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Purple revolution against Trump

Trump surrendered after just 100 of anti-Russian smear campaign launched by neocons

News Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Recommended Links The Deep State Trump vs. Deep State Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? History of American False Flag Operations Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations
National Security State The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal Anti Trump Hysteria Michael Flynn Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism
 Zombie state and coming collapse of neoliberalism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS  American Exceptionalism  Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism The Iron Law of Oligarchy Nation under attack meme
Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Myth about intelligent voter Libertarian Philosophy Pluralism as a myth Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters Doublespeak New American Militarism Bait and Switch
The Deep State Corporatist Corruption Predator state Neocons Myth about intelligent voter Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Corporatism National Security State Deception as an art form
Libertarian Philosophy The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Neoliberalism US Presidential Elections of 2012 Non-Interventionism Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
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Note: This color revolution is over. On April 6 Trump surrendered to neocons.

Trump vs CIA --- DJT Forced to Finish the Fight Started by JFK Politics

This is wishful thinking. the reality is starkly different.

State of the Nation

John F. Kennedy was entirely right about the CIA … and that was back in 1961.  Imagine how much worse the global CIA-run tyranny is in 2017, 56 years later.  In addition to brutally murdering the American president, how many other heads of state have been summarily assassinated by the Central Intelligence Agency?

CIA & Company: The Real Plotters Behind JFK’s Assassination

Not only did the C.I.A. coordinate every aspect of the assassination of President Kennedy, they have continued to oversee a highly complex and effective cover-up since November 22, 1963.

JFK Assassination: Classic CIA EXECUTION Plan …
… and COVERUP

The C.I.A. painstakingly set up Lee Harvey Oswald as a patsy because he had warned JFK and his brother of a previous assassination plot in Chicago earlier that same month.

Lee Harvey Oswald: Framed By The CIA Because He Infiltrated Their Assassination Conspiracy

Not only did the C.I.A. frame Lee Harvey Oswald because he was actually working for Attorney General Bobby Kennedy, they also killed John F. Kennedy, Jr. to maintain the ongoing cover-up … after they killed Robert F. Kennedy on June 5, 1968.

Did the CIA kill Bobby Kennedy?

It’s true that JFK, Jr. was very close to outing George H.W. Bush as the CIA’s point man in Dallas on the day of President Kennedy’s Assassination.  He even named his iconic magazine — GEORGE — after the elder Bush assassin.

JFK Jr. Told The World Who Murdered His Father – But Nobody Was Paying Attention

Now the world knows why President Kennedy was so determined to “splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces” as his own son would eventually be murdered by the same rogue elements in The Company, as would his brother be conspiratorially killed by them. 

See also


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Old News ;-)

[May 24, 2017] Rosenstein and Mueller the Regime Change Tag-Team by Mike Whitney

That's all nice but the truth is that Trump abandoned his agenda in Artly April, a month before appointment of Special Council. Also the intercity of russian wittch hunt was such that appointment of a special council was kind of inveitable. Trigger might be different, but the net result is the same.
The idea that both Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller belong to the same team is plausible. Mueller is also a close friend of Comey. But as Trump flded what would be the gain from his removal ?
Notable quotes:
"... And, yes, I know, people are going to swarm to Rosenstein's defense and say, "Yeah, but, Trump is a bloviating buffoon and a mentally-unstable despot." And, they're right, too, the man is a menace, a narcissist and maybe even a crackpot. Just look at the Saudi arms deal where Trump agreed to provide hundreds of billions of dollars of weapons to a fanatical government that will undoubtedly use them to arm its jihadist army in Syria or kill women and children in Yemen. It just shows that Trump is a vicious, unprincipled militarist. But that doesn't change what Rosenstein did. People need to look beyond Trump's failings to appreciate what type of man we're dealing with here. Rosenstein is a duplicitous back-stabbing serpent. End of story. ..."
"... By appointing a Special Counsel, Rosenstein not only destroyed any chance Trump had at achieving his policy objectives, he also effectively rolled-back the results of the 2016 presidential election. ..."
"... We can now be 100 percent certain that Trump's political agenda will never get off the ground. His tax plan, his infrastructure plan, his health care plan; all of them have gone up in smoke thanks to Rosenstein. Which is good, right, since the Trump's "pamper the rich and screw-the-working-man" plan was crappy policy anyway? So, good riddance. ..."
"... And Rosenstein didn't pick hatchetman Robert Mueller by himself either. That's more malarkey. Mueller was picked by the same shadowy throng of elites that selected the 9-11 Commission, the big money guys who own this fecking country lock, stock and barrel. ..."
"... "Robert Mueller, picked as special prosecutor to investigate President Donald Trump, violated the US Constitution as FBI Director by using secret domestic spy programs, National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower William Binney told Sputnik. ..."
"... "My problem with Mueller is that he agreed with and used the Stellar Wind spying program at NSA against common crime since 2001," Binney said Wednesday. "He admitted to this in a 2011 interview with [Time magazine correspondent] Bart Gellman." ..."
"... Binney said that Mueller's willingness to use secret espionage surveillance techniques designed only for national security functions against suspects in regular criminal investigations revealed his willingness to ignore or break safeguards in the US Constitution. ..."
"... Repeat: He used "secret espionage surveillance techniques designed only for national security functions against suspects in regular criminal investigations." ..."
"... What Aaronson discovered was that, far from preventing terrorism, the FBI uses its funds to "manufacture" terrorists out of marginalized, desperate, mentally ill or immature men (many of the convicted individuals profiled are in their early twenties). In Aaronson's words, "The FBI has been effective at creating the very enemy it is hunting." . ..."
"... And the man who oversaw these operations, Robert Mueller, is the same guy the media has been praising as the embodiment of integrity and moral rectitude. Give me a break. Mueller knew these operations were a hoax, he had to know. The FBI was working a sting to lure hard-luck dimwits into doing things they'd never normally dream of doing. It's called entrapment, which is exactly what it is. ..."
"... So what are the odds that Trump will get a fair shake in this deal? How about zero? There's zero chance that Grand Inquisitor Mueller and his Star Chamber assistants are going to conduct an objective, independent investigation. In fact, the whole Special Counsel meme is just an attempt to dignify the railroading of the Chief Executive. There's not much more to it than that. They need these sham legal proceedings to create the impression that the final outcome hasn't already been decided. But it has already been decided. Trump's going to be driven from office and there's not a damn thing he can do about it. The die has been cast, and Trump came up snake-eyes. ..."
www.breitbart.com
Let's say you own a big US corporation but need help managing your domestic accounts. So you hire a bright, young man named Bruno who just graduated from Harvard Business School with a Masters in corporate finance. And the first day on the job, you discover that Bruno has secretly employed a private detective who has obtained subpoena power to dig through all of your business accounts, all your investments past and present, all your taxes going back decades, and any personal transactions you might have made in the last 20 years or so. And, oh yeah, and he also has the authority to interview anyone he chooses, including people who might have a grudge against you or who lost money on one of your dodgy real estate deals or who simply doesn't like the way you comb your hair. And, of course, Bruno knows that the information he gathers is going to be deliberately tweaked to look as suspicious as possible, then it's going to be leaked to the press and splashed across the headlines, then it's going to be presented as evidence to a Grand Jury, and then, finally – after months of excruciating testimony and nonstop mud-slinging– it will be used in criminal proceedings that will lead your removal as CEO of your corporation.

How would you feel about that? Would you feel like your new employee had betrayed you? Would you think that Bruno was a back-stabbing scoundrel who was secretly working for your enemies?

Rod Rosenstein is Bruno. The man is a skunk, there's no two-ways about it.

And, yes, I know, people are going to swarm to Rosenstein's defense and say, "Yeah, but, Trump is a bloviating buffoon and a mentally-unstable despot." And, they're right, too, the man is a menace, a narcissist and maybe even a crackpot. Just look at the Saudi arms deal where Trump agreed to provide hundreds of billions of dollars of weapons to a fanatical government that will undoubtedly use them to arm its jihadist army in Syria or kill women and children in Yemen. It just shows that Trump is a vicious, unprincipled militarist. But that doesn't change what Rosenstein did. People need to look beyond Trump's failings to appreciate what type of man we're dealing with here. Rosenstein is a duplicitous back-stabbing serpent. End of story.

When a president makes an appointment, like Deputy Attorney General, the assumption is that the appointee is going to play for the home team. That doesn't mean that Rosenstein was expected to do anything dishonest or illegal. Not at all. He was simply expected to be moderately loyal and defend the administration against politically-motivated attacks. That's it. But that was too much for Rosenstein whose first big decision as Deputy AG was to pull the rug out from under his boss, betray his team, and sabotage the administration's entire political agenda. He blew up the whole damn operation with one sweep of the hand. Kaboom.

By appointing a Special Counsel, Rosenstein not only destroyed any chance Trump had at achieving his policy objectives, he also effectively rolled-back the results of the 2016 presidential election.

Not bad for a day's work, eh?

We can now be 100 percent certain that Trump's political agenda will never get off the ground. His tax plan, his infrastructure plan, his health care plan; all of them have gone up in smoke thanks to Rosenstein. Which is good, right, since the Trump's "pamper the rich and screw-the-working-man" plan was crappy policy anyway? So, good riddance.

But was that Rosenstein's decision to make? Is that how democracy is supposed to work? Does one unelected, meddlesome lawyer at the DOJ get to overturn the results of the election and bring the government to a screeching halt?

No. That's not how the system is supposed to work. The president is supposed to set the agenda because, well, because he's the president and that's what the people voted for. It's called democracy. But Rosenstein doesn't like democracy, he'd rather do the work of his paymasters who want to see Trump drawn and quartered before he's given the boot.

"His paymasters"? Rosenstein has paymasters?

Yer darn right, he does. Rosenstein didn't make the decision to appoint a Special Counsel by himself. That's baloney. He got his marching orders from someone else higher up the foodchain. That's obvious. Does anyone seriously believe that a second-string attorney at the Justice Department would launch a full-blown attack on the president of the United States unless he got the greenlight from the deep-state fatcats who operate behind the scenes?

No way. If the big boys weren't on board, the media would have blown Rosenstein out of the water 5 minutes after he made the announcement. As it stands, the witchhunt is going forward without a shred of solid evidence, without any eyewitnesses, without a hint of wrongdoing, and without any probable cause. It's like a novel by Franz Kafka only everyone already knows how it ends.

And Rosenstein didn't pick hatchetman Robert Mueller by himself either. That's more malarkey. Mueller was picked by the same shadowy throng of elites that selected the 9-11 Commission, the big money guys who own this fecking country lock, stock and barrel. In this case, they wanted a political assassin who could be trusted to do everything in his power to force Trump to resign. Mueller was the perfect man for the job, a cold-blooded Mafia hitman who won't leave his fingerprints at the scene of the crime. In his more than 10-year stint at the FBI, Mueller managed to conceal his utter contempt for the law behind a mask of smug sincerity and icy self-righteousness. His qualifications speak for themselves. Here's a little background on Mueller from Sputnik News:

"Robert Mueller, picked as special prosecutor to investigate President Donald Trump, violated the US Constitution as FBI Director by using secret domestic spy programs, National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower William Binney told Sputnik.

"My problem with Mueller is that he agreed with and used the Stellar Wind spying program at NSA against common crime since 2001," Binney said Wednesday. "He admitted to this in a 2011 interview with [Time magazine correspondent] Bart Gellman."

Binney said that Mueller's willingness to use secret espionage surveillance techniques designed only for national security functions against suspects in regular criminal investigations revealed his willingness to ignore or break safeguards in the US Constitution.

"This means he [Mueller] did not live up to his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution against foreign and domestic threats. So, he clearly has a selective view of how you apply the Constitution," Binney explained

James Comey, Mueller's successor as FBI Director, who was fired by Trump on May 9 had also been willing to ignore the US Constitution in order to use NSA data collected without any legal warrant against ordinary criminals, Binney recalled." ("Special Counsel for Russia Probe Violated Constitution – NSA Whistleblower", Sputnik)

Repeat: He used "secret espionage surveillance techniques designed only for national security functions against suspects in regular criminal investigations."

Nice. So instead of dogging-down the crooked bankers on Wall Street who blew up the financial system and fleeced We The People out of trillions of dollars, Mueller spent his time stomping on the Forth Amendment so he could add a few more warm bodies to our ballooning prison population. Way to go, Bob.

And there's more about Mueller that people should know, too, like the fact that he was the architect of an FBI entrapment program that lured simple-minded gangbangers into terrorist scams and then threw them in the slammer for the rest of their lives. Check out this blurb from an article at Electronic Intifada titled "The FBI's penchant for "manufacturing terrorists":

"What the FBI was doing before, during and after the financial crisis is the subject under examination in Trevor Aaronson's new book The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terrorism. The book unveils the FBI's domestic counterterrorism program that began after the 11 September attacks and has continued well into Barack Obama's second term in office. The program, vividly portrayed by Aaronson, is defined by a wanton use of informants and sting operations in order to produce a high rate of convictions

Since the 11 September attacks, the FBI has employed more than 15,000 confidential informants nationwide. And, according to Aaronson, for each official informant there are as many as three unofficial informants - known within the FBI as "hip pockets." By 2011, the Justice Department had prosecuted more than 500 individuals on terrorist charges, a handful of whom Aaronson categorizes as "actual terrorists." The rest were hatched within the context of FBI sting operations, informants and agents provocateur ..

What Aaronson discovered was that, far from preventing terrorism, the FBI uses its funds to "manufacture" terrorists out of marginalized, desperate, mentally ill or immature men (many of the convicted individuals profiled are in their early twenties). In Aaronson's words, "The FBI has been effective at creating the very enemy it is hunting." .

Taking his readers through several FBI sting operations, Aaronson reveals a sordid practice in which the FBI often employs criminals to infiltrate Muslim communities to turn otherwise powerless malcontents into "terrorists." According to Aaronson's accounts, these so-called terrorists would have no more than the capability to mouth off in a chat room if it weren't for the inert weapons and cash that informants would literally place in their hapless hands, thus creating "bogeymen from buffoons."

Aaronson's book is a powerful portrait of the FBI's insidious and destructive counterterrorism program that enables the contortion of the innocuous into the threatening, ruining hundreds of lives in its wake."

("FBI's penchant for "manufacturing terrorists" probed in new book" by Trevor Aaronson, Charlotte Silver, Electronic Intifada)

So this is what Mueller and his FBI pals were up to before Comey arrived on the scene?

Apparently so. They were devoting a considerable amount of time and resources to operations that framed hapless dupes and patsies as dangerous terrorists threatening our precious national security.

And the man who oversaw these operations, Robert Mueller, is the same guy the media has been praising as the embodiment of integrity and moral rectitude. Give me a break. Mueller knew these operations were a hoax, he had to know. The FBI was working a sting to lure hard-luck dimwits into doing things they'd never normally dream of doing. It's called entrapment, which is exactly what it is. What the FBI was doing is no different than coaxing a hungry dog into a steelcage with a T-Bone steak. The Bureau calls the practice "counter-terrorism". Anyone in their right mind would call it "Baloney".

This is why the bigshots chose Mueller to spearhead their Russia hacking witchhunt. They figure his experience with entrapment will help him to bag his biggest trophy yet, the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. That's the plan at least.

So what are the odds that Trump will get a fair shake in this deal? How about zero? There's zero chance that Grand Inquisitor Mueller and his Star Chamber assistants are going to conduct an objective, independent investigation. In fact, the whole Special Counsel meme is just an attempt to dignify the railroading of the Chief Executive. There's not much more to it than that. They need these sham legal proceedings to create the impression that the final outcome hasn't already been decided. But it has already been decided. Trump's going to be driven from office and there's not a damn thing he can do about it. The die has been cast, and Trump came up snake-eyes.

Now, it's only a matter of time.

Join the debate on Facebook

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com .

[May 23, 2017] Are they really out to get Trump by Philip Girald

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Ray suggests that Brennan and also Comey may been at the center of a "Deep State" combined CIA-NSA-FBI cabal working to discredit the Trump candidacy and delegitimize his presidency. Brennan in particular was uniquely well placed to fabricate the Russian hacker narrative that has been fully embraced by Congress and the media even though no actual evidence supporting that claim has yet been produced. As WikiLeaks has now revealed that the CIA had the technical ability to hack into sites surreptitiously while leaving behind footprints that would attribute the hack to someone else, including the Russians, it does not take much imagination to consider that the alleged trail to Moscow might have been fabricated. If that is so, this false intelligence has in turn proven to be of immense value to those seeking to present "proof" that the Russian government handed the presidency to Donald Trump. ..."
"... Robert Parry asked in an article on May 10 th whether we are seeing is "Watergate redux or 'Deep State' coup?" and then followed up with a second Piece "The 'Soft Coup' of Russia-gate" on the 13 th . In other words, is this all a cover-up of wrongdoing by the White House akin to President Richard Nixon's firing of Watergate independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox and the resignations of both the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General or is it something quite different, an undermining of an elected president who has not actually committed any "high crimes and misdemeanors" to force his removal from office. ..."
"... Parry sees the three key players in the scheme as John Brennan of CIA, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and James Comey of the FBI. Comey's role in the "coup" was key as it consisted of using his office to undercut both Hillary Clinton and Trump, neither of whom was seen as a truly suitable candidate by the Deep State. He speculates that a broken election might well have resulted in a vote in the House of Representatives to elect the new president, a process that might have produced a Colin Powell presidency as Powell actually received three votes in the Electoral College and therefore was an acceptable candidate under the rules governing the electoral process. ..."
"... Yes, the scheme is bizarre, but Parry carefully documents how Russiagate has developed and how the national security and intelligence organs have been key players as it moved along, often working by leaking classified information. ..."
"... anyone even vaguely connected with Trump who also had contact with Russia or Russians has been regarded as a potential traitor. Carter Page, for example, who was investigated under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant, was under suspicion because he made a speech in Moscow which was mildly critical of the west's interaction with Russia after the fall of communism. ..."
"... Parry's point is that there is a growing Washington consensus that consists of traditional liberals and progressives as well as Democratic globalist interventionists and neoconservatives who believe that Donald Trump must be removed from office no matter what it takes. ..."
"... The interventionists and neocons in particular already control most of the foreign policy mechanisms but they continue to see Trump as a possible impediment to their plans for aggressive action against a host of enemies, most particularly Russia. ..."
"... Ray has been strongly critical of the current foreign policy, most particularly of the expansion of various wars, claims of Damascus's use of chemical weapons, and the cruise missile attack on Syria. Robert in his latest article describes Trump as narcissistic and politically incompetent. But their legitimate concerns are that we are moving in a direction that is far more dangerous than Trump. A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do. ..."
"... Brennan is a particularly unsavory character. There has been some baying-at-the-moon speculation that he is a Moslem convert! ..."
"... The coup, if successful, would probably mean the end of what would traditionally be considered to be a republican form of government in the US and its replacement by a deep state dictatorship. ..."
"... The USA is not different from other western countries, such as GB, France, Austria, Italy, Greece, Netherlands. In each of these countries the battle is going on between the establishment, and those who want to rid themselves of this establishment. ..."
"... The battle is between trying to dominate the world, neoliberalism, destruction of nation states, power of money, on the one hand, and nationalism, more or less certain jobs, rejection of wars, power of governments, on the other hand. ..."
"... What is amazing is that Mr Giraldi still believes the USA is a democracy. Maybe if one compares it with China. Anyway, "a soft coup" has already happened in you history -- Kennedy's assassination by the deep state- and life just went on in the "greatest democracy" in the earth. ..."
"... Perhaps this is the indication of where Trump and DOJ are going: Monday during the 10 p.m. ET news broadcast on Fox's Washington, D.C. affiliate WTTG, correspondent Marina Marraco said an investigation by former D.C. homicide detective Rod Wheeler found that the now-deceased Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich had been emailing with WikiLeaks. ..."
"... Despite the TV image, it is rare for a CEO to outright sack one of his top executives. The story of dinners where Comey made his pitch to stay rings true to what I have seen in real life. Trump probably asked Comey if he wouldn't be happier returning to private business where he made a boatload more money, and Comey, drunk on the power of high public office just wouldn't pull the trigger for him. ..."
"... Having just noticed the latest by-line in Antiwar.com, I am forced to raise the question we should all be asking ourselves "Was it Russia or was it .. Seth Rich ? " ..."
"... If there was indeed a "soft coup" in our country, did it not occur at the DNC convention when our back room oligarchs decided to "putsch" Bernie Sanders out of the race, and gift the nomination to Hillary ? ..."
"... Was it not Bernie Sanders who was igniting the young progressive liberal base by the tens of millions ? Was it not Bernie who was gaining enormous momentum as the race for the nomination went on ? Was it not Bernie's "message" that began to ring true for so many voters across the country ? ..."
"... The homicide detective hired by the family , also pointed out, after doing some rudimentary due diligence, that word had come down through the DC mayor's office to stymie its own detectives in the murder investigation of Mr. Rich. Strange thing, especially when we are dealing with a homicide .No, Mr Giraldi ? If the Seth Rich murder was a "botched robbery" as is claimed, why won't the DC police release Seth's laptop computer to his family ? ..."
"... I would be very interested in your take on the latest impeachable "scandal", that Trump revealed unrevealable top secrets to Lavrov and Kislyak during their recent White House meeting. Among other things, how would the Washington Post know the specifics of the Trump-Lavrov conversation? Is the White House bugged? And if an intelligence source was somehow really compromised, is advertising that fact in the Washington Post (presumably on the front page) really the wisest course? ..."
"... "A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do." Until further notice, that is absolutely correct. It needs to be recalled – ad nauseam – that Russia-gate, or whatever rubbish its called, is a LIE. There is NO, repeat NO evidence of ANY wrong-doing by Trump re the Russians. The MSM & various elements of the "establishment" should suicide NOW from pure SHAME. ..."
"... Trump was right in firing Comey. An open ended investigation that hasn't yielded a scintilla of evidence of collusion with Russia after one year is not acceptable. Such an investigation would not have been tolerated if the target was a Marxist mulatto by the name of Barack Hussein Obama. Blacks would have rioted in response while the media cheered them on. ..."
"... If there's a Constitutional crisis then it's that the deep state apparatus in the form of the various alphabet soup intelligence agencies have the power to plot a coup against a duly elected president. They need to be stripped of much of their power and reformed but it's probably already too late for that. ..."
"... I thought since Trump went from advocating a humble, non-interventionist foreign policy to loud and proud neo-conservative (in less than 100 days) that that would buy him protection from deep state machinations and endear him to the corrupt Washington, D.C. establishment. ..."
"... The only thing I can think of is that even though Trump's picking up where Dubya and Obama left off on foreign policy, the deep state knows that Trump can be totally unpredictable and change on a dime. So he could go off the establishment reservation at a moment's notice which makes them apoplectic. Hence, their attempts to get him out of the way and install someone more pliant and predictable like Tom Pence. ..."
"... Deepstate has been sustaining and expanding its conspiracies for 100 years. (There is always a 'deep state' of some kind, but the current well-organized structure was created by Wilson.) A conspiracy AGAINST Deepstate is hard to sustain because Deepstate owns and monitors all public communications. ..."
"... While the collusion story is an obvious canard there is another level to this "Russian thing" which may prove to be extremely damaging to Trump. And that is Trump's participation in a money-laundering operation with the Russo-jewish mafia going back decades. ..."
"... The money-laundering angle is already all over the Web (ex. google: Bayrock Trump) and, one must assume, in the hands of various intelligence agencies. .This may be the basis for Trump's increasingly frantic attempts to shut down the "Russian thing" investigation.(Comey firing??) ..."
"... I don't think, however, the notion of the "establishment" is a problem in itself. Our country has always had powerful elites, so have many other countries. The problem which presents itself today is our elites seem determined to perpetuate endless wars that cost obscene amounts of money, and do not seem to produce positive results in any of the places the wars are being fought. ..."
"... The short answer is yes! March 31, 2017 The Surveillance State Behind Russia-Gate. Although many details are still hazy because of secrecy – and further befogged by politics – it appears House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was informed last week about invasive electronic surveillance of senior U.S. government officials and, in turn, passed that information onto President Trump. ..."
"... The people pushing the big lie about Trump and Russia are legion. And they are not stupid. They are evil. They are the same people who are preparing a preemptive nuclear attack against Russia and China. They are the globalists who would institute a universal Feudalism from which there would be no escape. I have no further use for Trump. But his enemies remain enemies of the people. ..."
May 16, 2017 | www.unz.com
And what if there really is a conspiracy against Donald Trump being orchestrated within the various national security agencies that are part of the United States government? The president has been complaining for months about damaging leaks emanating from the intelligence community and the failure of Congress to pay any attention to the illegal dissemination of classified information. It is quite possible that Trump has become aware that there is actually something going on and that something just might be a conspiracy to delegitimize and somehow remove him from office.

President Trump has also been insisting that the "Russian thing" is a made-up story, a view that I happen to agree with. I recently produced my own analysis of the possibility that there is in progress a soft, or stealth or silent coup, call it what you will, underway directed against the president and that, if it exists, it is being directed by former senior officials from the Obama White House. Indeed, it is quite plausible to suggest that it was orchestrated within the Obama White House itself before the government changed hands at the inauguration on January 20 th . In line with that thinking, some observers are now suggesting that Comey might well have been party to the conspiracy and his dismissal would have been perfectly justified based on his demonstrated interference in both the electoral process and in his broadening of the acceptable role of his own Bureau, which Trump has described as "showboating."

Two well-informed observers of the situation have recently joined in the discussion, Robert Parry of Consortiumnews and former CIA senior analyst Ray McGovern of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. McGovern has noted, as have I, that there is one individual who has been curiously absent from the list of former officials who have been called in to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. That is ex-CIA Director John Brennan, who many have long considered an extreme Obama/Hillary Clinton loyalist long rumored to be at the center of the information damaging to Team Trump sent to Washington by friendly intelligence services, including the British.

Like Parry, I am reluctant to embrace conspiracy theories, in my case largely because I believe a conspiracy is awfully hard to sustain. The federal government leaks like a sieve and if more than two conspirators ever meet in the CIA basement it would seem to me their discussion would become public knowledge within forty-eight hours, but perhaps what we are seeing here is less a formal arrangement than a group of individuals who are loosely connected while driven by a common objective.

Parry sees the three key players in the scheme as John Brennan of CIA, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and James Comey of the FBI. Comey's role in the "coup" was key as it consisted of using his office to undercut both Hillary Clinton and Trump, neither of whom was seen as a truly suitable candidate by the Deep State. He speculates that a broken election might well have resulted in a vote in the House of Representatives to elect the new president, a process that might have produced a Colin Powell presidency as Powell actually received three votes in the Electoral College and therefore was an acceptable candidate under the rules governing the electoral process.

Yes, the scheme is bizarre, but Parry carefully documents how Russiagate has developed and how the national security and intelligence organs have been key players as it moved along, often working by leaking classified information. And President Barack Obama was likely the initiator, notably so when he de facto authorized the wide distribution of raw intelligence on Trump and the Russians through executive order. Parry notes, as would I, that to date no actual evidence has been presented to support allegations that Russia sought to influence the U.S. election and/or that Trump associates were somehow coopted by Moscow's intelligence services as part of the process. Nevertheless, anyone even vaguely connected with Trump who also had contact with Russia or Russians has been regarded as a potential traitor. Carter Page, for example, who was investigated under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant, was under suspicion because he made a speech in Moscow which was mildly critical of the west's interaction with Russia after the fall of communism.

Parry's point is that there is a growing Washington consensus that consists of traditional liberals and progressives as well as Democratic globalist interventionists and neoconservatives who believe that Donald Trump must be removed from office no matter what it takes.

The interventionists and neocons in particular already control most of the foreign policy mechanisms but they continue to see Trump as a possible impediment to their plans for aggressive action against a host of enemies, most particularly Russia. As they are desirous of bringing down Trump "legally" through either impeachment or Article 25 of the Constitution which permits removal for incapacity, it might be termed a constitutional coup, though the other labels cited above also fit.

The rationale Trump haters have fabricated is simple: the president and his team colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 election in his favor, which, if true, would provide grounds for impeachment. The driving force, in terms of the argument being made, is that removing Trump must be done "for the good of the country" and to "correct a mistake made by the American voters."

The mainstream media is completely on board of the process, including the outlets that flatter themselves by describing their national stature, most notably the New York Times and Washington Post.

So what is to be done? For starters, until Donald Trump has unambiguously broken a law the critics should take a valium and relax. He is an elected president and his predecessors George W. Bush and Barack Obama certainly did plenty of things that in retrospect do not bear much scrutiny. Folks like Ray McGovern and Robert Parry should be listened to even when they are being provocative in their views. They are not, to be sure, friends of the White House in any conventional way and are not apologists for those in power, quite the contrary. Ray has been strongly critical of the current foreign policy, most particularly of the expansion of various wars, claims of Damascus's use of chemical weapons, and the cruise missile attack on Syria. Robert in his latest article describes Trump as narcissistic and politically incompetent. But their legitimate concerns are that we are moving in a direction that is far more dangerous than Trump. A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do. Are They Really Out to Get Trump? Sometimes paranoia is justified

Philip Giraldi May 16, 2017 1,600 Words

Dan Hayes , May 16, 2017 at 4:18 am GMT

Brennan is a particularly unsavory character. There has been some baying-at-the-moon speculation that he is a Moslem convert!

exiled off mainstreet , May 16, 2017 at 5:26 am GMT

The coup, if successful, would probably mean the end of what would traditionally be considered to be a republican form of government in the US and its replacement by a deep state dictatorship.

In light of what is being used, a phony claim of Russian interference with the US political system, the danger that nuclear war might be the outcome of this coup is real.

utu , May 16, 2017 at 5:36 am GMT

I don't know who Robert Parry is but to me this Colin Powell stuff is pure nonsense. At the same time my answer to the question "Are They Really Out to Get Trump?" is affirmative. Republicans and Democrats want Trump out and Pence in. The operation with Flynn who allegedly deceived Pence was part of this plan. That Trump fired Flynn was his greatest mistake in this game. It was not fatal yet. This was Their plan since the election or even earlier since Republican convention: have Trump step down and have Pence take over. After April 4th it seemed that They got Trump where They wanted him to be. Trump even became presidential. The escalation of rhetoric against North Korea over following weekend and week reinforced this perception until it turned out that it was all fake. There was no fleet steaming to Korea. Media realized they were played by Trump. During this time Trump and Tillerson in particular got some breathing space. The pre-April 4 policy of agreeing with Russia on Syria continued. Apparently Russia understood that the missile attack on Syria was just part of the game. It was not personal. More recently the US agreed to safe zones plan by Russia, Syria, Iran and Turkey. One should expect a false flag of gas attack or accidental bombing by US air force of Syrian forces to happen soon – broadcasted all night before the start of the US media news cycle by BBC, so US media, all talking heads memorize all talking points.

While it is possible that Trump behaves erratically w/o well thought out plans we must give him a benefit of doubt and assume that there is a deep reason for firing Comey. Trump is fighting for his life. While he would prefer to be presidential and enjoy easy going times and provide peace and safety for his family by know he knows that nothing will satisfy Them. They want him out! Erratic Trump and confused and chaotic WH is a meme which They and Their media want to plant and reinforce. That's why we hear about it all the time. But how to explain the firing of Comey? I would look for the answer at DOJ. Initially their hands were tied up but slowly they showed that there is new leadership at DOJ that was working for Trump for a change. Their independence of the Deep State was demonstrated by forcing Israel police to arrest Mossad operative/patsy for the wave of world wide anti-semitic hoaxes that were meant to undermine and compromise Trump. This is the proof that DOJ and part of FBI finally is strong enough and working for Trump. What next do they want to do? If they want to squash this "collusion with Russia" false narrative that is paralyzing the administration and in fact all belt way they must hit at those who originated this narrative, meaning Hillary Clinton and Obama. To do it they need to have a full control of FBI. Comey is gone. McCabe must go next. Will DOJ and new FBI go after Susan Rice, Sally Yates and Loretta Lynch? If they do this will lead to Obama. Will they go after Hillary Clinton and her emails? Will they secure Anthony Weiner computer? Does it still exist? Who will be nominated to replace Comey? What Trump will have to promise GOP to have him approved?

The bottom line is that Trump is fighting for his life.

jilles dykstra , May 16, 2017 at 5:51 am GMT

Of course they are. The USA is not different from other western countries, such as GB, France, Austria, Italy, Greece, Netherlands. In each of these countries the battle is going on between the establishment, and those who want to rid themselves of this establishment.

GB is the first country where maybe this succeeded, but, as in the USA, the GB establishment and the EU establishment do anything to prevent that things really change.

The battle is between trying to dominate the world, neoliberalism, destruction of nation states, power of money, on the one hand, and nationalism, more or less certain jobs, rejection of wars, power of governments, on the other hand.

In France one sees that once again the establishment won, 60% of the French still support the establishment, 40% rejects it.

In other countries more or less the same.

The opposing views make governing increasingly difficult, two months after the Dutch elections the efforts to contrue a government are a failure. Belgium was more than a year without a government. In Spain one government after another. The establishment now fears that Austria will turn around. Until now Brussels, by threats and cajoling, prevented a rebellion against Brussels in Poland and Hungary. The Greek rebellion failed completely.

Anon , May 16, 2017 at 6:05 am GMT

White House Leaks and the "Muh Russia" Seesaw

utu , May 16, 2017 at 6:08 am GMT

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had sought to sneak a recording device into the White House during last week's visit.

John Brown , May 16, 2017 at 6:09 am GMT

"A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do" concludes the writer.

What is amazing is that Mr Giraldi still believes the USA is a democracy. Maybe if one compares it with China. Anyway, "a soft coup" has already happened in you history -- Kennedy's assassination by the deep state- and life just went on in the "greatest democracy" in the earth.

A "soft coup" against Donald Trump will be in fact an improvement. The "narcissist" president won't be killed. It will be a soft clean coup. Progress.

utu , May 16, 2017 at 6:52 am GMT

Perhaps this is the indication of where Trump and DOJ are going: Monday during the 10 p.m. ET news broadcast on Fox's Washington, D.C. affiliate WTTG, correspondent Marina Marraco said an investigation by former D.C. homicide detective Rod Wheeler found that the now-deceased Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich had been emailing with WikiLeaks.

http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/05/15/report-investigator-says-evidence-showing-deceased-dnc-staffer-seth-rich-emailing-wikileaks/

But the Deep State respond with: Deep State Leaks Highly Classified Info to Washington Post to Smear President Trump

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/05/15/deep-state-leaks-highly-classified-info-to-washington-post-to-smear-president-trump/

The Alarmist , May 16, 2017 at 8:23 am GMT

Despite the TV image, it is rare for a CEO to outright sack one of his top executives. The story of dinners where Comey made his pitch to stay rings true to what I have seen in real life. Trump probably asked Comey if he wouldn't be happier returning to private business where he made a boatload more money, and Comey, drunk on the power of high public office just wouldn't pull the trigger for him.

Comey was a goner in November he just wouldn't go quietly and on his own accord, no doubt for the reasons suggested in this piece a so-called higher calling and his own inflated sense of service to his country.

alexander , May 16, 2017 at 8:52 am GMT

Dear Mr. Giraldi,

Thanks for another fine article.

Certainly writers like Robert Parry and Ray Mcgovern, as well as yourself, have earned the highest of marks from internet readers around the globe, anxious for some integrity of analysis , as they seek to understand our nation's policy decisions. As long as gentlemen like you, as well as others, keep writing , you will find your readership growing at an exponential rate.

Having just noticed the latest by-line in Antiwar.com, I am forced to raise the question we should all be asking ourselves "Was it Russia or was it .. Seth Rich ? "

If there was indeed a "soft coup" in our country, did it not occur at the DNC convention when our back room oligarchs decided to "putsch" Bernie Sanders out of the race, and gift the nomination to Hillary ?

Was it not Bernie Sanders who was igniting the young progressive liberal base by the tens of millions ? Was it not Bernie who was gaining enormous momentum as the race for the nomination went on ? Was it not Bernie's "message" that began to ring true for so many voters across the country ?

Was it not Bernie Sanders who may well have swept the DNC nomination, were it not for the "dirty pool" being played out in the back room ?.

According to the retired homicide detective, hired by the family of Seth Rich to investigate their son's bizarre murder, it was Seth Rich who WAS in contact with Wikileaks.

(For all those who don't know who Seth Rich was , he was the 27 year old "voter data director" at the DNC, shot to death on july 10, 2016, in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington D.C.)

In an interview three days after Seth Rich was found dead, Julian Assange intimated, too, that Seth Rich HAD contacted Wikileaks .NOT Russia.

The homicide detective hired by the family , also pointed out, after doing some rudimentary due diligence, that word had come down through the DC mayor's office to stymie its own detectives in the murder investigation of Mr. Rich. Strange thing, especially when we are dealing with a homicide .No, Mr Giraldi ? If the Seth Rich murder was a "botched robbery" as is claimed, why won't the DC police release Seth's laptop computer to his family ?

We are all aware there were "shenanigans" going on in the DNC that put the kibosh on the Bernie nomination.(we all know this)

This makes sense too, given the fact that the DNC party bosses and their oligarchs, wanted Bernie running in the general election against the Donald like they wanted a "hole in the head". What we "cannot" see ..is how decisive Bernie's margin of victory might have been, Nor can we see what "crimes" were committed to ensure Hillary's run at the W. H. It is not much of a stretch to assume Seth Rich had hard evidence, perhaps of multiple counts of treasonous fraud and other sorted felonies that would have brought down "the back room" of the DNC.

Not good for the party..not good for its oligarchs .and not good for their Hillary anointment.

"Russia-gate" may prove to be the most concerted effort, by the powers that be, to DEFLECT from an investigation into their OWN "real"criminality .

How savvy and how clever they are to manipulate the public's perceptions, through Big Media, by grafting the allegations of the very crimes they may well have committed .onto Russia, the Donald, and Vladimir Putin.

Clever, clever, clever.

Can any of us imagine, how cold a day in hell it will be before Rachel Maddow(or any MSM "journalist") asks some basic questions about the Seth Rich laptop .or what was on it ?

Sub zero.

for-the-record , May 16, 2017 at 8:53 am GMT

Mr. Giralidi,

I would be very interested in your take on the latest impeachable "scandal", that Trump revealed unrevealable top secrets to Lavrov and Kislyak during their recent White House meeting. Among other things, how would the Washington Post know the specifics of the Trump-Lavrov conversation? Is the White House bugged? And if an intelligence source was somehow really compromised, is advertising that fact in the Washington Post (presumably on the front page) really the wisest course?

mp , May 16, 2017 at 9:29 am GMT

Trump has turned out to be very weak. Maybe he just doesn't believe in anything, so it doesn't matter to him. Or maybe he has some ideas, but has no clue about implementation. He's going to see the Tribe next week. That will tell us a lot, I'm thinking. But it's a lot that we probably already know or at least can guess.

animalogic , May 16, 2017 at 10:10 am GMT

"A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do."
Until further notice, that is absolutely correct. It needs to be recalled – ad nauseam – that Russia-gate, or whatever rubbish its called, is a LIE. There is NO, repeat NO evidence of ANY wrong-doing by Trump re the Russians. The MSM & various elements of the "establishment" should suicide NOW from pure SHAME.

geokat62 , May 16, 2017 at 11:08 am GMT

A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do.

For more dangerous to American democracy has been the ZOG engineered by the "Friends of Zion," but, unfortunately, there is little chance there will ever be a Zion-gate investigation.

KenH , May 16, 2017 at 11:10 am GMT

Trump was right in firing Comey. An open ended investigation that hasn't yielded a scintilla of evidence of collusion with Russia after one year is not acceptable. Such an investigation would not have been tolerated if the target was a Marxist mulatto by the name of Barack Hussein Obama. Blacks would have rioted in response while the media cheered them on.

If there's a Constitutional crisis then it's that the deep state apparatus in the form of the various alphabet soup intelligence agencies have the power to plot a coup against a duly elected president. They need to be stripped of much of their power and reformed but it's probably already too late for that.

I thought since Trump went from advocating a humble, non-interventionist foreign policy to loud and proud neo-conservative (in less than 100 days) that that would buy him protection from deep state machinations and endear him to the corrupt Washington, D.C. establishment. For a time he was even making "never Trumper" little (((William Kristol))) coo with delight which is no small feat. Moreover, he's a lickspittle of Israel which seems a prerequisite for a presidential candidate.

The only thing I can think of is that even though Trump's picking up where Dubya and Obama left off on foreign policy, the deep state knows that Trump can be totally unpredictable and change on a dime. So he could go off the establishment reservation at a moment's notice which makes them apoplectic. Hence, their attempts to get him out of the way and install someone more pliant and predictable like Tom Pence.

jilles dykstra , May 16, 2017 at 11:32 am GMT

@animalogic "A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do."

Until further notice, that is absolutely correct.

It needs to be recalled - ad nauseam - that Russia-gate, or whatever rubbish its called, is a LIE. There is NO, repeat NO evidence of ANY wrong-doing by Trump re the Russians.

The MSM & various elements of the "establishment" should suicide NOW from pure SHAME.

polistra , May 16, 2017 at 11:56 am GMT

Conspiracies are NOT hard to sustain. That's an absurd statement. Deepstate has been sustaining and expanding its conspiracies for 100 years. (There is always a 'deep state' of some kind, but the current well-organized structure was created by Wilson.) A conspiracy AGAINST Deepstate is hard to sustain because Deepstate owns and monitors all public communications.

Hobo , May 16, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

While the collusion story is an obvious canard there is another level to this "Russian thing" which may prove to be extremely damaging to Trump. And that is Trump's participation in a money-laundering operation with the Russo-jewish mafia going back decades.

Some of the investigations have expanded their scope to include careful scrutiny of Trump's business dealings in relation to Russia. Recently FinCEN, which specializes in fighting money laundering, agreed to turn over records to the Senate Intelligence Committee in this regard. Even Sen. Linsey Graham recently stated he wanted to know more about Trump's business dealings with Russia. The possibility that this may result in a criminal investigation cannot be ruled out. The money-laundering angle is already all over the Web (ex. google: Bayrock Trump) and, one must assume, in the hands of various intelligence agencies. .This may be the basis for Trump's increasingly frantic attempts to shut down the "Russian thing" investigation.(Comey firing??)

Dutch Public Broadcasting has recently broadcast a two part series exploring some of the connections involving Trump's business dealings with Russia.

THE DUBIOUS FRIENDS OF DONALD TRUMP: THE RUSSIANS

More detail and background is provided in this informative article by James S. Henry, a reputable investigative journalist:

The Curious World of Donald Trump's Private Russian Connections

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/12/19/the-curious-world-of-donald-trumps-private-russian-connections/

p.s.: Regarding the term Russo-jewish mafia, should you watch the videos and read the article you will find the players involved are almost exclusively of a certain 'tribal' persuasion. (A number have direct links to the infamous Mogilevich crime syndicate (top 10 FBI's most wanted list) and one of the principals of Bayrock was named as a major Israeli organized crime figure by the Turkish media following his arrest there.)

Chris Bridges , May 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm GMT

Phil,

As you know, Brennan is an extreme liberal Democrat, a creature of both Clinton and Obama. He is an utterly unprincipled old fool. He failed as a CIA operations officer and went back to Langley with his tail between his legs to become analyst. Nothing wrong with that but he nursed bitter resentment at the Clandestine Service during his whole career. He was finally allowed to go out as chief in, of all places, Riyadh. He promptly destroyed the station with his incompetence, though he earned the praise of the ambassador, as such toadies usually do. Brennan is perfectly capable of the things you describe. Washington is awash in these kinds of traitors. If Trump does not have a plan to arrest them all some dark night then he is a fool himself.

MEexpert , May 16, 2017 at 1:19 pm GMT

And President Barack Obama was likely the initiator, notably so when he de facto authorized the wide distribution of raw intelligence on Trump and the Russians through executive order.

I repeat, why hasn't Trump issued an executive order cancelling Obama's executive order? He needs to stop this information sharing if he expects to remain President.

Phil, is there any one who has Trump's ear? The mainstream media are hell bent in destroying anyone close to Trump. First, Flynn, then Steve Bannon and now Kellyanne Conway. Trump must stop these leaks from the White House. He should fire all Obama holdovers.

utu , May 16, 2017 at 1:21 pm GMT

@Hobo While the collusion story is an obvious canard there is another level to this "Russian thing" which may prove to be extremely damaging to Trump. And that is Trump's participation in a money-laundering operation with the Russo-jewish mafia going back decades.

... ... ... ...

p.s.: Regarding the term Russo-jewish mafia, should you watch the videos and read the article you will find the players involved are almost exclusively of a certain 'tribal' persuasion. (A number have direct links to the infamous Mogilevich crime syndicate (top 10 FBI's most wanted list) and one of the principals of Bayrock was named as a major Israeli organized crime figure by the Turkish media following his arrest there.)

Sam Shama , May 16, 2017 at 1:39 pm GMT

I recently produced my own analysis of the possibility that there is in progress a soft, or stealth or silent coup, call it what you will, underway directed against the president and that, if it exists, it is being directed by former senior officials from the Obama White House. Indeed, it is quite plausible to suggest that it was orchestrated within the Obama White House itself before the government changed hands at the inauguration on January 20th. In line with that thinking, some observers are now suggesting that Comey might well have been party to the conspiracy and his dismissal would have been perfectly justified based on his demonstrated interference in both the electoral process and in his broadening of the acceptable role of his own Bureau , which Trump has described as "showboating."

It's quite difficult to accept this line of thought when Comey practically scuppered Hillary's bid, something strongly endorsed by Obama. Going with this narrative requires Obama to have engineered Hillary's departure followed by a concerted plan to unseat Trump as well, both objectives utilizing Comey! To what end? Paint chaos on the American political canvas?

RadicalCenter , May 16, 2017 at 2:07 pm GMT

@Colleen Pater This " theory " isnt a theory its not debatable and its clear both parties and every power node in the world are signalling they will do whatever they can to help. Its really a good thing they are not fooling anyone but some maroon prog snowflakes. Trump was the howard beale last option before civil war candidate, he won fair and square , actually despite massive cheating by the other side and now they are overthrowing him in full view of the american people.Its good as long as idiots on the right still believed in democracy, that getting their candidate in would change war was averted. after thirty years of steady leftism no matter who was in power they voted trump now trumps being overthrown. They will see we dont live in a democracy we live in the matrix democracy is diversionary tactic to prevent us from killing them all. And kill them all is what we must do.

jilles dykstra , May 16, 2017 at 2:28 pm GMT

@alexander Some fine points here, Mr, Dykstra,

I don't think, however, the notion of the "establishment" is a problem in itself. Our country has always had powerful elites, so have many other countries. The problem which presents itself today is our elites seem determined to perpetuate endless wars that cost obscene amounts of money, and do not seem to produce positive results in any of the places the wars are being fought.

The "establishment" does not seem to care. It is now wholly unthinkable for our "establishment" to consider "making peace"and ending our wars. There is an addiction to "war spending" and "war profiteering" which has consumed the Deep State Apparatus, especially since 9-11, and operates almost completely independently of any administration in office.

Its an insatiable appetite...that grows larger every year. Any President, elected by the people today,to end our wars will simply not be tolerated by the establishment class and the deep state it lords over. The problem is not that we have an "establishment", the problem is our establishment is addicted to war.

Only "war" will do for them, full time, all the time..... end of story. Today, any President is given two choices once in office....make WAR..... or be impeached.

anonymous , May 16, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT

@Anon Trump Heads to Saudi Arabia - Target Iran and Iraq?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIYy10NJcMI

Agent76 , May 16, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT

The short answer is yes! March 31, 2017 The Surveillance State Behind Russia-Gate. Although many details are still hazy because of secrecy – and further befogged by politics – it appears House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was informed last week about invasive electronic surveillance of senior U.S. government officials and, in turn, passed that information onto President Trump.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-surveillance-state-behind-russia-gate/5582211

Mar 9, 2017 BADA BING! NSA Whistleblower Confirms Trump Was Tapped!

They're wire tapping President Trump, and Kim Kardashian, and Hulk Hogan, and you and EVERYBODY!

https://youtu.be/tWOCLMJRQ7I

John Jeremiah Smith , May 16, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT

It is now wholly unthinkable for our "establishment" to consider "making peace"and ending our wars. There is an addiction to "war spending" and "war profiteering" which has consumed the Deep State Apparatus, especially since 9-11, and operates almost completely independently of any administration in office.

Precisely. Frankly, I suspect 90% of the daily brouhaha of conspiracies and collusion theories is a product solely of tawdry greed. The rich will do anything for money . anything.

John Jeremiah Smith , May 16, 2017 at 2:41 pm GMT

Reopening the investigation in a dramatic public manner (I guess we do tell who is under investigation) and then coming back to announce, "We were correct the first time; there is no case" might convince a few thousand staggling doubters. It was very close.

Quite so. Comey's election-eve announcement was a calculated risk, with the intention of making the "investigation" of Clinton look legitimate and professional, not just lip service to troublesome legalities. It was intended to produce a public reaction like "Oh, they double-checked like good investigators, and sure enough, Hillary's email operation was completely legit."

Done clumsily, and it backfired.

Aaron Burr , May 16, 2017 at 2:55 pm GMT

At what point does political infighting cross the line into treason?

There's a line somewhere between the two, obviously. Perhaps its when you break the law? Perhaps its when you leak classified documents? Or details of a key diplomatic meeting?

John Jeremiah Smith , May 16, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT

@utu There will be no open coup. Trump will resign for health reason or in the worst case scenario will be declared unfit for health reasons. And Pence will give a speech how great Trump was and how great his ideas were and that now he as president will continue his vision. And many people will believe it.

Sam Shama , May 16, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT

@iffen It's quite difficult to accept this line of thought when Comey practically scuppered Hillary's bid

There is reason to believe that Clinton's email troubles were having a major impact. Many were unconvinced by Comey's first pronouncement that there was no case there. (I thought this was the prosecutor's job anyway. People would have been skeptical of a compromised Lynch saying that there was no case, but might be persuaded by Comey.)

Reopening the investigation in a dramatic public manner (I guess we do tell who is under investigation) and then coming back to announce, "We were correct the first time; there is no case" might convince a few thousand staggling doubters. It was very close.

Philip Giraldi , May 16, 2017 at 3:33 pm GMT

@Sam Shama I need to understand why Phil Giraldi thinks she was considered a flawed candidate from the Deep State's perspective .

In the minds of non-mainstream writers who constantly viewed her as the embodiment of the Establishment, one wouldn't have wagered "their" perfect candidate to be marked for removal.

Joe Hide , May 16, 2017 at 3:42 pm GMT

It looks to me as though the "deep state" is getting progressive dementia. While inhabited by many high I.Q. players, their moves are increasingly insane. They had assumed their "Surveillance State" would become all intrusive, giving them ever greater control over us peasants. The reverse has happened, where most of the 7 billion of us have cell phones that record and display all their nefarious deeds. We have a million times more high I.Q. people than them, that increasingly are waking up and exposing those psychopaths for the pieces of garbage that they are.

iffen , May 16, 2017 at 3:59 pm GMT

@Sam Shama I need to understand why Phil Giraldi thinks she was considered a flawed candidate from the Deep State's perspective .

In the minds of non-mainstream writers who constantly viewed her as the embodiment of the Establishment, one wouldn't have wagered "their" perfect candidate to be marked for removal.

John Jeremiah Smith , May 16, 2017 at 4:03 pm GMT

@utu

Comey's election-eve announcement was a calculated risk, with the intention of making the "investigation" of Clinton look legitimate and professional, not just lip service to troublesome legalities.
No. They knew then that election could not be stolen (for whatever reasons) for Clinton. The 28th October announcement by Comey was the signal to press to change the fake narrative of huge advantage in polls by Hillary and prepare the eventual excuse for Hillary why she lost.
Boris M Garsky , May 16, 2017 at 5:03 pm GMT

Comey was abruptly and unceremoniously fired after he stated that Clinton had forwarded thousands of e-mails containing classified information on an unsecured server to wiener and friends. Hardly covering Clintons back. The FBI investigates -- it does not prosecute -- that is the function of the attorney generals office. The AG solely has the power to convene a grand jury, not the FBI. The deputy attorney general Rosenstein writes a scathing report and recommendation to fire Comey. Trump, probably on Kushner's urging fires Comey. Comey redacts his prior statement.

My guess is that the FBI were very close to the neocons hidden secret -- Clinton and its foundation are foreign assets and not of Russia, hence, we have the Russia-gate diversion. Unfortunately, Comey;s replacement will be toothless, merely a shelf ornament. And what happened? We hear no more of Kushners? omitting his relationship to the Rothchilds enterprises. Flynn was fired for far less. Is/ are Kushner? and/ or Rosenstein the leak(s)?

WorkingClass , May 16, 2017 at 5:52 pm GMT

The people pushing the big lie about Trump and Russia are legion. And they are not stupid. They are evil. They are the same people who are preparing a preemptive nuclear attack against Russia and China. They are the globalists who would institute a universal Feudalism from which there would be no escape. I have no further use for Trump. But his enemies remain enemies of the people.

[May 23, 2017] The recent news as for Rich Seth murder might take Trump probe in a somewhat different direction and put additional pressure of neoliberal, Pelosi-Clinton part of the party leadership

Notable quotes:
"... the recent news as for Rich Seth murder might take Trump probe in a somewhat different direction and put additional pressure of neoliberal, Pelosi-Clinton part of the party leadership. If half of what was recently reported is true, Clapper-Brennan "Intelligence assessment" looks more and more like Warren Commission report. ..."
"... ... Then, Newt Gingrich, on Fox News, says: " (Rich) was assassinated at 4 in the morning after having giving Wikileaks something like 53,000 emails and 17,000 attachments. Nobody's investigating that. And what does that tell you about what is going on?" ..."
May 23, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
RGC -> Fred C. Dobbs, May 23, 2017 at 08:27 AM
If Trump goes, Pence becomes president.

Pence is worse than Trump. And he is more likely to get two terms.

In the meantime, nothing gets fixed.

Anyone who wants single-payer, better jobs, etc. should focus on the 2018 elections and work for people who can oust people like Nancy Pelosi in the primaries and Republicans in the general.

libezkova, May 23, 2017 at 08:52 AM

"Pence is worse than Trump. And he is more likely to get two terms.In the meantime, nothing gets fixed."

