said briefs of which the administration was well aware, this should be no surprise to any of us. Case in point: how long did it take Trump to respond to the present pandemic? One telling observation: Mr. McGovern says that Heather Cox Richardson is "described as a historian at Boston College.' She is not just "described as a historian" Mr. McGovern, she IS a historian at Boston College; in fact, she is a professor at that college and has authored six scholarly works that have been published as books, the most recent of which in March of this year by the Oxford University Press. Mr. McGovern states that the points Richardson made her most most recent newsletter as "banal." I see nothing banal in that newsletter, but rather a list of relevant factual occurrences. Finally (this time it really is final), Mr. McGovern employs the use of sarcasm to discount what Richardson and others have contended regarding this most recent expose. And seems to give more credibility to the comments made by Trump and his cohorts, as though this administration is remarkable for its integrity.

Sam F , June 30, 2020 at 11:05

Plausible interest does not make unsupported accusations a reality. What bounties did the US offer?
Have you forgotten that the US set up Al Qaeda in Afghanistan with weapons to attack the USSR there?

Zhu , June 30, 2020 at 00:34

Come December this year, which losing party will blame which scapegoat? Russia? China? The Man in the Moon? It must be a hard decision!

Zhu , June 30, 2020 at 00:31

Unfortunately, bad ideas and conspiracy fictions rarely disappear completely. But that Afghans need to be paid to kill invaders is the dumbest conspiracy fiction yet.

Thomas Fortin , June 29, 2020 at 21:31

Excellent report Ray, as usual.
Interesting note here, I watched The Hill's Rising program, and listened to young conservative Saagar say, although he does not believe that Russia-gate is credible, he made the statement that Russia is supplying the Taliban weapons and wants us to get out of Afghanistan, and that is considered a fact by all journalists!
Saagar is a bit conflicted, he does not, but does believe the gods of intelligence, like so many did with the Gulf of Tonkin so long ago, I remember that all too well.
As I look out upon the ignorant masses and useful idiots who strain at those Confederate and other monuments, while continuing to elect the same old people back into office who continue the status quo, its a bit discouraging. We were told so long ago about our current situation, that,
"It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin." [James Monroe, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817]
As a historian of some sort and educational film maker, I do my best to educate people, though its a bit overwhelming at times how ignorant and fascist brain-washed most are. Monroe, like the other founders knew the secret of maintaining a free and prosperous republic, from the same piece, "Let us, then, look to the great cause, and endeavor to preserve it in full force. Let us by all wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties."
George Carlin got it right about why education "sucks", it was by design, so our work is cut out for us.
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
~Thomas Jefferson

GMCasey , June 29, 2020 at 21:25

Why would Putin even bother? America and its endless wars is doing itself in. Afghanistan is said to be," the graveyard of empires." It was for Alexander the Great -- –it was for Russia and I suppose that it will be for America too -- -

DW Bartoo , June 29, 2020 at 20:50

Ray, I certainly hope that Durham and Barr will not wait too long a time to make public the truth about Russiagate.

Indeed, certain heads should, figuratively, roll, and as well, the whole story about who was behind the setting up of Flynn needs to, somehow, make it through the media flack.

Judge Sullivan's antics having been rather thoroughly shot down, though the media is desperately trying to either spin or ignore the reality that it was not merely Flynn that Sullivan was hoping to harm, but also the power of the executive branch relative to the judicial branch.

The role of Obama and of Biden who, apparently, suggested the use of the Logan Act as the means to go after Flynn, who we now know was intentionally entrapped by the intrepid FBI, need to be made clear as well.

Just as with the initial claims that torture was the work of "a few bad apples", when anyone with any insight into such "policy" actions had to have known that it WAS official policy (crafted by Addington, Bybee, and Yoo, as it turned out, directed to do so by the Bush White House), so too, must it be realized that it was not some rogue agents and loose cannons, but actual instructions "from above", explicit or implicit, that "encouraged" the behavior of those who spoke of "Insurance" policies designed to hamper, hinder, and harm the incoming administration.

Clearly, I am no fan of Trump, and while I honestly regard the Rule of Law as essentially a fairytale for the gullible (as the behavior of the "justice" system from the " qualified immunity" of the police, to the "absolute immunity" of prosecutors, judges, and the political class must make clear,to even the most giddy of childish believers in U$ purity, innocence, and exceptionalism, that the "law" serves to protect wealth and power and NOT the public), I should really like to consider that even in a pretend democracy, some things are simply not to be tolerated.

