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Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats

(also sometimes called Purple revolution)

Looks like Trump surrendered after just 100 of anti-Russian smear campaign launched by neocons,  but they still want to finish him
Two third of US population now is brainwashed into adamantly anti-Russian mindset, increasing the risk of the major war
 

News Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Recommended Links Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool 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
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First let's discuss the historical origins of  the  term “color revolution”. The latter is a new  subversive tactics which was successfully used as a means to triggering “regime change”, which have emerged in a large number of countries in the course of the last decade, especially in xUSSR space (Georgia, Ukraine, Modlova, Russia, etc). But the key methods of "color revolution" coup d'état can be traced to Chilean coup d'état or even earlier.

The “color revolution” is a US intelligence operation which consists of covertly supporting as well as infiltrating protest movements with a view to triggering “regime change” under the banner of a pro-democracy template. The objective of a “color revolution” is to manipulate or delegitimize elections (if the winner in nor desired candidate), foment social unrest and use the protest movement to topple an existing legitimate government. After that install a compliant pro-US government (or “puppet regime”). This "outsize" role of intelligence agencies is what we observe  in the current campaign to de-legitimize and depose President Trump.  As James Petras observed (Imperial Power Centers, July 24, 2017) :

With the ascent of Donald Trump to the US Presidency, imperial rulership has become openly contested terrain, fought over amid unyielding aspirants seeking to overthrow the democratically elected regime.

While Presidents rule, today the entire state structure is riven by rival power centers. At the moment, all of the power seekers are at war to impose their rule over the empire.

In the first place, the strategically placed security apparatus is no longer under Presidential control: They operate in coordination with insurgent Congressional power centers, mass media and extra-governmental power configurations among the oligarchs (business, merchants, arms manufacturers, Zionists and special interest lobbies).

Sectors of the state apparatus and bureaucracy investigate the executive, freely leaking damaging reports to the media, distorting fabricating and/or magnifying incidents. They publicly pursue a course with the goal of regime change.

The FBI, Homeland Security, the CIA and other power configurations are acting as crucial allies to the coup-makers seeking to undermine Presidential control over the empire. No doubt, many factions within the regional offices nervously look on, waiting to see if the President will be defeated by these opposing power configurations or will survive and purge their current directors.

The Pentagon contains both elements that are pro as well as anti-Presidential power: Some active generals are aligned with the prime movers pushing for regime change, while others oppose this movement. Both contending forces influence and dictate imperial military policies.

The most visible and aggressive advocates of regime change are found in the militarist wing of the Democratic Party. They are embedded in the Congress and allied with police state militarists in and out of Washington.

Engineered protest movements are carefully planned. Again the key feature of all color revolutions  us that they are essentially intelligence ops performed via NGO and similar organization, with huge role of the US embassy as the coordinating center.  They use non-governmental organizations and opposition meddia to recruit protesters.  Creation of powerful opposition media is the necessary prerequisite step in preparation of the color revolution. The protest need to be televized in order to amplify their significance and create a critical mass of discontent among the population. Corruption is the davorite deliigtimization tacktics in such events.  As if it can be stopped by a regime change. Often even more corrupt oligarchs come to power as a result, only more  subservent to multinational corporations. And BTW its multinationals such as GE which control the US media too. How convenient.   

The color revolution usually precede a "quite period" in which "professional protesters" are trained, indoctrinated and financed, but no mass street protest occur: 

In August 1999, the CIA set up a training program for a Serbian NGO entitled OTPOR which subsequently played a key role in the engineered protest movement conducive to the downfall of president Slobodan Milosevic. A few years later, OTPOR established a training and strategizing outfit entitled  The Centre for Applied Non Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS). CANVAS became a consulting outfit specializing in “Revolution” on contract to the CIA.

... ... ...

What is at stake is a “color revolution” Made in America which is marked by fundamental rivalries within the US establishment, namely the clash between competing corporate factions, each of which is intent upon exerting control over the incoming US presidency.

The OTPOR-CANVAS-CIA model is nonetheless relevant. Several foundations involved in funding color revolutions internationally are involved in funding the anti-Trump campaign.

Moreover, while CANVAS’ mandate is to oversee “color revolutions” internationally, it also has links with a number of NGOs currently involved in the anti-Trump campaign including  The Occupy Wall Street Movement (OWS). OWS launched by Adbusters was funded via the Tides Foundation which in turn is funded by a number of corporate foundations and charities, including the Ford Foundation, Gates Foundation  and the Open Society Institute. Ford is known to have historical links to US intelligence.

It is worth noting that the raised fist logo first launched by OTPOR in 1999 as a symbol of CIA sponsored color revolutions (including Egypt during the Arab Spring), also constitutes the symbol of several organizations involved in the anti-Trump engineered protest movement.

The Inauguration Disrupt Campaign: Disruptj20

... The Disruptj20.org campaign is calling for the disruption of the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017:

#DisruptJ20 is supported by the work of the DC Welcoming Committee, a collective of experienced local activists and out-of-work gravediggers acting with national support. We’re building the framework needed for mass protests to shut down the inauguration of Donald Trump and planning widespread direct actions to make that happen. We’re also providing services like housing, food, and even legal assistance to anyone who wants to join us.

“Color Revolution” Against Donald Trump“Color Revolution” Against Donald Trump

The actions contemplated include “setting up blockades at checkpoints to prevent people from gaining access to the inauguration proceedings”. A spokesperson confirmed that  #DisruptJ20 campaign would be “creating a framework to support mass protests and direct action to shut down the inauguration of Donald Trump” .

This could potentially lead to violent clashes with tens of thousands of Trump supporters, which is the ultimate objective of an engineered “Color Revolution” style protest movement supported covertly by US intelligence. It’s part of the logic of a “color revolution” scenario (e.g. Kiev-Maidan, Cairo-Tahir Square) which is predicated on triggering confrontation and urban violence.

Is the Disrupt Campaign committed to deliberately staging violence on January 20?

“The idea is to shut down access to the parade as much as possible and slowing it down to a crawl,” said DisruptJ20 organizer Legba Carrefour. “Then there’s the broader goal of shutting down the entire city around it and creating a sense of paralysis that creates a headline that says, ‘Trump’s inauguration creates chaos.’” (NBC, January 17, 2017)

The organizers of the engineered protest movement are funded by powerful corporate interests, they are supported by US intelligence. The objective is not to undermine the racist right wing agenda of Donald Trump as conveyed in the video below. Quite the opposite.

The same color revolution OTPOR style logo:

“Color Revolution” Against Donald Trump

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 ;-)

[Oct 17, 2017] Trump Decertifies Iran Deal, Vows New Sanctions by Jason Ditz

The immediate costs of decertification for the USl include the loss of the trust of allies, increased tensions with Iran, and much greater skepticism from all other governments. It also create additional difficulties the next time America wants to negotiate a major international agreement as some countries will view the USA as a rogue nation which is unable to keep its word. If decertification leads to the U.S. breaching its obligations under the nuclear deal, as seems likely, that the costs will increase even more, and so will the chances of war with Iran.
It might well be that Trump made a step increasing the probability of his removal from the current position by cabinet members.
Looks like Trump focus on appeasing a bunch of foreigners in the form of the Israel and Saudi lobbies.
Pretty damn grim.
Oct 13, 2017 | news.antiwar.com

President Trump started his long-anticipated anti-Iran speech by complaining about the 1979 hostage situation. What followed was an increasingly fantastical and absurd accounting of Iran's history, before finally announcing he is decertifying the nuclear deal for "violations," and announcing new sanctions.

The allegations against Iran went from things that happened a generation ago to treating things like the specious "Iranian plot" to attack a DC restaurant as not only the government's fault, but absolute established fact. Beyond that, he blamed Iran for the ISIS wars in Iraq and Syria, repeatedly accused them of supporting al-Qaeda, and claimed Iran was supporting the 9/11 attackers.

The allegations were so far-fetched by the end, that even President Trump appeared cognizant that many won't be taken seriously. Later in his speech, he insisted that the claims were "factual."

When addressing "violations" of the P5+1 nuclear deal, Trump similarly played fast and loose with the facts, citing heavy water claims that are really more the international community's violation than Iran's (Iran was guaranteed an international market for the water, but after Congress got mad the US has refused to buy any more, meaning Iran's totally non-dangerous stock grew), and accusing them of "intimidating" inspectors, insinuating that was the reason there aren't investigations at Iranian military sites.

In reality, Iranian military sites are only subject to investigation in the case of a substantiated suspicion of nuclear activities, and there simply are none. The IAEA has in recent days clarified multiple times that they don't need or want to visit any military sites right now. The only allegations about the sites are from the Mujahedin-e Khalq, which has been the source of repeated false accusations in the past.

And while this was supposed to be a speech about the nuclear deal, Trump closed it off with comments that very much sound like his goal is regime change, saying Iran's people want to be able to interact with their neighbors (despite Iran being on very good terms with most of its neighbors already), and suggesting that whatever he's going to do will lead to "peace and stability" across the Middle East.

[Oct 16, 2017] Trump Looks Set to Start Blowing Up the Iran Deal by Eli Clifton

Notable quotes:
"... Despite the potential pitfalls of Cotton and Netanyahu's plan, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley embraced the approach. Haley, a possible replacement for embattled Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, tweeted yesterday, "[Sen. Tom Cotton] has clear understanding of the Iranian regime & flaws in the nuclear deal. His [CFR] speech is worth reading." ..."
"... The United States must cease all appeasement, conciliation, and concessions towards Iran, starting with the sham nuclear negotiations. Certain voices call for congressional restraint, urging Congress not to act now lest Iran walk away from the negotiating table, undermining the fabled yet always absent moderates in Iran. But, the end of these negotiations isn't an unintended consequence of Congressional action, it is very much an intended consequence. A feature, not a bug, so to speak." ..."
"... Any agreement that advances our interests must by necessity compromise Iran's -- doubly so since they are a third-rate power, far from an equal to the United States. The ayatollahs shouldn't be happy with any deal; they should've felt compelled to accept a deal of our choosing lest they face economic devastation and military destruction of their nuclear infrastructure. That Iran welcomes this agreement is both troubling and telling. ..."
"... Ben Armbruster, writing for LobeLog last week, detailed the ways in which Mark Dubowitz , CEO of the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies , pushes for a so-called "better deal" while explicitly calling for regime change in Tehran. ..."
"... But perhaps a bigger pressure on Trump to de-certify comes from three of his biggest political donors : Sheldon Adelson , Paul Singer , and Bernard Marcus . All three have funded groups that sought to thwart the negotiations leading to the JCPOA, including Dubowitz's FDD, and have given generously to Trump. ..."
"... Adelson has also financed Israel's largest circulation daily newspaper, whose support for Netanyahu and his right-wing government earned it the nickname "Bibiton." ..."
Oct 16, 2017 | fpif.org

The Post credits Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) with this "fix it or nix it" approach to U.S. compliance with the JCPOA. Indeed, Cotton laid out essentially this very strategy in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in which he proposed that the president should decertify Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal based on Iran's actions in unrelated areas and toughen key components of the agreement, arguing that the deal fails to serve U.S. national security interests.

This plan has a low likelihood of success because Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif says that the JCPOA will not be renegotiated and European governments have urged Trump to stick with the pact.

Despite the potential pitfalls of Cotton and Netanyahu's plan, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley embraced the approach. Haley, a possible replacement for embattled Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, tweeted yesterday, "[Sen. Tom Cotton] has clear understanding of the Iranian regime & flaws in the nuclear deal. His [CFR] speech is worth reading."

But Cotton has been clear that renegotiating the nuclear deal isn't his actual intention. In 2015, he made no secret of his desire to blow up diplomacy with Iran, saying :

The United States must cease all appeasement, conciliation, and concessions towards Iran, starting with the sham nuclear negotiations. Certain voices call for congressional restraint, urging Congress not to act now lest Iran walk away from the negotiating table, undermining the fabled yet always absent moderates in Iran. But, the end of these negotiations isn't an unintended consequence of Congressional action, it is very much an intended consequence. A feature, not a bug, so to speak."

Later that same year, Cotton explained his terms for any agreement with Iran, qualities that more closely resemble a surrender document than anything the Iranians would agree to in a negotiation. Cotton said :

Any agreement that advances our interests must by necessity compromise Iran's -- doubly so since they are a third-rate power, far from an equal to the United States. The ayatollahs shouldn't be happy with any deal; they should've felt compelled to accept a deal of our choosing lest they face economic devastation and military destruction of their nuclear infrastructure. That Iran welcomes this agreement is both troubling and telling.

Indeed, Cotton and his fellow proponents of the president de-certifying Iranian compliance, despite all indications that Iran is complying with the JCPOA, have a not-so-thinly-veiled goal of regime change in Tehran, a position in which the JCPOA and any negotiations with Iran pose a serious threat. Ben Armbruster, writing for LobeLog last week, detailed the ways in which Mark Dubowitz , CEO of the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies , pushes for a so-called "better deal" while explicitly calling for regime change in Tehran.

But perhaps a bigger pressure on Trump to de-certify comes from three of his biggest political donors : Sheldon Adelson , Paul Singer , and Bernard Marcus . All three have funded groups that sought to thwart the negotiations leading to the JCPOA, including Dubowitz's FDD, and have given generously to Trump.

"I think that Iran is the devil," said Marcus in a 2015 Fox Business interview . Adelson told a Yeshiva University audience in 2013 that U.S. negotiators should launch a nuclear weapon at Iran as a negotiating tactic. Adelson may hold radical views about the prudence of a nuclear attack on Iran, but he appears to enjoy easy access to Trump. Adelson and his wife, Miriam, who were Trump's biggest financial supporters by far during his presidential run, met with the president at Adelson's headquarters in Las Vegas recently, ostensibly to discuss the recent mass shooting there.

But Andy Abboud, senior vice president Government Relations for Adelson's Sands Corporation, told the Adelson-owned Las Vegas Review Journal that the meeting was "pre-arranged and set to discuss policy," according to the paper .

Adelson has also financed Israel's largest circulation daily newspaper, whose support for Netanyahu and his right-wing government earned it the nickname "Bibiton."

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and U.S. foreign policy. He's previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.

[Oct 16, 2017] Instead of blaming herself for selling herself to Wall Street and converting into yet another warmonger Hillary is still acusing the Kremlin. What a pathetic loser

It is so convenient to blame Russians ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... "We know Russian agents used Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even Pinterest to place targeted attack ads and negative stories intended not to hurt just me but to fan the flames of division in our society. Russians posed as Americans pretending to be LGBT and gun rights activists, even Muslims, saying things they knew would cause distress." ..."
"... She said some of the basics of the Russian interference in the 2016 election had been known, but "we were in the dark about the weaponisation of social media". She cited new research from Columbia University showing that attack ads on Facebook paid for in roubles were seen by 10 million people in crucial swing states and had been shared up to 340m times. ..."
"... Clinton said the matter of whether Trump's campaign cooperated with Russian interference was a subject for congressional investigation. But she called for anyone found guilty of such cooperation with Moscow to be subject to civil and criminal law. "The Russians are still playing on anything and everything they can to turn Americans against each other," she said. ..."
"... "In addition to hacking our elections, they are hacking our discourse and our unity. We are in the middle of a global struggle between liberal democracy and a rising tide of illiberalism and authoritarianism. This is a kind of new cold war and it is just getting starting." ..."
Oct 16, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Originally from: Cyber cold war is just getting started, claims Hillary Clinton

This power hungry woman are just plain vanilla incompetent: "The Russian campaign was leading to nationalism in Europe, democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland, and a loss of faith in democracy, she said."

Democrats had urged her to be silent after her defeat to Trump but she was not going to go away, said Clinton. She vowed to play her part in an attempt to win back Democratic seats in the forthcoming midterm elections. She admitted she "just collapsed with real grief and disappointment" after her election defeat.

Clinton, who is touring the country to promote What Happened – her memoir reflecting on the election defeat, told the BBC's Andrew Marr: "Looking at the Brexit vote now, it was a precursor to some extent of what happened to us in the United States."

She decried the amount of fabricated information voters were given: "You know, the big lie is a very potent tool and we've somewhat kept it at bay in western democracies, partly because of the freedom of the press. There has to be some basic level of fact and evidence in all parts of our society."

She urged Britain to be cautious about striking a trade deal with Trump, saying he did not believe in free trade.

In other comments during the Cheltenham literary festival, she accused the Kremlin of waging an information war throughout the 2016 US election process. The tactics "were a clear and present danger to western democracy and it is right out of the Putin playbook", she said.

"We know Russian agents used Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even Pinterest to place targeted attack ads and negative stories intended not to hurt just me but to fan the flames of division in our society. Russians posed as Americans pretending to be LGBT and gun rights activists, even Muslims, saying things they knew would cause distress."

She said some of the basics of the Russian interference in the 2016 election had been known, but "we were in the dark about the weaponisation of social media". She cited new research from Columbia University showing that attack ads on Facebook paid for in roubles were seen by 10 million people in crucial swing states and had been shared up to 340m times.

Clinton said the matter of whether Trump's campaign cooperated with Russian interference was a subject for congressional investigation. But she called for anyone found guilty of such cooperation with Moscow to be subject to civil and criminal law. "The Russians are still playing on anything and everything they can to turn Americans against each other," she said.

"In addition to hacking our elections, they are hacking our discourse and our unity. We are in the middle of a global struggle between liberal democracy and a rising tide of illiberalism and authoritarianism. This is a kind of new cold war and it is just getting starting."

The Russian campaign was leading to nationalism in Europe, democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland, and a loss of faith in democracy, she said.

[Oct 16, 2017] Assange: It is not just her constant lying. It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement. Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen

Lady Makbeth of the USA?
Oct 16, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
In an interview with the ABC's Four Corners program, to air on Monday night, Clinton alleges that Assange cooperated with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin , to disrupt the US election and damage her campaign for president.

"WikiLeaks is unfortunately now practically a fully owned subsidiary of Russian intelligence," Clinton told the ABC's Sarah Ferguson .

Describing Putin as a "dictator", Clinton said the damaging email leaks that crippled her 2016 candidacy were part of a coordinated operation against her, directed by the Russian government.

Our intelligence community and other observers of Russia and Putin have said he held a grudge against me because as secretary of state, I stood up against some of his actions, his authoritarianism," Clinton told the ABC.

"But it's much bigger than that. He wants to destabilise democracy, he wants to undermine America, he wants to go after the Atlantic alliance, and we consider Australia an extension of that."

WikiLeaks received thousands of hacked emails from accounts connected to the Democratic campaign allegedly stolen by Russian operatives. The emails were released during a four-month period in the lead-up to the US election.

Emails from the Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, were leaked on the same day – 7 October 2016 – the director of national intelligence and the secretary of homeland security released a statement concluding the Russian government had been attempting to interfere in the election.

It was also the day the Washington Post published the 2005 Access Hollywood recording of Donald Trump's lewd comments about sexually harassing women .

Clinton told the ABC she believed the email leak was coordinated to disrupt the influence of the Access Hollywood tape.

"WikiLeaks, which in the world in which we find ourselves promised hidden information, promised some kind of secret that might be of influence, was a very clever, diabolical response to the Hollywood Access tape," she said. "And I've no doubt in my mind that there was some communication if not coordination to drop those the first time in response to the Hollywood Access tape."

Clinton is promoting her election memoir, What Happened, in which she details her thoughts on her unsuccessful campaign for president .

In September she told David Remnick from the New Yorker that she believed the Australian founder of WikiLeaks may be "on the payroll of the Kremlin" .

"I think he is part nihilist, part anarchist, part exhibitionist, part opportunist, who is either actually on the payroll of the Kremlin or in some way supporting their propaganda objectives, because of his resentment toward the United States, toward Europe," she said.

"He's like a lot of the voices that we're hearing now, which are expressing appreciation for the macho authoritarianism of a Putin. And they claim to be acting in furtherance of transparency, except they never go after the Kremlin or people on that side of the political ledger."

Assange has denied the emails came from the Russian government or any other "state parties".

In response to Clinton's comments, Assange said on Twitter there was "something wrong with Hillary Clinton".

"It is not just her constant lying," he wrote. "It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement.

"Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen."

Julian Assange 🔹 (@JulianAssange)

There's something wrong with Hillary Clinton. It is not just her constant lying. It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement. Watch closely. Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen. https://t.co/JNw2dkXgdu

October 15, 2017

[Oct 15, 2017] New McCarthyism Targets Trump by John V. Walsh

I thought the same way as John in January 2017. We both were definitely wrong. As were many people who voted for Trump in a hope to block ascendance of neocon warmonger Hillary Clinton to power. Now it is unclear whether Hillary Clinton would be so disastrous in foreign policy as Trump or slightly less so.
The period when Trump was at least formally ant-war is firmly in the past now and probably ended with inauguration. In April Trump folded to neocons and destroyed his anti-war credentials with Tomahawk salvo in Syria. Instead of fighting "the Washington swap" as he promised to his voters, he became a part of the swamp. In August Trump himself emerged as a bona-fide warmonger stoking the tension with North Korea. And in October he decertified Iran deal.
Notable quotes:
"... The implications of this move are, arguably, breathtaking. Trump treated Putin as his ally, not as a hated adversary. And he treated Obama and the bipartisan foreign policy elite of Washington as his adversaries, not his allies -- a move that makes perfect sense if Trump's desire is to rein in the War Party's New Cold War and to strive for a New Détente with Russia. ..."
"... If the main enemy is those who are stoking the New Cold War and risking worse, then Trump has placed himself squarely against these war hawks. And stop to consider for a moment who these folks are. Besides President Obama and Hillary Clinton, they represent a full-blown armchair army: neocons, liberal interventionists, the mainstream media, various Soros-funded "non-governmental organizations," virtually all the important think tanks, the leadership of both major parties, and the CIA and the other U.S. intelligence agencies. This array of Official Washington's power elite has been working 24/7 at demonizing Putin and stoking tensions with nuclear-armed Russia. Trump took on all of them on with his tweet! ..."
"... As Trump looks for new allies in pursuit of a New Détente and a relaxation of U.S.-Russian tensions, Putin is foremost among them. Thus, in the struggle for peace, Trump has drawn new lines, and they cross national borders. Not since Ronald Reagan embraced Mikhail Gorbachev or Richard Nixon went to China have we seen a development like this. In this new battle to reduce tensions between nuclear powers, Trump has shown considerable courage, taking on a wide range of attackers. ..."
Jan 04, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

... ... ...

When President Obama expelled Russian diplomats over the hysterical and unproven accusation of Russia "hacking the election," Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to be drawn into a petty squabble, saying he would delay any response until Donald Trump assumed office. Instead Putin invited American diplomats and their families in Moscow to join the official holiday celebrations in the Kremlin.

Then came the shock that shook Official Washington: President-elect Trump, in the form of a tweet heard round the world, wrote: "Great move on delay (by V. Putin) -- I always knew he was very smart!"

And just to be sure that everyone saw it, Trump "pinned" the tweet which means it is the first thing seen by viewers of his account. This was a first use of "pinning" for Trump. And to be doubly sure, he posted it on Instagram as well. This was no spontaneous midnight outburst but a very deliberate action taken on Friday noon, Dec. 30, the day after Obama had issued his retaliation order.

The implications of this move are, arguably, breathtaking. Trump treated Putin as his ally, not as a hated adversary. And he treated Obama and the bipartisan foreign policy elite of Washington as his adversaries, not his allies -- a move that makes perfect sense if Trump's desire is to rein in the War Party's New Cold War and to strive for a New Détente with Russia.

If the main enemy is those who are stoking the New Cold War and risking worse, then Trump has placed himself squarely against these war hawks. And stop to consider for a moment who these folks are. Besides President Obama and Hillary Clinton, they represent a full-blown armchair army: neocons, liberal interventionists, the mainstream media, various Soros-funded "non-governmental organizations," virtually all the important think tanks, the leadership of both major parties, and the CIA and the other U.S. intelligence agencies. This array of Official Washington's power elite has been working 24/7 at demonizing Putin and stoking tensions with nuclear-armed Russia. Trump took on all of them on with his tweet!

Putin as Ally Against the War Party

As Trump looks for new allies in pursuit of a New Détente and a relaxation of U.S.-Russian tensions, Putin is foremost among them. Thus, in the struggle for peace, Trump has drawn new lines, and they cross national borders. Not since Ronald Reagan embraced Mikhail Gorbachev or Richard Nixon went to China have we seen a development like this. In this new battle to reduce tensions between nuclear powers, Trump has shown considerable courage, taking on a wide range of attackers.

Later that afternoon, Maya Kosoff writing for Vanity Fair put out an article entitled "Twitter Melts Down over 'Treason' After Trump Praises Putin." The first batch of such tweets came from "journalists and other foreign policy experts," the next from Evan McMullin, the former CIA officer who tried to draw off Republican votes from Trump in the general election, who tweeted: "To be clear, @realDonaldTrump is siding with America's greatest adversary even as it attacks our democracy. Never grow desensitized to this."

Finally came the predictable rash of tweets calling Trump's words "treasonous" or "seditious." In response, Team Trump refused to issue a "clarification," saying instead that Trump's words spoke for themselves.

As stunning as Trump's tweet was in many ways, it was in other ways entirely predictable. Despite the mainstream media's scorn and Hillary Clinton's mocking him as Putin's "puppet," Trump has held firm to his promise that he will seek peace with Russia and look for areas of cooperation such as fighting terrorism.

So, even when Trump's Russia comments appeared to cost him politically, he stuck with them, suggesting that he believes that this détente is important. The rule of thumb is that if a politician says something that will win votes, you do not know whether it is conviction or opportunism. But if a politician says something that should lose her or him votes, then you can bet it is heartfelt.

Trump was bashed over his resistance to the New Cold War both during the Republican primaries when many GOP leaders were extremely hawkish on Russia and during the general election when the Clinton campaign sought to paint him as some sort of Manchurian Candidate. Even his vice presidential candidate Mike Pence staked out a more hawkish position than Trump.

Trump stood by his more dovish attitude though it presented few electoral advantages and many negatives. By that test, he appears to be sincere. So, his latest opening to Putin was entirely predictable.

A Choice of Peace or War

What is troubling, however, is that some Americans who favor peace hate Trump so much that they recoil from speaking out in his defense over his "treasonous" tweet though they may privately agree with it. Some progressives are uncomfortable with the mainstream's descent into crude McCarthyism but don't want to say anything favorable about Trump.

After all, a vote for President is either thumbs up or thumbs down -- nothing in between -- though voters may like or dislike some policy prescriptions of one candidate and other positions of another candidate. And progressives could list many reasons to not vote for Trump.

But a presidential administration is multi-issued -- not all or none. One can disagree with a president on some issues and agree on others. For instance, many progressives are outraged over Trump's harsh immigration policies but agree with him on scrapping the TPP trade deal.