True. Also the recent news as for Rich Seth murder might take Trump probe in a somewhat different direction and put additional pressure of neoliberal, Pelosi-Clinton part of the party leadership. If half of what was recently reported is true, Clapper-Brennan "Intelligence assessment" looks more and more like Warren Commission report.

http://dianawest.net/Home/tabid/36/EntryId/3559/A-Seth-Rich-Chronology-Part-1.aspx

Also at

http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/seth-rich-craig-murray-and-the-sinister-stewards-of-the-national-security-state/#comment-1880788

... Then, Newt Gingrich, on Fox News, says: " (Rich) was assassinated at 4 in the morning after having giving Wikileaks something like 53,000 emails and 17,000 attachments. Nobody's investigating that. And what does that tell you about what is going on?"

Well, we know that Kim's chances of attracting Congressional interest was just about nil, but then Sean Hannity invited Dotcom to discuss his evidence in the Seth Rich case on his shows.

Stay tuned. Public invitation Kim Dotcom to be a guest on radio and TV. #GameChanger Buckle up destroy Trump media. Sheep that u all are!!! https://t.co/3qLwXCGl6z

- Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 20, 2017

Most recently, he tweeted:

Complete panic has set in at the highest levels of the Democratic Party. Any bets when the kitchen sink is dumped on my head?? https://t.co/Zt2gIX4zyq
- Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 22, 2017

[May 23, 2017] Seth Rich, Craig Murray and the Sinister Stewards of the National Security State by Mike Whitney

Notable quotes:
"... Repeat: "A politicized analysis that violated normal rules for crafting intelligence assessments." That says it all, doesn't it? ..."
"... Comey is a vicious political opportunist who doesn't mind breaking a few legs if it'll advance his career plans. I wouldn't trust the man as far as I could throw him. Which isn't far. ..."
"... Comey was a participant in the intelligence gathering for political purposes ..."
"... Are we suggesting that the heads of the so called Intelligence Community are at war with the Trump Administration and paving the way for impeachment proceedings? ..."
"... Yep, we sure are. The Russia hacking fiasco is a regime change operation no different than the CIA's 50-or-so other oustings in the last 70 years. The only difference is that this operation is on the home field which is why everyone is so flustered. These things are only suppose to happen in those "other" countries. ..."
"... Trump might be the worst US president of all time, in fact, he probably is. But that doesn't mean there aren't other nefarious forces at work behind the smokescreen of democratic government. There are. In fact, this whole flap suggests that there's an alternate power-structure that operates completely off the public's radar and has the elected-government in its death-grip. This largely invisible group of elites controls the likes of Brennan, Clapper and Comey. And, apparently, they have enough influence to challenge and maybe even remove an elected president from office. (We'll see.) ..."
"... This is a coup. We are now officially Turkey, where the secret police and the army high command feel entitled to 'vet' our elected leaders, and overthrow them if they deem it necessary. ..."
"... sadly mike we are witnessing the several thousand strong bipartisan establishment rather destroy the united states as a governable nation instead of reforming themselves by putting the country first instead of their own venal interest. ..."
"... The Rich family now has a DNC operative as their spokesperson, who is representing the family pro bono. ..."
"... Though never a Trump fan, I am becoming increasingly sympathetic to his plight. More and more, this is taking on the trappings of a coup d'etat. ..."
"... Well, I'm pretty convinced they removed 2 presidents in my lifetime. The first with extreme prejudice, namely JFK, and the 2nd somewhat less extremely, namely Nixon. They then gave Reagan & Clinton a damn good scare and forced them to come around to seeing the world as they wanted it seen. ..."
"... Frankly, I am greatly heartened by this recent brouhaha. That "invisible group" are outing themselves. By the ferocity and volume of their totally overblown, caricaturized(sp?) accusations, they're making their existence and program pretty plain to alert citizens, and by continuing along this path they'll cause more and more of the inattentive to awaken. Now, even the likes of CNBC are suggesting that the assault on Trump looks more like a coup than partisan political infighting. ..."
"... They're in the process of transforming themselves from subjects of conspiracy theories, to mainstream political players. Maybe it's sooner than planned, and perhaps a little more chaotically than they would have wished, but the combination of geopolitical & economic/financial pressures with the rise of the Trumpian Deplorables has forced their hand. Should they ever get to end of that process, America will be indistinguishable from Orwell's Oceania. The question is what can stop them? ..."
"... Right; (((Big Media))) and the ruling class are spending a Hell of a lot of legitimacy on the campaign against Trump. And they've been bleeding legitimacy for years as it was. ..."
"... The author says that if he worked for media or FBI he'd be beating the bushes. Nope. Simple logic. If the Russian hacking version is true, there's no reason to beat the bushes. Everything coming out of media and FBI is true. ..."
"... If it's not true, then Seth Rich was killed by the Clintons, which is consistent with a 40 year history of Clinton mafia action. If you work in media or FBI, you KNOW FOR SURE that the Clintons kill their enemies. You don't want to die, so you go along with the official line. ..."
"... All the neocons/SJW/neoliberals (pretty much all the same thing now) don't believe in a nation yet they still believe in "national security", I don't think it will be too long until the term is replaced with a more acceptable (according to them) "global security". ..."
"... But isn't the time now to drain this swamp? Why wait? I mean, we live in a dictatorship. Our liberty has been stripped away. We have nothing left. The future for our children is grim. How much longer will the Jews and the elites and the banksters strong arm us into submission? I keep hearing how our overlords are hell bent on eradicating the white race, and that we are well on our way to becoming Brazil. What awakening will it take for YOU to leave your armchair and become a warrior? ..."
"... It is incomprehensible to me why USA citizens who want the truth bother with details since Sept 11. Anyone with the guts to see through propaganda now knows what USA politicians and media are capable of. Even those who refuse to see Sept 11 for what it is, must see the mess the USA created, still creates, in Middle East, and North Africa, soon also in middle Africa, when the drone base in Nigeria will be in operation. ..."
"... It is quite possible that Russia tried to influence USA elections, as Obama did with the French. The difference is only that the USA is entitled to do such things, but not Russia. ..."
"... It looks like CNN Has tried to pull the wool over our eyes once again. This time, they used a screenshot from the Fallout 4 Video game to paint the picture of Russian Hacking. To bad that's not what a real hacking screen looks like. And an image you will only find in the video game! ..."
"... December 28, 2016 OUTRAGEOUS: Election hacks traced back to Obama's Department of Homeland Security ..."
"... Rick Falkvinge, founder of the original pirate party and head of privacy at PrivateInternetAccess com, joins us to discuss his recent article, "Today, the FBI becomes the enemy of every computer user and every IT security professional worldwide." ..."
www.zerohedge.com

May 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

Why is it a "conspiracy theory" to think that a disgruntled Democratic National Committee staffer gave WikiLeaks the DNC emails, but not a conspiracy theory to think the emails were provided by Russia?

Why?

Which is the more likely scenario: That a frustrated employee leaked damaging emails to embarrass his bosses or a that foreign government hacked DNC computers for some still-unknown reason?

That's a no-brainer, isn't it?

Former-DNC employee, Seth Rich, not only had access to the emails, but also a motive. He was pissed about the way the Clinton crowd was "sandbagging" Bernie Sanders. In contrast, there's neither evidence nor motive connecting Russia to the emails. On top of that, WikiLeaks founder, Julien Assange (a man of impeccable integrity) has repeatedly denied that Russia gave him the emails which suggests the government investigation is completely misdirected. The logical course of action, would be to pursue the leads that are most likely to bear fruit, not those that originate from one's own political bias. But, of course, logic has nothing to do with the current investigation, it's all about politics and geopolitics.

We don't know who killed Seth Rich and we're not going to speculate on the matter here. But we find it very strange that neither the media nor the FBI have pursued leads in the case that challenge the prevailing narrative on the Russia hacking issue. Why is that? Why is the media so eager to blame Russia when Rich looks like the much more probable suspect?

And why have the mainstream news organizations put so much energy into discrediting the latest Fox News report, when– for the last 10 months– they've showed absolutely zero interest in Rich's death at all?

According to Fox News:

"The Democratic National Committee staffer who was gunned down on July 10 on a Washington, D.C., street just steps from his home had leaked thousands of internal emails to WikiLeaks, law enforcement sources told Fox News.

A federal investigator who reviewed an FBI forensic report detailing the contents of DNC staffer Seth Rich's computer generated within 96 hours after his murder, said Rich made contact with WikiLeaks through Gavin MacFadyen, a now-deceased American investigative reporter, documentary filmmaker, and director of WikiLeaks who was living in London at the time .

Rod Wheeler, a retired Washington homicide detective and Fox News contributor investigating the case on behalf of the Rich family, made the WikiLeaks claim, which was corroborated by a federal investigator who spoke to Fox News .

"I have seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and Wikileaks," the federal investigator told Fox News, confirming the MacFadyen connection. He said the emails are in possession of the FBI, while the stalled case is in the hands of the Washington Police Department." ("Family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich blasts detective over report of WikiLeaks link", Fox News)

Okay, so where's the computer? Who's got Rich's computer? Let's do the forensic work and get on with it.

But the Washington Post and the other bogus news organizations aren't interested in such matters because it doesn't fit with their political agenda. They'd rather take pot-shots at Fox for running an article that doesn't square with their goofy Russia hacking story. This is a statement on the abysmal condition of journalism today. Headline news has become the province of perception mandarins who use the venue to shape information to their own malign specifications, and any facts that conflict with their dubious storyline, are savagely attacked and discredited. Journalists are no longer investigators that keep the public informed, but paid assassins who liquidate views that veer from the party-line.

WikiLeaks never divulges the names of the people who provide them with information. Even so, Assange has not only shown an active interest in the Seth Rich case, but also offered a $20,000 reward for anyone providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of Rich's murder. Why? And why did he post a link to the Fox News article on his Twitter account on Tuesday?

I don't know, but if I worked for the FBI or the Washington Post, I'd sure as hell be beating the bushes to find out. And not just because it might help in Rich's murder investigation, but also, because it could shed light on the Russia fiasco which is being used to lay the groundwork for impeachment proceedings. So any information that challenges the government version of events, could actually change the course of history.

Have you ever heard of Craig Murray?

Murray should be the government's star witness in the DNC hacking scandal, instead, no one even knows who he is. But if we trust what Murray has to say, then we can see that the Russia hacking story is baloney. The emails were "leaked" by insiders not "hacked" by a foreign government. Here's the scoop from Robert Parry at Consortium News:

"Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray, has suggested that the DNC leak came from a "disgruntled" Democrat upset with the DNC's sandbagging of the Sanders campaign and that the Podesta leak came from the U.S. intelligence community .He (Murray) appears to have undertaken a mission for WikiLeaks to contact one of the sources (or a representative) during a Sept. 25 visit to Washington where he says he met with a person in a wooded area of American University. .

Though Murray has declined to say exactly what the meeting in the woods was about, he may have been passing along messages about ways to protect the source from possible retaliation, maybe even an extraction plan if the source was in some legal or physical danger Murray also suggested that the DNC leak and the Podesta leak came from two different sources, neither of them the Russian government.

"The Podesta emails and the DNC emails are, of course, two separate things and we shouldn't conclude that they both have the same source," Murray said. "In both cases we're talking of a leak, not a hack, in that the person who was responsible for getting that information out had legal access to that information

Scott Horton then asked, "Is it fair to say that you're saying that the Podesta leak came from inside the intelligence services, NSA [the electronic spying National Security Agency] or another agency?"

"I think what I said was certainly compatible with that kind of interpretation, yeah," Murray responded. "In both cases they are leaks by Americans."

("A Spy Coup in America?", Robert Parry, Consortium News)

With all the hullabaloo surrounding the Russia hacking case, you'd think that Murray's eyewitness account would be headline news, but not in Homeland Amerika where the truth is kept as far from the front page as humanly possible.

Bottom line: The government has a reliable witness (Murray) who can positively identify the person who hacked the DNC emails and, so far, they've showed no interest in his testimony at all. Doesn't that strike you as a bit weird?

Did you know that after a 10 month-long investigation, there's still no hard evidence that Russia hacked the 2016 elections? In fact, when the Intelligence agencies were pressed on the matter, they promised to release a report that would provide iron-clad proof of Russian meddling. On January 6, 2017, theDirector of National Intelligence, James Clapper, released that report. It was called The Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA). Unfortunately, the report fell far-short of the public's expectations. Instead of a smoking gun, Clapper produced a tedious 25-page compilation of speculation, hearsay, innuendo and gobbledygook. Here's how veteran journalist Robert Parry summed it up:

"The report contained no direct evidence that Russia delivered hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta to WikiLeaks .The DNI report as presented, is one-sided and lacks any actual proof. Further, the continued use of the word "assesses" .suggests that the underlying classified information also may be less than conclusive because, in intelligence-world-speak, "assesses" often means "guesses." ("US Report Still Lacks Proof on Russia 'Hack'", Robert Parry, Consortium News)

Repeat: "the report contained no direct evidence", no "actual proof", and a heckuva a lot of "guessing". That's some "smoking gun", eh?

If this 'thin gruel' sounds like insufficient grounds for removing a sitting president and his administration, that's because it is. But the situation is even worse than it looks, mainly because the information in the assessment is not reliable. The ICA was corrupted by higher-ups in the Intel food-chain who selected particular analysts who could be trusted to produce a document that served their broader political agenda. Think I'm kidding? Take a look at this excerpt from an article at Fox News:

"On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Intelligence Community issued an "Intelligence Community Assessment" (ICA) that found Russia deliberately interfered in the 2016 presidential election to benefit Trump's candidacy (but) there are compelling reasons to believe this ICA was actually a politicized analysis that violated normal rules for crafting intelligence assessments to ensure this one reached the bottom line conclusion that the Obama administration was looking for.

.Director of National Intelligence James Clapper explained in his testimony that two dozen or so "seasoned experts" were "handpicked" from the contributing agencies" and drafted the ICA "under the aegis of his former office" While Clapper claimed these analysts were given "complete independence" to reach their findings, he added that their conclusions "were thoroughly vetted and then approved by the directors of the three agencies and me."

This process drastically differed from the Intelligence Community's normal procedures. Hand-picking a handful of analysts from just three intelligence agencies to write such a controversial assessment went against standing rules to vet such analyses throughout the Intelligence Community within its existing structure. The idea of using hand-picked intelligence analysts selected through some unknown process to write an assessment on such a politically sensitive topic carries a strong stench of politicization .

A major problem with this process is that it gave John Brennan, CIA's hyper-partisan former director, enormous influence over the drafting of the ICA. Given Brennan's scathing criticism of Mr. Trump before and after the election, he should have had no role whatsoever in the drafting of this assessment. Instead, Brennan probably selected the CIA analysts who worked on the ICA and reviewed and approved their conclusions .

The unusual way that the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment was drafted raises major questions as to whether it was rigged by the Obama administration to produce conclusions that would discredit the election outcome and Mr. Trump's presidency ."

("More indications Intel assessment of Russian interference in election was rigged", Fox News)

Repeat: "A politicized analysis that violated normal rules for crafting intelligence assessments." That says it all, doesn't it?

Let's take a minute and review the main points in the article:

1–Was the Intelligence Community Assessment the summary work of all 17 US Intelligence Agencies?

No, it was not. "In his May 8 testimony to a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing, Clapper confirmed (that) the ICA reflected the views of only three intelligence agencies - CIA, NSA and FBI – not all 17."

2–Did any of the analysts challenge the findings in the ICA?

No, the document failed to acknowledge any dissenting views, which suggests that the analysts were screened in order to create consensus.

3– Were particular analysts chosen to produce the ICA?

Yes, they were "handpicked from the contributing agencies" and drafted the ICA "under the aegis of his former office" (the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.)

4– Was their collaborative work released to the public in its original form?

No, their conclusions "were thoroughly vetted and then approved by the directors of the three agencies and me." (Clapper) This of course suggests that the document was political in nature and crafted to deliver a particular message.

5–Were Clapper's methods "normal" by Intelligence agency standards?

Definitely not. "This process drastically differed from the Intelligence Community's normal procedures."

6–Are Clapper and Brennan partisans who have expressed their opposition to Trump many times in the past calling into question their ability to be objective in executing their duties as heads of their respective agencies?

Absolutely. Check out this clip from Monday's Arkansas online:

"I think, in many ways, our institutions are under assault, both externally - and that's the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system," said James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence. "I think as well our institutions are under assault internally."

When he was asked, "Internally, from the president?" Clapper said, "Exactly." (Clapper calls Trump democracy assailant", arkansasonline)

Brennan has made numerous similar statements. (Note: It is particularly jarring that Clapper– who oversaw the implementation of the modern surveillance police state– feels free to talk about "the assault on our institutions.")

7–Does the ICA prove that anyone on the Trump campaign colluded with Russia or that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections?

No, it doesn't. What it shows is that –even while Clapper and Brennan may have been trying to produce an assessment that would 'kill two birds with one stone', (incriminate Russia and smear Trump at the same time) the ICA achieved neither. So far, there's no proof of anything. Now take a look at this list I found in an article at The American Thinker:

"12 prominent public statements by those on both sides of the aisle who reviewed the evidence or been briefed on it confirmed there was no evidence of Russia trying to help Trump in the election or colluding with him:

The New York Times (Nov 1, 2016);
House Speaker Paul Ryan (Feb, 26, 2017);
Former DNI James Clapper , March 5, 2017);
Devin Nunes Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, March 20, 2017);
James Comey, March 20, 2017;
Rep. Chris Stewart, House Intelligence Committee, March 20, 2017;
Rep. Adam Schiff, House Intelligence committee, April 2, 2017);
Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senate Intelligence Committee, May 3, 2017);
Sen. Joe Manchin Senate Intelligence Committee, May 8, 2017;
James Clapper (again) (May 8, 2017);
Rep. Maxine Waters, May 9, 2017);
President Donald Trump,(May 9, 2017).
Senator Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, indicated that his briefing confirmed Dianne Feinstein's view that the President was not under investigation for colluding with the Russians."
("Russian Hacking and Collusion: Put the Cards on the Table", American Thinker)

Keep in mind, this is a list of the people who actually "reviewed the evidence", and even they are not convinced. It just goes to show that the media blitz is not based on any compelling proof, but on the determination of behind-the-scenes elites who want to destroy their political rivals. Isn't that what's really going on?

How does former FBI Director James Comey fit into all this?

First of all, we need to set the record straight on Comey so readers don't get the impression that he's the devoted civil servant and all-around stand-up guy he's made out to be in the media. Here's a short clip from an article by Human Rights First that will help to put things into perspective:

"Five former FBI agents raised concerns about his (Comey's) support for a legal memorandum justifying torture and his defense of holding an American citizen indefinitely without charge. They note that Comey concurred with a May 10, 2005, Office of Legal Counsel opinion that authorized torture. While the agents credited Comey for opposing torture tactics in combination and on policy grounds, they note that Comey still approved the legal basis for use of specific torture tactics.

"These techniques include cramped confinement, wall-standing, water dousing, extended sleep deprivation, and waterboarding, all of which constitute torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment in contravention of domestic and international law," the letter states.

Those signing the letter to the committee also objected to Comey's defense of detaining Americans without charge or trial and observed, "Further, Mr. Comey vigorously defended the Bush administration's decision to hold Jose Padilla, a United States citizen apprehended on U.S. soil, indefinitely without charge or trial for years in a military brig in Charleston, South Carolina." ("FBI Agents Urge Senate Judiciary Committee to Question Comey on Torture, Indefinite Detention", Human Rights First)

Get the picture?

Comey is a vicious political opportunist who doesn't mind breaking a few legs if it'll advance his career plans. I wouldn't trust the man as far as I could throw him. Which isn't far.

American Thinker's Clarice Feldman explains why Comey launched his counter-intel investigation in July 2016 but failed to notify Congress until March 2017, a full eight months later. Here's what she said:

"There is only one reasonable explanation for FBI Director James Comey to be launching a counter-intel investigation in July 2016, notifying the White House and Clapper, and keeping it under wraps from congress. Comey was a participant in the intelligence gathering for political purposes - wittingly, or unwittingly." ("Russian Hacking and Collusion: Put the Cards on the Table", American Thinker)

Are we suggesting that the heads of the so called Intelligence Community are at war with the Trump Administration and paving the way for impeachment proceedings?

Yep, we sure are. The Russia hacking fiasco is a regime change operation no different than the CIA's 50-or-so other oustings in the last 70 years. The only difference is that this operation is on the home field which is why everyone is so flustered. These things are only suppose to happen in those "other" countries.

Does this analysis make me a Donald Trump supporter?

Never. The idea is ridiculous. Trump might be the worst US president of all time, in fact, he probably is. But that doesn't mean there aren't other nefarious forces at work behind the smokescreen of democratic government. There are. In fact, this whole flap suggests that there's an alternate power-structure that operates completely off the public's radar and has the elected-government in its death-grip. This largely invisible group of elites controls the likes of Brennan, Clapper and Comey. And, apparently, they have enough influence to challenge and maybe even remove an elected president from office. (We'll see.)

American history is not silent about the proclivities of unchecked security forces, a short list of which includes the Palmer Raids, the FBI's blackmailing of civil rights leaders, Army surveillance of the antiwar movement, the NSA's watch lists, and the CIA's waterboarding. . Who would trust the authors of past episodes of repression as a reliable safeguard against future repression?"

("Security Breach– Trump's tussle with the bureaucratic state", Michael J. Glennon, Harper's Magazine)

"Who?"

The Democrats, that's who.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com .

Mark Caplan , Website May 19, 2017 at 1:47 pm GMT

Since that Fox News blockbuster report, the Rich-family private investigator, Rod Wheeler, has disavowed and retracted the claims he had made earlier about Rich's contacts with WikiLeaks. So that's the end of that. The Rich family now has a DNC operative as their spokesperson, who is representing the family pro bono.

Seamus Padraig , May 19, 2017 at 1:47 pm GMT

This is a coup. We are now officially Turkey, where the secret police and the army high command feel entitled to 'vet' our elected leaders, and overthrow them if they deem it necessary.

In case there was any doubt, the constitution is now officially dead. We are a dictatorship run by the deep state.

The Alarmist , May 19, 2017 at 7:42 pm GMT

As to, "Where are the journalists?" there was a classified annex to the PATRIOT that outlawed journalism. That's why you haven't seen any in the US for years. They tried to spread its reach to the world by a secret annex to FATCA, but that effort has largely been limited to the wimps in Europe.

paraglider , May 19, 2017 at 10:01 pm GMT

sadly mike we are witnessing the several thousand strong bipartisan establishment rather destroy the united states as a governable nation instead of reforming themselves by putting the country first instead of their own venal interest.

imo its hopeless. within a decade or two the usa is done as a superpower perhaps even a nation of the first rank. the way washington projects its power is through the us dollar as reserve currency. for now there is no substitute.

once the dollar rallies strongly in the next few years as the euro project implodes and frightened money comes here looking for safety our exports from a high dollar will make for a profoundly deflationary evironment and doom our economy and with it out ability project power.

our military is already a bit of a joke capable of only defeating the semi disarmed and poorly led. against true adversaries like russia and china the pentagon won't even attempt a confrontation knowing they can not win.

forget the internecine warfare going on in america. it is cancer cells attacking the remnants of a healthy american host and the media opinion makers are rooting for cancer to win.

watch the dollar over the next few years as it rises in value our american future will grow dimmer. by 203? it will be lights here.

Antiwar7 , May 20, 2017 at 4:46 am GMT

@Mark Caplan Since that Fox News blockbuster report, the Rich-family private investigator, Rod Wheeler, has disavowed and retracted the claims he had made earlier about Rich's contacts with WikiLeaks. So that's the end of that. The Rich family now has a DNC operative as their spokesperson, who is representing the family pro bono.

anonymous , May 20, 2017 at 2:35 pm GMT

Though never a Trump fan, I am becoming increasingly sympathetic to his plight. More and more, this is taking on the trappings of a coup d'etat.

Erebus , May 20, 2017 at 4:17 pm GMT

This largely invisible group of elites controls the likes of Brennan, Clapper and Comey. And, apparently, they have enough influence to challenge and maybe even remove an elected president from office. (We'll see.)

Well, I'm pretty convinced they removed 2 presidents in my lifetime. The first with extreme prejudice, namely JFK, and the 2nd somewhat less extremely, namely Nixon. They then gave Reagan & Clinton a damn good scare and forced them to come around to seeing the world as they wanted it seen.

Frankly, I am greatly heartened by this recent brouhaha. That "invisible group" are outing themselves. By the ferocity and volume of their totally overblown, caricaturized(sp?) accusations, they're making their existence and program pretty plain to alert citizens, and by continuing along this path they'll cause more and more of the inattentive to awaken. Now, even the likes of CNBC are suggesting that the assault on Trump looks more like a coup than partisan political infighting.

They're in the process of transforming themselves from subjects of conspiracy theories, to mainstream political players. Maybe it's sooner than planned, and perhaps a little more chaotically than they would have wished, but the combination of geopolitical & economic/financial pressures with the rise of the Trumpian Deplorables has forced their hand. Should they ever get to end of that process, America will be indistinguishable from Orwell's Oceania. The question is what can stop them?

Whether he won the popular vote or not, it is clear that Trump has a massive voter base that knows, however vaguely, that there is an Everglades' worth of something long past rotten in DC.

That base is growing, thanks in very large part to the invisible group's damn-the-torpedoes onslaught. I doubt the awakening is big enough today to put a million armed Deplorables on Capital Hill, but if these invisible elites continue to flounder like this, they may awaken just enough of the population to make that possible.

And then, the gates of hell break open in America.

Corvinus , May 20, 2017 at 5:00 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig This is a coup. We are now officially Turkey, where the secret police and the army high command feel entitled to 'vet' our elected leaders, and overthrow them if they deem it necessary.

In case there was any doubt, the constitution is now officially dead. We are a dictatorship run by the deep state.

jakbit , May 20, 2017 at 5:41 pm GMT

are you and your readers following George Webb on youtube?

Svigor , May 20, 2017 at 7:55 pm GMT

Assuming this is the case, are you going to sit there and take it like an impotent chump? Or, since you are imprisoned in this cage, will you channel your inner white rage and lead the charge to rid yourself from those who control you?

Post your address, tough guy, and we'll find out.

Frankly, I am greatly heartened by this recent brouhaha. That "invisible group" are outing themselves. By the ferocity and volume of their totally overblown, caricaturized(sp?) accusations, they're making their existence and program pretty plain to alert citizens, and by continuing along this path they'll cause more and more of the inattentive to awaken. Now, even the likes of CNBC are suggesting that the assault on Trump looks more like a coup than partisan political infighting.

Right; (((Big Media))) and the ruling class are spending a Hell of a lot of legitimacy on the campaign against Trump. And they've been bleeding legitimacy for years as it was.

Whether he won the popular vote or not, it is clear that Trump has a massive voter base that knows, however vaguely, that there is an Everglades' worth of something long past rotten in DC.

I keep trying to explain this "popular vote" thing: The Electoral College system is essentially mandatory voting: every person casts a vote via the electoral college, whether they actually fill out a ballot or not. Choosing not to fill out a ballot is a vote for "I'll go with the majority's decision." The entire population of the United States of America is represented in this process: everyone is either a proxy (voter), or has his vote cast by a proxy.

The "popular vote" mantra is the scuzzbucket Democrat way of dismissing the legitimacy of the people who vote by proxy. It's Democrats' way of saying these people don't matter. And this from the party that claims to support mandatory voting!

The will of the people is expressed in the Electoral College. And in the 2016 election, that will very much favored Trump over Clinton.

Erebus , May 21, 2017 at 1:02 am GMT

@Corvinus "I doubt the awakening is big enough today to put a million armed Deplorables on Capital Hill, but if these invisible elites continue to flounder like this, they may awaken just enough of the population to make that possible."

But isn't the time now to drain this swamp? Why wait? I mean, we live in a dictatorship. Our liberty has been stripped away. We have nothing left. The future for our children is grim. How much longer will the Jews and the elites and the banksters strong arm us into submission? I keep hearing how our overlords are hell bent on eradicating the white race, and that we are well on our way to becoming Brazil. What awakening will it take for YOU to leave your armchair and become a warrior?

There are honestly serious questions. I would like to know your thoughts.

Svigor , May 21, 2017 at 12:37 pm GMT

As this seems to be addressed to me, I'll say that I did not misunderstand either the legal-constitutional concept of the Electoral College, or its workings. I know well that Trump won the election as defined by the American Constitution. Perhaps I should have said " won the popular vote count ".

As for "I'll go with the majority's decision.", that pretty much applies to any "first past the post" electoral system.

My point is that talk of "the popular vote" should be met with derision, not entertained or repeated.

Random Guy , May 21, 2017 at 9:42 pm GMT

I think your all crazy there. I was born in Canada of Scottish decent, and I won't go to the States anymore. You are a military dictatorship and gun worshipers. It's like being a dutch farmer hearing about the candle-light vigils of the NAZI's from Holland mid last century. I tell my family to stay away.

Willem Hendrik , May 21, 2017 at 10:09 pm GMT

America is too important to be left to Americans. You should be proud that others take an interest.

alexander , May 22, 2017 at 7:21 am GMT

@Carlton Meyer Private investigator Rod Wheeler made a few bucks doing an investigation, but soon realized that he stirred up a high-level hornets nest. Whoever killed Rich would not hesitate to threaten Wheeler or his family or his pension. Suddenly, Wheeler recants everything that he recently put in writing, with no explanation. Soon he will claim that he never did the investigation and has never even been to DC.

polistra , May 22, 2017 at 9:28 am GMT

The author says that if he worked for media or FBI he'd be beating the bushes. Nope. Simple logic. If the Russian hacking version is true, there's no reason to beat the bushes. Everything coming out of media and FBI is true.

If it's not true, then Seth Rich was killed by the Clintons, which is consistent with a 40 year history of Clinton mafia action. If you work in media or FBI, you KNOW FOR SURE that the Clintons kill their enemies. You don't want to die, so you go along with the official line.

Those are the two possibilities. Neither one leads to public exposure of truth.

neutral , May 22, 2017 at 11:08 am GMT

All the neocons/SJW/neoliberals (pretty much all the same thing now) don't believe in a nation yet they still believe in "national security", I don't think it will be too long until the term is replaced with a more acceptable (according to them) "global security".

neutral , May 22, 2017 at 11:18 am GMT

@Corvinus "I doubt the awakening is big enough today to put a million armed Deplorables on Capital Hill, but if these invisible elites continue to flounder like this, they may awaken just enough of the population to make that possible."

But isn't the time now to drain this swamp? Why wait? I mean, we live in a dictatorship. Our liberty has been stripped away. We have nothing left. The future for our children is grim. How much longer will the Jews and the elites and the banksters strong arm us into submission? I keep hearing how our overlords are hell bent on eradicating the white race, and that we are well on our way to becoming Brazil. What awakening will it take for YOU to leave your armchair and become a warrior?

There are honestly serious questions. I would like to know your thoughts.

jilles dykstra , May 22, 2017 at 11:34 am GMT

It is incomprehensible to me why USA citizens who want the truth bother with details since Sept 11. Anyone with the guts to see through propaganda now knows what USA politicians and media are capable of. Even those who refuse to see Sept 11 for what it is, must see the mess the USA created, still creates, in Middle East, and North Africa, soon also in middle Africa, when the drone base in Nigeria will be in operation.

It is quite possible that Russia tried to influence USA elections, as Obama did with the French. The difference is only that the USA is entitled to do such things, but not Russia.

I still hope that Trump wants good, normal, relations with Russia, as long as I can keep this hope, Deep State will try to remove Trump one way or another, and will continue the anti Russian propaganda. Once Trump is removed, the war can begin. As Sol Bloom, a friend of Roosevelt, writes in his memoirs, 'the great accomplishment of Roosevelt was to prepare the USA people slowly for war'. We now can write 'the great accomplishment of CNN, Washpost and NYT, is to prepare the USA people for war against Russia'.

jilles dykstra , May 22, 2017 at 11:37 am GMT

@Willem Hendrik America is too important to be left to Americans. You should be proud that others take an interest.

Anonymous White Male , May 22, 2017 at 1:07 pm GMT

"Trump might be the worst US president of all time, in fact, he probably is."

I am no fan of Trump, but how can anyone make such a statement concerning someone that has only been in office for 4 months? I have noticed Whitney's writing before. He has ridiculous comments inserted in with lucid ones. I wonder if his residence in Washington State is the cause of his delusions?

Che Guava , May 22, 2017 at 1:17 pm GMT

We are now officially Turkey, where the secret police and the army high command feel entitled to 'vet' our elected leaders, and overthrow them if they deem it necessary.

That statement is confused on so many levels. I haven't seen one convincing analysis of the recent failed coup in Turkey, but my impression is that they were Kemalists, wanting to get rid of Sultan Erdogan for very good reasons. Erdogan claims it was due to his fellow Islamist, Gulen. Point is, the coup was a massive failure, and almost certainly incited by those loyal to Erdogan, as a piece of theatre to maximise the vote for him in his referendum to assume despotic power.

He has sacked hundreds of thousands, military, judicial, and civil service, arrested tens of thousands, closed many educational institutions. None of that in the USA.

As a sympathizer with constitutionalist, freedom-loving, and oppressed USA people, it is clear that if Trump were at all sincere about his campaign promises, he needs to do a much better job of decapitating the political appointees in the civil service (unlike the victims in Turkey, no tears need be shed, they would all end up in other kinds of overly remunerated playtime).

He would do well to cut fed. money for the courses in culti-Marxi, etc., and to universities emphasizing that. Since none of that is going to happen (unfortunately) there may be another key factor. Turkey was best buddies with Israel for a long time, and almost has returned to that. They were never a colony of Israel. The USA is. Witness Prex Trump's craven obsequiousness right now (or in the last 24 hours). The tail that wags the dog, indeed.

Agent76 , May 22, 2017 at 1:35 pm GMT

Jan 2, 2017 BOOM! CNN Caught Using Video Game Image In Fake Russian Hacking Story

It looks like CNN Has tried to pull the wool over our eyes once again. This time, they used a screenshot from the Fallout 4 Video game to paint the picture of Russian Hacking. To bad that's not what a real hacking screen looks like. And an image you will only find in the video game!

December 28, 2016 OUTRAGEOUS: Election hacks traced back to Obama's Department of Homeland Security

In an unbelievable development that ought to outrage every single American, election officials in Georgia are essentially accusing the Obama administration of attempting to hack into the state's electronic balloting machines in what appears to be a naked political ploy.

http://www.newstarget.com/2016-12-28-election-hacks-traced-back-to-obamas-department-of-homeland-security.html

Agent76 , May 22, 2017 at 1:36 pm GMT

Jan 3, 2017 With Rule 41 the FBI Is Now Officially the Enemy of All Computer Users

Rick Falkvinge, founder of the original pirate party and head of privacy at PrivateInternetAccess com, joins us to discuss his recent article, "Today, the FBI becomes the enemy of every computer user and every IT security professional worldwide."

Erebus , May 22, 2017 at 1:51 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer Private investigator Rod Wheeler made a few bucks doing an investigation, but soon realized that he stirred up a high-level hornets nest. Whoever killed Rich would not hesitate to threaten Wheeler or his family or his pension. Suddenly, Wheeler recants everything that he recently put in writing, with no explanation. Soon he will claim that he never did the investigation and has never even been to DC.

Che Guava , May 22, 2017 at 3:20 pm GMT

Must adding, another very good article from Mike Whitney.

Assange, a man of impeccable integrity?

It is Julian, not Julien.

I cannot vouch for impeccable. As a hacker, sure, no approval of the fraud types (minuscule at the time, but there). Past that slight connection at second-degree of separation, he is the media figure to me. Doesn't like to wash, so a dirty hippy. Reportedly extremely smelly. I would imagine the Ecuadorian embassy has house-trained him.

Attempts at political treatises are sub-undergraduate and pompous. Led by his penis, thus the trap in Sweden. Also done some great things, and been betrayed by MSM organisations (NYT and Guardian come to mind, in particular, the latter never shut up about the false rape charges). Now that those are over, it would be beautiful if Queen Elizabeth would grant him a pardon for his default on bail.

geokat62 , May 22, 2017 at 3:31 pm GMT

The electoral college is the "equalizer" which forces the candidates to campaign in all 50 states

That's the theory. The reality is more like:

The electoral college is the "equalizer" which forces the candidates to campaign in all 15 battleground states

or better still:

The electoral college is the "equalizer" which forces the candidates to campaign in all 5 states (CO, FL, NV, OH, VA) that have been truly competitive over the last five presidential elections

utu , May 22, 2017 at 3:32 pm GMT

@anarchyst The electoral college was put in place to keep the major population centers from determining the vote. Without the electoral college, the prospective presidential candidates would only have to cater to the major population centers and could safely ignore "flyover country", as the east and west coasts would have enough "clout" to determine the direction of the vote.

The electoral college is the "equalizer" which forces the candidates to campaign in all 50 states...

Corvinus , May 22, 2017 at 3:57 pm GMT

@Erebus

What awakening will it take for YOU to leave your armchair and become a warrior?
Being neither American, nor living anywhere near it, the only dog I have in what is still an internal American struggle is that I live on the same planet. America being what it is, it's (what I believe to be) existential struggle may well spill over its borders to impact all, in some cases violently.
So, I throw the question (quite seriously) backatchya. Will the Deplorables put their money on the table, and at what point will they do that?
But isn't the time now to drain this swamp? Why wait?
The swamp's ooze has permeated all of the power structures of the body politic, and its vapours much of the society. It cannot be drained in a day, and it cannot be drained without massive dislocation of both America's geo-political position, and its national cohesion. To "drain the swamp" is to manage the dissolution of a global empire while the resulting centrifugal forces work to tear the homeland apart.

I made a comment on another thread that expresses my view on America's situation. You may be interested.
http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/acuckalypse-now-the-budget-betrayal-and-trump-derangement-syndrome/#comment-1865244

jilles dykstra , May 22, 2017 at 4:12 pm GMT

The USA electoral system dates back to the time individual states were important. The GB system, the same. The French system, to the time De Gaulle wanted powers to be able to rule the country.

Generals fight the last war, just German generals in WWII had no experience in WWI, as had French genererals, so German tanks were more than twice as fast as French tanks, and the German system for fuelling tanks, jerrycans, was so much faster than the French system, tank lorries, with a waiting line, that France could be overrun.
At present in Europe we see that the election system is such that the majority in countried with high unemployment, the southern countries, those in the ages of 18 to 35 or so, are contemplating rebellion.

At the same time, the euro is the cause of the unemployment, devaluation impossible, to make the country competitive in a moment, Schäuble, a euro profiteer, is talking about 'strenghtening the euro zone'.

Politicians fight the the last fight.

Clark Westwood , May 22, 2017 at 4:41 pm GMT

@Erebus Since Wheeler and the Riches found the dead horse heads at the foot of their beds, things started happening...

Kim Dotcom announced he's prepared to submit written testimony, with real evidence to Congress should they include Seth Rich's death in their probe into Russian election tampering.

I knew Seth Rich. I know he was the @Wikileaks source. I was involved. https://t.co/MbGQteHhZM
- Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) May 20, 2017

I'm meeting my legal team on Monday. I will issue a statement about #SethRich on Tuesday. Please be patient. This needs to be done properly.
- Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) May 20, 2017

Then, Newt Gingrich, on Fox News, , "... (Rich) was assassinated at 4 in the morning after having giving Wikileaks something like 53,000 emails and 17,000 attachments. Nobody's investigating that. And what does that tell you about what is going on?"

Well, we know that Kim's chances of attracting Congressional interest was just about nil, but then Sean Hannity invited Dotcom to discuss his evidence in the Seth Rich case on his shows.

Stay tuned. Public invitation Kim Dotcom to be a guest on radio and TV. #GameChanger Buckle up destroy Trump media. Sheep that u all are!!! https://t.co/3qLwXCGl6z
- Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 20, 2017
Most recently, he tweeted:
Complete panic has set in at the highest levels of the Democratic Party. Any bets when the kitchen sink is dumped on my head?? https://t.co/Zt2gIX4zyq
- Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 22, 2017
So, I'm taking heart. The swamp may be getting warm.

[May 22, 2017] The Special Council Inquisition - Bad For Trump - And All of Us

Notable quotes:
"... Such investigations NEVER stick to their original, limited tasks but extend further and further. The order the Acting Attorney General wrote includes language which allows for nearly unlimited digging in "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation." It will thereby continue until -inevitably- some dirt will be found that can be blown out of all proportion and lead to prosecutions or impeachment. ..."
"... It is doubtful that Flynn's communication of the decision was influenced by money. Flynn had registered his lobbying under the Lobbying Disclosure Act with the Clerk of the House of Representatives effectively September 15, 2016. ..."
"... Trump believes that better relations with Russia are important for the well-being of the United States, Pence would likely pursue an anti-Russian policy. That, I believe, is the real issue here. There are no unbeseeming relations between Trump and Russia. Russia had little, if any, influence on the 2016 election. There was no "Russian meddling". But Trump's somewhat more friendly behavior towards Russia, which he campaigned for, is disliked by the-powers-that-are. ..."
"... He didn't even know what hit him. His assistant attorney general gave him the news just 30 minutes before he released it to the media. Anyone who thinks the rump is the engineer is dreaming. he's in the caboose, playing solitaire with the twits. ..."
"... I disagree this is bad. This appointment should give Trump & Sessions cover to appoint a decent FBI Director and properly go after Hilary Clinton, John Podesta, Clinton Foundation and find out who had Seth Rich murdered. ..."
"... who was in the oval office when Trump supposedly "leaked" the information? Just Rex Tillerson and McMaster (and the two Russians). McMaster is in regular communication with Paul Wolfowitz. Isn't it possible that McMaster is the mole, and then he has tried to hide his tracks by defending Trump publicly? ..."
"... The 'Russia did it', in conjunction with the 'Trump is in bed with the Russians', narratives, both completely unsubstantiated, were chosen to be seized on as a red-herring to stick like a burr to, to milk for all they could be milked for, for a variety of reasons by the PTB. ..."
"... For example, there is still a handy residual fear of Russia in the States, and Putin has been relentlessly demonized, so let's make use of it, and Russia effectively opposes 'full spectrum dominance, etc', and the spooks and MIC depend for a living on a scary big boogieman. ..."
"... The leaked extreme pathology on display easily interpreted in the Podesta emails via Wikileaks, along with the Weiner computer 'treasure trove' of emails - and the latter reportedly turned the stomach of an experienced key member of the NYPD, and involved evidence or indications of many serious crimes, Clintons involved - and then the murder of Seth Rich for having been in effect a hugely important whistleblower via Wikileaks, this mass of evidence re the seamy sick side of the massive Swamp had to be buried, silenced. ..."
"... There were two interpreter-scribes in there, both of whom made a transcript of the conversations. Putin's offer to turn over his was rebuffed, leading one to believe mischief is afoot on our side. ..."
"... The real relations and divisions in Washington seem to turned into the Soviet system under Brezhnev. They don't align with the political parties and the mostly stage-managed elections anymore. The domestic federal bureaucracy, the government contractors, the intelligence & surveillance sector, the overseas military, Wall Street, they're all playing power-circle games. ..."
"... The nomenklatura were a category of people within the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries who held various key administrative positions in the bureaucracy running all spheres of those countries' activity: government, industry, agriculture, education, etc., whose positions were granted only with approval by the communist party of each country or region. ..."
"... Filling his admin with goldman sachs scum ..."
"... Bombing Syria and helping out IS and al Qaeda for the neocons ..."
"... Considering dual citizen garbage like Lieberman ..."
"... and almost every other campaign promise he ever made. And while this is happening Trump supporters are still patting themselves on the back with blather about the power of their 'memes'. ..."
"... The Dutch are just one of many tentacles of the Christian Colonial octopus/ Swamp Alliance. All of Christian Colonialism's warmongering, banksterised, govt-toppling, movers and shakers (US, France, Germany, UK etc etc) are on board with the Get Trump conspiracy. One thing they have in common is that they all (including Oz) get their "News" from the Jew-controlled MSM and are anti-Palestinian and apologists for Jewish Colonialism in Palestine. The worsening facts-on-the-ground in "Israel" speak volumes about Christian Colonialism's support for the Israel Project. ..."
"... "Israeli"-dominated News is the de facto bullshit/ talking-point manufacturer & coordinator for The West. ..."
"... Language in the remit that authorizes an open-ended investigation is a mandate to find something to pin on the target of the investigation, not an authorization for a "proper investigation." ..."
"... Mueller's charge is to find something to pin on Trump, not to conduct a "proper investigation." ..."
"... Trump is NOT a member of the club which is the Republican Hierarchy. Those are the real motherfuckers. They do not want him to be prez and he is not welcome in their club. Neither is Trump an official errand boy for the Deep State (many among both parties are official errand boys and girls). Again, Trump is not an official errand boy. ..."
"... Trump has tried to appease the rotten motherfuckers. He really has. Trump is already ratfucking the middle class and the poor in accordance with their prescription. Trump will keep on trying to please them (See Joe Lieberhebrewratbastard). ..."
"... No matter, they strapped Pence to his back, BECAUSE they want a malleable errand boy who will DO Exactly as he is instructed ..."
"... Things are not as they seem. IMO this is a carefully scripted plan by the Deep State to push Trump into Total War, not that he was not inclined to do so anyways. His Russian connections lead to mafia ties so deep he could lose everything under Rico. He knows this. Once the War begins the internet kill switch is thrown and the lights go out. Martial Law. Like in WWI, if you criticize the war you go to jail. A Deep State Dream. ..."
"... Trump was a Trojan Horse ..."
"... MIC and international Banks will be rolling in the dough. Everyone wins except those caught in the carnage down below (bottom 99%) and of course those nations we obliterate with Shock & Awe on Steroids (nukes) ..."
"... Having never been part of the political system or worked his way up through a party, Trump lacks the army of lackeys who normally create a massive support structure for a president when he comes into office. ..."
"... Trump does not have any experts or thinkers of note that do not belong to the "meritocrats", i.e. the Washington establishment. Bannon is perhaps a thinker, but hardly of note. I even doubt that Trump has any good instincts, except that at occasion he had the childish gift of noticing that this or that has "no cloths". But the next thing a child does is throwing a tantrum for some petty reason. ..."
"... That doesn't necessarily mean it'll be Trump's dirt that washes up. If Seth Rich is proven to have leaked the emails to Wikileaks, the Russian hacking narrative evaporates, and the Ukrainian collusion to manipulate the election from the Democrat side is legitimately within the ambit of the investigation. We may yet see the Democrat Party prosecuted as a continuing criminal enterprise, and none too soon. ..."
"... They describe the capabilities of US Internet advertisers, even worse post-net-neutrality, and project it onto Russia. Their desperation reeks. ..."
"... Obama was never in the "opposition", Trump is indeed in the opposition but the question is if he have the strength to stand up to these sick people in deepstate/msm. With attacks on Syria etc it doesnt look good but there is no comparsion to the wimp Obama. ..."
"... My thesis is this: both Obama and Trump are faux populists and are part and parcel of a 'faux populist model of governance'. Elements of this model are ..."
"... A craven narcisstic egotistic Leader (Obama, Trump) that is a willing tool because he/she intends to capture a future payoff for himself. ..."
"... Establishment-friendly VP as insurance. Both Biden and Pence are seen as 'reliable hands' by TPTB. ..."
"... crazy opposition that is intended to weaken a faux populist leader and energize apologists. I call them "enforcers". ..."
"... Y'all may remember that Trump's domestic business dealings had some Mob connections. I think Wm Engdahl, among other, reported on this. Well, if you google Trump and Russian Mafia you will see an entirely different idea as to what this attack on Trump might be about. ..."
May 22, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
The Trump administration made a huge mistake by not preventing the just announced special council investigation into the alleged, but likely non-existing "Trump-Russia" connections:
The Justice Department appointed a special counsel Wednesday to investigate possible coordination between President Trump's associates and Russian officials - a clear signal to the White House that federal investigators will aggressively pursue the matter despite the president's insistence that there was no "collusion'' with the Kremlin.

Robert S. Mueller III, a former prosecutor who served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013, has agreed to take over the investigation as a special counsel, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced. The move marks a concession by the Trump administration to Democratic demands for the investigation to be run independently of the Justice Department. Calls for a special counsel intensified after Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey last week.

It is weird that the WaPo report above calls this "a concession by the Trump administration to Democratic demands for the investigation". It further states that the White House was not informed about it until it had been made:

The White House did not learn of Rosenstein's decision until just 30 minutes before the public announcement was made.

Anyway. This is bad and the Trump administration should have pulled all strings to prevent it. Such investigations NEVER stick to their original, limited tasks but extend further and further. The order the Acting Attorney General wrote includes language which allows for nearly unlimited digging in "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation." It will thereby continue until -inevitably- some dirt will be found that can be blown out of all proportion and lead to prosecutions or impeachment.

Robert S. Mueller is also a bad choice as a special council as he is a former colleague and friend of former FBI director James Comey who Trump recently fired. From 2013: Forged Under Fire-Bob Mueller and Jim Comey's Unusual Friendship

Both men were rising stars mentored and guided by Eric Holder in the 1990s during Holder's time in the Justice Department under the Clinton administration.
...
Mueller, now 68, and Comey, now 52, would become close partners and close allies throughout the years ahead.
...

Both, Comey and Mueller, were involved in the dramatic hospital scene at the bed of Attorney General Ashcroft to stop Bush's illegal program of spying on U.S. citizens. The program in question stopped for a moment but the spying simply continued under a different legal justification.

The attempts to smear Trump and those around him over foreign connections have entered absurd territory. The lead headline at McClatchy today is a. old news, b. confusing the timeline only to further throw dirt into the direction of Trump:

Flynn stopped military plan Turkey opposed – after being paid as its agent

One of the Trump administration's first decisions about the fight against the Islamic State was made by Michael Flynn weeks before he was fired – and it conformed to the wishes of Turkey, whose interests, unbeknownst to anyone in Washington, he'd been paid more than $500,000 to represent.

The incoming Trump administration temporarily stopped the Raqqa campaign which the Obama administration had decided would be done with Kurdish forces. This was on January 17 , only a few days before the Trump administration took over. The Obama administration itself had deliberated about the issue for over 8 month and its choice was not its preferred option:

Most of the shortcomings outlined by the Trump team were obvious to Obama's advisers he added. In fact, the senior Obama administration official said, arming the Kurds was Obama's Plan B, after it became clear that Plan A - using Turkish forces to take Raqqa - would not be feasible.

It is doubtful that Flynn's communication of the decision was influenced by money. Flynn had registered his lobbying under the Lobbying Disclosure Act with the Clerk of the House of Representatives effectively September 15, 2016. According to his later filling (pdf) at the Foreign Agent Registry, his consulting contract with the Turkish owned company had ended three month later, on November 15, 2016. The owner of the company Inovo, which had hired Flynn, is Ekim Alptekin, an ally of the Turkish President Erdogan. (Alptekin's lawyer ones asserted that the company had acted on behalf of Israeli gas interests. The two Israeli gas companies possibly involved both denied any such connection.) Alptekin himself denied any connection to Trump administration decisions and correctly noted that Trump had practically no chance of winning the election at the time Alptekin had hired Flynn who was then just one of many Trump advisors.

There is no reasonable relation between Flynn's lobbying for Turkish interest and the halt of the Raqqa campaign preparations. Attempts to drawn lines between the Turkish lobbying and Russian interests end up as convoluted rumor collections. With the Raqqa halt the Trump administration simply rejected to take responsibility for a military adventure (which had not even started) based on a dubious last-minute Obama decision. It wanted to review the issue and decide after its own assessment.

One has to ask why McClatchy is reporting this now? That Flynn had was lobbying for Alptekin's company was registered in September and first reported in November 2016. The temporary halt of the Raqqa campaign planing was decided on January 17 and reported on February 2 2017. Where then is the "news" value in this May 2017 McClatchy report?

Aspecial council investigation will, of course, jump on such not-news reports like McClatchy's. He will dramatically invite witnesses and leak further rumors to the media - even when the basic facts show that there is nothing to it. Such investigations pursue death by a thousand cuts.

The Democrats, and especially progressives, work against their voters interest when they pursue a Trump impeachment which would let Vice President Pence take the White House:

Pence is a horror -- fiscal sadist, misogynist, homophobe, lover of the carceral state.

Pence is way more conservative than Trump. With Republicans in power in Congress he could easily implement all the horrific policies he ever dreamed of.

But the borg and the Democratic leadership are not concerned about that:

Democrats cheered the [special council] announcement as a step forward in resolving the unanswered questions about Russian meddling in last year's presidential election - and whether the president or anyone at the White House has interfered with the investigation.

Trump believes that better relations with Russia are important for the well-being of the United States, Pence would likely pursue an anti-Russian policy. That, I believe, is the real issue here. There are no unbeseeming relations between Trump and Russia. Russia had little, if any, influence on the 2016 election. There was no "Russian meddling". But Trump's somewhat more friendly behavior towards Russia, which he campaigned for, is disliked by the-powers-that-are.

We can now expect a very long drawn special council investigation with lots of media leaks and reporting. It will drown out all other important issues. It will likely end badly for Trump and badly for peaceful global power relations.

Posted by b on May 18, 2017 at 07:07 AM | Permalink

1

1) Allow me to hail your work. I myself have done research on the Web, I know how much work it can be, and the speed at which you find relevant information and put it together is absolutely stunning.
2) To quote you, "It will end badly for Trump, badly for global power relations", and I add, badly for Western democracies. The gloves are coming off: we Westerners (USA, EU, etc) have democratic systems... as long as we vote as we are told. In other terms, ours is a wolf in sheep's clothing system, and the truth is we live in banana republics.

Our US-led system has never seen anything wrong about toppling elected leaders and sponsoring the worst dictators in places like Asia, Europe, the Middle-East or South America. They've done it for decades. Why did we ever imagine they would hesitate to do the same at home?

Berry Friesen | May 18, 2017 7:54:24 AM | 2
I'm persuaded there's nothing there, so are you, b. Yet for obvious reasons, many are not. So Trump did the wise thing: he is cooperating with the only chance he has of putting this manufactured issue to bed.
Piotr Berman | May 18, 2017 8:01:12 AM | 3
While special investigations can be pretty bad, I do not see a superior alternative. Investigations are part of the executive function of the government, at least in USA, and the executive power has too many temptations to meddle, temptations that Trump did not resist. On paper, the special prosecutor is accomplished and "non-partisan", one can quibble if they could not found someone with a higher numeral, like Robert S. Mueller IV (III means that both dad and grandad were Roberts, rather than alternate between two names like kings of Denmark who alternate between Christian and Frederik).
somebody | May 18, 2017 8:19:22 AM | 4
Actually it is good for Trump.

As I understand it the task is to "oversee the previously-confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters" Mueller was appointed by Bush. As I understand it, he has to report to Rod Rosenstein, a Republican, who fired Comey . The devil is in the "related matters" - which might be anything from the DNC leak to the Obama administration spying on the Trump campaign.

jfl | May 18, 2017 8:35:29 AM | 5
@2 bf, 'Trump did the wise thing: he is cooperating with the only chance he has of putting this manufactured issue to bed ...'