Things, like torture, like fully politicized law enforcement or "intelligence" agencies, like secret court proceedings, where judges may be lied to with total impunity and actual evidence is not required. As well as things like a media thoroughly willing to requrgitate blatant propaganda as "fact" (while having, again, no apparent need of genuine evidenc), or other things like total surveillance, and the destruction of habeas corpus.

One should like to imagine that such things might concern the majority.

Yet, a society that buys into forever wars, lesser-evil voting, and created Hitler like boogeymen, that countenances being lied into wars and consistently lied to about virtually everything, is hardly likely to discern the truth of things until the "Dream" collapses into personal pain, despair, and Depression.

Unless there is an awakening quite beyond that already tearing down statues, but yet still , apparently, unwilling to grasp the totality of the corruption throughout the entire edifice of "authority", of the total failure of a system that has no real legitimacy, except that given it by voters choosing between two sides of the same tyranny, it may be readily imagined, should Biden be "victorious", that Russiagate, Chinagate, Irangate, Venezuelagate, and countless other "Gates" will become Official History.

In which case, this is not a last gasp, of Russiagate, but a new and full head of steam for more of the same.

How easy it has been for the lies to prevail, to become "truth" and to simply disappear the voices of those who ask for evidence, who dare question, who doubt.

How easy to co-opt and destroy efforts to educate or bring about critically necessary change.

There are but a few months for real evidence to be revealed.

If Durham and Barr decide not to "criminalize policy differences", as Obama, the "constitutional scholar", did regarding torture, then what might we imagine will be the future of those who have an understanding of even those lies long being used, and with recent additions, for example, to torture Julian Assange?

All of the deceit has common purpose, it is to maintain absolute control.

If Russiagate is not completely exposed, for all that it is and was intended to be, then quaint little discussions about elite misbehavior will be banished from general awareness, and those who persist in questioning will be rather severely dealt with.

Antonia , June 30, 2020 at 11:43

ABSOLUTELY. Well said. NOW where to make the changes absolutely necessary?

Zalamander , June 29, 2020 at 18:47

Thanks Ray. There are multiple reasons for the continued existance of Russiagate as the Democratic party has no real answers for the economic depression affecting millions of Americans. Neoliberal Joe Biden is also an exceptionally weak presidential candidate, who does not even support universal healthcare for all Americans like every other advanced industrialized country has. That said, the Dems are indeed desperate to deflect attention away from the Durham investigation, as it is bound to expose the total fraud of Crossfire Hurricane.

Sam F , June 29, 2020 at 18:16

Thanks, Ray, a very good summary, with reminders often needed by many in dealing with complex issues.

[Jul 01, 2020] Outrage Erupts After NYT Uses Slain Marine's Photo For -Unsubstantiated- Propaganda -

Jul 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

As we noted earlier Tuesday, several pundits took the DNI and CIA statements as a clear denial that there was anything significant or worthy of briefing the president on regarding alleged "Russian bounties" -- meaning it was likely deemed "chatter" or unsubstantiated rumor picked up either by US or British intelligence -- and subsequently leaked to the press to revive the pretty much dead Russiagate narrative of some level of "Trump-Putin collusion".

In short, when your 'unsubstantiated chatter' hit-piece loses steam, prop it up with a slain Marine .

[Jul 01, 2020] Looks like the same people who used to push records up the pop charts are now manipulating the Amazon best sellers charts, though I wouldn't put this past Amazon themselves.

Jul 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

AlfieDolittle , 1 minute ago

Amazon's No 1 Bestseller?

Looks like the same people who used to push records up the pop charts are now manipulating the Amazon best sellers charts, though I wouldn't put this past Amazon themselves.

No one buys this garbage other than uni libraries.

scott157 , 2 minutes ago

Matt Taibbi hits ANOTHER grand slam!!!!! regarding robin diangelo, she should cease scissoring and try a penis........it would spread sunshine all over her place.......................

Michael Norton , 4 minutes ago

Someone should write a book called White Strength.

novictim , 4 minutes ago

And let us never forget the crackpot theory that only Blacks cannot be racist 'cuz P + P + R -> (Prejudice + Power) = Racism.