In other words, there is no reason why those who claim to be for peace should not back Trump on his more peaceful approach toward Putin and Russia, even if they disdain his tough talk about fighting terrorism. That is the reality of politics.

What I've discovered is that many progressives -- as well as many on the Right -- who oppose endless war and disdain empire will tell you in whispers that they do support Trump's attempt at Détente 2.0, though they doubt he will succeed. In the meantime, they are keeping their heads down and staying quiet.

But clearly Trump's success depends on how much support he gets -- as weighed against how much grief he gets. By lacking the courage to defend Trump's "treasonous tweet," those who want to rein in the warmongers may be missing a rare opportunity. If those who agree with Trump on this issue stay silent, it may be a lost opportunity as well.

John V. Walsh, an anti-war activist, can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com

[Oct 15, 2017] Could we reverse a hacked presidential election by Vinay Nayak and Samuel Breidbart

Those two "propaganda solders" from Yale release outright lies about "stealing information from 90,000 voting records in the state of Illinois alone. " as it this is a fact. Looks like those students learned quickly from their Yale "color revolution" teachers ;-)
The USA perfected election interference technique in dozen of color revolution in xUSSR republics and other areas of the globe. Actually the first color revolution was organized in 1974.
Now DemoRats (neoliberal Democrats of Clinton wing of the party) and elements of intelligence agencies and MS who support them simply can not quit... Now quitting involved potential significant PR damage... McCarthyism has its own internal dynamics. The danger for DemoRats (neoliberal Democrats of Clinton wing of the party) now is that if Russian were investigated why Israelis and Saudies (along with other Gulf monarchies) were not.
Please note that Yale is the main US educational institution that teaches foreign students color revolution theory and practice... See, for example Sott.net and Kerry Re-writes History of U.S. Support for Color Revolutions
Notable quotes:
"... Setting Trump aside, what if a foreign government succeeds in the future in electing an American president through active vote manipulation? ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | www.msn.com

In the past few weeks, we have learned that the Russian government reached more than 10 million Americans with a misinformation campaign on Facebook, and that hackers targeted 21 state election systems , stealing information from 90,000 voting records in the state of Illinois alone. These are just the latest of many revelations about Russia's unprecedented interference in the election.

It is cold comfort that we have no evidence so far that Moscow actually manipulated vote tallies to change the election's outcome.

But what if it emerges that Russian operatives were successful on that front as well? Setting Trump aside, what if a foreign government succeeds in the future in electing an American president through active vote manipulation?

The Constitution offers no clear way to remedy such a disaster.

Any evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia raises its own set of important issues -- now being assiduously investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller. But the disturbing scenario in which hackers manipulate election results, conceivably rendering the true vote tally unrecoverable, would pose a unique threat to a foundational principle of our democracy: rule by the consent of the governed. We would in no sense have a government "by the people."

Although such a constitutional crisis now seems all too plausible, we have yet to seriously consider provisions that might protect our democracy -- measures that could allow us to reverse such a result.

... ... ...

Vinay Nayak and Samuel Breidbart are students at Yale Law School.

[Oct 15, 2017] The Mysterious World of Social Media Manipulation by Samuel Earle

When people stop to trust MSM, rumor mill emerges as a substitute. Neoliberal MSM lost people trust. Now what ?
Notable quotes:
"... But social media manipulation did not begin or end with the election. As early as 2011, the US government hired a public relations firm to develop a " persona management tool " that would develop and control fake profiles on social media for political purposes. ..."
"... The British parent company of Cambridge Analytica, Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL), has been a client of the government for years, working with the Department of Defense, and The Washington Post ..."
"... There is also growing awareness of hundreds of thousands of so-called "sleeper" bots: Accounts that have tweeted only once or twice for Trump, and which now sit silently, waiting for a trigger -- a key political moment -- to spread disinformation and drown out opposing views. ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | www.msn.com

Now the focus is less on Trump's extensive personal social media following and more on the roles that Facebook and Twitter may have played in alleged Russian interference in the election. Congress is calling on Facebook and Twitter to disclose details about how they may have been used by Russia-linked entities to try to influence the election in favor of Trump.

But despite the much-publicized case in the U.S., the pervasiveness of these political strategies on social media, from the distribution of disinformation to organized attacks on opponents, the tactics remain largely unknown to the public, as invisible as they are invasive. Citizens are exposed to them the world over, often without ever realizing it.

Drawing on two recent reports by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and independent research, Newsweek has outlined the covert ways in which states and other political actors use social media to manipulate public opinion around the world, focusing on six illustrative examples: the U.S., Azerbaijan, Israel, China, Russia and the U.K.

It reveals how "Cyber-troops" -- the name given to this new political force by the OII -- are enlisted by states, militaries and parties to secure power and undermine opponents, through a combination of public funding, private contracts and volunteers, and how bots -- fake accounts that purport to be real people -- can produce as many as 1,000 social media posts a day.

By generating an illusion of support for an idea or candidate in this way, bots drive up actual support by sparking a bandwagon effect -- making something or someone seem normal and like a palatable, common-sense option. As the director of the OII, Philip Howard, argues : "If you use enough of them, of bots and people, and cleverly link them together, you are what's legitimate. You are creating truth."

On social media, the consensus goes to whoever has the strongest set of resources to make it.

The U.S.: Rise of the bots

America sees a wider range of actors attempting to shape and manipulate public opinion online than any country -- with governments, political parties, and individual organizations all involved.

In its report, the OII describes 2016's Trump vs. Hillary Clinton presidential contest as a " watershed moment " when social media manipulation was "at an all-time high."

Many of the forces at play have been well-reported: whether the hundreds of thousands of bots or the right-wing sites like Breitbart distributing divisive stories. In Michigan, in the days before the election, fake news was shared as widely as professional journalism . Meanwhile firms like Cambridge Analytica, self-described specialists in "election management," worked for Trump to target swing voters, mainly on Facebook.

While Hillary Clinton's campaign also engaged in such tactics, with big-data and pro-Clinton bots multiplying in number as her campaign progressed, Trump's team proved the most effective. Overall, pro-Trump bots generated five times as much activity at key moments of the campaign as pro-Clinton ones. These Twitter bots -- which often had zero followers -- copied each other's messages and sent out advertisements alongside political content. They regularly retweeted Dan Scavino, Trump's social media director.

One high-ranking Republican Party figure told OII that campaigning on social media was like "the Wild West." "Anything goes as long as your candidate is getting the most attention," he said. And it worked: A Harvard study concluded that overall Trump received 15 percent more media coverage than Clinton.

Targeted advertising to specific demographics was also central to Trump's strategy. Clinton spent two and a half times more than Trump on television adverts and had a 73% share of nationally focused digital ads.

But Trump's team, led by Cambridge Analytica for the final months, focused on sub-groups. In one famous example, an anti-Clinton ad that repeated her notorious speech from 1996 describing so-called "super-predators" was shown exclusively to African-American voters on Facebook in areas where the Republicans hoped to suppress the Democrat vote -- and again, it worked.

"It's well known that President Obama's campaign pioneered the use of microtargeting in 2012," a spokesperson for Cambridge Analytica tells Newsweek . "But big data and new ad tech are now revolutionizing communications and marketing, and Cambridge Analytica is at the forefront of this paradigm shift."

"Communication enhances democracy, not endangers it. We enable voters to have their concerns heard, and we help political candidates communicate their policy positions."

The firm argues that its partnership with American right-wing candidates -- first Ted Cruz and then Trump -- is purely circumstantial. "We work in politics, but we're not political," the spokesperson said.

The company is part-owned by the family of Robert Mercer, which was one of Trump's major donors, while Stephen K. Bannon sat on the company's board until he was appointed White House chief strategist (he was dismissed from his post seven months later). According to Bannon's March federal financial disclosure, he held shares worth as much as $5 million in the company . On October 11, it was also revealed that the House Intelligence Committee has asked the company to provide information for its ongoing probe into Russian interference.

But social media manipulation did not begin or end with the election. As early as 2011, the US government hired a public relations firm to develop a " persona management tool " that would develop and control fake profiles on social media for political purposes.

The British parent company of Cambridge Analytica, Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL), has been a client of the government for years, working with the Department of Defense, and The Washington Post reports that it recently secured work with the State Department.

There is also growing awareness of hundreds of thousands of so-called "sleeper" bots: Accounts that have tweeted only once or twice for Trump, and which now sit silently, waiting for a trigger -- a key political moment -- to spread disinformation and drown out opposing views.

Emilio Ferrara, an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Southern California Computer Science department, even suggests the possibility of "a black-market for reusable political disinformation bots," ready to be utilitized wherever they are needed, the world over. These fears appeared to be confirmed by reports that the same bots used to back Trump were then deployed against eventual winner Emmanuel Macron in this year's French presidential election.

[Oct 15, 2017] Did Trump Call for Ten Times More Nukes, asks Ron Paul

Oct 15, 2017 | www.antiwar.com

October 11, 2017 The media is having a field day with a supposedly leaked report that President Trump called for a ten-fold increase in US nuclear weapons in July. That is the occasion of Secretary of State Tillerson calling the president a "moron," according to the media. It's all supposed to point to how ridiculous President Trump is for wanting more nuclear weapons. But who's idea was the current one trillion dollar nuclear weapons "modernization" plan? It was then-president Obama's idea. And who appropriated the money to get started? Congress. More on the bipartisan support for military corporate welfare in today's Ron Paul Liberty Report:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/HNBiE142xqg

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity .

[Oct 14, 2017] The Russiagate Scandal Descends Into Total Absurdity

Oct 14, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
A reasonable person would also conclude that the tiny number of these advertisements and comments – unearthed after frantic and relentless searches by the social media platforms after they were put under intense pressure from the politicians to come up with something – their vague and contradictory material, and their nebulous connection to Russia, in fact proves that there was NO sinister Russian plot to swing last year's election to Donald Trump by using social media, or even a Russian plot via social media to create doubts about it.

There is however nothing remotely reasonable about the true believers of the Russiagate scandal. On the contrary they have latched onto this material – whose lack of substance in fact proves the absurdity of their claims – not as disproving their claims but rather as vindication that what they have been saying all along about "Russian meddling in the election" has now been proved to be true. A whole stream of strange articles (see for example this one in the Financial Times) has appeared in the establishment media which all but say this.

To which one can only say that when evidence of the non-existence of a conspiracy is taken as proof of its existence it becomes clear that all connection to reality and indeed to sanity has been lost.

(4) Attempted Russian hacking of state voting systems

In some ways this was the most bizarre recent claim of all. It has been thoroughly discussed by Glenn Greenwald and to his commentary I have little to add.

What makes this episode bizarre is that the claim that the Russians hacked or attempted to hack the voting systems of US states is one which has been made repeatedly over the course of the scandal, only to be invariably and repeatedly proved to be false.

The latest iteration of this claim was in an article in USA Today sourced from the Department of Homeland Security which claimed that the Russians had attempted to hack the voting systems of 21 states.

Needless to say the claim was immediately picked up and repeated with enthusiasm by all sorts of people until two of the states involved – Wisconsin and California – categorically denied it, upon which the Department of Homeland Security was forced to issue a retraction.

To which one can only ask: how often does this story have to be refuted before it is accepted as false?

* * *

Overall one senses a scandalous story of nefarious collusion and double-dealing between the Trump campaign and Russia which now rests on nothing but hot air as all attempts to prove it true fail one by one.

In the meantime the American public and even parts of the media are losing interest, as shown by the fact that the scandal hardly comes up in White House news conferences any more.

Serious damage however continues to be done.

The scandal has paralysed the foreign policy of the US government as Donald Trump's signature policy upon which he was elected – rapprochement with Russia – has been blocked because of a concocted scandal with no substance behind it.

The result unsurprisingly is an angry President, resentful at how his signature policy has been blocked, who having no clear idea what to do, is hitting out in all directions, sometimes by behaving spitefully towards his own staff.

Moreover, as the disintegration of the scandal makes it all but impossible for the President to be removed from office through his impeachment (the original intention of those who concocted it), this chaotic and unhappy state of affairs looks likely to continue indefinitely.

* * *

But then - Just when you thought the Hillary Clinton concocted 'Russia election meddling' story could not get any more stupid, CNN outdoes itself.

(5) CNN Claims Russia Used 'Pokemon Go' To Meddle In US Election

via Alex Christoforou ,

Putin has weaponized Pokemon to subvert US democracy.

Never mind Russia dismantling America's democratic system with only $100,000 in Facebook ads , which did not even discuss the US election, Russia has now weaponized Pokemon.

We can now expect to see Pokemon characters subpoenaed to testify in front of Congress.

Exclusive: Russian-linked meddling effort extended to YouTube, Tumblr and even Pokémon Go https://t.co/Tw6WATNizC pic.twitter.com/bCvVYPKIki

-- CNN (@CNN) October 12, 2017

Via The Gateway Pundit

CNN broke an 'exclusive' story on Thursday in their desperate attempt to publish anything with the word 'Russians' in the title. CNN is now claiming the Russians meddled in the 2016 presidential election through Pokemon Go.

How did we go from Trump colluded with the Kremlin to Pokemon ads?

your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

vortmax , Oct 13, 2017 6:58 PM

"The scandal which more than anything else has defined his Presidency"

Stopped reading there.

GUS100CORRINA -> vortmax , Oct 13, 2017 7:00 PM

The Russiagate Scandal Descends Into Total Absurdity

My response : So is Mueller fired???? Inquiring minds want to know.

TGDavis -> GUS100CORRINA , Oct 13, 2017 7:05 PM

No, Mueller will continue until someone commits a crime.

Rapunzal -> TGDavis , Oct 13, 2017 7:13 PM

It was from day 1 absurd. But they keep the story running because the goal of the parasitic elites is to control the narrative on the news channels. They will get even more aggressive the closer we will get to the final economic collapse. They need to overload us with any BS they can find to completely kill our senses for what is real and what not. They don't even care we find out about all the false flags and hoaxes because tomorrow will be a new one. It's called information overload.

MozartIII -> Rapunzal , Oct 13, 2017 7:42 PM

They got nothing. Fucking Maroons!!!

loebster -> MozartIII , Oct 13, 2017 8:05 PM

Russiagate is the Joowitch elite's way of keeping Trump on track with WW3.

http://biblicisminstitute.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/the-truth-about-the-c...

JohnG -> loebster , Oct 13, 2017 8:51 PM

" Even as the Trump administration disintegrates – with the President publicly quarrelling with his Secretary of State......"

Here we go with anti-Trump Tyler again. Trump is doing JUST FUCKING FINE, and sez you, MF'er.

Kelly was clearly fucking with the press when he "denied" he was about to resign.

Fuck You fella, gal, whatever xe you tend to be today.......

SafelyGraze -> JohnG , Oct 14, 2017 12:28 AM

cnn has jumped the covfefe

Manthong -> SafelyGraze , Oct 14, 2017 10:05 AM

The Russians hacking Pac-Man to influence a Trump win has to be the looniest story.

Oh, it wasn't Pac-Man?

Well, that one is next.

[Oct 14, 2017] The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted. Mission accomplished by Mike Whitney

Anybody who subscript of NYT, or WaPo after this fiasco is simply paying money for state propaganda.
Notable quotes:
"... Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said: "We feel very confident that the ICA's accuracy is going to be supported by our committee. " ..."
"... Burr's statement is an example of "confirmation bias" which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one's own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of "hand-picked" analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. ..."
"... This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see, the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors' lack of objectivity. There's a considerable amount of speculation about Putin's motives and preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It's a bit shocking that professional analysts -- who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters of national security -- would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and psycho-babble. ..."
"... The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It's beyond me. The report's greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they'd realize that it's nonsense. ..."
"... How can the committee conduct "100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts" without producing a shred of evidence that Russia meddled in the elections? How is that possible? The Committee's job is to prove its case not to merely pour over the minutia related to the investigation. No one really cares how many people testified or how much paperwork was involved. What people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem: "There are concerns that we continue to pursue. Collusion? The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven't any." ..."
"... Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple. ..."
"... Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype? ..."
"... It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war. ..."
"... If the Senate can 'assess,' so can I! I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can't prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact. ..."
"... This report is as bogus as the "9/11 Commission Report". Both commissions members were hand-picked by those guys that have a vested interest in the right outcome. ..."
"... In the end, Robert Mueller, an Obama/Clinton/Comey/Brennan stooge, will produce some "evidence" about so-called Russian meddling as far-fetched this may be. And the fawning media will go for it. The American public will get the report, which it deserves. ..."
"... But what is missing is that this "Russian Hacking" story was not nonsense, it worked. After Trump was elected, the establishment panicked and went into full attack mode. The headlines were screaming, thought went out the window, it looked like Trump was going to be hounded out of office by force majeure. Then Trump buckled, and shot those missiles at the Syrian air base, and we are back on track throwing away trillions of dollars on endless pointless winless foreign wars in places of zero strategic interest to us. ..."
"... Having served its purpose, the Russian 'hacking' stories are tapering off, being continued more out of momentum and habit than true focused intent. Oh sure, the corporate press still publicly despises Trump, but the intensity is gone. They are just going through the motions, it is no longer important, just political theater. ..."
"... The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted. Mission accomplished. ..."
"... The inaptly named Intelligence Community just never busts out. However much it has gotten flat out wrong and however much it has flat out missed over the years, however much its blunders and mistakes have cost us and our victims in treasure and blood, it just never busts out. There is always an excuse. The closest the Borg ever came to any gesture towards accountability was the Church committee post Watergate, ancient history, lessons purposefully buried and lost to the legions of bureaucrats blundering their way through the last 40 years. ..."
"... Good article on something everyone who is well researched and truth seeking already knows; the Russian Collusion story is a hatchet job by incompetent political hacks. The only power they USED to have is an obsessive never give up faith in the power of lying. ..."
"... So what ? Truth is no longer an issue in USA politics: Christopher Lasch, 'The Culture of Narcissism, American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations', 1979, 1980, London ..."
"... Even today there was another AP hit piece about those 201 Russian Twitter handles, and zero perspective about the kind of math that renders 201 out of 24 billion a speck of dust. You really have to depend on a dumbed down population to get them to buy this stuff. ..."
"... If all we hear are endless allusions to what are just opinions, meetings, plans, criticism, etc what is being investigated? This is literally suggesting that some in Washington and US media are not mature enough, smart enough, or sane enough to be taken seriously. How are they planning to recover the basic level of rationality after this fiasco? ..."
Oct 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

Originally from: The Senate Intelligence Committee Finds No Evidence of Russian Hacking or Collusion

The Senate Intelligence Committee has made it clear that it is not conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russian hacking, but making a determined effort to support a theory that was presented in the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said: "We feel very confident that the ICA's accuracy is going to be supported by our committee. "

Burr's statement is an example of "confirmation bias" which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one's own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of "hand-picked" analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. In other words, the intelligence was fixed to fit the policy. Burr of course has tried to conceal his prejudice by pointing to the number of witnesses the Committee has interviewed and the volume of work that's been produced. This is from an article at The Nation:

Since January 23, the committee and its staff have conducted more than 100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts, and reviewed more than 100,000 documents relevant to Russiagate. The staff, said Warner, has collectively spent a total of 57 hours per day, seven days a week, since the committee opened its inquiry, going through documents and transcripts, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing both classified and unclassified material.

It all sounds very impressive, but if the goal is merely to lend credibility to unverified assumptions, then what's the point? Let's take a look at a few excerpts from the report and see whether Burr and Warner are justified in "feeling confident" in the ICA's accuracy. From the Intelligence Community Assessment:

We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see, the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors' lack of objectivity. There's a considerable amount of speculation about Putin's motives and preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It's a bit shocking that professional analysts -- who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters of national security -- would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and psycho-babble. It's also shocking that Burr and Warner think this gibberish should be taken seriously.

Here's more from the ICA:

Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012, and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him.

More mind-reading, more groundless speculation, more guessing what Putin thinks or doesn't think. The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It's beyond me. The report's greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they'd realize that it's nonsense. Also, it would have been better if the ICA's authors had avoided the amateur psychoanalysis and stuck to the point, Russia hacking. Dabbling in the former seriously impacts the report's credibility.

To their credit, however, Burr and Warner have questioned all of the analysts who contributed to the report. Check out this excerpt from The Nation:

"We have interviewed everybody who had a hand or a voice in the creation of the ICA," said Burr. "We've spent nine times the amount of time that the IC [intelligence community] spent putting the ICA together. We have reviewed all the supporting evidence that went into it and, in addition to that, the things that went on the cutting-room floor that they may not have found appropriate for the ICA, but we may have found relevant to our investigation." Burr added that the committee's review included "highly classified intelligence reporting," and they've interviewed every official in the Obama administration who had anything to do with putting it together. ("Democrats and Republicans in Congress Agree: Russia Did It", The Nation)

That's great, but where' the beef? How can the committee conduct "100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts" without producing a shred of evidence that Russia meddled in the elections? How is that possible? The Committee's job is to prove its case not to merely pour over the minutia related to the investigation. No one really cares how many people testified or how much paperwork was involved. What people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem: "There are concerns that we continue to pursue. Collusion? The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven't any."

Think about that. After "100 interviews, 250 hours of testimony, and 4000 transcript pages" there's not the slightest hint of collusion. It's mindboggling. Why isn't this front page news? Why haven't the New York Times or Washington Post run this in their headlines, after all, they've hyped every other part of this story?

Could it be that Burr's admission doesn't mesh with the media's "Russia did it" narrative so they decided to scrub the story altogether?

But it's not just collusion we're talking about here, there's also the broader issue of Russia meddling. And what was striking about the press conference is that –after all the interviews, all the testimony, and all the stacks of transcripts– the Committee has come up with nothing; no eyewitness testimony supporting the original claims, no smoking gun, no proof of domestic espionage, no evidence of Russian complicity, nothing. One big goose egg.

So here's a question for critical minded readers:

If the Senate Intelligence Committee has not found any proof that Russia hacked the 2016 elections, then why do senators' Burr and Warner still believe the ICA is reliable? It doesn't really make sense, does it? Don't they require evidence to draw their conclusions? And doesn't the burden of truth fall on the prosecution (or the investigators in this case)? Isn't a man innocent until proven guilty or doesn't that rule apply to Russia?

Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple. That's why they have excluded any witnesses that may upset their preconceived theory of what happened. Why, for example, would the committee chose to interview former CIA Director John Brennan rather than WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange? Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype?

Don't bet on it.

What about former UK ambassador Craig Murray, a WikiLeaks colleague, who has repeatedly admitted that he knows the source of the DNC emails. Murray hasn't been asked to testify nor has he even been contacted by the FBI on the matter. Apparently, the FBI has no interest in a credible witness who can disprove the politically-motivated theory expounded in the ICA.

Then there's 30-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern and his group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern has done extensive research on the topic and has produced solid evidence that the DNC emails were "leaked" by an insider, not "hacked" by a foreign government. McGovern's work squares with Assange and Murray's claim that Russia did not hack the 2016 elections. Has McGovern been invited to testify?

How about Skip Folden, retired IBM Program Manager and Information Technology expert, whose excellent report titled "Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge" also disproves the hacking theory, as does The Nation's Patrick Lawrence whose riveting article at The Nation titled "A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack" which thoroughly obliterates the central claims of the ICA.

Finally, there's California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher who met with Assange in August at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and who was assured that Assange would provide hard evidence (in the form of "a computer drive or other data-storage device") that the Russians were not involved in the DNC email scandal.

Wouldn't you think that senate investigators would want to talk to a trusted colleague and credible witness like Rohrabacher who said he could produce solid proof that the scandal, that has dominated the headlines and roiled Washington for the better part of a year, was bogus?

Apparently not. Apparently Burr and his colleagues would rather avoid any witness or evidence that conflicts with their increasingly-threadbare thesis.

So what conclusions can we draw from the Committee's behavior? Are Burr and Warner really conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russia hacking or is this just a witch hunt?

It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war.

Beckow > , October 13, 2017 at 11:00 pm GMT

Where is this going? At some point in the next few years there will be a 'damning' report that will regurgitate what has already been endlessly publicised: VIP's meet each other (the horror!), somehow DNC emails got published, Facebook sold ads to 'Russia-linked' users, and Pokemon Go, whatever. That will be described in sinister terms and RT will be thrown in. How dare RT not to have the same views as CNN?

But what then? Let's even say that Trump is removed – he is at this point so emasculated that keeping him in the White House is the most stabilising thing the establishment could do. Is Congress going to declare a war on Russia? Or more sanctions? Are they going to ban RT? Break diplomatic relations? None of that makes sense because any of those moves would be more costly than beneficial, some dramatically so. Therefore nothing will happen.

All that will remain is permanent bitterness towards Russia, and vice-versa. And much reduced ability to do what the West has done for 75 years: heavy interference and media campaigns inside foreign countries to influence elections. If 'meddling' is so bad, the biggest meddlers – by far – will be less able to meddle. So how is this hysteria helping?

Sanity in public life is a precious thing. Once abandoned, all kinds of strange things start happening. Yeah, Pokemon GO – Putin was personally naming the characters to 'sow division'. It sounds like something Stalin would accuse his 'cosmopolitan' enemies of doing. This is really embarrassing.

utu > , October 14, 2017 at 4:35 am GMT

Incorrect parsing of reality. It was not about getting Trump but it was about making Trump administration to severe relations with Russia. It began with having Gen. Flynn fired. This mission was accomplished. We have now worse relations with Russia than at the end of Obama administration.

Greg Bacon > , Website October 14, 2017 at 9:59 am GMT

If the Senate can 'assess,' so can I! I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can't prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact.

jacques sheete > , October 14, 2017 at 11:45 am GMT

@Johnny Rico

I have been convinced of the ridiculousness of the Russian-hacking/collusion narrative/scandal since it was created in 2016.

I, too, smelled a rat and figured that it was all BS right from the get go. So much so that I haven't followed it a bit. In fact it's so ridiculous on its face, that I have not and probably will not, waste time reading the article even though MW is a good guy, an unimpeachable source, a true journalist, and a fine writer.

Bless you, Mr Whitney, for having the energy to document what is no doubt a pack of lies from the usual suspects.

I stumbled on this yesterday, and it suggests, to no one's surprise, that it's always deja vu all over again. You'd think our "high IQ" masters would show a little originality once in a while, and that we, "Low IQ" as we are, would finally learn that it's all BS from the get-go.

Note the date.:

THESE books all belong to that literature of Katzenjammer which now flourishes so amazingly in the United States t hey all embody attempts to find out what is the matter with the Republic. I wish I could add that one or another of them solves the problem, or at least contributes something to its illumination , but that would be going somewhat beyond the facts.