He didn't even know what hit him. His assistant attorney general gave him the news just 30 minutes before he released it to the media. Anyone who thinks the rump is the engineer is dreaming. he's in the caboose, playing solitaire with the twits.

The show will go on. The rump will continue from somewhere in the white house at the length of his leash, blowing off steam as he goes, but the pressure in the boiler will continuously drop and the sound of his whistle will diminish, calling more and more lonesome night after night from the tracks along the twitter line. an endless line of dictators will stream through the white house, each duly proclaimed his new best friend.

People all over the world will begin to reduce as much as possible their exposure to all things American, especially the dollar.

V. Arnold | May 18, 2017 8:36:48 AM | 6
Circus maximus; minus the dead bodies (?)...
Hoarsewhisperer | May 18, 2017 8:42:08 AM | 7
Trump's experience in dog-eat-dog BizWorld would have included worse scenarios than this Star Chamber gambit by the Swamp. And the Swamp is so politicized and corrupt that Team Trump will drown them in their own bs.
PavewayIV | May 18, 2017 8:56:49 AM | 9
b,
"Pence is a horror-fiscal sadist, misogynist, homophobe, lover of the carceral state."

They forgot "Israeli-firster" and this doesn't even scratch the surface. The only thing worse than having the U.S. with nobody in charge since election day is having a sniveling little psychopath like Pence in charge. I still think I'll be right about WW III - I was just one president too early. God does have a sense of humor, and the joke is on the U.S. Few tears will be shed. We had it coming for a long time now.

Julian | May 18, 2017 9:09:11 AM | 10
I disagree this is bad. This appointment should give Trump & Sessions cover to appoint a decent FBI Director and properly go after Hilary Clinton, John Podesta, Clinton Foundation and find out who had Seth Rich murdered.

Justice for Seth Rich. Fire Clinton Corrupt Cabal Crony Andy McCabe and put him in the dock for the cover-up. Do it Trump and don't stuff it up!

pantaraxia | May 18, 2017 9:51:03 AM | 13
@8. 9

Speaking of "Israeli-firster" and "appoint a decent FBI Director", it appears that in the latest iteration of Tales from the Crypt, none other than Joe Lieberman has been resurrected from the undead to become odds on favourite as the next FBI Director. The same uber-Zionist Lieberman who makes Pence look positively meek in regard to Israel, who sponsored the Iraqi War Resolution Act , and who along with fellow lunatics McCain and Graham comprised the more war act known as the Three Amigos.

Yep, things are really looking up.

Anon | May 18, 2017 9:54:36 AM | 14
Does this idiocy ever stop? ! US with its deep state and media is really in a mess with this hatred against Russia and the sick witch hunt to find 1 piece of evidence to get rid of Trump. This is McCarthyism all over it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism

"McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence.[1] The term refers to U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy and has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from 1947 to 1956 and characterized by heightened political repression as well as a campaign spreading fear of influence on American institutions and of espionage by Soviet agents".

somebody

How is this hysteria a good thing? There is no russian connection. Its a hoax and its scary how people buy this, eventually this will result in hot war.

Julian | May 18, 2017 9:59:24 AM | 15
Re: Posted by: pantaraxia | May 18, 2017 9:51:03 AM | 13

Well. If Trump is dumb enough to make Lieberman his next FBI Director he will have only himself to blame for his failed Presidency.

Given Lieberman's a well known swamp creature though I can't possibly see Trump making such a huge error so soon after making such a great decision - ie - Firing Corrupt Comey. Take it to the bank - there is no chance Lieberman will be FBI Director.

PavewayIV | May 18, 2017 10:09:19 AM | 17
Debsisdead@12 - "...Pence will be gone quick smart so that the whores on the hill can manipulate some schmuck into the VP gig so if they do get the trumpet, the whores will own the executive..."

Why would the powers that be want Pence gone, Debs? It has nothing to do with Pence's vision or skills. It has everything to do with how 'ownable' he is, and that guy (as you have observed) is very ownable . The perfect lapdog for the deep state. Spiro Agnew indeed.

"...IMO, that is a good thing when pols spend their days trying to fuck each other up it diverts them away from their usual business of trying to fuck us up..."

I'll humbly suggest you have not been watching closely enough. The shackles are being slipped over your ankles while you watch the juggling monkeys duke it out. The monkeys have little to do with anything - they're the entertainment and distraction. People fall for it every time. Why would it be different this time around?

LXV | May 18, 2017 10:15:04 AM | 19
Thank you b!

I believe TPTSB's appointment of a special investigator serves as a counterweight to recent revelations of a direct Communication between Seth Rich and Wikileaks.

I.e. it's the age old strategy of obfuscation, smoke and mirrors: when adversaries find and present evidence against you, a counter-attack of at least the same proportions makes the perfect defense (with lamestream media shills on their side, this is gonna get ridiculous coverage). In this way they're killing 2 flies with 1 strike - taking the heat off of themselves and transforming Trump's offensive into a desperate attempt to save face and not get impeached.

Anon | May 18, 2017 10:24:16 AM | 20
somebody

Forbidden to make business with Russia? Yes apparently it is. Since the election US media and the ongoing investigation on Russia have already put out according to themselves clear evidence of Russian influence. Have you missed this? How is this hysteria a good thing now?

BRF | May 18, 2017 10:29:59 AM | 22
The tangled web of international business connections and deals runs across all so called' national interest' lines and any sanctions and such for the big boyz. The HSBC conviction and deferred prosecution being a prime example. This is but one small corner that may be revealed and no doubt Trump has business connections with the more shadowy Russian oligarchs as the casino-resort business has long ties with organized crime and the Russians of this bent would probably like a piece of that action by investing in a Trump development.

It is one of my beliefs that a big portion of Trump's political ideology could be summed up as 'What is good for the casino resorts is good for America.' So a disappearing American middle class is 'not good,' and thus 'America needs to be made great again.' Three axioms prevail in deciphering today's world: cui bono, follow the money, and don't be distracted by the manufactured distractions. In this case a lot of roads lead back to the Clintons et al.

harrylaw | May 18, 2017 10:46:08 AM | 23
I agree with somebody@4 and Julian@10, A special Council Investigation cannot limit its investigation to Trump and Associates, a proper investigation will go where the evidence leads, since Clinton and the DNC servers are also in the frame and should be even more investigated by Special Council since it is the DNC and it's MSM supporters complaints which have led the affair thus far.

Seth Rich, for instance is alleged to have 44,000 emails and 17,000 attachments on his computor, which again have been alleged to have been shared with Wikileaks through its now deceased Director Gavin MacFadyen. Adding credence to this claim is Wikileaks 20,000 dollar reward for any information on who killed Seth Rich. This is a double edged sword which could blow Clinton the DNC and all their nefarious machinations out the water.

Anon | May 18, 2017 10:52:54 AM | 24
harrylaw

But this is not a new investigation, its the continuation of the ongoing investigation about so called russian influence - comey had to go and this new guy will take over. This investigation which have been ongoing past months have nothing to do with Clinton whatsoever to do with. Is this really news for people?

blues | May 18, 2017 10:57:15 AM | 25
I'll take the guess that this will initially look to be on the up-and-up, and then turn into a political Kenneth Star type of affair. It's all ugly. They really are swamp creatures.
James lake | May 18, 2017 11:08:11 AM | 26
Just read An article entitled Trump Escalates Syrian Proxy War over at Consortium News. Could not care less what happens to Trump, he brought it all on himself. Iran, Russia and China need to get their defenses ready as the guns will be turned in them when the US has finished tearing itself apart

karlof1 | May 18, 2017 11:26:16 AM | 29
Trump tweets: "With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel [sic] appointed!

"This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

Zerohedge chimes in: "Of course, he does seem to have a point that after all the revelations of intentional evidence destruction (remember BleachBit), despite the known existence of a Congressional subpoena, intentional violations of the Federal Records Retention Act, secret Bill Clinton meetings with the Attorney General on Phoenix tarmacs and the passing out of immunity deals "like they were candy" by former FBI Director Comey, it does seem curious that no special counsel was ever appointed to look into Hillary's case. Will Trump now insist that one be appointed?"

Unfortunately, the crimes Trump's committed as POTUS come under the category of Crimes of Empire for which no POTUS has ever been impeached. One possible outcome from this political war would be the rise of an alternative political party having no connections with the wreckage of the D or R parties. I propose it be named the 99% Party.

Mina | May 18, 2017 12:05:50 PM | 31
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/269029/World/International/-Trump-campaign-had-at-least--undisclosed-contacts.aspx
runaway robot | May 18, 2017 12:43:00 PM | 32
Interesting article by Jim Kavanagh up on Counterpunch. Any thoughts on this?
ProPeace | May 18, 2017 1:12:58 PM | 34
Well said: Donald Trump's Seven Days in May - Judge Napolitano
Though the president has complained that Comey failed to investigate leaks of intelligence data from within his administration, The Washington Post effectively accused the president himself of becoming the leaker in chief by revealing to the Russians information so secret that only a handful of Americans legally possessed it. That information consisted of the name of a city in Syria from which spies had reported that the Islamic State group was plotting to plant bombs on commercial airliners.

What is so secret about that? Intelligence data almost always requires reading between the lines. Doing so here reveals the country from which the intelligence came, as there is only one friendly country that has sufficient intelligence resources in that city to develop local human spies. That country, which the president did not name but which we know is Israel, at first threatened to cut off providing intelligence data to the U.S. because of the president's private revelations but later said that all is forgiven. So, the president told the Russians where to find Israeli spies in Syria.

The fact that these revelations were private is of legal significance. Under federal law, the president can declassify any secrets, even the most highly sensitive and guarded ones. He can do so by whispering the secret into someone's ear or by formally removing the secret from its The Freedom Answer Boo... Andrew P. Napolitano Best Price: $1.99 Buy New $3.01 classified status. But because he did not do the latter, the secret is still a secret - yet The Washington Post has this material and may now legally reveal it.

All of this demonstrates that rogue intelligence agents can engage in their own form of agitprop - agitation propaganda. And they can cause political harm with it. Yet the questions of whether Donald Trump revealed top secrets to the Russians and, if he did so, whether it was intentional or not and whether it was harmful to national security are questions to which we are entitled to answers. And was Jim Comey fired for getting too close to the truth or not close enough?

Why do these questions keep coming?

plantman | May 18, 2017 1:54:26 PM | 36
who was in the oval office when Trump supposedly "leaked" the information? Just Rex Tillerson and McMaster (and the two Russians). McMaster is in regular communication with Paul Wolfowitz. Isn't it possible that McMaster is the mole, and then he has tried to hide his tracks by defending Trump publicly?

canuck | May 18, 2017 2:29:06 PM | 40
The 'Russia did it', in conjunction with the 'Trump is in bed with the Russians', narratives, both completely unsubstantiated, were chosen to be seized on as a red-herring to stick like a burr to, to milk for all they could be milked for, for a variety of reasons by the PTB.

For example, there is still a handy residual fear of Russia in the States, and Putin has been relentlessly demonized, so let's make use of it, and Russia effectively opposes 'full spectrum dominance, etc', and the spooks and MIC depend for a living on a scary big boogieman.

But the main intent was to divert public attention from extremely serious revelations about the Swamp that is the Washington PsTB.

The leaked extreme pathology on display easily interpreted in the Podesta emails via Wikileaks, along with the Weiner computer 'treasure trove' of emails - and the latter reportedly turned the stomach of an experienced key member of the NYPD, and involved evidence or indications of many serious crimes, Clintons involved - and then the murder of Seth Rich for having been in effect a hugely important whistleblower via Wikileaks, this mass of evidence re the seamy sick side of the massive Swamp had to be buried, silenced.

And notice that Comey was notably silent on much of this, and couldn't manage to find enough stuff on Hillary to merit more than a mild 'she was careless' with classified material reprimand.

The attention of the public had to be diverted somewhere, so why not towards Russia, and Trump had to be defeated, because Trump is not a reliable charter member of the Swamp. No doubt he has had some unseemly forays into the swamp. But the swamp dwellers see him on their very personal private level as a deadly enemy, a terminal threat. Recall Hillary's "we'll hang" prediction.

The Russia did it meme has been a desperate 'endless talking point' attempt to first, cover up and deny and divert attention from pedogate and other satanic or seriously criminal stuff in Washington and among the elite, and second, to try to take down Trump. He who may actually try to do the right thing; is not reliably under control by the PTB.

Hard to know what are the implications and will be the outcome of the appointment of the former FBI director Mueller, to investigate a non event and other related stuff. Sounds like an infinite task. Maybe this new oddyssey will be featured in his obituary notice some day, overshadowing his hitherto main claim to fame: presiding over the non-investigation of the treasonous 9/11 false flag.

CarlD | May 18, 2017 2:49:28 PM | 43
It is to be feared that feeling the heat, the Donald might try to divert attention with some "action d'eclat" involving some invented enemy's treat. He could very well sting NK or Iran. He could invent some "tonkin incident" in the persian Gulf... who knows?
Anon | May 18, 2017 2:57:08 PM | 44
CarlD

Correct, and in fact just hours now he attacked pro-Syrian forces in Syria. So Trump attack Syria when he got problems with neocon, anti-russian groups at home. Meanwhile ISIS cheer, along with EU, Nato and the Media, what a sick mind the western world have.

terril | May 18, 2017 3:03:45 PM | 45
Within 24 hours of terrorist supporter McCain coming out publicly about not supporting any impeachment of Trump, Trump bombs Syrian and Iraqi anti-IS troops in Syria.
Bart | May 18, 2017 3:10:02 PM | 46
36 - "who was in the oval office when Trump supposedly "leaked" the information?"

There were two interpreter-scribes in there, both of whom made a transcript of the conversations. Putin's offer to turn over his was rebuffed, leading one to believe mischief is afoot on our side.

chet380 | May 18, 2017 4:06:23 PM | 47
As to a Deputy-AG appointing a Special Counsel w/o presidential approval, there is a purported "Chinese wall" between the Office of the A-G and POTUS to allow the A-G to act independently. One can only pray that the present appointee doesn't turn out to be another Kenneth Starr.

Piotr Berman | May 18, 2017 4:29:26 PM | 51
The Dems are foolish retards, totally unredeemable.
Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 18, 2017 2:48:24 PM | 42

I am more optimistic about possibilities of redemption. For example, Enlightenment was a reaction to XVII century in Europe that was spend on a series of very bloody religious wars, in proportion to population, XVII century was more bloody than XX. So particular types of myopic and stupidity do not last forever. Second, it is not a particularly "partisan" condition. More like zeitgeist, I am afraid.

Within 24 hours of terrorist supporter McCain coming out publicly about not supporting any impeachment of Trump, Trump bombs Syrian and Iraqi anti-IS troops in Syria.

Posted by: terril | May 18, 2017 3:03:45 PM | 45

If only the special counsel would add war crimes to his investigation. If they can drift from real estate deals to veracity of testimony about sexual contacts, war crimes are a bit more related to "improper foreign contacts". And, well, they are crimes.

Anon | May 18, 2017 4:35:44 PM | 52
james

What strikes me is how far GOP seems to be totally uninterested in defending Trump and = their party, basically they are making GOP weaker and weaker. Some GOP seems to hate Trump even more than the Democrats!

tommy cockles | May 18, 2017 4:50:27 PM | 54
Bob Mueller: Super Hero (Oh wow, modern history completely revised!) I awoke to Fake News stories this morning, about the former FBI director, Robert Swan Mueller III: utterly impeccable, fantastic previous performance, in fact, a paragon of performance virtue! ! ! (Does have quite the Deep State lineage, that Bob!)

The Nation is saved! Or, maybe not . . . .

To recap old Bob's performances: the FBI never solved the case of missing nuke secrets at Los Alamos, but certainly put poor Mr. Wen Ho Lee through the ringer; they appear to have never investigated the valid allegations of former translator and whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds --- who was put under an official gag order for years; multiple contrived "counterterrorist" shams, when poor inner-city youths in Miami and Chicago (and elsewhere???) were set up --- then busted --- as probable terrorists; further deep penetration and compromising of the FBI by Chinese intelligence organizations, etc., etc., etc.

OK, under Bob Mueller's watch, the notorious international crime lord, Martha Stewart, was jailed! Bravo, Bobby, and I'm sure American slept more soundly with Ms. Stewart off the streets!

I recall the FBI, under the directorship of Mueller, as one severely dysfunctional outfit, i.e., business as usual. (Remember the congressional after-action report on 9/11? Remember how FBI middle managers, Frasca and Maltbie, rejected all terrorist warnings from field agents Sinder, Cowley and Williams, et al.? Remember how Frasca and Maltbie were then promoted???)

Yes, Bob Mueller does have a history of "public service" --- he was appointed chief of the DoJ's criminal division by President George H.W. Bush when that BCCI investigation was getting closer and closer to the White House and old Bob made sure that it got no closer!

And to insure that Treasury was in line during that period, Bush family cousin, John Walker, had been appointed the chief enforcement officer there --- the same John Walker, later appointed as a judge, who would have the future FBI director, James Comey, clerking for him.

Yes, Bob is the grandnephew of Richard Bissell, the CIA deputy director of plans, fired by President Kennedy before he was assassinated in Dallas.

Yes, Bob's wife's family name is Cabell --- and it was deputy director of the CIA, Gen. Charles Cabell, who was also fired by President Kennedy, and Cabell's brother, Earl Cabell, was indeed the mayor of Dallas on the day Kennedy had his brains splattered on a Dallas street!

Bob grew up in a wealthy family, we are told, so he needn't have served in Vietnam in combat. Yes, Bob's family wealth was on the Truesdale side of the family,that would be the same Truesdales who generations earlier were implicated in the bombing of competitors' oil refineries for the Rockefeller family, and later ended up with a Rockefeller-previously-owned railroad. Typical Horatio Alger-type story, no doubt. (I'm not suggesting anyone search into the family background of Bob --- those rich people are all saints, after all!)

I cannot comment on his military service, although it would be interesting to hear any former Marines' comments who served under him?

I recall that George W. Bush, who would late appoint Bob as the FBI director, was ahead of me a bit when he entered enlisted basic training and his name was still a joke at Lackland AFB when I went through there: the politician's son who went through enlisted basic training, then returned to Houston to miraculously, overnight, become an officer and jet pilot?!?!

Call me a radical progressive or call me a socialist --- but never, ever call me gullible and stupid! (And wasn't that Robert Swan Mueller III? And wasn't there a chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, around 1962 or early 1963, named Swan, when they lost millions of dollars there? Always wondered how the CIA paid for those assassinations in '63 and '68?)

Recommended viewing and reading:

The Tiger Trap by David Wise

Jounalists for Hire by Udo Ulfkotte

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IClVKyb63m4&authuser=0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pCk1qc4JvI

nonsense factory | May 18, 2017 4:58:30 PM | 56
Anon

The real relations and divisions in Washington seem to turned into the Soviet system under Brezhnev. They don't align with the political parties and the mostly stage-managed elections anymore. The domestic federal bureaucracy, the government contractors, the intelligence & surveillance sector, the overseas military, Wall Street, they're all playing power-circle games. This is how the system has operated - Cheney ran it under Bush, Clinton ran it under Obama, it's all bureaucractic infighting. If you read about Soviet history you see the same thing:

The nomenklatura were a category of people within the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries who held various key administrative positions in the bureaucracy running all spheres of those countries' activity: government, industry, agriculture, education, etc., whose positions were granted only with approval by the communist party of each country or region.

These are the functionaries and apparatchiks of a stagnating system, which is what's been going on in the U.S. for awhile now. Trump was just too much of an outsider to be accepted by the insiders, and his threats to change the status quo led to the current situation. Pence, they figure, will be far more amenable to control. Even though Trump has been going along with the standard Republican domestic agenda, he's just viewed as too unpredictable for their tastes. This is exactly how leadership selection in the old Soviet Union went on, too. And Trump is no master of bureaucratic infighting, unlike say, Putin. He's just flailing at this point.

I'm not concerned about it though, if the grossly corrupt federal government is locked up with this nonsense for the next four years, that's fine. Perhaps state governments can step up and work together to solve problems while Washington gnaws its own belly, that's about the best we can hope for.

psychohistorian | May 18, 2017 5:18:31 PM | 57
What seems obvious to me is that the appointment of a special investigation defuses the issue for the moment and lets whatever findings are allowed to be brought forth to occur at some timely future date as part of some other wag the dog event.

Next.

karlof1 | May 18, 2017 5:32:42 PM | 58
tc @54--

Thanks for that blistering bio. Seems most Deep State players have family ties to the cabal that hired General Butler to oust FDR only to become the nascent CIA's cadre.

terril | May 18, 2017 5:37:02 PM | 59
Trump being neutered by Washington and increasingly likely being taken down points out the incredible naievity of the populus shouts of 'drain the swamp', 'term limits', etc. and the lone hero arriving in town like some stereotypical Western movie plot.

Having never been part of the political system or worked his way up through a party, Trump lacks the army of lackeys who normally create a massive support structure for a president when he comes into office.

Trump appears to be like someone curled up in a fetal position crying out to an angry mob beating him what else he needs to do for them to stop.

and almost every other campaign promise he ever made. And while this is happening Trump supporters are still patting themselves on the back with blather about the power of their 'memes'.

Hoarsewhisperer | May 18, 2017 5:37:28 PM | 60
Posted by: pantaraxia | May 18, 2017 8:54:19 AM | 8
(Dutch anti-Trump smears)

The Dutch are just one of many tentacles of the Christian Colonial octopus/ Swamp Alliance. All of Christian Colonialism's warmongering, banksterised, govt-toppling, movers and shakers (US, France, Germany, UK etc etc) are on board with the Get Trump conspiracy. One thing they have in common is that they all (including Oz) get their "News" from the Jew-controlled MSM and are anti-Palestinian and apologists for Jewish Colonialism in Palestine. The worsening facts-on-the-ground in "Israel" speak volumes about Christian Colonialism's support for the Israel Project.

"Israeli"-dominated News is the de facto bullshit/ talking-point manufacturer & coordinator for The West.

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. | May 18, 2017 5:48:16 PM | 62
I agree with somebody@4 and Julian@10, A special Council Investigation cannot limit its investigation to Trump and Associates, a proper investigation will go where the evidence leads ...
Posted by: harrylaw | May 18, 2017 10:46:08 AM | 23

Investigations going where the evidence leads sounds important but is utter B.S. Every fact in the world is connected to every other fact by some other intervening fact(s). A "proper investigation" begins with a suspicion that a particular act or omission has been committed and the investigation answers whether that particular act or omission was in fact committed.

Language in the remit that authorizes an open-ended investigation is a mandate to find something to pin on the target of the investigation, not an authorization for a "proper investigation." E.g., Kenneth Star's investigation began with a remit to investigate the suicide death of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster and the Whitewater real estate investments of Bill Clinton. But Star ultimately charged Bill Clinton only with perjury about having an affair with Monica Lewinsky, something that had only the most tenuous connection --- many would say no connection --- with his original remit.

Mueller's charge is to find something to pin on Trump, not to conduct a "proper investigation."

2 cents from someone who has done hundreds of investigation.

karlof1 | May 18, 2017 6:48:40 PM | 63
Mercouris at The Duran presents an excellent argument why nothing will be found and the investigation shut down after awhile, the reasoning being within the statement made appointing Mueller, http://theduran.com/counsel-mueller-disappoint-democrats-media/

fast freddy | May 18, 2017 7:16:54 PM | 65
Trump is NOT a member of the club which is the Republican Hierarchy. Those are the real motherfuckers. They do not want him to be prez and he is not welcome in their club. Neither is Trump an official errand boy for the Deep State (many among both parties are official errand boys and girls). Again, Trump is not an official errand boy.

Trump has tried to appease the rotten motherfuckers. He really has. Trump is already ratfucking the middle class and the poor in accordance with their prescription. Trump will keep on trying to please them (See Joe Lieberhebrewratbastard).

No matter, they strapped Pence to his back, BECAUSE they want a malleable errand boy who will DO Exactly as he is instructed.

They don't want Trump - second guessing them. No hesitation.

The Middle East must fall as quickly as possible in accordance with the Yinon Plan. And America must NOT have a revived middle class. It cannot be made great again.

blues | May 18, 2017 7:38:11 PM | 66
Just so people know. . .

/~~~~~~~~~~
Independent Counsels, Special Prosecutors, Special Counsels, and the Role of Congress
Congressional Research Service
June 20, 2013
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43112.pdf

Congress may also have a legislative role in designing a statutory mechanism for the appointment of "independent counsels" or "special prosecutors," as it did in title VI of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. Under the provisions of that law relating to the appointment of "independent counsels" (called "special prosecutors" until 1983), the Attorney General was directed to petition a special three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals to name an independent counsel upon the receipt of credible allegations of criminal misconduct by certain high-level personnel in the executive branch of the federal government whose prosecution by the Administration might give rise to an appearance of a conflict of interest. In 1999, Congress allowed the "independent counsel" provisions of law to expire. Upon the expiration of the law in June of 1999, no new "independent counsels" or "special prosecutors" may be appointed by a three-judge panel upon the application of the Attorney General.
\~~~~~~~~~~

So Robert S. Mueller is a "special counsel" but not a "special prosecutor" (I don't recall this mentioned here yet -- might have missed it). This means that it would require an act of congress (and probably 2/3rds of Congress) to appoint a new "special prosecutor". And so, they say, Trump could theoretically fire Mueller.

Pft | May 18, 2017 7:54:33 PM | 67
Things are not as they seem. IMO this is a carefully scripted plan by the Deep State to push Trump into Total War, not that he was not inclined to do so anyways. His Russian connections lead to mafia ties so deep he could lose everything under Rico. He knows this. Once the War begins the internet kill switch is thrown and the lights go out. Martial Law. Like in WWI, if you criticize the war you go to jail. A Deep State Dream.

I never did believe Trump with his billions would want to be in this for the long haul. He resigns at some point, keeps his fortune and the guy the Deep State and Dark Money (koch Brothers, etc) wanted all along takes over (Pence).

Trump was a Trojan Horse to get the Koch Brothers control. They probably had something on Trump to force him to run and avoid Rico charges. He lied his way into office , got some help from Comey and a mole in the DNC who has been taken out (blamed on Putin) and now will play out the script. Lets face it, we've all been had. Trump had Comey ousted for show and he will live the good life with a job well done. Deep State controlled MSM will have a new war to cover and maybe even a show of impeachment hearings before or during the war. Great for ratings and advertisements especially if they can shut down the alternative media on the internet which Martial Law or new laws being wriitten will allow. MIC and international Banks will be rolling in the dough. Everyone wins except those caught in the carnage down below (bottom 99%) and of course those nations we obliterate with Shock & Awe on Steroids (nukes)

Lochearn | May 18, 2017 7:55:12 PM | 68
They will go on and on and on until they can find something to impeach Trump on. I with agree with comments that now Israel appears to have pitched in the outlook for Trump does not look good. The flip side of this is how Trump's deplorables will react to the taking down of their man. The ongoing events have awakened and will awaken significant numbers of previously asleep people. People who are very angry, many of whom have guns. If these people start rioting the whole edifice will shake and anything could happen.

If they don't riot the anger could find its outlet in mass targetted killings of the 1% by individuals or groups that are very difficult to track.

Ghostship | May 18, 2017 8:00:36 PM | 69
>>>> karlof1 | May 18, 2017 6:48:40 PM | 63

Mercouris at The Duran is almost certainly correct that nothing will be found and there might be an attempt to shut down the investigation, but the Clintonists like their vozhd won't accept the results and this stupidity will continue. Who says Trump is a bad loser? Clinton and the Clintonists who still can't accept that she lost.

Piotr Berman | May 18, 2017 8:37:50 PM | 70
Having never been part of the political system or worked his way up through a party, Trump lacks the army of lackeys who normally create a massive support structure for a president when he comes into office. Posted by: terril | May 18, 2017 5:37:02 PM | 59

More precisely, Trump may have as any lackeys, well-wishing hacks (like Bannon), doting family members as he wants, but "institutional memory" has layers of aristocracy (born to expert meritorious service) and those who earned her spurs with aristocratic mentors and got accepted. There was a time when Bill Clinton was a literal hillbilly to our aristocrats, and Hillary, a girl from a good family who unfortunately strayed and married the rascal. But with hard work, quick wit, and good eye for the newest fashion (making liberalism more centric) he got accepted. The case of Obama is similar.

One can sneer at the aristocracy and "first generation meritocrats", but this is not XVIII-th century and the government is, by necessity, quite complex, and experts are necessary. If you send a non-expert to a key department, or to Presidential office, without good vision and good advise, he will get digested or spit out.

To some degree, the bureaucrats are apolitical and can follow the politicians. You want more reasonable penalties in the federal court? We can do it. You want to push them up to the max for your favorite categories -- we can do it. You want to squeeze financial wizards who make the economy moving (some people may call it fraud, but isn't it a form of capital formation?), the digestive juices of the system starts flowing. And so on.

Trump does not have any experts or thinkers of note that do not belong to the "meritocrats", i.e. the Washington establishment. Bannon is perhaps a thinker, but hardly of note. I even doubt that Trump has any good instincts, except that at occasion he had the childish gift of noticing that this or that has "no cloths". But the next thing a child does is throwing a tantrum for some petty reason.

jfl | May 18, 2017 9:32:00 PM | 76
@75 vv 'They will blunder about in lost befuddlement until they vanish.'

so true. but we'll still be here. our sheer numbers ensure that we will survive. i think it would be good if we worked together to prevent the reboot of the same old broken system after its blue screen flashes at death, just like a m$ machine. we know now exactly what will reboot if we don't.

Piotr Berman | May 18, 2017 10:04:50 PM | 77
"Donald Trump used alt-right messaging to get into the White House but he and his third-rate staff haven't the slightest clue of what gave rise to the deplorables in the first place and how to address the root despair of the western working class." VietnamVet

I do not know how highly rated the staff was, but it was sufficiently high. If the opponent has fourth-rate staff, it would be wasteful to use anything better than third-rate. Figuring what gave rise to the deplorable is a wasted effort, sociologist differ, and in politics the "root causes" matter only a little. And all authorities suggest to exploit the despair with soundbites and posturing. Granted, this is a platitude, but how to obtain compelling soundbites and posturing? I think that the best technique is based on so-called wedge issues. A good wedge issue should raise passions on "both sides" but not so much in the "center", mostly clueless undecided voters. Calibrate your position so it is a good scrap of meat for your "base" while it drives the adversaries to conniptions, the conniptions provide talking points and together, drive the clueless in your direction. Wash, repeat.

susan sunflower | May 18, 2017 10:24:50 PM | 78
for your convenient reference, there are 5 current investigations into Trump (per the Guardian)

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2017/may/18/the-investigations-swirling-around-donald-trump-a-short-guide .

Mueller is only involved in one, the first ""An FBI counter-intelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections and possible collusion in this effort by the Trump campaign""

By focusing his energy on the outrage and insult of this witchhunt, Trump may have painted himself into a corner from which all escape routes involve loss of face and a his most loyal base of support ... for example, releasing his tax returns/sources of income ...

His only apparent silver lining is that Flynn and Rice (although details are unclear) appear to be not-cooperating and declining to appear ... whether they will actually commit follow through and risk "contempt of congress" charges remains to be seen... but I suspect there's hidden agenda (like an immunity deal) rather than some principled stand at work.

Jackrabbit | May 19, 2017 1:44:38 AM | 79
Wow what a show. Faux populist Obama was also politically weakened by crazy opposition. Faux populist Obama was also forced FORCED! to do the establishment's bidding.

Could Trump be the Republican Obama? Are we all falling for essentially the same con? Few can wrap their heads around that possibility. Yet ...

> Sanders was a sheepdog.

> Hillary's campaign was lackluster.

> Comey (who protected Hillary) acted to ensure a Trump victory.

> Trump has now bombed Syria twice and will be feted in KSA.

Alain B | May 19, 2017 2:45:31 AM | 81
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/us/politics/special-counsel-in-russia-investigation-raises-stakes-for-trump.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0
Jonathan | May 19, 2017 3:10:25 AM | 82
Such investigations NEVER stick to their original, limited tasks but extend further and further.
That doesn't necessarily mean it'll be Trump's dirt that washes up. If Seth Rich is proven to have leaked the emails to Wikileaks, the Russian hacking narrative evaporates, and the Ukrainian collusion to manipulate the election from the Democrat side is legitimately within the ambit of the investigation. We may yet see the Democrat Party prosecuted as a continuing criminal enterprise, and none too soon.

@71 Petri Krohn,

They describe the capabilities of US Internet advertisers, even worse post-net-neutrality, and project it onto Russia. Their desperation reeks.

Anon | May 19, 2017 4:32:50 AM | 83
Jackrabbit

Obama was never in the "opposition", Trump is indeed in the opposition but the question is if he have the strength to stand up to these sick people in deepstate/msm. With attacks on Syria etc it doesnt look good but there is no comparsion to the wimp Obama.

pantaraxia | May 19, 2017 6:02:12 AM | 84
Just when you thought things couldn't get any crazier in this Looking Glass War, with all the hysteria over Trump's ultimate unpardonable sin - the revelation of an Israeli secret, this comes out (fwiw):

Intel Trump gave Russians came from Jordan, not Israel – report http://www.timesofisrael.com/intel-trump-gave-russians-was-from-jordan-not-israel-report/

"Jordan, not Israel, was likely the original source of secret intelligence information given by US President Donald Trump to the Russians, the Qatar-based al-Jazeera news network reported Thursday, citing current and former Jordanian intelligence officials

The sources said the intelligence that Trump shared with the Russians came mainly from Jordanian spies. Jordan, they said, has developed human intelligence resources with agents on the ground, including some who have infiltrated militia groups . When it comes to ISIL, unlike Jordan, Israel relies on its electronic surveillance collection and its intelligence sharing-arrangement with its Arab partners"

james | May 19, 2017 3:11:21 PM | 85
@84 pantaraxia.. i thought jordan was working for isis/israel, err i mean the usa.... i can't tell the difference.. times of israel - that is a reliable source, if ever there was one, lol...
darms | May 20, 2017 3:00:47 AM | 86
Pence is up to his eyeballs in this sh*t & is likely to be taken down as well. Wonder if Ryan will still be speaker once this stuff comes down (assuming it does)...
Anon | May 20, 2017 12:08:41 PM | 87
On the Mueller investigation:

"Politicians, journalists, academics, and even ordinary folks will be targeted by the government in the hunt for 'Putin's puppets.'"

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/how-muellers-investigation-could-turn-raging-mccarthyesque-witchhunt/ri19884

pantaraxia | May 20, 2017 1:24:57 PM | 88
@ 85 james
re: times of israel - that is a reliable source, if ever there was one, lol...

"the Qatar-based al-Jazeera news network reported Thursday, citing current and former Jordanian intelligence officials" Which part of this sourcing in the article did you not understand? The more interesting questions are what is the purpose of releasing this information by a US puppet, who colluded in the release and how it plays into the 'Trump betrayed Israel' hysteria.

Jackrabbit | May 20, 2017 2:10:15 PM | 89
Anon @83

I think you misread or misunderstood what I wrote.

My thesis is this: both Obama and Trump are faux populists and are part and parcel of a 'faux populist model of governance'. Elements of this model are:

1. A craven narcisstic egotistic Leader (Obama, Trump) that is a willing tool because he/she intends to capture a future payoff for himself. They signal their willingness via:

> forgiving past abuses ("no-drama Obama"; Trump's not prosecuting Hillary)

> constraining their own power: Obama's bi-partisanship (termed "11-dimensional chess" by critics), Trump's brashness/recklessness that gives his opponents fodder ("tapes" on Comey, etc.)

2. Establishment-friendly VP as insurance. Both Biden and Pence are seen as 'reliable hands' by TPTB.

3. crazy opposition that is intended to weaken a faux populist leader and energize apologists. I call them "enforcers". By crazy opposition, I mean

> Obama: 'birthers' and smears like "socialist muslim".

Trump: Russia probe; smears like "the new Hitler"

4. apologists that take as a given that the President wants to fulfill the promises, both spoken and unspoken, that he has made to the people.

PS I wrote about this on my blog.
Jackrabbit | May 20, 2017 2:47:50 PM | 90
And, of course:
5. A compliant media
Other considerations: This is a toxic mix because it sends the message that neither your vote nor your opinion matters so why waste your time seeking out truth?
james | May 20, 2017 3:33:32 PM | 91
@88 pantaraxia.. i don't know that it matters either way... it is only interesting from the point of view of further obfuscation being created and moving away for the central fact that trump can share whatever info he wants to share.. now the irony here as i understand it, is nothing he shared was all that earth shattering - but no matter - witch hunt on trump must continue!
jfl | May 20, 2017 7:04:53 PM | 92
in what's termed the second of a series, someone named jonathan marshall makes the crucial point about the various 'lobbies' in the usofa ... How China Lobby Shaped America
In 1949, two members of Congress called for an investigation of the lobby's "brazen power." Rep. Mike Mansfield, a Montana Democrat who would later become Senate majority leader, accused Nationalist Chinese officials - who had fled the mainland for Taiwan that year in the wake of the communist revolution - of diverting U.S. aid to fund political propaganda in the United States.

Ironically, a timely dispensation of $800,000 from Nationalist Chinese officials in Taiwan to their New York office financed a successful campaign to squelch that proposed investigation.

... they are self-funding operations. once the money starts to flow a portion is set aside for kickbacks, bribes, and efforts to protect the mainstream funding itself. it is truly a parasitic operation that feeds on the fruits of its effort on others' behalf, and thus strengthens itself, becoming a stand-alone operation.

there are tens of thousands of people in ac/dc working in these operations, looking out for taiwan's interests, israel's interests, making sure that russia stays demonized ... all the various corporate issues ... but at base and before all else, looking out for number one.

a sort of 5th column of folks working on behalf of 5th columnists, subverting government in favor of the lucrative process of policy misdirection itself.

with a gang like that at the core of our government what, as they say, could go wrong?

Penelope | May 20, 2017 8:24:51 PM | 93
Y'all may remember that Trump's domestic business dealings had some Mob connections. I think Wm Engdahl, among other, reported on this. Well, if you google Trump and Russian Mafia you will see an entirely different idea as to what this attack on Trump might be about. I've not studied it, take no position. If I WERE interested, it's what I'd be looking at.

At this time, it seems to me a better use of one's time to avoid allowing the media to direct your time and attention, and instead to focus on deepening your knowledge of the international institutions' agenda for bringing about the last few steps to the NWO.

United Nations sustainable development agenda www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda/

On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit - officially came into force. ... The SDGs, also known as Global Goals, build on the success of the

[May 22, 2017] Manafort, Stone Give Russia Docs To Senate Intel Committee

They can dig this dirt to years. Trump is now a hostage.
Notable quotes:
"... A spokesman for Manafort, Jason Maloni, confirmed that Manafort turned over documents, adding that Manafort remains interested in cooperating with the Senate investigation. ..."
"... NBC adds that it was too early to tell whether the documents from Manafort and Stone "suggested they had fully complied with the request." In a parallel process, as part of the FBI's Russia collusion investigation, federal grand juries have issued subpoenas for records relating to both Flynn and Manafort. ..."
May 22, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
While Michael Flynn may refusing to comply with the Senate Intel Committee's probe of Russian interference, two other former associates of Donald Trump complied on Monday afternoon, and according to NBC , Paul Manafort and Roger Stone have turned over documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee in its Russia investigation, providing "all documents consistent with their specific request." As reported previously, the committee sent document requests to Manafort and Stone, as well as Carter Page and Mike Flynn, seeking information related to dealings with Russia. So far Page has not yet complied, while Flynn it was confirmed today, planned to plead the Fifth as a reason not to comply with a committee subpoena, citing "escalating public frenzy" as part of the ongoing probe.

According to NBC, the committee's letter to Page asked him "to list any Russian official or business executive he met with between June 16, 2015 and Jan. 20, 2017. It also asked him to provide information about Russia-related real estate transactions during that period. And it seeks all his email or other communications during that period with Russians, or with the Trump campaign about Russia or Russians."

While the precise contents is unknown, similar letters were sent to Manafort and Stone, who then sent the requested information to investigators by last Friday's deadline.

"I gave them all documents that were consistent with their specific request," Stone said in an email to NBC News.

A spokesman for Manafort, Jason Maloni, confirmed that Manafort turned over documents, adding that Manafort remains interested in cooperating with the Senate investigation.

NBC adds that it was too early to tell whether the documents from Manafort and Stone "suggested they had fully complied with the request." In a parallel process, as part of the FBI's Russia collusion investigation, federal grand juries have issued subpoenas for records relating to both Flynn and Manafort.

Meanwhile, Flynn's assertion of the Fifth Amendment would make it difficult for the Senate to enforce its subpoena, NBC News reported citing Senate sources: "The Senate could go to court, or go ask the Justice Department to go to court to enforce it, but either actin would require the Republicans who control the chamber to agree." Trump fired Flynn as his national security advisor in February after misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials about conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about U.S. sanctions on Russia.

WillyGroper , May 22, 2017 4:18 PM

if the ruskie investigation fails to unravel the deals/pay to play treason of hrc, it's a screenplay.

Honest John , May 22, 2017 4:19 PM

CNN led off their newscast saying that pleading the 5th is an admission of guilt. Only guilty people do it.

How do they get away with this stuff? And people buy into it.

dexter_morgan - Honest John , May 22, 2017 4:24 PM

Then all of Hillary's staff is guilty on the email probe stuff, they all claimed the 5th. Didn't Loretty Lynch or Holder also plead the 5th recently?

Grandad Grumps , May 22, 2017 4:31 PM

This is hilarious. Is there supposed to be some connection between meeting with Russians and rigging an election?

I am thinking that if there is to be an investigation then Congress needs to cast a wider net to include all of the past three administrations, All international banks and their legal representatives, all of Congress and everyone who has ever contributed to the DNC or RNC.

If they are going to hunt for witches, why not make it open season on ALL witches.

My personal preference is to be on friendly terms with both Russia and China ... not to mentioned Iran, people of all religions and the other countries that do not have BIS tied central banks. Why do we tolerate people telling us that we have to hate someone?

[May 22, 2017] How Did Russiagate Start

Notable quotes:
"... Intelligence [agencies] started #Russiagate ..."
"... But why hide your investigation in Obama's administration, only to tell superiors about it under Trump? Why keep a secret from Clapper and not Coats? Moreover, why hide it from the voting public before the election, but announce it on live TV on March 20th? ..."
"... We should care. The uncertainty has led to widespread public terror, mass media hysteria and excess , and possibly even panic in the White House itself, where, who knows, Trump may even have risked military confrontation with Russia in an effort to shake the collusion accusations. All of this is exacerbated by the constant stream of leaks and hints at mother lodes of evidence that are just around the corner. It's quite literally driving the country crazy. ..."
"... Mueller quit his regular job, so he needs to be Special Counsel for as long as possible. So, it's (2). He doesn't have to say he's found anything, he just needs to say the investigation continues. It could continue into and after the next general election, making Trump a lame duck from now until the end of his term. ..."
May 21, 2017 | www.rollingstone.com

Intelligence [agencies] started #Russiagate

Speaking generally, Clapper seemed to imply that the Trump-Russia-collusion scandal, the thing colloquially known as #Russiagate all over the world now, may have originated in information gleaned by the intelligence community, who in turn may have tipped off the FBI.

Amid the chaos of James Comey's firing, new questions about the timeline of his fateful investigation

... ... ...

Todd went out of his way to hammer at the question of whether or not he knew of any evidence of collusion. Clapper again said, "Not to my knowledge." Here Todd appropriately pressed him: If it did exist, would you know?

To this, Clapper merely answered, "This could have unfolded or become available in the time since I left the government."

That's not an unequivocal "yes," but it's close. There's no way to compare Clapper's statements on March 5th to his interviews last week and not feel that something significant changed between then and now.

Clapper's statements seem even stranger in light of James Comey's own testimony in the House on March 20th.

In that appearance, Comey – who by then had dropped his bombshell about the existence of an investigation into Trump campaign figures – was asked by New York Republican Elise Stefanik when he notified the DNI about his inquiry.

"Good question," Comey said. "Obviously, the Department of Justice has been aware of it all along. The DNI, I don't know what the DNI's knowledge of it was, because we didn't have a DNI – until Mr. Coats took office and I briefed him his first morning."

Comey was saying that he hadn't briefed the DNI because between January 20th, when Clapper left office, and March 16th, when former Indiana senator and now Trump appointee Dan Coats took office, the DNI position was unfilled.

But Comey had said the counterintelligence investigation dated back to July, when he was FBI director under a Democratic president. So what happened between July and January?

If Comey felt the existence of his investigation was so important that he he had to disclose it to DNI Coats on Coats' first day in office, why didn't he feel the same need to disclose the existence of an investigation to Clapper at any time between July and January?

Furthermore, how could the FBI participate in a joint assessment about Russian efforts to meddle in American elections and not tell Clapper and the other intelligence chiefs about what would seemingly be a highly germane counterintelligence investigation in that direction?

Again, prior to last week, Clapper had said he would know if there was a FISA warrant issued on this matter. But then on April 11th, law enforcement and government officials leaked – anonymously, as has been the case throughout most of this story – that the FBI had obtained a FISA warrant for surveillance of Trump associate Carter Page.

So what's going on here? In talking to people on the Hill last week, I heard a number of theories.

One interpretation is that the FBI, concerned about operational security, conducted a secret investigation during the last months of Barack Obama's presidency without informing the likes of Clapper and other agency chiefs.

But why hide your investigation in Obama's administration, only to tell superiors about it under Trump? Why keep a secret from Clapper and not Coats? Moreover, why hide it from the voting public before the election, but announce it on live TV on March 20th?

Another interpretation is that Clapper was simply not telling the whole truth, either on March 20th or last week. In this version of events, he knew of the FBI investigation all along. More than one person I spoke with found it implausible that Clapper could have been ignorant of any investigation, especially following the issuance of the reported FISA warrant against Page.

But the context of these interviews still makes Clapper dissembling in his March interview a strange and unlikely possibility. Clapper has not been in the habit of doing Trump political favors this season. And if indeed it's standard practice for a DNI to not know what counterintelligence operations the FBI might be up to, it would have made a lot more sense for Clapper to say that on Meet the Press on March 5th.

Instead, he did Trump a solid by stating unequivocally that there were no FISA warrants out, and that he would have known if there were, adding he had seen no evidence of collusion. Why?

When James Comey was fired last week, I didn't know what to think, because so much of this story is still hidden from view.

Certainly firing an FBI director who has announced the existence of an investigation targeting your campaign is going to be improper in almost every case. And in his post-firing rants about tapes and loyalty, President Trump validated every criticism of him as an impetuous, unstable, unfit executive who additionally is ignorant of the law and lunges for authoritarian solutions in a crisis.

But it's our job in the media to be bothered by little details, and the strange timeline of the Trump-Russia investigation qualifies as a conspicuous loose end.

What exactly is the FBI investigating? Why was it kept secret from other intelligence chiefs, if that's what happened? That matters, if we're trying to gauge what happened last week.

Is it a FARA (Foreign Agent Registration Act) case involving former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn or a lower-level knucklehead like Carter Page ?

Since FARA is violated more or less daily in Washington and largely ignored by authorities unless it involves someone without political connections (an awful lot of important people in Washington who appear to be making fortunes lobbying for foreign countries are merely engaged in "litigation support," if you ask them), it would be somewhat anticlimactic to find out that this was the alleged crime underlying our current white-hot constitutional crisis.

Is it something more serious than a FARA case, like money-laundering for instance, involving someone higher up in the Trump campaign? That would indeed be disturbing, and it would surely be improper – possibly even impeachable, depending upon what exactly happened behind the scenes – for Trump to get in the way of such a case playing itself out.

But even a case like that would be very different from espionage and treason. Gutting a money-laundering case involving a campaign staffer would be more like garden-variety corruption than the cloak-and-dagger nightmares currently consuming the popular imagination.

However, let's say the FBI is actually investigating collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian state. That's the most serious possibility, and the one exciting so much public dread.

If it's that, what's at the heart of that case? Why can't we be told what's going on? Operational secrecy would be a believable excuse, were it not for the fact that so much else has been leaked. Intelligence sources even appeared to give up their ability to capture Russian officials celebrating Trump's election win. If something like that can be leaked, and if even foreign governments can be told about "leverages of pressure" Russia allegedly has on Trump , it stands to reason that the American public should have heard what's behind the Trump-Russia investigation by now.

Trump easily could have committed some disqualifying act in response to this scandal. The worry about that is why we've always needed an independent investigation.

Such an investigation into Trump's campaign might very well uncover a range of improprieties and shady dealings by some of the campaign "associates" who've figured into news reports. This wouldn't be surprising, I don't think, even to some of the people in the White House.

But when it comes to the collusion investigation, there are serious questions. A lot of our civil liberties protections and rules of press ethics are designed to prevent exactly this situation, in which a person lingers for extended periods of time under public suspicion without being aware of the exact nature, or origin, of the accusations.

It's why liberal thinkers have traditionally abhorred secret courts, secret surveillance and secret evidence, and in the past would have reflexively discouraged the news media from printing the unverified or unverifiable charges emanating from such secret sources. But because it's Donald Trump, no one seems to care.

We should care. The uncertainty has led to widespread public terror, mass media hysteria and excess , and possibly even panic in the White House itself, where, who knows, Trump may even have risked military confrontation with Russia in an effort to shake the collusion accusations. All of this is exacerbated by the constant stream of leaks and hints at mother lodes of evidence that are just around the corner. It's quite literally driving the country crazy.

The public deserves to know what's going on. It deserved to know before the election, it deserved to know before the inauguration, and it deserves to know now.

Paulytical Rob Kaufman 3 days ago
Mueller quit his regular job, so he needs to be Special Counsel for as long as possible. So, it's (2). He doesn't have to say he's found anything, he just needs to say the investigation continues. It could continue into and after the next general election, making Trump a lame duck from now until the end of his term.
Thomas Roberts Rob Kaufman 3 days ago
I think McCain might give Clapper a go for first place.

ernie_oertle Thomas Roberts 21 hours ago

I dunno. There is alot of competition = DamascusNancy, Shummer-Hits-the-Fan, TomPerez, SenatorTurban, Lieawotha, JoeOBiden, BS Bernie, Maxine, BarbaraBoxer, AlGreen, MitchMcConnell, AlecBaldwin, TrevorNoah, SteponColbear, JannWenner, CaliphKeith al-Ellison
furtive 17 hours ago
Attorney General Robert H. Jackson;
"The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America. His discretion is tremendous. . . .While the prosecutor at his best is one of the most beneficent forces in our society, when he acts from malice or other base motives, he is one of the worst."

A prosecutor has almost unilateral, unchecked ability to destroy the lives of those he charges. It is beyond troubling that our top law enforcement officer chooses the company of those who repeatedly failed their duty.

mitrom 18 hours ago
It's obvious that this Russia-Trump investigation is a ruse to spy on Trump and his associates for dirt. I'm sure the Obama Admin spied on other political foes. His admin has a history of it. Let's hope that Mueller actually has some integrity and finds the truth.

furtive mitrom 17 hours ago

See: Trevor Aaronson: "The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War On Terrorism,"
Irish Good ol boy Mueller as FBI DIRECTOR created the Terror Factory- conspired to entrap Muslims and arrested them as terrorists to justify the FBI's inflated budget.
The FBI are the keystone cops. They are coverup operators & incompetent. Nothing but a gangster operation.

Mueller mentored Comey. Both are corrupt, pretending to be patriotic.
Comey got $3 million as a "board member" at Lockheed Martin to shut down Clintons Treason investigation.
Mueller wants Trump's tax returns to dig into. He has UNLIMITED boundaries to probe.

Obama never gave up his life to an independent counsel. Lynch Holder & Yates protected him.

Rod Rosenstein must be compromised. No other answer why he didn't protect Trump.

Gangsters are running our country like a banana republic.
No honest person can lead these criminals. They turn the tables & charge the innocent.

(See Senator Stevens because he ran for another term in Alaska. They killed him!)

Irredeemable Deplorable 18 hours ago
"Russiagate" is going to backfire on the DemocRats big time. I can't wait for the finale.

furtive 19 hours ago

Hey, Matt,

Substitute Trump for Hil-Lia-y & any special counsel will have enough
evidence to execute her.

Why doesn't Tahibbi investigate the uranium hil-liar y sold to the Russians & how she LAUNDERED A payoff INTO THE CLINTON FOUNDATION; or Why the FBI DIDN'T SEIZE THE DNC COMPUTERS; or why was Seth Rich assassinated?

Or how john podesta got rich on Russian banking while working in the Obama White House.

What came first, Matt, voter fraud or Trump's large crowds?

Read the book, "Shattered" & you will discover how & Hil-liar-y CONSPIRED TO SPIN THE WAG THE DOG EXCUSE AS A RUSSIAN HACK WHEN IT WAS SETH RICH , & they murdered him.

Gumshoe reporter or Goebbels parrot, which are you, Matt?

L. Wm. Roberts 19 hours ago
Russian-connection my hynnie --- Is the DNC and Hillary connection to Wikileaks Source Seth Rich and his probable actual death in the Hospital, hours after the time recorded on his death-certificate, news-worthy yet... or is Faceplant and Tweeker still deleting the message?
http://www.wnd.com/2017/05/...
https://medium.com/@caityjo...
http://www.news.com.au/tech...
https://www.youtube.com/wat...
PNW_Patriot 20 hours ago
Maybe the investigation is a ruse started by Obama apparatchiks with the idea that Trump would self-destruct under the pressure Looks like it's working.
burningtree 20 hours ago
The "Russia" investigation is a red herring, a hoax. Can anyone, anyone name the statute that is being referenced for this "investigation?" They can't because there is none. Is there any claim or evidence that a single vote was compromised by the "Russians" in favor of Trump? Anyway, they don't want him POTUS, because he is no pushover, like HRC would have been. it's all a fiction, all of it.