This social theory defines blacks as being definitionally incapable of possessing power over whites. Ya, that's not racist at all!

johnnyg , 5 minutes ago

Teaming up with Ruth Frankenberg to help attack "fellow whites"? Oy vey!

I wonder if it's "fragility" to need every university, multinational corp, media monopoly, and celebrity constantly patting you on the *** and silencing any criticism of your constant terrible behavior?

Shirley Yugest , 5 minutes ago

She should end her whiteness immediately.

[Jun 29, 2020] After Iraq WMD and Russia Collusion, we should ask for real evidence instead of the top intelligence sources

Petty scoundrels from NYT are not that inventive. They just want to whitewash Russiagate fiasco. This whole "story" stinks to high heaven. Judy Miller redux - regime-change info ops, coordinated across multiple media organizations.
Notable quotes:
"... After Iraq WMD and Russia Collusion, we should ask for real evidence instead of the "top intelligence sources". And we should not buy we can't provide any evidence because of sources & methods. ..."
"... On a practical note, how was a Taliban soldier militant meant to verify his claim to a bounty? I assume that scalping was not a feasible option, but if you are going to offer a bounty then you are going to want proof that the person claiming that bounty did, indeed, do the job. ..."
Jun 29, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
"Russia offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill US troops" - TTG - Sic Semper Tyrannis

blue peacock | 27 June 2020 at 10:19 PM

After Iraq WMD and Russia Collusion, we should ask for real evidence instead of the "top intelligence sources". And we should not buy we can't provide any evidence because of sources & methods.

Be skeptical of anything published by Pravda on the Hudson and Pravda on the Potomac when it comes to intelligence matters. Especially months before a general election.

Fred | 27 June 2020 at 10:32 PM

On to Moscow! Where's Bomb'n Bolton when we need him? "a European intelligence official told CNN."..... "The official did not specify as to the date of the casualties, their number or nationality, or whether these were fatalities or injuries."

So, unknown official, unknown date, unknown if there were any actual casualties.

"The US concluded that the GRU was behind the interference in the 2016 US election and cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee and top Democratic officials."

Quick, someone tell the House Impeachment Inquiry Committee! Oh, wait, that was Ukraine. What did Mueller collude, I mean conclude, about that Russian interference?

Let me quote the former acting DNI: "You clearly don't understand how raw intel gets verified. Leaks of partial information to reporters from anonymous sources is dangerous because people like you manipulate it for political gain."

https://twitter.com/RichardGrenell/status/1277024942232530945

I believe he was tweeting that to the press, but then they are doing this for political reasons. Lockdowns and socialist revolutionary riots must not be working in the left's favor. I wonder why?

Yeah, Right | 28 June 2020 at 12:50 AM

On a practical note, how was a Taliban soldier militant meant to verify his claim to a bounty? I assume that scalping was not a feasible option, but if you are going to offer a bounty then you are going to want proof that the person claiming that bounty did, indeed, do the job.

So if a coalition soldier died on *this* day how was a Talibani supposed to confirm to the GRU that "Yep, I did that. Where's my money?"

TTG, I think you are being led away from the truth by your significant bias against Russia. Those with a blinkered vision see only what they want to see. No mystery there.

Now you want to portray NYT as the paragon of truth telling!! Haven't we seen enough examples of the lying by Jewish owned neocon media, especially the Times? Now that the Russia-gate fire is nearly put out, these guys are pumping this story.
You really need to understand the depth of hatred the Jews have for Russia and Russians that makes them like this. That's the only country /civilisation that got away from their grasp just when they thought have got it. Not once, but twice in the last century.

But then isn't your ancestry from Lithuania. Your hatred is strong. I get that - I see that all time with people from the ex-Soviet republics formerly ruled by Russia. Hope others see that too.

Barbara Ann , 28 June 2020 at 09:42 AM

Regardless of its veracity, this story will definitely hit Trump where it hurts - chapeau to the individual(s) who conceived this work of fiction, if indeed it is so.

Again, whether or not performance bonuses* were actually offered by the GRU, has anyone considered that this may still be a Russian Intelligence op?

Perhaps we should first ask whether the Kremlin wants to deal with a US under another 4 years of Trump. From their FP POV, the huge uncertainty and instability they see in the US now will surely be ramped up to a whole new level, in the event that he is re-elected. And of course all hope that Trump may be able to improve the relationship with Russia was dashed long ago, by Russiagate and the ongoing Russophobia among the Borg. Jeffrey's mission in Syria is a case in point. At least the US Deep State is the devil they know.