-H.L. Mencken, Autopsy (4 Reviews), , September 1927 , pp. 123-125 – PDF

http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmMercury-1927sep-00123

jacques sheete > , October 14, 2017 at 12:21 pm GMT

@Thorfinnsson

This makes me suspect that Mike Whitney is a censorious coward on the model of Razib Khan (thankfully expelled from unz.com) or even worse Paul Craig Roberts (who prohibits comments entirely).

While I agree with you about the latter two, and have written them off accordingly, along with Mercer, who I suspect "edits" (really, "purges" ) her comments too, I highly doubt that MW falls into the same categories as those mentioned. At least MW doesn't use the word, "insouciant" 3 or 4 times in every article!

If I am wrong and this article is simply strangely unpopular please let me know and I will apologize.

The article isn't so much unpopular as the subject is wearying. It's the same crud all over again,obviously false, and I suspect virtually everyone knows it. It's utterly boring and I give MW a lot of credit for having the persistence to even face the mindless mess, let alone think and write about it. He really is to be admired for that.

I've always thought it was a distraction as usual from other much more more important things but utu has a better take on it.

it was about making Trump administration to severe relations with Russia. It began with having Gen. Flynn fired. This mission was accomplished. We have now worse relations with Russia than at the end of Obama administration. [ed note:And Flynn is gone too.]

I think that's a "Bingo!" and I also think you better formulate an apology and plan on getting on yer knees to deliver it!

PS: I'm curious as to why you think this is of much interest at all. (Aside from utu's take.)

Michael Kenny > , October 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm GMT

We don't know who this author really is but, once again, what's interesting is that so many people are still so scared of an investigation which is supposedly producing "no evidence" (leaving aside Trump Junior's evidence, of course). If all this was a load of nonsense, why make such a fuss about it? If there's nothing to this, an "effort to support a theory", however "determined" will come up with nothing. The frantic attempts to kill off Russiagate suggest that those who are making such attempts know, or believe, that there actually is something to it which has not yet come to light. Probably something pretty dirty by the sound of it. What if some part of the US intelligence services took part in the manipulation of the election, either in collusion with the Russians or posing as Russians, and Putin can prove it? That would certainly explain the plethora of retired intelligence agents who are so assiduously defending a foreign government. If Putin really is innocent, the common sense way to prove it is to let Russiagate take its natural course.

Captain Nemo > , October 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm GMT

Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia.

Really? Only "now"?! I thought it was pretty much clear from the beginning.

Ludwig Watzal > , Website October 14, 2017 at 1:59 pm GMT

This report is as bogus as the "9/11 Commission Report". Both commissions members were hand-picked by those guys that have a vested interest in the right outcome.

In the end, Robert Mueller, an Obama/Clinton/Comey/Brennan stooge, will produce some "evidence" about so-called Russian meddling as far-fetched this may be. And the fawning media will go for it. The American public will get the report, which it deserves.

TG > , October 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT

Indeed, well said. But what is missing is that this "Russian Hacking" story was not nonsense, it worked. After Trump was elected, the establishment panicked and went into full attack mode. The headlines were screaming, thought went out the window, it looked like Trump was going to be hounded out of office by force majeure. Then Trump buckled, and shot those missiles at the Syrian air base, and we are back on track throwing away trillions of dollars on endless pointless winless foreign wars in places of zero strategic interest to us.

Having served its purpose, the Russian 'hacking' stories are tapering off, being continued more out of momentum and habit than true focused intent. Oh sure, the corporate press still publicly despises Trump, but the intensity is gone. They are just going through the motions, it is no longer important, just political theater.

The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted. Mission accomplished.

Flavius > , October 14, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT

Mike – good article. The inaptly named Intelligence Community just never busts out. However much it has gotten flat out wrong and however much it has flat out missed over the years, however much its blunders and mistakes have cost us and our victims in treasure and blood, it just never busts out. There is always an excuse. The closest the Borg ever came to any gesture towards accountability was the Church committee post Watergate, ancient history, lessons purposefully buried and lost to the legions of bureaucrats blundering their way through the last 40 years.

If it can be gotten wrong, the Borg will get it wrong; it will be gotten wrong at the worst possible time; it will move on to get it wrong again. These are three things that you can absolutely count on.

Joe Hide > , October 14, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

Good article on something everyone who is well researched and truth seeking already knows; the Russian Collusion story is a hatchet job by incompetent political hacks. The only power they USED to have is an obsessive never give up faith in the power of lying.

jilles dykstra > , October 14, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT

So what ? Truth is no longer an issue in USA politics: Christopher Lasch, 'The Culture of Narcissism, American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations', 1979, 1980, London

Pericles > , October 14, 2017 at 6:42 pm GMT

@Mike Whitney Russia collusion does lack credibility, but you're still doing us a great service by following the twists and turns of this beheaded snake. The details are worth reading about, even if there isn't much to argue about regarding the conclusion. So thanks for that.

Biff > , October 14, 2017 at 7:36 pm GMT

Even today there was another AP hit piece about those 201 Russian Twitter handles, and zero perspective about the kind of math that renders 201 out of 24 billion a speck of dust. You really have to depend on a dumbed down population to get them to buy this stuff.

Beckow > , October 14, 2017 at 7:49 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny

"If Putin really is innocent, the common sense way to prove it is to let Russiagate take its natural course."

Innocent of what? What is it exactly that Russia supposedly did? Let me list a few things that are still perfectly legal in our world (that would include US, I hope):

None of the above is either unusual or illegal. It might not look good to some people, but it is what international life has consisted for at least 200 years. If you call that 'meddling', you just might be too naive for the world as it is.

What is the 'natural course' for the investigation? If all we hear are endless allusions to what are just opinions, meetings, plans, criticism, etc what is being investigated? This is literally suggesting that some in Washington and US media are not mature enough, smart enough, or sane enough to be taken seriously. How are they planning to recover the basic level of rationality after this fiasco?

Putin named Pokemon GO characters after BLM victims to stir up racial hatreds in US. How does one answer that? Where would you even start dealing with people who are capable of this level of nonsense?

[Oct 13, 2017] Sympathy for the Corporatocracy by C. J. Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Biting satire...
Notable quotes:
"... The Tonight Show ..."
"... Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook. ..."
"... No, this discontent with the political establishment, corporate elites, and the mainstream media has nothing to do with any of that. It's not like global Capitalism, following the collapse of the U.S.S.R. (its last external ideological adversary), has been restructuring the entire planet in accordance with its geopolitical interests, or doing away with national sovereignty, and other nationalistic concepts that no longer serve a useful purpose in a world where a single ideological system (one backed by the most fearsome military in history) reigns completely unopposed. If that were the case, well, it might behoove us to question whether this outbreak of Nazism, racism, and other forms of "hate," was somehow connected to that historical development and maybe even try to articulate some sort of leftist analysis of that. ..."
"... a world where a single ideology rules the planet unopposed from without ..."
"... Brexit is about Britons who want their country back, a movement indeed getting stronger and stronger in EU member states, but ignored by the ruling 'elites'. ..."
"... A lot of these so called "revolutions" are fomented by the elite only to be subverted and perverted by them in the end. They've had a lot of practice co-opting revolutions and independence movements. ..."
"... "Independence" is now so fashionable (as was Communism among the "elite" back in the '30s), that they are even teaching and fostering independence to kids in kindergarten here in the US. That strikes me as most amusing. Imagine "learning" independence in state run brainwashing factories. ..."
Oct 13, 2017 | www.unz.com

Well all right, let's review what happened, or at least the official version of what happened. Not Hillary Clinton's version of what happened, which Jeffrey St. Clair so incisively skewered , but the Corporatocracy's version of what happened, which overlaps with but is even more ridiculous than Clinton's ridiculous version. To do that, we need to harken back to the peaceful Summer of 2016, (a/k/a the "Summer of Fear" ), when the United States of America was still a shiny city upon a hill whose beacon light guided freedom-loving people, the Nazis were still just a bunch of ass clowns meeting in each other's mother's garages, and Russia was, well Russia was Russia.

Back then, as I'm sure you'll recall, Western democracy, was still primarily being menaced by the lone wolf terrorists, for absolutely no conceivable reason, apart from the terrorists' fanatical desire to brutally murder all non-believers. The global Russo-Nazi Axis had not yet reared its ugly head. President Obama, who, during his tenure, had single-handedly restored America to the peaceful, prosperous, progressive paradise it had been before George W. Bush screwed it up, was on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon slow jamming home the TPP . The Wall Street banks had risen from the ashes of the 2008 financial crisis, and were buying back all the foreclosed homes of the people they had fleeced with subprime mortgages. American workers were enjoying the freedom and flexibility of the new gig economy. Electioneering in the United States was underway, but it was early days. It was already clear that Donald Trump was literally the Second Coming of Hitler , but no one was terribly worried about him yet. The Republican Party was in a shambles. Neither Trump nor any of the other contenders had any chance of winning in November. Nor did Sanders, who had been defeated, fair and square, in the Democratic primaries, mostly because of his racist statements and crazy, quasi-Communist ideas. Basically, everything was hunky dory. Yes, it was going to be terribly sad to have to bid farewell to Obama, who had bailed out all those bankrupt Americans the Wall Street banks had taken to the cleaners, ended all of Bush and Cheney's wars, closed down Guantanamo, and just generally served as a multicultural messiah figure to affluent consumers throughout the free world, but Hope-and-Change was going to continue. The talking heads were all in agreement Hillary Clinton was going to be President, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

Little did we know at the time that an epidemic of Russo-Nazism had been festering just beneath the surface of freedom-loving Western societies like some neo-fascist sebaceous cyst. Apparently, millions of theretofore more or less normal citizens throughout the West had been infected with a virulent strain of Russo-Nazi-engineered virus, because they simultaneously began exhibiting the hallmark symptoms of what we now know as White Supremacist Behavioral Disorder, or Fascist Oppositional Disorder (the folks who update the DSM are still arguing over the official name). It started with the Brexit referendum, spread to America with the election of Trump, and there have been a rash of outbreaks in Europe, like the one we're currently experiencing in Germany . These fascistic symptoms have mostly manifest as people refusing to vote as instructed, and expressing oppressive views on the Internet, but there have also been more serious crimes, including several assaults and murders perpetrated by white supremacists (which, of course, never happened when Obama was President, because the Nazis hadn't been "emboldened" yet).

Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook.

No, this discontent with the political establishment, corporate elites, and the mainstream media has nothing to do with any of that. It's not like global Capitalism, following the collapse of the U.S.S.R. (its last external ideological adversary), has been restructuring the entire planet in accordance with its geopolitical interests, or doing away with national sovereignty, and other nationalistic concepts that no longer serve a useful purpose in a world where a single ideological system (one backed by the most fearsome military in history) reigns completely unopposed. If that were the case, well, it might behoove us to question whether this outbreak of Nazism, racism, and other forms of "hate," was somehow connected to that historical development and maybe even try to articulate some sort of leftist analysis of that.

This hypothetical leftist analysis might want to focus on how Capitalism is fundamentally opposed to Despotism, and is essentially a value-decoding machine which renders everything and everyone it touches essentially valueless interchangeable commodities whose worth is determined by market forces, rather than by societies and cultures, or religions, or other despotic systems (wherein values are established and enforced arbitrarily, by the despot, the church, or the ruling party, or by a group of people who share an affinity and decide they want to live a certain way). This is where it would get sort of tricky, because it (i.e., this hypothetical analysis) would have to delve into the history of Capitalism, and how it evolved out of medieval Despotism, and how it has been decoding despotic values for something like five hundred years. This historical delving (which would probably be too long for people to read on their phones) would demonstrate how Capitalism has been an essentially progressive force in terms of getting us out of Despotism (which, for most folks, wasn't very much fun) by fomenting bourgeois revolutions and imposing some semblance of democracy on societies. It would follow Capitalism's inexorable advance all the way up to the Twentieth Century, in which its final external ideological adversary, fake Communism, suddenly imploded, delivering us to the world we now live in a world where a single ideology rules the planet unopposed from without , and where any opposition to that global ideology can only be internal, or insurgent, in nature (e.g, terrorism, extremism, and so on). Being a hypothetical leftist analysis, it would, at this point, need to stress that, despite the fact that Capitalism helped deliver us from Despotism, and improved the state of society generally (compared to most societies that preceded it), we nonetheless would like to transcend it, or evolve out of it toward some type of society where people, and everything else, including the biosphere we live in, are not interchangeable, valueless commodities exchanged by members of a global corporatocracy who have no essential values, or beliefs, or principles, other than the worship of money. After having covered all that, we might want to offer more a nuanced view of the current neo-nationalist reaction to the Corporatocracy's ongoing efforts to restructure and privatize the rest of the planet. Not that we would support this reaction, or in any way refrain from calling neo-nationalism what it is (i.e., reactionary, despotic, and doomed), but this nuanced view we'd hypothetically offer, by analyzing the larger sociopolitical and historical forces at play, might help us to see the way forward more clearly, and who knows, maybe eventually propose some kind of credible leftist alternative to the "global neoliberalism vs. neo-nationalism" double bind we appear to be hopelessly stuck in at the moment.

Luckily, we don't have to do that (i.e., articulate such a leftist analysis of any such larger historical forces). Because there is no corporatocracy not really. That's just a fake word the Russians made up and are spreading around on the Internet to distract us while the Nazis take over. No, the logical explanation for Trump, Brexit, and anything else that threatens the expansion of global Capitalism, and the freedom, democracy, and prosperity it offers, is that millions of people across the world, all at once, for no apparent reason, woke up one day full-blown fascists and started looking around for repulsive demagogues to swear fanatical allegiance to. Yes, that makes a lot more sense than all that complicated stuff about history and hegemonic ideological systems, which is probably just Russian propaganda anyway, in which case there is absolutely no reason to read any boring year-old pieces, like this one in The European Financial Review , or this report by Corporate Watch , from way back in the year 2000, about the rise of global corporate power.

So, apologies for wasting your time with all that pseudo-Marxian gobbledygook. Let's just pretend this never happened, and get back to more important matters, like statistically proving that Donald Trump got elected President because of racism, misogyny, transphobia, xenophobia, or some other type of behavioral disorder, and pulling down Confederate statues, or kneeling during the National Anthem, or whatever happens to be trending this week. Oh, yeah, and debating punching Nazis, or people wearing MAGA hats. We definitely need to sort all that out before we can move ahead with helping the Corporatocracy remove Trump from office, or at least ensure he remains surrounded by their loyal generals, CEOs, and Goldman Sachs guys until the next election. Whatever we do, let's not get distracted by that stuff I just distracted you with. I know, it's tempting, but, given what's at stake, we need to maintain our laser focus on issues related to identity politics, or else well, you know, the Nazis win.

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

jilles dykstra, October 13, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT

Yesterday evening on RT a USA lady, as usual forgot the name, spoke about the USA. In a matter of fact tone she said things like 'they (Deep State) have got him (Trump) in the box'.

They, Deep State again, are now wondering if they will continue to try to control the world, or if they should stop the attempt, and retreat into the USA.
Also as matter of fact she said 'the CIA has always been the instrument of Deep State, from Kenndy to Nine Eleven'.

Another statement was 'no president ever was in control'.

How USA citizens continue to believe they live in a democracy, I cannot understand.

Yesterday the intentions of the new Dutch government were made public, alas most Dutch also dot not see that the Netherlands since 2005 no longer is a democracy, just a province of Brussels.

You can fool all people .

Che Guava, October 13, 2017 at 4:22 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Jilles,

I am thinking you take the article too literally.

jacques sheete, October 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm GMT

Brexit is about Britons who want their country back, a movement indeed getting stronger and stronger in EU member states, but ignored by the ruling 'elites'.

No doubt many do want their country back, but what concerns me is that all of a sudden we have the concept of "independence" plastered all over the place. Such concepts don't get promoted unless the ruling elites see ways to turn those sentiments to their favor.

A lot of these so called "revolutions" are fomented by the elite only to be subverted and perverted by them in the end. They've had a lot of practice co-opting revolutions and independence movements. (And everything else.)

"Independence" is now so fashionable (as was Communism among the "elite" back in the '30s), that they are even teaching and fostering independence to kids in kindergarten here in the US. That strikes me as most amusing. Imagine "learning" independence in state run brainwashing factories.

Does anyone else smell a rat or two?

Anon-og , October 13, 2017 at 5:16 pm GMT

"Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook."

Very impressed with this article, never really paid attention to CJ's articles but that is now changing!

[Oct 12, 2017] Trump, Mattis Deny Report President Proposed 10-Fold Nuke Increase by Jason Ditz

Oct 12, 2017 | news.antiwar.com

According to a new report from NBC News, President Trump responded to a slide at a cabinet meeting showing that the number of US nuclear weapons has gone down since the late 1960s by demanding a nearly ten-fold increase in the US arsenal .

This NBC report quoted unnamed officials present at the meeting, who said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had to explain to Trump why both legally and practically such a massive expansion of the arsenal was not practical. It was also reported that immediately following this meeting Tillerson declared Trump to be a "moron."

But as with the "moron" thing, which Trump denied happened but also later challenged Tillerson to an IQ test over, Trump insists that this too didn't happen , and accused NBC of making it entirely up for no reason.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis also said the report was "false," and claimed it was irresponsible for NBC to even report that the meeting happened. There has been no independent confirmation yet.

But President Trump has swung wildly around on the issue of nuclear weapons since elected. Even before inauguration he was sparring with NBC News on a report he wanted to start a global arms race until the world " comes to its senses ." Then in February he was widely reported as wanting to build up the nuclear arsenal because he believed America had "fallen behind."

[Oct 12, 2017] Another day -- another leak: Now MSN r>eports that Bannon said Trump has 30 percent chance of completing full term

Thos leakers are pretty persistent and have highly placed sources, if any... But taken as series of events, this is clearly has the stamp "color revolution" on it -- a multistep attempt of discreditation of the legitimately elected President, directed to force his removal of resignation.
Not that Trump is flawless (and with North Korea and Iran tweets he is helping greatly the leakers), and he already folded to neocons several months ago. Still the attempt is dirty and nasty...
Oct 12, 2017 | www.msn.com

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has privately confided that he believes President Donald Trump only has a 30% chance of completing his full term, a source told Vanity Fair .

According to two of Vanity Fair's sources with knowledge of the conversation, Bannon warned Trump several months ago that the biggest threat to his presidency is not impeachment by Congress, but the 25th Amendment -- which could allow his Cabinet to vote to remove him.

CNN has been unable to independently confirm these reported conversations. Bannon could not be reached for comment.

The 25th Amendment to the Constitution is a measure that establishes a system for replacing the president or vice president in case there is a death, removal, resignation or incapacitation.

Also, if the vice president "and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide" make a "written declaration that the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the vice president shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as acting president."

The 25th Amendment was adopted following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

According to the two sources who spoke to Vanity Fair, when Bannon raised the 25th Amendment as a concern, Trump responded by asking, "What's that?"

Bannon was fired from the White House in August.

The report comes amid a public feud between Trump and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, who is retiring from Congress after 2018. The two have gone back and forth via Twitter, and Corker told The New York Times that he thinks Trump could take the US "on the path to World War III."

[Oct 12, 2017] Wheres the Beef The Senate Intel Committee and Russia by Mike Whitney

Neocons already poisoned the well of US-Russian cooperation. They already unleashes witch hunt in best McCarthyism traditions. What else do they want ? Why they continue to waive this dead chicken?
Notable quotes:
"... people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem: ..."
"... Think about that. After "100 interviews, 250 hours of testimony, and 4000 transcript pages" there's not the slightest hint of collusion. It's mindboggling. Why isn't this front page news? Why haven't the New York Times or Washington Post run this in their headlines, after all, they've hyped every other part of this story? ..."
"... Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple. ..."
"... That's why they have excluded any witnesses that may upset their preconceived theory of what happened. Why, for example, would the committee chose to interview former CIA Director John Brennan rather than WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange? Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype? ..."
"... It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. ..."
"... Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war. ..."
Oct 12, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org
The Senate Intelligence Committee has made it clear that it is not conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russian hacking, but making a determined effort to support a theory that was presented in the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said:

We feel very confident that the ICA's accuracy is going to be supported by our committee.

Burr's statement is an example of "confirmation bias" which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one's own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of "hand-picked" analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. In other words, the intelligence was fixed to fit the policy. Burr of course has tried to conceal his prejudice by pointing to the number of witnesses the Committee has interviewed and the volume of work that's been produced. This is from an article at The Nation:

Since January 23, the committee and its staff have conducted more than 100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts, and reviewed more than 100,000 documents relevant to Russiagate. The staff, said Warner, has collectively spent a total of 57 hours per day, seven days a week, since the committee opened its inquiry, going through documents and transcripts, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing both classified and unclassified material.

It all sounds very impressive, but if the goal is merely to lend credibility to unverified assumptions, then what's the point?

Let's take a look at a few excerpts from the report and see whether Burr and Warner are justified in "feeling confident" in the ICA's accuracy.

From the Intelligence Community Assessment:

We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see, the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors' lack of objectivity. There's a considerable amount of speculation about Putin's motives and preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It's a bit shocking that professional analysts– who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters of national security– would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and psycho-babble. It's also shocking that Burr and Warner think this gibberish should be taken seriously.

Here's more from the ICA:

Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012, and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him.

More mind-reading, more groundless speculation, more guessing what Putin thinks or doesn't think. The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It's beyond me. The report's greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they'd realize that it's nonsense. Also, it would have been better if the ICA's authors had avoided the amateur psychoanalysis and stuck to the point, Russia hacking. Dabbling in the former seriously impacts the report's credibility.

To their credit, however, Burr and Warner have questioned all of the analysts who contributed to the report. Check out this excerpt from The Nation:

"We have interviewed everybody who had a hand or a voice in the creation of the ICA," said Burr. "We've spent nine times the amount of time that the IC [intelligence community] spent putting the ICA together. We have reviewed all the supporting evidence that went into it and, in addition to that, the things that went on the cutting-room floor that they may not have found appropriate for the ICA, but we may have found relevant to our investigation." Burr added that the committee's review included "highly classified intelligence reporting," and they've interviewed every official in the Obama administration who had anything to do with putting it together. ("Democrats and Republicans in Congress Agree: Russia Did It", The Nation)

That's great, but where' the beef? How can the committee conduct "100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts" without producing a shred of evidence that Russia meddled in the elections? How is that possible? The Committee's job is to prove its case not to merely pour over the minutia related to the investigation. No one really cares how many people testified or how much paperwork was involved. What people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem:

"There are concerns that we continue to pursue. Collusion? The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven't any."

Think about that. After "100 interviews, 250 hours of testimony, and 4000 transcript pages" there's not the slightest hint of collusion. It's mindboggling. Why isn't this front page news? Why haven't the New York Times or Washington Post run this in their headlines, after all, they've hyped every other part of this story?

Could it be that Burr's admission doesn't mesh with the media's "Russia did it" narrative so they decided to scrub the story altogether?

But it's not just collusion we're talking about here, there's also the broader issue of Russia meddling. And what was striking about the press conference is that –after all the interviews, all the testimony, and all the stacks of transcripts– the Committee has come up with nothing; no eyewitness testimony supporting the original claims, no smoking gun, no proof of domestic espionage, no evidence of Russian complicity, nothing. One big goose egg.

So here's a question for critical minded readers:

If the Senate Intelligence Committee has not found any proof that Russia hacked the 2016 elections, then why do senators' Burr and Warner still believe the ICA is reliable? It doesn't really make sense, does it? Don't they require evidence to draw their conclusions? And doesn't the burden of truth fall on the prosecution (or the investigators in this case)? Isn't a man innocent until proven guilty or doesn't that rule apply to Russia?

Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple.

That's why they have excluded any witnesses that may upset their preconceived theory of what happened. Why, for example, would the committee chose to interview former CIA Director John Brennan rather than WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange? Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype?

Don't bet on it.

What about former UK ambassador Craig Murray, a WikiLeaks colleague, who has repeatedly admitted that he knows the source of the DNC emails. Murray hasn't been asked to testify nor has he even been contacted by the FBI on the matter. Apparently, the FBI has no interest in a credible witness who can disprove the politically-motivated theory expounded in the ICA.

Then there's 30-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern and his group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern has done extensive research on the topic and has produced solid evidence that the DNC emails were "leaked" by an insider, not "hacked" by a foreign government. McGovern's work squares with Assange and Murray's claim that Russia did not hack the 2016 elections. Has McGovern been invited to testify?

How about Skip Folden, retired IBM Program Manager and Information Technology expert, whose excellent report titled "Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge" also disproves the hacking theory, as does The Nation's Patrick Lawrence whose riveting article at The Nation titled "A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack" which thoroughly obliterates the central claims of the ICA.

Finally, there's California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher who met with Assange in August at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and who was assured that Assange would provide hard evidence (in the form of "a computer drive or other data-storage device") that the Russians were not involved in the DNC email scandal.

Wouldn't you think that senate investigators would want to talk to a trusted colleague and credible witness like Rohrabacher who said he could produce solid proof that the scandal, that has dominated the headlines and roiled Washington for the better part of a year, was bogus?

Apparently not. Apparently Burr and his colleagues would rather avoid any witness or evidence that conflicts with their increasingly-threadbare thesis.

So what conclusions can we draw from the Committee's behavior? Are Burr and Warner really conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russia hacking or is this just a witch hunt?

It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok.

Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war.

[Oct 11, 2017] Nuclear buildup amd "moron" story are both based on anonymous sources. In case they are false rumors generated specifically to discredit Trump perpetrators will probably remain unpunished by David A. Graham

Again anonymous leak sped by all neoliberal MSM. According to Trump Blasts 'Disgusting' Media as He Threatens NBC Licenses "It's frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write and people should want to look into it," Trump told reporters as he met at the White House with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
President Trump says he "never discussed" increasing nuclear arsenal.
Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | www.theatlantic.com

Aides have doubted prior presidents' wisdom, health, or sobriety, but never have so many insiders treated the commander-in-chief like a child.

As every toddler knows, bigger is better, whether that's two scoops of ice cream ( versus one for everyone else ), a border wall, or a nuclear arsenal.

And that was President Trump's reaction during a July meeting with military and national-security leaders about the nuclear arsenal, too, according to NBC News . In total, he sought a tenfold increase in the U.S. store of nukes:

Trump's comments, the officials said, came in response to a briefing slide he was shown that charted the steady reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons since the late 1960s. Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on that downward-sloping curve.

Trump's aides were taken aback: "Officials briefly explained the legal and practical impediments to a nuclear buildup and how the current military posture is stronger than it was at the height of the buildup." Officials said there's currently no plan for a massive buildup.