[May 22, 2017] Newt Gingrich repeats Seth Rich conspiracy theory in Fox appearance by Lois Beckett

Guardian defends Hillary. Again. They also are afraid to open the comment section on this article.
Notable quotes:
"... A prominent ally of Donald Trump suggested on Sunday that the - - special counsel appointed to investigate alleged links between the president's aides and - - Russia should instead focus on the murder last year of a young Democratic staffer, Seth Rich, which has become the focus of conspiracy theorists . ..."
"... This week, the Russian embassy in the UK shared the conspiracy on Twitter, CNN reported , calling Rich a murdered "WikiLeaks informer" and claiming that the British mainstream media was "so busy accusing Russian hackers to take notice". ..."
"... "He's been killed, and apparently nothing serious has been done to investigate his murder. So, I'd like to see how [former FBI director Robert] Mueller is going to define what his assignment is, and if it's only narrowly Trump, the country will not learn what it needs to learn about foreign involvement in American politics." ..."
"... The Rich family has sent Wheeler a cease-and-desist letter, threatening legal action if he continues to discuss the case, the Washington Post reported . ..."
May 22, 2017 | - www.theguardian.com
Trump confidante and husband of ambassadorial nominee repeats WikiLeaks theory denounced as 'fake news' by family of murdered DNC staffer Sunday 21 May 2017, 16.48 EDT Last modified on Monday 22 May 2017

A prominent ally of Donald Trump suggested on Sunday that the - - special counsel appointed to investigate alleged links between the president's aides and - - Russia should instead focus on the murder last year of a young Democratic staffer, Seth Rich, which has become the focus of conspiracy theorists .

In an appearance on Fox and Friends less than two days after his wife was - - proposed as ambassador to the Holy See , Newt Gingrich – former speaker of the House, 2012 presidential candidate and a Trump confidante – publicly endorsed the conspiracy theory that Rich was "assassinated" after giving Democratic National Committee emails to WikiLeaks.

Rich, 27, was shot dead in the early hours of 10 July 2016, as he walked home in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington. In August, the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, - - insinuated that Rich had been a source. Police initially explored whether Rich's murder might be connected to robberies in the area, according to a local news report , and officials in the capital have publicly debunked other claims.

"This is a robbery that ended tragically," Kevin Donahue, Washington's deputy mayor for public safety, told NBC News this week. "That's bad enough for our city, and I think it is irresponsible to conflate this into something that doesn't connect to anything that the detectives have found. No WikiLeaks connection."

On Sunday, the Washington DC police public affairs office did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

In January, American intelligence agencies concluded with " high confidence " in a public report that Russian military intelligence was responsible for hacking the DNC and obtaining and relaying private messages to WikiLeaks, which made a series of embarrassing public disclosures. The goal, the agencies concluded, was to undermine the candidacy of Hillary Clinton and boost Trump, as well as hurt Americans' trust in their own democracy.

This week, the Russian embassy in the UK shared the conspiracy on Twitter, CNN reported , calling Rich a murdered "WikiLeaks informer" and claiming that the British mainstream media was "so busy accusing Russian hackers to take notice".

The Rich family has repeatedly denied that there is any evidence behind the conspiracy theories and called on Fox News to retract its coverage of their son's murder. Earlier this week, a spokesman for the family said in a statement that "anyone who continues to push this fake news story after it was so thoroughly debunked is proving to the world they have a transparent political agenda or are a sociopath".

On Fox and Friends, Gingrich said: "We have this very strange story here of this young man who worked for the DNC who was apparently assassinated at four in the morning having given WikiLeaks something like 23,000 – I'm sorry, 53,000 – emails and 17,000 attachments.

"Nobody's investigating that, and what does that tell you about what was going on? Because it turns out it wasn't the Russians, it was this young guy who, I suspect, who was disgusted by the corruption of the Democratic National Committee.

"He's been killed, and apparently nothing serious has been done to investigate his murder. So, I'd like to see how [former FBI director Robert] Mueller is going to define what his assignment is, and if it's only narrowly Trump, the country will not learn what it needs to learn about foreign involvement in American politics."

Last week, the private investigator and Fox News commentator Rod Wheeler claimed that evidence existed that Rich had been in contact with WikiLeaks. Questioned by CNN, however, he said: "I only got that [information] from the reporter at Fox News" and added that he did not have any evidence himself.

"Using the legacy of a murder victim in such an overtly political way is morally reprehensible," a Rich family spokesman told CNN.

The Rich family has sent Wheeler a cease-and-desist letter, threatening legal action if he continues to discuss the case, the Washington Post reported .

[May 22, 2017] I like Ann Coulters analogy: Its as if were in Chicago, and Trump says he can get us to L.A. in six days; and then for the first three days were driving towards New York. He can still turn around and get us to L.A. in three days. But, says Ann, shes getting nervous.

Notable quotes:
"... It's a good analogy. Personally I've already jumped out, but it was easier for me because my main concern is foreign policy, where Trump has made it abundantly clear he will preside over more of the same groupthink interventionist idiocy in the service of foreign interests that has prevailed for the past two decades. I can understand the continued, increasingly desperate hope of people like Derbyshire that there might still be some chance that they might yet not be utterly betrayed, though. ..."
"... And still, as commenter reiner Tor put it here a couple of days ago, Trump's most powerful enemies are still my enemies. Even though I don't see him as any solution, it's still impossible not to back him to some extent against the media and establishment globalist types and all the literally absurd, hysterical nonsense they keep pushing. At least, until someone actually worthwhile comes along. ..."
May 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

Randal , May 20, 2017 at 1:08 pm GMT • 200 Words

I like Ann Coulter's analogy: It's as if we're in Chicago, and Trump says he can get us to L.A. in six days; and then for the first three days we're driving towards New York. He can still turn around and get us to L.A. in three days. But, says Ann, she's getting nervous.

It's a good analogy. Personally I've already jumped out, but it was easier for me because my main concern is foreign policy, where Trump has made it abundantly clear he will preside over more of the same groupthink interventionist idiocy in the service of foreign interests that has prevailed for the past two decades. I can understand the continued, increasingly desperate hope of people like Derbyshire that there might still be some chance that they might yet not be utterly betrayed, though.

And still, as commenter reiner Tor put it here a couple of days ago, Trump's most powerful enemies are still my enemies. Even though I don't see him as any solution, it's still impossible not to back him to some extent against the media and establishment globalist types and all the literally absurd, hysterical nonsense they keep pushing. At least, until someone actually worthwhile comes along.

WorkingClass , May 20, 2017 at 3:35 pm GMT

@Randal

I like Ann Coulter's analogy: It's as if we're in Chicago, and Trump says he can get us to L.A. in six days; and then for the first three days we're driving towards New York. He can still turn around and get us to L.A. in three days. But, says Ann, she's getting nervous.
It's a good analogy. Personally I've already jumped out, but it was easier for me because my main concern is foreign policy, where Trump has made it abundantly clear he will preside over more of the same groupthink interventionist idiocy in the service of foreign interests that has prevailed for the past two decades. I can understand the continued, increasingly desperate hope of people like Derbyshire that there might still be some chance that they might yet not be utterly betrayed, though.

And still, as commenter reiner Tor put it here a couple of days ago, Trump's most powerful enemies are still my enemies. Even though I don't see him as any solution, it's still impossible not to back him to some extent against the media and establishment globalist types and all the literally absurd, hysterical nonsense they keep pushing. At least, until someone actually worthwhile comes along.

[May 22, 2017] The Russian Obsession Goes Back Decades by Jacob G. Hornberger

Notable quotes:
"... Just consider the accusations that have been leveled at the president: ..."
"... He has committed treason by befriending Russia and other enemies of America. ..."
"... He has subjugated America's interests to Moscow. ..."
"... President Donald Trump? No, President John F. Kennedy. What lots of Americans don't realize, because it was kept secret from them for so long, is that what Trump has been enduring from the national-security establishment, the mainstream press, and the American right-wing for his outreach to, or "collusion with," Russia pales compared to what Kennedy had to endure for committing the heinous "crime" of reaching out to Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union in a spirit of peace and friendship. They hated him for it. They abused him. They insulted him. They belittled him. They called him naïve. They said he was a traitor. All of the nasties listed above, plus more, were contained in an advertisement and a flier that appeared in Dallas on the morning of November 22, 1963, the day that Kennedy was assassinated. They can be read here and here . Ever since then, some people have tried to make it seem like the advertisement and flier expressed only the feelings of extreme right-wingers in Dallas. That's nonsense. They expressed the deeply held convictions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, the conservative movement, and many people within the mainstream media and Washington establishment. In June 1963, Kennedy threw down the gauntlet in a speech he delivered at American University, now entitled the " Peace Speech ." It was one of the most remarkable speeches ever delivered by an American president. It was broadcast all across the communist Soviet Union, the first time that had ever been done. ..."
"... Kennedy wasn't dumb. He knew what he was up against. He had heard Eisenhower warn the American people in his Farewell Address about the dangers to their freedom and democratic way of life posed by the military establishment. After Kennedy had read the novel Seven Days in May, ..."
"... Kennedy didn't stop with his Peace Speech. He also began negotiating a treaty with the Soviets to end above-ground nuclear testing, an action that incurred even more anger and ire within the Pentagon and the CIA. ..."
"... By this time, Kennedy's war with the national-security establishment was in full swing. He had already vowed to tear the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds after its perfidious conduct in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. By this time, he had also lost all confidence in the military after it proposed an all-out surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, much as Japan had done at Pearl Harbor, after the infamous plan known as Operation Northwoods, which proposed terrorist attacks and plane hijackings carried out by U.S. agents posing as Cuban communists, so as to provide a pretext for invading Cuba, and after the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the military establishment accused him of appeasement and treason for agreeing not to ever invade Cuba again. ..."
"... What Kennedy didn't know was that his "secret" negotiations with the Soviet and Cuban communists weren't so secret after all. As it turns out, it was a virtual certainty that the CIA (or NSA) was listening in on telephone conversations of Cuban officials at the UN in New York City, much as the CIA and NSA still do today, during which they would have learned what the president was secretly doing behind their backs. ..."
"... In response to the things that were said in that advertisement and flier about him being a traitor for befriending Russia, he told his wife Jackie on the morning he was assassinated: "We are heading into nut country today." Of course, as he well knew, the nuts weren't located only in Dallas. They were also situated throughout the U.S. national-security establishment ..."
"... For more information, attend The Future of Freedom Foundation's one-day conference on June 3, 2017, entitled " The National Security State and JFK " at the Washington Dulles Marriott Hotel. ..."
May 20, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Just consider the accusations that have been leveled at the president:

  1. He has betrayed the Constitution, which he swore to uphold.
  2. He has committed treason by befriending Russia and other enemies of America.
  3. He has subjugated America's interests to Moscow.
  4. He has been caught in fantastic lies to the American people, including personal ones, like his previous marriage and divorce.
President Donald Trump? No, President John F. Kennedy. What lots of Americans don't realize, because it was kept secret from them for so long, is that what Trump has been enduring from the national-security establishment, the mainstream press, and the American right-wing for his outreach to, or "collusion with," Russia pales compared to what Kennedy had to endure for committing the heinous "crime" of reaching out to Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union in a spirit of peace and friendship.

They hated him for it. They abused him. They insulted him. They belittled him. They called him naïve. They said he was a traitor.

All of the nasties listed above, plus more, were contained in an advertisement and a flier that appeared in Dallas on the morning of November 22, 1963, the day that Kennedy was assassinated. They can be read here and here .

Ever since then, some people have tried to make it seem like the advertisement and flier expressed only the feelings of extreme right-wingers in Dallas. That's nonsense. They expressed the deeply held convictions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, the conservative movement, and many people within the mainstream media and Washington establishment.

In June 1963, Kennedy threw down the gauntlet in a speech he delivered at American University, now entitled the " Peace Speech ." It was one of the most remarkable speeches ever delivered by an American president. It was broadcast all across the communist Soviet Union, the first time that had ever been done.

In the speech, Kennedy announced that he was bringing an end to the Cold War and the mindset of hostility toward Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union that the U.S. national-security establishment had inculcated in the minds of the American people ever since the end of World War II.

It was a radical notion and, as Kennedy well understood, a very dangerous one insofar as he was concerned. The Cold War against America's World War II partner and ally had been used to convert the United States from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, one consisting of a vast, permanent military establishment, the CIA, and the NSA, along with their broad array of totalitarian-like powers, such as assassination, regime change, coups, invasions, torture, surveillance, and the like. Everyone was convinced that the Cold War - and the so-called threat from the international communist conspiracy that was supposedly based in Russia - would last forever, which would naturally mean permanent and ever-increasing largess for what Kennedy's predecessor, President Dwight Eisenhower, had called the "military-industrial complex."

Suddenly, Kennedy was upending the Cold War apple cart by threatening to establish a relationship of friendship and peaceful coexistence with Russia, the rest of the Soviet Union, and Cuba.

Kennedy knew full well that his actions were considered by some to be a grave threat to "national security." After all, don't forget that it was Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz's outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him ousted from power by the CIA and presumably targeted for assassination as part of that regime-change operation. It was Cuban leader Fidel Castro's outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that made him the target of Pentagon and CIA regime-change operations, including through invasion, assassination, and sanctions. It was Congo leader's Patrice Lamumba's outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him targeted for assassination by the CIA. It would be Chilean President Salvador Allende's outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him targeted in a CIA-instigated coup in Chile that resulted in Allende's death.

Kennedy wasn't dumb. He knew what he was up against. He had heard Eisenhower warn the American people in his Farewell Address about the dangers to their freedom and democratic way of life posed by the military establishment. After Kennedy had read the novel Seven Days in May, which posited the danger of a military coup in America, he asked friends in Hollywood to make it into a movie to serve as a warning to the American people. In the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the Pentagon and the CIA were exerting extreme pressure on Kennedy to bomb and invade Cuba, his brother Bobby told a Soviet official with whom he was negotiating that the president was under a severe threat of being ousted in a coup. And, of course, Kennedy was fully mindful of what had happened to Arbenz, Lamumba, and Castro for doing what Kennedy was now doing - reaching out to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship.

In the eyes of the national-security establishment, one simply did not reach out to Russia, Cuba, or any other "enemy" of America. Doing so, in their eyes, made Kennedy an appeaser, betrayer, traitor, and a threat to "national security."

Kennedy didn't stop with his Peace Speech. He also began negotiating a treaty with the Soviets to end above-ground nuclear testing, an action that incurred even more anger and ire within the Pentagon and the CIA. Yes, that's right - they said that "national security" depended on the U.S. government's continuing to do what they object to North Korea doing today - conducting nuclear tests, both above ground and below ground.

Kennedy mobilized public opinion to overcome fierce opposition in the military, CIA, Congress, and the Washington establishment to secure passage of his Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

He then ordered a partial withdrawal of troops from Vietnam, and told close aides that he would order a complete pull-out after winning the 1964 election. In the eyes of the U.S. national-security establishment, leaving Vietnam subject to a communist takeover would pose a grave threat to national security here in the United States.

Worst of all, from the standpoint of the national-security establishment, Kennedy began secret personal negotiations with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Cuban leader Fidel Castro to bring an end to America's Cold War against them. That was considered to be a grave threat to "national security" as well as a grave threat to all the military and intelligence largess that depended on the Cold War.

By this time, Kennedy's war with the national-security establishment was in full swing. He had already vowed to tear the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds after its perfidious conduct in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. By this time, he had also lost all confidence in the military after it proposed an all-out surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, much as Japan had done at Pearl Harbor, after the infamous plan known as Operation Northwoods, which proposed terrorist attacks and plane hijackings carried out by U.S. agents posing as Cuban communists, so as to provide a pretext for invading Cuba, and after the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the military establishment accused him of appeasement and treason for agreeing not to ever invade Cuba again.

What Kennedy didn't know was that his "secret" negotiations with the Soviet and Cuban communists weren't so secret after all. As it turns out, it was a virtual certainty that the CIA (or NSA) was listening in on telephone conversations of Cuban officials at the UN in New York City, much as the CIA and NSA still do today, during which they would have learned what the president was secretly doing behind their backs.

Kennedy's feelings toward the people who were calling him a traitor for befriending Moscow and other "enemies" of America? In response to the things that were said in that advertisement and flier about him being a traitor for befriending Russia, he told his wife Jackie on the morning he was assassinated: "We are heading into nut country today." Of course, as he well knew, the nuts weren't located only in Dallas. They were also situated throughout the U.S. national-security establishment.

For more information, attend The Future of Freedom Foundation's one-day conference on June 3, 2017, entitled " The National Security State and JFK " at the Washington Dulles Marriott Hotel.

Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation .

[May 21, 2017] What Obsessing About Trump Causes Us To Miss by Andrew Bacevich

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Yet the U.S. maintains nuclear strike forces on full alert, has embarked on a costly and comprehensive trillion-dollar modernization of its nuclear arsenal, and even refuses to adopt a no-first-use posture when it comes to nuclear war. The truth is that the United States will consider surrendering its nukes only after every other nation on the planet has done so first. How does American nuclear hypocrisy affect the prospects for global nuclear disarmament or even simply for the non-proliferation of such weaponry? ..."
"... Declassified CIA leaks from the DNC indicate these trees actively made maple syrup for terrorists. This gives terrorists big muscles, like Popeye, and reduces urges to eat human organs. ..."
"... The conflict commonly referred to as the Afghanistan War is now the longest in U.S. history - having lasted longer than the Civil War, World War I, and World War II combined. What is the Pentagon's plan for concluding that conflict? When might Americans expect it to end? ..."
"... Well, looks like I missed the war ending .but with the war ended, one would think we wouldn't have to be dropping the world's biggest bomb ..."
"... I'm thinking the bigMFing bomb was more a marketing theater driven initative rather than Afgan Strategic Theatre driven. ..."
"... Some great questions here. Recently I was at a Town Hall with my representative to Congress and asked him if our government, or even just the Democrats, had a long term strategy for peace in the Middle East. The answer was basically, No. ..."
"... Bacevitch needs to be a little more critical about all the claims about US energy. The US may be exporting some oil and oil products, but it is importing more. We have no prospect of "energy independence" in the forseeable future, unless there is a drastic cutback in consumption. When it comes to energy forecasting, top governmental agencies have had an abysmal record. Independent experts like David Hughes and Art Berman regularly expose the wishful thinking and poor analysis of the economists at these agencies. ..."
"... Instead he invites us all to assume the Soviets were acting and the West was reacting. In my view this genuinely childish view of international relations is the template for American exceptionalism and, unless we break free of it, a logic of privileged exceptionalism will continually assert itself. The Trump era offers us a chance to raze this mythology and seriously confront how market-oriented imperatives, not devils and angels, drive international conflict. ..."
"... Is it because a self-perpetuating top-heavy military bureaucracy was never properly demobilized after the Second World War, and only promotes the sort of sociopathic, narcissistic, borderline personalities who are relentlessly able to bully the groveling toadies and wussies who make up our perpetually campaigning political-climber class? ..."
"... Andrew Bacevich needs to study more deeply about Syrian history and politics, since his description of Syrian president Bashar Assad as a brutal dictator fits as a description of Bashar's father Hafez Assad but is inaccurate in relation to Bashar Assad, who seems to have a rather gentle personality and is actually one of the more benign leaders in the Middle East. ..."
"... Under that new constitution, in 2014 he ran in a free election observed by international observers against two other politicians and was reelected president. He has promised that if he loses the next election he will step down. ..."
"... Nevertheless Assad has been systematically demonized by the governments and MSM of the US, UK, and France, as well as by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Demonization is a technique that is often used to prepare the way for regime change, and it is not based on objective analysis. ..."
May 08, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
May 8, 2017 by Yves Smith By Andrew J. Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular , is the author of America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History , now out in paperback . His next book will be an interpretive history of the United States from the end of the Cold War to the election of Donald Trump. Originally published at TomDispatch

If only it were so. How wonderful it would be if President Trump's ascendancy had coincided with a revival of hard-hitting, deep-dive, no-holds-barred American journalism. Alas, that's hardly the case. True, the big media outlets are demonstrating both energy and enterprise in exposing the ineptitude, inconsistency, and dubious ethical standards, as well as outright lies and fake news, that are already emerging as Trump era signatures. That said, pointing out that the president has (again) uttered a falsehood, claimed credit for a nonexistent achievement, or abandoned some position to which he had previously sworn fealty requires something less than the sleuthing talents of a Sherlock Holmes. As for beating up on poor Sean Spicer for his latest sequence of gaffes - well, that's more akin to sadism than reporting.

Apart from a commendable determination to discomfit Trump and members of his inner circle (select military figures excepted, at least for now), journalism remains pretty much what it was prior to November 8th of last year: personalities built up only to be torn down; fads and novelties discovered, celebrated, then mocked; "extraordinary" stories of ordinary people granted 15 seconds of fame only to once again be consigned to oblivion - all served with a side dish of that day's quota of suffering, devastation, and carnage. These remain journalism's stock-in-trade. As practiced in the United States, with certain honorable (and hence unprofitable) exceptions, journalism remains superficial, voyeuristic, and governed by the attention span of a two year old.

As a result, all those editors, reporters, columnists, and talking heads who characterize their labors as "now more important than ever" ill-serve the public they profess to inform and enlighten. Rather than clearing the air, they befog it further. If anything, the media's current obsession with Donald Trump - his every utterance or tweet treated as "breaking news!" - just provides one additional excuse for highlighting trivia, while slighting issues that deserve far more attention than they currently receive.

To illustrate the point, let me cite some examples of national security issues that presently receive short shrift or are ignored altogether by those parts of the Fourth Estate said to help set the nation's political agenda. To put it another way: Hey, Big Media, here are two dozen matters to which you're not giving faintly adequate thought and attention.

1. Accomplishing the "mission" : Since the immediate aftermath of World War II, the United States has been committed to defending key allies in Europe and East Asia. Not long thereafter, U.S. security guarantees were extended to the Middle East as well. Under what circumstances can Americans expect nations in these regions to assume responsibility for managing their own affairs? To put it another way, when (if ever) might U.S. forces actually come home? And if it is incumbent upon the United States to police vast swaths of the planet in perpetuity, how should momentous changes in the international order - the rise of China, for example, or accelerating climate change - affect the U.S. approach to doing so?

2 . American military supremacy : The United States military is undoubtedly the world's finest. It's also far and away the most generously funded , with policymakers offering U.S. troops no shortage of opportunities to practice their craft. So why doesn't this great military ever win anything? Or put another way, why in recent decades have those forces been unable to accomplish Washington's stated wartime objectives? Why has the now 15-year-old war on terror failed to result in even a single real success anywhere in the Greater Middle East? Could it be that we've taken the wrong approach? What should we be doing differently?

3. America's empire of bases : The U.S. military today garrisons the planet in a fashion without historical precedent. Successive administrations, regardless of party, justify and perpetuate this policy by insisting that positioning U.S. forces in distant lands fosters peace, stability, and security. In the present century, however, perpetuating this practice has visibly had the opposite effect. In the eyes of many of those called upon to "host" American bases, the permanent presence of such forces smacks of occupation. They resist. Why should U.S. policymakers expect otherwise?

4. Supporting the troops : In present-day America, expressing reverence for those who serve in uniform is something akin to a religious obligation. Everyone professes to cherish America's "warriors." Yet such bountiful, if superficial, expressions of regard camouflage a growing gap between those who serve and those who applaud from the sidelines. Our present-day military system, based on the misnamed All-Volunteer Force, is neither democratic nor effective. Why has discussion and debate about its deficiencies not found a place among the nation's political priorities?

5. Prerogatives of the commander-in-chief : Are there any military actions that the president of the United States may not order on his own authority? If so, what are they? Bit by bit, decade by decade, Congress has abdicated its assigned role in authorizing war. Today, it merely rubberstamps what presidents decide to do (or simply stays mum ). Who does this deference to an imperial presidency benefit? Have U.S. policies thereby become more prudent, enlightened, and successful?

6. Assassin-in-chief : A policy of assassination, secretly implemented under the aegis of the CIA during the early Cold War, yielded few substantive successes. When the secrets were revealed, however, the U.S. government suffered considerable embarrassment , so much so that presidents foreswore politically motivated murder. After 9/11, however, Washington returned to the assassination business in a big way and on a global scale, using drones. Today, the only secret is the sequence of names on the current presidential hit list , euphemistically known as the White House "disposition matrix." But does assassination actually advance U.S. interests (or does it merely recruit replacements for the terrorists it liquidates)? How can we measure its costs, whether direct or indirect? What dangers and vulnerabilities does this practice invite?

7. The war formerly known as the "Global War on Terrorism" : What precisely is Washington's present strategy for defeating violent jihadism? What sequence of planned actions or steps is expected to yield success? If no such strategy exists, why is that the case? How is it that the absence of strategy - not to mention an agreed upon definition of "success" - doesn't even qualify for discussion here?

8. The campaign formerly known as Operation Enduring Freedom : The conflict commonly referred to as the Afghanistan War is now the longest in U.S. history - having lasted longer than the Civil War, World War I, and World War II combined. What is the Pentagon's plan for concluding that conflict? When might Americans expect it to end? On what terms?

9. The Gulf : Americans once believed that their prosperity and way of life depended on having assured access to Persian Gulf oil. Today, that is no longer the case. The United States is once more an oil exporter . Available and accessible reserves of oil and natural gas in North America are far greater than was once believed . Yet the assumption that the Persian Gulf still qualifies as crucial to American national security persists in Washington. Why?

10. Hyping terrorism : Each year terrorist attacks kill far fewer Americans than do auto accidents , drug overdoses , or even lightning strikes . Yet in the allocation of government resources, preventing terrorist attacks takes precedence over preventing all three of the others combined. Why is that?

11. Deaths that matter and deaths that don't : Why do terrorist attacks that kill a handful of Europeans command infinitely more American attention than do terrorist attacks that kill far larger numbers of Arabs? A terrorist attack that kills citizens of France or Belgium elicits from the United States heartfelt expressions of sympathy and solidarity. A terrorist attack that kills Egyptians or Iraqis elicits shrugs. Why the difference? To what extent does race provide the answer to that question?

12. Israeli nukes : What purpose is served by indulging the pretense that Israel does not have nuclear weapons?

13. Peace in the Holy Land : What purpose is served by indulging illusions that a "two-state solution" offers a plausible resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? As remorselessly as white settlers once encroached upon territory inhabited by Native American tribes, Israeli settlers expand their presence in the occupied territories year by year. As they do, the likelihood of creating a viable Palestinian state becomes ever more improbable. To pretend otherwise is the equivalent of thinking that one day President Trump might prefer the rusticity of Camp David to the glitz of Mar-a-Lago.

14. Merchandizing death : When it comes to arms sales, there is no need to Make America Great Again. The U.S. ranks number one by a comfortable margin, with long-time allies Saudi Arabia and Israel leading recipients of those arms. Each year, the Saudis (per capita gross domestic product $20,000) purchase hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. weapons. Israel (per capita gross domestic product $38,000) gets several billion dollars worth of such weaponry annually courtesy of the American taxpayer. If the Saudis pay for U.S. arms, why shouldn't the Israelis? They can certainly afford to do so.

15. Our friends the Saudis (I) : Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on September 11, 2001, were Saudis. What does that fact signify?

16. Our friends the Saudis (II) : If indeed Saudi Arabia and Iran are competing to determine which nation will enjoy the upper hand in the Persian Gulf, why should the United States favor Saudi Arabia? In what sense do Saudi values align more closely with American values than do Iranian ones?

17. Our friends the Pakistanis : Pakistan behaves like a rogue state. It is a nuclear weapons proliferator . It supports the Taliban. For years, it provided sanctuary to Osama bin Laden. Yet U.S. policymakers treat Pakistan as if it were an ally. Why? In what ways do U.S. and Pakistani interests or values coincide? If there are none, why not say so?

18. Free-loading Europeans : Why can't Europe, " whole and free ," its population and economy considerably larger than Russia's, defend itself? It's altogether commendable that U.S. policymakers should express support for Polish independence and root for the Baltic republics. But how does it make sense for the United States to care more about the wellbeing of people living in Eastern Europe than do people living in Western Europe?

19. The mother of all "special relationships" : The United States and the United Kingdom have a "special relationship" dating from the days of Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Apart from keeping the Public Broadcasting Service supplied with costume dramas and stories featuring eccentric detectives, what is the rationale for that partnership today? Why should U.S. relations with Great Britain, a fading power, be any more "special" than its relations with a rising power like India? Why should the bonds connecting Americans and Britons be any more intimate than those connecting Americans and Mexicans? Why does a republic now approaching the 241st anniversary of its independence still need a "mother country"?

20. The old nuclear disarmament razzmatazz : American presidents routinely cite their hope for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons. Yet the U.S. maintains nuclear strike forces on full alert, has embarked on a costly and comprehensive trillion-dollar modernization of its nuclear arsenal, and even refuses to adopt a no-first-use posture when it comes to nuclear war. The truth is that the United States will consider surrendering its nukes only after every other nation on the planet has done so first. How does American nuclear hypocrisy affect the prospects for global nuclear disarmament or even simply for the non-proliferation of such weaponry?

21. Double standards (I) : American policymakers take it for granted that their country's sphere of influence is global, which, in turn, provides the rationale for the deployment of U.S. military forces to scores of countries. Yet when it comes to nations like China, Russia, or Iran, Washington takes the position that spheres of influence are obsolete and a concept that should no longer be applicable to the practice of statecraft. So Chinese, Russian, and Iranian forces should remain where they belong - in China, Russia, and Iran. To stray beyond that constitutes a provocation, as well as a threat to global peace and order. Why should these other nations play by American rules? Why shouldn't similar rules apply to the United States?

22. Double standards (II) : Washington claims that it supports and upholds international law. Yet when international law gets in the way of what American policymakers want to do, they disregard it. They start wars, violate the sovereignty of other nations, and authorize agents of the United States to kidnap, imprison, torture, and kill. They do these things with impunity, only forced to reverse their actions on the rare occasions when U.S. courts find them illegal. Why should other powers treat international norms as sacrosanct since the United States does so only when convenient?

23. Double standards (III) : The United States condemns the indiscriminate killing of civilians in wartime. Yet over the last three-quarters of a century, it killed civilians regularly and often on a massive scale. By what logic, since the 1940s, has the killing of Germans, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, Afghans, and others by U.S. air power been any less reprehensible than the Syrian government's use of "barrel bombs" to kill Syrians today? On what basis should Americans accept Pentagon claims that, when civilians are killed these days by U.S. forces, the acts are invariably accidental, whereas Syrian forces kill civilians intentionally and out of malice? Why exclude incompetence or the fog of war as explanations? And why, for instance, does the United States regularly gloss over or ignore altogether the noncombatants that Saudi forces (with U.S. assistance ) are routinely killing in Yemen?

24. Moral obligations : When confronted with some egregious violation of human rights, members of the chattering classes frequently express an urge for the United States to "do something." Holocaust analogies sprout like dandelions. Newspaper columnists recycle copy first used when Cambodians were slaughtering other Cambodians en masse or whenever Hutus and Tutsis went at it. Proponents of action - typically advocating military intervention - argue that the United States has a moral obligation to aid those victimized by injustice or cruelty anywhere on Earth. But what determines the pecking order of such moral obligations? Which comes first, a responsibility to redress the crimes of others or a responsibility to redress crimes committed by Americans? Who has a greater claim to U.S. assistance, Syrians suffering today under the boot of Bashar al-Assad or Iraqis, their country shattered by the U.S. invasion of 2003? Where do the Vietnamese fit into the queue? How about the Filipinos, brutally denied independence and forcibly incorporated into an American empire as the nineteenth century ended? Or African-Americans, whose ancestors were imported as slaves? Or, for that matter, dispossessed and disinherited Native Americans? Is there a statute of limitations that applies to moral obligations? And if not, shouldn't those who have waited longest for justice or reparations receive priority attention?

Let me suggest that any one of these two dozen issues - none seriously covered, discussed, or debated in the American media or in the political mainstream - bears more directly on the wellbeing of the United States and our prospects for avoiding global conflict than anything Donald Trump may have said or done during his first 100 days as president. Collectively, they define the core of the national security challenges that presently confront this country, even as they languish on the periphery of American politics.

How much damage Donald Trump's presidency wreaks before it ends remains to be seen. Yet he himself is a transient phenomenon. To allow his pratfalls and shenanigans to divert attention from matters sure to persist when he finally departs the stage is to make a grievous error. It may well be that, as the Times insists, the truth is now more important than ever. If so, finding the truth requires looking in the right places and asking the right questions.

DH , May 8, 2017 at 11:36 am

Kahneman's "Thinking Fast and Slow" has many of the answers to the questions about why the MSM is the way it is. People are hard-wired to react to sound bites, especially potential pleasure or terror. The MSM is very good at that. Populist politicians feed off of the same.

B.J.M. , May 8, 2017 at 2:58 pm

"What would be far more useful than a specialised list of inadequately reported topics would be to analyze this MSM behaviour, explore how it comes about and how it has evolved, to reveal some of the darker connections to power, and put up some strategies for slowly reversing it."

Sorry MoiAussie, but the analysis has already been done, unfortunately nobody really cares.

Propaganda and the Public Mind
Necessary Illusions

witters , May 8, 2017 at 6:01 pm

"What would be far more useful than a specialised list of inadequately reported topics would be to analyze this MSM behaviour, explore how it comes about and how it has evolved, to reveal some of the darker connections to power, and put up some strategies for slowly reversing it. In a nutshell, how to foster thriving independent media with broad reach that expose MSM stenography and resist censorship?"

Well, yes. Except the behaviour you are analysing is, presumably, among other things, the behviour involved in inadequately addressing these topics.

cat's paw , May 8, 2017 at 1:57 am

One can sleep soundly tonight safe in the knowledge that not even the pretense of a nonreply to Bacevich's questions will be forthcoming.

oho , May 8, 2017 at 8:45 am

stop fighting about identity politics (i'm not holding my breath for either side)

elements of both sides want to return to a non-interventionist US foreign policy, except there is always a fight about something else that serves as a distraction.. like cats and shiny toys.

Norb , May 8, 2017 at 9:18 am

The only thing one can do is persistently bring important issues forward to friends and colleagues. In other words, become in many respects a social pariah. Challenging the status quo by definition makes you an outsider.

The strategic effectiveness of this dissent becomes manifest when you actually change how you live your life. You become an example for others to follow.

Any successful movement building must follow this path. The strategic plan is to live and think like a socialist in a crumbling capitalist world. The rising levels of inequality must surely bring this about, one way or another.

Socialism or Barbarism. How many working people could disagree with that? It needs to be repeated over and over. That spirit needs to be reflected in individual life in order to survive.

B.J.M. , May 8, 2017 at 2:47 pm

" But it raises the question, what can individuals do to change the behavior of the media?"

We can continue to ignore them and opt for the following: Naked Capitalism, CounterPunch, ZeroHedge, Liberty Blitzkreig, ContraCorner, Truthout, Consortium News, The Unz Review, Tom Dispatch, Democracy Now, Pando Daily, The Intercept, etc, etc. That is the mainstream media's worst nightmare.

The only reason to check the NYT or Washington Post is to see what meme is being promoted by the deep state; then you know what not to believe.

I find this whole debate about fake news to be somewhat laughable. Americans have been subject to fake news for decades, they just didn't know it. Noam Chomsky has been writing about this for 40 years. His books: Propaganda and the Public Mind, Deterring Democracy, Manufacturing Consent and Necessary Illusions are all excellent and contain extensive research and details to support his claims. Of course part to the fake news strategy has been to ignore people like Chomsky. Instead we get intellectual clowns like Tom Friedman telling us how the world works.

Now that we have some real news, the fake news mainstream media has gone into panic mode and its strategy is to label the real new as fake news. Orwell and Huxley must be rolling in their graves with laughter.

Enjoy the show!

optimader , May 8, 2017 at 11:18 am

True, the big media outlets are demonstrating both energy and enterprise in exposing the ineptitude, inconsistency, and dubious ethical standards, as well as outright lies and fake news, that are already emerging as Trump era signatures. That said, pointing out that the president has (again) uttered a falsehood, claimed credit for a nonexistent achievement, or abandoned some position to which he had previously sworn . "uttered a falsehood, claimed credit for a nonexistent achievement, or abandoned some position.." a new development in POTUS behavior ushered in by DTrump??

craazyboy , May 8, 2017 at 2:05 am

Ok, so the USG has 24 issues. Let's not be nit-picky.

On this one, we've had a bit of progress.

"8. The campaign formerly known as Operation Enduring Freedom: The conflict commonly referred to as the Afghanistan War is now the longest in U.S. history - having lasted longer than the Civil War, World War I, and World War II combined. What is the Pentagon's plan for concluding that conflict? When might Americans expect it to end? On what terms?"

We dropped a $30 million BMF'ing bomb on an undefensible, open plain. Killed 67 trees and terrified Afgan flora from border to border. Egyptian cotton kids refuse to migrate there on their little parachute thingies because they are terrified !

Declassified CIA leaks from the DNC indicate these trees actively made maple syrup for terrorists. This gives terrorists big muscles, like Popeye, and reduces urges to eat human organs.

This is appreciated by other terrorists in camp and they sleep better , too.

However, the Fava Beans and Olive Oil have been spilled. Unemployed tree hugger reporters report that the BMF'ing bomb caused the tree sap to instantly turn to maple sugar candies and the candies are now enclosed in a depleted uranium candy tins. Fake research scientists believe the bomb casing was made of the depleted uranium. Could happen, opines Krugman, now minority owner of the NYT, and seconded by Chelsea, whom did the secret HS science project back in the 90s in Yugoslavia. She drew a cute picture of Daddy on the bomb's belly, but a lot of Very Serious Men In Black Suits did everything else.

As to when the entire Afgan issue ends, we know the war becomes fiscally irresponsible when the USG runs out of new trees to bomb and the maple sugar candies no longer can fund the onslaught.

Krugman is working on the macro analysis and will send the Noble Prize people an advanced copy for editing, puffing up, and general focus grouping. One area of neglect is developing a universal political correctness language – the semantics are daunting and definitions have to be dynamic, yet synchronized with meanings according to domestic needs. That's a tough one.

Then people have to learn it, instead of lazily doing what they do now. Which I think may involve much use of sign language.

An advance against the reward money is expected, and a pic of the statues with Kruggies name on it would signal good faith and seal the deal. Bully to Trump!

fresno dan , May 8, 2017 at 11:12 am

craazyboy
May 8, 2017 at 2:05 am

"The conflict commonly referred to as the Afghanistan War is now the longest in U.S. history - having lasted longer than the Civil War, World War I, and World War II combined. What is the Pentagon's plan for concluding that conflict? When might Americans expect it to end?"

Apparently, the Afghanistan war has ended. It makes me feel a little less stupid, although I have a lot of excess stupid in reserve, to know others missed it as well ..

fresno dan

After dropping its largest conventional bomb ever used in combat in Afghanistan on 13 April, the US military said the massive ordnance air blast, or Moab, was a "very clear message to Isis" that they would be "annihilated".

Defence secretary Jim Mattis said the bomb was "necessary to break Isis". The Afghan government claimed the bomb killed 94 Isis militants, while harming no civilians.

======================================================================= http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/pentagon/2014/12/29/afghanistan-war-officially-ends/21004589/

Well, looks like I missed the war ending .but with the war ended, one would think we wouldn't have to be dropping the world's biggest bomb

optimader , May 8, 2017 at 11:22 am

its now a police action!

fresno dan , May 8, 2017 at 2:26 pm

optimader
May 8, 2017 at 11:22 am

the military takes more and more "police actions" while the police use more and more military equipment and tactics ..
Considering all the "surplus" stuff that goes to the police, how soon before the police drop the biggest "anti-criminal suppression device" i.e., the mother of all bombs???

optimader , May 8, 2017 at 4:43 pm

how soon before the police drop the biggest "anti-criminal suppression device" i.e., the mother of all bombs???

low yield Neutron bomb.. don't damage what left of the domestic infrastructure, the REIT managers would go crazy!

The backhanded criticism that the MFing bomb didn't do enough damage is related to where it was used.
Try a barometric pressure bomb in a place like Manhattan and it would be a much different outcome than say on the other end of the spectrum, at a latitude/longitude in Nevada where the before and after pics would be identical.

A dark side of the media criticism of the MFing Bomb is that it may well goad the MIC/Pentagon Product Managers into a do-over. Afterall, who likes their handiwork criticized?

DTrump told them I want something big and flashy while Xi is in town and that's what they came up with..

Back to the Product Development Group. Just need to tweak the neutron emission!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett_(nuclear_device)

DH , May 8, 2017 at 2:29 pm

They are just suppressing protests. In the US they are limited to tear gas but in Afghanistan they can use MOAB since the ACLU is weak there.

DH , May 8, 2017 at 2:38 pm

"The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea." Mao Zedong

The cool thing about guerilla warfare is it largely eliminates the concept of civilians since anybody could be a soldier, even children. That is why civilian casualties are frequently so low, because pretty much anybody over the age of 6 is a combatant. it also increases the enemy combatant body count which makes it clear that the government forces are winning, as was so ably shown in the Vietnam War.

optimader , May 8, 2017 at 12:09 pm

I'm thinking the bigMFing bomb was more a marketing theater driven initative rather than Afgan Strategic Theatre driven.

It was so DTrump could be at the breakfast table before the President of China and to greet him with.. Wow, sorry I had to cut out before Dessert last night, had some things to take care of, how was the Chocolate cake.. the Cake?" ( he like to repeat things)

DH , May 8, 2017 at 2:32 pm

I view the use of MOAB on ISIS as the equivalent of giving an antibiotic shot so that the in-country Taliban immune system can wipe out the remaining ISIS bacteria. I don't think the Taliban wants ISIS there since it focuses too much US attention on the area, so they may be willing to mop up the remaining ISIS fighters.

Dick Burkhart , May 8, 2017 at 2:21 am

Some great questions here. Recently I was at a Town Hall with my representative to Congress and asked him if our government, or even just the Democrats, had a long term strategy for peace in the Middle East. The answer was basically, No. A few weeks later I actually got a phone call from his office on this very question, yet the answer was still basically No. He did say that Kerry had sought a UN brokered regime change in Syria (opposed by Russia), after I suggested something like this.

However Bacevitch needs to be a little more critical about all the claims about US energy. The US may be exporting some oil and oil products, but it is importing more. We have no prospect of "energy independence" in the forseeable future, unless there is a drastic cutback in consumption. When it comes to energy forecasting, top governmental agencies have had an abysmal record. Independent experts like David Hughes and Art Berman regularly expose the wishful thinking and poor analysis of the economists at these agencies.

DanB , May 8, 2017 at 7:49 am

"Independent experts like David Hughes and Art Berman regularly expose the wishful thinking and poor analysis of the economists at these agencies." Thanks for pointing this out.

Toolate , May 8, 2017 at 2:24 am

This truly is an appalling list. One wonders how many Americans have ever considered even one of these ?

Temporarily Sane , May 8, 2017 at 2:42 am

It's great to see people from across the ideological spectrum who served in the military, intelligence services and in various administrations, speaking out. Hindsight is 20/20as the cliche goes. Now if only people who are currently serving in those institutions would step up to the plate and speak truth to power. At what point does it become unconscionable for good people to do nothing? Or, rather, when does critical mass kick in and make resisting the insanity that reigns in our institutions more than just a flash in the pan and career suicide?

John Wright , May 8, 2017 at 10:55 am

The past is not encouraging, war hero Eisenhower could only warn of the MIC as he was exiting.

The economic footprint of the MIC + think tanks + academia + security agencies is huge (maybe a trillion/year)

A lot of people depend on the defense budget staying large as the MIC is a jobs program throughout much of the USA,.

I remember CA Senator Boxer, one of the few senators who voted against the AUMF in Iraq, fighting to keep the local (to me) Mare Island Naval Shipyard from closing in 1996.

The adjacent city, Vallejo, subsequently went through bankruptcy.

One illustrative MIC family is the Kagan-Nuland family,

Victoria Nuland was Hillary Clinton's Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and seemed to be in charge of stirring up trouble in the Ukraine.

Her husband is noted neocon (he prefers "liberal interventionist") Robert Kagan of the Bookings Institution, and his brother, Frederick, is at the American Enterprise institute.

Frederick's wife, Kimberly, heads up the "Institute for the Study of War" funded by Raytheon, General Dynamics, DynCorp and others.

One might suggest this family gets meaning, purpose and income through USA military action.

One could posit there many other similar families.

It is difficult to be optimistic that much can be done.

Mel , May 8, 2017 at 8:46 am

These aren't independent issues (and, ultimately, there's no reason they have to be.)
Like, what's preventing the solution of #1 (expecting nations in these regions to assume responsibility for managing their own affairs?) #17. When the Pakistanis have to deal with huge problems on the other side of the invisible line, they aren't so reliable about sticking to the script. Especially a script that has written out all the huge problems.

I guess that is the point. 45 seconds with this list pastes two items together and makes the framework for a story. But the run of stories that appear are like Captain America saw a bad guy and punched him in the face. Makes a good comic panel, and, when the press has been taught the true meaning of "profitable", it makes a good newspaper page too. Right.

A working State Department could do interesting things with this list too, but - Captain America.

oho , May 8, 2017 at 8:50 am

the US hasn't fought a peer nation since 1945-even then the USSR did a lot of the heavy lifting. the US still hasnt beaten the Taliban.

US full spectrum dominance could be propaganda for all we know--with our vaunted carriers and fighters sitting ducks to swarms of cheap first-world missiles.

in any fight with China or Russia, theyd only have to play defense. The US would be the ones without home field advantage, likely in a war with limited domestic support as the fight probablyt would not be about an existential issue to the US homeland

DH , May 8, 2017 at 11:46 am

If a group like the Taliban has indigenous support, then you pretty much are left with destroying the village in order to save it as the only military option. Putting a corrupt mafia in charge of the country is not the appropriate alternate civilian political approach to win hearts and minds.

In the 1990s nobody cared about the Taliban except when they were blowing up big Buddhas. Their fatal error was allowing bin-Laden to launch major attacks against the US home soil. My guess at this time is that the Taliban have been inoculated against spreading terror overseas. If the US left Afghanistan, the Taliban would probably take many of the valleys back and kick ISIS out so that they don't have to worry about the US coming back in to deal with 9/11 terrorists again. Afghanistan would probably be fairly "peaceful" at that point in a fundamental Muslim way, kind of like the fundamental Christian utopia that Mike Pence tried to create in Indiana.

hemeantwell , May 8, 2017 at 8:55 am

Bacevich's indictment suffers from an inability to explain how this genuflecting celebration of American intentions degenerated into what he goes on to elaborate.

Accomplishing the "mission": Since the immediate aftermath of World War II, the United States has been committed to defending key allies in Europe and East Asia. Not long thereafter, U.S. security guarantees were extended to the Middle East as well.

The beginning of the Cold War continues to be shrouded in assumptions about Soviet aggressiveness and American and British benevolence. Otherwise critical thinkers become kool aid dispensers when they are obliged to reference it. Bacevich skates over questions such as the division of Germany - was it because the US wanted to allow Germany to quickly reindustrialize and the Soviets were afraid of yet another invasion? - and whether city-destroying nuclear weapons would be internationally controlled or remain a US monopoly.

Instead he invites us all to assume the Soviets were acting and the West was reacting. In my view this genuinely childish view of international relations is the template for American exceptionalism and, unless we break free of it, a logic of privileged exceptionalism will continually assert itself. The Trump era offers us a chance to raze this mythology and seriously confront how market-oriented imperatives, not devils and angels, drive international conflict.

Whine Country , May 8, 2017 at 10:16 am

You must have missed this yesterday:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/05/war-and-empire-the-american-way-of-life/

Some are trying to deal with the issue you raise. Oliver Stone had a lot to say on the subject in his "Untold History of the United States".

JEHR , May 8, 2017 at 9:10 am

I would like to see CNN or any other channel begin a series of TV presentations where each one of these items is discussed by the relevant people. (When no officials show up for the program, then the producers will know they are on the right track.) A great idea for a series of investigative reports by journalists also.

However, would such a program make any difference in how things are done?

DH , May 8, 2017 at 11:48 am

It might if the Kardashians were invited to participate in the debate.

Lil'D , May 8, 2017 at 9:24 am

It's systemic. Journalism is a business of delivering eyeballs to advertisers. These important issues don't sell. Get more flashy drama in the framing of the story and you might have a chance

B.J.M. , May 8, 2017 at 3:03 pm

exactly, it is "systemic"! Until one understands that the mainstream media's core business is not news; it is selling audiences to advertisers, one will never properly understand the problem.

Felix_47 , May 8, 2017 at 11:29 am

Could it be that our leadership in Washington has no idea why we are still in Afghanistan either? Could it be that our allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia, like the idea of the US military sitting at the back door to Iran? Could it be that we are getting the best foreign policy Saudi and Israeli money can buy? And the MIC is glad to oblige.

Art Eclectic , May 8, 2017 at 1:41 pm

My assumption is that everything inexplicable is ultimately explained by money if you dug deep enough.

JTMcPhee , May 8, 2017 at 3:34 pm

String theory? Dark matter? Why my dog still pees right inside the patio door?

witters , May 8, 2017 at 6:42 pm

Why not? See Richard Rorty's "Consequences of Pragmatism".

Susan the other , May 8, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Well we can certainly speculate on 1 – 24. In almost every case there is an implied answer: We aren't quite finished yet establishing and maintaining our control. Over finance and power.

And even though war is too expensive and we have resorted to a kind of high-tech guerrilla warfare, we still need boots on the ground. That is because we live in a material world and goods are manufactured, transported and trafficked.

An even more stubborn war is going on in international finance (Hudson) – that's the one I'd like to see reporters understand. Colonel Wilkerson said it is all about finance and power and we will be in Afghanistan for 50 years. What's going on right now really seems like never ending pointlessness. So maybe we should discuss exactly what we want to achieve control for – what's the plan? In detail. Starting with the health of the planet and sustainable civilization.

Tom Stone , May 8, 2017 at 12:07 pm

Y U H8 'Murika?

templar555510 , May 8, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Andrew could have headed his piece " Analysis of an Empire ' and then added the sub-heading ' A Tale of Vested Interests ' because that is surely why these atrocities ( yes that's right ) continue ad infintum, ad nauseum . And these same interests are those that sell us soap, automobiles, liquor etc, etc, maybe not directly, but the interconnections are now so complete as to make distinctions irrelevant.

Sluggeaux , May 8, 2017 at 4:23 pm

Is it because a self-perpetuating top-heavy military bureaucracy was never properly demobilized after the Second World War, and only promotes the sort of sociopathic, narcissistic, borderline personalities who are relentlessly able to bully the groveling toadies and wussies who make up our perpetually campaigning political-climber class?

Gen Dau , May 8, 2017 at 7:55 pm

Andrew Bacevich needs to study more deeply about Syrian history and politics, since his description of Syrian president Bashar Assad as a brutal dictator fits as a description of Bashar's father Hafez Assad but is inaccurate in relation to Bashar Assad, who seems to have a rather gentle personality and is actually one of the more benign leaders in the Middle East.

Bashar Assad had planned to be a doctor, and he studied medicine for two years in the UK before being ordered to return to Syria by his father after his elder brother died in an accident. Although there were some excesses by the police in 2011, Bashar Assad quickly relaxed some old security laws and pushed for a new democratic constitution, which was promulgated in 2012. Under that new constitution, in 2014 he ran in a free election observed by international observers against two other politicians and was reelected president. He has promised that if he loses the next election he will step down.

Nevertheless Assad has been systematically demonized by the governments and MSM of the US, UK, and France, as well as by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Demonization is a technique that is often used to prepare the way for regime change, and it is not based on objective analysis. Although Assad is often called a butcher who gasses his own people, experts such as Theodore Postol of MIT and others have shown that not a single allegation of gassing by the Syrian government under Assad has ever been proven. In addition, many of the excesses by the Syrian police against demonstrators in 2011 seem to have been initiated by armed members of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda in Syria, who quickly infiltrated the demonstrations. There have even been allegations that jihadi sharpshooters on rooftops shot demonstrators in false-flag attacks. Similar tactics were used in Ukraine in February 2014 by ultranationalist Right Sector sharpshooters, who were seen shooting Maidan demonstrators. The deaths of the demonstrators were then blamed on the police. In the case of Syria:

"Syrian-based Father Frans van der Lugt was the Dutch priest murdered by a gunman in Homs . His involvement in reconciliation and peace activities never stopped him from lobbing criticisms at both sides in this conflict. But in the first year of the crisis, he penned some remarkable observations about the violence – this one in January 2012:

"'From the start the protest movements were not purely peaceful. From the start I saw armed demonstrators marching along in the protests, who began to shoot at the police first. Very often the violence of the security forces has been a reaction to the brutal violence of the armed rebels.'

"In September 2011 he wrote: 'From the start there has been the problem of the armed groups, which are also part of the opposition The opposition of the street is much stronger than any other opposition. And this opposition is armed and frequently employs brutality and violence, only in order then to blame the government.'"
https://www.rt.com/op-edge/157412-syria-hidden-massacre-2011/

For an objective overview of the context of the events of 2011 in Syria that led to the international war against the elected Syrian government, see Stephen Gowans, "The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn't."
https://gowans.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/the-revolutionary-distemper-in-syria-that-wasnt/
Also see Gowans' well-researched 2016 book 'Washington's Long War on Syria.' The US has been demonizing and trying to overthrow the Syrian government for several decades now, above all because it is the only remaining semi-socialist nation in the Middle East and has single-payer national health insurance, support for the elderly, and free college education for all. Assad is no saint, but he is one of the more democratic and forward-looking leaders in the Middle East today.

Westley Wood , May 8, 2017 at 8:12 pm

Thugs committing heinous acts " and some had opportunity to squeal " S. Crane

[May 21, 2017] WhateverGate-The Crazed Quest To Find Some Reason (Any Reason!) To Dump Trump by John Derbyshire

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... One of Steve Sailer's many clever commenters has brilliantly named it WhateverGate-the frantic legalistic churning about who said what to whom in President Trump's circle, and whether the thing that was or was not said warrants impeachment. Or whatever. But impeachment. ..."
"... Obama tells Russia's Medvedev more flexibility after election , ..."
"... The Special Counsel Who Just Might Save Trump's Presidency, ..."
"... Instead of registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Flynn reported his income through the Lobbying Disclosure Act! ..."
"... They're covering for him! ..."
"... Chinagate and the Clintons, ..."
"... Michael Flynn won't honor subpoena to provide documents, ..."
"... Obama Holdovers, Vacant Posts Still Plague Trump - ..."
"... There's a grain of truth in that. The Watergate affair was a media witch-hunt against a president the Establishment elites disliked. Nixon's offenses were of a kind the Main Stream Media had never bothered about, nor even reported, when done by Democrat presidents-like Lyndon Johnson's bugging of Barry Goldwater in 1964. ..."
"... So yes: When the political and media establishment try to drive from office a president they dislike, it is ..."
"... It's pretty plain by now that the Republican Party Establishment is not going to forgive Donald Trump for humiliating them last year. They'll be just as happy as Democrats to see him go, if they can somehow help the Democrats force him out without showing too much ..."
"... Sixty-three million Americans rejected establishment politics last November. They took a chance on an outsider. From a field of seventeen seasoned Republican politicians, GOP primary voters selected the one un ..."
"... The GOP leadership would like to go back anyway. They think if they can get rid of Trump, that will get rid of Trumpism. They yearn to get back to the futile wars, the free trade sucker economy, the open borders and multiculturalism. ..."
"... They really think that, the McCains and Grahams and McConnells and Ryans . Get rid of Trump, you get rid of Trumpism, they believe. Then we can all go back to what Orwell called "the dear old game of scratch-my-neighbor." Yep, this is the Stupid Party. ..."
"... But whether Donald Trump is actually the right person to give us Trumpism is more and more in doubt. ..."
May 21, 2017 | www.unz.com
One of Steve Sailer's many clever commenters has brilliantly named it WhateverGate-the frantic legalistic churning about who said what to whom in President Trump's circle, and whether the thing that was or was not said warrants impeachment. Or whatever. But impeachment. Every week, I think things can't get any crazier-the hysteria has to burn itself out, the temperature can't get any higher, the fever has to break-and every week it's worse. Boy, they really want to get this guy. That just gives us more reasons to defend him.