If the answer to the above question is "no" it must surely be a trivial matter for the GRU to feed such a damaging story to Trump's enemies in the USIC.

* "bounties" is an emotive word, useful to Trump's enemies, evoking individual pay for an individual death - real personal stuff. As others have pointed out the practicality of such a scheme seems improbable. Surely it is more likely that any such incentive pay would be for the group, upon coalition casualties confirmed in the aftermath of an attack. The distinction may not seem important, but the Resistance media can be relied upon to use language designed to inflict the most harm.

Flavius , 28 June 2020 at 09:48 AM

'Intel' without evidence is "bunk". Have we learned nothing from Chrissy Steele and the Russiagate fiasco - I know a guy who knows a guy who said... the Russians are bad and Donald Trump is an a......e. Bob Mueller and 18 pissed off democrats have concluded that the Russians are systemically bad and Donald Trump is an a......e. 4 months before a Presidential election intel sources have revealed to the NYT that the Russians are very very bad and Donald Trump is an a......e. Ah yes, the New York Ridiculously Self Degraded Times has broken another important story. I wonder why? Enough already...and yes, we have made a systemic laughing stock of ourselves.

Oh, and remind me again of why we've been staying around Kabul - something about improving the lot of women, or gays, or someone?

Diana Croissant , 28 June 2020 at 09:51 AM

I'm personally not ready to "duck and cover" after reading this.

I have accepted the fact that Russia is no longer the Soviet Union. I am watching television news at night but no longer see the clock ticking as I turn it off and go to sleep. So far, no one I know has taken to building a fallout shelter in his back yard.

I want an answer to this question: Whatever happened to the pillow and blanket I had to bring to school and store in the school's basement in case we all had to retreat there and be locked down in it during the bombing? Who do I go to to get reparations for the cost of those items? (I was never given the opportunity to retrieve them when I graduated.) Did Khrushchev have to take his shoe to a cobbler after using it to pound on the table while threatening to bury us?

Babak makkinejad , 28 June 2020 at 10:19 AM

TTG

The rebuttal from Russia.

Which raises the ante by making very very serious accusations of drug trade by US Intelligence.

https://tass.com/russia/1172369/amp?__twitter_impression=true

Charlie Wilson , 28 June 2020 at 11:06 AM

I think the killing of soldiers should be strictly forbidden. Only civilians should be targeted. It is easier and no one gives a shit.

The Twisted Genius , 28 June 2020 at 11:17 AM

Babak,

There's a rich history of stories about USI involvement in the drug trade. CIA was involved in the heroin trade during the Viet Nam War. The Iran-Contra mess involved selling Columbian cocaine to help finance Nicaraguan anti-Communist rebels. US involvement in the Afghanistan drug trade has been talked about for years. As I said, there are no glitter fartin' unicorns here.

Babak makkinejad , 28 June 2020 at 11:42 AM

TTG

The Iranian statistics do not lie. Transhipment of drugs across Iran from Afghanistan has been increasing since the American invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

The US Office of Foreign Asset Control, the US DIA, the CIA etc. are powerless to do anything about that but are, evidently, all powerfull against USD transactions of the Iranian government.

[Jun 28, 2020] Unsophisticated disinformation Moscow rebuffs NYT story alleging Russia offered Taliban money to kill US troops in Afghanist

Notable quotes:
"... "covertly offered rewards" ..."
"... On Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the NYT story as "fake information." ..."
"... This unsophisticated plant clearly illustrates the low intellectual abilities of the propagandists from US intelligence, who, instead of inventing something more plausible, resort to conjuring up such nonsense. ..."
"... "Then again, what else can one expect from intelligence services that have bungled the 20-year war in Afghanistan," the ministry said. ..."
"... Moscow has suggested that this misinformation was "planted" because the US may be against Russia "assisting" in peace talks between the Taliban and the internationally-recognised government in Kabul. ..."
Jun 27, 2020 | www.rt.com

The Russian Foreign Ministry has rejected a US media report claiming Moscow offered to pay jihadi militants to attack US soldiers in Afghanistan. It said such 'fake news' merely betrays the low skill levels of US spy agencies. Citing US intelligence officials – unnamed, of course – the New York Times reported that, last year, Moscow had "covertly offered rewards" to Taliban-linked militants to attack American troops and their NATO allies in Afghanistan.

On Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the NYT story as "fake information."

This unsophisticated plant clearly illustrates the low intellectual abilities of the propagandists from US intelligence, who, instead of inventing something more plausible, resort to conjuring up such nonsense.

"Then again, what else can one expect from intelligence services that have bungled the 20-year war in Afghanistan," the ministry said.

Moscow has suggested that this misinformation was "planted" because the US may be against Russia "assisting" in peace talks between the Taliban and the internationally-recognised government in Kabul.

US-led NATO troops have been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001. The campaign, launched in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has cost Washington billions of dollars and resulted in the loss of thousands of American soldiers' lives. Despite maintaining a military presence for almost two decades, the US has failed to defeat the Taliban, which is still in control of vast swaths of the country.

Moreover, the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has compiled several reports detailing how tens of millions of US taxpayers' funds have been spent on dubious regeneration projects.

[Jun 28, 2020] It is the US intelligence s job to lie to you. NYT s Afghan bounty story is CIA press release by Caitlin Johnstone

This whole "story" stinks to high heaven. Judy Miller redux - regime-change info ops, coordinated across multiple media organizations.
Notable quotes:
"... To be clear, this is journalistic malpractice. Mainstream media outlets which publish anonymous intelligence claims with no proof are just publishing CIA press releases disguised as news. They're just telling you to believe what sociopathic intelligence agencies want you to believe under the false guise of impartial and responsible reporting. This practice has become ubiquitous throughout mainstream news publications, but that doesn't make it any less immoral. ..."
"... "Same old story: alleged intelligence ops IMPOSSIBLE to verify, leaked to the press which reports them quoting ANONYMOUS officials," tweeted journalist Stefania Maurizi. ..."
"... "So we are to simply believe the same intelligence orgs that paid bounties to bring innocent prisoners to Guantanamo, lied about torture in Afghanistan, and lied about premises for war from WMD in Iraq to the Gulf of Tonkin 'attack'? All this and no proof?" ..."
"... "It's totally outrageous for Russia to support the Taliban against Americans in Afghanistan. Of course, it's totally fine for the US to support jihadi rebels against Russians in Syria, jihadi rebels who openly said the Taliban is their hero," ..."
"... On the flip side, all the McResistance pundits have been speaking of this baseless allegation as a horrific event that is known to have happened, with Rachel Maddow going so far as to describe it as Putin offering bounties for the "scalps" of American soldiers in Afghanistan. This is an interesting choice of words, considering that offering bounties for scalps is, in fact, one of the many horrific things the US government did in furthering its colonialist ambitions , which, unlike the New York Times allegation, is known to have actually happened. ..."
Jun 28, 2020 | www.rt.com
By Caitlin Johnstone , an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz

Whenever one sees a news headline ending in "US Intelligence Says", one should always mentally replace everything that comes before it with "Blah blah blah we're probably lying."

"Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill Troops, US Intelligence Says", blares the latest viral headline from the New York Times . NYT's unnamed sources allege that the GRU "secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan -- including targeting American troops", and that the Trump administration has known this for months.

To be clear, this is journalistic malpractice. Mainstream media outlets which publish anonymous intelligence claims with no proof are just publishing CIA press releases disguised as news. They're just telling you to believe what sociopathic intelligence agencies want you to believe under the false guise of impartial and responsible reporting. This practice has become ubiquitous throughout mainstream news publications, but that doesn't make it any less immoral.

Also on rt.com There they go again: NYT serves up spy fantasy about Russian 'bounties' on US troops in Afghanistan

In a post-Iraq-invasion world, the only correct response to unproven anonymous claims about a rival government by intelligence agencies from the US or its allies is to assume that they are lying until you are provided with a mountain of independently verifiable evidence to the contrary. The US has far too extensive a record of lying about these things for any other response to ever be justified as rational, and its intelligence agencies consistently play a foundational role in those lies.

Voices outside the mainstream-narrative control matrix have been calling these accusations what they are: baseless, lacking in credibility, and not reflective of anything other than fair play, even if true.

"Same old story: alleged intelligence ops IMPOSSIBLE to verify, leaked to the press which reports them quoting ANONYMOUS officials," tweeted journalist Stefania Maurizi.