If Trump's approach to nukes and ice cream alike is childlike, this story is the latest example of how Trump's aides treat him like a child too. In the case of the nuclear weapons, advisers seem to have taken Trump's outburst as bizarre and dangerous and quietly moved to suppress it. In the past, aides have disagreed with presidents' judgments as unwise, worried that their drinking would on occasion render them dangerous, or expressed concern that they were suffering from senility. Nor is it uncommon for a politician's critics to describe him as childish and unprepared -- decades before Lloyd Bentsen slammed Dan Quayle as "no Jack Kennedy," Richard Nixon warned that Jack Kennedy was not prepared for the presidency.

What is different in the Trump administration is that it's the president's own loyalists who view, speak about, and treat him as a child.

This is apparent in Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's description of the president, following this meeting, as a " moron " -- suggesting that Trump is simply not cognitively or emotionally up to the job. And this week has seen several other examples.

There is of course Senator Bob Corker's remark that the White House functions as "an adult day care" and his follow-up to The New York Times : "He doesn't realize that, you know, that we could be heading towards World War III with the kinds of comments that he's making."

Corker also complained, like a weary parent, "I don't know why the president tweets out things that are not true. You know he does it, everyone knows he does it, but he does."

Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, indicated he does not trust Trump to keep America safe, saying that Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and Chief of Staff John Kelly "are those people that help separate our country from chaos."

[Oct 11, 2017] Donald Trump is exposing the contradictions of the elite by David Callahan

That's neoliberal elite after all. Why the author expects them to be ashamed is unclear
Notable quotes:
"... Business practices aimed at boosting shareholder value – like outsourcing, offshoring, automation, union-busting, predatory lending, and a range of anti-competitive abuses – have undermined the security of large swaths of the country. In turn, a flood of business dollars for campaign donations and lobbying over decades has helped thwart effective government responses to rising pain on Main Street. ..."
"... History tells us that societies with extractive and self-serving upper classes tend to fall into decline – whereas societies with inclusive elites are more likely to thrive. With the rise of Trump, we're seeing what an unraveling of the social fabric looks like after decades in which nearly all the nation's income gains have flowed upwards to a tiny sliver of households. ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Since January, though, we've also seen a new level of rapaciousness by corporate interests in Washington DC that seem intent on extracting as much wealth as they can from wherever they can: consumers, investors, public lands, student borrowers, the tax code and even the war in Afghanistan.

Longtime watchers of the .01% won't be surprised by this bifurcated picture. For over two decades, an ever more educated wealthy elite has trumpeted its belief in tolerance, diversity, and meritocracy – even as it's also helped usher in record levels of inequality that have left many Americans feeling economically excluded and increasingly angry.

Trump's retrograde presidency has revealed the profound contradictions at the top of the US income ladder.

... ... ...

Corporate leaders have already been supportive of Trump's sweeping push to gut regulations in ways that would tilt the rules governing the economy more in favor of business and the wealthy. Social inclusion may be a growing public mantra of the far upper class. But economic extraction remains among its core operating principles.

... ... ...

Social inclusion is a public mantra of the upper class. But economic extraction remains a core operating principle

The answer is that many corporate and financial leaders were, and still are, a big part of the problem. These leaders have fostered the economic conditions that have thrown the values of tolerance and diversity on the defensive in America.

Business practices aimed at boosting shareholder value – like outsourcing, offshoring, automation, union-busting, predatory lending, and a range of anti-competitive abuses – have undermined the security of large swaths of the country. In turn, a flood of business dollars for campaign donations and lobbying over decades has helped thwart effective government responses to rising pain on Main Street.

... ... ...

History tells us that societies with extractive and self-serving upper classes tend to fall into decline – whereas societies with inclusive elites are more likely to thrive. With the rise of Trump, we're seeing what an unraveling of the social fabric looks like after decades in which nearly all the nation's income gains have flowed upwards to a tiny sliver of households.

Rarely has the American experiment – the notion of a country united by ideas rather than shared heritage – felt more fragile than it does right now. It's an ugly picture of division and resentment, but a predictable one given the economic trauma inflicted on millions of people over recent decades.

... ... ...

David Callahan is the author of The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age. He is the founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy

[Oct 10, 2017] O'Keefe Strikes Again, Catches NYT Editors On Hidden Camera Targeting Trump's Businesses, His Dumb Fk Of A Son

See also Project Veritas Video On New York Times The Daily Caller
Notable quotes:
"... "I'd target his businesses, his dumb fuck of a son, Donald Jr., and Eric... ..."
"... "Target that. Get people to boycott going to his hotels. Boycott... So a lot of the Trump brands, if you can ruin the Trump brand and you put pressure on his business and you start investigating his business and you start shutting it down, or they're hacking or other things. He cares about his business more than he cares about being President. He would resign. Or he'd lash out and do something incredibly illegal, which he would have to." ..."
"... When the undercover journalist asks Dudich if he could make sure that the anti-Trump stories make it to the front, he replied, "Oh, we always do." ..."
Oct 10, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

In the latest of a series of undercover operations targeting mainstream media bias, James O'Keefe has just dropped a new undercover video which takes direct aim at the New York Times' Audience Strategy Editor, Nick Dudich, who admits repeatedly to promoting content that intentionally seeks to, among other things, damage President Trump's businesses as a means towards forcing his resignation.

Here is a brief intro from Project Veritas :

While talking about being objective at the Times, Dudich replies candidly, "No I'm not, that's why I'm here."

Dudich considers himself an important player at the New York Times, telling the Project Veritas Journalist "my voice is on... my imprint is on every video we do."

Dudich goes on to explain what he might do to target President Trump:

"I'd target his businesses, his dumb fuck of a son, Donald Jr., and Eric...

"Target that. Get people to boycott going to his hotels. Boycott... So a lot of the Trump brands, if you can ruin the Trump brand and you put pressure on his business and you start investigating his business and you start shutting it down, or they're hacking or other things. He cares about his business more than he cares about being President. He would resign. Or he'd lash out and do something incredibly illegal, which he would have to."

When the undercover journalist asks Dudich if he could make sure that the anti-Trump stories make it to the front, he replied, "Oh, we always do."

Is @nicholasdudich an isolated incident, or does the #NYTimes employ a culture of bias, in direct conflict with their ethical handbook? pic.twitter.com/oxAenS7aob

-- Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) October 10, 2017

To our complete 'shock', O'Keefe also learned the Dudich worked for Hillary's 2016 presidential campaign and Obama's campaign in both 2008 and 2012...

In 2016, he was recruited to work for the Clinton campaign:

"So I have that background, so when Clinton in 2016... they needed a volunteer strategist to do video ... well, they needed someone to help them do video, and how to make it heartfelt, for Clinton."

He even had to quit his job in journalism in order to work for the Clinton campaign: "I had to leave my job at Fusion ABC to then take a job at Upworthy where I wasn't deemed a journalist anymore to be able to work for the Clinton campaign."

Dudich explains how his activism motivated him to re-engage in the news business: "Like, after the Clinton campaign, I'm like, no I need to get back into news and keep doing shit because, like, this isn't going to change."

Exactly what kind of people does @nytimes allow to be a video gatekeeper? #AmericanPravda #NYTimes #NYT pic.twitter.com/6uGVsRFpc7

-- James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) October 10, 2017

Bizarrely, Dudich also claims to have joined the Antifa movement as an undercover agent for the FBI...a request which he originally said came from his godfather, James Comey, even though he subsequently retracted that statement.

Nicholas Dudich also told the undercover journalist bizarre stories about his personal connection to the FBI and his previous excitement as part of Anti-Fa. "Yeah, I used to be an Anti-Fa punk once upon a time." he told the undercover journalist. "So, I had fun. They'd start s**t, I'm like, I get to hit you. I'm so excited."

He also claims that James Comey, former Director of the FBI, asked him to join Anti-Fa: "I joined that stuff for them [the FBI]. I was an asset... So it was intelligence gathering, seeing if they were [sic], what their agenda was, whether they're a threat or not." "How'd you meet Comey?" asked the Project Veritas journalist. "He's my godfather," Dudich explained. "My dad and mom knew him and his wife for a really long time." "Well the Comey hearing, I should have recused myself, but I'm not ever telling anybody there [at the Times] that I have a tie with that or else I don't know if they can keep me on."

tmosley -> Blank Reg , Oct 10, 2017 12:41 PM

One wonders if this qualifies as sedition. Imagine if someone had done something like this to a previous president. If some group was on record trying to bankrupt Washington's Mt Vernon, or Teddy Roosevelt's family members, with the full intent of subverting the government.

JimmyJones -> TheDude1224 , Oct 10, 2017 12:50 PM

So he said he was working as an informant for the FBI and joined ANTIFA, was that a lie? What type of a small minded fool lies about being a "special agent" working for the Gov't? Well this type. Fox news "fair and balanced" , NY Times "Fairly Biased". But don't worry the Liberals will still view the NY Times as the Paper of Record. Looney

hedgeless_horseman -> JimmyJones , Oct 10, 2017 12:52 PM Omen IV -> hedgeless_horseman , Oct 10, 2017 1:51 PM

so is Comey the GodFather of the guy in the 32nd floor of the Mandalay and did he have him planted? I would easily easily believe that

Chupacabra-322 -> hedgeless_horseman , Oct 10, 2017 1:59 PM

Smith Mundt Act. The Presstitute appendage's of the Criminal Deep State can Propagandandize / Gas Light the masses with Impunity. And, in their sick, twisted, perverted minds, it's all Legal.

JRobby -> JimmyJones , Oct 10, 2017 1:24 PM

Yes, this is pretty much "bombshell" category considering Dudich's position, his title, a fancy word play on Propagandist. MSM will never mention it. Not one aspect of it.

Oldwood -> Cognitive Dissonance , Oct 10, 2017 1:39 PM

But would be worrying if it were the French rather than the Russians "interfering" with our sainted elections?

AS is seen, it is not corruption that is perceived as the problem, it is WHO's corruption that is the problem.

Who owns the NYTs and does anyone care? Carlos Slim? Why would we care if the owner is the resident of one of the most violent and corrupt countries in the world, one emmersed in a socialist bankrupt ideology for a hundred years?

I do find it strange that we started the last century so aware and afraid of the socialist/communist virus, but as was predicted, we have embraced every last tenet of it's ideology under the mantle of "progressivism". Note that communism is no longer a threat, just another alternative increasingly openly embraced by the media and colleges....just like they said they would.

And it is TRUMP who is now the threat, not communist collectivist dependency. Interesting.

Snípéir_Ag_Obair -> tmosley , Oct 10, 2017 2:42 PM

if it is sedition it looks like we can all count on Sessioms to not do a fucking thing about it. Why haven't Comey, Lynch, Clinton, Rice and Obama been indicted? Or lying-under-oath master Clapper?

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Sedition

I think you can certainly argue that the Dem/Spook/Media effort to create the Russiahoax stuff, all as the feds never even examined the dnc server, or interviewed Assange, is quite literally conspiracy and sedition.

Sessions isn't indicting, nor being directed to, nor fired. It's a big club...

Endgame Napoleon -> SILVERGEDDON , Oct 10, 2017 1:06 PM

What about the lack of professional decorum and a paper that regards itself as a premier publication? All of these connected-up people at the top expect us to regard them as -- unquestionably -- deserving of high positions, but they feel free to let loose with unprofessional behavior any time they want if it serves 1) their own careerist means or 2) the careerist goals of their cronies.

Doom Porn Star , Oct 10, 2017 12:22 PM

"Nicholas Dudich also told the undercover journalist bizarre stories about his personal connection to the FBI and his previous excitement as part of Anti-Fa.

"Yeah, I used to be an Anti-Fa punk once upon a time." he told the undercover journalist. "So, I had fun. They'd start s**t, I'm like, I get to hit you. I'm so excited."

He also claims that James Comey, former Director of the FBI, asked him to join Anti-Fa: "I joined that stuff for them [the FBI]. I was an asset... So it was intelligence gathering, seeing if they were [sic], what their agenda was, whether they're a threat or not."

"How'd you meet Comey?" asked the Project Veritas journalist. "He's my godfather," Dudich explained. "My dad and mom knew him and his wife for a really long time." "

Doesn't he make it sound a lot like he's just another 'made' chucklehead in the Mob?

That's because he is.

Felix da Kat , Oct 10, 2017 1:26 PM

Dudich is a poster child for the new millenial way of thinking. In their view lying is perfectly okay so long as it serves one's arch-purpose. In this case it is to prevent Trump's agenda and his 2020 bid (yet to be announced) for re-election. The tactic has been adopted by many of the NYTimes reporters. It is the same with the other major media outlets (not Fox/WSJ so much). For instance, if you write a comment in the WaPo online, if it does not conform to their liberal agenda, it gets deleted and that is dishonest (mine were deleted several times. I have since banished them). The media is very devious in how it is attempting to take over political contol of America. They are a shameless and crooked bunch, making it very difficult to fight back. The real revolution in America begins when the true conservative soul of America says, "No more". Until that happens, further social decay will be the norm.

Aireannpure , Oct 10, 2017 2:31 PM

Too damn many English majors with serious emotional problems. Get Science and Engineering background folks in there and all this non sense would end. This kid is a punk and worthy of a good daddy belt beat down. Who raised this crap?

[Oct 09, 2017] Corker Strikes Back by Daniel Larison

And this guy was elected with the mandate to end all foreign wars, although regarding Iraq he always was pretty crazy and jingoistic.
Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Bob Corker followed up on his initial response to Trump's attack on him with some scathing criticism in an interview with The New York Times :

Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, charged in an interview on Sunday that President Trump was treating his office like "a reality show," with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation "on the path to World War III."

In an extraordinary rebuke of a president of his own party, Mr. Corker said he was alarmed about a president who acts "like he's doing 'The Apprentice' or something."

"He concerns me," Mr. Corker added. "He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation."

Corker isn't saying anything that many others haven't already said, but it is significant that it is coming from such a high-profile elected Republican. The senator was among a very few in the Senate inclined to give Trump the benefit of the doubt in the past, and he sometimes went out of his way to say positive things about Trump's foreign policy. During the election, he was saying that Trump was bringing a "degree of realism" and "maturity" to foreign policy. That was always wishful thinking, and Corker's criticism now is a belated admission that he was wrong about all of that. It is fair to fault Corker for not realizing or saying any of these things sooner, but that doesn't make it any less extraordinary that he is saying it on the record. Thanks to Trump's foolish attack on him yesterday, he evidently no longer feels obliged to keep quiet about the problems he has with the president.

One of the more interesting things that Corker confirmed concerned Trump's repeated undermining of Tillerson:

The senator, who is close to Mr. Tillerson, invoked comments that the president made on Twitter last weekend in which he appeared to undercut Mr. Tillerson's negotiations with North Korea.

"A lot of people think that there is some kind of 'good cop, bad cop' act underway, but that's just not true," Mr. Corker said.

Without offering specifics, he said Mr. Trump had repeatedly undermined diplomacy with his Twitter fingers. "I know he has hurt, in several instances, he's hurt us as it relates to negotiations that were underway by tweeting things out," Mr. Corker said.

We already knew this, but it is important that someone in Corker's position is acknowledging that the administration's foreign policy is every bit as dysfunctional as it appears to be. It remains to be seen whether Corker's break with Trump will translate into meaningful opposition to any part of Trump's foreign policy, but his remarks in this interview suggest that it might.

[Oct 09, 2017] Dennis Kucinich We Must Challenge the Two-Party Duopoly Committed to War by Adam Dick

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In the interview, Kucinich discusses his work to expose the misinformation used to argue for US government interventions overseas before and during the Iraq War and, later, concerning the US effort to assist in the overthrow of the Syria government. ..."
"... Kucinich, in the interview, places the Iraq War, with its costs including trillions in US government spending and the death of over a million Iraqis, in the context of "this American imperium, this idea that somehow we have the right to establish ourselves anywhere we want" including with "over 800 bases in 132 countries" and to go around the world "looking for dragons to slay while we ignore our own problems here at home." ..."
"... This is a racket. This is a way for people who make arms to cash in or have government contracts to cash in. ..."
"... Rescuing America from a future "cataclysmic war," Kucinich argues, requires that Americans both "realize that our position in the world was never, ever meant to be a cop on the beat, a global cop," and "challenge this two-party duopoly that's committed to war." ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

In a new interview with host Jesse Ventura at RT, former United States presidential candidate and House of Representatives Member Dennis Kucinich stressed the importance of the American people challenging the "two-party duopoly that's committed to war."

In the interview, Kucinich discusses his work to expose the misinformation used to argue for US government interventions overseas before and during the Iraq War and, later, concerning the US effort to assist in the overthrow of the Syria government.

Regarding the Iraq War, Kucinich, who is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, explains that his research showed that "Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, nothing to do with al-Qaeda's role in 9/11, didn't have any connection to the anthrax attack, didn't have the intention or the capability of attacking the United States, and didn't have the weapons of mass destruction that were being claimed." This information, Kucinich relates, he provided to US Congress members in an October 2, 2002 report showing "there was no cause for war."

Despite Kucinich and other individuals' efforts to stop the march toward war, Congress passed an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against Iraq later in October, and the invasion of Iraq commenced in March of 2003.

Kucinich, in the interview, places the Iraq War, with its costs including trillions in US government spending and the death of over a million Iraqis, in the context of "this American imperium, this idea that somehow we have the right to establish ourselves anywhere we want" including with "over 800 bases in 132 countries" and to go around the world "looking for dragons to slay while we ignore our own problems here at home."

Why are we "wasting the blood of our nation, the treasure of our nation, our young people" on these overseas activities that are "causing catastrophes among families in other countries?" Kucinich asks. He answers as follows:

This is a racket. This is a way for people who make arms to cash in or have government contracts to cash in.
Continuing with his explanation for the support for the Iraq War and other US military intervention abroad, Kucinich says:
The problem today we have in Washington is that both political parties have converged with the military-industrial complex, fulfilling President Eisenhower's nightmare and setting America on a path toward destruction.

Rescuing America from a future "cataclysmic war," Kucinich argues, requires that Americans both "realize that our position in the world was never, ever meant to be a cop on the beat, a global cop," and "challenge this two-party duopoly that's committed to war."

Watch Kucinich's complete interview here:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3n5w1xYmV8A


Copyright © 2017 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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[Oct 09, 2017] Trump Says Fake NBC Is Run The Daily Caller

Oct 09, 2017 | dailycaller.com

A new report indicates that President Trump, aggravated by NBC's reporting, has taken to calling the network "fake" and "run by morons."

The Daily Beast reported Monday that according to a White House official, Trump thinks NBC is "run by morons," and that "Trump regularly complains during the day and evenings about NBC as 'fake' and out to 'get' him in the 'same way he [recently] did with CNN.'"

Trump has previously had tensions with CNN, once tweeting out a fake edited WWE gif of Trump tackling a man with a CNN logo for a head.

CNN responded to this by tracking down the alleged creator of the gif and behaving towards him in a way some considered "blackmail." (RELATED: 'Extremely Unethical' -- CNN Draws Backlash After Threatening To ID Reddit User Behind Trump's WWE Video)

President Trump has had problems with NBC News since they reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called him a "moron," possibly a "f**king moron."

Trump hit back against the reports, but Tillerson did not specifically deny saying that about Trump. (RELATED: REPORT: Rex Tillerson 'F***ing Hates' Nikki Haley)

[Oct 09, 2017] After Nine Months, Only Stale Crumbs in Russia Inquiry by Scott Ritter

Highly recommended!
US Congress allowed to drag itself into this propaganda swamp by politized Intelligence community, which became a major political player, that can dictate Congress what to do and what not to do. Now it is not that easy to get out of this "intelligence swamp"
Notable quotes:
"... The 2017 ICA on Russia was conceived in an atmosphere of despair and denial, birthed by Democrats and Republicans alike who were stunned by Trump's surprise electoral victory in November 2016. To say that this issue was a political event would be a gross understatement; the 2017 Russian ICA will go down in history as one of the most politicized intelligence documents ever, regardless of the degree of accuracy eventually afforded its contents. The very fact that the document is given the sobriquet "Intelligence Community" is itself a political act, designed to impart a degree of scrutiny and community consensus that simply did not exist when it came to the production of that document, or the classified reports that it was derived from. ..."
"... This was a report prepared by handpicked analysts ..."
"... iven the firestorm of political intrigue and controversy initiated by the publication of this document, the notion of a "general consensus" regarding the level of trust imparted to it by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee does not engender confidence. ..."
"... It was this document that spawned the issue of "collusion." While Sens. Burr and Warner can state that "collusion" is still an open issue, the fact of the matter is that, in this regard, Trump and his campaign advisors have already been found guilty in the court of public opinion, especially among those members of the public and the media who were vehemently opposed to his candidacy and ultimate victory. ..."
"... One need only review the comments of the various Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee, their counterparts serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the various experts and pundits in the media, to underscore the degree to which prejudice has "worked its evil" when it comes to the issue of collusion and the Trump campaign in this regard. ..."
"... purchase of advertisements on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, by the Russians or their proxies. With regard to these advertisements, Senator Burr painted a dire picture. "It seems," he declared, "that the overall theme of the Russian involvement in the US elections was to create chaos at every level." ..."
"... No one wants to be told that they have been victims of a con; this is especially true when dealing with the sacred trust imparted to the American citizenry by the Constitution of the United States regarding the free and fair election of those who will represent us in higher office. American politics, for better or worse, is about the personal connection a given candidate has with the voter, a gut feeling that this person shares common values and beliefs. ..."
"... the percentage of Americans that participate in national elections is low. Those that do tend to be people who care enough about one or more issues to actually get out and vote. To categorize these dedicated citizens as brain-dead dupes who are susceptible to social media-based click advertisements is an insult to American democracy. ..."
"... There is a world of difference between Russian intelligence services allegedly hacking politically sensitive emails and selectively releasing them for the sole purpose of undermining a given Presidential candidate's electoral prospects, and mimicking social media-based advertisements addressing issues that are already at play in an election. The Russians didn't invent the ongoing debate in the United States over gun control (i.e., the "Second Amendment" issue), race relations (the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri) or immigration ("The Wall"). ..."
"... These were, and remain, core issues that are at the heart of the American domestic political discourse, regardless of where one stands. You either know the issues, or you don't; it is an insult to the American voter to suggest that they are so malleable that $100,000 of targeted social media-based advertisements can swing their vote, even if 10 million of them viewed it. ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The 'briefing' is just another exercise in preferred narrative boosting.

The co-chairmen of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence held a press briefing Thursday on the status of their ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the American electoral process. Content-wise, the press briefing and the question and answer session were an exercise in information futility -- they provided little substance and nothing new. The investigation was still ongoing, the senators explained, and there was still work to be done.

Nine months into the Committee's work, the best Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), could offer was that there was "general consensus" among committee members and their staff that they trust the findings of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) of January 2017, which gave high confidence to the charge that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. The issue of possible collusion between Russia and members of the campaign of Donald Trump, however, "is still open."

Frankly speaking, this isn't good enough.

The 2017 ICA on Russia was conceived in an atmosphere of despair and denial, birthed by Democrats and Republicans alike who were stunned by Trump's surprise electoral victory in November 2016. To say that this issue was a political event would be a gross understatement; the 2017 Russian ICA will go down in history as one of the most politicized intelligence documents ever, regardless of the degree of accuracy eventually afforded its contents. The very fact that the document is given the sobriquet "Intelligence Community" is itself a political act, designed to impart a degree of scrutiny and community consensus that simply did not exist when it came to the production of that document, or the classified reports that it was derived from.

This was a report prepared by handpicked analysts from three of the Intelligence Community's sixteen agencies (the CIA, NSA, and FBI) who operated outside of the National Intelligence Council (the venue for the production of Intelligence Community products such as the Russian ICA), and void of the direction and supervision of a dedicated National Intelligence Officer. Overcoming this deficient family tree represents a high hurdle, even before the issue of the credibility of the sources and methods used to underpin the ICA's findings are discussed. Given the firestorm of political intrigue and controversy initiated by the publication of this document, the notion of a "general consensus" regarding the level of trust imparted to it by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee does not engender confidence.

It was this document that spawned the issue of "collusion." While Sens. Burr and Warner can state that "collusion" is still an open issue, the fact of the matter is that, in this regard, Trump and his campaign advisors have already been found guilty in the court of public opinion, especially among those members of the public and the media who were vehemently opposed to his candidacy and ultimate victory. Insofar as the committee's investigation serves as a legitimate search for truth, it does so as a post-conviction appeal. However, as the distinguished Supreme Court Justice Joseph McKenna noted in his opinion in Berger v. United States (1921):

The remedy by appeal is inadequate. It comes after the trial, and, if prejudice exist, it has worked its evil and a judgment of it in a reviewing tribunal is precarious. It goes there fortified by presumptions, and nothing can be more elusive of estimate or decision than a disposition of a mind in which there is a personal ingredient.

One need only review the comments of the various Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee, their counterparts serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the various experts and pundits in the media, to underscore the degree to which prejudice has "worked its evil" when it comes to the issue of collusion and the Trump campaign in this regard.

The two senators proceeded to touch on a new angle recently introduced into their investigation, that of the purchase of advertisements on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, by the Russians or their proxies. With regard to these advertisements, Senator Burr painted a dire picture. "It seems," he declared, "that the overall theme of the Russian involvement in the US elections was to create chaos at every level."

No one wants to be told that they have been victims of a con; this is especially true when dealing with the sacred trust imparted to the American citizenry by the Constitution of the United States regarding the free and fair election of those who will represent us in higher office. American politics, for better or worse, is about the personal connection a given candidate has with the voter, a gut feeling that this person shares common values and beliefs.

Nevertheless, the percentage of Americans that participate in national elections is low. Those that do tend to be people who care enough about one or more issues to actually get out and vote. To categorize these dedicated citizens as brain-dead dupes who are susceptible to social media-based click advertisements is an insult to American democracy.

There is a world of difference between Russian intelligence services allegedly hacking politically sensitive emails and selectively releasing them for the sole purpose of undermining a given Presidential candidate's electoral prospects, and mimicking social media-based advertisements addressing issues that are already at play in an election. The Russians didn't invent the ongoing debate in the United States over gun control (i.e., the "Second Amendment" issue), race relations (the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri) or immigration ("The Wall").

These were, and remain, core issues that are at the heart of the American domestic political discourse, regardless of where one stands. You either know the issues, or you don't; it is an insult to the American voter to suggest that they are so malleable that $100,000 of targeted social media-based advertisements can swing their vote, even if 10 million of them viewed it.