I don't even bother much any more to focus on the actual thing that President Trump or one of his colleagues is supposed to have said or done. Every time, when you look closely, it's basically nothing.

I've been reading news and memoirs about American presidents since the Kennedy administration. I swear that every single damn thing Trump is accused of, warranting special counsels, congressional enquiries, impeachment-every single thing has been done by other recent presidents, often to a much greater degree, with little or no comment.

Remember Barack Obama's hot-mike blooper in the 2012 campaign, telling the Russian President that, quote, "After my election I have more flexibility"? [ Obama tells Russia's Medvedev more flexibility after election , Reuters, March 26, 2012] Can you imagine how today's media would react if footage showed up of Trump doing that in last year's campaign? Can you imagine ? I can't.

We are a big, important country with big, important things that need doing-most important of all, halting the demographic transformation that's tugging us out of the Anglosphere into the Latino-sphere and filling our country with low-skill workers just as robots are arriving to take their jobs.

Those big, important things aren't getting done. Instead, our news outlets are shrieking about high crimes and misdemeanors in the new administration–things that, when you read about the actual details, look awful picayune.

Sample, from today's press, concerning Michael Flynn , the national security advisor President Trump fired for supposedly lying to the Vice President about a phone conversation he'd had with the Russian Ambassador last December. To the best of my understanding, the root issue was just a difference of opinion over the parsing of what Flynn remembered having said, and the precise definition of the word "substantive," but Trump fired him anyway.

Well, here's Eli Lake at Bloomberg News on the latest tranche of investigations into Flynn's activities:

Flynn's legal troubles come from his failure to properly report foreign income. One source close to Flynn told me that the Justice Department had opened an investigation into Flynn after the election in November for failing to register his work on behalf of a Turkish businessman, pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Flynn had instead reported this income through the more lax Lobbying Disclosure Act. After his resignation, Flynn registered as a foreign agent for Turkey.

The Special Counsel Who Just Might Save Trump's Presidency, by Eli Lake, May 18, 2017

Did you get that? Instead of registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Flynn reported his income through the Lobbying Disclosure Act!

High crimes! Treason! Special Prosecutor! Congressional inquiry! The Republic is in danger! Suspend habeas corpus ! This must not stand!

And then, the whole silly Russia business. The Bloomberg guy has words about that, too:

Flynn also failed to report with the Pentagon his payment in 2015 from Russia's propaganda network, RT, for a speech in Moscow at the network's annual gala. As I reported last month, Flynn did brief the Defense Intelligence Agency about that trip before and after he attended the RT gala. The Pentagon also renewed his top-secret security clearance after that trip.

So obviously the rot goes deep into the Pentagon. They're covering for him! Let's have a purge of the military! Special prosecutor!

Oh, we have a special prosecutor? Let's have another one!

Russia, Russia, Russia. For crying out loud , Russia's just a country . We have no great differences of interest with them . What, are they trying to reclaim Alaska? First I've heard of it.

You could make an argument, I suppose-I don't myself think it's much of an argument, but you could make it-that Russia's a military threat to Europe.

Once again , with feeling: Europe has a population three and a half times greater than Russia's and a GDP ten times greater. Europe's two nuclear powers, Britain and France, have more than five hundred nuclear weapons between them. If the Euros can't defend themselves against Russia, there's something very badly wrong over there, beyond any ability of ours to fix–even if you could show me it's in our national interest to fix it, which you can't.

At this point, in fact, reading the news from Europe, I think a Russian invasion and occupation of the continent would be an improvement. A Russian hegemony might at least put up some resistance to the ongoing invasion of Europe from Africa and the Middle East . It doesn't look as though the Euros themselves are up to the job.

That aside, American citizens are free to visit Russia and talk to Russians, including Russian government employees, just as free as we are to talk to Australians, Brazilians, or Cambodians. As the Lion said on his blog :

Do liberals who are making a big deal about the Trump-Russia thing really believe that no one involved in a presidential campaign should have ever talked to anyone from another country? How would an administration ever conduct any foreign policy if no one in the administration has ever left the United States or ever talked to a foreigner?

And again, these standards have never been applied to other Presidents. Bill Clinton took campaign donations from the Chinese army . [ Chinagate and the Clintons, By Robert Zapesochny, American Spectator, October 6, 2016] Barack Obama groveled to the Saudis . Where were the calls for special prosecutors?

Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, with whom Flynn had that December phone conversation, is, says the New York Post , "a suspected Kremlin spy." [ Michael Flynn won't honor subpoena to provide documents, By Bob Fredericks, May 18, 2017] Is he? Why should I care?

I bet ol' Sergey does all the spying he can. So, I'm sure, do the ambassadors of China, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Botswana. That's what ambassadors do. That's what we do in their countries. Does anyone not know this?

"A Kremlin spy"? What is this, 1957 ? Russia's just a country . And as our own James Kirkpatrick has pointed out here at VDARE.com , it's a country run by people who hate us-the American people- less than our own elites do.

As James also points out, if it's interference in our elections that bothers you, consider what Mexico's been doing for the last forty years: encouraging mass immigration of its own underclass into the U.S.A., lobbying through its consulates and Spanish-language TV channels for voter registration, using Mexican-owned outlets like the New York Times to demonize and discredit national conservatives.

The founder of Christianity scoffed at those who strain at a gnat but swallow a camel. In the matter of foreign interference in our elections, the gnat here is Russia; the camel is Mexico. Our media and opinion elites have swallowed the camel.

Unless, of course, just down the road a few months, there's going to be a hysteria-storm about Mexican interference in our elections. My advice would be: Don't hold your breath.

All the shouting and swooning is just the rage of a dispossessed class-our political class.

Our political and government class, I think I should say. There are tens of thousands of federal functionaries who have never stood for election to anything, but whose loyalty is to the political Establishment. Great numbers of these people settled in to their comfortable seats during the eight years of Barack Obama's administration; so to the degree that they care about party affiliation, they prefer the Democratic Party. Washington, D.C. voted 91 percent for Mrs. Clinton last November.

Obama Holdovers, Vacant Posts Still Plague Trump - Administration housecleaning is long overdue to get agenda in motion, end damaging leaks, by Thomas Richard, LifeZette.com, May 18, 2017] Draining the swamp means getting rid of those people. They should be fired -en masse, in their hundreds and thousands, and marched out the office door by security guards before they can trash files.

Still, a big majority of federal politicians are helping to drive the hysteria; and their rage against Trump is, as they say in D.C., bipartisan. Senator John McCain told CNN on Tuesday that President Trump's troubles are, quote , "of Watergate size and scale."

There's a grain of truth in that. The Watergate affair was a media witch-hunt against a president the Establishment elites disliked. Nixon's offenses were of a kind the Main Stream Media had never bothered about, nor even reported, when done by Democrat presidents-like Lyndon Johnson's bugging of Barry Goldwater in 1964.

So yes: When the political and media establishment try to drive from office a president they dislike, it is kinda like Watergate.

It's pretty plain by now that the Republican Party Establishment is not going to forgive Donald Trump for humiliating them last year. They'll be just as happy as Democrats to see him go, if they can somehow help the Democrats force him out without showing too much outward enthusiasm.

Last August, after Trump had clinched the Republican nomination, I reproduced a remark Peggy Noonan made in one of her columns. Here's the remark again, quote :

From what I've seen there has been zero reflection on the part of Republican leaders on how much the base's views differ from theirs and what to do about it. The GOP is not at all refiguring its stands.

Has there been any reflection among GOP leaders in the nine months since, about the meaning of Trump's victory? Not much that I can see.

Sixty-three million Americans rejected establishment politics last November. They took a chance on an outsider. From a field of seventeen seasoned Republican politicians, GOP primary voters selected the one un -seasoned guy. Then sixty-three million of us voted for him in the general.

Does the GOP get this? Have they learned anything from it? Not that I can see.

With some exceptions, of course. GOP elder statesman Pat Buchanan spelled it out in an interview with the Daily Caller this week:

The GOP leadership would like to go back anyway. They think if they can get rid of Trump, that will get rid of Trumpism. They yearn to get back to the futile wars, the free trade sucker economy, the open borders and multiculturalism.

If they can just pull off an impeachment, the Republican party bosses believe, and install some donor-compliant drone in the White House, then we sixty-three million Trump voters will smack our foreheads with our palms and say: "Jeez, we are so dumb! Why did we let ourselves get led astray like that? Why didn't we vote for Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush in the primaries, as you wise elders wanted us to? We're sorry! We promise to follow your advice in future!"

They really think that, the McCains and Grahams and McConnells and Ryans . Get rid of Trump, you get rid of Trumpism, they believe. Then we can all go back to what Orwell called "the dear old game of scratch-my-neighbor." Yep, this is the Stupid Party.

But whether Donald Trump is actually the right person to give us Trumpism is more and more in doubt.


I am of course grateful for the small mercies. Thank you for Jeff Sessions; thank you for the work you're doing on trade; thank you somewhat for Neil Gorsuch, who may yet turn and cuck on us.

Those are small mercies, though. Where's the really big, bold swamp -draining exercise, like the one I just described? Why are we still issuing work permits to illegal aliens? Why no federal legislation to slam a mandatory ten-year sentence on any illegal who, after being deported, comes back in ? Why no request to Congress on funding for the border Wall? For an end to the visa lottery and restrictions on chain migration? When do we start testing the constitutionality of birthright citizenship? Why are we still in NATO ? Why are we still at war with North Korea ( which technically we are , since there hasn't been a peace treaty, only an armistice)?

I like Ann Coulter's analogy: It's as if we're in Chicago, and Trump says he can get us to L.A. in six days; and then for the first three days we're driving towards New York. He can still turn around and get us to L.A. in three days. But, says Ann , she's getting nervous.

Me too.

John Derbyshire [ email him ] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books . He's had two books published by VDARE.com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT ( also available in Kindle ) and From the Dissident Right II: Essays 2013 . His writings are archived at JohnDerbyshire.com .

[May 21, 2017] Do High-Level Leaks Suggest a Conspiracy by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... I now suspect that there is indeed a group at the top of the U.S. national security system that wants to remove Donald Trump and has wanted to do so for quite some time. ..."
"... Their program is simple: convince the nation that the president and his team colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 election in his favor, which, if demonstrable even if not necessarily true, would provide grounds for impeachment. They are motivated by the belief that removing Trump must be done "for the good of the country" and they are willing to do what they consider correcting a mistake made by the American voters. They are assisted in their effort by the mainstream media, which agrees with both the methods employed and the overall objective and is completely on board with the process. ..."
"... Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest. ..."
"... "Perhaps if the man could inspire loyalty in his troops this problem would never exist." Yes–a leader must *inspire* loyalty, not demand it over dinner at the White House. ..."
May 18, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
National-security officials may see themselves as patriots, but their methods set a dangerous precedent.

Back in my time in the CIA, there were two places in the headquarters building one could go that were free speech zones-places where it was safe to vent about senior management without necessarily being admonished or even reported. They were the Historical Intelligence Collection room off the library, where no one ever went to look at the books, and the office supplies storage room in the basement. The supplies room had a lot of dark corners and concealing shelves where it was possible to be anonymous and it was completely unsupervised in the belief that true-blue CIA officers would never stoop to taking even a single pencil more than was actually needed to get the job done.

I don't know if those rooms still exist, but I sometimes think of them when the subject of government conspiracies come up. I have this vision of two or three conspirators huddled in the corner behind the staplers back in 1975 discussing how one would go about eliminating the likes of Senator Frank Church, who at that time was heading a major congressional investigation into CIA improprieties.

If there had been such a gathering, I would imagine that the Washington Post would have found out about it on the next day as intelligence officers are gregarious and like to talk. This has been my principal problem with the debate in some quarters about the 9/11 Commission. Their report did indeed miss many important angles in order to protect certain governmental interests, but if there had been a genuine conspiracy involving what must have been hundreds of people to demolish the Twin Towers with explosives, it surely would have leaked long ago.

Two months ago, I would have dismissed as fantasy any thoughts of a conspiracy based in America's national security agencies to bring down Donald Trump. But now I am not so sure. Many of my friends who are former intelligence officers are increasingly asking questions. It is worth pointing out that none of us are fans of what the White House has been doing and saying-quite the contrary. Still, alerting the country to concerns over what might be a developing soft coup orchestrated by the intelligence and law-enforcement agencies to nullify the results of a national election in no way equates to trying to protect Donald Trump and his uncouth and ill-informed behavior. It is rather a defense of the Constitution.

Donald Trump said on Wednesday that "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!" He might be right. He was referring to Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein's appointment of the highly-respected Robert Mueller as independent counsel to investigate "any links and/or coordination between Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation."

Trump's bombast puts everyone but his most tone-deaf supporters on edge, but there are two points that he has been making repeatedly that are essential to any understanding of what is going on. First, the investigation into Russia and the Trumpsters has been a high priority at FBI and also in Congress for nearly a year. Yet so far no one has produced evidence that anyone broke any law or even that someone did something wrong. Second, and more importantly, the vilification of Trump and Russia has been driven by a series of leaks that come from the very top of the national security apparatus, leaks that appear not to have been seriously investigated.

This involvement of FBI and CIA in the campaign, whether inadvertently or by design, was particularly evident in the various reports that surfaced and were leaked to the press during the campaign and right up to the inauguration. The leaks of that type of information, to include technical intelligence and Special Access Program "codeword" material, require top-level access as well as the ability to arrange clandestine contacts with major players in the media, something far beyond the reach of most employees at CIA or the FBI.

Similar leaks have been appearing since that time. I confess to finding Monday's detailed account of what President Trump discussed with Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov, which included corroborating material that likely did more damage than the information that was actually shared, highly suggestive of the possibility that something like a conspiracy is, in fact, functioning. Given the really tight-security control of that transcript after it was determined that it contained sensitive information, one might reasonably assume that the leaks to the media came directly out of Donald Trump's own National Security Council or from the highest levels of the office of the DNI, CIA, or FBI.

Yesterday, the anonymous sources struck again, revealing that "Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump's campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race." That sort of information had to come from the top level of the FBI and would have been accessible to only a few, but even though the leaks of what constitutes highly-classified information have been recurring for many months, no one has been fired or arrested.

The emphasis on Russia derives from the government and media consensus that Moscow was behind the hacking of Democratic National Committee (DNC) computers that led to the exposure of what the DNC was doing to destroy the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. There is also a related consensus that the Russian hacking was intended to damage American democracy and also to help the Trump campaign, a narrative that the president has described as a "made-up thing," a view that I share. All of these assertions are regarded as unquestionably true as measured by inside-the-beltway groupthink, with even the White House now conceding that there was Russian interference in the election.

Sometimes the hysteria over Russia produces over-the-top stories in the mainstream media, including last week's completely speculative piece wondering whether the entourage of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had sought to sneak a recording device into the White House during his White House visit. It was the type of tale that might have been inspired by a leak from someone in the National Security Council who personally observed the context of the meeting and was able to provide corroborating details.

Nevertheless, in spite of the overwhelming groupthink, it has been repeated ad nauseam by people like myself that no actual evidence has been produced to support any of the claims being made about Russia and Trump. There is more evidence that the White House was penetrated by Ankara-through the good services of Michael Flynn-than by Moscow, but Congress has not called for an investigation into Turkey's lobbying . Ray McGovern, a former senior CIA analyst, is even speculating that the Agency might have been the actual hacker into the DNC, leaving a trail behind that would have suggested that it was done by the Russians. His concern arises from the recent WikiLeaks revelation that the CIA had developed cyberwarfare capabilities to do just that.

McGovern, like myself, is also asking why former CIA Director John Brennan has not been summoned by the Senate Committee looking into Russia-gate. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has testified twice, while former FBI Director James Comey, current NSA Director Mike Rogers, and former Justice Department senior official Sally Yates have all appeared once. Brennan's absence is conspicuous as he was the senior national security official most closely tied to the Obama Administration, may have had the tools at hand to fake the Russian connection, and has also been plausibly linked to "encouraging" British Intelligence to provide damaging information on Michael Flynn.

I now suspect that there is indeed a group at the top of the U.S. national security system that wants to remove Donald Trump and has wanted to do so for quite some time. If that is true, I believe that they have been operating with that goal in mind for at least the past year. It is not a traditional conspiracy or cabal in that it does not meet and conspire together, but I suspect the members know what they are doing in a general sense and are intervening whenever they can to keep Trump off balance. Their program is simple: convince the nation that the president and his team colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 election in his favor, which, if demonstrable even if not necessarily true, would provide grounds for impeachment. They are motivated by the belief that removing Trump must be done "for the good of the country" and they are willing to do what they consider correcting a mistake made by the American voters. They are assisted in their effort by the mainstream media, which agrees with both the methods employed and the overall objective and is completely on board with the process.

Saving the country from Trump is certainly an attractive notion. I suspect the Comeys, Clappers, and Brennans, together with a host of former senior officers who appear regularly on television, if they were involved, see themselves as great patriots. But they must understand that the blunt instrument they are usingis far more dangerous than the current occupant of the White House. A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more threatening to our democracy than anything Donald Trump or even the Russians can do.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

  • Whine Merchant , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:20 pm
    I suggest that there are too many big egos involved to keep any 'conspiracy' quiet for long. Someone would post a status update on Facebook, with a photo tagging them all in their cloaks, brandishing daggers.
    Fran Macadam , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:22 pm
    Nothing could be more obvious than that the particular anonymous high level Deep State bureaucrats and the media that quotes them are attempting a coup.

    Many of us have suspected we have been progressively disenfranchised, both economically and politically, by elite special interests for some time. If this oligarchy now get the coup they want, they will then have proven to most of us that democracy in America is a sham, no more than a cynical rigged show to deceive us that we the people are in control.

    John_M , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:38 pm
    No conspiracy is required. Trump went out of his way to antagonize the staff at CIA headquarters when he visited. We don't need to discuss how the 'Orange Blob' (As I understand he is frequently referred to within the FBI) antagonized the FBI.

    Leaks are endemic in DC. To have gone out of his way to antagonize the intelligence and security apparatus is the sign of a dangerous incompetent.

    I expect the agencies to back to their old tricks / policies with respect to senate approvals – providing useful (damaging) background information on candidates they do not approve of to political opponents in the Senate.

    But no conspiracy is required at all – just bureaucrats with information using it in what they take to be their organizational interest.

    It has been so for a long time. You get less of it with competent leadership – and more with incompetent leadership.

    Marcion , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:38 pm
    If the President hasn't done anything wrong, what does he have to hide?
    JLF , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:53 pm
    Proof? Evidence? The absence of proof is proof of nothing.
    So, smoking gun . . . or smoking pipe?
    Joe the Plutocrat , says: May 19, 2017 at 12:00 am
    fascinating stuff. which begs the question, where is the betting line or over/under for civil servants (especially those employed in the intelligence/national security space), between a sworn oath to protect and defend the Constitution (via a 'conspiracy', which could also be described as a necessary and authorized 'operation'), and an a POTUS who despite his similar oath f office, lacks the capacity (legal, intellectual, emotional) ability to honor his oath? frankly, I'll take the "deep state" underdogs and the points.
    Uzback , says: May 19, 2017 at 12:37 am
    If you really are concerned that the Intelligence Agencies are leaking to damage Trump then Trump needs to take advantage of his own resources and be more open about his information to take away their power.
    1. He needs to release his tax returns. This is incredibly important, and if he is hiding something then the IC has leverage in circumstantial evidence. If there is nothing there, then they lose power.
    2. Be in full support of any investigation. Let Flynn and others from the White House speak to Congress. Again, the leaks have no power if you already release information.
    3. Instead of putting out obvious lies like Spicer did on January 21st or misdirecting information, be as open as possible on basic things. Talk to the American people like the adults they are.
    4. Stop Tweeting. Full stop. No more, it just leads to bad things.

    The leaks work because knowledge is power, and this Administration is thinking that by not giving a straight answer they can control the knowledge, which is completely not true.

    DonChi , says: May 19, 2017 at 1:14 am
    Many smart, good, fair people have such a visceral dislike of Trump that they lose their virtues and succumb to hysteria. But it's worse than that. Blindly supporting a soft coup is morally tantamount to treason.

    I know it's hard to swallow–because you hate Donald Trump so much–but it's true.

    Johnny F. Ive , says: May 19, 2017 at 6:35 am
    "Saving the country from Trump is certainly an attractive notion. I suspect the Comeys, Clappers, and Brennans, together with a host of former senior officers who appear regularly on television, if they were involved, see themselves as great patriots."

    They must be out of touch with reality. If they were patriots they would have got rid of Bush II and Cheney before the Iraq War of 2003! This is just to keep the American Empire on its present course of decline. There is no sign of anything noble going on here.

    Centralist , says: May 19, 2017 at 7:18 am
    I think the majority of the so called conspiracies are individuals or small groups operating on their own with a common goal without any active cooperation mainly because they know talking about it will lead to them facing greater problems later on.

    The majority of the leakers are likely people that honestly believe they are doing the right thing and act on it. It is not like people go into the Intelligence or Law Enforcement because they are anti-authority. They are normally men and women with a dedication to the United States and its principles so when they feel other are violating that they act. For many Trump while he is the President fails to act as such and not only that has called in to question the competency of these people and their loyalty. After having read "The Art of the Deal" I am surprised he has not tried to be more vicious to these people. Trump has a strong streak of personal loyalty and from what I gather only believes in it. The Men and Women that make up the Law Enforcement and Intelligence do not give up personal loyalty to one politician or one faction they are loyal to the United States. This is something a man who has only ever worked in family business does not seem capable to understand. His experience and training always taught him if you work for him you are suppose to be loyal to him. That is not how these organizations operate. The "deep state" is more reflective of our own polarization along party and ideologue lines. The fact an organization can people that work both sides seems crazy to many that only operate in left or right no middle. I in sad to say the longer I am alive the more I think the draft is needed not because of the need for soldiers but rather for the propose of forcing people to work in an organization that is dedicated to a common goal with individuals from all over the nation with different beliefs and experiences. Otherwise we are just going to have people that are stuck and leading to further divisions. As a note I have never served in the military my jr year of college I received an injury that disqualified me from service. I attended though one of the six senior military colleges with the intention of serving.

    John S , says: May 19, 2017 at 7:39 am
    Is this the same Philip Giraldi who has written odes to Wikileaks? Public has a right to know,etc.?
    Kurt Gayle , says: May 19, 2017 at 7:53 am
    Philip Giraldi "I now suspect that there is indeed a group at the top of the U.S. national security system that wants to remove Donald Trump and has wanted to do so for quite some time. If that is true, I believe that they have been operating with that goal in mind for at least the past year."

    Decades-long Princeton/NYU Professor of Russian studies Stephen Cohen agrees with Mr. Giraldi's assessment (May 15, Fox):

    If you had asked me a few days ago "What's the number one threat to the United States today?" I would have said, "International terrorism." Today I would say, "It's this assault on President Trump." Because it's been going on a year. And can we be clear? What he's being accused of is treason. This has never happened in America – that there's a Russian agent in the White House. And we've had a whole array of allegations: From Putin helped him get in the White House, to his associates are doing wrong things with Russians, that Flynn did something wrong – his former National Security Advisor – did something wrong in talking to the Russian ambassador. There's no evidence that there was any wrong-doing and, indeed, Flynn should have talked to the Russian ambassador. That was his job. So, this is beyond belief now and has become – by this I mean this assault on Trump and his loyalty – this has become a national security threat to us in-itself There has long been in Washington a powerful – let's call it The Fourth Branch of Government, the intelligence services, who have opposed any rapprochement or cooperation with Russia. Remember, in 2016 President Obama worked out a deal with President Putin for military cooperation in Syria. He said he was going to share intelligence with Russia – just the way Trump and the Russians were supposed to do the other day. Our Department of Defense said it wouldn't share intelligence. And a few days later, they killed Syrian soldiers, violating the agreement, and that was the end of that. So, we can ask: "Who is making our foreign policy in Washington today?" Are there really three branches of government, or is there a fourth branch of government – these intel services? What we know as a fact is that Obama tried – not very hard, but he tried – for a military alliance with Putin in Syria against terrorism, and it was sabotaged by the Department of Defense and its allies in the intelligence services. Trump says, he said on the campaign trail: "Wouldn't it be great to cooperate with Russian?" My answer is: It would be great. And Trump seems to want that to happen. But he's being thwarted. Every time he gets close, we get a new leak, of a story.

    Chris Chuba , says: May 19, 2017 at 8:20 am
    I'm certain that everyone who launched a coup in a third world country thought they were patriots as well. The comment 'if he has nothing to hide is chilling' because it ignores the nature of these attacks. These are not really leaks, they are anonymous hit and run attacks designed to leave an impression in a way that is impossible to refute.

    Some examples
    1. CIA leak, 'portions of the Russian Dossier have been confirmed'. Perhaps some trivial facts were confirmed but people will think of the sensational parts of the dossier.

    2. Mattis flat out denies that 'methods and sources' were given to the Russians but the leaker gives specifics to the MSM. Perhaps the leaker, knowing the topic of the meeting went above and beyond knowing that the WH is not going to give out a full transcript of the meeting.

    These guys are playing a very dangerous game. This is the same CIA group that is arming rebels in Syria. They know better than us. Anyone who questions them is a traitor in their eyes.

    G Harvey , says: May 19, 2017 at 8:51 am
    The answer is: Yes.

    Paul Craig Roberts has an article up that I think should be read. As I do not know if this site allows the posting of links or even article names, I will provide neither.

    Kurt Gayle , says: May 19, 2017 at 8:53 am
    Philip Giraldi "Ray McGovern, a former senior CIA analyst, is even speculating that the Agency might have been the actual hacker into the DNC, leaving a trail behind that would have suggested that it was done by the Russians. His concern arises from the recent Wiki Leaks revelation that the CIA had developed cyber warfare capabilities to do just that. McGovern, like myself, is also asking why former CIA Director John Brennan has not been summoned by the Senate Committee looking into Russia-gate. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has testified twice, while former FBI Director James Comey, current NSA Director Mike Rogers, and former Justice Department senior official Sally Yates have all appeared once. Brennan's absence is conspicuous as he was the senior national security official most closely tied to the Obama Administration, may have had the tools at hand to fake the Russian connection, and has also been plausibly linked to 'encouraging' British Intelligence to provide damaging information on Michael Flynn."

    Brennan was chosen by Obama to head the CIA and was sworn in as Director on March 8, 2013. At the swearing-in ceremony, rather than placing his hand on a Bible, Brennan chose to place his hand on an original draft of the Constitution that had George Washington's personal handwriting and annotations on it, dating from 1787. Somewhat worthy of note is the fact that the 1787 draft of the Constitution does not contain the Bill of Rights.

    But Obama White House Press spokesman Josh Earnest said Brennan requested that particular draft of the US Constitution because he "wanted to reaffirm his commitment to the rule of law as he took the oath of office as director of the CIA."

    "Commitment to the rule of law"? Brennan?

    Vitaly , says: May 19, 2017 at 9:42 am
    The scandal in Washington, DC is profound to be explained by petty considerations. It requires metaphysical language.

    The sad fact is that We-the-People were unable to keep our Republic as Benjamin Franklin advised us to do. Founding Fathers had tried hard to protect Republic against mob. The last thing they could imagine was that mentality of instant gratification that define mob will morph into top echelon of ruling class. If history provide any lessons the first was given by Moses when he descended from Mount Sinai with 10 commandments. That lesson was repeated multiple times with the same results. History is littered with faded memories of failed empires, which reduced multidimensional colored world to lust for Golden Calf. Under no circumstances the US will be exception for signs of decay are everywhere.
    I am also sure that majority of commentators on this "conservative" site are to busy with trivia to comprehend reality they are facing in very near future.

    p3cop , says: May 19, 2017 at 9:45 am
    How is it that the leakers are not identified, fired and prosecuted? When there are five people in a room when a secret is told, and that secret gets leaked, one of those five people are guilty. If you can't tell which one, fire them all. Are there no detectives in D.C.? It ain't rocket science.
    Dan Green , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:32 am
    I think we should be reminded , as we witness this circus. Those thousands who work in the swamp, are experts at what they do. I would admit Trump needs to slack off his rhetoric, but I have to hand it to the Democrats. Getting Trump impeached or to resign is their new platform to get the ruling class back in the saddle.
    Joe the Plutocrat , says: May 19, 2017 at 11:24 am
    @Dan Green, maybe so, but the real question is, why did Americans elect a POTUS who is NOT an "expert" at what the POTUS does? Deep State, Establishment, or whatever you title you choose, one does not survive in a swamp without mastering or adapting the skills necessary to this may sound silly, survive in a swamp. This is the difference between fake news and real news. This is the difference between television and reality television. And finally, this is the difference between a true populist, and a self-described 'billionaire' populist – who inherited millions and grew it (sic) to billions via debt and bankruptcy. None of this should surprise Americans, progressive or 'deplorable'. It certainly did not surprise those sworn to defend the Constitution.
    Adriana I Pena , says: May 19, 2017 at 11:45 am
    They say that extraordinary circumstances make bad law.

    But extraordinary circumstances have to be addressed.

    A man-child with no impulse control in charge of foreign policy and they nuclear arsenal qualifies as extraordinary circumstances.

    As Cavafy said "the gods should have bothered"

    Johann , says: May 19, 2017 at 11:48 am
    The leaks are selective dirty trick mountain-out-of-molehill spoil sport partisan cry baby sore loser propaganda. If they are successful in circumventing our democracy, they and all of us will reap the whirlwind.
    bkh , says: May 19, 2017 at 12:12 pm
    I hope so! We need a good shake-up in DC to save TV ratings and sell papers. Can also add all the advertising dollars available with media clicks. And the hostility and deadlock has to continue so we can slip through some wonderful legislation to take away more wealth and rights from the dumb sheep on both sides. I am sure NetFlix or Amazon or some other Cable channel can't wait for the rights to this. "Orange is the New Nixon"

    They got it figured out to where they can get the SJWs and the left to turn out for the death of the right. They will then turn the guns on "their own" because those sheep are just as deplorable. Burn it down! Tear it apart! Show your true selves for the devils you are.

    P Tocco , says: May 19, 2017 at 12:34 pm
    Today's soft coup plotters may indeed be breaking the law. Didn't American colonial coup plotters also break the law? I.e. Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Paine, all committed hanging offenses. We are in their debt.
    Brian W , says: May 19, 2017 at 1:05 pm
    14.05.2017 International Cyber Attack: Roots Traced to US National Security Agency

    Over 45,000 ransomware attacks have been tracked in large-scale attacks across Europe and Asia - particularly Russia and China - as well as attacks in the US and South America.

    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/05/14/international-cyber-attack-roots-traced-us-national-security-agency.html

    Iron Felix , says: May 19, 2017 at 1:20 pm
    The US is effectively an empire, not a republic. Empires are always fighting wars to maintain and expand. Russia is viewed not as just a large influential country, but an obstacle to expansion of the empire. This is the view of the Deep State which defends the interests of the US ruling class, the finance capitalist class. It runs a worldwide imperialist system.

    Trump has no interest in empire. Sure, he will go to war against individual countries which he believes are encroaching on US interests, but he defines these interests more narrowly as the republic being cheated or taken advantage of by other states. He has no interest in sitting before a map like Halford Mackinder and moving pieces around the chess board. Trump would probably not be too interested in running off to Myanmar like Obama because it was a pawn on the geopolitical chess board.

    This is an intolerable situation for the masters of the empire. Getting rid of Trump is the solution. Pence will be the empire's servant.

    The Democrats hold contradictory views here. On the one hand, they are salivating because they believe that anyone who doesn't have Hillary Clinton's baggage they nominate for 2020 would beat Trump, so they want him wounded but still in office. Note that it was reported that some Democrats cautioned against a rush to impeachment. Pence would be a far more formidable opponent in 2020.

    The Republicans know this too. The Republican establishment would like to be rid of Trump as it considers him an albatross. They probably believe that Pence would be a stronger candidate. On the other hand, Trump is immensely popular among the Republican base. If Republican Congresspeople and Senators get on the anti-Trump bandwagon, there will be hell to pay. Trump could go around the country packing stadiums, financing primary campaigns, and maybe even run for President in 2020 as an independent or, if he is somehow disallowed because he is an impeached president, he could support a proxy. The establishment, Democrat and Republican, would be making a massive mistake underestimating Donald Trump.

    Stop the agony , says: May 19, 2017 at 1:33 pm
    This is pretty elaborate. Occam's razor dictates that the simplest explanation is typically the right one. In this case, Trump clearly treats his staff like rented mules, ritualistically ignoring their recomendations, belittling their capabilities, and throwing them under the bus whenever possible. Is it any wonder that they would leak to whomever will listen? As to the reality of the Russia conspiracy, there is a bit more evidence than Giraldi admits most glaringly in the Administration's repeated and politically inexplicable attempts to treat the Kremlin like a long and trusted ally. Also, it wasn't so much the DNC hack as the wikileaks hack that was problematic in the election. But for all that, I do agree that Flynn was clearly on the payroll of Turkey, and that he should be prosecuted accordingly. I just don't think the rest of the Administration was involved. But there is clearly more than just Flynn eating out of Putin's hand.
    Chris Chuba , says: May 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm
    It's not easy finding who leaked it because it doesn't have to be anyone who was in the room.

    The meeting transcript is archived, so who ever records the meeting, has access to the archive of the meeting, or who is in the Intel community and knows that Trump talked to the Russians about airline security could have leaked this to the press. There is also the universe of politicians if they were briefed on the meeting, but I am thinking this to be a long shot in this case.

    Brendan Sexton , says: May 19, 2017 at 1:48 pm
    Crooks and cheats always scream loudest about and direct their most intense anger at the 'squealers' who get them in trouble. (Of course it is their own behavior that gets them in trouble, really, but their egos will not allow admitting that.)

    But, any cop will tell you we would have very few successes in the justice system at all if it were not for these 'squealers." Either their direct evidence itself, or the investigative leads their information provides, make most cases, especially the cases in which there is little physical evidence.
    So it is here, with Giraldi joining in with the Trump cabal to raise a stink about the leaks and the leakers.
    Informants are very rarely seen in a positive light, even by the side using them (the cops, in my analogy), but what turns out to matter is the crime itself. In this case, maybe there is no crime–as Giraldi suggests–but to even find that out we will get there by using the info, or at least starting with the info that these leaks are providing.

    Tim D. , says: May 19, 2017 at 1:49 pm
    The U.S. isn't just governed by laws, but by norms too. Trump isn't given the benefit of the doubt not only by institutions housed within the executive branch, but by the judicial branch too. The blunt truth is people's refusal to acknowledge that Trump is unqualified for the presidency, mentally unsound, and a national security liability. What we're seeing now is how aspects of government work when confronted with such a situation.
    Robert Charron , says: May 19, 2017 at 1:57 pm
    The word "conspiracy" literally means breathing together. A conspiracy doesn't require clandestine meetings, but essentially arises from individuals "breathing" together.
    Aegis , says: May 19, 2017 at 2:05 pm
    Given that Trump's administration leaks more in one day than Obama's administration leaked in eight years we must assume that the real problem here is President Trump. Perhaps if the man could inspire loyalty in his troops this problem would never exist. Obviously numerous very powerful and knowledgeable individuals are in a panic over Trump's presidency. That is not a good sign and we all should be very worried about what is really going on in the White House.
    Brendan Sexton , says: May 19, 2017 at 3:21 pm
    Aegis puts his finger on it: "Perhaps if the man could inspire loyalty in his troops this problem would never exist." Yes–a leader must *inspire* loyalty, not demand it over dinner at the White House.

    Trump inspires, at the best, nervous regard. At the worst, worse. He is not much of a leader–rather a whiner and the like. How much loyalty would YOU pledge to a petulant five-year-old?

    KennethF , says: May 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm
    Step back for a moment. Trump is a man who, after losing the popular vote by 3 million, suddenly declares there were 3 million illegal votes for Hillary. That statement is so preposterous that it is perfectly reasonable to call it insane (yet the GOP will still form a committee to look into it). He utters many such insane statements.

    Trump clearly does not understand the Constitution that he's sworn to uphold. His ignorance and ineptitude are on the public record simply by reviewing his speeches and tweets - no mainstream media required.

    Are there so-called "Deep Staters" out to get Trump for the wrong reasons? Sure. But there are so many right reasons to get rid of him that it's safe to assume that many of the leakers are Republicans who happen to love their country more than they love their party. Cheers for everyone doing their part to prove how dangerous Trump is to national security. (With luck, someone will dig up the tax returns that he's unconscionably withheld).

    As others have said, Trump's problem is of Trump's making.

  • [May 20, 2017] Still Chasing the Wrong Rainbows by Andrew Bacevich

    Notable quotes:
    "... Today, in the era of Donald Trump, that confusion has returned with a vengeance. Trump for his part vows to "Make America Great Again," with greatness measured in quantitative terms: jobs, income, profits, stock prices, and trade balances. For those ordinary Americans left behind or dispossessed by the economic and social changes that have swept the United States in recent decades, the appeal of Trump's promise of greatness restored is understandable. Their resentment handed him the White House. ..."
    "... Yet Trump's first hundred days in residence there offer precious little evidence that he will deliver on that promise. Neither he nor anyone else in the Republican leadership has demonstrated the requisite competence or political savvy. Furthermore, nothing that Trump has said or done since taking office suggests that he possesses the capacity or even the inclination to articulate a unifying conception of a common good . The real, although unarticulated slogan of his presidency, is one that looks to "Deepen American Divisions," with members of the fiercely anti-Trump Left, his ironic collaborators. On all sides, resentment grows. ..."
    "... Trump assured his supporters that he was going to break the hold of the foreign-policy establishment. In fact, he has embraced the establishment's penchant for "using our power for whatever we happen at the moment to want, or against whatever at the moment we do not like." ..."
    "... To align foreign policy with American values and with "the realities of the world," Williams believed, offered a first step toward something even bigger. Williams understood the intimate linkage between the way the United States acts abroad and what it is at home-each expressing the other. To correct the defects in U.S. foreign policy, especially its misuse of force, could "generate the kind of changes that could transform America into a more humane and creative country." ..."
    May 20, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
    So the remarks that Williams made some fifty-two years ago included the following reflection, worth pondering by present-day conservatives. "If we justify our intervention in Vietnam on the grounds that it is crucial to our national security," he said, "we will soon be able to justify using our power for whatever we happen at the moment to want, or against whatever at the moment we do not like." Furthermore, "That kind of moral arrogance-that kind of playing at being God-will destroy any chance we have to construct a good society." Then Williams added:

    Notice that I said good society. We already have a great society, and I think that may be the source of much of the trouble with our leaders. For greatness has primarily to do with size, strength, and power. But we citizens who are gathered here are primarily concerned with quality, equity, and with honoring our potential for becoming more fully and truly human.

    In 1965, confusion about the distinction between great and good found American leaders "following the wrong rainbow." President Johnson was promising Americans a "Great Society." What he was actually delivering was an unnecessary war destined to cost the country dearly and leave it bitterly divided.

    Today, in the era of Donald Trump, that confusion has returned with a vengeance. Trump for his part vows to "Make America Great Again," with greatness measured in quantitative terms: jobs, income, profits, stock prices, and trade balances. For those ordinary Americans left behind or dispossessed by the economic and social changes that have swept the United States in recent decades, the appeal of Trump's promise of greatness restored is understandable. Their resentment handed him the White House.

    Yet Trump's first hundred days in residence there offer precious little evidence that he will deliver on that promise. Neither he nor anyone else in the Republican leadership has demonstrated the requisite competence or political savvy. Furthermore, nothing that Trump has said or done since taking office suggests that he possesses the capacity or even the inclination to articulate a unifying conception of a common good . The real, although unarticulated slogan of his presidency, is one that looks to "Deepen American Divisions," with members of the fiercely anti-Trump Left, his ironic collaborators. On all sides, resentment grows.

    Meanwhile, to judge by Trump's one-and-done missile attack on Syria and the fatuous deployment of the "Mother of All Bombs" in Afghanistan, our president's approach to statecraft makes Lyndon Johnson look circumspect by comparison. Trump assured his supporters that he was going to break the hold of the foreign-policy establishment. In fact, he has embraced the establishment's penchant for "using our power for whatever we happen at the moment to want, or against whatever at the moment we do not like." U.S. national-security policy has become monumentally incoherent, with the man in charge apparently doing whatever his gut or his latest visitor at Mar-a-Lago tells him to do.

    This defines the nation's current predicament: Whatever agreement once existed on what it means to be either great or good has pretty much disappeared from American political culture. Our fragmented society pursues any number of illusory rainbows. Restoring some semblance of a common culture thereby poses a daunting challenge, even larger today than back in the Sixties when everything seemed to be coming apart at the seams. I will refrain from offering any glib advice for how to promote that restoration.

    If hardly less challenging, imparting a modicum of coherence to U.S. policy abroad may actually qualify as more urgent. After all, the impetuous Trump appears more likely than Lyndon Johnson to blow up the world.

    In that regard, the views expressed by Professor Williams back in 1965 in explaining the rationale for the "teach-ins" offer at least a place to begin. "We are trying to bring our Government back into a dialogue with its own citizens," he explained.

    We are trying to encourage Congress to meet its responsibilities and to function as a full partner in governing the country. We are trying to change our foreign policy so that it will be closer to the realities of the world and far more in keeping with our best traditions and highest ideals-and thereby make it pragmatically more effective.

    To align foreign policy with American values and with "the realities of the world," Williams believed, offered a first step toward something even bigger. Williams understood the intimate linkage between the way the United States acts abroad and what it is at home-each expressing the other. To correct the defects in U.S. foreign policy, especially its misuse of force, could "generate the kind of changes that could transform America into a more humane and creative country."

    As a place to begin, it was good advice then. It remains good advice today.

    Andrew J. Bacevich is TAC's writer-at-large.

    [May 20, 2017] Rosenstein Joins the Posse by Patrick J. Buchanan

    After just 100 days in the office Trump already has a special prosecutor.
    Notable quotes:
    "... Without consulting the White House, he sandbagged President Trump, naming a special counsel to take over the investigation of the Russia connection that could prove ruinous to this presidency. ..."
    "... Rod has reinvigorated a tired 10-month investigation that failed to find any collusion between Trump and Russian hacking of the DNC. Not a single indictment had come out of the FBI investigation. ..."
    "... Yet, now a new special counsel, Robert Mueller, former director of the FBI, will slow-walk his way through this same terrain again, searching for clues leading to potentially impeachable offenses. What seemed to be winding down for Trump is now only just beginning to gear up. ..."
    "... Why did Rosenstein capitulate to a Democrat-media clamor for a special counsel that could prove disastrous for the president who elevated and honored him? Surely in part, as Milbank writes, to salvage his damaged reputation. ..."
    "... Rosenstein had gone over to the dark side. He had, it was said, on Trump's orders, put the hit on Comey. Now, by siccing a special counsel on the president himself, Rosenstein is restored to the good graces of this city. Rosenstein just turned in his black hat for a white hat. ..."
    "... Democrats are hailing both his decision to name a special counsel and the man he chose. Yet it is difficult to exaggerate the damage he has done. As did almost all of its predecessors, including those which led to the resignation of President Nixon and impeachment of Bill Clinton, Mueller's investigation seems certain to drag on for years. ..."
    "... Recall the famous adage that a competent district attorney could successfully indict a ham sandwich. ..."
    "... Political trials are infamously witch hunts, and there isn't a witch hunt that couldn't miraculously find any number of witches to burn. ..."
    "... One has to hand it to the Democrats. This strategy to get the ruling elite class back in both houses of congress and bring forth a shining night in armour for their next candidate is well crafted. The Clintons messed up the Obama Hope and Change Rhetoric. ..."
    "... From the very outset of his presidency, U.S. President D.J. Trump either hired people who were against his presidential campaign all the time of last year or cozied up to perpetual political opponents while distancing himself from the very patriotic people who gave him the electoral college victory last November. ..."
    "... Like Pres. Dick Nixon did, U.S. President D.J. Trump will also politically kill himself with one political misstep after another by giving his political opponents whatever they demand until it will be too late to reverse the course. ..."
    "... "The real power in this country doesn't reside within the ballot box After months of leaks coming from the intelligence agencies, who bitterly oppose the new policy, and a barrage of innuendo, smears, and character assassination in the media, the will of the people has been abrogated: the Deep State has the last word. The denizens of Langley, and the career spooks within our seventeen intelligence agencies, have exercised their veto power – a power that is not written into the Constitution, but is nevertheless very real. Their goal is to not only make détente with Russia impossible but also to overthrow a democratically elected chief executive No matter what you think of Trump, this is an ominous development for all those who care about the future of our republic What we are witnessing is a "regime-change" operation, such as our intelligence agencies have routinely carried out abroad, right here in the United States This pernicious campaign is an attempt to criminalize dissent from the foreign policy "consensus." It is an effort by powerful groups within the national security bureaucracy, the media, and the military-industrial complex to stamp out any opposition to their program of perpetual war The reign of terror is about to begin: anyone who opposes our interventionist foreign policy is liable to be labeled a "Kremlin tool" – and could face legal sanctions. ..."
    "... If Trump wasn't a narcissistic idiot, he could be well on the way to leading a takedown of establishment politics. Should have left Comey in to go nowhere, but Trump is a narcissistic idiot who does not read and his presidency is and will continue to be a miserable failure. Donald J. Trump is a Loser and a Laughingstock, plain and simple. There's nothing to see here. Does he have the ability to do better? Yes. Will he? Doubtful. Firing Comey is not impeachable or even wrong, it's just a blunder of monumental proportions. Trump's continued incompetent "explanations" of the decision raised red flags. This is not Trump Steaks Inc. This is the Presidency of the United States of America. ..."
    May 20, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    "With the stroke of a pen, Rod Rosenstein redeemed his reputation," writes Dana Milbank of The Washington Post .

    What had Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein done to be welcomed home by the Post like the prodigal son?

    Without consulting the White House, he sandbagged President Trump, naming a special counsel to take over the investigation of the Russia connection that could prove ruinous to this presidency.

    Rod has reinvigorated a tired 10-month investigation that failed to find any collusion between Trump and Russian hacking of the DNC. Not a single indictment had come out of the FBI investigation.

    Yet, now a new special counsel, Robert Mueller, former director of the FBI, will slow-walk his way through this same terrain again, searching for clues leading to potentially impeachable offenses. What seemed to be winding down for Trump is now only just beginning to gear up.

    Also to be investigated is whether the president tried to curtail the FBI investigation with his phone calls and Oval Office meetings with FBI Director James Comey, before abruptly firing Comey last week.

    Regarded as able and honest, Mueller will be under media pressure to come up with charges. Great and famous prosecutors are measured by whom they convict and how many scalps they take. Moreover, a burgeoning special counsel's office dredging up dirt on Trump and associates will find itself the beneficiary of an indulgent press.

    Why did Rosenstein capitulate to a Democrat-media clamor for a special counsel that could prove disastrous for the president who elevated and honored him? Surely in part, as Milbank writes, to salvage his damaged reputation.

    After being approved 94-6 by a Senate that hailed him as a principled and independent U.S. attorney for both George Bush and Barack Obama, Rosenstein found himself being pilloried for preparing the document White House aides called crucial to Trump's decision to fire Comey.

    Rosenstein had gone over to the dark side. He had, it was said, on Trump's orders, put the hit on Comey. Now, by siccing a special counsel on the president himself, Rosenstein is restored to the good graces of this city. Rosenstein just turned in his black hat for a white hat.

    Democrats are hailing both his decision to name a special counsel and the man he chose. Yet it is difficult to exaggerate the damage he has done. As did almost all of its predecessors, including those which led to the resignation of President Nixon and impeachment of Bill Clinton, Mueller's investigation seems certain to drag on for years.

    ... ... ...

    Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

    Wilfred , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:58 pm
    Any way we can get a Special Counsel to investigate Hillary?
    Fran Macadam , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:56 pm
    Recall the famous adage that a competent district attorney could successfully indict a ham sandwich.

    Political trials are infamously witch hunts, and there isn't a witch hunt that couldn't miraculously find any number of witches to burn.

    Cal , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:58 pm
    Trump set up his own demise -- all the Jews like Rosenstein that he has appointed would really rather have the rabid evangelical Israel supporter Pence as president.
    William Dalton , says: May 19, 2017 at 12:23 am
    The appointment of former director Mueller to take charge of an investigation too hot for Rosenstein or anyone in his department to file a report on, particularly if no prosecution will be recommended, does not presage this affair will continue interminably. Months of work have already been put into the matter by the FBI. Mueller may arrive, ask those agents for a summary of what they have unearthed, say, "I don't see anything here. Do you think further work by you will uncover more?", and if they respond, "No", Mueller might very well take what he is given, file a report saying no prosecution is warranted, just as Jim Comey did in the Clinton matter, and go home.

    The man is retired with honor. He doesn't need to make a name for himself with this or any other case. The last thing he wants to find out is that there is evidence that might result in the impeachment and criminal prosecution of the President of the United States.

    StrategyK , says: May 19, 2017 at 2:59 am
    Wasnt pat a happy supporter of the special counsel investigating Clinton? Now suddenly he is against such counsels? How about some priciples Mr buchanan?
    StrategyK , says: May 19, 2017 at 3:13 am
    And here is a hat tip for you aggrieved folks here. Trump brought this on himself. He could have avoided it all by simply letting Comey do his job. If there really is nothing in the Russia story, then Comey would have come up with nothing.

    Trump has been used to running a family business all his life and a fake TV show as well where his and only his word runs. That is not how the government functions and nor should it be. What happened to the famous negotiator? The one who could make great deals? Who would learn quickly how to navigate the waters and make things happen. This person seems non existent. Lets see some of that please.

    John Gruskos , says: May 19, 2017 at 8:57 am
    Justin Raimondo correctly explains the significance of this development:

    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/05/18/the-special-counsel-comes-to-town-its-the-moscow-trials-revisited/

    Liam , says: May 19, 2017 at 9:16 am
    Wall Street swooned *not* because Trump's "populist" agenda is endangered but rather because Alt-Trump's bait-and-switch pro-Wall Street agenda is endangered. That Pat Buchanan cannot distinguish these is stunning to behold.
    elizabeth , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:22 am
    And if Hillary Clinton had been inaugurated in January, there wouldn't be a dozen Congressional committees pursuing specious investigations, egged on by right wing media? (Even this comment thread carries one such demand, and she is not in office.)

    This is one outcome of a poisoned body politic. Roger Ailes was there at the beginning, and we are all sickened by his legacy.

    Jack , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:40 am
    Unfortunately, Buchanan seems to have ignored the fact that Rosenstein's decision to appoint a special prosecutor was sparked by Trump's precipitous and unnecessary decision to dismiss Comey. It was a foolish decision and now he's paying a price for it.
    Dan Green , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:53 am
    One has to hand it to the Democrats. This strategy to get the ruling elite class back in both houses of congress and bring forth a shining night in armour for their next candidate is well crafted. The Clintons messed up the Obama Hope and Change Rhetoric.
    ukm1 , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:55 am
    U.S. President D.J. Trump is himself 100% responsible for the political and legal debacles where he is in now and will be in for any foreseeable future!

    From the very outset of his presidency, U.S. President D.J. Trump either hired people who were against his presidential campaign all the time of last year or cozied up to perpetual political opponents while distancing himself from the very patriotic people who gave him the electoral college victory last November.

    Like Pres. Dick Nixon did, U.S. President D.J. Trump will also politically kill himself with one political misstep after another by giving his political opponents whatever they demand until it will be too late to reverse the course.

    Kurt Gayle , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:57 am
    John Gruskos (8:57 a.m.) is right. Justin Raimondo's column today is a "must read":

    "The real power in this country doesn't reside within the ballot box After months of leaks coming from the intelligence agencies, who bitterly oppose the new policy, and a barrage of innuendo, smears, and character assassination in the media, the will of the people has been abrogated: the Deep State has the last word. The denizens of Langley, and the career spooks within our seventeen intelligence agencies, have exercised their veto power – a power that is not written into the Constitution, but is nevertheless very real. Their goal is to not only make détente with Russia impossible but also to overthrow a democratically elected chief executive No matter what you think of Trump, this is an ominous development for all those who care about the future of our republic What we are witnessing is a "regime-change" operation, such as our intelligence agencies have routinely carried out abroad, right here in the United States This pernicious campaign is an attempt to criminalize dissent from the foreign policy "consensus." It is an effort by powerful groups within the national security bureaucracy, the media, and the military-industrial complex to stamp out any opposition to their program of perpetual war The reign of terror is about to begin: anyone who opposes our interventionist foreign policy is liable to be labeled a "Kremlin tool" – and could face legal sanctions.

    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/05/18/the-special-counsel-comes-to-town-its-the-moscow-trials-revisited/

    Bob K. , says: May 19, 2017 at 11:05 am
    You tell it like it is, Pat! Once someone has sold his soul to the "dark side" his own reputation with it comes before the welfare of the Nation!
    David Smith , says: May 19, 2017 at 11:37 am
    What goes around, comes around. The Republicans did the same thing to Bill Clinton. Remember, if you can do it to them, they can do it to you. Be careful about the precedents you set.
    Adriana I Pena , says: May 19, 2017 at 11:57 am
    Has anyone considered that the opposition from career bureaucrats is due to their past experience as to what works and what doesn't? They can recognize a half-baked plan, concocted by someone who has only a hazy idea of what goes on (the guy who managed to admit that health care was "complicated" after touting on the campaign trail that it was easy). Add to it stubborness and unwillingness to learn, and those bureaucrats may think that they are staring at an accident waiting to happen.