America to end 'era of endless wars' & stop being policeman, Trump gives same old election promises he broke

"So we are to simply believe the same intelligence orgs that paid bounties to bring innocent prisoners to Guantanamo, lied about torture in Afghanistan, and lied about premises for war from WMD in Iraq to the Gulf of Tonkin 'attack'? All this and no proof?" tweeted author and analyst Jeffrey Kaye.

"It's totally outrageous for Russia to support the Taliban against Americans in Afghanistan. Of course, it's totally fine for the US to support jihadi rebels against Russians in Syria, jihadi rebels who openly said the Taliban is their hero," tweeted author and analyst Max Abrams.

On the flip side, all the McResistance pundits have been speaking of this baseless allegation as a horrific event that is known to have happened, with Rachel Maddow going so far as to describe it as Putin offering bounties for the "scalps" of American soldiers in Afghanistan. This is an interesting choice of words, considering that offering bounties for scalps is, in fact, one of the many horrific things the US government did in furthering its colonialist ambitions , which, unlike the New York Times allegation, is known to have actually happened.

It is true, as many have been pointing out, that it would be fair play for Russia to fund violent opposition the the US in Afghanistan, seeing as that's exactly what the US and its allies have been doing to Russia and its allies in Syria, and did to the Soviets in Afghanistan via Operation Cyclone . It is also true that the US military has no business in Afghanistan anyway, and any violence inflicted on US troops abroad is the fault of the military expansionists who put them there. The US military has no place outside its own easily defended borders, and the assumption that it is normal for a government to circle the planet with military bases is a faulty premise.

'Unsophisticated' disinformation: Moscow rebuffs NYT story alleging Russia offered Taliban money to kill US troops in Afghanistan

But before even getting into such arguments, the other side of the debate must meet its burden of proof that this has even happened. That burden is far from met. It is literally the US intelligence community's job to lie to you. The New York Times has an extensive history of pushing for new wars at every opportunity, including the unforgivable Iraq invasion , which killed a million people, based on lies. A mountain of proof is required before such claims should be seriously considered, and we are very, very far from that.

I will repeat myself: it is the US intelligence community's job to lie to you. I will repeat myself again: it is the US intelligence community's job to lie to you. Don't treat these CIA press releases with anything but contempt.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Jun 28, 2020] Trump himself demolished NYT provocation -- the Russia/Taliban story

Jun 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Brendan , Jun 28 2020 14:18 utc | 4

Trump himself has rubbished the NYT's Russia/Taliban story on Twitter today:

"Nobody briefed or told me, @VP Pence, or Chief of Staff @MarkMeadows about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an "anonymous source" by the Fake News @nytimes. Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us..... "
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1277202159109537793

"The Fake News @ nytimes must reveal its "anonymous" source. Bet they can't do it, this "person" probably does not even exist! twitter.com/richardgrenell "
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1277215720418484224

Christian J. Chuba , Jun 28 2020 15:17 utc | 11

NYT exclusive: breaking, bombshell report, bombshell report, Russia pays Taliban to kill U.S. Troops

The puppets dance for their puppet masters yet again. I was struck that in all of the MSM responses on CNN and FOX every single host accepted it as an absolute fact that this was true. If an unnamed source said something to a reporter at the NYT then it must have happened in that way and the facts are irrefutable. Wow our 'journalists' are pathetic.

1. The guy who leaked this could be twisting a half or even quarter truth to embarrass Trump, derail our withdrawal from Germany or Afghanistan ... nahh impossible. Our CIA guys never have an agenda.

2. This could be disinformation against Russia ... nahh we are the good guys, that's not how we roll.

The guy on CNN could not believe the WH statement that they were not briefed, 'it strains credibility'. Maybe one POW made an outlandish claim to get better treatment and lower level staff did not think the claim itself had enough credibility. Nope, it was leaked by an Intelligence guy, therefore it must be true.

journalism is dead. buried, dug up, cremated and then scattered over a trash dump in the U.S.