The take away from the press briefing given by Senator's Burr and Warner was two-fold: One, the Russians meddled, and two, we don't know if Trump colluded with the Russians. The fact that America is nine months into this investigation with little more to show now than what could have been said at the start is, in and of itself, an American political tragedy. The Trump administration has been hobbled by the inertia of this and other investigations derived from the question of Russian meddling. That this process may yet vindicate President Trump isn't justification for the process itself; in such a case the delay will have hurt more than the truth. As William Penn, the founder of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, so eloquently noted:

Delays have been more injurious than direct Injustice. They too often starve those they dare not deny. The very Winner is made a Loser, because he pays twice for his own; like those who purchase Estates Mortgaged before to the full value.

Our law says that to delay Justice is Injustice. Not to have a Right, and not to come of it, differs little. Refuse or Dispatch is the Duty of a Good Officer.

Senators Burr and Warner, together with their fellow members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and their respective staffs, would do well to heed those words.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of "Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West's Road to War" (Clarity Press, 2017).

[Oct 09, 2017] Russiagate Is More Fiction Than Fact by Aaron Maté

Oct 06, 2017 | www.thenation.com

From accusations of Trump campaign collusion to Russian Facebook ad buys, the media has substituted hype for evidence.

Since Election Day, the controversy over alleged Russian meddling and Trump campaign collusion has consumed Washington and the national media. Yet nearly one year later there is still no concrete evidence of its central allegations. There are claims by US intelligence officials that the Russian government hacked e-mails and used social media to help elect Donald Trump, but there has yet to be any corroboration. Although the oft-cited January intelligence report "uses the strongest language and offers the most detailed assessment yet," The Atlantic observed that "it does not or cannot provide evidence for its assertions." Noting the "absence of any proof" and "hard evidence to back up the agencies' claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack," The New York Times concluded that the intelligence community's message "essentially amounts to 'trust us.'" That remains the case today.

The same holds for the question of collusion. Officials acknowledged to Reuters in May that "they had seen no evidence of wrongdoing or collusion between the campaign and Russia in the communications reviewed so far." Well-placed critics of Trump -- including former DNI chief James Clapper, former CIA director Michael Morrell, Representative Maxine Waters, and Senator Dianne Feinstein -- concur to date.

Recognizing this absence of evidence helps examine what has been substituted in its place. Shattered, the insider account of the Clinton campaign, reports that "in the days after the election, Hillary declined to take responsibility for her own loss." Instead, one source recounted, aides were ordered "to make sure all these narratives get spun the right way." Within 24 hours of Clinton's concession speech, top officials gathered "to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up-and-up. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument."

But the focus on Russia has utility far beyond the Clinton camp. It dovetails with elements of state power that oppose Trump's call for improved relations with Moscow and who are willing to deploy a familiar playbook of Cold War fearmongering to block any developments on that front. The multiple investigations and anonymous leaks are also a tool to pacify an erratic president whose anti-interventionist rhetoric -- by all indications, a ruse -- alarmed foreign-policy elites during the campaign. Corporate media outlets driven by clicks and ratings are inexorably drawn to the scandal. The public is presented with a real-life spy thriller, which for some carries the added appeal of possibly undoing a reviled president and his improbable victory.

These imperatives have incentivized a compromised set of journalistic and evidentiary standards. In Russiagate, unverified claims are reported with little to no skepticism. Comporting developments are cherry-picked and overhyped, while countervailing ones are minimized or ignored. Front-page headlines advertise explosive and incriminating developments, only to often be undermined by the article's content, or retracted entirely. Qualified language -- likely, suspected, apparent -- appears next to "Russians" to account for the absence of concrete links. As a result, Russiagate has enlarged into a storm of innuendo that engulfs issues far beyond its original scope.

The latest two stories about alleged Trump campaign collusion were initially received as smoking guns. But upon further examination, they may actually undermine that narrative. One was news that Trump had signed a non-binding letter of intent to license his name for a proposed building in Moscow as he ran for the White House. Russian-born developer Felix Sater predicted to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen that the deal would help Trump win the presidency. "I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected," Sater wrote, believing that voters would be impressed that Trump could make a real-estate deal with the United States' "most difficult adversary." The New York Times describes the outcome:

There is no evidence in the emails that Mr. Sater delivered on his promises, and one email suggests that Mr. Sater overstated his Russian ties. In January 2016, Mr. Cohen wrote to Mr. Putin's spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, asking for help restarting the Trump Tower project, which had stalled. But Mr. Cohen did not appear to have Mr. Peskov's direct email, and instead wrote to a general inbox for press inquiries.

The project never got government permits or financing, and died weeks later.

Peskov has confirmed he ended up seeing the e-mail from Cohen, but did not bother to respond. The story does raise a potential conflict of interest: Trump pursued a Moscow deal as he praised Putin on the campaign trial. But it is hard to see how a deal that never got off the ground is of more importance than actual deals Trump made in places like Turkey, the Philippines, and the Persian Gulf. If anything, the story should introduce skepticism into whether any collusion took place: The deal failed, and Trump's lawyer did not even have an e-mail address for his Russian counterparts.

The revelation of Sater's e-mails to Cohen followed the earlier controversy of Rob Goldstone offering Donald Trump Jr. incriminating information on Hillary Clinton as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." Goldstone's e-mail was more fruitful than Sater's in that it yielded a meeting, albeit one that Trump Jr. claims he abandoned after 20 minutes. Those who deem the Sater-Goldstone e-mail chains incriminating or even treasonous should be reminded of their provenance: Sater is known as " a canny operator and a colorful bullshitter " who has " launched a host of crudely named websites -- including IAmAFaggot.com and VaginaBoy.com to attack a former business partner." Meanwhile, Goldstone is a British tabloid journalist turned music publicist. One does not have to be an intelligence expert to doubt that they are Kremlin cut-outs.

[Oct 09, 2017] Autopilot Wars by Andrew J. Bacevich

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... While serving as defense secretary in the 1960s, Robert McNamara once mused that the "greatest contribution" of the Vietnam War might have been to make it possible for the United States "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." With regard to the conflict once widely referred to as McNamara's War, his claim proved grotesquely premature. Yet a half-century later, his wish has become reality. ..."
"... Why do Americans today show so little interest in the wars waged in their name and at least nominally on their behalf? Why, as our wars drag on and on, doesn't the disparity between effort expended and benefits accrued arouse more than passing curiosity or mild expressions of dismay? Why, in short, don't we give a [ expletive deleted ..."
"... The true costs of Washington's wars go untabulated. ..."
"... On matters related to war, American citizens have opted out. ..."
"... Terrorism gets hyped and hyped and hyped some more. ..."
"... Blather crowds out substance. ..."
"... Besides, we're too busy. ..."
"... Anyway, the next president will save us. ..."
"... Our culturally progressive military has largely immunized itself from criticism. ..."
"... Well, yes, the US has recently killed 100.000′s of Arab civilians because they were Terrorists (?) or to Bring them Democracy (?) or whatever, or something – or who cares anyway. There's more coverage of the transgender toilet access question. ..."
Oct 08, 2017 | www.unz.com

Autopilot Wars Sixteen Years, But Who's Counting?

Consider, if you will, these two indisputable facts. First, the United States is today more or less permanently engaged in hostilities in not one faraway place, but at least seven . Second, the vast majority of the American people could not care less.

Nor can it be said that we don't care because we don't know. True, government authorities withhold certain aspects of ongoing military operations or release only details that they find convenient. Yet information describing what U.S. forces are doing (and where) is readily available, even if buried in recent months by barrages of presidential tweets. Here, for anyone interested, are press releases issued by United States Central Command for just one recent week:

Ever since the United States launched its war on terror, oceans of military press releases have poured forth. And those are just for starters. To provide updates on the U.S. military's various ongoing campaigns, generals, admirals, and high-ranking defense officials regularly testify before congressional committees or brief members of the press. From the field, journalists offer updates that fill in at least some of the details -- on civilian casualties, for example -- that government authorities prefer not to disclose. Contributors to newspaper op-ed pages and "experts" booked by network and cable TV news shows, including passels of retired military officers, provide analysis. Trailing behind come books and documentaries that put things in a broader perspective.

But here's the truth of it. None of it matters.

Like traffic jams or robocalls, war has fallen into the category of things that Americans may not welcome, but have learned to live with. In twenty-first-century America, war is not that big a deal.

While serving as defense secretary in the 1960s, Robert McNamara once mused that the "greatest contribution" of the Vietnam War might have been to make it possible for the United States "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." With regard to the conflict once widely referred to as McNamara's War, his claim proved grotesquely premature. Yet a half-century later, his wish has become reality.

Why do Americans today show so little interest in the wars waged in their name and at least nominally on their behalf? Why, as our wars drag on and on, doesn't the disparity between effort expended and benefits accrued arouse more than passing curiosity or mild expressions of dismay? Why, in short, don't we give a [ expletive deleted ]?

Perhaps just posing such a question propels us instantly into the realm of the unanswerable, like trying to figure out why people idolize Justin Bieber, shoot birds, or watch golf on television.

Without any expectation of actually piercing our collective ennui, let me take a stab at explaining why we don't give a @#$%&! Here are eight distinctive but mutually reinforcing explanations, offered in a sequence that begins with the blindingly obvious and ends with the more speculative.

Americans don't attend all that much to ongoing American wars because:

1. U.S. casualty rates are low . By using proxies and contractors, and relying heavily on airpower, America's war managers have been able to keep a tight lid on the number of U.S. troops being killed and wounded. In all of 2017, for example, a grand total of 11 American soldiers have been lost in Afghanistan -- about equal to the number of shooting deaths in Chicago over the course of a typical week. True, in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries where the U.S. is engaged in hostilities, whether directly or indirectly, plenty of people who are not Americans are being killed and maimed. (The estimated number of Iraqi civilians killed this year alone exceeds 12,000 .) But those casualties have next to no political salience as far as the United States is concerned. As long as they don't impede U.S. military operations, they literally don't count (and generally aren't counted).

2. The true costs of Washington's wars go untabulated. In a famous speech , dating from early in his presidency, Dwight D. Eisenhower said that "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." Dollars spent on weaponry, Ike insisted, translated directly into schools, hospitals, homes, highways, and power plants that would go unbuilt. "This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense," he continued. "[I]t is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." More than six decades later, Americans have long since accommodated themselves to that cross of iron. Many actually see it as a boon, a source of corporate profits, jobs, and, of course, campaign contributions. As such, they avert their eyes from the opportunity costs of our never-ending wars. The dollars expended pursuant to our post-9/11 conflicts will ultimately number in the multi-trillions . Imagine the benefits of investing such sums in upgrading the nation's aging infrastructure . Yet don't count on Congressional leaders, other politicians, or just about anyone else to pursue that connection.

On matters related to war, American citizens have opted out. Others have made the point so frequently that it's the equivalent of hearing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" at Christmastime. Even so, it bears repeating: the American people have defined their obligation to "support the troops" in the narrowest imaginable terms , ensuring above all that such support requires absolutely no sacrifice on their part. Members of Congress abet this civic apathy, while also taking steps to insulate themselves from responsibility. In effect, citizens and their elected representatives in Washington agree: supporting the troops means deferring to the commander in chief, without inquiring about whether what he has the troops doing makes the slightest sense. Yes, we set down our beers long enough to applaud those in uniform and boo those who decline to participate in mandatory rituals of patriotism. What we don't do is demand anything remotely approximating actual accountability.

4. Terrorism gets hyped and hyped and hyped some more. While international terrorism isn't a trivial problem (and wasn't for decades before 9/11), it comes nowhere close to posing an existential threat to the United States. Indeed, other threats, notably the impact of climate change, constitute a far greater danger to the wellbeing of Americans. Worried about the safety of your children or grandchildren? The opioid epidemic constitutes an infinitely greater danger than "Islamic radicalism." Yet having been sold a bill of goods about a "war on terror" that is essential for "keeping America safe," mere citizens are easily persuaded that scattering U.S. troops throughout the Islamic world while dropping bombs on designated evildoers is helping win the former while guaranteeing the latter. To question that proposition becomes tantamount to suggesting that God might not have given Moses two stone tablets after all.

5. Blather crowds out substance. When it comes to foreign policy, American public discourse is -- not to put too fine a point on it -- vacuous, insipid, and mindlessly repetitive. William Safire of the New York Times once characterized American political rhetoric as BOMFOG, with those running for high office relentlessly touting the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God. Ask a politician, Republican or Democrat, to expound on this country's role in the world, and then brace yourself for some variant of WOSFAD, as the speaker insists that it is incumbent upon the World's Only Superpower to spread Freedom and Democracy. Terms like leadership and indispensable are introduced, along with warnings about the dangers of isolationism and appeasement, embellished with ominous references to Munich . Such grandiose posturing makes it unnecessary to probe too deeply into the actual origins and purposes of American wars, past or present, or assess the likelihood of ongoing wars ending in some approximation of actual success. Cheerleading displaces serious thought.

6. Besides, we're too busy. Think of this as a corollary to point five. Even if the present-day American political scene included figures like Senators Robert La Follette or J. William Fulbright , who long ago warned against the dangers of militarizing U.S. policy, Americans may not retain a capacity to attend to such critiques. Responding to the demands of the Information Age is not, it turns out, conducive to deep reflection. We live in an era (so we are told) when frantic multitasking has become a sort of duty and when being overscheduled is almost obligatory. Our attention span shrinks and with it our time horizon. The matters we attend to are those that happened just hours or minutes ago. Yet like the great solar eclipse of 2017 -- hugely significant and instantly forgotten -- those matters will, within another few minutes or hours, be superseded by some other development that briefly captures our attention. As a result, a dwindling number of Americans -- those not compulsively checking Facebook pages and Twitter accounts -- have the time or inclination to ponder questions like: When will the Afghanistan War end? Why has it lasted almost 16 years? Why doesn't the finest fighting force in history actually win? Can't package an answer in 140 characters or a 30-second made-for-TV sound bite? Well, then, slowpoke, don't expect anyone to attend to what you have to say.

7. Anyway, the next president will save us. At regular intervals, Americans indulge in the fantasy that, if we just install the right person in the White House, all will be well. Ambitious politicians are quick to exploit this expectation. Presidential candidates struggle to differentiate themselves from their competitors, but all of them promise in one way or another to wipe the slate clean and Make America Great Again. Ignoring the historical record of promises broken or unfulfilled, and presidents who turn out not to be deities but flawed human beings, Americans -- members of the media above all -- pretend to take all this seriously. Campaigns become longer, more expensive, more circus-like, and ever less substantial. One might think that the election of Donald Trump would prompt a downward revision in the exalted expectations of presidents putting things right. Instead, especially in the anti-Trump camp, getting rid of Trump himself (Collusion! Corruption! Obstruction! Impeachment!) has become the overriding imperative, with little attention given to restoring the balance intended by the framers of the Constitution. The irony of Trump perpetuating wars that he once roundly criticized and then handing the conduct of those wars to generals devoid of ideas for ending them almost entirely escapes notice.

8. Our culturally progressive military has largely immunized itself from criticism. As recently as the 1990s, the U.S. military establishment aligned itself with the retrograde side of the culture wars. Who can forget the gays-in-the-military controversy that rocked Bill Clinton's administration during his first weeks in office, as senior military leaders publicly denounced their commander-in-chief? Those days are long gone. Culturally, the armed forces have moved left. Today, the services go out of their way to project an image of tolerance and a commitment to equality on all matters related to race, gender, and sexuality. So when President Trump announced his opposition to transgendered persons serving in the armed forces, tweeting that the military "cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail," senior officers politely but firmly disagreed and pushed back . Given the ascendency of cultural issues near the top of the U.S. political agenda, the military's embrace of diversity helps to insulate it from criticism and from being called to account for a less than sterling performance in waging wars. Put simply, critics who in an earlier day might have blasted military leaders for their inability to bring wars to a successful conclusion hold their fire. Having women graduate from Ranger School or command Marines in combat more than compensates for not winning.

A collective indifference to war has become an emblem of contemporary America. But don't expect your neighbors down the street or the editors of the New York Times to lose any sleep over that fact. Even to notice it would require them -- and us -- to care.

Andrew J. Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular , is the author, most recently, of America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History .

Dan Hayes > , October 9, 2017 at 2:30 am GMT

You have enumerated ten general reasons why Americans "don't attend" to ongoing wars.

Let me add a further specific one: the draft or lack of same. If there were a draft in place either the powers-that-be would not even dare to contemplate any of our present martial misadventures, or failing that the outraged citizenry would burn down the Congress!

BTW I had never thought about reason #8: the military's embrace of diversity helps to insulate it from criticism. This explains General Casey's inane statement that diversity shouldn't be a casualty of the Fort Hood massacre by a "diverse" officer!

Carlton Meyer > , Website October 9, 2017 at 5:17 am GMT

One reason Trump won is that he promised to pull back the empire, while suggesting the Pentagon already has plenty of money. After the election, he demanded a 10% increase, and threatens North Korea to justify it! This increase alone is bigger than the entire annual military budget of Russia! The public is informed that this is because of cuts during the Obama years, but there were no cuts, only limits to increases.

How did the Democrats react? Most voted for a bigger military budget than the mindless increase proposed by Trump! That news was not reported by our corporate media, as Jimmy Dore explained:

Miro23 > , October 9, 2017 at 6:52 am GMT

A collective indifference to war has become an emblem of contemporary America.

Well, yes, the US has recently killed 100.000′s of Arab civilians because they were Terrorists (?) or to Bring them Democracy (?) or whatever, or something – or who cares anyway. There's more coverage of the transgender toilet access question.

So who are Mr & Mrs Indifferent, the emblems of contemporary America? https://www.yahoo.com/news/29-couples-boudoir-photos-almost-172445904.html ?.tsrc=fauxdal – Thanks to Priss

Backwoods Bob > , October 9, 2017 at 7:37 am GMT

Structurally, you have arms production, military bases, hospitals, and related service industries across nearly all the congressional districts in the country.

So it is an enormous set of vested interests with both voting power and corporate money for campaign treasuries.

Quoting Ike was good, and he mentions the opportunity cost in schools, roads, etc. – but also the organizing political and economic power of the military industrial complex.

The government schools are with some exceptions worthless. No subject, let alone war, is taken on seriously.

The legacy media has been co-opted by the MIC/Financial interests. The state is spying on everyone and everyone knows so. Free speech, free association, free assembly, right to bear arms, confront your accuser, trial by jury, habeas corpus – all gone now.

So the sheep behave. They walk by the dead whistling, and look straight ahead.

Robert Magill > , October 9, 2017 at 9:27 am GMT

While serving as defense secretary in the 1960s, Robert McNamara once mused that the "greatest contribution" of the Vietnam War might have been to make it possible for the United States "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." With regard to the conflict once widely referred to as McNamara's War, his claim proved grotesquely premature. Yet a half-century later, his wish has become reality.

He was dead wrong about this in the 60′s as it soon became obvious to everyone else. But we learned how "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." Cut out the military draft and embed the press into the ranks so they dare not report the actions they witness.

http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

[Oct 08, 2017] THE CRISIS OF NEOLIBERALISM by Julie A. Wilson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... While the Tea Party was critical of status-quo neoliberalism -- especially its cosmopolitanism and embrace of globalization and diversity, which was perfectly embodied by Obama's election and presidency -- it was not exactly anti-neoliberal. Rather, it was anti-left neoliberalism-, it represented a more authoritarian, right [wing] version of neoliberalism. ..."
"... Within the context of the 2016 election, Clinton embodied the neoliberal center that could no longer hold. Inequality. Suffering. Collapsing infrastructures. Perpetual war. Anger. Disaffected consent. ..."
"... Both Sanders and Trump were embedded in the emerging left and right responses to neoliberalism's crisis. Specifically, Sanders' energetic campaign -- which was undoubtedly enabled by the rise of the Occupy movement -- proposed a decidedly more "commongood" path. Higher wages for working people. Taxes on the rich, specifically the captains of the creditocracy. ..."
"... In other words, Trump supporters may not have explicitly voted for neoliberalism, but that's what they got. In fact, as Rottenberg argues, they got a version of right neoliberalism "on steroids" -- a mix of blatant plutocracy and authoritarianism that has many concerned about the rise of U.S. fascism. ..."
"... We can't know what would have happened had Sanders run against Trump, but we can think seriously about Trump, right and left neoliberalism, and the crisis of neoliberal hegemony. In other words, we can think about where and how we go from here. As I suggested in the previous chapter, if we want to construct a new world, we are going to have to abandon the entangled politics of both right and left neoliberalism; we have to reject the hegemonic frontiers of both disposability and marketized equality. After all, as political philosopher Nancy Fraser argues, what was rejected in the election of 2016 was progressive, left neoliberalism. ..."
"... While the rise of hyper-right neoliberalism is certainly nothing to celebrate, it does present an opportunity for breaking with neoliberal hegemony. We have to proceed, as Gary Younge reminds us, with the realization that people "have not rejected the chance of a better world. They have not yet been offered one."' ..."
Oct 08, 2017 | www.amazon.com

Quote from the book is courtesy of Amazon preview of the book Neoliberalism (Key Ideas in Media & Cultural Studies)

In Chapter 1, we traced the rise of our neoliberal conjuncture back to the crisis of liberalism during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, culminating in the Great Depression. During this period, huge transformations in capitalism proved impossible to manage with classical laissez-faire approaches. Out of this crisis, two movements emerged, both of which would eventually shape the course of the twentieth century and beyond. The first, and the one that became dominant in the aftermath of the crisis, was the conjuncture of embedded liberalism. The crisis indicated that capitalism wrecked too much damage on the lives of ordinary citizens. People (white workers and families, especially) warranted social protection from the volatilities and brutalities of capitalism. The state's public function was expanded to include the provision of a more substantive social safety net, a web of protections for people and a web of constraints on markets. The second response was the invention of neoliberalism. Deeply skeptical of the common-good principles that undergirded the emerging social welfare state, neoliberals began organizing on the ground to develop a "new" liberal govemmentality, one rooted less in laissez-faire principles and more in the generalization of competition and enterprise. They worked to envision a new society premised on a new social ontology, that is, on new truths about the state, the market, and human beings. Crucially, neoliberals also began building infrastructures and institutions for disseminating their new' knowledges and theories (i.e., the Neoliberal Thought Collective), as well as organizing politically to build mass support for new policies (i.e., working to unite anti-communists, Christian conservatives, and free marketers in common cause against the welfare state). When cracks in embedded liberalism began to surface -- which is bound to happen with any moving political equilibrium -- neoliberals were there with new stories and solutions, ready to make the world anew.

We are currently living through the crisis of neoliberalism. As I write this book, Donald Trump has recently secured the U.S. presidency, prevailing in the national election over his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. Throughout the election, I couldn't help but think back to the crisis of liberalism and the two responses that emerged. Similarly, after the Great Recession of 2008, we've saw two responses emerge to challenge our unworkable status quo, which dispossesses so many people of vital resources for individual and collective life. On the one hand, we witnessed the rise of Occupy Wall Street. While many continue to critique the movement for its lack of leadership and a coherent political vision, Occupy was connected to burgeoning movements across the globe, and our current political horizons have been undoubtedly shaped by the movement's success at repositioning class and economic inequality within our political horizon. On the other hand, we saw' the rise of the Tea Party, a right-wing response to the crisis. While the Tea Party was critical of status-quo neoliberalism -- especially its cosmopolitanism and embrace of globalization and diversity, which was perfectly embodied by Obama's election and presidency -- it was not exactly anti-neoliberal. Rather, it was anti-left neoliberalism-, it represented a more authoritarian, right [wing] version of neoliberalism.

Within the context of the 2016 election, Clinton embodied the neoliberal center that could no longer hold. Inequality. Suffering. Collapsing infrastructures. Perpetual war. Anger. Disaffected consent. There were just too many fissures and fault lines in the glossy, cosmopolitan world of left neoliberalism and marketized equality. Indeed, while Clinton ran on status-quo stories of good governance and neoliberal feminism, confident that demographics and diversity would be enough to win the election, Trump effectively tapped into the unfolding conjunctural crisis by exacerbating the cracks in the system of marketized equality, channeling political anger into his celebrity brand that had been built on saying "f*** you" to the culture of left neoliberalism (corporate diversity, political correctness, etc.) In fact, much like Clinton's challenger in the Democratic primary, Benie Sanders, Trump was a crisis candidate.

Both Sanders and Trump were embedded in the emerging left and right responses to neoliberalism's crisis. Specifically, Sanders' energetic campaign -- which was undoubtedly enabled by the rise of the Occupy movement -- proposed a decidedly more "commongood" path. Higher wages for working people. Taxes on the rich, specifically the captains of the creditocracy.

Universal health care. Free higher education. Fair trade. The repeal of Citizens United. Trump offered a different response to the crisis. Like Sanders, he railed against global trade deals like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). However, Trump's victory was fueled by right neoliberalism's culture of cruelty. While Sanders tapped into and mobilized desires for a more egalitarian and democratic future, Trump's promise was nostalgic, making America "great again" -- putting the nation back on "top of the world," and implying a time when women were "in their place" as male property, and minorities and immigrants were controlled by the state.

Thus, what distinguished Trump's campaign from more traditional Republican campaigns was that it actively and explicitly pitted one group's equality (white men) against everyone else's (immigrants, women, Muslims, minorities, etc.). As Catherine Rottenberg suggests, Trump offered voters a choice between a multiracial society (where folks are increasingly disadvantaged and dispossessed) and white supremacy (where white people would be back on top). However, "[w]hat he neglected to state," Rottenberg writes,

is that neoliberalism flourishes in societies where the playing field is already stacked against various segments of society, and that it needs only a relatively small select group of capital-enhancing subjects, while everyone else is ultimately dispensable. 1

In other words, Trump supporters may not have explicitly voted for neoliberalism, but that's what they got. In fact, as Rottenberg argues, they got a version of right neoliberalism "on steroids" -- a mix of blatant plutocracy and authoritarianism that has many concerned about the rise of U.S. fascism.

We can't know what would have happened had Sanders run against Trump, but we can think seriously about Trump, right and left neoliberalism, and the crisis of neoliberal hegemony. In other words, we can think about where and how we go from here. As I suggested in the previous chapter, if we want to construct a new world, we are going to have to abandon the entangled politics of both right and left neoliberalism; we have to reject the hegemonic frontiers of both disposability and marketized equality. After all, as political philosopher Nancy Fraser argues, what was rejected in the election of 2016 was progressive, left neoliberalism.

While the rise of hyper-right neoliberalism is certainly nothing to celebrate, it does present an opportunity for breaking with neoliberal hegemony. We have to proceed, as Gary Younge reminds us, with the realization that people "have not rejected the chance of a better world. They have not yet been offered one."'