    What would you do in their place?

    Mac61 , says: May 19, 2017 at 12:18 pm
    If Trump wasn't a narcissistic idiot, he could be well on the way to leading a takedown of establishment politics. Should have left Comey in to go nowhere, but Trump is a narcissistic idiot who does not read and his presidency is and will continue to be a miserable failure. Donald J. Trump is a Loser and a Laughingstock, plain and simple. There's nothing to see here.

    Does he have the ability to do better? Yes. Will he? Doubtful. Firing Comey is not impeachable or even wrong, it's just a blunder of monumental proportions. Trump's continued incompetent "explanations" of the decision raised red flags.

    This is not Trump Steaks Inc. This is the Presidency of the United States of America. He will be held to a higher standard until such time as he realizes he cannot run this world's most powerful country like some sham casino operation he let fall into bankruptcy. And @Cal, this is not a Jewish conspiracy. If you can't see that Trump is an incompetent idiot narcissist, you can't see anything.

    [May 19, 2017] The Special Counsel Comes to Town Its the Moscow Trials, Revisted by Justin Raimondo

    Robert Mueller was FBI director on September 11, 2001 (he was appointed on September 4).
    Now Russia is officially a pariah state, any contacts with Russian officials can be a career limited move.
    Notable quotes:
    "... After months of leaks coming from the intelligence agencies, who bitterly oppose the new policy, and a barrage of innuendo, smears, and character assassination in the media, the will of the people has been abrogated: the Deep State has the last word. The denizens of Langley, and the career spooks within our seventeen intelligence agencies, have exercised their veto power – a power that is not written into the Constitution, but is nevertheless very real. ..."
    "... In short, Mueller has virtually unlimited power to expand his investigation, and, given the history of Special Counsels, you can be sure that this one will wander far afield and become a general probe into "Russian influence" on the election – a matter already taken up by at least two congressional committees. ..."
    "... Any politician, especially one who supported Trump, who advocates peaceful and productive relations with Russia is a likely target. The War Party has already got Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) in its sights for his fearless questioning of the anti-Russian propaganda campaign. ..."
    May 19, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

    The Special Counsel Comes to Town: It's the Moscow Trials, Revisited

    The witch-hunt begins

    Donald Trump ran on a platform of improving relations with Russia: his victory was a mandate for that policy. Yet the real power in this country doesn't reside within the ballot box, and that reality was brought home when the Justice Department appointed a "special counsel" to investigate " any links and/or coordination with the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump ."

    After months of leaks coming from the intelligence agencies, who bitterly oppose the new policy, and a barrage of innuendo, smears, and character assassination in the media, the will of the people has been abrogated: the Deep State has the last word. The denizens of Langley, and the career spooks within our seventeen intelligence agencies, have exercised their veto power – a power that is not written into the Constitution, but is nevertheless very real.

    Their goal is to not only make détente with Russia impossible – and Trump's goal of "getting along with Russia" will surely not be implemented now that the regime of the special counsel has trumped him – but also to overthrow a democratically elected chief executive, and perhaps prosecute him for "high crimes and misdemeanors" in the process.

    No matter what you think of Trump, this is an ominous development for all those who care about the future of our republic. Because the warning to our politicians could not be clearer: So you want to effect a fundamental change in US foreign policy? You dare to question the permanence of NATO? Let this be a lesson to you.

    This goes way beyond the Trump administration: the potential targets of the investigation are potentially unlimited. Deputy Attorney General Ron Rosenstein's letter to the Special Counsel – Bush era FBI Director Robert Mueller – also states that the counsel's purview includes "any matters that arose directly from the investigation," as well as "any other matters within the scope of 28 CFR 600.4 (a) ," which refers to anyone who might conceivably be involved in obstructing the Special Counsel's probe.

    In short, Mueller has virtually unlimited power to expand his investigation, and, given the history of Special Counsels, you can be sure that this one will wander far afield and become a general probe into "Russian influence" on the election – a matter already taken up by at least two congressional committees.

    Any politician, especially one who supported Trump, who advocates peaceful and productive relations with Russia is a likely target. The War Party has already got Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) in its sights for his fearless questioning of the anti-Russian propaganda campaign.

    Furthermore, any media outlets that either supported Trump, had a good word to say about Trump, and/or dissented from the Russophobic hysteria that has gripped the "mainstream" media are liable to be scrutinized. Journalists with "Russian ties" – no matter how tenuous – will be caught up in the witch-hunt. The Washington Post gave front page prominence to a group of anonymous "researchers" that calls itself " PropOrNot ," which has compiled a lengthy list of "pro-Russian" media outlets and web sites – including the Drudge Report, and Antiwar.com.

    The dynamics of the witch-hunt will play out in the manner in which it has operated up until this point, only more so: the "mainstream" media will act as the research department of DOJ investigators, "uncovering" the "pro-Russian" network in the US, inviting Mueller to move in for the kill. Politicians, journalists, academics, and even ordinary folks will be targeted by the government in the hunt for "Putin's puppets."

    We haven't seen this kind of thing since the 1950s. Indeed, the history of these political lynchings goes all the way back to the Moscow Trials conducted by Stalin and his henchmen, who consolidated their power by prosecuting "Trotskyite wreckers" and other "enemies of the people" – to the applause of Western "liberals."

    What we are witnessing is a "regime-change" operation, such as our intelligence agencies have routinely carried out abroad, right here in the United States. Yet it is more – and worse – than that.

    This pernicious campaign is an attempt to criminalize dissent from the foreign policy "consensus." It is an effort by powerful groups within the national security bureaucracy, the media, and the military-industrial complex to stamp out any opposition to their program of perpetual war. It is, in effect, political terrorism – that is, an attempt to achieve political-ideological goals by the threat of force, i.e. the threat of State coercion. The police state methods utilized by law enforcement agencies in this country since 9/11 – universal surveillance, and the whole menu of cyber-spying techniques exposed by Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks – will be deployed. And it won't just be our own American spooks doing the eavesdropping.

    The involvement of the British and other European intelligence agencies in this regime-change operation on American soil is well-known : it was a "former" MI6 agent, one Christopher Steele , who authored and circulated the infamous "dirty dossier" on Trump. The Ukrainians, in particular, are in the forefront of this campaign: their targeting of Paul Manafort is out in the open . And a recent article in the Washington Post which relates a conversation between GOP House majority leader Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan, and others, has McCarthy saying he thinks both Trump and Rep. Rohrabacher are "paid by Putin." The exchange took place on Capitol Hill, after a meeting with the Ukrainian envoy – and the Post , in a story datelined Kiev, reports that it was "recorded." So who did the recording? My bet is on the Ukrainians.

    ... ... ...

    [May 19, 2017] Trump is just a one acute symptom of the underling crisis of the neoliberal social system, that we experience. So his removal will not solve the crisis.

    Notable quotes:
    "... When Trump becomes president by running against the nation's neoliberal elite of both parties, it was a strong, undeniable signal that the neoliberal elite has a problem -- it lost the trust of the majority American people and is viewed now, especially Wall Street financial sharks, as an "occupying force". ..."
    "... That means that we have the crisis of the elite governance or, as Marxists used to call it "a revolutionary situation" -- the situation in which the elite can't govern "as usual" and common people (let's say the bottom 80% of the USA population) do not want to live "as usual". Political Zugzwang. The anger is boiling and has became a material force in the most recent elections. ..."
    "... The elites also ran American foreign policy, as they have throughout U.S. history. Over the past 25 years they got their country bogged down in persistent wars with hardly any stated purpose and in many instances no end in sight-Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya. Many elites want further U.S. military action in Ukraine, against Iran, and to thwart China's rise in Asia. Aside from the risk of growing geopolitical blowback against America, the price tag is immense, contributing to the country's ongoing economic woes. ..."
    "... Thus did this economic turn of events reflect the financialization of the U.S. economy-more and more rewards for moving money around and taking a cut and fewer and fewer rewards for building a business and creating jobs. ..."
    "... ...Now comes the counterrevolution. The elites figure that if they can just get rid of Trump, the country can return to what they consider normalcy -- the status quo ante, before the Trumpian challenge to their status as rulers of America. That's why there is so much talk about impeachment even in the absence of any evidence thus far of "high crimes and misdemeanors." That's why the firing of James Comey as FBI director raises the analogy of Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre." ..."
    "... That's why the demonization of Russia has reached a fevered pitch, in hopes that even minor infractions on the part of the president can be raised to levels of menace and threat. ..."
    "... There is no way out for America at this point. Steady as she goes could prove highly problematic. A push to remove him could prove worse. Perhaps a solution will present itself. But, even if it does, it will rectify, with great societal disquiet and animosity, merely the Trump crisis. The crisis of the elites will continue, all the more intractable and ominous. ..."
    May 19, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    libezkova, May 19, 2017 at 10:44 AM

    Trump is just a one acute symptom of the underling crisis of the neoliberal social system, that we experience. So his removal will not solve the crisis.

    And unless some kind of New Deal Capitalism is restored there is no alternative to the neoliberalism on the horizon.

    But the question is: Can the New Deal Capitalism with its "worker aristocracy" strata and the role of organized labor as a weak but still countervailing force to corporate power be restored ? I think not.

    With the level of financialization achieved, the water is under the bridge. The financial toothpaste can't be squeezed back into the tube. That's what makes the current crisis more acute: none of the parties has any viable solution to the crisis, not the will to attempt to implement some radical changes.

    When Trump becomes president by running against the nation's neoliberal elite of both parties, it was a strong, undeniable signal that the neoliberal elite has a problem -- it lost the trust of the majority American people and is viewed now, especially Wall Street financial sharks, as an "occupying force".

    That means that we have the crisis of the elite governance or, as Marxists used to call it "a revolutionary situation" -- the situation in which the elite can't govern "as usual" and common people (let's say the bottom 80% of the USA population) do not want to live "as usual". Political Zugzwang. The anger is boiling and has became a material force in the most recent elections.

    I think Robert W. Merry analysis of the situation is pretty insightful. In his article in the American Conservative ( http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/removing-trump-wont-solve-americas-crisis/) he made the following observations:

    At least Republican elites resisted the emergence of Trump for as long as they could. Some even attacked him vociferously. But, unlike in the Democratic Party, the Republican candidate who most effectively captured the underlying sentiment of GOP voters ended up with the nomination. The Republican elites had to give way. Why? Because Republican voters fundamentally favor vulgar, ill-mannered, tawdry politicians? No, because the elite-generated society of America had become so bad in their view that they turned to the man who most clamorously rebelled against it.

    ... ... ...

    The elites also ran American foreign policy, as they have throughout U.S. history. Over the past 25 years they got their country bogged down in persistent wars with hardly any stated purpose and in many instances no end in sight-Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya. Many elites want further U.S. military action in Ukraine, against Iran, and to thwart China's rise in Asia. Aside from the risk of growing geopolitical blowback against America, the price tag is immense, contributing to the country's ongoing economic woes.

    ... ... ...

    Then there is the spectacle of the country's financial elites goosing liquidity massively after the Great Recession to benefit themselves while slamming ordinary Americans with a resulting decline in Main Street capitalism. The unprecedented low interest rates over many years, accompanied by massive bond buying called "quantitative easing," proved a boon for Wall Street banks and corporate America while working families lost income from their money market funds and savings accounts. The result, says economic consultant David M. Smick, author of The Great Equalizer , was "the greatest transfer of middle-class and elderly wealth to elite financial interests in the history of mankind." Notice that these post-recession transactions were mostly financial transactions, divorced from the traditional American passion for building things, innovating, and taking risks-the kinds of activities that spur entrepreneurial zest, generate new enterprises, and create jobs. Thus did this economic turn of events reflect the financialization of the U.S. economy-more and more rewards for moving money around and taking a cut and fewer and fewer rewards for building a business and creating jobs.

    ...Now comes the counterrevolution. The elites figure that if they can just get rid of Trump, the country can return to what they consider normalcy -- the status quo ante, before the Trumpian challenge to their status as rulers of America. That's why there is so much talk about impeachment even in the absence of any evidence thus far of "high crimes and misdemeanors." That's why the firing of James Comey as FBI director raises the analogy of Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre."

    That's why the demonization of Russia has reached a fevered pitch, in hopes that even minor infractions on the part of the president can be raised to levels of menace and threat.

    ... ... ...

    There is no way out for America at this point. Steady as she goes could prove highly problematic. A push to remove him could prove worse. Perhaps a solution will present itself. But, even if it does, it will rectify, with great societal disquiet and animosity, merely the Trump crisis. The crisis of the elites will continue, all the more intractable and ominous.

    IMHO Trump betrayal of his voters under the pressure from DemoRats ("the dominant neoliberal wing of Democratic Party", aka "Clinton's wing") makes the situation even worse. a real Gordian knot. Or, in chess terminology, a Zugzwang.

    [May 19, 2017] Trump and the Russia leak A bogus news story spins out of control by Jay Sekulow

    May 19, 2017 | www.foxnews.com

    The truth is, what's really putting our nation is risk is the flagrant leaking from within the federal bureaucracy – those who oppose President Trump who are breaking the law when they leak classified materials.

    President Trump's critics and opponents – including many in the news media – claim this faux story about President Trump providing classified material to the Russians puts the United States at risk.

    The truth is, what's really putting our nation is risk is the flagrant leaking from within the federal bureaucracy – those who oppose President Trump who are breaking the law when they leak classified materials.

    The real story – the real crisis – is the ongoing leak of classified information. That is serious and something that the Trump Administration must address without delay. How this latest "story" unfolded has become all too common in Washington. It's a manufactured crisis that puts our national security at risk.

    Let's hope Attorney General Sessions has impaneled a grand jury to investigate these troubling leaks. These leakers need to face criminal charges and face prosecution.

    The Trump Administration needs to send a strong message. It's time to seek out and prosecute those who are criminally leaking classified material.

    The fact is that many of those working to derail the Trump Administration work inside the federal government. They are part of the bureaucratic "swamp" and in many cases are loyal to President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton

    They don't like the way the election turned out. And they really don't like that President Trump is in the Oval Office.

    There's no question that there's a deep state shadow government at work here. What we're experiencing is an unprecedented bureaucratic soft coup undermining our security.

    The Obama Administration took action to empower the entrenched bureaucracy to subvert our national security right before leaving office. It has led to dangerous leaks, criminal violations of the Espionage Act, and the creation of a shadow government to sabotage the new Administration.

    At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're directly engaged in half a dozen lawsuits to expose the shadow government and stop these dangerous national security leaks.

    It's time to plug the leaks and punish those who are responsible for leaking classified information.

    Jay Sekulow is Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional law. He's a New York Times bestselling author. Jay's latest book – "Unholy Alliance: The Agenda Iran, Russia, and Jihadists Share for Conquering the World" – is available now. He hosts "Jay Sekulow Live"-- a daily radio show which is broadcast on more than 850 stations nationwide as well as Sirius/XM satellite radio. Follow him on Twitter @JaySekulow .

    [May 19, 2017] Removing Trump Wont Solve Americas Crisis by Robert W. Merry,

    Notable quotes:
    "... America is in crisis. It is a crisis of greater magnitude than any the country has faced in its history, with the exception of the Civil War. It is a crisis long in the making-and likely to be with us long into the future. It is a crisis so thoroughly rooted in the American polity that it's difficult to see how it can be resolved in any kind of smooth or even peaceful way. Looking to the future from this particular point in time, just about every possible course of action appears certain to deepen the crisis. ..."
    "... Some believe it stems specifically from the election of Donald Trump, a man supremely unfit for the presidency, and will abate when he can be removed from office. These people are right about one thing: Trump is supremely unfit for his White House job. But that isn't the central crisis; it is merely a symptom of it, though it seems increasingly to be reaching crisis proportions of its own. ..."
    "... The elites also ran American foreign policy, as they have throughout U.S. history. Over the past 25 years they got their country bogged down in persistent wars with hardly any stated purpose and in many instances no end in sight-Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya. Many elites want further U.S. military action in Ukraine, against Iran, and to thwart China's rise in Asia. Aside from the risk of growing geopolitical blowback against America, the price tag is immense, contributing to the country's ongoing economic woes. ..."
    "... "Elites" are not necessarily truly unique, "brights" are not necessarily truly bright, "gnostics" do not necessarily have true knowledge, "puritans" are not necessarily truly pure, etc. What is being labeled is not what they truly are, but what they would have us believe they are; the reality is often very much the contrary. ..."
    "... What characterizes "elites" is not really position or power, very much less intelligence or nobility of heart. The defining characteristic of an "elite" is arrogance. ..."
    May 19, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
    America is in crisis. It is a crisis of greater magnitude than any the country has faced in its history, with the exception of the Civil War. It is a crisis long in the making-and likely to be with us long into the future. It is a crisis so thoroughly rooted in the American polity that it's difficult to see how it can be resolved in any kind of smooth or even peaceful way. Looking to the future from this particular point in time, just about every possible course of action appears certain to deepen the crisis.

    What is it? Some believe it stems specifically from the election of Donald Trump, a man supremely unfit for the presidency, and will abate when he can be removed from office. These people are right about one thing: Trump is supremely unfit for his White House job. But that isn't the central crisis; it is merely a symptom of it, though it seems increasingly to be reaching crisis proportions of its own.

    When a man as uncouth and reckless as Trump becomes president by running against the nation's elites, it's a strong signal that the elites are the problem. We're talking here about the elites of both parties. Think of those who gave the country Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee-a woman who sought to avoid accountability as secretary of state by employing a private email server, contrary to propriety and good sense; who attached herself to a vast nonprofit "good works" institution that actually was a corrupt political machine designed to get the Clintons back into the White House while making them rich; who ran for president, and almost won, without addressing the fundamental problems of the nation and while denigrating large numbers of frustrated and beleaguered Americans as "deplorables." The unseemliness in all this was out in plain sight for everyone to see, and yet Democratic elites blithely went about the task of awarding her the nomination, even to the point of employing underhanded techniques to thwart an upstart challenger who was connecting more effectively with Democratic voters.

    At least Republican elites resisted the emergence of Trump for as long as they could. Some even attacked him vociferously. But, unlike in the Democratic Party, the Republican candidate who most effectively captured the underlying sentiment of GOP voters ended up with the nomination. The Republican elites had to give way. Why? Because Republican voters fundamentally favor vulgar, ill-mannered, tawdry politicians? No, because the elite-generated society of America had become so bad in their view that they turned to the man who most clamorously rebelled against it.

    The crisis of the elites could be seen everywhere. Take immigration policy. Leave aside for purposes of discussion the debate on the merits of the issue-whether mass immigration is good for America or whether it reaches a point of economic diminishing returns and threatens to erode America's underlying culture. Whatever the merits on either side of that debate, mass immigration, accepted and even fostered by the nation's elites, has driven a powerful wedge through America. Couldn't those elites see that this would happen? Did they care so little about the polity over which they held stewardship that their petty political prejudices were more important than the civic health of their nation?

    So now we have some 11 million illegal immigrants in America, a rebuke to territorial sovereignty and to the rule of law upon which our nation was founded, with no reasonable solution-and generating an abundance of political tension. Beyond that, we have fostered an immigration policy that now has foreign-born people in America approaching 14 percent-a proportion unprecedented in American history except for the 1920s, the last time a backlash against mass immigration resulted in curtailment legislation.

    And yet the elites never considered the importance to the country's civic health of questions related to assimilation-what's an appropriate inflow for smooth absorption. Some even equated those who raised such questions to racists and xenophobes. Meanwhile, we have "sanctuary cities" throughout Blue State America that are refusing to cooperate with federal officials seeking to enforce the immigration laws-the closest we have come as a nation to "nullification" since the actual nullification crisis of the 1830s, when South Carolina declared its right to ignore federal legislation it didn't like. (Andrew Jackson scotched the movement by threatening to hang from the nearest tree anyone involved in violence stemming from the crisis.)

    Then there is the spectacle of the country's financial elites goosing liquidity massively after the Great Recession to benefit themselves while slamming ordinary Americans with a resulting decline in Main Street capitalism. The unprecedented low interest rates over many years, accompanied by massive bond buying called "quantitative easing," proved a boon for Wall Street banks and corporate America while working families lost income from their money market funds and savings accounts. The result, says economic consultant David M. Smick, author of The Great Equalizer , was "the greatest transfer of middle-class and elderly wealth to elite financial interests in the history of mankind." Notice that these post-recession transactions were mostly financial transactions, divorced from the traditional American passion for building things, innovating, and taking risks-the kinds of activities that spur entrepreneurial zest, generate new enterprises, and create jobs. Thus did this economic turn of events reflect the financialization of the U.S. economy-more and more rewards for moving money around and taking a cut and fewer and fewer rewards for building a business and creating jobs.

    And, though these policies were designed to boost economic growth, they have failed to do so, as America suffered through one of the longest periods of mediocre growth in its history.

    All this contributed significantly to the hollowing out of the American working class-once the central foundation of the country's economic muscle and political stability. Now these are the forgotten Americans, deplorable to Hillary Clinton and her elite followers, left without jobs and increasingly bereft of purpose and hope.

    And if they complain they find themselves confronting the forces of political correctness, bent on shutting them up and marginalizing them in the political arena. For all the conservative and mainstream complaints against political correctness over the years, it was never clear just how much civic frustration and anger it was generating across the country until Donald Trump unfurled his attack on the phenomenon in his campaign. Again, it was ordinary Americans against the elites.

    The elites also ran American foreign policy, as they have throughout U.S. history. Over the past 25 years they got their country bogged down in persistent wars with hardly any stated purpose and in many instances no end in sight-Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya. Many elites want further U.S. military action in Ukraine, against Iran, and to thwart China's rise in Asia. Aside from the risk of growing geopolitical blowback against America, the price tag is immense, contributing to the country's ongoing economic woes.

    When Trump, marshaling this anti-elite resentment into a powerful political wave, won the presidential election last November, it was noted that he would be a minority president in the popular vote. But then so was Nixon; so was Clinton; so was Wilson; indeed, so was Lincoln. The Trump victory constituted a political revolution.

    Now comes the counterrevolution. The elites figure that if they can just get rid of Trump, the country can return to what they consider normalcy-the status quo ante, before the Trumpian challenge to their status as rulers of America. That's why there is so much talk about impeachment even in the absence of any evidence thus far of "high crimes and misdemeanors." That's why the firing of James Comey as FBI director raises the analogy of Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre." That's why the demonization of Russia has reached a fevered pitch, in hopes that even minor infractions on the part of the president can be raised to levels of menace and threat.

    Ross Douthat, the conservative New York Times columnist, even suggests the elites of Washington should get rid of Trump through the use of the Constitution's 25th Amendment, which allows for the removal of the president if a majority of the cabinet informs the Congress that he is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office" and if a two-thirds vote of Congress confirms that judgment in the face of a presidential challenge. This was written of course for such circumstances of presidential incapacity as ill health or injury, but Douthat's commitment to the counterrevolution is such that he would advocate its use for mere presidential incompetence.

    Consider the story of Trump's revelation of classified information to Russia's foreign minister and ambassador to the United States. No one disputes the president's right to declassify governmental information at will, but was it wise in this instance? Certainly, it was reckless if he exposed sources and methods of intelligence gathering. But did he?

    The president and his top foreign policy advisers, who were present during the conversation, say he didn't. The media and Trump's political adversaries insist that he did, at least implicitly. We don't know. But we do know that when this story reached the pages of The Washington Post , as a result of leaks from people around Trump who want to see him crushed, it led to a feeding frenzy that probably harmed American interests far more than whatever Trump may have said to those Russians. Instead of Trump's indiscretion being confined to a single conversation with foreign officials, it now is broadcast throughout the world. Instead of, at worst, a hint of where the intelligence came from, everyone now knows it came from the Israelis. Instead of being able to at least pursue a more cooperative relationship with Russia on matters of mutual interest, Trump is once again forced back on his heels on Russian policy by government officials and their media allies-who, unlike Trump, were never elected to anything.

    Thus is the Trump crisis now superimposed upon the much broader and deeper crisis of the elites, which spawned the Trump crisis in the first place. Yes, Trump is a disaster as president. He lacks nearly all the qualities and attributes a president should have, and three and a half more years of him raises the specter of more and more unnecessary tumult and deepening civic rancor. It could even prove to be untenable governmentally. But trying to get rid of him before his term expires, absent a clear constitutional justification and a clear assent from the collective electorate, will simply deepen the crisis, driving the wedge further into the raw American heartland and generating growing feelings that the American system has lost its legitimacy.

    There is no way out for America at this point. Steady as she goes could prove highly problematic. A push to remove him could prove worse. Perhaps a solution will present itself. But, even if it does, it will rectify, with great societal disquiet and animosity, merely the Trump crisis. The crisis of the elites will continue, all the more intractable and ominous.

    Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C., journalist and publishing executive, is editor of The American Conservative . His next book, President McKinley: Architect of the American Century , is due out from Simon & Schuster in September.

  • Mary Myers , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:24 pm
    If you want to know why things are as bad as they are and why Americans are so ignorant and dumbed down, get the video "Agenda" by Curtis Bower. It explains it all.
    Gregory , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:17 pm
    I agree with your diagnosis, even if the term "elite" is nebulous (aren't you, Mr. Merry, by virtue of your position as a D.C.-based journalist, an "elite"?). Anyway, Gilens and Page found as much.

    https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

    What are some solutions?

    Chairman Moe , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:37 pm
    Yeah this whole "elite" thing is kind of frustrating to hash out in good faith sometimes of course we want "elite" people in charge, in the sense that they're not illiterate imbeciles. The funny thing is how much "democracy" often fails those who are most wont to sing its praises. Those who identify as liberal tend to romanticize the idea of "the people" and their right to have a voice in our government, but then are sorely disappointed when those actual people exercise that voice in the real world. It's why most of the liberal social agenda of the past 50 years has been achieved through the courts, the least democratic institutions in our polity. "The people" wouldn't have voted for most of this stuff.
    Howard , says: May 19, 2017 at 9:38 am
    Since a lot of people are obviously having trouble with this concept: "Elites" are not necessarily truly unique, "brights" are not necessarily truly bright, "gnostics" do not necessarily have true knowledge, "puritans" are not necessarily truly pure, etc. What is being labeled is not what they truly are, but what they would have us believe they are; the reality is often very much the contrary.

    What characterizes "elites" is not really position or power, very much less intelligence or nobility of heart. The defining characteristic of an "elite" is arrogance.

    Devinicus , says: May 19, 2017 at 9:43 am
    Saying "elites are the problem" is NOT to say "let us eliminate all elites" (duh). It is instead to say "let us get ourselves different elites".

    A good elite is one which uses its talents and power to pursue the common good. A bad elite is one which uses its talents and power to pursue the good of elites alone. After deindustrialization and financialization and the Iraq War and the financial crisis and the Great Recession and the White Death combined with the ever growing wealth and power of what Richard Reeves calls the " dream hoarders ", it's pretty clear that we have bad elites.

    This is not to say that the masses are completely off the hook. A republic requires a virtuous elite AND virtuous masses. As Rod Dreher notes endlessly, the American masses aren't too virtuous nowadays, either.

    Jon S , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:48 am
    Cheap, imported labor lowers wages and improves profits. Moving manufacturing to China lowers wages and improves profits. Reducing income from savings forces people into the labor force, lowering wages and increasing profits. Labor's share of national income is at a low-point not seen since the 1920's. Corporate profitability is at an historical high point.

    I don't understand what "crisis" is being spoken of here. Isn't this exactly the scenario we have been attempting to create since Reagan? There is no crisis. This is the fruition of our conservative economic agenda. Isn't this site called "The American Conservative"?

    RRB , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:09 pm
    "Couldn't those elites see that this would happen? Did they care so little about the polity over which they held stewardship that their petty political prejudices were more important than the civic health of their nation?"

    "Over the past 25 years they got their country bogged down in persistent wars with hardly any stated purpose and in many instances no end in sight-Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya."

    Good points. Now you may apprehend why we simple people are not so eager to react with panic to the hysteria being drummed up by the same "elite" people and institutions that melt down every time Trump walks out of his office.

    Devinicus , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:12 pm
    Who are these "elites"? This is the central question.

    They seem to be: [1] highly educated [2] in private colleges and universities [3] mainly in the Northeast [4] and as adults [5] employed primarily in professional occupations [6] geographically concentrated in the Boston-Washington corridor, especially in NYC and DC.

    The unparalleled expansion of the (mostly white) educated professional class in the DC area over the past generation should occupy center stage in any conservative critique of the American elite.

    Howard , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    if President Donald J Trump IS supremely unfit to hold the office, does that not logically (in the eyes of the author)not make the xx million American people who voted for him supremely unfit to vote?

    Not at all. It makes them supremely desperate. The most important part of the election takes place before the first primary, when PACs and party officials determine what choices will be put before voters. Their candidates (from both parties) were likewise supremely unfit. I don't care much for either the Libertarians or Abe Lincoln, but Dead Abe Lincoln got one thing right: "Oh, hey America you just got screwed." Frankly, this has been going on for decades, but it is now reaching levels of abject absurdity.

    Michael Saber , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:29 pm
    I'm sorry, who's more elite than our golf club owning, billionaire President and his billionaires and investment bankers filled cabinet?
    KennethF , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:31 pm
    What Bruce said. In addition: who could possibly be so simple-minded as to believe that the removal of Trump will magically fix government? Bottom line is, Trump is dangerously incompetent. There are no doubt some in gov't who would get rid of Trump for the wrong reasons, but there are many (too many) right reasons for doing so. Some of the so-called Deep Staters will be Republicans who understand that Trump's promise to "drain the swamp" was nothing more than an empty talking point - and more importantly, that he's a threat to national security. Getting rid of Trump would be just one step toward fixing gov't, but would be significant nonetheless.
    Donald , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:34 pm
    Actually, Bruce, some of us lefties agree with much, though not all of what Merry says. The elites in both parties have failed and if you want names one can go down a long list. On foreign policy, for instance, leaders in both parties like Clinton and McCain have consistently favored more intervention and more war. The only time Trump has been popular with the elites is when he bombed Syria.

    This post was already pretty long– if Merry had gone into detail on the financial crisis and foreign policy it would have been ten times longer.

    I despise Trump too. The problem is that many of his critics are cynical opportunists.

    Concerned Citizen , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:43 pm
    Thank your for your perspective and sanity in a time of great unrest and paranoia.
    Sandra , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:46 pm
    "So tell me, if the down trodden Working class is so distraught by the elites putting them down, why do they celebrate when the GOP House voted to take away their healthcare by removing rules on pre-existing conditions."

    How you view the policies on pre-existing conditions depends on whether you are looking at premiums or benefits. If you are looking at premiums then removing rules on pre-existing conditions will benefit you. If you are looking at benefits no so much. You can't say that lowering premiums doesn't help working class families. There is also a fairness issue. The pre-existing exclusion only kicks in if there has been a lapse in coverage which encourages some people to not pay into the insurance pool until they get sick. How is that fair to all the folks who paid their premiums even when they didn't avail themselves of healthcare services? The proposed plan only asks those who haven't been paying into the system to pay more to make the system more fair to those who paid all along. It doesn't deny people coverage for pre-existing conditions. They can also avoid the higher payments by making sure their coverage doesn't lapse. Yes there are those who let their coverage lapse due to a financial crisis and we do need to have programs to assist those who truly can't pay.

    John D. King , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:53 pm
    Bruce's comment is nonsense. The elites are not in the least vague and unnamed, plainly referring to the mainstream "news" media and professoriate and GOP and corporate chiefs eager for cheap labor and GOP renegades (most of them warmongers) displeased by being upstaged. He purports to want "real" solutions but is quick to condemn real limits on immigration and trade deficits and racism in the guise of affirmative action and comparable ornaments of "social justice." Then, those who resent the liberal status quo and don't share Bruce's values are child-like and paranoid.
    Such arrogant and abusive views as his scarcely deserve refutation.
    Andy Lord , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:54 pm
    "The elites" aren't the problem, using the phrase "the elites" in political debate is the problem. What elites, exactly, do NOT include Trump, the nepotistic New York billionaire whose father donated a building to get him into Wharton? "Elites" is the code word used by right wing propagandists when they're trying to induce gullible or resentful citizens into acting against their own interests. Anyone using the term is dishonest.
    Dave Poteet , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:56 pm
    If being elite means wanting a President who isn't a loose cannon and acts with some decorum and respect for the office than count me in I'm an elite.
    Wes , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:13 pm
    This was really excellent and sober. Quite a nice change.
    Mark Thomason , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:25 pm
    Trump arose from America's crisis. He is a reaction to it, not the cause.

    The crisis cause is best displayed by Hillary. She was the problem. Trump just was not the cure, even though he is the reaction we got.

    gnirol , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:26 pm
    John D. King contends: " corporate chiefs eager for cheap labor " are among the elites voters shunned when voting for Pres. Trump. Um corporate chief? Donald Trump. Eager for cheap labor? Donald Trump. Elite? Donald Trump? Sending his son to an elite school that costs as much as the school that Obama sent his daughters to? Donald Trump. The only thing about Donald Trump that isn't elite is his drunken boor (even though he doesn't drink) rhetoric and social skills which he uses to mask his elitism. If you want no more than symbolic anti-elitism, Donald Trump is your man, and that's what Donald Trump supporters seem to want: the feeling that they are superior to those whom they feel have put them down for years, instead of the skills enabling them to compete with and perhaps surpass the people they deride as elite. Meanwhile the substance of Donald Trump's life has been elitism since he was in business school about a half century ago. No reason to believe that will change, is there?
    JWJ , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:27 pm
    Bob Halvorsen wrote: "Nixon, Clinton, Wilson,Lincoln all won the popular vote. Why does this article suggest otherwise? The only presidents with a minority of the popular vote are JQ Adams, Hayes, Harrison and Bush."

    The author wrote "minority in the popular vote". To me that means LESS than 50% of the irrelevant national popular vote total. The author is NOT saying that the presidents listed did not get the most votes in the irrelevant national popular vote, just that they received less than 50% of the total.

    Nixon 1968 – 43.4%
    Clinton 1992 – 43%
    Clinton 1996 – 49.2%
    Wilson 1912 – 41.8%
    Lincoln 1860 – 39.8%

    MM , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:28 pm
    Mueller's appointment sounds promising, all powerful politicians should be investigated if there's smoke, if not fire.

    But this discussion of elites conjures up a counter-factual President Hillary, elected President with a Democratically-controlled House, Senate, and solid 5-vote majority on the Supreme Court:

    Given her campaign's numerous contacts with the Russian ambassador last year, along with an ongoing FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation, including but not limited to the Russian uranium agreement, State Dept. pressuring Kazakhstan to sign off, after which donations were made, and Bill's speaking fees going up, other pay-to-play allegations involving some very nasty governments in Africa and the Middle East

    There would be no DOJ investigation, and no Special Counsel appointed. Even had she fired Comey herself on Day One. Impossible to prove, but none of this would be happening. And I doubt the press at large would be clamoring for investigations, because there wouldn't be any leaking going on.

    If elites are good at anything, it's circumventing the rule of law by stonewalling, or burying, all investigations into wrongdoing. The Obama DOJ excelled greatly at that sort of thing

    Kurt Gayle , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:38 pm
    For those of us who elected Donald Trump our President, Mr. Merry, your type of analysis is the most dangerous!

    On the one hand, you point to the root of the problems: "The elites are the problem."

    You correctly identify some of the main reasons why we elected Donald Trump: "[1] The hollowing out of the American working class '[2] the greatest transfer of middle-class and elderly wealth to elite financial interests in the history of mankind' [3] persistent wars with hardly any stated purpose and in many instances no end in sight-Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya [4] 11 million illegal immigrants in America, a rebuke to territorial sovereignty and to the rule of law upon which our nation was founded."

    But then – having admitted that "Removing Trump Won't Solve America's Crisis" – you spout the elites' main talking point in their war to overturn the election results and to get rid of Donald Trump. You trumpet the elites' biggest lie. You say: "These people [the elites] are right about one thing: Trump is supremely unfit for his White House job."

    You are wrong, Mr. Merry. Totally wrong! President Trump is supremely qualified, and for these reasons:

    • He was the only presidential candidate with the courage to stand up and identify the real problems that have been destroying America and

    • He was the only candidate with the courage to stand up to the elites and not to back down.

    You say, Mr. Merry, that "three and a half more years of [Trump] raises the specter of more and more unnecessary tumult."

    You're wrong again. The tumult is entirely necessary. In fact the tumult is inevitable because we Americans have finally elected a President who is not afraid to speak to America's real problems. We have finally elected a President who has the guts to stand up to the powerful elites who created these problems. We have finally elected a President who will fight for us – fight for us and not back down!

    The elites don't like what they see. They don't like Trump and they don't like us, because we put Trump in the White House.

    Those of us who elected Donald Trump President because he fights for us are willing and able to fight for him!

    What the elites do to Trump, they do to us!

    "Tumult"? Bring it on!

    San , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:41 pm
    "The elites figure that if they can just get rid of Trump, the country can return to what they consider normalcy-the status quo ante, before the Trumpian challenge to their status as rulers of America."
    I don't agree at all with this assessment of what the "elites" want or expect.
    I believe that the strong following Bernie Sanders had–and still has– is indicative of the large numbers of Americans who find the the "status quo" a questionable way to proceed.
    This is not an endorsement of Bernie Sanders or a lamentation that he didn't get the nomination, it is just a clarification of terms of "what the elite want" i.e. you're barking up the wrong tree.
    Also not sure who you consider an elite; the whole article seems based on flimsy assumptions.
    Steve in Ohio , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:44 pm
    YES to what Anti Empire wrote at 10:51 am.

    I am thinking more and more that our only hope is partition. If California wants to let half of Mexico in, go for it. Just don't ask Idaho or Montana to send you water when you run out. If New England and New York want to be run by Wall Street capitalists with SJW social views, go for it. Encourage your working class and middle class people to move to the South or the Midwest and you can be just like Brazil! A nice place to vacation run by very rich people, but inhabited by mostly poor people. Another benefit of partition would be that the Ununited States would not have the size or resources to be the world's policeman. Sounds like a win for almost everybody but the neo-cons and the liberal interventionists.

    Mark , says: May 18, 2017 at 2:02 pm
    Thanks! This essay was worth the subscription price.
    EdR , says: May 18, 2017 at 2:20 pm
    To be honest, I don't really agree with the thesis of this article. The idea of elite as pejoratives seems out of place with the usage in other contexts and suggests we need a clearer articulation of what exactly it is we are angry about. This being said, regardless of where the problem lies, these so called "elites" have done an amazing job of turning the political machine to their advantage. We elected them – we elected Trump. I guess the thing I come back to is we need to stop seeking evidence of why we are right and start seeking evidence of why we are wrong – especially when it comes to candidates. I honestly don't know what this would look like or if it would be possible – but I feel like we need to change the way we know and evaluate candidates. It feels clear to me that the things we use as yardsticks fail us and warrants a re-imaging of how we determine fitness for public positions.
    Joe , says: May 18, 2017 at 2:20 pm
    19 paragraphs not a single solution. Yep, American Conservative.
    Jeremy , says: May 18, 2017 at 2:40 pm
    "Think of those who gave the country Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee "

    You mean 16 million primary voters, largely women and minorities? They're hardly elites. Your whole premise falls apart here.

    MEOW , says: May 18, 2017 at 2:43 pm
    Remove Trump? No! Push him to keep his basic promises and not grovel to the warmongers and entrenched.
    Roy Fassel , says: May 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm
    The term "elite" might well mean nothing more than "educated and knowledgeable and experienced." We can see what happens when a rich person seems uneducated in world history, uneducated in our form or government and shows no leadership qualities for running a government. He is not an elite. He is a bozo. Michael Jordan was an "elite" basketball player. Do you want anything less in the top ranks of government?

    The term "elite" has a negative tone for those who do not understand how difficult issues are. As was said "I never knew how complicated health care was." And this bozo was elected.

    Avi Marranazo , says: May 18, 2017 at 2:52 pm
    The elites who have made it their business to replace the American people, with aliens who'll vote them, are the problem.
    Nelson , says: May 18, 2017 at 3:05 pm
    You can only blame the elites so much in a democracy. We elect presidents who appoint judges that say corporations have a constitutional right to give unlimited campaign contributions to politicians who work for them. We often confuse supporting our troops for supporting whatever war they're sent to. We want to cut taxes but we also want more warplanes. We spend more than any other country on healthcare and complain about costs but we reject systems other countries use that are proven more efficient. We spend much time complaining about elites but, with few exceptions, we keep electing them.
    One Man , says: May 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm
    we Americans have finally elected a President who is not afraid to speak to America's real problems"

    Like whining to the Coast Guard about how tough life is!

    Argon , says: May 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm
    Kurt Gayle: "You correctly identify some of the main reasons why we elected Donald Trump: "

    Perfectly valid reasons. Unfortunately, a perfectly wrong candidate and a perfectly wrong party to support. For most of the issues cited (excepting immigration), you'd really want a Progressive. Trump and the GOP were never going to 'clean out the swamp' (he opened the gates to the swamp), never going to try reversing the flow of wealth away from the poor & middle classes, never de-escalate military conflict, and never going to wrest control from "financialists".

    For that work, Trump is unqualified, slow to learn and has demonstrated a disquieting disinterest in actual details.

    I agree with most of the objectives you mention, but Trump was never even close to being right person for the job. Better to wash your hands of this Administration and move on.

    rhine-gold cowboy , says: May 18, 2017 at 3:21 pm
    @ Bruce

    " The term "The Deep State" being latest iteration, allowing anybody to speculate and project their own predjudices and paranoias as to these dark and unnamed forces as well comfortably allowing us each to excuse our own failures as being secretly the fault of some vague and unnamed "them"."

    Deep State theory originated in the New Left as a response to the Kennedy assassination, for instance with the works of Carl Oglesby and Peter Dale Scott, who was using the phrase "deep politics" decades ago not the only way in which the modern GOP base has started to sound like left-wingers from the old days, but one of the more surprising.

    John F LaVoy , says: May 18, 2017 at 3:27 pm
    I could pretty readily contradict some of the article's details, but I will skip that in order to agree with the basic premise. Yes, the Trump and Bernie Sanders phenomena signify a dissatisfaction with elitism. However, solutions not only exist, but abound. One in particular presents itself as not only advisable, but as a necessary condition: I will present only that one possibility here.

    As long as big money can buy elections, elitists will rule and the masses will get shafted. The only way to keep that from happening in perpetuity is to establish a system of public funding for elections.

    Absent that change, there really is no hope. We might not like it, and we might be forced to revisit principles we thought inviolate, but it is a necessary condition of restoring government of, by, and for the people.

    Cash , says: May 18, 2017 at 3:37 pm
    The problem with our elites is they do well when the rest of the country is going down the drain.

    Most of the blame attaches to Republican elites but the Dems are not immune.

    Since Reagan's election and the start of the libertarian takeover of the Republican party, America has shredded the social contract we have with one another. No more we're-in-this-together. No more we-are-our-brother's-keeper.

    Instead of decent middle class jobs with all the benefits, we've moved toward a gig economy where everyone is always hustling for the next job/client. Which the New Yorker recently called the work-until-you-die economy.

    Yes, if you're talented and lucky - the Yankees bringing you up from the minors, Paramount pictures distributing the movie you financed with credit cards, your start-up getting acquired by Microsoft - it is easier than before to become successful.

    But if you're a temporary receptionist at a law firm or driving for Uber . . .

    We've wrecked all the countervailing powers that inhibited capital from overwhelming labor. The share of US income going to capital (dividends, interest, capital gains) versus labor (paychecks) has soared.

    Unions are dead. Infrastructure and other public spending is gone. NAFTA was supposed to come with support for workers whose jobs went to Mexico but Bob Dole didn't believe in coddling losers.

    For-profit education and soaring tuition with bankruptcy law no longer permitting discharge of student load debt. How are those kids ever going to afford to buy the houses older people are counting on to finance their retirements?

    Years without increases in the minimum wage. (Minimum wage is the reference wage for most other wages. Up the minimum wage and everyone earning a paycheck will soon get a raise too.)

    That's what libertarians did to the Republican party and then to America. We stopped caring about the well-being of our fellow citizens because everything is a business deal between two self-interested parties. That's how you think on Wall Street and Silicon Valley. (And in 2008-09, when Wall Street drove the economy off a cliff, ordinary Americans bailed out the bankers.)

    But if you're an out-of-work steelworker addicted to opiates? Your bad choices are not my problem.

    The poster child for elites who no longer care about ordinary Americans is Pete Peterson of Blackstone. Remember his dog and pony show about federal govt's looming fiscal crisis? His solution was to gut entitlement spending that's probably keeping a lot of people alive.

    And here's the kicker: nothing about this fiscal crisis was so severe that a solution would require billionaires like Peterson to tighten their belts.

    Trump and Sanders picked up on the rage and despair that ordinary citizens feel for our elites and what they're doing to our country. Hillary and the rest of the Republican candidates misread the mood.

    Trump is now proposing the same old Republican agenda. Tax cuts for the rich to be financed by gutting Obamacare. More deregulation and less public spending.

    Yes, America is in crisis. Support for democratic norms is razor-thin and declining.

    This country needs to recommit to a social contract. And a social safety net. We're all in this together. The rich can't do well at the expense of everyone else if this country is to live up to our ideals.

    Back in the 1950s, the head of General Motors told a congressional hearing that he always thought that what was good for GM was good for America and what was good for America was good for GM. He got laughed at. But he was right. If he's selling cars, it means people are feeling good about their prospects.

    I'm waiting for a presidential candidate who promises that the rich are going to bear the biggest share of the burden when Americans roll up our sleeves to fix our country. He'll win in a landslide.

    Alex , says: May 18, 2017 at 3:49 pm
    Finally!
    A writer with critical thinking skills!
    PRDoucette , says: May 18, 2017 at 4:06 pm
    If wealth equals power then the only way you are going to limit the power of the elites is by massive campaign reform that would curtail the influence the wealth of the elites currently has over the political process. Neither Republicans or Democrats have shown the slightest interest in meaningful campaign reform for the simple reason that it is easier fund a campaign with millions from the elites who donate directly to a campaign and indirectly through a PAC. Without meaningful campaign reform the US will slowly but surely slip from being a democracy to an oligarchy run by the elites for the benefit of the elites. The crisis in the US is that it seems most citizens seem willing to accept that because of their wealth the elites are more likely to know how to govern. Sadly these citizens are having to learn that being a wealthy elite like Trump does not automatically mean that he knows how to govern.
    Jack Everett , says: May 18, 2017 at 4:32 pm
    I agree the problem is the elites not Trump he is to stupid and psychotic to do so much damage.
    Eric R , says: May 18, 2017 at 5:10 pm
    As a moderate lifelong Republican, I was a NeverTrumper through the primaries where my guy (Rubio) did well in my state, winning the contest. Only after Trump prevailed did I go off for a few hours on a long walk to contemplate what this meant for me, my party and my nation. I concluded that Trump was a necessary evil if we were serious about giving the 100,000,000 working men and women in this country a fair shake at the American Dream. Someone had to be ballsy enough to reconstruct the Federal Bureacracy and anyone less than a guy like Trump would wilt in the heat generated by the left leaning media and left leaning Federal Bureaucracy.

    Let's face it. Had HRC won absolutely nothing would have changed except our acceptance of corruption in our body politic. I still have hope that the Federal Government can be right-sized and the power redistributed to the United States of America not DC.

    Therein lies the fight of our time. We can either concede the fight and let DC make all the decisions (including whether to fix the pot holes on my local streets)to we can ask what each citizen can do for his or her country. It's a binary choice really. You either believe that all the power should reside with the Feds and the dictates and mandates that go with power being held 1000 miles away .or you're in favor of 95% of the decisions that impact you locally and in your state.
    If you need to find out where someone sits on this issue, ask them 2 simple questions.
    1) Who is Joe Biden?

    2) Name just 2 people from all of the following: Who's your Mayor? City Council? County Commission? School Board? State Senator? State Rep? Lt. Governor? School Board?

    Ed , says: May 18, 2017 at 6:06 pm
    The Trump era will be cathartic or emetic. Government operations will be so confused and erratic that people will start to think that maybe elite rule wasn't so bad and will look forward to "the grown-ups" taking over again. Of course, every new administration now claims to be "the grown-ups" reasserting themselves - that's come to be a given - but those pretensions will be taken more seriously when the next administration takes over.

    So are the elites to blame? Well, in a way. They have their agenda, and it's not always shared by ordinary Americans. But ordinary Americans don't agree with each other all that often, and depending on what the issue is, some parts of the general public are closer to the governing elites than they are to other parts of the public. It could be that elites manage to get enough support from non-elite voters to stay in office.

    But also, competence is a factor. There are a lot of conspiracy theories about elites, but much of the energy of governing elites may go into being just well-informed enough to do a half-way credible job of staying on top of events, rather than into deep-laid plans to thwart popular wishes.

    Blueshark , says: May 18, 2017 at 6:08 pm
    "All this contributed significantly to the hollowing out of the American working class-once the central foundation of the country's economic muscle and political stability. Now these are the forgotten Americans, deplorable to Hillary Clinton and her elite followers, left without jobs and increasingly bereft of purpose and hope."

    Nice try.

    Three things led to the "hollowing out" of the American working class, and they have nothing to do with ephemeral vaporings about "divorced from the traditional American passion for building things, innovating, and taking risks."

    1. Automation – and there's just no way around that – the semi-skilled and some skilled jobs giving lower-educated workers a strong middle class life are gone.

    2. "Reagan Democrats" who've been voting staunchly Republican and stood by watching and nodding while conservatives have eviscerated and vilified union jobs that also supported a middle class lifestyle (see, e.g., "right-to-work" states).

    3. Globalization (abetted by both parties) that shipped these jobs overseas – although there's no clear solution to this in an emergent 21st-century global economy.

    Look, I grew up outside of Detroit and knew families and friends who didn't go to college, but went to work on the line and could afford a middle class life. For the reasons listed above, those days are gone forever.

    Hyperion , says: May 18, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Devinicus

    Who are these "elites"? This is the central question.

    They seem to be: [1] highly educated [2] in private colleges and universities [3] mainly in the Northeast [4] and as adults [5] employed primarily in professional occupations [6] geographically concentrated in the Boston-Washington corridor, especially in NYC and DC.

    Using that definition, the author of this post is an elite. But I bet he claims he is not.

    The thing is, Mr. Merry is a journalist. I'm hearing a lot about how dastardly THEY are from Trump supporters.

    Hyperion , says: May 18, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    John F LaVoy

    As long as big money can buy elections, elitists will rule and the masses will get shafted. The only way to keep that from happening in perpetuity is to establish a system of public funding for elections.

    I agree wholeheartedly. Does anyone who is not rich think that money = speech? What other democracy has an election funding system as bizarre as ours?

    Andy Lord , says: May 18, 2017 at 6:26 pm
    Trump's "populism" is based on the same old demagogue's standbys: xenophobia, scapegoating, racism, anti-intellectualism, economic anxiety, nationalism, and a yearning for an idealized past that never existed. The idea of Trump as some shirt-sleeved populist warrior who is going to correct the inequities of wealth distribution in the U.S. is too laughable to bother with. I would refer anyone to the two health care bills he has championed so far, which were poorly disguised attempts to enrich the wealthy even further, while robbing tens of millions of their ability to afford health insurance.
    Hexexis , says: May 18, 2017 at 7:08 pm
    Sorry, but the problem is not the "elite" but the "elitists": them that's curried favor-always monetary-w/ other elitists in exchange for donations at election time. With Clinton & Trump, we had two elitists that thought they deserved the pres'y & were propelled by the elitists running the campaigns & parties that hoped to gain from either of those two in the W.H.

    Meanwhile, the press worked feverishly to turn Clinton & Trump into viable candidates-w/ ancient, useless labels like "liberal," progressive"; "anti-establishment," "populist"-& convinced voters that they were the "best men" for the job.

    So I ended up voting for our state's Repo. gov.; who in turn voted for his own father, an 88-yr-old former congressman. That was effect elitists had on some of us.

    Brian W , says: May 18, 2017 at 7:13 pm
    April 25, 2017 Ex-spy admits anti-Trump dossier unverified, blames Buzzfeed for publishing

    In a court filing, Mr. Steele also says his accusations against the president and his aides about a supposed Russian hacking conspiracy were never supposed to be made public, much less posted in full on a website for the world to see on Jan. 10. He defends himself by saying he was betrayed by his client and that he followed proper internal channels by giving the dossier to Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, to alert the U.S. government.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/apr/25/christopher-steele-admits-dossier-charge-unverifie/

    Jeff Fine , says: May 18, 2017 at 7:47 pm
    While we may despise elites ( and just who are they?) the decision to vote for Donald Trump as a solution seems to me to be beyond stupid.
    Ellimist000 , says: May 18, 2017 at 8:00 pm
    "Nixon, Clinton, Wilson,Lincoln all won the popular vote. Why does this article suggest otherwise?"

    Because the author is letting his partisanship relive him of his good sense. Or he is as numerically challenged as his president, who knows?

    These people won PLURALITIES of the popular vote. So did Hillary Clinton. They all received the most votes in an election with three or more candidates but received less votes than the total that voted for some one else. Everyone on the planet besides third-world dictators and Republicans generally describe this phenomenon as "winning an election".

    A plurality is very different from getting a minority of the vote like Trump did. I am sure that Merry knows this. If you don't believe me, go ask the folks who voted Green and Libertarian who they would have voted for as a second choice if they were forced to

    TR , says: May 18, 2017 at 8:29 pm
    Thank you, Nelson, at 3:05 p. m.

    And BTW, a lot of those immigrants (to whom I do not object) are here because of America's fascination with foreign wars and intrusions. Think "boat people," for example, or Iranian refugees or Cuban, etc., etc. Our stupidity produces moral obligations.

    David Naas , says: May 18, 2017 at 8:34 pm
    Contra the demos-fueled hissy-fit over "Elites", I have no problem with Elites running the world. For one thing, they (Elites) always have run the world, and that isn't going to change, except cosmetically.

    Nor do I have a problem with them reasonably rewarding themselves for their efforts.

    Experiments with direct participatory democracy have usually ended in the sort of lynch-mobbing which murdered Socrates.

    I have neither time nor interest in attending to every pettyfrogging detail of running a village government, let alone one of 300 million souls. Even with the Internet, "direct democracy" ends up being run by a few (reference Athens, if any doubt).

    The current outrage-aholic fixation over "elites" is not because they are Elites, but because they are INCOMPETENT Elites. It is said the Brits lost the Empire because they forgot how to govern, and now, it is our turn.