[Jun 28, 2020] Evidence Free Press Release Claims 'Russia Did Bad, Trump Did Not Respond' - NYT, WaPo Publish It

Highly recommended!
Projection, yet another time. An old and very effective dirty propaganda trick. Fake news outlet are intelligence services controlled outlets.
Notable quotes:
"... Reporters from the New York Times and the Washington Post were called up by unnamed 'officials' and told to write that Russia pays some Afghans to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. There is zero evidence that the claim is true. The Taliban spokesman denies it. The numbers of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan is minimal. The alleged sources of the claims are criminals the U.S. has taken as prisoners in Afghanistan. ..."
"... The journalistic standards at the New York Times and Washington Post must be below zero to publish such nonsense without requesting real evidence. The press release like stories below from anti-Trump/anti-Russian sources have nothing to do with ' great reporting ' but are pure stenography. ..."
"... If the Russians were truly inclined in a direction leading them to "pay bounties" for American scalps in Afghanistan, they would instead be doing what we once did: providing state-of-the-art Manpads to Afghan jihadis. Any sort of bar room or shit house rumor these days is attributed to "intelligence officials" or "intelligence sources", always unnamed of course. ..."
"... The paragraph about "reasons to believe" is vacuous in the extreme: ..."
"... "The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals. The officials did not describe the mechanics of the Russian operation, such as how targets were picked or how money changed hands. It is also not clear whether Russian operatives had deployed inside Afghanistan or met with their Taliban counterparts elsewhere." ..."
"... We know from the past that US forces were torturing TOTALLY RANDOM INDIVIDUALS, occasionally to death. Needless to say, "officials did not describe the mechanics" of the interrogation, neither did not describe any corroborative details. The most benign scenario is that "captured Afghan militants and criminals" are pure fiction rather than actual people subjected to "anal inspections", "peroneal strikes", left overnight hanging from the ceiling etc. to spit out random incoherent tidbits about the Russians, like "it is also not clear".... A long list of "not clear"'s. ..."
"... Together, it is very crude "manufacturing of consent", and unfortunately, this is a workable technique of manipulation. Crudity is the tool, not a defect in this case. I will explain later what I mean, this post is probably too long already. ..."
Jun 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Evidence Free Press Release Claims 'Russia Did Bad, Trump Did Not Respond' - NYT , WaPo Publish It A. Pols , Jun 27 2020 14:34 utc | 1

There were allegations about emails that someone exfiltrated from the DNC and provided to Wikileaks . Russia must have done it. The FBI and other intelligence services were all over it. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

There were allegations that Trump did not really win the elections. Russia must have done it. The various U.S. intelligence service, together with their British friends, provided all kinds of sinister leaks about the alleged case. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

A British double agent, Sergej Skirpal, was allegedly injured in a Russian attack on him. The intelligence services told all kind of contradicting nonsense about the case. In the end no evidence was provided to support the claims.

All three cases had two points in common. The were based on sources near to the U.S. and British intelligence community. They were designed to increase hostility against Russia. The last point was then used to sabotage Donald Trump's original plans for better relations with Russia.

Now the intelligence services make another claim that fits right into the above scheme.

Reporters from the New York Times and the Washington Post were called up by unnamed 'officials' and told to write that Russia pays some Afghans to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. There is zero evidence that the claim is true. The Taliban spokesman denies it. The numbers of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan is minimal. The alleged sources of the claims are criminals the U.S. has taken as prisoners in Afghanistan.

All that nonsense is again used to press against Trump's wish for better relations with Russia. Imagine - Trump was told about these nonsensical claims and he did nothing about it!

The same intelligence services and 'officials' previously paid bounties to bring innocent prisoners to Guantanamo Bay, tortured them until they made false confessions and lied about it. The same intelligence services and 'officials' lied about WMD in Iraq. The same 'intelligence officials' paid and pay Jihadis disguised as 'Syrian rebels' to kill Russian and Syrian troops which defend their countries.

The journalistic standards at the New York Times and Washington Post must be below zero to publish such nonsense without requesting real evidence. The press release like stories below from anti-Trump/anti-Russian sources have nothing to do with ' great reporting ' but are pure stenography.

The New York Times :

Cont. reading: Evidence Free Press Release Claims 'Russia Did Bad, Trump Did Not Respond' - NYT, WaPo Publish It

Posted by b at 13:43 UTC | Comments (3) If the Russians were truly inclined in a direction leading them to "pay bounties" for American scalps in Afghanistan, they would instead be doing what we once did: providing state-of-the-art Manpads to Afghan jihadis. Any sort of bar room or shit house rumor these days is attributed to "intelligence officials" or "intelligence sources", always unnamed of course.

JohnH , Jun 27 2020 14:45 utc | 2

Biden is the intelligence services' ideal candidate -- an easily manipulated empty suit. There's a reason why charges of Biden wrongdoing are as easily dism