Mark Fisher, the author of Capitalist Realism, put it this way:

The long, dark night of the end of history has to be grasped as an enormous opportunity. The very oppressive pervasiveness of capitalist realism means that even glimmers of alternative political and economic possibilities can have a disproportionately great effect. The tiniest event can tear a hole in the grey curtain of reaction which has marked the horizons of possibility under capitalist realism. From a situation in which nothing can happen, suddenly anything is possible again.4

I think that, for the first time in the history of U.S. capitalism, the vast majority of people might sense the lie of liberal, capitalist democracy. They feel anxious, unfree, disaffected. Fantasies of the good life have been shattered beyond repair for most people. Trump and this hopefully brief triumph of right neoliberalism will soon lay this bare for everyone to see. Now, with Trump, it is absolutely clear: the rich rule the world; we are all disposable; this is no democracy. The question becomes: How will we show up for history? Will there be new stories, ideas, visions, and fantasies to attach to? How can we productively and meaningful intervene in the crisis of neoliberalism? How can we "tear a hole in the grey curtain" and open up better worlds? How can we put what we've learned to use and begin to imagine and build a world beyond living in competition? I hope our critical journey through the neoliberal conjuncture has enabled you to begin to answer these questions.

More specifically, in recent decades, especially since the end of the Cold War, our common-good sensibilities have been channeled into neoliberal platforms for social change and privatized action, funneling our political energies into brand culture and marketized struggles for equality (e.g., charter schools, NGOs and non-profits, neoliberal antiracism and feminism). As a result, despite our collective anger and disaffected consent, we find ourselves stuck in capitalist realism with no real alternative. Like the neoliberal care of the self, we are trapped in a privatized mode of politics that relies on cruel optimism; we are attached, it seems, to politics that inspire and motivate us to action, while keeping us living in competition.

To disrupt the game, we need to construct common political horizons against neoliberal hegemony. We need to use our common stories and common reason to build common movements against precarity -- for within neoliberalism, precarity is what ultimately has the potential to thread all of our lives together. Put differently, the ultimate fault line in the neoliberal conjiuicture is the way it subjects us all to precarity and the biopolitics of disposability, thereby creating conditions of possibility for new coalitions across race, gender, citizenship, sexuality, and class. Recognizing this potential for coalition in the face of precarization is the most pressing task facing those who are yearning for a new world. The question is: How do we get there? How do we realize these coalitional potentialities and materialize common horizons?

HOW WE GET THERE

Ultimately, mapping the neoliberal conjuncture through everyday life in enterprise culture has not only provided some direction in terms of what we need; it has also cultivated concrete and practical intellectual resources for political interv ention and social interconnection -- a critical toolbox for living in common. More specifically, this book has sought to provide resources for thinking and acting against the four Ds: resources for engaging in counter-conduct, modes of living that refuse, on one hand, to conduct one's life according to the norm of enterprise, and on the other, to relate to others through the norm of competition. Indeed, we need new ways of relating, interacting, and living as friends, lovers, workers, vulnerable bodies, and democratic people if we are to write new stories, invent new govemmentalities, and build coalitions for new worlds.

Against Disimagination: Educated Hope and Affirmative Speculation

We need to stop turning inward, retreating into ourselves, and taking personal responsibility for our lives (a task which is ultimately impossible). Enough with the disimagination machine! Let's start looking outward, not inward -- to the broader structures that undergird our lives. Of course, we need to take care of ourselves; we must survive. But I firmly believe that we can do this in ways both big and small, that transform neoliberal culture and its status-quo stories.

Here's the thing I tell my students all the time. You cannot escape neoliberalism. It is the air we breathe, the water in which we swim. No job, practice of social activism, program of self-care, or relationship will be totally free from neoliberal impingements and logics. There is no pure "outside" to get to or work from -- that's just the nature of the neoliberalism's totalizing cultural power. But let's not forget that neoliberalism's totalizing cultural power is also a source of weakness. Potential for resistance is everywhere, scattered throughout our everyday lives in enterprise culture. Our critical toolbox can help us identify these potentialities and navigate and engage our conjuncture in ways that tear open up those new worlds we desire.

In other words, our critical perspective can help us move through the world with what Henry Giroux calls educated hope. Educated hope means holding in tension the material realities of power and the contingency of history. This orientation of educated hope knows very well what we're up against. However, in the face of seemingly totalizing power, it also knows that neoliberalism can never become total because the future is open. Educated hope is what allows us to see the fault lines, fissures, and potentialities of the present and emboldens us to think and work from that sliver of social space where we do have political agency and freedom to construct a new world. Educated hope is what undoes the power of capitalist realism. It enables affirmative speculation (such as discussed in Chapter 5), which does not try to hold the future to neoliberal horizons (that's cruel optimism!), but instead to affirm our commonalities and the potentialities for the new worlds they signal. Affirmative speculation demands a different sort of risk calculation and management. It senses how little we have to lose and how much we have to gain from knocking the hustle of our lives.

Against De-democratization: Organizing and Collective Coverning

We can think of educated hope and affirmative speculation as practices of what Wendy Brown calls "bare democracy" -- the basic idea that ordinary' people like you and me should govern our lives in common, that we should critique and try to change our world, especially the exploitative and oppressive structures of power that maintain social hierarchies and diminish lives. Neoliberal culture works to stomp out capacities for bare democracy by transforming democratic desires and feelings into meritocratic desires and feelings. In neoliberal culture, utopian sensibilities are directed away from the promise of collective utopian sensibilities are directed away from the promise of collective governing to competing for equality.

We have to get back that democractic feeling! As Jeremy Gilbert taught us, disaffected consent is a post-democratic orientation. We don't like our world, but we don't think we can do anything about it. So, how do we get back that democratic feeling? How do we transform our disaffected consent into something new? As I suggested in the last chapter, we organize. Organizing is simply about people coming together around a common horizon and working collectively to materialize it. In this way, organizing is based on the idea of radical democracy, not liberal democracy. While the latter is based on formal and abstract rights guaranteed by the state, radical democracy insists that people should directly make the decisions that impact their lives, security, and well-being. Radical democracy is a practice of collective governing: it is about us hashing out, together in communities, what matters, and working in common to build a world based on these new sensibilities.

The work of organizing is messy, often unsatisfying, and sometimes even scary. Organizing based on affirmative speculation and coalition-building, furthermore, will have to be experimental and uncertain. As Lauren Berlant suggests, it means "embracing the discomfort of affective experience in a truly open social life that no

one has ever experienced." Organizing through and for the common "requires more adaptable infrastructures. Keep forcing the existing infrastructures to do what they don't know how to do. Make new ways to be local together, where local doesn't require a physical neighborhood." 5 What Berlant is saying is that the work of bare democracy requires unlearning, and detaching from, our current stories and infrastructures in order to see and make things work differently. Organizing for a new world is not easy -- and there are no guarantees -- but it is the only way out of capitalist realism.

Against Disposability: Radical Equality

Getting back democratic feeling will at once require and help us lo move beyond the biopolitics of disposability and entrenched systems of inequality. On one hand, organizing will never be enough if it is not animated by bare democracy, a sensibility that each of us is equally important when it comes to the project of determining our lives in common. Our bodies, our hurts, our dreams, and our desires matter regardless of our race, gender, sexuality, or citizenship, and regardless of how r much capital (economic, social, or cultural) we have. Simply put, in a radical democracy, no one is disposable. This bare-democratic sense of equality must be foundational to organizing and coalition-building. Otherwise, we will always and inevitably fall back into a world of inequality.

On the other hand, organizing and collective governing will deepen and enhance our sensibilities and capacities for radical equality. In this context, the kind of self-enclosed individualism that empowers and underwrites the biopolitics of disposability melts away, as we realize the interconnectedness of our lives and just how amazing it feels to

fail, we affirm our capacities for freedom, political intervention, social interconnection, and collective social doing.

Against Dispossession: Shared Security and Common Wealth

Thinking and acting against the biopolitics of disposability goes hand-in-hand with thinking and acting against dispossession. Ultimately, when we really understand and feel ourselves in relationships of interconnection with others, we want for them as we want for ourselves. Our lives and sensibilities of what is good and just are rooted in radical equality, not possessive or self-appreciating individualism. Because we desire social security and protection, we also know others desire and deserve the same.

However, to really think and act against dispossession means not only advocating for shared security and social protection, but also for a new society that is built on the egalitarian production and distribution of social wealth that we all produce. In this sense, we can take Marx's critique of capitalism -- that wealth is produced collectively but appropriated individually -- to heart. Capitalism was built on the idea that one class -- the owners of the means of production -- could exploit and profit from the collective labors of everyone else (those who do not own and thus have to work), albeit in very different ways depending on race, gender, or citizenship. This meant that, for workers of all stripes, their lives existed not for themselves, but for others (the appropriating class), and that regardless of what we own as consumers, we are not really free or equal in that bare-democratic sense of the word.

If we want to be really free, we need to construct new material and affective social infrastructures for our common wealth. In these new infrastructures, wealth must not be reduced to economic value; it must be rooted in social value. Here, the production of wealth does not exist as a separate sphere from the reproduction of our lives. In other words, new infrastructures, based on the idea of common wealth, will not be set up to exploit our labor, dispossess our communities, or to divide our lives. Rather, they will work to provide collective social resources and care so that we may all be free to pursue happiness, create beautiful and/or useful things, and to realize our potential within a social world of living in common. Crucially, to create the conditions for these new, democratic forms of freedom rooted in radical equality, we need to find ways to refuse and exit the financial networks of Empire and the dispossessions of creditocracy, building new systems that invite everyone to participate in the ongoing production of new worlds and the sharing of the wealth that we produce in common.

It's not up to me to tell you exactly where to look, but I assure you that potentialities for these new worlds are everywhere around you.

[Oct 08, 2017] There is a Coup Underway Against President Trump

Oct 08, 2017 | steemit.com

2 months ago sgtreport 65 in politics by Harley Schlanger, LaRouchePac, SGTreport.com:

In a desperate attempt to defend its collapsing "Russiagate" narrative, the Washington Post launched an attack on The Nation magazine for its August 9 article by Patrick Lawrence, "A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack." Lawrence's article, in the most prestigious left/progressive magazine in the U.S., broke the attempted media blackout of the memo sent by the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) on July 24 to President Trump, which effectively refutes the claims of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, allegedly through "hacking" Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and releasing them to Wikileaks. Despite more than twelve months of non-stop charges against the Russians, and claims of Trump's collusion with Russia, not a shred of hard evidence has yet been presented to back these allegations, which are at the heart of the coup plot being run against the President.

The Nation article was followed by a prominent story in Bloomberg News and one in Salon magazine, which both reported on the Nation article, and the VIPS memo, and how it challenges the narrative that Trump owes his election victory to Putin and Russia. That story was concocted by leading figures in British intelligence, and leaked to the U.S. media by corrupt elements of Obama's intelligence team, led by the trio of Brennan, Clapper and Comey, as part of the "regime change" against Trump they launched after his November 2016 election victory. Brennan set up a task force to look into the Russian meddling charges after a former British Ambassador to Moscow, Sir Andrew Wood, delivered a fraudulent dossier, prepared by an "ex"-MI6 operative, to Brennan, through anti-Trump Senator John McCain.

The attack on The Nation was posted on the Post's "Eric Wemple Blog" on August 15, and is a blatant attempt to force The Nation's editors to not merely repudiate the Lawrence article, but to join the campaign against Trump's desire for cooperation with Russia. Wemple's attempt to dismiss the authoritative report of the VIPS has no substance, and is written to bludgeon the magazine's editors to adopt the talking points of the coup plotters. As such, it presents the same weak, sophistical argument presented by the DNC, which released a statement on the VIPS memo which simply reasserted the conclusion reached by "U.S. intelligence agencies" of Russian interference, adding, "Any suggestion otherwise is false, and is just another conspiracy theory like those pushed by Trump and his administration."

Such dangerous silliness was countered by Salon's Danielle Ryan, who wrote on August 15, "For the media and mainstream liberals to dismiss information presented in The Nation as lacking in evidence would be breathtakingly ironic, given how little evidence they required to build a narrative" against Trump and Putin. She concluded that if the VIPS memo is right, "those who pushed the Russia hacking narrative with little evidence have a lot to answer for."

[Oct 08, 2017] Coup Attempt against Trump Faltering, As Americans Begin To See a Future Once Again LaRouchePAC

Oct 08, 2017 | larouchepac.com

When FDR died before the end of the war, Lyndon LaRouche despaired that a great man had passed, and warned that a very little man was taking over.

Looking back on 1945 from today's perspective, do Americans recognize that the United States won the war based on FDR's defeat of the British bankers on Wall Street, by restoring the American System of credit for development, not for speculation, through the Glass-Steagall legislation? Do they recognize that the "arsenal of democracy" which defeated fascism was possible only because FDR had created the greatest infrastructure boom in all of history, in a few short years, giving the U.S. an overwhelming advantage in production and logistics? Do they recognize that Roosevelt's collaboration with China and Russia (the U.S.S.R. at that time) was indispensable in saving the world from fascism? Or do they believe the myth that the war was won by Truman's incineration of Japanese civilians, and that the Cold War was necessary to save the world from "Godless Communism"?

These questions are crucial for today. After 16 years of austerity, permanent colonial warfare ("regime change"), and cultural degeneration under Bush, Cheney and Obama, Americans were threatened with death by pessimism and despair, by economic decay, and the cultural degradation of their human dignity.

But the world has now changed. The New Silk Road, since being declared by Xi Jinping in 2013, in a few short years, just as FDR had done within the U.S., has set nearly the entire world on a course of vast infrastructure development, lifting the platform of human productivity worldwide, and demonstrating that poverty can indeed be eliminated, throughout the globe, as the Chinese have nearly done within their own nation. China and Russia are uniting the nations of Eurasia behind this great enterprise, and reaching out to all of Asia, Africa and the Americas to join in.

And now in the United States, a President has emerged who rejects the Imperial divide of the world, who rejects regime change, and who promotes friendship and collaboration with Russia and China, both to defeat terrorism, and to cooperate in the Belt and Road Initiative to meet the common aims of Mankind.

The Empire has responded with a vengeance. Using every resource at their disposal -- war-mongering neocons from both the Republican and Democratic parties, the putrid whores of the mainstream media, and the British operatives in the Bush and Obama intelligence communities -- an effort was made to demonize Putin, claim Russia stole the election, and that Trump was a tool of Moscow. Trump was to be destroyed at all costs -- a "color revolution" against our own nation. Leading the effort were the well known liars and traitors who led Obama's intelligence agencies: John Brennan, James Clapper and James Comey.

As the New York Post 's Michael Goodwin pointed out Saturday: "J. Edgar Hoover kept his job because five Presidents were afraid to fire him. His insurance was the dirt he secretly collected on them. Comey is cut from the same cloth, but Trump wasn't afraid to fire him."

Now reality is setting in among the American people. Comey's lies stand exposed. Trump refuses to back down to the war-mongers' lies about Russia and/or China.

The question that remains: Will the American people revive the outlook of our Founding Fathers, of Franklin Roosevelt, of John F. Kennedy, by looking back at today from the future? Will New Yorkers adopt a vision of the city with high-speed rail connections in all directions, with maglev trains replacing the sweaty, noisy collapsing subway system? Will Americans dare to believe that the nation can be transformed in just a few short years, as FDR did, as the Chinese have done today?

Over the next few weeks, the Manhattan project will be sponsoring a series of events that provide the creative ammunition needed to answer that question in the affirmative. Upcoming is a June 29 Carnegie Hall event honoring Sylvia Olden Lee, which will be followed by a seminar on classical tuning and vocal placement. Further events with the Schiller Institute and our Chinese friends and others from around the world will follow shortly, continuing to provide direction to the revolutionary changes sweeping the nation and the world.

[Oct 08, 2017] The Final Truth about the "Trump Dossier," Part Three

May 03, 2017 | www.aim.org

by Accuracy In Media on May 3, 2017

A Special Report from the Accuracy in Media Center for Investigative Journalism; Cliff Kincaid, Director

The Role of the CIA's John Brennan

In its lengthy feature article on FBI Director James Comey, The New York Times disingenuously evades the new evidence from the British press that nails former President Barack Obama's CIA Director John Brennan for using the "Trump dossier" as weaponized fake intelligence, which he wielded to spearhead an interagency task force to investigate Trump during and after the election campaign. The Times article's sole mention of Brennan suppresses any mention of its own reporting by three of the same reporters on January 19 about the six-agency, anti-Trump task force or working group (and naturally there is no investigative reporting to dig into the task force's scandalous operations).

But, of course, that was the same New York Times article, in its January 20 print edition, that headlined the " Wiretapped Trump Aides ." The Times wants to forget all about that, now that President Trump has made the Obama "wire tapping" an issue.

The timing and use of the "Trump dossier" suggests that Hillary's agents during the campaign panicked when Julian Assange announced on June 12 , 2016, that he would soon release emails from within the Hillary campaign -- unauthorized and uncensored -- not official State Department releases redacted to protect Hillary.

It seems as if Hillary's backers hired someone to throw together any sleazy garbage that they could use to blunt the impact, or even nullify the potentially disastrous effects of the Hillary/DNC emails, which as far as they knew could come out any day or any minute from WikiLeaks. The first Christopher Steele report in the "dossier," with the vilest allegations of all, was rushed out in record time, dated barely a week later, on June 20 .

From their perspective of defending Hillary, it had to be something on Trump so foul, so disgusting, that no one would pay any attention to what the WikiLeaks emails from Hillary said or disclosed. Hence, the first "Trump dossier" report concocted on or before June 20 tried to claim Trump hired prostitutes to "golden shower" (urinate on) the former Obama bed in the Moscow hotel (or as we have seen, "someone" said "someone else" said Trump "may" have done so, and it "may" have been taped, maybe in "some year" or other, etc. Our words in quotes). The Hillary funders evidently did not count on the "Trump dossier" being so repulsive that even the most hate-filled major media, such as The New York Times and CNN, could not stomach publishing it or risking lawsuits from a billionaire like Trump. So they simply drew attention to the document without reproducing it, at first only by veiled allusion.

As the election approached, the increasingly frantic media began leaking out more and more from the sickening "dossier." ( NYT , July 29; Yahoo News September 23; Mother Jones October 31; Washington Post November 1, Newsweek November 4, Salon November 4, etc.)

In addition to Comey, who took the bait, we have evidence that Obama's CIA director John Brennan was involved in spreading the allegations, briefing Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) (who turned around and lambasted Comey), and using it and illegal NSA-GCHQ wiretap data to set up an interagency task force to investigate Trump. Such CIA-led actions were in violation of the CIA charter forbidding them from carrying out any law enforcement, police or internal security functions (50 U.S. Code 3036(d)(1)). (AIM Special Report , April 17)

Trying to make something out of nothing, the illegal intelligence agency leaks suggest that the CIA has found some minor "aspects" in the "dossier" that are " corroborated " by intercepted wiretap communications. But these turned out to be pseudo-corroborations of long-known matters of public knowledge (such as alleged Trump adviser Carter Page's "secret" visit to Moscow, actually openly reported in the press on July 7).

In fact, essentially the same story indicating that a few business meetings in the "dossier" were "confirmed" by intercepted communications -- but not important facts -- ran in Yahoo News on September 23, 2016.

So this is old fake news, designed to magnify and exaggerate trivia to suggest the opposite of what was actually known, which was that nothing incriminating or wrongful about Trump associate's business activities with Russia had been found -- no "smoking gun." ( AIM , Febrary 20 and April 17 , 2017; cf. Washington Post November 1, 2016; and CNN )

[Oct 08, 2017] JFK The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy by L. Fletcher Prouty, Oliver Stone, Jesse Ventura

The most important part of power elite in neoliberal society might not be financial oligarchy, but intelligence agencies elite. If you look at the role of Brennan in "Purple color revolution" against Trump that became clear that heads of the agencies are powerful political players with resources at hand, that are not available to other politicians.
Notable quotes:
"... One objective of this book is to discuss these new forces. It will present an insider's view of the CIA story and provide comparisons with the intelligence organizations -- those invisible forces -- of other countries. To be more realistic with the priorities of these agencies themselves, more will be said about operational matters than about actual intelligence gathering as a profession. ..."
"... Under totalitarian or highly centralized nondemocratic regimes, the intelligence organization is a political, secret service with police powers. It is designed primarily to provide personal security to those who control the authority of the state against all political opponents, foreign and domestic. These leaders are forced to depend upon these secret elite forces to remain alive and in power. Such an organization operates in deep secrecy and has the responsibility for carrying out espionage, counterespionage, and pseudoterrorism. This methodology is as true of Israel, Chile, or Jordan as it has been of the Soviet Union. ..."
Oct 08, 2017 | www.amazon.com

Trie existence of these multimegaton hydrogen bombs has so drastically changed the Grand Strategy of world powers that, today and for the future, that strategy is being carried out by the invisible forces of the CIA, what remains of the KGB, and their lesser counterparts around the world.

Men in positions of great power have been forced to realize that their aspirations and responsibilities have exceeded the horizons of their own experience, knowledge, and capability. Yet, because they are in chargeof this high-technology society, they are compelled to do something.

This overpowering necessity to do something -- although our leaders do not know precisely what to do or how to do it -- creates in the power elite an overbearing fear of the people. It is the fear not of you and me as individuals but of the smoldering threat of vast populations and of potential uprisings of the masses.

This power elite is not easy to define; but the fact that it exists makes itself known from time to time. Concerning the power elite, R. Buckminster Fuller wrote of the "vastly ambitious individuals who [have] become so effectively powerful because of their ability to remain invisible while operating behind the national scenery." Fuller noted also, "Always their victories [are] in the name of some powerful sovereign-ruled country. The real power structures [are] always the
invisible ones behind the visible sovereign powers."

The power elite is not a group from one nation or even of one alliance of nations. It operates throughout the world and no doubt has done so for many, many centuries.

... ... ...

From this point ot view, warfare, and the preparation tor war, is an absolute necessity for the welfare of the state and for control of population masses, as has been so ably documented in that remarkable novel by Leonard Lewin1 Report From Iron Mountain on the Possibility and Desirability of Peace and attributed by Lewin to "the Special Study Group in 1966," an organization whose existence was so highly classified that there is no record, to this day, of who the men in the group were or with what sectors of the government or private life they were connected.

This report, as presented in the novel, avers that war is necessary to sustain society, the nation, and national sovereignty, a view that has existed for millennia. Through the ages, totally uncontrolled warfare -- the only kind of "real" war -- got bigger and "better" as time andtechnology churned on, finally culminating in World War II with the introduction of atomic bombs.

Not long after that great war, the world leaders were faced suddenly with the reality of a great dilemma. At the root of this dilemma was the new fission-fusion-fission H-bomb. Is it some uncontrollable Manichean device, or is it truly a weapon of war?

... ... ...

Such knowledge is sufficient. The dilemma is now fact. There can no longer be a classic or traditional war, at least not the all-out, go-for-broke-type warfare there has been down through the ages, a war that leads to a meaningful victory for one side and abject defeat for the other.

Witness what has been called warfare in Korea, and Vietnam, and the later, more limited experiment with new weaponry called the Gulf War in Iraq.

... ... ...

This is why, even before the end of World War II, the newly structured bipolar confrontation between the world of Communism and the West resulted in the employment of enormous intelligence agencies that had the power, invisibly, to wage underground warfare, economic and well as military, anywhere -- including methods of warfare never before imagined. These conflicts had to be tactically designed to remain short of the utilization of the H-bomb by either side. There can never be victories in such wars, but tremendous loss of life could occur, and there is the much-desired consumption and attrition of trillions of dollars', and
rubles', worth of war equipment.

One objective of this book is to discuss these new forces. It will present an insider's view of the CIA story and provide comparisons with the intelligence organizations -- those invisible forces -- of other countries. To be more realistic with the priorities of these agencies themselves, more will be said about operational matters than about actual intelligence gathering as a profession.

This subject cannot be explored fully without a discussion of assassination. Since WWII, there has been an epidemic of murders at the highest level in many countries. Without question the most dynamic of these assassinations was the murder of President John F. Kennedy, but JFK was just one of many in a long list that includes bankers, corporate leaders, newsmen, rising political spokesmen, and religious leaders.

The ever-present threat of assassination seriously limits the number of men who would normally attempt to strive for positions of leadership, if for no other reason than that they could be singled out for murder at any time. This is not a new tactic, but it is one that has become increasingly utilized in pressure spots around the world.

It is essential to note that there are two principal categories of intelligence organizations and that their functions are determined generally by the characteristics of the type of government they serve -- not by the citizens of the government, but by its leaders.

Under totalitarian or highly centralized nondemocratic regimes, the intelligence organization is a political, secret service with police powers. It is designed primarily to provide personal security to those who control the authority of the state against all political opponents, foreign and domestic. These leaders are forced to depend upon these secret elite forces to remain alive and in power. Such an organization operates in deep secrecy and has the responsibility for carrying out espionage, counterespionage, and pseudoterrorism. This methodology is as true of Israel, Chile, or Jordan as it has been of the Soviet Union.

The second category of intelligence organization is one whose agents are limited to the gathering and reporting of intelligence and who have no police functions or the power to arrest at home or abroad. This type of organization is what the CIA was created to be; however, it does not exist. Over the decades since the CIA was created, it has acquired more sinister functions. All intelligence agencies, in time, tend to develop along similar lines. The CIA today is a far cry hum the agency that was created in 1947 by the National Security Act. As President Harry S. Truman confided to close friends, the greatest mistake of his administration took place when he signed that National Security Act of 1947 into law. It was that act which, among other things it did, created the Central Intelligence Agency.3

[Oct 06, 2017] MSM propagate "moron" fake news with the intensity that probably deserve a better target

Neoliberal MSM continue to try to create discord within trump administration. Now this is CNN turn to spread the rumors (aka "fake news"). Again "anonymous source" are all over the pace in this story. they probably should be called "anonymous fakers".
The only think I do not understand is why they are continuing targeting Trump. Trump folded and abandoned his election promises. What do they want, as his resignation will open a can of worm that is more dangerous them continuation of Trump tenure in white house.
This looks extremely disingenuous from MSM fakers. Are they running our of option to blackmail Trump?
Notable quotes:
"... Early Wednesday, Tillerson spoke with Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly, by phone as the story aired on morning television. ..."
"... "Total confidence in Rex. I have total confidence," he said. He called the reports about Tillerson's "moron" comment "totally phony." ..."
Oct 06, 2017 | www.msn.com
'Moron'

This week, Tillerson insisted in public that he's never considered leaving the administration, and vowed to remain in his post "for as long as the president feels I can be useful to achieving his objectives."

Trump, however, has expressed frustration that Tillerson is stymieing aspects of his agenda. Trump grew furious on Wednesday when early morning news reports emerged that Tillerson had called him a "moron" during a meeting about Afghanistan over the summer. The public airing of the insult deeply angered the president, who vented on Twitter that the story amounted to "fake news."