    Eric Hoffer told us how Elites fall back in 1950 (The True Believer), but we were so fat and happy we ignored what he said. Besides, he was a longshoreman, with no credentials. What did he know?

    My preference is for Them to fix Their problem, and to get back running affairs properly.

    Then I can focus on playing with my grandkids, flirting with my wife, and drinking beer in late afternoon with Old Blue at my feet.

    Selah!

    CascadeJoe , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:30 am
    Well, he talks and tweets a lot. But NAFTA is still in force (he learned of downsides of ash canning it), Iran sanctions have not been increased (maybe he thought of jobs related to jet sales important), he is talking with Russia (as opposed to talking about it), and has let all know about his aversion to gassing civilians.

    Let us continue to observe what he does, not what he tweets. I plan to come back in late July and take a look, 100 days just is too short to come to a decision.

    Argon , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:30 am
    Well, at least it wouldn't be a step backwards.
    Fran Macadam , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:33 am
    So true. Another of the few sane voices, with intellectual heft to match that sobriety. Wish Rod Dreher would read and be convinced by your salient analysis, even if against his will. I think too many conservatives genuflect to established hierarchy, whatever its faults, out of a character that is disposed to distrust change, even needed change. I myself do not buy into the reasoning, "better the devil we know." I really think only the relatively well off can sustain such a view, whether in Manhattan or connected to it via the internet in Baton Rouge. The rest of us are too desperate.

    The elites truly are the problem. Just like those who blame Russia, they won't take ownership. They will need one heckuva Homeland Security and clampdown on the population they view as intolerable, once they have their coup against democracy. It is certain to be a pyrrhic victory though, as no elites in history ever gave up their power willingly or peacefully, yet in every case they were forcibly removed in paroxysms of violence by angry mobs of citizens who lost faith in a rigged system that would not allow needed peaceful change.

    Sad!

    RomanCandle , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:45 am
    VERY well said.
    Patricus , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:58 am
    So Trump lacks all the qualities and attributes of a proper President. What exactly are those qualities beyond getting elected? Who are the great examples Trump should imitate? Let's see, the community organizer? The son of a Bush? The man from Hope? Poppy Bush? I am one who admired Reagan but he did run up the debt. The quality these people share is a ludicrous vanity. Can't understand the notion that Trump is far below the rest of these flawed human beings. He seems to be just another one. What the heck, he might turn out to be effective. It is way too early to know.
    Mark Christensen , says: May 18, 2017 at 2:43 am
    Very true. The elites want to turf Trump because he is jeopardising a model that sustains their salaries and prestige, yet of course they can still not offer an alternative to what was there before.

    The elites can't look outside the system, to something beyond the system, because that is, by definition, something they can't control or make false promises about. The deeper problem is they are unwilling to even have this conversation, for fear it would lead to a logical conclusion about the inadequacies of power.

    Rosita , says: May 18, 2017 at 6:58 am
    What a bore and a canard; Trumpism has shown itself in capable of competent and capable public policy; quick on the trigger to tear everything down but in coherent and undisciplined to build anything of consequence to replace it. I'll take the elites any day over nihilism and petulance. Trump is the mirror image of his voters and it gives me great satisfaction to see their political fortunes grind to dust Over their own incompetence.
    Weldon , says: May 18, 2017 at 7:12 am
    Meh. People keep screaming about a "crisis" but aren't able to actually point to one. The economy is doing well. Crime is at historic lows. There are so few actual problems that people are taking to manufacturing them (e.g. opioids).

    I think the real issue here is that the politically-powerful Baby Boom is approaching the final years of its narcissistic, navel-gazing existence, and assumes the entire world disappears when they do.

    Frank , says: May 18, 2017 at 7:14 am
    When in the history of mankind were they not?
    Chris in Appalachia , says: May 18, 2017 at 7:56 am
    This article does a good job stitching together much of the Elites' sins. It is apparent to me that the American government can't be reformed from within by electing reform candidates. If reform is possible, it can't come from the Northeast and West Coast. It will never come from a Harvard, or any other Ivy League school, graduate. It won't come from a Boston Catholic person or New York Jewish-American. It won't come from a Baby Boomer who wishes to continue to prop up the social changes they ushered in the 60s and 70s. I would expect actual reform to come from a young person in the American Heartland, which the bi-coastal elites deride as "Flyover Country." Wasn't it the "Rust Belt" who showed us the way in the 2016 election? And if and when reform (i.e. the non-violent neutering of the Elites' power abuses) comes, the reformers had better be prepared with a total package and not just one candidate. It may be a one-time opportunity, and must be executed with the utmost strategy and determination.
    Paul Roche , says: May 18, 2017 at 8:26 am
    But We Trump supporters are quite happy with his actions so far. We know the press is rigged against him. It is distressing to see the elitist Republicans attack him too though. You are right about the divide, but this may be our last best hope of taking the government back
    AleaJactaEst , says: May 18, 2017 at 8:39 am
    if President Donald J Trump IS supremely unfit to hold the office, does that not logically (in the eyes of the author)not make the xx million American people who voted for him supremely unfit to vote? Startling hubris if you ask me.
    C. L. H. Daniels , says: May 18, 2017 at 8:49 am
    Who's ready to storm the Bastille? Torches, get your torches right here!
    RRDRRD , says: May 18, 2017 at 8:49 am
    Basically agree with the author;s position but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, stop calling elitists, elites. They are not "superior to the rest in terms of ability or qualities" in fact, they are frequently inferior.
    Paul Grenier , says: May 18, 2017 at 8:50 am
    When Sen. Schumer announced, on MSNBC, that a president going against the CIA is 'stupid' because 'they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you,' doesn't that scream 'crisis' from the rooftops? Since when does America, allegedly a democratic republic, assume elected presidents are the subordinates of the CIA? Well, de facto, probably for many years, but to actually openly approve of it?

    But there was no even discussion of his statement! It set off no alarm bells, no demands for reigning in the CIA ('the intelligence "community"'). Why not? Presumably because the short-term interests of too many elites aligned in this case with that of the deep state. The habit of 'whatever works for me, for the moment' won out, once again, further degrading the political culture right at its institutional heart.

    And also because Schumer is right. It isn't smart to criticize the CIA. It wouldn't be good for your career, you know what I mean? ('What are ya, a Russian commie or something?').

    Merry is absolutely right. Removing Trump does nothing. It does less than nothing. It drives the disease even further into the body politic. The only solution is honesty and courage. Can we muster it?

    Linen42 , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:00 am
    So tell me, if the down trodden Working class is so distraught by the elites putting them down, why do they celebrate when the GOP House voted to take away their healthcare by removing rules on pre-existing conditions.

    Say what you will about Obama and his
    looking down on the people", but take him on his actions and he has done more to help the lower class through legislation and executive orders than any other president in the past 30 years.

    But wait, he didn't do anything about immigration. So therefore ignore all the laws, ignore the rules changed, just focus on the revamped Know Nothings afraid of 3% of the population.

    Brian W , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:08 am
    Yes indeed so and a very good article.

    May 7, 2017 It Wasn't Russia, How Erdogan Bought Trump and His Neocon Gangsters, the Kosher Nostra

    Learn who Mike Flynn and Rudy Giuliani really work for and why they are stabbing America in the back while Trump smiles.

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/05/07/it-wasnt-russia-how-erdogan-bought-trump-and-his-neocon-gangsters-the-kosher-nostra/

    John Gruskos , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:10 am
    Principled opposition to President Trump's character is limited to this magazine and a tiny handful of like minded pundits and politicians.

    If Trump had run on Hillary Clinton's platform, and if he were ruling in accordance with that platform, waging a war for regime change in Syria, signing TPP or some equivalent, refusing to enforce the immigration laws, granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, and greatly increasing the number of legal immigrants, the Democrats and neocons would be praising him to the skies and supporting him to the hilt.

    If, on the other hand, someone other than Trump, Pat Buchanan for instance, had been elected on Trump's platform, the Democrats and neocons would be attacking him with all the hysterical venom they are now hurling at Trump (remember the brief deranged hysteria that followed Buchanan's 1996 primary win in New Hampshire?) – and I suspect some of those who pass for principled critics of Trump's character would be caught up in this hypothetical anti-Buchanan hysteria, because of their sheer weak-willed yearning for social acceptance.

    Howard , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:24 am
    If you want to really be serious about "fitness to lead", it has been a very long time since the USA has had a president who was fit to lead.

    The fact is, though, that the first rumblings of "impeachment" started before the Electoral College even met, back while Democrats were still hoping to nullify what happened on election night through the Electoral College.

    The whole Russian angle is simply a pretext. No one is saying that Russia hacked into the voting machines and added or subtracted votes; at most they are accused of having done the kind of thing investigative journalists are praised for having done. When, in the midst of the American election, British parliamentarians discussed banning Trump from the UK, **THAT** was much more serious and overt tampering with our election, yet no one cares about that, because the UK is the land of Peter Pan and Mary Poppins, whereas Russia is the bogeyman. Thus we see headlines about Russian jets "buzzing" the coast of Alaska, only to read further down that by "buzzing" we mean they were 20+ miles into international airspace. Apparently it's an outrage that they should come within a thousand miles of American airspace. American spy planes in the Black Sea are a different story: after all, they remained in international air space the whole time!

    It is dangerous to cast Russia unnecessarily in the role of villain, but it is even more dangerous to engineer even the softest of coups. Once that is done, there is no going back. Very likely there would be widespread protests, many of them violent, and a large portion of the public would see the de facto government as not merely corrupt and foolish, but completely invalid. The "authorities" would probably be able to crush dissent, but only by going full-on Stalin. What happens after that, who knows, but this story would not have any happy ending.

    Steve Norton , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:24 am
    As usual, Merry's insights are useful and informed.However, Clinton, warts and all, would have more likely eased the pain of many Americans. Her campaign focused too much on aggrieved minorities and not enough on the pain shared by all but her policies would have more likely checked the manic redistribution of wealth from middle class to elite, ended the health care impasse that cruelly toys with people, made education more accessible and enhanced investments in science and technology that could create jobs in the coming years. With regard to immigration, it is true that adding so many immigrants to the population at a time when decent-paying jobs were being eliminated through technology created a bad optic but the ban or removal of millions of immigrants would not really restore middle class stability. Elites in both parties have made mistakes and been entirely too attentive to those who give the most money but let's not legitimize Trump's mixture of exploiting anger with false promises and pushing policies that will make the plight of working people even more desperate. Clinton might not have shaken up an elitist system she helped create but she would not have shaken our democratic institutions and attacked an already fragile polity the way Trump has and will continue to do for another 3 and half years. Like it or not, elites and disenfranchised will eventually have to work together and Trump has set back this inevitable and urgent collaboration years, if not forever.
    Bob Halvorsen , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:30 am
    Nixon, Clinton, Wilson,Lincoln all won the popular vote. Why does this article suggest otherwise? The only presidents with a minority of the popular vote are JQ Adams, Hayes, Harrison and Bush.
    Michael Powe , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:38 am
    A self-described "publishing executive" who writes magazine/blog articles for a living is a member of the "elite"! Condemned out of his own mouth. By his own vanity, perhaps.

    And the case is hardly made by deliberately misstating facts.

    65 million people voted for Hillary Clinton for President. Is that 65 million "elites," or 65 million "dupes" too stupid to "see through her"? 65 million irresponsible citizens? Are these 65 million the real "deplorables"?

    I don't expect to see any mea culpa statements from the numerous conservative writers and talking heads who made excuses for Trump's selection as candidate prior to the election. Many of those excuses were promulgated through TAC. But a look in the mirror, and a conversation with that "still, small voice" could be therapeutic for many of you.

    Not Hillary Clinton, not the Democratic Party, not the 65 million "deplorables," were responsible for conservatives' decision to go with a manifestly unsuitable candidate. Once again, those declaiming most loudly about "personal responsibility" - lack it.

    mightywhig , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:46 am
    Good piece. Clearly the many leakers aren't concerned about national security consequences. This is only about bringing down Trump. After all, the journalist establishment extolled Snowden for leaking tons of classified information. Trump might help himself by being a little more "political," and learning to fight the right battles.
    SJB , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:47 am
    I hope your article gains a large readership that includes the nevertrump cadre. It is probably a pipe dream to hope they would wake up and become aware of how they and their preference for Hillary look to many of the 63 million people who voted for Trump. They knew he was inexperienced, coarse, and a mixed bag. They also know he's only been in office for 4 months and the obstruction, malicious leaks, and malignant hatred of Trump began long before he took office.

    Too many in the nevertrump cadre come off as self-righteous, smug Pharisees for whom conservatism has become a religion. For some reason, they think their own character, knowledge, and judgement is impeccable with no room for correction by 63 million voters. The vox populi needs the elites to override them. Such hubris. We are well aware that they would rather have had a Hillary presidency. Are they any more mature than the Left in dealing with defeat? Apparently not.

    Glenn Reynolds (professor of law) sums up the situation this way: "The childish response of Democrats - and 'NeverTrump' Republicans - to the 2016 election has done more damage to American politics and institutions than any foreign meddling could do." It would behoove the nevertrumpers to consider what they are sowing and reaping. Has their hatred of Trump and smug self-righteousness made them deaf, dumb, and blind?

    I think Victor Davis Hanson's article (see link below) has articulated the situation best and is best read as a whole instead of excerpted. The National Review's readership fell greatly prior to the election because of the nevertrumpers pomposity, but not the readership of VDH's articles at the NRO. Perhaps instead of silently disagreeing, the vox populi need to intervene and impeach the nevertrumpers.

    The Nightmares and the Realities of Never Trump
    http://amgreatness.com/2017/05/17/nightmares-realities-never-trump/

    Trucker46 , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:47 am
    You elected a chump over all the obvious reasons not to, and he iS going to go before the end of the summer, either for the reasons already in.front of us or for the new ones he will give us in.the next 60 days. Get your stupid saves out of the way now and allow the republic to recover.

    Btw the "you elected" phrase above is predicated on.the idea that the chump really won.the election, Cuz it's quite clear he may not have.

    Marianna Landrum , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:47 am
    The problem is not the elite, but a POTUS who is ignorant and arrogant,who is unqualified and inept and who is a man-child trying to be a leader. He makes his own issues by opening his mouth and saying stupid things and insisting they are true, and doing stupid things and insisting they are good. It is obvious he has no plan for anything and doesn't understand much of what is going on around him. He never talks about anything of substance; on health care, Price had to deal with details, and with the tax plan, it was Cohn who revealed that amazing one page initiative. When he does talk, he stupidly gives intel to our enemies. Trump is an idiot with a pen and that is the problem and it is a problem for this country.
    connecticut farmer , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:56 am
    Excellent article. Can it be possible that the meritocratic oligarchy which runs this country still doesn't "get it?" Do they really believe that getting rid of Trump solves the problem? Can it be possible that they still can't see that absent proof of actual malfeasance, driving Trump out of office could make things even worse, as if things aren't bad already.

    As the days and weeks go by it is becoming increasingly clear that the answer is–yes.

    Tom , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:57 am
    This is, far and away, the best summary of our current situation I have read anywhere. Outstanding!

    One area around immigration could, however, be improved to truly capture why there is so much anger at the elites. On immigration, the article states: "Leave aside for purposes of discussion the debate on the merits of the issue-whether mass immigration is good for America or whether it reaches a point of economic diminishing returns and threatens to erode America's underlying culture. Whatever the merits on either side of that debate, mass immigration, accepted and even fostered by the nation's elites, has driven a powerful wedge through America. "

    While true, this still misses the main point. The point is that the nation has existing laws to control immigration. Because the elites could not change the law through the democratic process, they opted instead to just ignore the laws, with absolutely no consequences except for those who live in the communities impacted.

    In this context, the significance of the Clinton email scandal was magnified as it represented, again, the elites clearly violating the law with no consequences.

    The lawlessness aspect is a critical point that needs to be emphasized. The elite backlash is not just about policy disagreements, its about a class of people (elites) violating/ignoring the law for their own benefit and at the expense of others. The very fact that this could happen exposes how broken the system really is.

    Trucker46 , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:05 am
    And btw.. Tho the author here is a smart and good writer, this whole "elites" thing is a stupid argument.I agree that we democrats were too cowardly to nominate Bernie, whose whole message and absolute unlikelihood was most aligned with the spirit of the times. As a party we thought small and thus became small. But Hillary was so vastly superior to any of the republican candidates that the problem has nothing to do with right wing elites and everything to do with that large swath of the right wing which simply is deplorable. They are deplorable and they deserve to know that the nation as a whole knows them to.be such. There wzz a time when they knew their place– way down a hole with the boot of the nation s conscience firmly on.the top of their head. The right let them emerge from.that hole during the advent of the tea party Cuz it liked the fact that those losers were giving their movement breadth and energy.

    But don't think for a minute that those millions of prejudiced, disgusting people have been redeemed by the chumps supposed victory, they haven't. Maybe Hillary shouldn't have called them.such, idk, but the fact of their existence being a cancer in.the republic is as correct today as it was 400 years ago and in.every generation.to.follow.

    Michael , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:11 am
    With the absolute control the elites have upon the military industrial complex, the traditional media outlets, the bureaucratic "three-letter" departments of governance, as well as the powerful influence over both the judicial and legislative branches of the governmnet, it seems impossible to me that such a group could be thrown off by its citizenry by violent uprising or otherwise. Just watch some of the video of Chaffets lead intelligence committee trying to access information regarding the Clinton servers and you will begin to see the incredible scope of the problem we face in America and the world today. Just as it was God that delivered a rag-tag band of America patriots from the hands of elite-based tyranny at the founding of our country, it will take an act of God to remove the chains and shackles of the Deep State from off the necks of the American people. Unfortunately a growing number of Americans are turning their back on the only real chance of deliverance we have – He who delivered the Hebrews from the Egyptian elites can delver us also.
    BillCarson , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:11 am
    I am more than willing to fight the elites in the streets if necessary to stop them from forcing A duly elected president from office
    Don Wiley , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:18 am
    In the day when we received our news of national and international goings on via newspapers, there was a space for reflection and contemplation, and even some semblance of reasoned debate.

    That ship has sailed, never to return and we are in the day of "Amusing Ourselves to Death"

    It used to take some time and effort to form a proper mob.

    Xenon , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:31 am
    What defines this shadowy type – "elite?" Educated? Financially well off? Aren't you an elite? Or does it only apply to liberals and Democrats? How would you define yourself?
    SJB , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:31 am
    Apologies for a poorly written comment. The vox populi is a reference to a Douthat tweet: "7. But what, in the end, are elites for? What justifies their existence? Some sort of wisdom that the vox populi can lack." Douthat's article, his tweet storm, and the lack of strong repudiation from the nevertrump cadre pretty much ended my patience with all of them. It has become almost impossible to tell the difference between the hysterical Left and the outraged nevertrump cadre. This last week has been such a delightful display of how the media, establishment elites, and nevertrumpers feel about those 63 million unredeemable deplorable Americans who voted for Trump. Thank you for allowing me to comment.
    No to neos , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:35 am
    I agree with this. I voted for Trump and told my wife several times before voting, "I don't think Trump will be a good president. I'm voting for him to send a "f- you" to the elites who run this country.

    When I say elites, I don't mean only the high and mighty. In my hometown, where I have lived all my life, our city council has handed millions of tax dollars to the region's largest car dealer to expand yet again. They pledged $1 million to lure a Hobby Lobby even though it is in direct competition with a Michael's store that has been here for years. They bought property for $1 million, knocked down the building on it, prepared the site for development, then "sold" it to a developer for $10.

    That kind of favoritism has been running wild in my little town - a little town controlled entirely by people who call themselves Republicans.

    jdl51 , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:36 am
    "When a man as uncouth and reckless as Trump becomes president by running against the nation's elites, it's a strong signal that the elites are the problem."

    The problem is the industrialized disinformation machine that continues to spew hatred and lies. One side thinks it's the liberal media, and the other side thinks it's RW talk radio and Fox News. It's easy to figure out which one is the real problem. There are facts and there are internet rumors that are passed off as facts. Both can't be true. And even in the face of clear evidence, primarily one side continues to believe the rumors and lies. Can't argue with delusion.

    Bob K. , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:45 am
    Thank you, Mr. Merry,

    I have been waiting for you to step up to the plate since you took over as editor of "The American Conservative" and you have delivered!

    Anti-Empire , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:51 am
    This article makes some good points. Trump was elected fair and square and the case against him is straight out of fantasy land.
    BUT then there is the snotty rhetoric that Trump is "uncouth," the same sort of rhetoric employed by the elite New York Times.
    Frankly I do not care about Trump's table manners. I do care that he has sought detente 2.0 with Russia and has killed off the TPP, not only a lousy trade deal but also the economic limb of Hillary's military/economic assault (aka pivot) to China.
    So I dismiss charges that Trump is "unfit" or "lacks nearly all the characteristics or attributes that a president should have.". And I have little confidence in a writer who looks at things in such an arrogant way. That he is the new editor of The American Conservative is enough to make me reconsider the contributions I make to this journal. Pat Buchanan and Bill Kauffman, yes. Merry? I wonder.
    Sandra , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:54 am
    I don't think the abundance of evidence that members of the Trump team met with Russian officials during the campaign can be called "minor infractions against the president". These are certainly serious allegations. It was clear early in the Trump presidency that he was not surrounding himself with people capable of carrying out the vision he articulated in his campaign for restoring America's middle class. He made many picks from the ranks of the elites including his Vice President and Attorney General. His selection seemed to favor loyalty rather than building a team that could make the changes he campaigned on. His Treasury pick is straight from Wall Street and his foreign policy team is praised by the elites. Donald Trump is not the agent for change. You can't differentiate him from the elites because he surrounded himself with them.
    Vince Hill , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:01 am
    What the elites don't understand is that there are lot more of us than of them. If they try to take the election away from the people who support President Trump. They will have a war on their hands and not a war of words.
    Anne M Erskine , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:04 am
    Written by a Never-Trump, this article is absolute BS concerning the fact that President Trump is "unfit" for the office of the presidency. The article is, however, absolutely correct about the elites who have thrown their middle finger in the face of WE THE PEOPLE of the CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC of the USA, but WE THE PEOPLE elected President Trump to drain the swamp and he will. The true enemy of the USA is the elected class in D.C. and their cronies like Buffet, Steyer, Gates and the Soros Democrat Marxist Party and the utter traitorous actions by Obama. President Trump has to rid us of all Obamaites and has to slam the RINO traitors to the ground. President Trump is perfectly fit to be president and certainly more so than some community organizer who hates the USA and works to destroy her. Merry's hatred of President trump is boundless and shows him to be among the elites of the "media," a terrible curse on the USA. Thank God for President Trump and for FLOTUS Melanie Trump who has returned dignity, grace, class, and beauty to the White House after eight years of hate-filled, resentful, nasty, and cloddish behavior by Michelle Obama who disrespected the American people, spending millions of American posterity hard-earned money on herself and her family. Where was your article about the corruption of Obama and his breaking of our laws and his utter and disgusting spitting on his oath to our Constitution, Merry?
    Andi Payne , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:07 am
    I am still confused how a billionaire was NOT considered 'elite' to the working class.. Does this not baffle anyone? OK, I get that America on both sides, left and right, is sick of getting screwed over by the elites. But Trump is no friend to the working man. He is only helping all his billionaire elite friends and creating practices that will hurt the working class who elected him, whether via healthcare reform or promising coal miners they can have their jobs back, when everyone knows that sector is dying. The rest of the world is getting ahead of us, in technology, infrastructure, renewable energy sources, etc. The divide between conservatives and liberals has become so ridiculous that no one cares about making the US a better place. Trump's laughable campaign slogan worked miracles in convincing voters, but I think everyone has sobered up to the dangers that Trump poses in so many ways. We might be tired of politicians in Washington, but if most of us are honest, this 'shake-up' is going to do a lot of damage. Maybe it's what we need in the long run to be able to change things, but all the laws and deregulation have only made the elite stronger. It makes companies bigger, and the working man poorly treated and expendable.
    Slugger , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:07 am
    Please help me understand. What remedies are you recommending? The reason I ask is because these accusations against a class of people, the elites, rather than against specific wrongful acts smack of Mao and the Cultural Revolution to me. I sense that some wish to see professors and newspaper editors working in fields with hand tools. I may have misread this posting, but Fran Macadam's comments sound like a call for at least a sharp turn to me.
    Argon , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:17 am
    Reflecting further.

    I'm not buying the "it's the elites" problem. An 'elite', more often than not, is someone who is using power in a way we don't like, along with that person's clique. This is akin to using the term, 'activist judges'.

    Ultimately, a democracy always gets the leaders it deserves. Once in a great while, it gets better leaders than it deserves. There will always be facilitators of our worst instincts but ultimately, people have a choice. If a democracy is dysfunctional, it's not because some 'elites' or 'deep state' have taken over everything. It's because the voters kept electing idiots and representatives that didn't truly represent their interests.

    SDS , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:37 am
    Not sure if Trucker46 is serious, or auditioning to write for "the ONION" ..
    Devinicus , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:38 am
    Regarding the history of immigration in the United States, the Census Bureau says that the post-1850 peak was in 1890 when 14.8% of residents were foreign born, followed closely by 1910 when 14.7% were foreign born.

    Pew estimates that the US will break these records around 2025. Soon we'll have to go back to the mid-1700s to find a period in American history with a level of immigration we will be experiencing in the near future.

    Omar , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:40 am
    Well written article. Thank you.
    bkh , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:41 am
    -Vince Hill said: "What the elites don't understand is that there are lot more of us than of them. If they try to take the election away from the people who support President Trump. They will have a war on their hands and not a war of words."

    Those masses are not relevant to those "Elites" and are cannon fodder. The term "Deplorables" says it all. The masses are not worthy of any consideration. Those "Deplorables" are an obstacle to be eliminated for the greater good. You don't need shadow govt conspiracies to see this kind of stuff anymore. The blatant lies and manipulations from DC and the media originating from Dems and Repubs is there for all to see. The 2016 election cycle was a wake-up call. Neither candidate was fit to be a President. Both are crooked. Yet, the majority of sheep on both sides continue toward their slaughter. Trump may yet get us blown to bits, but I no longer care about saving the status quo. The majority of people have spoken in this this country and we have been broken for many Presidencies. The future of this nation, as is, is ugly, if one exists at all.

    EliteCommInc. , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:44 am
    Mr. Trump is not the issue. And from what I have come to understand about Washington language from top to bottom, his language isn't the issue either, in my view.

    Whether he is unfit cannot even be addressed though I suspect he is, if one examines the long history of the office. I don't have any doubt that Mr Trump is an effective admin as head of state. As a non-politician, there may be some issues. And his policy and social positions may not square with my own. But that alone would not make him unfit. His temperament would not take unfit either. But having to sift through the emotional tantrums of so many in leadership, influence and power to make that assessment is a very tough slog.

    Now we have a secret source that indicates a Mr. Trump did something or other in pressing for an end of needless investigations, as any CEO might, if said investigations were hindering the effectiveness of his tenure. And clearly its a disruptive fire. The seed of which were laid immediately as it became clear that Mr Trump, now Pres Trump was a contender. There was talk of impeachment before the election, and while I appreciated the "heads up", it was disappointing that the agenda for the net four years was to impeachment a man even before he took office.

    I once said that Mr Trump was be given the royal "black treatment" and I stand by those comments. Everything he does, says, is a minefield. There are no mines, but there are explosions from multiple corners. I have to say, even some of the authors on TAC are are straining credulity, credibility with their "end of the world", "doom and gloom" commentary. The minefield, once again has not evidence, but rather, so and so said thus. There's nothing documented that Pres Trump has done anything to hinder anything about Russia or Gen Flynn. This type of scrutiny makes it impossible to do one's job.

    I have been in communication for a long long time. And while my life is but a wreck at the moment. I have had some successes in competitive speech, and coaching. When I did my master's degree, I was unfit for teaching as a grad assistant. Not because of a lack of skill, knowledge or expertise, but because by every measure I had. What made the post a total disaster was the scrutiny as if I I had never done anything of the kind. If you have been teaching a while, there are things you know that a grad just have a clue about. My adviser attempted to fit my roundness into a nonexistent square peg. The entire graduate program was a disaster and a disaster in every way. They simply had no clue how to manage someone who had long past graduate level knowledge or experience. And much to failure, I did, wouldn't, couldn't communicate that fact, though given the internal politics of the place, I doubt it would have mattered. The behaviors were at best dysfunctional at worst criminal. If I wasn't already highly suspicious, by the time I left, I was certainly distrustful. I was asked if I wanted to pursue legal redress - the idea of that mess has always been a route to be avoided, save for defense. "People are people, and sometimes they just do dumb stuff," was my attitude. I was probably incorrect, dumb, innocent or malicious it was deeply beyond the pail.

    Pres. Trump has entered an arena in which he has no respite from the attack or question of every aspect of his being and on every matter. While, a Pres should expect scrutiny, what he has been subjected is over Everest unreasonable and reasoned. The constant hyperbolic crisis mongering from people who supposedly have a better temperament, judiciousness, and higher moral code is a tad bit "funny".

    No. Humorous.

    What is in play and of deep concern are the repeated manufactured crisis to disrupt his tenure Crisis mongering that began shortly after 9/11 and has progressed with increasing speed, oddly enough when actual crisis have subsided. Aside form the economy, the country faces no "real" threat beyond securing the border.

    Given our rather carelessness action in the region of the middle east, we had better obey the security protocols prior to 9/11 any of which would have prevented the attack or severely diminished its success. Checking expired passports would have been helpful – devastating to the attackers.

    In Compton, Detroit, NYC, Tallahassee, Birmingham, there are hard working folks trying to figure out how they are going to compete against the immigrant who's labor is cheaper, who doesn't contribute to the community as much as they draw. They are trying to figure out how to be fair to their issues, without starving their own. They are doing everything possible to avoid being "deplorable" and always have. And yet the representatives of their locals are about dealing with muckraking needlessly.

    -----
    "Sad!"

    Boy. it's not a good sign when you are sad. Stay fiesty!

    Those in opposition made it clear where they stood before the election. And Mr. Trump has just started to climb this long hill.

    EliteCommInc. , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:49 am
    There's no reason for the war to turn violent, we are some distance from that turn and even the suggestion is hard to hear.

    It suggests a state of threat that need not be aired. In many ways, this situation is airing out the problem, for those brave enough to acknowledge it.

    Though avoiding confrontation of any kind hasn't aided me much, I admit.

  • [May 19, 2017] Removing Trump Won't Solve America's Crisis

    Notable quotes:
    "... America is in crisis. It is a crisis of greater magnitude than any the country has faced in its history, with the exception of the Civil War. It is a crisis long in the making-and likely to be with us long into the future. It is a crisis so thoroughly rooted in the American polity that it's difficult to see how it can be resolved in any kind of smooth or even peaceful way. Looking to the future from this particular point in time, just about every possible course of action appears certain to deepen the crisis. ..."
    May 19, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
    America is in crisis. It is a crisis of greater magnitude than any the country has faced in its history, with the exception of the Civil War. It is a crisis long in the making-and likely to be with us long into the future. It is a crisis so thoroughly rooted in the American polity that it's difficult to see how it can be resolved in any kind of smooth or even peaceful way. Looking to the future from this particular point in time, just about every possible course of action appears certain to deepen the crisis.

    What is it? Some believe it stems specifically from the election of Donald Trump, a man supremely unfit for the presidency, and will abate when he can be removed from office. These people are right about one thing: Trump is supremely unfit for his White House job. But that isn't the central crisis; it is merely a symptom of it, though it seems increasingly to be reaching crisis proportions of its own.

    When a man as uncouth and reckless as Trump becomes president by running against the nation's elites, it's a strong signal that the elites are the problem. We're talking here about the elites of both parties. Think of those who gave the country Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee-a woman who sought to avoid accountability as secretary of state by employing a private email server, contrary to propriety and good sense; who attached herself to a vast nonprofit "good works" institution that actually was a corrupt political machine designed to get the Clintons back into the White House while making them rich; who ran for president, and almost won, without addressing the fundamental problems of the nation and while denigrating large numbers of frustrated and beleaguered Americans as "deplorables." The unseemliness in all this was out in plain sight for everyone to see, and yet Democratic elites blithely went about the task of awarding her the nomination, even to the point of employing underhanded techniques to thwart an upstart challenger who was connecting more effectively with Democratic voters.

    At least Republican elites resisted the emergence of Trump for as long as they could. Some even attacked him vociferously. But, unlike in the Democratic Party, the Republican candidate who most effectively captured the underlying sentiment of GOP voters ended up with the nomination. The Republican elites had to give way. Why? Because Republican voters fundamentally favor vulgar, ill-mannered, tawdry politicians? No, because the elite-generated society of America had become so bad in their view that they turned to the man who most clamorously rebelled against it.

    The crisis of the elites could be seen everywhere. Take immigration policy. Leave aside for purposes of discussion the debate on the merits of the issue-whether mass immigration is good for America or whether it reaches a point of economic diminishing returns and threatens to erode America's underlying culture. Whatever the merits on either side of that debate, mass immigration, accepted and even fostered by the nation's elites, has driven a powerful wedge through America. Couldn't those elites see that this would happen? Did they care so little about the polity over which they held stewardship that their petty political prejudices were more important than the civic health of their nation?

    So now we have some 11 million illegal immigrants in America, a rebuke to territorial sovereignty and to the rule of law upon which our nation was founded, with no reasonable solution-and generating an abundance of political tension. Beyond that, we have fostered an immigration policy that now has foreign-born people in America approaching 14 percent-a proportion unprecedented in American history except for the 1920s, the last time a backlash against mass immigration resulted in curtailment legislation.

    And yet the elites never considered the importance to the country's civic health of questions related to assimilation-what's an appropriate inflow for smooth absorption. Some even equated those who raised such questions to racists and xenophobes. Meanwhile, we have "sanctuary cities" throughout Blue State America that are refusing to cooperate with federal officials seeking to enforce the immigration laws-the closest we have come as a nation to "nullification" since the actual nullification crisis of the 1830s, when South Carolina declared its right to ignore federal legislation it didn't like. (Andrew Jackson scotched the movement by threatening to hang from the nearest tree anyone involved in violence stemming from the crisis.)

    Then there is the spectacle of the country's financial elites goosing liquidity massively after the Great Recession to benefit themselves while slamming ordinary Americans with a resulting decline in Main Street capitalism. The unprecedented low interest rates over many years, accompanied by massive bond buying called "quantitative easing," proved a boon for Wall Street banks and corporate America while working families lost income from their money market funds and savings accounts. The result, says economic consultant David M. Smick, author of The Great Equalizer , was "the greatest transfer of middle-class and elderly wealth to elite financial interests in the history of mankind." Notice that these post-recession transactions were mostly financial transactions, divorced from the traditional American passion for building things, innovating, and taking risks-the kinds of activities that spur entrepreneurial zest, generate new enterprises, and create jobs. Thus did this economic turn of events reflect the financialization of the U.S. economy-more and more rewards for moving money around and taking a cut and fewer and fewer rewards for building a business and creating jobs.

    And, though these policies were designed to boost economic growth, they have failed to do so, as America suffered through one of the longest periods of mediocre growth in its history.

    All this contributed significantly to the hollowing out of the American working class-once the central foundation of the country's economic muscle and political stability. Now these are the forgotten Americans, deplorable to Hillary Clinton and her elite followers, left without jobs and increasingly bereft of purpose and hope.

    And if they complain they find themselves confronting the forces of political correctness, bent on shutting them up and marginalizing them in the political arena. For all the conservative and mainstream complaints against political correctness over the years, it was never clear just how much civic frustration and anger it was generating across the country until Donald Trump unfurled his attack on the phenomenon in his campaign. Again, it was ordinary Americans against the elites.

    The elites also ran American foreign policy, as they have throughout U.S. history. Over the past 25 years they got their country bogged down in persistent wars with hardly any stated purpose and in many instances no end in sight-Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya. Many elites want further U.S. military action in Ukraine, against Iran, and to thwart China's rise in Asia. Aside from the risk of growing geopolitical blowback against America, the price tag is immense, contributing to the country's ongoing economic woes.

    When Trump, marshaling this anti-elite resentment into a powerful political wave, won the presidential election last November, it was noted that he would be a minority president in the popular vote. But then so was Nixon; so was Clinton; so was Wilson; indeed, so was Lincoln. The Trump victory constituted a political revolution.

    Now comes the counterrevolution. The elites figure that if they can just get rid of Trump, the country can return to what they consider normalcy-the status quo ante, before the Trumpian challenge to their status as rulers of America. That's why there is so much talk about impeachment even in the absence of any evidence thus far of "high crimes and misdemeanors." That's why the firing of James Comey as FBI director raises the analogy of Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre." That's why the demonization of Russia has reached a fevered pitch, in hopes that even minor infractions on the part of the president can be raised to levels of menace and threat.

    Ross Douthat, the conservative New York Times columnist, even suggests the elites of Washington should get rid of Trump through the use of the Constitution's 25th Amendment, which allows for the removal of the president if a majority of the cabinet informs the Congress that he is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office" and if a two-thirds vote of Congress confirms that judgment in the face of a presidential challenge. This was written of course for such circumstances of presidential incapacity as ill health or injury, but Douthat's commitment to the counterrevolution is such that he would advocate its use for mere presidential incompetence.

    Consider the story of Trump's revelation of classified information to Russia's foreign minister and ambassador to the United States. No one disputes the president's right to declassify governmental information at will, but was it wise in this instance? Certainly, it was reckless if he exposed sources and methods of intelligence gathering. But did he?

    The president and his top foreign policy advisers, who were present during the conversation, say he didn't. The media and Trump's political adversaries insist that he did, at least implicitly. We don't know. But we do know that when this story reached the pages of The Washington Post , as a result of leaks from people around Trump who want to see him crushed, it led to a feeding frenzy that probably harmed American interests far more than whatever Trump may have said to those Russians. Instead of Trump's indiscretion being confined to a single conversation with foreign officials, it now is broadcast throughout the world. Instead of, at worst, a hint of where the intelligence came from, everyone now knows it came from the Israelis. Instead of being able to at least pursue a more cooperative relationship with Russia on matters of mutual interest, Trump is once again forced back on his heels on Russian policy by government officials and their media allies-who, unlike Trump, were never elected to anything.

    Thus is the Trump crisis now superimposed upon the much broader and deeper crisis of the elites, which spawned the Trump crisis in the first place. Yes, Trump is a disaster as president. He lacks nearly all the qualities and attributes a president should have, and three and a half more years of him raises the specter of more and more unnecessary tumult and deepening civic rancor. It could even prove to be untenable governmentally. But trying to get rid of him before his term expires, absent a clear constitutional justification and a clear assent from the collective electorate, will simply deepen the crisis, driving the wedge further into the raw American heartland and generating growing feelings that the American system has lost its legitimacy.

    There is no way out for America at this point. Steady as she goes could prove highly problematic. A push to remove him could prove worse. Perhaps a solution will present itself. But, even if it does, it will rectify, with great societal disquiet and animosity, merely the Trump crisis. The crisis of the elites will continue, all the more intractable and ominous.

    Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C., journalist and publishing executive, is editor of The American Conservative . His next book, President McKinley: Architect of the American Century , is due out from Simon & Schuster in September.

  • Mary Myers , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:24 pm
    If you want to know why things are as bad as they are and why Americans are so ignorant and dumbed down, get the video "Agenda" by Curtis Bower. It explains it all.
    Gregory , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:17 pm
    I agree with your diagnosis, even if the term "elite" is nebulous (aren't you, Mr. Merry, by virtue of your position as a D.C.-based journalist, an "elite"?). Anyway, Gilens and Page found as much.

    https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

    What are some solutions?

    Chairman Moe , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:37 pm
    Yeah this whole "elite" thing is kind of frustrating to hash out in good faith sometimes of course we want "elite" people in charge, in the sense that they're not illiterate imbeciles. The funny thing is how much "democracy" often fails those who are most wont to sing its praises. Those who identify as liberal tend to romanticize the idea of "the people" and their right to have a voice in our government, but then are sorely disappointed when those actual people exercise that voice in the real world. It's why most of the liberal social agenda of the past 50 years has been achieved through the courts, the least democratic institutions in our polity. "The people" wouldn't have voted for most of this stuff.
    Fred Bowman , says: May 19, 2017 at 7:24 am
    You're right that impeaching Trump won't solve America's problem with the power of the elites. But impeaching Trump will get rid of one most unqualified people to be POTUS and hopefully will wake-up Congress to once again it's responsibility to the American people in restoring the balance of power between the three branches of government. For far to long the Executive branch has had to much power and now we got a loud-mouth idiot running it. And nothing good can come from that.
    TJM , says: May 19, 2017 at 7:58 am
    Well said. While Trump is indeed a problem, he isn't THE problem, as this article so eloquently conveyed. Still, if there is a constitutionally sound way (and I agree, the 25th Amendment isn't it) to remove him, we would be better off, both as a nation and as Republicans facing the next round of elections, with him gone. I trust Pence to represent the disillusioned who gave the ticket the win, with a lot less drama, and more results.
    Michael Huggins , says: May 19, 2017 at 8:37 am
    This article is looking at the matter through the wrong end of the telescope. There is no "crisis of the elites"–there is, instead, to borrow from H.L. Mencken, a crisis of the voter as inflamed half-wit who wants to gouge out the eyes of his betters. Trump is, to be sure, just the symptom, but until we can get past the mentality that gave us the Scopes Trial, we're stuck in this disastrous rut forever.
    Howard , says: May 19, 2017 at 9:38 am
    Since a lot of people are obviously having trouble with this concept: "Elites" are not necessarily truly unique, "brights" are not necessarily truly bright, "gnostics" do not necessarily have true knowledge, "puritans" are not necessarily truly pure, etc. What is being labeled is not what they truly are, but what they would have us believe they are; the reality is often very much the contrary.

    What characterizes "elites" is not really position or power, very much less intelligence or nobility of heart. The defining characteristic of an "elite" is arrogance.

    Howard , says: May 19, 2017 at 9:41 am
    I suppose I am not sufficiently awake yet. Obviously I meant to say "Elites" are not necessarily truly elite. More coffee is needed.
    Devinicus , says: May 19, 2017 at 9:43 am
    Saying "elites are the problem" is NOT to say "let us eliminate all elites" (duh). It is instead to say "let us get ourselves different elites".

    A good elite is one which uses its talents and power to pursue the common good. A bad elite is one which uses its talents and power to pursue the good of elites alone. After deindustrialization and financialization and the Iraq War and the financial crisis and the Great Recession and the White Death combined with the ever growing wealth and power of what Richard Reeves calls the " dream hoarders ", it's pretty clear that we have bad elites.

    This is not to say that the masses are completely off the hook. A republic requires a virtuous elite AND virtuous masses. As Rod Dreher notes endlessly, the American masses aren't too virtuous nowadays, either.

    Jon S , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:48 am
    Cheap, imported labor lowers wages and improves profits. Moving manufacturing to China lowers wages and improves profits. Reducing income from savings forces people into the labor force, lowering wages and increasing profits.

    Labor's share of national income is at a low-point not seen since the 1920's. Corporate profitability is at an historical high point.

    I don't understand what "crisis" is being spoken of here. Isn't this exactly the scenario we have been attempting to create since Reagan? There is no crisis. This is the fruition of our conservative economic agenda.

    Isn't this site called "The American Conservative"?

    low rider , says: May 19, 2017 at 12:00 pm
    "Isn't this exactly the scenario we have been attempting to create since Reagan? There is no crisis. This is the fruition of our conservative economic agenda. [ ]
    Isn't this site called "The American Conservative"?"

    Oh come on. You must know that most TAC writers and readers have strongly opposed globalist schemes that damage native born Americans from the get-go.

    You can pick that fight over at the Weekly Standard (or poor ole National Review), not here.

    Jon S , says: May 19, 2017 at 12:09 pm
    "Oh come on. You must know that most TAC writers and readers have strongly opposed globalist schemes that damage native born Americans from the get-go."

    So TAC is conservative Christian + Socialist?

    David Jones , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:51 am
    Congratulations to Mr. Merry for articulating so clearly the problem President Trump defined so crudely on the campaign trail. But is 'uncouth' really disqualifying, and might not one have to be 'reckless' to 'take on the nation's elites'? Mr. Merry could be more generous to someone who had the perception and the courage to confront what no one else on the horizon did.

    I was appalled when Mr. Trump won the nomination; now I am appalled only at the conservative elites who have aligned against him, and many of whom coyly supported Hillary Clinton.

    Bruce , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:01 pm
    More, typical, Republican "boogeyman-ism." Always a conspiracy of "others", vague and unnamed who work in shadowy consort to somhow cheat, manipulate undercut, threaten, or somehow take from the well-deserving "us". The term "The Deep State" being latest iteration, allowing anybody to speculate and project their own predjudices and paranoias as to these dark and unnamed forces as well comfortably allowing us each to excuse our own failures as being secretly the fault of some vague and unnamed "them". Essentially, a child-like excuse-device, another "poor me" trope of powelessness and victimization. Enough. You are encouraging a, "There is something bad under the bed", childish, non-specific and thus, unhelpful explaination of a phenonema. Want to move from forward with real solutions instead of victimhood and finger-pointing? Name names. Propose solutions. Everything else is voodoo paranoia and superstition. Ooh, I better not say that, "They" are apt to get me.
    One Man , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:02 pm
    Straw Man. We don't want to remove Trump to solve the Crisis, we want to remove him because he's a dangerous embarrassment. "Solving the Crisis" is another issue entirely.
    RRB , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:09 pm
    "Couldn't those elites see that this would happen? Did they care so little about the polity over which they held stewardship that their petty political prejudices were more important than the civic health of their nation?"

    "Over the past 25 years they got their country bogged down in persistent wars with hardly any stated purpose and in many instances no end in sight-Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya."

    Good points. Now you may apprehend why we simple people are not so eager to react with panic to the hysteria being drummed up by the same "elite" people and institutions that melt down every time Trump walks out of his office.

    Devinicus , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:12 pm
    Who are these "elites"? This is the central question.

    They seem to be: [1] highly educated [2] in private colleges and universities [3] mainly in the Northeast [4] and as adults [5] employed primarily in professional occupations [6] geographically concentrated in the Boston-Washington corridor, especially in NYC and DC.

    The unparalleled expansion of the (mostly white) educated professional class in the DC area over the past generation should occupy center stage in any conservative critique of the American elite.

    Howard , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    if President Donald J Trump IS supremely unfit to hold the office, does that not logically (in the eyes of the author)not make the xx million American people who voted for him supremely unfit to vote?

    Not at all. It makes them supremely desperate. The most important part of the election takes place before the first primary, when PACs and party officials determine what choices will be put before voters. Their candidates (from both parties) were likewise supremely unfit. I don't care much for either the Libertarians or Abe Lincoln, but Dead Abe Lincoln got one thing right: "Oh, hey America you just got screwed." Frankly, this has been going on for decades, but it is now reaching levels of abject absurdity.

    Michael Saber , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:29 pm
    I'm sorry, who's more elite than our golf club owning, billionaire President and his billionaires and investment bankers filled cabinet?
    KennethF , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:31 pm
    What Bruce said. In addition: who could possibly be so simple-minded as to believe that the removal of Trump will magically fix government? Bottom line is, Trump is dangerously incompetent. There are no doubt some in gov't who would get rid of Trump for the wrong reasons, but there are many (too many) right reasons for doing so. Some of the so-called Deep Staters will be Republicans who understand that Trump's promise to "drain the swamp" was nothing more than an empty talking point - and more importantly, that he's a threat to national security. Getting rid of Trump would be just one step toward fixing gov't, but would be significant nonetheless.
    Donald , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:34 pm
    Actually, Bruce, some of us lefties agree with much, though not all of what Merry says. The elites in both parties have failed and if you want names one can go down a long list. On foreign policy, for instance, leaders in both parties like Clinton and McCain have consistently favored more intervention and more war. The only time Trump has been popular with the elites is when he bombed Syria.

    This post was already pretty long– if Merry had gone into detail on the financial crisis and foreign policy it would have been ten times longer.

    I despise Trump too. The problem is that many of his critics are cynical opportunists.

    Concerned Citizen , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:43 pm
    Thank your for your perspective and sanity in a time of great unrest and paranoia.
    Sandra , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:46 pm
    "So tell me, if the down trodden Working class is so distraught by the elites putting them down, why do they celebrate when the GOP House voted to take away their healthcare by removing rules on pre-existing conditions."

    How you view the policies on pre-existing conditions depends on whether you are looking at premiums or benefits. If you are looking at premiums then removing rules on pre-existing conditions will benefit you. If you are looking at benefits no so much. You can't say that lowering premiums doesn't help working class families. There is also a fairness issue. The pre-existing exclusion only kicks in if there has been a lapse in coverage which encourages some people to not pay into the insurance pool until they get sick. How is that fair to all the folks who paid their premiums even when they didn't avail themselves of healthcare services? The proposed plan only asks those who haven't been paying into the system to pay more to make the system more fair to those who paid all along. It doesn't deny people coverage for pre-existing conditions. They can also avoid the higher payments by making sure their coverage doesn't lapse. Yes there are those who let their coverage lapse due to a financial crisis and we do need to have programs to assist those who truly can't pay.

    John D. King , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:53 pm
    Bruce's comment is nonsense. The elites are not in the least vague and unnamed, plainly referring to the mainstream "news" media and professoriate and GOP and corporate chiefs eager for cheap labor and GOP renegades (most of them warmongers) displeased by being upstaged. He purports to want "real" solutions but is quick to condemn real limits on immigration and trade deficits and racism in the guise of affirmative action and comparable ornaments of "social justice." Then, those who resent the liberal status quo and don't share Bruce's values are child-like and paranoid.
    Such arrogant and abusive views as his scarcely deserve refutation.
    Andy Lord , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:54 pm
    "The elites" aren't the problem, using the phrase "the elites" in political debate is the problem. What elites, exactly, do NOT include Trump, the nepotistic New York billionaire whose father donated a building to get him into Wharton? "Elites" is the code word used by right wing propagandists when they're trying to induce gullible or resentful citizens into acting against their own interests. Anyone using the term is dishonest.
    Dave Poteet , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:56 pm
    If being elite means wanting a President who isn't a loose cannon and acts with some decorum and respect for the office than count me in I'm an elite.
    Wes , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:13 pm
    This was really excellent and sober. Quite a nice change.
    Mark Thomason , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:25 pm
    Trump arose from America's crisis. He is a reaction to it, not the cause.

    The crisis cause is best displayed by Hillary. She was the problem. Trump just was not the cure, even though he is the reaction we got.

    gnirol , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:26 pm
    John D. King contends: " corporate chiefs eager for cheap labor " are among the elites voters shunned when voting for Pres. Trump. Um corporate chief? Donald Trump. Eager for cheap labor? Donald Trump. Elite? Donald Trump? Sending his son to an elite school that costs as much as the school that Obama sent his daughters to? Donald Trump. The only thing about Donald Trump that isn't elite is his drunken boor (even though he doesn't drink) rhetoric and social skills which he uses to mask his elitism. If you want no more than symbolic anti-elitism, Donald Trump is your man, and that's what Donald Trump supporters seem to want: the feeling that they are superior to those whom they feel have put them down for years, instead of the skills enabling them to compete with and perhaps surpass the people they deride as elite. Meanwhile the substance of Donald Trump's life has been elitism since he was in business school about a half century ago. No reason to believe that will change, is there?
    JWJ , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:27 pm
    Bob Halvorsen wrote: "Nixon, Clinton, Wilson,Lincoln all won the popular vote. Why does this article suggest otherwise? The only presidents with a minority of the popular vote are JQ Adams, Hayes, Harrison and Bush."

    The author wrote "minority in the popular vote". To me that means LESS than 50% of the irrelevant national popular vote total. The author is NOT saying that the presidents listed did not get the most votes in the irrelevant national popular vote, just that they received less than 50% of the total.

    Nixon 1968 – 43.4%
    Clinton 1992 – 43%
    Clinton 1996 – 49.2%
    Wilson 1912 – 41.8%
    Lincoln 1860 – 39.8%

    MM , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:28 pm
    Mueller's appointment sounds promising, all powerful politicians should be investigated if there's smoke, if not fire.

    But this discussion of elites conjures up a counter-factual President Hillary, elected President with a Democratically-controlled House, Senate, and solid 5-vote majority on the Supreme Court:

    Given her campaign's numerous contacts with the Russian ambassador last year, along with an ongoing FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation, including but not limited to the Russian uranium agreement, State Dept. pressuring Kazakhstan to sign off, after which donations were made, and Bill's speaking fees going up, other pay-to-play allegations involving some very nasty governments in Africa and the Middle East

    There would be no DOJ investigation, and no Special Counsel appointed. Even had she fired Comey herself on Day One. Impossible to prove, but none of this would be happening. And I doubt the press at large would be clamoring for investigations, because there wouldn't be any leaking going on.

    If elites are good at anything, it's circumventing the rule of law by stonewalling, or burying, all investigations into wrongdoing. The Obama DOJ excelled greatly at that sort of thing

    Kurt Gayle , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:38 pm
    For those of us who elected Donald Trump our President, Mr. Merry, your type of analysis is the most dangerous!

    On the one hand, you point to the root of the problems: "The elites are the problem."

    You correctly identify some of the main reasons why we elected Donald Trump: "[1] The hollowing out of the American working class '[2] the greatest transfer of middle-class and elderly wealth to elite financial interests in the history of mankind' [3] persistent wars with hardly any stated purpose and in many instances no end in sight-Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya [4] 11 million illegal immigrants in America, a rebuke to territorial sovereignty and to the rule of law upon which our nation was founded."

    But then – having admitted that "Removing Trump Won't Solve America's Crisis" – you spout the elites' main talking point in their war to overturn the election results and to get rid of Donald Trump. You trumpet the elites' biggest lie. You say: "These people [the elites] are right about one thing: Trump is supremely unfit for his White House job."

    You are wrong, Mr. Merry. Totally wrong! President Trump is supremely qualified, and for these reasons:

    • He was the only presidential candidate with the courage to stand up and identify the real problems that have been destroying America and

    • He was the only candidate with the courage to stand up to the elites and not to back down.

    You say, Mr. Merry, that "three and a half more years of [Trump] raises the specter of more and more unnecessary tumult."

    You're wrong again. The tumult is entirely necessary. In fact the tumult is inevitable because we Americans have finally elected a President who is not afraid to speak to America's real problems. We have finally elected a President who has the guts to stand up to the powerful elites who created these problems. We have finally elected a President who will fight for us – fight for us and not back down!