Multiple sources told CNN that Trump was aware that Tillerson had used the word to describe him before the public report emerged, though it wasn't clear when he first learned of it. Having the information leaked, however, enraged him. Early Wednesday, Tillerson spoke with Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly, by phone as the story aired on morning television. Both agreed that Tillerson should deliver a statement refuting aspects of the report, which also said he had considered resigning from his post.

Tillerson delivered a set of remarks that adamantly denied he'd ever considered leaving the administration, and offered effusive praise for Trump's foreign policy objectives.

"There's never been a consideration in my mind to leave," Tillerson said from the State Department Treaty Room.

But he did not deny calling Trump a "moron" when asked directly. Later, the State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, said Tillerson told her he'd never used that language to describe the president.

After delivering his mid-morning statement, the secretary of state met at the White House with Kelly, who had remained behind in Washington as Trump flew cross-country to console survivors of Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas . The President viewed the statement from Air Force One and later, inside a hospital trauma center, insisted he remained confident in his top diplomat.

"Total confidence in Rex. I have total confidence," he said. He called the reports about Tillerson's "moron" comment "totally phony."

[Oct 05, 2017] Tillerson Summoned to White House Amid Presidential Fury

MSm stil trying to sing Trump, and it looks like he is helping them. Campaign of well times and damaging leaks continue.
Notable quotes:
"... Additional reporting from Peter Alexander, Hallie Jackson and Vivian Salama. ..."
Oct 05, 2017 | www.msn.com
Additional reporting from Peter Alexander, Hallie Jackson and Vivian Salama.

WASHINGTON -- John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, abruptly scrapped plans to travel with President Donald Trump on Wednesday so he could try to contain his boss's fury and manage the fallout from new revelations about tensions between the president and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, according to six senior administration officials.

Kelly summoned Tillerson, and their ally Defense Secretary James Mattis, to the White House, where the three of them huddled to discuss a path forward, according to three administration officials. The White House downplayed Kelly's decision to stay in Washington, saying he did so to manage day-to-day operations.

Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, was fuming in Phoenix, where he was traveling, seven officials told NBC News. He and Tillerson spoke on the phone before the secretary's public appearance on Wednesday morning.

Pence was incensed upon learning from the NBC report that Tillerson's top spokesman had said he once privately questioned the value of Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Officials said the spokesman, R.C. Hammond, fabricated an anecdote that Pence had asked Tillerson in a meeting whether Haley, who is seen as a possible successor if Tillerson, is helpful or harmful to the administration.

NBC reported Wednesday that Tillerson had threatened to resign in July after a series of clashes with the president, at one point venting his frustrations among his colleagues by calling the president a "moron," according to multiple senior administration officials who were aware of the matter at the time.

Four senior administration officials said Trump first learned on Wednesday that Tillerson had disparaged him after a July 20 national security meeting at the Pentagon. Trump vented to Kelly Wednesday morning, leading Kelly to scrap plans to travel with the president to Las Vegas to meet with victims and first responders in Sunday's mass shooting.

Trump was furious when he saw the NBC News report, which was published shortly before 6 a.m. Wednesday. For the next two hours the president fumed inside the White House, venting to Kelly, officials said. He left for Las Vegas shortly after 8 a.m., 20 minutes behind schedule. Tillerson scrambled to pull together a statement, while his spokesman publicly apologized for his comments about Pence and Haley, saying he "spoke out of line about conversations I wasn't privy to."

Tillerson delivered a statement praising Trump and insisting he never considered resigning, but it's what he didn't say that further enraged Trump, officials said.

The secretary's refusal to deny that he had called the president a "moron" in his opening statement and in his responses to questions from reporters stoked Trump's anger and widened the rift between the two men, officials said. After watching the secretary's response Wednesday, one White House official said, "When Tillerson didn't deny it, I assumed it was true." Hammond is seen by the White House, particularly Pence's office, as untrustworthy, officials said. It's unclear if he will remain in his post, according to three administration officials.

Pence was "very annoyed anyone would misrepresent anything he said, particularly in private meetings," one White House official said. On Wednesday, this source said, White House officials spoke to State Department officials to make it clear that Hammond's comment was "false" and needed to be corrected. The revelations followed Trump's frustrations over the weekend after Tillerson said the U.S. would talk to North Korea.

State Department officials tried to reach Tillerson on his government aircraft during his flight from Beijing to Japan, but they couldn't reach him, sources said. The secretary and his team didn't want to issue a clarification, further stoking tensions with the White House, on administration official said.

Trump took to Twitter, telling Tillerson not to waste his time trying to negotiate with the North Korean regime.

Related:

[Oct 04, 2017] The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Whose Bright Idea Was RussiaGate by Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... The answer to the question in the title of this article is that Russiagate was created by CIA director John Brennan. The CIA started what is called Russiagate in order to prevent Trump from being able to normalize relations with Russia. The CIA and the military/security complex need an enemy in order to justify their huge budgets and unaccountable power. Russia has been assigned that role. The Democrats joined in as a way of attacking Trump. They hoped to have him tarnished as cooperating with Russia to steal the presidential election from Hillary and to have him impeached. I don't think the Democrats have considered the consequence of further worsening the relations between the US and Russia. ..."
"... The neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony requires the principal goal of US foreign policy to be to prevent the rise of other countries that can serve as a restraint on US unilateralism. This is the main basis for the hostility of US foreign policy toward Russia, and of course there also is the material interests of the military/security complex. ..."
"... Washington is fully aware that there was no Russian interference in the presidential election or in the state elections. The military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Democratic Party are merely using the accusations to serve their own agendas. ..."
"... These selfish agendas are a dire threat to life on earth ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from PaulCraigRoberts.org . ..."
Oct 03, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

The answer to the question in the title of this article is that Russiagate was created by CIA director John Brennan. The CIA started what is called Russiagate in order to prevent Trump from being able to normalize relations with Russia. The CIA and the military/security complex need an enemy in order to justify their huge budgets and unaccountable power. Russia has been assigned that role. The Democrats joined in as a way of attacking Trump. They hoped to have him tarnished as cooperating with Russia to steal the presidential election from Hillary and to have him impeached. I don't think the Democrats have considered the consequence of further worsening the relations between the US and Russia.

Public Russia bashing pre-dates Trump. It has been going on privately in neoconservative circles for years, but appeared publicly during the Obama regime when Russia blocked Washington's plans to invade Syria and to bomb Iran.

Russia bashing became more intense when Washington's coup in Ukraine failed to deliver Crimea. Washington had intended for the new Ukrainian regime to evict the Russians from their naval base on the Black Sea. This goal was frustrated when Crimea voted to rejoin Russia.

The neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony requires the principal goal of US foreign policy to be to prevent the rise of other countries that can serve as a restraint on US unilateralism. This is the main basis for the hostility of US foreign policy toward Russia, and of course there also is the material interests of the military/security complex.

Russia bashing is much larger than merely Russiagate. The danger lies in Washington convincing Russia that Washington is planning a surprise attack on Russia. With US and NATO bases on Russia's borders, efforts to arm Ukraine and to include Ukraine and Georgia in NATO provide more evidence that Washington is surrounding Russia for attack. There is nothing more reckless and irresponsible than convincing a nuclear power that you are going to attack.

Washington is fully aware that there was no Russian interference in the presidential election or in the state elections. The military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Democratic Party are merely using the accusations to serve their own agendas.

These selfish agendas are a dire threat to life on earth .

Reprinted with permission from PaulCraigRoberts.org .

[Oct 03, 2017] Are You Ready to Die by Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... Greenwald explains that the US media is so conditioned by the National Security State to see Russian President Putin lurking behind and masterminding attacks on America that it is "now religious dogma" -- a requirement -- to find Russian perfidy everywhere. The result Greenwald correctly says is that "an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards." ..."
"... In other words, the United States no longer has a media . It has a propaganda ministry for the military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Israel Lobby. And the idiot Americans sit in front of the TV and absorb the propaganda, and they read the New York Times and think that they are sophisticated and in the know. ..."
"... Russia knows that Washington knows that the accusations against Russia are false. ..."
"... This is a serious question, not only for Russia but for the entire world. All previous false accusations from the Clinton regime criminals, the Bush/Cheney regime criminals, and the Obama regime criminals ended in military attacks on the falsely demonized targets. Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea would be within reason to wonder if the false news propaganda attack on them is a prelude to military attack. ..."
"... What is the point of US security agencies such as Homeland Security, CIA, FBI, NSA constantly filling the propaganda machine known as the American Media with lies about Russia? Russia must wonder as well. Russia knows that they are lies. Russia knows that it does no good to refute the lies because the West has a Propaganda Ministry instead of a media. Russia knows that Washington told lies about the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, Iran. What does Russia conclude from the constant stream of lies about Russia that flow out of Washington and are presented as truth by the Western presstitutes? ..."
"... I have written many times that provoking nuclear powers such as Russia and China is the most extreme form of recklessness and irresponsibility. ..."
Oct 02, 2017 | www.unz.com

Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept exposes the fake news put out by the US Department of Homeland Security (an euphemistic name for a Big Brother operation that spies on US citizens) that Russia hacked 21 US state elections, news that was instantly spread around the world by the presstitute media. The propagandists running Homeland Security were contradicted by the state governments, forcing Homeland Security to retract its fake news claims. https://theintercept.com/2017/09/28/yet-another-major-russia-story-falls-apart-is-skepticism-permissible-yet/

The unasked/unanswered question is why did Homeland Security put out a FAKE NEWS story?

Greenwald explains that the US media is so conditioned by the National Security State to see Russian President Putin lurking behind and masterminding attacks on America that it is "now religious dogma" -- a requirement -- to find Russian perfidy everywhere. The result Greenwald correctly says is that "an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards."

In other words, the United States no longer has a media . It has a propaganda ministry for the military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Israel Lobby. And the idiot Americans sit in front of the TV and absorb the propaganda, and they read the New York Times and think that they are sophisticated and in the know.

What Greenwald doesn't address is the effect of the massive amount of fake news on Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. Russia knows that Washington knows that the accusations against Russia are false. So why is Washington making false accusations against Russia?

This is a serious question, not only for Russia but for the entire world. All previous false accusations from the Clinton regime criminals, the Bush/Cheney regime criminals, and the Obama regime criminals ended in military attacks on the falsely demonized targets. Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea would be within reason to wonder if the false news propaganda attack on them is a prelude to military attack.

Iran and North Korea cannot attack the US and its European vassals, but Russia and China can. I have written about the Operational Command of the Russian armed forces conclusion that Washington is preparing a surprise nuclear attack on Russia. Instead of reassuring the Russians that no such planning is in the works, Washington has instead pushed further the fake news Russiagate story with the false report that Russia had hacked the elections of 21 states.

What is the point of US security agencies such as Homeland Security, CIA, FBI, NSA constantly filling the propaganda machine known as the American Media with lies about Russia? Russia must wonder as well. Russia knows that they are lies. Russia knows that it does no good to refute the lies because the West has a Propaganda Ministry instead of a media. Russia knows that Washington told lies about the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, Iran. What does Russia conclude from the constant stream of lies about Russia that flow out of Washington and are presented as truth by the Western presstitutes?

If you were the Russian government, would you conclude that your country was the next to be attacked militarily by Washington? If you were the Russian government, you would know that Washington/NATO cannot possibly attack Russia except by surprise nuclear strike. Knowing this, if you were the Russian government, would you sit there and wait on the strike? Imagine yourself the Russian government listening day in, day out, to endless wild improbable charges against Russia. What can Russia possibly conclude other than this is preparation of Western peoples for a nuclear attack on Russia?

Russia is not going to be hung like Saddan Hussein or murdered like Gaddafi.

I have written many times that provoking nuclear powers such as Russia and China is the most extreme form of recklessness and irresponsibility. The crazed morons in Washington are risking the life of the planet. The presstitutes are worse than the whores that they are. They never question the path to war; they only amplify it. Washington's craven, cowardly, moronic vassal states in UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, and the rest of the EU/NATO idiots are, by their cooperation with Washington, begging for their own destruction.

Nowhere in the West is there a sign of intelligence.

Will Washington follow Adolf Hitler's folly and march into Russia?

[Oct 03, 2017] Russian Ads On Facebook A Click-Bait Campaign

Highly recommended!
This is particular dirty campaign to implicate Trump and delegitimize his victory is a part of color revolution against Trump.
The other noble purpose is to find a scapegoat for the current problems, especially in Democratic Party, and to preserve Clinton neoliberals rule over the party for a few more futile years.
Notable quotes:
"... Congress is investigating 3,000 suspicious ads which were run on Facebook. These were claimed to have been bought by "Russia" to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Trump. ..."
"... The mini-ads were bought to promote click-bait pages and sites. These pages and sites were created and then promoted to sell further advertisement. The media though, has still not understood the issue. ..."
"... A few thousand users will come and look at a page. Some will 'like' the puppy pictures or the rant against LGBT and further spread the page. Some will click the promoted Google ads. Money then flows into the pockets of the page creator. One can automatize, rinse and repeat this scheme forever. Each such page is a small effort for a small revenue. But the scheme is highly scale-able and parts of it can be automatized. ..."
"... This is, in essence, the same business model traditional media publishers use. One creates "news" and controversies to attract readers. The attention of the readers is then sold to advertisers. The business is no longer a limited to a few rich oligarchic. One no longer needs reporters or a printing press to join in. Anyone can now take part in it. ..."
"... We learned after the election that some youths in Macedonia created whole "news"-websites filled with highly attractive but fake partisan stories. They were not interested in the veracity or political direction of their content. Their only interest was to attract viewers. They made thousands of dollars by selling advertisements on their sites: ..."
"... The teen said his monthly revenue was in the four figures, a considerable sum in a country where the average monthly pay is 360 euros ($383). As he navigated his site's statistics, he dropped nuggets of journalism advice. ..."
"... After the mystery of "Russian" $3 ads for "adorable puppies" pages on Facebook has been solved, Congress and the New York Times will have to move on. There next subject is probably the "Russian influence campaign" on Youtube. ..."
"... Russian Car Crash Compilations have for years attracted millions of viewers. The "Russians" want to increase road rage on U.S. highways. This again will - according to expert Clinton Watts - "amplify divisive political issues across the political spectrum". ..."
"... "Russian interference" in Western faux democracies is just more Fake News that distracts from the real issues. And all those real issues come down to this: the need to reign in the oligarchs. This is very easy to do via progressive taxation (with no loopholes). ..."
"... The two words that the establishment fears most: Progressive Taxation . ..."
"... Great article. I especially like the tactful way that modern clickbait farming is obliquely tied to the MSM business model. Facebook and Google have a lot to answer for. ..."
"... Russia gate, since it is unnecessarily mentally exhausting and intellectually futile, it is namely pure provocation and as such it should be ignored and not proliferated even in its criticism making a fakes news a real news by sole fact of mentioning it on the respectable independent sites. ..."
"... The whole digital media and ad business that have built the Google and Facebook media juggernauts is all a giant scam. Smart advertisers like P&G are recognizing it for what it is and will slowly pullback. It is only a matter of time before others catch on and these companies will bleed ad revenues. ..."
Oct 03, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Congress is investigating 3,000 suspicious ads which were run on Facebook. These were claimed to have been bought by "Russia" to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Trump.

It now turns out that these Facebook ads had nothing to do with the election. The mini-ads were bought to promote click-bait pages and sites. These pages and sites were created and then promoted to sell further advertisement. The media though, has still not understood the issue.

On September 6 the NYT asserted :

Providing new evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Facebook disclosed on Wednesday that it had identified more than $100,000 worth of divisive ads on hot-button issues purchased by a shadowy Russian company linked to the Kremlin.
...
The disclosure adds to the evidence of the broad scope of the Russian influence campaign, which American intelligence agencies concluded was designed to damage Hillary Clinton and boost Donald J. Trump during the election.

Like any Congress investigation the current one concerned with Facebook ads is leaking like a sieve. What oozes out makes little sense.

If "Russia" aimed to make Congress and U.S. media a laughing stock it surely achieved that.

Today the NYT says that the ads were posted "in disguise" by "the Russians" to promote variously themed Facebook pages:

There was "Defend the 2nd," a Facebook page for gun-rights supporters, festooned with firearms and tough rhetoric. There was a rainbow-hued page for gay rights activists, "LGBT United." There was even a Facebook group for animal lovers with memes of adorable puppies that spread across the site with the help of paid ads

No one has explained how these pages are supposed to be connected to a Russian "influence" campaign. It is unexplained how these are supposed to connected to the 2016 election. That is simply asserted because Facebook said, for unknown reasons, that these ads may have come from some Russian agency. How Facebook has determined that is not known.

With each detail that leaks from the "Russian ads" investigation the propaganda framework of "election manipulation" falls further apart:

Late Monday, Facebook said in a post that about 10 million people had seen the ads in question. About 44 percent of the ads were seen before the 2016 election and the rest after, the company said

The original story propagandized that "Russia" intended to influence the election in favor of Trump. But why then was the majority of the ads in questions run later after November 9? And how would an animal-lovers page with adorable puppy pictures help to achieve Trumps election victory?

More details via the Wall Street Journal:

Roughly 25% of the ads were never shown to anyone. That's because advertising auctions are designed so that ads reach people based on relevance, and certain ads may not reach anyone as a result.
...
For 50% of the ads, less than $3 was spent; for 99% of the ads, less than $1,000 was spent.

Of the 3,000 ads Facebook originally claimed were "Russian" only 2,200 were ever viewed. Most of the advertisements were mini-ads which, for the price of a coffee, promoted private pages related to hobbies and a wide spectrum of controversial issues. The majority of the ads ran after the election.

All that "adds to the evidence of the broad scope of the Russian influence campaign ... designed to damage Hillary Clinton and boost Donald J. Trump during the election"?

No.

But the NYT still finds "experts" who believe in the "Russian influence" nonsense and find the most stupid reasons to justify their claims:

Clinton Watts, a former F.B.I. agent now at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, said Russia had been entrepreneurial in trying to develop diverse channels of influence. Some, like the dogs page, may have been created without a specific goal and held in reserve for future use.

Puppy pictures for "future use"? Nonsense. Lunacy! The pages described and the ads leading to them are typical click-bait, not a political influence op.

The for-profit scheme runs as follows: One builds pages with "hot" stuff that attracts lots of viewers. One creates ad-space on these pages and fills it with Google ads. One promotes the spiked pages by buying $3 Facebook mini-ads for them.

A few thousand users will come and look at a page. Some will 'like' the puppy pictures or the rant against LGBT and further spread the page. Some will click the promoted Google ads. Money then flows into the pockets of the page creator. One can automatize, rinse and repeat this scheme forever. Each such page is a small effort for a small revenue. But the scheme is highly scale-able and parts of it can be automatized.

This is, in essence, the same business model traditional media publishers use. One creates "news" and controversies to attract readers. The attention of the readers is then sold to advertisers. The business is no longer a limited to a few rich oligarchic. One no longer needs reporters or a printing press to join in. Anyone can now take part in it.

We learned after the election that some youths in Macedonia created whole "news"-websites filled with highly attractive but fake partisan stories. They were not interested in the veracity or political direction of their content. Their only interest was to attract viewers. They made thousands of dollars by selling advertisements on their sites:

The teen said his monthly revenue was in the four figures, a considerable sum in a country where the average monthly pay is 360 euros ($383). As he navigated his site's statistics, he dropped nuggets of journalism advice.

"You have to write what people want to see, not what you want to show," he said, scrolling through The Political Insider's stories as a large banner read "ARREST HILLARY NOW."

The 3,000 Facebook ads Congress is investigating are part of a similar scheme. The mini-ads promoted pages with hot button issues and click-bait puppy pictures. These pages were themselves created to generate ad-clicks and revenue. As Facebook claims that "Russia" is behind them, we will likely find some Russian teens who simply repeated the scheme their Macedonian friends were running on.

With its "Russian influence" scare campaign the NYT follows the same business model. It is producing fake news which attracts viewers and readers who's attention is then sold to advertisers. Facebook is also profiting from this. Its current piecemeal release of vague information keeps its name in the news.

After the mystery of "Russian" $3 ads for "adorable puppies" pages on Facebook has been solved, Congress and the New York Times will have to move on. There next subject is probably the "Russian influence campaign" on Youtube.

Russian Car Crash Compilations have for years attracted millions of viewers. The "Russians" want to increase road rage on U.S. highways. This again will - according to expert Clinton Watts - "amplify divisive political issues across the political spectrum".

The car crash compilations, like the puppy pages, are another sign that Russia is waging war against the people of the United States!

You don't believe that? You should. Trust your experienced politician!

Samantha Power @SamanthaJPower - 3:45 PM - 3 Oct 2017

This gets more chilling daily : now we learn Russia targeted Americans on Facebook by "demographics, geography, gender & interests," across websites & devices, reached millions, kept going after Nov. An attack on all Americans, not just HRC campaign washingtonpost.com/business/econo

It indeed gets more chilling. It's fall. It also generates ad revenue.

Posted by b on October 3, 2017 at 02:09 PM | Permalink

nmb | Oct 3, 2017 2:20:52 PM | 1

As Shock Therapy failed miserably in the 90s, the neocon dynasty seeks now direct confrontation with Russia
Jackrabbit | Oct 3, 2017 2:32:24 PM | 2
"Russian interference" in Western faux democracies is just more Fake News that distracts from the real issues. And all those real issues come down to this: the need to reign in the oligarchs. This is very easy to do via progressive taxation (with no loopholes).

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

The two words that the establishment fears most: Progressive Taxation .

Taxi | Oct 3, 2017 2:32:34 PM | 3
Oh dear intrepidus, why are you still talking about MSM's favorite weapon of mass distraction?

Even though you make a fine point or two, at this stage, you're actually adding to the whirling stupidity by indulging it it yourself, methinks.

I'm so very, very over Russiagate and it's non-existent tentacles. Pfft!

Grieved | Oct 3, 2017 2:49:24 PM | 4
Thanks, b.

You're presenting a very good concept/meme to understand: Fake news is click bait for gain.

The same can be said for any sensationalism or shocking event - like the Kurdish referendum, like the Catalonia referendum, like the Vegas shooting - or like confrontational or dogmatic comments in threads about those events.

Everywhere we turn someone is trying to game us for some kind of gain. What matters is to step back from the front lines where our sense is accosted and offended, to step back from the automatic reflex, and to remember that someone triggered that reflex, deliberately, for their gain, not ours.

We have to reside in reason and equanimity, because the moment we indulge in our righteous anger or our strong convictions, the odds are extremely good that someone is playing us.

It's a wicked world, but in fact we live in an age when we can see its meta characteristics like never before.

Anon | Oct 3, 2017 2:49:39 PM | 5
Jesus Christ, every friggin day we hear about Russians and then the next the lies falls apart, STILL the stupid dumb liberal media keep coming up with new conspiracies spread them as fact, and then try justify them even when they get debunked!
These people are indeed lunatic.

What we see is the biggest psyop., propaganda disinformation campaig ever in the western media, far more powerful than "nuclear Iraq" of 2003.
Still, and this should be a warning, majority of people in EU/US believe this nonsense.

the pair | Oct 3, 2017 3:07:19 PM | 6
$3 ads on facebook seen by nobody:

"russian meddling! their puppies hate our freedom!"

pharmaceutical ads on every evening news show and boeing/lockheed sponsoring the "p"bs news hour?"

"nothing to see here! take off your tin foil hat you f_cking alex jones putinbot!!!!"

you'd think by now most americans would realize the actual threat is other americans. the rest of the world realized it long ago.

sejomoje | Oct 3, 2017 3:08:47 PM | 7
I lol'd. But seriously the next step is a false flag implicating Russia. They're getting nowhere assassinating Russian diplomats and shooting down Russian aircraft, both military and civilian. Even overthrowing governments who are Russia-friendly hasn't seem to provoke a response.

But I consider the domestic Russia buzz to be performance art, and I imagine it's become even grating to some of its participants. How could it not be, unless everyone is heavily medicated(a lot certainly are)? Anyway it's by design that the western media and the political classes they serve need a script, they're incapable of discussing actual issues. Independence has been made quaint.

karlof1 | Oct 3, 2017 3:10:42 PM | 8
Hi Grieved--

I posted this link at the Vegas thread, but the item's contents are valid here too, and speaks to the content of your above comment, https://sputniknews.com/viral/201710031057912410-google-facebook-youtube-vegas-fake-news/

somebody | Oct 3, 2017 3:11:44 PM | 9
The line between politics and product marketing has gone.

But no matter if "the Russians" influenced the US election or not - after all that is what most countries do to each other - the FBI is correct that to be able to target audiences according to demographics and individual traits is a powerful tool.

Like the double hoax of " The War of Worlds broadcast ".

The newspapers had a clear agenda. An editorial in The New York Times, headlined In the Terror by Radio, was used to censure the relatively new medium of radio, which was becoming a serious competitor in providing news and advertising. "Radio is new but it has adult responsibilities. It has not mastered itself or the material it uses," said the editorial leader comment on November 1 1938. In an excellent piece in Slate magazine in 2013, Jefferson Pooley (associate professor of media and communication at Muhlenberg College) and Michael J Socolow (associate professor of communication and journalism at the University of Maine) looked at the continuing popularity of the myth of mass panic and they took to task NPR's Radiolab programme about the incident and the Radiolab assertion that "The United States experienced a kind of mass hysteria that we've never seen before." Pooley and Socolow wrote: "How did the story of panicked listeners begin? Blame America's newspapers. ... AND IT'S NOT A GOOD IDEA TO COPY ORSON WELLES . . . In February 1949, Leonardo Paez and Eduardo Alcaraz produced a Spanish-language version of Welles's 1938 script for Radio Quito in Ecuador. The broadcast set off panic. Quito police and fire brigades rushed out of town to fight the supposed alien invasion force. After it was revealed that the broadcast was fiction, the panic transformed into a riot. The riot resulted in at least seven deaths, including those of Paez's girlfriend and nephew. The offices Radio Quito, and El Comercio, a local newspaper that had participated in the hoax by publishing false reports of unidentified flying objects in the days preceding the broadcast, were both burned to the ground.
ashley albanese | Oct 3, 2017 3:13:06 PM | 10
Jackrabbit 2
No - the two words the Capital system fears the most are SURPLUS VALUE , the control of the 'profit principle' for social not private ends .
Lea | Oct 3, 2017 3:42:35 PM | 11
Jesus Christ, every friggin day we hear about Russians and then the next the lies falls apart, STILL the stupid dumb liberal media keep coming up with new conspiracies spread them as fact, and then try justify them even when they get debunked!
These people are indeed lunatic.