    The elites don't like what they see. They don't like Trump and they don't like us, because we put Trump in the White House.

    Those of us who elected Donald Trump President because he fights for us are willing and able to fight for him!

    What the elites do to Trump, they do to us!

    "Tumult"? Bring it on!

    San , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:41 pm
    "The elites figure that if they can just get rid of Trump, the country can return to what they consider normalcy-the status quo ante, before the Trumpian challenge to their status as rulers of America."
    I don't agree at all with this assessment of what the "elites" want or expect.
    I believe that the strong following Bernie Sanders had–and still has– is indicative of the large numbers of Americans who find the the "status quo" a questionable way to proceed.
    This is not an endorsement of Bernie Sanders or a lamentation that he didn't get the nomination, it is just a clarification of terms of "what the elite want" i.e. you're barking up the wrong tree.
    Also not sure who you consider an elite; the whole article seems based on flimsy assumptions.
    Steve in Ohio , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:44 pm
    YES to what Anti Empire wrote at 10:51 am.

    I am thinking more and more that our only hope is partition. If California wants to let half of Mexico in, go for it. Just don't ask Idaho or Montana to send you water when you run out. If New England and New York want to be run by Wall Street capitalists with SJW social views, go for it. Encourage your working class and middle class people to move to the South or the Midwest and you can be just like Brazil! A nice place to vacation run by very rich people, but inhabited by mostly poor people. Another benefit of partition would be that the Ununited States would not have the size or resources to be the world's policeman. Sounds like a win for almost everybody but the neo-cons and the liberal interventionists.

    Mark , says: May 18, 2017 at 2:02 pm
    Thanks! This essay was worth the subscription price.
    EdR , says: May 18, 2017 at 2:20 pm
    To be honest, I don't really agree with the thesis of this article. The idea of elite as pejoratives seems out of place with the usage in other contexts and suggests we need a clearer articulation of what exactly it is we are angry about. This being said, regardless of where the problem lies, these so called "elites" have done an amazing job of turning the political machine to their advantage. We elected them – we elected Trump. I guess the thing I come back to is we need to stop seeking evidence of why we are right and start seeking evidence of why we are wrong – especially when it comes to candidates. I honestly don't know what this would look like or if it would be possible – but I feel like we need to change the way we know and evaluate candidates. It feels clear to me that the things we use as yardsticks fail us and warrants a re-imaging of how we determine fitness for public positions.
    Joe , says: May 18, 2017 at 2:20 pm
    19 paragraphs not a single solution. Yep, American Conservative.
    Jeremy , says: May 18, 2017 at 2:40 pm
    "Think of those who gave the country Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee "

    You mean 16 million primary voters, largely women and minorities? They're hardly elites. Your whole premise falls apart here.

    MEOW , says: May 18, 2017 at 2:43 pm
    Remove Trump? No! Push him to keep his basic promises and not grovel to the warmongers and entrenched.
    Roy Fassel , says: May 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm
    The term "elite" might well mean nothing more than "educated and knowledgeable and experienced." We can see what happens when a rich person seems uneducated in world history, uneducated in our form or government and shows no leadership qualities for running a government. He is not an elite. He is a bozo. Michael Jordan was an "elite" basketball player. Do you want anything less in the top ranks of government?

    The term "elite" has a negative tone for those who do not understand how difficult issues are. As was said "I never knew how complicated health care was." And this bozo was elected.

    Avi Marranazo , says: May 18, 2017 at 2:52 pm
    The elites who have made it their business to replace the American people, with aliens who'll vote them, are the problem.
    Nelson , says: May 18, 2017 at 3:05 pm
    You can only blame the elites so much in a democracy. We elect presidents who appoint judges that say corporations have a constitutional right to give unlimited campaign contributions to politicians who work for them. We often confuse supporting our troops for supporting whatever war they're sent to. We want to cut taxes but we also want more warplanes. We spend more than any other country on healthcare and complain about costs but we reject systems other countries use that are proven more efficient. We spend much time complaining about elites but, with few exceptions, we keep electing them.
    One Man , says: May 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm
    we Americans have finally elected a President who is not afraid to speak to America's real problems"

    Like whining to the Coast Guard about how tough life is!

    Argon , says: May 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm
    Kurt Gayle: "You correctly identify some of the main reasons why we elected Donald Trump: "

    Perfectly valid reasons. Unfortunately, a perfectly wrong candidate and a perfectly wrong party to support. For most of the issues cited (excepting immigration), you'd really want a Progressive. Trump and the GOP were never going to 'clean out the swamp' (he opened the gates to the swamp), never going to try reversing the flow of wealth away from the poor & middle classes, never de-escalate military conflict, and never going to wrest control from "financialists".

    For that work, Trump is unqualified, slow to learn and has demonstrated a disquieting disinterest in actual details.

    I agree with most of the objectives you mention, but Trump was never even close to being right person for the job. Better to wash your hands of this Administration and move on.

    rhine-gold cowboy , says: May 18, 2017 at 3:21 pm
    @ Bruce

    " The term "The Deep State" being latest iteration, allowing anybody to speculate and project their own predjudices and paranoias as to these dark and unnamed forces as well comfortably allowing us each to excuse our own failures as being secretly the fault of some vague and unnamed "them"."

    Deep State theory originated in the New Left as a response to the Kennedy assassination, for instance with the works of Carl Oglesby and Peter Dale Scott, who was using the phrase "deep politics" decades ago not the only way in which the modern GOP base has started to sound like left-wingers from the old days, but one of the more surprising.

    John F LaVoy , says: May 18, 2017 at 3:27 pm
    I could pretty readily contradict some of the article's details, but I will skip that in order to agree with the basic premise. Yes, the Trump and Bernie Sanders phenomena signify a dissatisfaction with elitism. However, solutions not only exist, but abound. One in particular presents itself as not only advisable, but as a necessary condition: I will present only that one possibility here.

    As long as big money can buy elections, elitists will rule and the masses will get shafted. The only way to keep that from happening in perpetuity is to establish a system of public funding for elections.

    Absent that change, there really is no hope. We might not like it, and we might be forced to revisit principles we thought inviolate, but it is a necessary condition of restoring government of, by, and for the people.

    Cash , says: May 18, 2017 at 3:37 pm
    The problem with our elites is they do well when the rest of the country is going down the drain.

    Most of the blame attaches to Republican elites but the Dems are not immune.

    Since Reagan's election and the start of the libertarian takeover of the Republican party, America has shredded the social contract we have with one another. No more we're-in-this-together. No more we-are-our-brother's-keeper.

    Instead of decent middle class jobs with all the benefits, we've moved toward a gig economy where everyone is always hustling for the next job/client. Which the New Yorker recently called the work-until-you-die economy.

    Yes, if you're talented and lucky - the Yankees bringing you up from the minors, Paramount pictures distributing the movie you financed with credit cards, your start-up getting acquired by Microsoft - it is easier than before to become successful.

    But if you're a temporary receptionist at a law firm or driving for Uber . . .

    We've wrecked all the countervailing powers that inhibited capital from overwhelming labor. The share of US income going to capital (dividends, interest, capital gains) versus labor (paychecks) has soared.

    Unions are dead. Infrastructure and other public spending is gone. NAFTA was supposed to come with support for workers whose jobs went to Mexico but Bob Dole didn't believe in coddling losers.

    For-profit education and soaring tuition with bankruptcy law no longer permitting discharge of student load debt. How are those kids ever going to afford to buy the houses older people are counting on to finance their retirements?

    Years without increases in the minimum wage. (Minimum wage is the reference wage for most other wages. Up the minimum wage and everyone earning a paycheck will soon get a raise too.)

    That's what libertarians did to the Republican party and then to America. We stopped caring about the well-being of our fellow citizens because everything is a business deal between two self-interested parties. That's how you think on Wall Street and Silicon Valley. (And in 2008-09, when Wall Street drove the economy off a cliff, ordinary Americans bailed out the bankers.)

    But if you're an out-of-work steelworker addicted to opiates? Your bad choices are not my problem.

    The poster child for elites who no longer care about ordinary Americans is Pete Peterson of Blackstone. Remember his dog and pony show about federal govt's looming fiscal crisis? His solution was to gut entitlement spending that's probably keeping a lot of people alive.

    And here's the kicker: nothing about this fiscal crisis was so severe that a solution would require billionaires like Peterson to tighten their belts.

    Trump and Sanders picked up on the rage and despair that ordinary citizens feel for our elites and what they're doing to our country. Hillary and the rest of the Republican candidates misread the mood.

    Trump is now proposing the same old Republican agenda. Tax cuts for the rich to be financed by gutting Obamacare. More deregulation and less public spending.

    Yes, America is in crisis. Support for democratic norms is razor-thin and declining.

    This country needs to recommit to a social contract. And a social safety net. We're all in this together. The rich can't do well at the expense of everyone else if this country is to live up to our ideals.

    Back in the 1950s, the head of General Motors told a congressional hearing that he always thought that what was good for GM was good for America and what was good for America was good for GM. He got laughed at. But he was right. If he's selling cars, it means people are feeling good about their prospects.

    I'm waiting for a presidential candidate who promises that the rich are going to bear the biggest share of the burden when Americans roll up our sleeves to fix our country. He'll win in a landslide.

    Alex , says: May 18, 2017 at 3:49 pm
    Finally!
    A writer with critical thinking skills!
    PRDoucette , says: May 18, 2017 at 4:06 pm
    If wealth equals power then the only way you are going to limit the power of the elites is by massive campaign reform that would curtail the influence the wealth of the elites currently has over the political process. Neither Republicans or Democrats have shown the slightest interest in meaningful campaign reform for the simple reason that it is easier fund a campaign with millions from the elites who donate directly to a campaign and indirectly through a PAC. Without meaningful campaign reform the US will slowly but surely slip from being a democracy to an oligarchy run by the elites for the benefit of the elites. The crisis in the US is that it seems most citizens seem willing to accept that because of their wealth the elites are more likely to know how to govern. Sadly these citizens are having to learn that being a wealthy elite like Trump does not automatically mean that he knows how to govern.
    Jack Everett , says: May 18, 2017 at 4:32 pm
    I agree the problem is the elites not Trump he is to stupid and psychotic to do so much damage.
    Eric R , says: May 18, 2017 at 5:10 pm
    As a moderate lifelong Republican, I was a NeverTrumper through the primaries where my guy (Rubio) did well in my state, winning the contest. Only after Trump prevailed did I go off for a few hours on a long walk to contemplate what this meant for me, my party and my nation. I concluded that Trump was a necessary evil if we were serious about giving the 100,000,000 working men and women in this country a fair shake at the American Dream. Someone had to be ballsy enough to reconstruct the Federal Bureacracy and anyone less than a guy like Trump would wilt in the heat generated by the left leaning media and left leaning Federal Bureaucracy.

    Let's face it. Had HRC won absolutely nothing would have changed except our acceptance of corruption in our body politic. I still have hope that the Federal Government can be right-sized and the power redistributed to the United States of America not DC.

    Therein lies the fight of our time. We can either concede the fight and let DC make all the decisions (including whether to fix the pot holes on my local streets)to we can ask what each citizen can do for his or her country. It's a binary choice really. You either believe that all the power should reside with the Feds and the dictates and mandates that go with power being held 1000 miles away .or you're in favor of 95% of the decisions that impact you locally and in your state.
    If you need to find out where someone sits on this issue, ask them 2 simple questions.
    1) Who is Joe Biden?

    2) Name just 2 people from all of the following: Who's your Mayor? City Council? County Commission? School Board? State Senator? State Rep? Lt. Governor? School Board?

    Ed , says: May 18, 2017 at 6:06 pm
    The Trump era will be cathartic or emetic. Government operations will be so confused and erratic that people will start to think that maybe elite rule wasn't so bad and will look forward to "the grown-ups" taking over again. Of course, every new administration now claims to be "the grown-ups" reasserting themselves - that's come to be a given - but those pretensions will be taken more seriously when the next administration takes over.

    So are the elites to blame? Well, in a way. They have their agenda, and it's not always shared by ordinary Americans. But ordinary Americans don't agree with each other all that often, and depending on what the issue is, some parts of the general public are closer to the governing elites than they are to other parts of the public. It could be that elites manage to get enough support from non-elite voters to stay in office.

    But also, competence is a factor. There are a lot of conspiracy theories about elites, but much of the energy of governing elites may go into being just well-informed enough to do a half-way credible job of staying on top of events, rather than into deep-laid plans to thwart popular wishes.

    Blueshark , says: May 18, 2017 at 6:08 pm
    "All this contributed significantly to the hollowing out of the American working class-once the central foundation of the country's economic muscle and political stability. Now these are the forgotten Americans, deplorable to Hillary Clinton and her elite followers, left without jobs and increasingly bereft of purpose and hope."

    Nice try.

    Three things led to the "hollowing out" of the American working class, and they have nothing to do with ephemeral vaporings about "divorced from the traditional American passion for building things, innovating, and taking risks."

    1. Automation – and there's just no way around that – the semi-skilled and some skilled jobs giving lower-educated workers a strong middle class life are gone.

    2. "Reagan Democrats" who've been voting staunchly Republican and stood by watching and nodding while conservatives have eviscerated and vilified union jobs that also supported a middle class lifestyle (see, e.g., "right-to-work" states).

    3. Globalization (abetted by both parties) that shipped these jobs overseas – although there's no clear solution to this in an emergent 21st-century global economy.

    Look, I grew up outside of Detroit and knew families and friends who didn't go to college, but went to work on the line and could afford a middle class life. For the reasons listed above, those days are gone forever.

    Hyperion , says: May 18, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Devinicus

    Who are these "elites"? This is the central question.

    They seem to be: [1] highly educated [2] in private colleges and universities [3] mainly in the Northeast [4] and as adults [5] employed primarily in professional occupations [6] geographically concentrated in the Boston-Washington corridor, especially in NYC and DC.

    Using that definition, the author of this post is an elite. But I bet he claims he is not.

    The thing is, Mr. Merry is a journalist. I'm hearing a lot about how dastardly THEY are from Trump supporters.

    Hyperion , says: May 18, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    John F LaVoy

    As long as big money can buy elections, elitists will rule and the masses will get shafted. The only way to keep that from happening in perpetuity is to establish a system of public funding for elections.

    I agree wholeheartedly. Does anyone who is not rich think that money = speech? What other democracy has an election funding system as bizarre as ours?

    Andy Lord , says: May 18, 2017 at 6:26 pm
    Trump's "populism" is based on the same old demagogue's standbys: xenophobia, scapegoating, racism, anti-intellectualism, economic anxiety, nationalism, and a yearning for an idealized past that never existed. The idea of Trump as some shirt-sleeved populist warrior who is going to correct the inequities of wealth distribution in the U.S. is too laughable to bother with. I would refer anyone to the two health care bills he has championed so far, which were poorly disguised attempts to enrich the wealthy even further, while robbing tens of millions of their ability to afford health insurance.
    Hexexis , says: May 18, 2017 at 7:08 pm
    Sorry, but the problem is not the "elite" but the "elitists": them that's curried favor-always monetary-w/ other elitists in exchange for donations at election time. With Clinton & Trump, we had two elitists that thought they deserved the pres'y & were propelled by the elitists running the campaigns & parties that hoped to gain from either of those two in the W.H.

    Meanwhile, the press worked feverishly to turn Clinton & Trump into viable candidates-w/ ancient, useless labels like "liberal," progressive"; "anti-establishment," "populist"-& convinced voters that they were the "best men" for the job.

    So I ended up voting for our state's Repo. gov.; who in turn voted for his own father, an 88-yr-old former congressman. That was effect elitists had on some of us.

    Brian W , says: May 18, 2017 at 7:13 pm
    April 25, 2017 Ex-spy admits anti-Trump dossier unverified, blames Buzzfeed for publishing

    In a court filing, Mr. Steele also says his accusations against the president and his aides about a supposed Russian hacking conspiracy were never supposed to be made public, much less posted in full on a website for the world to see on Jan. 10. He defends himself by saying he was betrayed by his client and that he followed proper internal channels by giving the dossier to Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, to alert the U.S. government.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/apr/25/christopher-steele-admits-dossier-charge-unverifie/

    Jeff Fine , says: May 18, 2017 at 7:47 pm
    While we may despise elites ( and just who are they?) the decision to vote for Donald Trump as a solution seems to me to be beyond stupid.
    Ellimist000 , says: May 18, 2017 at 8:00 pm
    "Nixon, Clinton, Wilson,Lincoln all won the popular vote. Why does this article suggest otherwise?"

    Because the author is letting his partisanship relive him of his good sense. Or he is as numerically challenged as his president, who knows?

    These people won PLURALITIES of the popular vote. So did Hillary Clinton. They all received the most votes in an election with three or more candidates but received less votes than the total that voted for some one else. Everyone on the planet besides third-world dictators and Republicans generally describe this phenomenon as "winning an election".

    A plurality is very different from getting a minority of the vote like Trump did. I am sure that Merry knows this. If you don't believe me, go ask the folks who voted Green and Libertarian who they would have voted for as a second choice if they were forced to

    TR , says: May 18, 2017 at 8:29 pm
    Thank you, Nelson, at 3:05 p. m.

    And BTW, a lot of those immigrants (to whom I do not object) are here because of America's fascination with foreign wars and intrusions. Think "boat people," for example, or Iranian refugees or Cuban, etc., etc. Our stupidity produces moral obligations.

    David Naas , says: May 18, 2017 at 8:34 pm
    Contra the demos-fueled hissy-fit over "Elites", I have no problem with Elites running the world. For one thing, they (Elites) always have run the world, and that isn't going to change, except cosmetically.

    Nor do I have a problem with them reasonably rewarding themselves for their efforts.

    Experiments with direct participatory democracy have usually ended in the sort of lynch-mobbing which murdered Socrates.

    I have neither time nor interest in attending to every pettyfrogging detail of running a village government, let alone one of 300 million souls. Even with the Internet, "direct democracy" ends up being run by a few (reference Athens, if any doubt).

    The current outrage-aholic fixation over "elites" is not because they are Elites, but because they are INCOMPETENT Elites. It is said the Brits lost the Empire because they forgot how to govern, and now, it is our turn.

    Eric Hoffer told us how Elites fall back in 1950 (The True Believer), but we were so fat and happy we ignored what he said. Besides, he was a longshoreman, with no credentials. What did he know?

    My preference is for Them to fix Their problem, and to get back running affairs properly.

    Then I can focus on playing with my grandkids, flirting with my wife, and drinking beer in late afternoon with Old Blue at my feet.

    Selah!

    CascadeJoe , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:30 am
    Well, he talks and tweets a lot. But NAFTA is still in force (he learned of downsides of ash canning it), Iran sanctions have not been increased (maybe he thought of jobs related to jet sales important), he is talking with Russia (as opposed to talking about it), and has let all know about his aversion to gassing civilians.

    Let us continue to observe what he does, not what he tweets. I plan to come back in late July and take a look, 100 days just is too short to come to a decision.

    Argon , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:30 am
    Well, at least it wouldn't be a step backwards.
    Fran Macadam , says: May 18, 2017 at 12:33 am
    So true. Another of the few sane voices, with intellectual heft to match that sobriety. Wish Rod Dreher would read and be convinced by your salient analysis, even if against his will. I think too many conservatives genuflect to established hierarchy, whatever its faults, out of a character that is disposed to distrust change, even needed change. I myself do not buy into the reasoning, "better the devil we know." I really think only the relatively well off can sustain such a view, whether in Manhattan or connected to it via the internet in Baton Rouge. The rest of us are too desperate.

    The elites truly are the problem. Just like those who blame Russia, they won't take ownership. They will need one heckuva Homeland Security and clampdown on the population they view as intolerable, once they have their coup against democracy. It is certain to be a pyrrhic victory though, as no elites in history ever gave up their power willingly or peacefully, yet in every case they were forcibly removed in paroxysms of violence by angry mobs of citizens who lost faith in a rigged system that would not allow needed peaceful change.

    Sad!

    RomanCandle , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:45 am
    VERY well said.
    Patricus , says: May 18, 2017 at 1:58 am
    So Trump lacks all the qualities and attributes of a proper President. What exactly are those qualities beyond getting elected? Who are the great examples Trump should imitate? Let's see, the community organizer? The son of a Bush? The man from Hope? Poppy Bush? I am one who admired Reagan but he did run up the debt. The quality these people share is a ludicrous vanity. Can't understand the notion that Trump is far below the rest of these flawed human beings. He seems to be just another one. What the heck, he might turn out to be effective. It is way too early to know.
    Mark Christensen , says: May 18, 2017 at 2:43 am
    Very true. The elites want to turf Trump because he is jeopardising a model that sustains their salaries and prestige, yet of course they can still not offer an alternative to what was there before.

    The elites can't look outside the system, to something beyond the system, because that is, by definition, something they can't control or make false promises about. The deeper problem is they are unwilling to even have this conversation, for fear it would lead to a logical conclusion about the inadequacies of power.

    Rosita , says: May 18, 2017 at 6:58 am
    What a bore and a canard; Trumpism has shown itself in capable of competent and capable public policy; quick on the trigger to tear everything down but in coherent and undisciplined to build anything of consequence to replace it. I'll take the elites any day over nihilism and petulance. Trump is the mirror image of his voters and it gives me great satisfaction to see their political fortunes grind to dust Over their own incompetence.
    Weldon , says: May 18, 2017 at 7:12 am
    Meh. People keep screaming about a "crisis" but aren't able to actually point to one. The economy is doing well. Crime is at historic lows. There are so few actual problems that people are taking to manufacturing them (e.g. opioids).

    I think the real issue here is that the politically-powerful Baby Boom is approaching the final years of its narcissistic, navel-gazing existence, and assumes the entire world disappears when they do.

    Frank , says: May 18, 2017 at 7:14 am
    When in the history of mankind were they not?
    Chris in Appalachia , says: May 18, 2017 at 7:56 am
    This article does a good job stitching together much of the Elites' sins. It is apparent to me that the American government can't be reformed from within by electing reform candidates. If reform is possible, it can't come from the Northeast and West Coast. It will never come from a Harvard, or any other Ivy League school, graduate. It won't come from a Boston Catholic person or New York Jewish-American. It won't come from a Baby Boomer who wishes to continue to prop up the social changes they ushered in the 60s and 70s. I would expect actual reform to come from a young person in the American Heartland, which the bi-coastal elites deride as "Flyover Country." Wasn't it the "Rust Belt" who showed us the way in the 2016 election? And if and when reform (i.e. the non-violent neutering of the Elites' power abuses) comes, the reformers had better be prepared with a total package and not just one candidate. It may be a one-time opportunity, and must be executed with the utmost strategy and determination.
    Paul Roche , says: May 18, 2017 at 8:26 am
    But We Trump supporters are quite happy with his actions so far. We know the press is rigged against him. It is distressing to see the elitist Republicans attack him too though. You are right about the divide, but this may be our last best hope of taking the government back
    AleaJactaEst , says: May 18, 2017 at 8:39 am
    if President Donald J Trump IS supremely unfit to hold the office, does that not logically (in the eyes of the author)not make the xx million American people who voted for him supremely unfit to vote? Startling hubris if you ask me.
    C. L. H. Daniels , says: May 18, 2017 at 8:49 am
    Who's ready to storm the Bastille? Torches, get your torches right here!
    RRDRRD , says: May 18, 2017 at 8:49 am
    Basically agree with the author;s position but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, stop calling elitists, elites. They are not "superior to the rest in terms of ability or qualities" in fact, they are frequently inferior.
    Paul Grenier , says: May 18, 2017 at 8:50 am
    When Sen. Schumer announced, on MSNBC, that a president going against the CIA is 'stupid' because 'they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you,' doesn't that scream 'crisis' from the rooftops? Since when does America, allegedly a democratic republic, assume elected presidents are the subordinates of the CIA? Well, de facto, probably for many years, but to actually openly approve of it?

    But there was no even discussion of his statement! It set off no alarm bells, no demands for reigning in the CIA ('the intelligence "community"'). Why not? Presumably because the short-term interests of too many elites aligned in this case with that of the deep state. The habit of 'whatever works for me, for the moment' won out, once again, further degrading the political culture right at its institutional heart.

    And also because Schumer is right. It isn't smart to criticize the CIA. It wouldn't be good for your career, you know what I mean? ('What are ya, a Russian commie or something?').

    Merry is absolutely right. Removing Trump does nothing. It does less than nothing. It drives the disease even further into the body politic. The only solution is honesty and courage. Can we muster it?

    Linen42 , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:00 am
    So tell me, if the down trodden Working class is so distraught by the elites putting them down, why do they celebrate when the GOP House voted to take away their healthcare by removing rules on pre-existing conditions.

    Say what you will about Obama and his
    looking down on the people", but take him on his actions and he has done more to help the lower class through legislation and executive orders than any other president in the past 30 years.

    But wait, he didn't do anything about immigration. So therefore ignore all the laws, ignore the rules changed, just focus on the revamped Know Nothings afraid of 3% of the population.

    Brian W , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:08 am
    Yes indeed so and a very good article.

    May 7, 2017 It Wasn't Russia, How Erdogan Bought Trump and His Neocon Gangsters, the Kosher Nostra

    Learn who Mike Flynn and Rudy Giuliani really work for and why they are stabbing America in the back while Trump smiles.

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/05/07/it-wasnt-russia-how-erdogan-bought-trump-and-his-neocon-gangsters-the-kosher-nostra/

    John Gruskos , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:10 am
    Principled opposition to President Trump's character is limited to this magazine and a tiny handful of like minded pundits and politicians.

    If Trump had run on Hillary Clinton's platform, and if he were ruling in accordance with that platform, waging a war for regime change in Syria, signing TPP or some equivalent, refusing to enforce the immigration laws, granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, and greatly increasing the number of legal immigrants, the Democrats and neocons would be praising him to the skies and supporting him to the hilt.

    If, on the other hand, someone other than Trump, Pat Buchanan for instance, had been elected on Trump's platform, the Democrats and neocons would be attacking him with all the hysterical venom they are now hurling at Trump (remember the brief deranged hysteria that followed Buchanan's 1996 primary win in New Hampshire?) – and I suspect some of those who pass for principled critics of Trump's character would be caught up in this hypothetical anti-Buchanan hysteria, because of their sheer weak-willed yearning for social acceptance.

    Howard , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:24 am
    If you want to really be serious about "fitness to lead", it has been a very long time since the USA has had a president who was fit to lead.

    The fact is, though, that the first rumblings of "impeachment" started before the Electoral College even met, back while Democrats were still hoping to nullify what happened on election night through the Electoral College.

    The whole Russian angle is simply a pretext. No one is saying that Russia hacked into the voting machines and added or subtracted votes; at most they are accused of having done the kind of thing investigative journalists are praised for having done. When, in the midst of the American election, British parliamentarians discussed banning Trump from the UK, **THAT** was much more serious and overt tampering with our election, yet no one cares about that, because the UK is the land of Peter Pan and Mary Poppins, whereas Russia is the bogeyman. Thus we see headlines about Russian jets "buzzing" the coast of Alaska, only to read further down that by "buzzing" we mean they were 20+ miles into international airspace. Apparently it's an outrage that they should come within a thousand miles of American airspace. American spy planes in the Black Sea are a different story: after all, they remained in international air space the whole time!

    It is dangerous to cast Russia unnecessarily in the role of villain, but it is even more dangerous to engineer even the softest of coups. Once that is done, there is no going back. Very likely there would be widespread protests, many of them violent, and a large portion of the public would see the de facto government as not merely corrupt and foolish, but completely invalid. The "authorities" would probably be able to crush dissent, but only by going full-on Stalin. What happens after that, who knows, but this story would not have any happy ending.

    Steve Norton , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:24 am
    As usual, Merry's insights are useful and informed.However, Clinton, warts and all, would have more likely eased the pain of many Americans. Her campaign focused too much on aggrieved minorities and not enough on the pain shared by all but her policies would have more likely checked the manic redistribution of wealth from middle class to elite, ended the health care impasse that cruelly toys with people, made education more accessible and enhanced investments in science and technology that could create jobs in the coming years. With regard to immigration, it is true that adding so many immigrants to the population at a time when decent-paying jobs were being eliminated through technology created a bad optic but the ban or removal of millions of immigrants would not really restore middle class stability. Elites in both parties have made mistakes and been entirely too attentive to those who give the most money but let's not legitimize Trump's mixture of exploiting anger with false promises and pushing policies that will make the plight of working people even more desperate. Clinton might not have shaken up an elitist system she helped create but she would not have shaken our democratic institutions and attacked an already fragile polity the way Trump has and will continue to do for another 3 and half years. Like it or not, elites and disenfranchised will eventually have to work together and Trump has set back this inevitable and urgent collaboration years, if not forever.
    Bob Halvorsen , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:30 am
    Nixon, Clinton, Wilson,Lincoln all won the popular vote. Why does this article suggest otherwise? The only presidents with a minority of the popular vote are JQ Adams, Hayes, Harrison and Bush.
    Michael Powe , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:38 am
    A self-described "publishing executive" who writes magazine/blog articles for a living is a member of the "elite"! Condemned out of his own mouth. By his own vanity, perhaps.

    And the case is hardly made by deliberately misstating facts.

    65 million people voted for Hillary Clinton for President. Is that 65 million "elites," or 65 million "dupes" too stupid to "see through her"? 65 million irresponsible citizens? Are these 65 million the real "deplorables"?

    I don't expect to see any mea culpa statements from the numerous conservative writers and talking heads who made excuses for Trump's selection as candidate prior to the election. Many of those excuses were promulgated through TAC. But a look in the mirror, and a conversation with that "still, small voice" could be therapeutic for many of you.

    Not Hillary Clinton, not the Democratic Party, not the 65 million "deplorables," were responsible for conservatives' decision to go with a manifestly unsuitable candidate. Once again, those declaiming most loudly about "personal responsibility" - lack it.

    mightywhig , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:46 am
    Good piece. Clearly the many leakers aren't concerned about national security consequences. This is only about bringing down Trump. After all, the journalist establishment extolled Snowden for leaking tons of classified information. Trump might help himself by being a little more "political," and learning to fight the right battles.
    SJB , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:47 am
    I hope your article gains a large readership that includes the nevertrump cadre. It is probably a pipe dream to hope they would wake up and become aware of how they and their preference for Hillary look to many of the 63 million people who voted for Trump. They knew he was inexperienced, coarse, and a mixed bag. They also know he's only been in office for 4 months and the obstruction, malicious leaks, and malignant hatred of Trump began long before he took office.

    Too many in the nevertrump cadre come off as self-righteous, smug Pharisees for whom conservatism has become a religion. For some reason, they think their own character, knowledge, and judgement is impeccable with no room for correction by 63 million voters. The vox populi needs the elites to override them. Such hubris. We are well aware that they would rather have had a Hillary presidency. Are they any more mature than the Left in dealing with defeat? Apparently not.

    Glenn Reynolds (professor of law) sums up the situation this way: "The childish response of Democrats - and 'NeverTrump' Republicans - to the 2016 election has done more damage to American politics and institutions than any foreign meddling could do." It would behoove the nevertrumpers to consider what they are sowing and reaping. Has their hatred of Trump and smug self-righteousness made them deaf, dumb, and blind?

    I think Victor Davis Hanson's article (see link below) has articulated the situation best and is best read as a whole instead of excerpted. The National Review's readership fell greatly prior to the election because of the nevertrumpers pomposity, but not the readership of VDH's articles at the NRO. Perhaps instead of silently disagreeing, the vox populi need to intervene and impeach the nevertrumpers.

    The Nightmares and the Realities of Never Trump
    http://amgreatness.com/2017/05/17/nightmares-realities-never-trump/

    Trucker46 , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:47 am
    You elected a chump over all the obvious reasons not to, and he iS going to go before the end of the summer, either for the reasons already in.front of us or for the new ones he will give us in.the next 60 days. Get your stupid saves out of the way now and allow the republic to recover.

    Btw the "you elected" phrase above is predicated on.the idea that the chump really won.the election, Cuz it's quite clear he may not have.

    Marianna Landrum , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:47 am
    The problem is not the elite, but a POTUS who is ignorant and arrogant,who is unqualified and inept and who is a man-child trying to be a leader. He makes his own issues by opening his mouth and saying stupid things and insisting they are true, and doing stupid things and insisting they are good. It is obvious he has no plan for anything and doesn't understand much of what is going on around him. He never talks about anything of substance; on health care, Price had to deal with details, and with the tax plan, it was Cohn who revealed that amazing one page initiative. When he does talk, he stupidly gives intel to our enemies. Trump is an idiot with a pen and that is the problem and it is a problem for this country.
    connecticut farmer , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:56 am
    Excellent article. Can it be possible that the meritocratic oligarchy which runs this country still doesn't "get it?" Do they really believe that getting rid of Trump solves the problem? Can it be possible that they still can't see that absent proof of actual malfeasance, driving Trump out of office could make things even worse, as if things aren't bad already.

    As the days and weeks go by it is becoming increasingly clear that the answer is–yes.

    Tom , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:57 am
    This is, far and away, the best summary of our current situation I have read anywhere. Outstanding!

    One area around immigration could, however, be improved to truly capture why there is so much anger at the elites. On immigration, the article states: "Leave aside for purposes of discussion the debate on the merits of the issue-whether mass immigration is good for America or whether it reaches a point of economic diminishing returns and threatens to erode America's underlying culture. Whatever the merits on either side of that debate, mass immigration, accepted and even fostered by the nation's elites, has driven a powerful wedge through America. "

    While true, this still misses the main point. The point is that the nation has existing laws to control immigration. Because the elites could not change the law through the democratic process, they opted instead to just ignore the laws, with absolutely no consequences except for those who live in the communities impacted.

    In this context, the significance of the Clinton email scandal was magnified as it represented, again, the elites clearly violating the law with no consequences.

    The lawlessness aspect is a critical point that needs to be emphasized. The elite backlash is not just about policy disagreements, its about a class of people (elites) violating/ignoring the law for their own benefit and at the expense of others. The very fact that this could happen exposes how broken the system really is.

    Trucker46 , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:05 am
    And btw.. Tho the author here is a smart and good writer, this whole "elites" thing is a stupid argument.I agree that we democrats were too cowardly to nominate Bernie, whose whole message and absolute unlikelihood was most aligned with the spirit of the times. As a party we thought small and thus became small. But Hillary was so vastly superior to any of the republican candidates that the problem has nothing to do with right wing elites and everything to do with that large swath of the right wing which simply is deplorable. They are deplorable and they deserve to know that the nation as a whole knows them to.be such. There wzz a time when they knew their place– way down a hole with the boot of the nation s conscience firmly on.the top of their head. The right let them emerge from.that hole during the advent of the tea party Cuz it liked the fact that those losers were giving their movement breadth and energy.

    But don't think for a minute that those millions of prejudiced, disgusting people have been redeemed by the chumps supposed victory, they haven't. Maybe Hillary shouldn't have called them.such, idk, but the fact of their existence being a cancer in.the republic is as correct today as it was 400 years ago and in.every generation.to.follow.

    Michael , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:11 am
    With the absolute control the elites have upon the military industrial complex, the traditional media outlets, the bureaucratic "three-letter" departments of governance, as well as the powerful influence over both the judicial and legislative branches of the governmnet, it seems impossible to me that such a group could be thrown off by its citizenry by violent uprising or otherwise. Just watch some of the video of Chaffets lead intelligence committee trying to access information regarding the Clinton servers and you will begin to see the incredible scope of the problem we face in America and the world today. Just as it was God that delivered a rag-tag band of America patriots from the hands of elite-based tyranny at the founding of our country, it will take an act of God to remove the chains and shackles of the Deep State from off the necks of the American people. Unfortunately a growing number of Americans are turning their back on the only real chance of deliverance we have – He who delivered the Hebrews from the Egyptian elites can delver us also.
    BillCarson , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:11 am
    I am more than willing to fight the elites in the streets if necessary to stop them from forcing A duly elected president from office
    Don Wiley , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:18 am
    In the day when we received our news of national and international goings on via newspapers, there was a space for reflection and contemplation, and even some semblance of reasoned debate.

    That ship has sailed, never to return and we are in the day of "Amusing Ourselves to Death"

    It used to take some time and effort to form a proper mob.

    Xenon , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:31 am
    What defines this shadowy type – "elite?" Educated? Financially well off? Aren't you an elite? Or does it only apply to liberals and Democrats? How would you define yourself?
    SJB , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:31 am
    Apologies for a poorly written comment. The vox populi is a reference to a Douthat tweet: "7. But what, in the end, are elites for? What justifies their existence? Some sort of wisdom that the vox populi can lack." Douthat's article, his tweet storm, and the lack of strong repudiation from the nevertrump cadre pretty much ended my patience with all of them. It has become almost impossible to tell the difference between the hysterical Left and the outraged nevertrump cadre. This last week has been such a delightful display of how the media, establishment elites, and nevertrumpers feel about those 63 million unredeemable deplorable Americans who voted for Trump. Thank you for allowing me to comment.
    No to neos , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:35 am
    I agree with this. I voted for Trump and told my wife several times before voting, "I don't think Trump will be a good president. I'm voting for him to send a "f- you" to the elites who run this country.

    When I say elites, I don't mean only the high and mighty. In my hometown, where I have lived all my life, our city council has handed millions of tax dollars to the region's largest car dealer to expand yet again. They pledged $1 million to lure a Hobby Lobby even though it is in direct competition with a Michael's store that has been here for years. They bought property for $1 million, knocked down the building on it, prepared the site for development, then "sold" it to a developer for $10.

    That kind of favoritism has been running wild in my little town - a little town controlled entirely by people who call themselves Republicans.

    jdl51 , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:36 am
    "When a man as uncouth and reckless as Trump becomes president by running against the nation's elites, it's a strong signal that the elites are the problem."

    The problem is the industrialized disinformation machine that continues to spew hatred and lies. One side thinks it's the liberal media, and the other side thinks it's RW talk radio and Fox News. It's easy to figure out which one is the real problem. There are facts and there are internet rumors that are passed off as facts. Both can't be true. And even in the face of clear evidence, primarily one side continues to believe the rumors and lies. Can't argue with delusion.

    Bob K. , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:45 am
    Thank you, Mr. Merry,

    I have been waiting for you to step up to the plate since you took over as editor of "The American Conservative" and you have delivered!

    Anti-Empire , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:51 am
    This article makes some good points. Trump was elected fair and square and the case against him is straight out of fantasy land.
    BUT then there is the snotty rhetoric that Trump is "uncouth," the same sort of rhetoric employed by the elite New York Times.
    Frankly I do not care about Trump's table manners. I do care that he has sought detente 2.0 with Russia and has killed off the TPP, not only a lousy trade deal but also the economic limb of Hillary's military/economic assault (aka pivot) to China.
    So I dismiss charges that Trump is "unfit" or "lacks nearly all the characteristics or attributes that a president should have.". And I have little confidence in a writer who looks at things in such an arrogant way. That he is the new editor of The American Conservative is enough to make me reconsider the contributions I make to this journal. Pat Buchanan and Bill Kauffman, yes. Merry? I wonder.
    Sandra , says: May 18, 2017 at 10:54 am
    I don't think the abundance of evidence that members of the Trump team met with Russian officials during the campaign can be called "minor infractions against the president". These are certainly serious allegations. It was clear early in the Trump presidency that he was not surrounding himself with people capable of carrying out the vision he articulated in his campaign for restoring America's middle class. He made many picks from the ranks of the elites including his Vice President and Attorney General. His selection seemed to favor loyalty rather than building a team that could make the changes he campaigned on. His Treasury pick is straight from Wall Street and his foreign policy team is praised by the elites. Donald Trump is not the agent for change. You can't differentiate him from the elites because he surrounded himself with them.
    Vince Hill , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:01 am
    What the elites don't understand is that there are lot more of us than of them. If they try to take the election away from the people who support President Trump. They will have a war on their hands and not a war of words.
    Anne M Erskine , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:04 am
    Written by a Never-Trump, this article is absolute BS concerning the fact that President Trump is "unfit" for the office of the presidency. The article is, however, absolutely correct about the elites who have thrown their middle finger in the face of WE THE PEOPLE of the CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC of the USA, but WE THE PEOPLE elected President Trump to drain the swamp and he will. The true enemy of the USA is the elected class in D.C. and their cronies like Buffet, Steyer, Gates and the Soros Democrat Marxist Party and the utter traitorous actions by Obama. President Trump has to rid us of all Obamaites and has to slam the RINO traitors to the ground. President Trump is perfectly fit to be president and certainly more so than some community organizer who hates the USA and works to destroy her. Merry's hatred of President trump is boundless and shows him to be among the elites of the "media," a terrible curse on the USA. Thank God for President Trump and for FLOTUS Melanie Trump who has returned dignity, grace, class, and beauty to the White House after eight years of hate-filled, resentful, nasty, and cloddish behavior by Michelle Obama who disrespected the American people, spending millions of American posterity hard-earned money on herself and her family. Where was your article about the corruption of Obama and his breaking of our laws and his utter and disgusting spitting on his oath to our Constitution, Merry?
    Andi Payne , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:07 am
    I am still confused how a billionaire was NOT considered 'elite' to the working class.. Does this not baffle anyone? OK, I get that America on both sides, left and right, is sick of getting screwed over by the elites. But Trump is no friend to the working man. He is only helping all his billionaire elite friends and creating practices that will hurt the working class who elected him, whether via healthcare reform or promising coal miners they can have their jobs back, when everyone knows that sector is dying. The rest of the world is getting ahead of us, in technology, infrastructure, renewable energy sources, etc. The divide between conservatives and liberals has become so ridiculous that no one cares about making the US a better place. Trump's laughable campaign slogan worked miracles in convincing voters, but I think everyone has sobered up to the dangers that Trump poses in so many ways. We might be tired of politicians in Washington, but if most of us are honest, this 'shake-up' is going to do a lot of damage. Maybe it's what we need in the long run to be able to change things, but all the laws and deregulation have only made the elite stronger. It makes companies bigger, and the working man poorly treated and expendable.
    Slugger , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:07 am
    Please help me understand. What remedies are you recommending? The reason I ask is because these accusations against a class of people, the elites, rather than against specific wrongful acts smack of Mao and the Cultural Revolution to me. I sense that some wish to see professors and newspaper editors working in fields with hand tools. I may have misread this posting, but Fran Macadam's comments sound like a call for at least a sharp turn to me.
    Argon , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:17 am
    Reflecting further.

    I'm not buying the "it's the elites" problem. An 'elite', more often than not, is someone who is using power in a way we don't like, along with that person's clique. This is akin to using the term, 'activist judges'.

    Ultimately, a democracy always gets the leaders it deserves. Once in a great while, it gets better leaders than it deserves. There will always be facilitators of our worst instincts but ultimately, people have a choice. If a democracy is dysfunctional, it's not because some 'elites' or 'deep state' have taken over everything. It's because the voters kept electing idiots and representatives that didn't truly represent their interests.

    SDS , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:37 am
    Not sure if Trucker46 is serious, or auditioning to write for "the ONION" ..
    Devinicus , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:38 am
    Regarding the history of immigration in the United States, the Census Bureau says that the post-1850 peak was in 1890 when 14.8% of residents were foreign born, followed closely by 1910 when 14.7% were foreign born.

    Pew estimates that the US will break these records around 2025. Soon we'll have to go back to the mid-1700s to find a period in American history with a level of immigration we will be experiencing in the near future.

    Omar , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:40 am
    Well written article. Thank you.
    bkh , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:41 am
    -Vince Hill said: "What the elites don't understand is that there are lot more of us than of them. If they try to take the election away from the people who support President Trump. They will have a war on their hands and not a war of words."

    Those masses are not relevant to those "Elites" and are cannon fodder. The term "Deplorables" says it all. The masses are not worthy of any consideration. Those "Deplorables" are an obstacle to be eliminated for the greater good. You don't need shadow govt conspiracies to see this kind of stuff anymore. The blatant lies and manipulations from DC and the media originating from Dems and Repubs is there for all to see. The 2016 election cycle was a wake-up call. Neither candidate was fit to be a President. Both are crooked. Yet, the majority of sheep on both sides continue toward their slaughter. Trump may yet get us blown to bits, but I no longer care about saving the status quo. The majority of people have spoken in this this country and we have been broken for many Presidencies. The future of this nation, as is, is ugly, if one exists at all.

    EliteCommInc. , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:44 am
    Mr. Trump is not the issue. And from what I have come to understand about Washington language from top to bottom, his language isn't the issue either, in my view.

    Whether he is unfit cannot even be addressed though I suspect he is, if one examines the long history of the office. I don't have any doubt that Mr Trump is an effective admin as head of state. As a non-politician, there may be some issues. And his policy and social positions may not square with my own. But that alone would not make him unfit. His temperament would not take unfit either. But having to sift through the emotional tantrums of so many in leadership, influence and power to make that assessment is a very tough slog.

    Now we have a secret source that indicates a Mr. Trump did something or other in pressing for an end of needless investigations, as any CEO might, if said investigations were hindering the effectiveness of his tenure. And clearly its a disruptive fire. The seed of which were laid immediately as it became clear that Mr Trump, now Pres Trump was a contender. There was talk of impeachment before the election, and while I appreciated the "heads up", it was disappointing that the agenda for the net four years was to impeachment a man even before he took office.

    I once said that Mr Trump was be given the royal "black treatment" and I stand by those comments. Everything he does, says, is a minefield. There are no mines, but there are explosions from multiple corners. I have to say, even some of the authors on TAC are are straining credulity, credibility with their "end of the world", "doom and gloom" commentary. The minefield, once again has not evidence, but rather, so and so said thus. There's nothing documented that Pres Trump has done anything to hinder anything about Russia or Gen Flynn. This type of scrutiny makes it impossible to do one's job.

    I have been in communication for a long long time. And while my life is but a wreck at the moment. I have had some successes in competitive speech, and coaching. When I did my master's degree, I was unfit for teaching as a grad assistant. Not because of a lack of skill, knowledge or expertise, but because by every measure I had. What made the post a total disaster was the scrutiny as if I I had never done anything of the kind. If you have been teaching a while, there are things you know that a grad just have a clue about. My adviser attempted to fit my roundness into a nonexistent square peg. The entire graduate program was a disaster and a disaster in every way. They simply had no clue how to manage someone who had long past graduate level knowledge or experience. And much to failure, I did, wouldn't, couldn't communicate that fact, though given the internal politics of the place, I doubt it would have mattered. The behaviors were at best dysfunctional at worst criminal. If I wasn't already highly suspicious, by the time I left, I was certainly distrustful. I was asked if I wanted to pursue legal redress - the idea of that mess has always been a route to be avoided, save for defense. "People are people, and sometimes they just do dumb stuff," was my attitude. I was probably incorrect, dumb, innocent or malicious it was deeply beyond the pail.

    Pres. Trump has entered an arena in which he has no respite from the attack or question of every aspect of his being and on every matter. While, a Pres should expect scrutiny, what he has been subjected is over Everest unreasonable and reasoned. The constant hyperbolic crisis mongering from people who supposedly have a better temperament, judiciousness, and higher moral code is a tad bit "funny".

    No. Humorous.

    What is in play and of deep concern are the repeated manufactured crisis to disrupt his tenure Crisis mongering that began shortly after 9/11 and has progressed with increasing speed, oddly enough when actual crisis have subsided. Aside form the economy, the country faces no "real" threat beyond securing the border.

    Given our rather carelessness action in the region of the middle east, we had better obey the security protocols prior to 9/11 any of which would have prevented the attack or severely diminished its success. Checking expired passports would have been helpful – devastating to the attackers.

    In Compton, Detroit, NYC, Tallahassee, Birmingham, there are hard working folks trying to figure out how they are going to compete against the immigrant who's labor is cheaper, who doesn't contribute to the community as much as they draw. They are trying to figure out how to be fair to their issues, without starving their own. They are doing everything possible to avoid being "deplorable" and always have. And yet the representatives of their locals are about dealing with muckraking needlessly.

    -----
    "Sad!"

    Boy. it's not a good sign when you are sad. Stay fiesty!

    Those in opposition made it clear where they stood before the election. And Mr. Trump has just started to climb this long hill.

    EliteCommInc. , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:49 am
    There's no reason for the war to turn violent, we are some distance from that turn and even the suggestion is hard to hear.

    It suggests a state of threat that need not be aired. In many ways, this situation is airing out the problem, for those brave enough to acknowledge it.

    Though avoiding confrontation of any kind hasn't aided me much, I admit.

  • [May 19, 2017] The suppliers of the intelligence that Trump told the Ruskies, want to control the US Intelligence Community.

    Mr. Bill - , May 18, 2017 at 06:56 PM

    May 19, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    Joe Lieberman surfacing from the lowest portal of the swamp, is not good news. The suppliers of the intelligence that Trump told the Ruskies, want to control the US Intelligence Community.

    How many nuclear weapons do they have and where are they pointed ? Anyone allowed to ask ?

    [May 18, 2017] The Most Important Question That No One Is Asking...

    May 18, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

    We note that King's comments - somewhat defending President Trump - come shortly after Senator McCain's Trump-defending comments... did Trump 'cross the aisle' to the neocons?

    [May 17, 2017] The more you push in the particular direction using illegal means, the more are chances that the opposite result might occur

    May 17, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

    libezkova said in reply to Christopher H.... May 17, 2017 at 08:28 PM "Trump is actually a backlash to neoliberal policies."

    Very true. "Blowback" as the "deep state" calls such things.

    It means that the more you push in the particular direction using illegal means, the more are chances that the opposite result might occur.

    The greater fuss over North Korea, the more rapidly it develops its weapons, and simultaneously grows the range of its ballistic missiles making it a real security threat for the USA, instead of a fake one -- a pretext to deploy anti-missile systems against China and Russia in South Korea.

    The more the US prolongs the illegal occupation of Afghanistan (which for some reason is called "war") the easier for Taliban is to recruit foot solders, who often lost family members from drones and will fight with double ferocity, not avoiding but sometimes seeking suicidal missions to extract the revenge.

    The more the USA tries to decapitate Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan using extra-law killings by drones, victim of which are often civilians and sometimes only civilians (when for example a wedding was hit), the easier for Al-Qaeda to grow strength in countries from Uganda to Uzbekistan because strength of Al-Qaeda is also amplified by each such killing, as well as each turn of the US imperial policy (Iraq and Libya are two examples).

    Strangely, Trump first appeared to the American electorate dressed in the garb of an paleoconservative isolationist, who questioned the relevance of NATO, thought the Iraq war was a disaster, and wanted détente with Russia.

    Fast forward 100 days, and his wardrobe change is breathtaking.

    So now it is unclear why "intelligence community" is still trying to replace him -- he is one of their own. But blowback from his impeachment (a dream of many neoliberal democrats here) might be pretty strong, if nor ferocious. A real blowback.

    In such cases an old saying is applicable: "There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it."

    [May 17, 2017] Why Did the FBI Leak the Comey Memo naked capitalism

    May 17, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay. On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that a memo written by James Comey states that President Trump asked Comey to drop the investigation into General Flynn. Now, this was all about Flynn's contacts with the Russians. He had attended an RT � the Russian television network � dinner in Moscow, he apparently held some discussions there, he was paid for attending that dinner. He also did some lobbying on behalf of Turkey and was paid for that, and the investigation also has to do with whether Flynn has something to do with the alleged interference of the Russians in the American elections. And this is a big breach of etiquette for a president to More than etiquette, I suppose � protocol, even the law � to tell an FBI director not to investigate something. I guess that's illegal. Trump, of course, and the White House denies this.

    But underlying all of this, and all the furor, is a fundamental assumption. It's a term that's used constantly in the media and by the various political pundits on the media, which is "Russia is our adversary." You have to basically assume that the adversary, Russia, has an antagonistic relationship with the United States, and then underneath all of that, then you have Flynn and Comey investigation and so on. Because if Russia isn't the great adversary, then it's unlikely there'd be such a to-do about all of this.

    Now joining us to talk about the Comey affair, the Trump affair, and just what is the issues in terms of the US-Russia relationship, is Robert English. Robert is a professor of international relations at the University of Southern California. He specializes in Russian and post-Soviet politics, US-Russian relations, and national security policy. He formerly worked for the US Department of Defense and the Committee for National Security, and has published widely in both academic and policy journals. Thanks very much for joining us, Robert.

    ROBERT ENGLISH: Happy to be here.

    PAUL JAY: Okay, so every day another storm, another drama. First of all, what do you make of Maybe the most interesting thing in all of this Comey thing today isn't Trump asking him to stop the investigation; that's not a great shocker. The more interesting thing is somebody at the FBI who has access to the Comey memo reads it to a journalist at the New York Times. There's a lot of people out to get Trump here.

    ROBERT ENGLISH: Yeah, you're pointing to this larger problem, which is this chaos, this infighting, and not just in a sort of careerist bureaucratic way, but a kind of serious pitched battle between different factions � in this case, between those in the Trump administration who seem to want a fresh start with Russia, to try to begin cooperation on things like Syria, terrorism, and so forth, and those dead set against it, who are now using leaks and so forth to In part, to fight their battles. And so the bureaucratic, the nasty, the backstabbing, the leaking, is one area of issues, but you're pointing to this larger fundamental. Can we get along with Russia? Is it worth trying to reset relations? And even if he's not the best executor so far � and he's not � is Trump's basic idea of "We can get along with Russia, let's give it a try" a good one? And I happen to think it is; it's just being carried out awfully clumsily.

    PAUL JAY: Yeah, I think one needs to separate the intent of Trump for wanting better relation with Russia, which one can analyze, and the policy itself. The policy of having a détente, although why there even needs to be a détente is kind of a question mark But why is so much of the American foreign policy establishment, the political class, the military leadership, the vast majority of that whole stratum wants to maintain a very antagonistic position towards Russia, and why?

    ROBERT ENGLISH: You know, four or five reasons that all come together, pushing in this Russophobic direction. We've always had sort of unreconstructed Cold Warriors, people who never were easy with the new Russia, right? Zbigniew Brzezinski and people of that ilk, who wanted to just push Russia in a corner, take advantage of its weakness, never give it a chance. Then you have people in the military-industrial complex, for lack of a better term, whose vested interests lie in a continued rivalry, and continued arms-racing, and continued threat inflation. You have other people who normally would be liberal progressive, but they're so angry at Hillary Clinton's loss, they're so uncomprehending of how someone they see as vulgar and unqualified as Trump could get elected, that they're naturally unwilling to let go of this "the Russians hacked our election, the Russians got Trump elected" theme, and therefore, Russia is even bigger enemy than they would be otherwise. These and other strains all come together in a strange way. Some of this is the hard right, all right? Some of it is from the left, some