The "Russiadunnit" thingy has turned into a business in the US. And when a new market is launched in the US, as people depend on it for their living and careers, it generally doesn't go away.
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/09/28/the-slimy-business-of-russia-gate/

OJS | Oct 3, 2017 3:45:59 PM | 12
god bless amerika

somebody | Oct 3, 2017 3:11:44 PM | 9
The American panic was a myth, the Equadorian panic in 1949 not so much. I listened to this Radiolab podcast about same ... the details of how they pulled it off in a one-radio station country pre-internet are interesting and valuable (they widely advertised a very popular music program which was then "interrupted" by the hoax to ensure near-universal audience (including the police and other authorities). Very very fews were "in on the joke" and it wasn't a joke. whole page on WooW: http://www.radiolab.org/story/91622-war-of-the-worlds/

specific could it happen again? http://www.radiolab.org/story/91624-could-it-happen-again-and-again/

c1ue | Oct 3, 2017 3:58:38 PM | 14
Great article. I especially like the tactful way that modern clickbait farming is obliquely tied to the MSM business model. Facebook and Google have a lot to answer for.
Christian Chuba | Oct 3, 2017 3:58:49 PM | 15
Russian Trolls outed as kids from Oregon: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/taibbi-latest-fake-news-panic-appears-to-be-fake-news-w506396
"Lankford shocked the world this week by revealing that "Russian Internet trolls" were stoking the NFL kneeling debate. ... Conservative outlets like Breitbart and Newsmax and Fox played up the "Russians stoked the kneeling controversy" angle because it was in their interest to suggest that domestic support for kneeling protests is less than what it appears....

The Post reported that Lankford's office had cited one of "Boston Antifa's" tweets. But the example offered read suspiciously like a young net-savvy American goofing on antifa stereotypes "More gender inclusivity with NFL fans and gluten free options at stadiums We're liking the new NFL #NewNFL #TakeAKnee #TakeTheKnee." ...

The group was most likely a pair of yahoos from Oregon named Alexis Esteb and Brandon Krebs. "

Christian Chuba | Oct 3, 2017 4:00:46 PM | 16
Pity Rolling Stone got caught up in that fake college rape allegation, they have actually done some solid reporting. Every MSM outlet has had multiple fake stories, so should RS be shunned for life for one bad story?
Kalen | Oct 3, 2017 4:03:18 PM | 17
It is time that sane part of independent media understood that there is no more need to rationally respond to psychotic delusions of Deep State puppets in Russia gate, since it is unnecessarily mentally exhausting and intellectually futile, it is namely pure provocation and as such it should be ignored and not proliferated even in its criticism making a fakes news a real news by sole fact of mentioning it on the respectable independent sites.

There are only two effective responses to provocation namely silence or violence, anything else plays the book of provocateurs.

Susan Sunflower | Oct 3, 2017 4:13:28 PM | 18
Now they're seriously undermining their claims of intentionality ... as well as their wildly inflated claims effect on outcome or even effective "undermining" ... again, compared to Citizens United and the long-count of 2000 ... negligible....

And still insisting that Hillary Clinton is Russia's Darth Vader against whom unlimited resources are marshalled because she must be stopped ... even though she damn near won... and the reasons she lost seems unrelated to such vagaries as the DNC e-mails or facebook campaigns (unless you believe she had a god-given right to each and every vote)

Don Bacon | Oct 3, 2017 4:13:47 PM | 19

Lucky for us that television "news" doesn't use this business model. /s
Pnyx | Oct 3, 2017 5:02:54 PM | 20
Why do you think this is important enough to make the effort to write another blog entry B? Everyone who wants to know that this is all fantasy knows by now.
Mina | Oct 3, 2017 5:05:12 PM | 21
https://mobile.twitter.com/dgaytandzhieva/status/913545591757697024
brian | Oct 3, 2017 5:09:39 PM | 22
'Congress is investigating 3,000 suspicious ads which were run on Facebook. These were claimed to have been bought by "Russia" to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Trump.

This is the same US congress that regularly marches off to Israel to receive orders

https://www.amazon.com/They-Dare-Speak-Out-Institutions/dp/155652482X

those who dont obey orders: http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/how-i-got-fired/

Susan Sunflower | Oct 3, 2017 5:36:59 PM | 23
@ Posted by: Pnyx | Oct 3, 2017 5:02:54 PM | 20

This isn't about the "truth" (or lies) wrt Russian involvement, it's about the increasingly rapid failure of the Government/Establishment's narrative ...

Increasingly they can't even keep their accusations "alive" for more than a few days ... and some of their accusations (like the one here, that some "Russian" sites were created and not used, but to be held for use at some future date) become fairly ridiculous ... and the "remedy" to "Russians" creating clickbait sites for some future nefarious use, I think can only be banning all Russians from creating sites ... or maybe using facebook altogether ... all with no evidence of evil-doers actually doing evil...

It's rather like Jared Kushner's now THIRD previously undisclosed private e-mail account ... fool me once versus how disorganized/dumb/arrogant/crooked is this guy?

Lochearn | Oct 3, 2017 6:43:01 PM | 24
Sorry to be off topic but yesterday the Saker of the Vineyard published a couple of articles about Catalonia. The first was a diatribe, a nasty hatchet job on the Catalan people which included the following referring to the Catalan people:

"The Problems they have because with their corruption, inefficiency, mismanagement, inability and sometimes the simplest stupidity, are always the fault of others (read Spaniards here) which gives them "carte blanche" to keep going on with it."

"... They (the independistas) are NATIONAL SOCIALIST (aka NAZI) in their Ideology"

Then Saker published an article by Peter Koenig that was reasonable and what we have come to expect. Then he forbade all comments on either of the two articles. My comment was banned, which simply said in my opinion from working for fourteen years in Spain that the Catalans were extremely efficient in comparison with their Madrid counterparts.

ToivoS | Oct 3, 2017 7:32:04 PM | 25
I must admit that I became a fan of watching those Russian car crashes that were captured by the cams many russian drivers keep on their dash boards. Some of these were very funny. I was not aware that made me a victim of Putin propaganda. In any case, they are not that interesting anymore once they were commercialized. That was about 10 years ago.
Susan Sunflower | Oct 3, 2017 7:43:29 PM | 26
I'm waiting for the expose of the Russian mail-order bride business (Do they still exist?)
ab initio | Oct 3, 2017 8:29:04 PM | 27
Very good analysis.

The whole digital media and ad business that have built the Google and Facebook media juggernauts is all a giant scam. Smart advertisers like P&G are recognizing it for what it is and will slowly pullback. It is only a matter of time before others catch on and these companies will bleed ad revenues.

ben | Oct 3, 2017 8:30:46 PM | 28
Jackrabbit @ 2: Yep!!

And here is another part to the puzzle:

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19516:Empire-Files%3A-The-Hidden-Purging-of-Millions-of-Voters

Chipnik | Oct 3, 2017 8:42:54 PM | 29
Your answer can be found ...right ...here:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/yc7kskox
james | Oct 3, 2017 8:44:05 PM | 30
OT - more from comedy central - daily USA press briefing from today...

"QUESTION: On Iran, would you and the State Department say, as Secretary Mattis said today, that staying in the JCPOA would be in the U.S. national interest?

MS NAUERT: Yeah.

QUESTION: Is this a position you share?

MS NAUERT: So I'm certainly familiar with what Secretary Mattis said on Capitol Hill today. Secretary Mattis, of course, one of many people who is providing expertise and counsel to the President on the issue of Iran and the JCPOA. The President is getting lots of information on that. We have about 12 days or so, I think, to make our determination for the next JCPOA guideline.

The administration looks at JCPOA as – the fault in the JCPOA as not looking at the totality of Iran's bad behavior. Secretary Tillerson talked about that at length at the UN General Assembly. So did the President as well. We know that Iran is responsible for terror attacks. We know that Iran arms the Houthi rebels in Yemen, which leads to a more miserable failed state, awful situation in Yemen, for example. We know what they're doing in Syria. Where you find the Iranian Government, you can often find terrible things happening in the world. This administration is very clear about highlighting that and will look at Iran in sort of its totality of all of its bad behaviors, not just the nuclear deal.

I don't want to get ahead of the discussions that are ongoing with this – within the administration, as it pertains to Iran. The President has said he's made he's decision, and so I don't want to speak on behalf of the President, and he'll just have to make that determination when he's ready to do so."

https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2017/10/274592.htm

[Oct 02, 2017] John Helmer Washington Post Misses Manafort's Real Crimes

Notable quotes:
"... For the next three years, the court papers claim, Deripaska tried to get Manafort to provide accounting reports of what he had done with the money, but received nothing. "The Petitioner has not been provided with these audit reports nor is it aware whether any further audits were performed in respect of the Partnership." There is no trace or sign in these records, or in the New York Times excerpts of the Cyprus cutout loan accounts, that any Ukrainian asset had been purchased. If Deripaska's court claim is to be believed, Manafort had legged it with the cash – Deripaska had been hustled. ..."
"... The years 2008 and 2009 turned out to go badly for Deripaska in the US, particularly as he had set his heart on a German and Russian Government-financed buyout of General Motors' Opel car division. ..."
Sep 25, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The second half of 2008 was a very bad time for Deripaska, as the Russian aluminium and other businesses on which he depended, collapsed into insolvency with accumulated debts at one point of about $20 billion. Deripaska told the Cayman Island court: "By mid-summer 2008, there were clear indications of the oncoming world financial crisis, and at this time the Petitioner was the only limited partner in the Partnership which had made only one investment (BSC [Black Sea Cable]). In September 2008 the Petitioner [Deripaska] informed the GP [Manafort] that it was suspending further investment into the Partnership."

For the next three years, the court papers claim, Deripaska tried to get Manafort to provide accounting reports of what he had done with the money, but received nothing. "The Petitioner has not been provided with these audit reports nor is it aware whether any further audits were performed in respect of the Partnership." There is no trace or sign in these records, or in the New York Times excerpts of the Cyprus cutout loan accounts, that any Ukrainian asset had been purchased. If Deripaska's court claim is to be believed, Manafort had legged it with the cash – Deripaska had been hustled.

A few weeks ago Kurochkina refused to tell the New York Times whether Deripaska is continuing to pursue Manafort's $18 million debt. That newspaper claimed "Mr. Deripaska appears to have stopped pursuing his court action against Mr. Manafort and his former investment partners, Rick Gates and Rick Davis, in late 2015." The newspaper reporters didn't ask, and Kurochkina didn't explain, what services Manafort had invoiced Deripaska for which $7.3 million was paid out. Noone has asked Deripaska whether he thinks Manafort kept the money for himself.

The years 2008 and 2009 turned out to go badly for Deripaska in the US, particularly as he had set his heart on a German and Russian Government-financed buyout of General Motors' Opel car division. The lobbying in Washington which Deripaska paid for, as well his reason to believe then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton supported his Opel deal, were reported here . But Clinton, the US Treasury and other Obama Administration officials broke their word, and cancelled the Opel sale. If Deripaska had been content to leave Manafort holding $26,288,400 of the Russian oligarch's cash through the 2008 crisis and the General Motors negotiations in 2009, his patience had run out by November 2009, when the cancellation of the Opel sale became public.

On November 5, 2009, then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced after his cabinet ministers had discussed the Opel deal, "it shows that our American partners have a very original culture when dealing with counterparties. We will have to take into account this style of dealing with partners in the future, though this scornful approach toward partners mainly affects the Europeans, not us. GM did not warn anyone, did not speak to anyone despite all the agreements reached and documents signed. Well, I think it is a good lesson."

These days, according to the media leaks, US Government investigators of Manafort are pursuing a different lesson. This is that Manafort took Deripaska's money for the purpose of subverting the US presidential election of 2016. The court evidence indicates that Manafort was paid for Ukrainian assets which didn't materialize, and kept the money for himself through a period when the US government first decided to sell a multi-billion dollar part of then-bankrupt General Motors to Derripaska, and then, quite suddenly, decided not to.

Watt4Bob , September 25, 2017 at 10:43 am

Considering the following, (follow the link) that stretch thingie starts making more and more sense.

The lobbying in Washington which Deripaska paid for, as well his reason to believe then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton supported his Opel deal, were reported here . But Clinton, the US Treasury and other Obama Administration officials broke their word, and cancelled the Opel sale.

From the linked article;

When Hillary Clinton (lead, left) was US Secretary of State in 2009, she proved she could lie to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel; keep secret her hostility towards Russia even in her secret staff emails; and take money in her back pocket for an $8 billion deal between the US, Germany and Russia recommended by her subordinates. The record, recently revealed in US investigations of Clinton's emails and donations to the Clinton Foundation, shows why the Kremlin assessment of Clinton is hostile and blunt – Clinton invites and takes bribes, but can't be relied on to keep her bargains

A lot of people remember being screw*d out of a $million, even 5 or 10 years after the fact.

Watt4Bob , September 25, 2017 at 10:56 am

The way I read this post, and the embedded history of Hillary's double-cross of Deripaska, is that there is an unstated agreement among our current ruling class, that it's ok to double-cross and provoke Russia/Russians for profit, but not to make actual deals because that would be collaboration at least, and maybe treason.

justanotherprogressive , September 25, 2017 at 11:04 am

Or maybe the US's "elite" don't consider the Russian oligarchs "sophisticated" and are therefore ripe for plucking. After all, "it's just business"!

doug , September 25, 2017 at 11:10 am

The US Elite don't consider any of us 'sophisticated', and therefore ripe for the picking.

Fool , September 25, 2017 at 1:21 pm

I thought these Russian bad boys played a more brass knuckled style of business. How does one steal $19 million from Deripaska and get away with it?

Barry Fay , September 27, 2017 at 2:10 pm

I thought the same thing. Does Manafort have stock in Blackwater or what? The blithe narration of unmitigated corruption says all one needs to know of the times we live in.

shinola , September 25, 2017 at 1:23 pm

Apparently, the Russians still believed in that old saw about "honor among thieves".

Suckers!

St Jacques , September 27, 2017 at 5:33 am

Probably makes sense in Russia, where a lack of honour can soon turn you into bear meat.

[Oct 01, 2017] Goodbye, American neoliberalism. A new era is here by Cornel West

Notable quotes:
"... The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness. ..."
"... This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future. ..."
"... In this sense, Trump's election was enabled by the neoliberal policies of the Clintons and Obama that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. The progressive populism of Bernie Sanders nearly toppled the establishment of the Democratic party but Clinton and Obama came to the rescue to preserve the status quo. And I do believe Sanders would have beat Trump to avert this neofascist outcome! ..."
"... The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang ..."
"... The white house and congress are now dominated by tea party politicians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.....read Breitbart news to see how Thatcher and Reagan are idolised. ..."
"... if you think the era of "neo liberalism" is over, you are in deep denial! ..."
"... The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad. ..."
"... Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back. ..."
"... He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position. He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did. ..."
"... Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried. ..."
Nov 17, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians.

The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness.

White working- and middle-class fellow citizens – out of anger and anguish – rejected the economic neglect of neoliberal policies and the self-righteous arrogance of elites. Yet these same citizens also supported a candidate who appeared to blame their social misery on minorities, and who alienated Mexican immigrants, Muslims, black people, Jews, gay people, women and China in the process.

This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future.

What is to be done? First we must try to tell the truth and a condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak. For 40 years, neoliberals lived in a world of denial and indifference to the suffering of poor and working people and obsessed with the spectacle of success. Second we must bear witness to justice. We must ground our truth-telling in a willingness to suffer and sacrifice as we resist domination. Third we must remember courageous exemplars like Martin Luther King Jr, who provide moral and spiritual inspiration as we build multiracial alliances to combat poverty and xenophobia, Wall Street crimes and war crimes, global warming and police abuse – and to protect precious rights and liberties.

Feminists misunderstood the presidential election from day one Liza Featherstone By banking on the idea that women would support Hillary Clinton just because she was a female candidate, the movement made a terrible mistake Read more

The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

Rightwing attacks on Obama – and Trump-inspired racist hatred of him – have made it nearly impossible to hear the progressive critiques of Obama. The president has been reluctant to target black suffering – be it in overcrowded prisons, decrepit schools or declining workplaces. Yet, despite that, we get celebrations of the neoliberal status quo couched in racial symbolism and personal legacy. Meanwhile, poor and working class citizens of all colors have continued to suffer in relative silence.

In this sense, Trump's election was enabled by the neoliberal policies of the Clintons and Obama that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. The progressive populism of Bernie Sanders nearly toppled the establishment of the Democratic party but Clinton and Obama came to the rescue to preserve the status quo. And I do believe Sanders would have beat Trump to avert this neofascist outcome!

Click and elect: how fake news helped Donald Trump win a real election Hannah Jane Parkinson The 'alt-right' (aka the far right) ensnared the electorate using false stories on social media. But tech companies seem unwilling to admit there's a problem

In this bleak moment, we must inspire each other driven by a democratic soulcraft of integrity, courage, empathy and a mature sense of history – even as it seems our democracy is slipping away.

We must not turn away from the forgotten people of US foreign policy – such as Palestinians under Israeli occupation, Yemen's civilians killed by US-sponsored Saudi troops or Africans subject to expanding US military presence.

As one whose great family and people survived and thrived through slavery, Jim Crow and lynching, Trump's neofascist rhetoric and predictable authoritarian reign is just another ugly moment that calls forth the best of who we are and what we can do.

For us in these times, to even have hope is too abstract, too detached, too spectatorial. Instead we must be a hope, a participant and a force for good as we face this catastrophe.

theomatica -> MSP1984 17 Nov 2016 6:40

To be replaced by a form of capitalism that is constrained by national interests. An ideology that wishes to uses the forces of capitalism within a market limited only by national boundaries which aims for more self sufficiency only importing goods the nation can not itself source.

farga 17 Nov 2016 6:35

The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang.

Really? The white house and congress are now dominated by tea party politicians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.....read Breitbart news to see how Thatcher and Reagan are idolised.

That in recent decades middle ground politicians have strayed from the true faith....and now its time to go back - popular capitalism, small government, low taxes.

if you think the era of "neo liberalism" is over, you are in deep denial!

Social36 -> farga 17 Nov 2016 8:33

Maybe, West should have written that we're now in neoliberal, neofascist era!

ForSparta -> farga 17 Nov 2016 14:24

Well in all fairness, Donald Trump (horse's ass) did say he'd 'pump' money into the middle classes thus abandoning 'trickle down'. His plan/ideology is also to increase corporate tax revenues overall by reducing the level of corporation tax -- the aim being to entice corporations to repatriate wealth currently held overseas. Plus he has proposed an infrastructure spending spree, a fiscal stimulus not a monetary one. When you add in tax cuts the middle classes will feel flushed and it is within that demographic that most businesses and hence jobs are created. I think his short game has every chance of doing what he said it would.

SeeNOevilHearNOevil 17 Nov 2016 6:36

The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back.

He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position. He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did.

But that lip service is where his progressive views begin and stop. It's the very reason none of his promises never translated into actions and I will argue that he was the biggest and smoothest scam artist to enter the white house who got even though that wholly opposed centre-right policies, to flip and support them vehemently. Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried.

ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 6:37

I agree with some of this, but do we really have to throw around hysterical terms like 'fascist' at every opportunity? It's as bad as when people call the left 'cultural Marxists'.

LithophaneFurcifera -> ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 7:05

True, it's sloganeering that drowns out any nuance, whoever does it. Whenever a political term is coined, you can be assured that its use and meaning will eventually be extended to the point that it becomes less effective at characterising the very groups that it was coined to characterise.

Keep "fascist" for Mussolini and "cultural Marxist" for Adorno, unless and until others show such strong resemblances that the link can't seriously be denied.

I agree about the importance of recognising the suffering of the poor and building alliances beyond, and not primarily defined by, race though.

l0Ho5LG4wWcFJsKg 17 Nov 2016 6:40
Hang about Trump is the embodiment of neo-liberalism. It's neo-liberalism with republican tea party in control. He's not going to smash the system that served him so well, the years he manipulated and cheated, why would he want to change it.
garrylee -> l0Ho5LG4wWcFJsKg 17 Nov 2016 9:38
West's point is that it's beyond Trump's control. The scales have fallen from peoples eyes. They now see the deceit of neo-liberalism. And once they see through the charlatan Trump and the rest of the fascists, they will, hopefully, come to realize the only antidote to neo-liberalism is a planned economy.

Nash25 17 Nov 2016 6:40

This excellent analysis by professor West places the current political situation in a proper historical context.

However, I fear that neo-liberalism may not be quite "dead" as he argues.

Most of the Democratic party's "establishment" politicians, who conspired to sabotage the populist Sanders's campaign, still dominate the party, and they, in turn, are controlled by the giant corporations who fund their campaigns.

Democrat Chuck Schumer is now the Senate minority leader, and he is the loyal servant of the big Wall Street investment banks.

Sanders and Warren are the only two Democratic leaders who are not neo-liberals, and I fear that they will once again be marginalized.

Rank and file Democrats must organize at the local and state level to remove these corrupt neo-liberals from all party leadership positions. This will take many years, and it will be very difficult.


VenetianBlind 17 Nov 2016 6:42

Not sure Neo-Liberalism has ended. All they have done is get rid of the middle man.

macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 6:46

It would seem that there is a great deal of over simplifying going on; some of the articles represent an hysteric response and the vision of sack cloth and ashes prevails among those who could not see that the wheels were coming off the bus. The use of the term 'liberal' has become another buzz word - there are many different forms of liberalism and creating yet another sound byte does little to illuminate anything.

Making appeals to restore what has been lost reflects badly upon the central political parties, with their 30 year long rightward drift and their legacy of sucking up to corporate lobbyists, systems managers, box tickers and consultants. You can't give away sovereign political power to a bunch of right wing quangos who worship private wealth and its accumulation without suffering the consequences. The article makes no contribution (and neither have many of the others of late) to any kind of alternative to either neo-liberalism or the vacuum that has become a question mark with the dark face of the devil behind it.

We are in uncharted waters. The conventional Left was totally discredited by1982 and all we've had since are various forms of modifications of Thatcher's imported American vision. There has been no opposition to this system for over 40 years - so where do we get the idea that democracy has any real meaning? Yes, we can vote for the Greens, or one of the lesser known minority parties, but of course people don't; they tend to go with what is portrayed as the orthodoxy and they've been badly let down by it.

It would be a real breath of fresh air to see articles which offer some kind of analysis that demonstrates tangible options to deal with the multiple crises we are suffering. Perhaps we might start with a consideration that if our political institutions are prone to being haunted by the ghost of the 1930's, the state itself could be seen as part of the problem rather than any solution. Why is it that every other institution is considered to be past its sell by date and we still believe in a phantom of democracy? Discuss.

VenetianBlind -> macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 7:00

I have spent hours trying to see solutions around Neo-Liberalism and find that governments have basically signed away any control over the economy so nothing they can do. There are no solutions.

Maybe that is the starting point. The solution for workers left behind in Neo-Liberal language is they must move. It demands labor mobility. It is not possible to dictate where jobs are created.

I see too much fiddly around the edges, the best start is to say they cannot fix the problem. If they keep making false promises then things will just get dire as.

[Oct 01, 2017] Podesta emails showed Facebook colluded with Clinton, Assange reminds

Sep 29, 2017 | www.legitgov.org

Originally from Podesta emails showed Facebook colluded with Clinton, Assange reminds | 29 Sept 2017

As US lawmakers demand social media companies show how their platforms were allegedly used by Russia to meddle in the 2016 election, WikiLeaks co-founder tweeted emails that show Facebook executives in direct communication with one candidate's team.

Beginning on October 7 last year, WikiLeaks published hundreds of emails from the private account of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta. The daily drops continued for a couple days after the November 8 election.

On Thursday, as US media were speculating about "Russian" meddling on Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, Julian Assange tweeted some of the Podesta emails with a reminder that the social network's leading lights were Clinton fans.

[Sep 30, 2017] Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet by Glenn Greenwald

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... But what it does demonstrate is that an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards. ..."
"... Seeing Putin lurking behind and masterminding every western problem is now religious dogma – it explains otherwise-confounding developments, provides certainty to a complex world, and alleviates numerous factions of responsibility – so media outlets and their journalists are lavishly rewarded any time they publish accusatory stories about Russia (especially ones involving the U.S. election), even if they end up being debunked. ..."
"... A highly touted story yesterday from the New York Times – claiming that Russians used Twitter more widely known than before to manipulate U.S. politics – demonstrates this recklessness. The story is based on the claims of a new group formed just two months ago by a union of neocons and Democratic national security officials, led by long-time liars and propagandists such as Bill Kristol, former acting CIA chief Mike Morell, and Bush Homeland Security Secretary Mike Chertoff. I reported on the founding of this group, calling itself the Alliance for Securing Democracy, when it was unveiled (this is not to be confused with the latest new Russia group unveiled last week by Rob Reiner and David Frum and featuring a different former national security state official (former DNI James Clapper) – calling itself InvestigateRussia.org – featuring a video declaring that the U.S. is now "at war with Russia"). ..."
"... The Kristol/Morell/Chertoff group on which the Times based its article has a very simple tactic: they secretly decide which Twitter accounts are "Russia bots," meaning accounts that disseminate an "anti-American message" and are controlled by the Kremlin. They refuse to tell anyone which Twitter accounts they decided are Kremlin-loyal, nor will they identify their methodology for creating their lists or determining what constitutes "anti-Americanism." ..."
"... That's how the Russia narrative is constantly "reported," and it's the reason so many of the biggest stories have embarrassingly collapsed. It's because the Russia story of 2017 – not unlike the Iraq discourse of 2002 – is now driven by religious-like faith rather than rational faculties. ..."
"... No questioning of official claims is allowed. The evidentiary threshold which an assertion must overcome before being accepted is so low as to be non-existent. ..."
"... Regardless of your views on Russia, Trump and the rest, nobody can possibly regard this climate as healthy. ..."
Sep 28, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Last Friday, most major media outlets touted a major story about Russian attempts to hack into U.S. voting systems, based exclusively on claims made by the Department of Homeland Security. "Russians attempted to hack elections systems in 21 states in the run-up to last year's presidential election, officials said Friday," began the USA Today story, similar to how most other outlets presented this extraordinary claim.

This official story was explosive for obvious reasons, and predictably triggered instant decrees – that of course went viral – declaring that the legitimacy of the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election is now in doubt.

Virginia's Democratic Congressman Don Beyer, referring to the 21 targeted states, announced that this shows "Russia tried to hack their election":

MSNBC's Paul Revere for all matters relating to the Kremlin take-over, Rachel Maddow, was indignant that this wasn't told to us earlier and that we still aren't getting all the details. "What we have now figured out," Maddow gravely intoned as she showed the multi-colored maps she made, is that "Homeland Security knew at least by June that 21 states had been targeted by Russian hackers during the election. . .targeting their election infrastructure."

They were one small step away from demanding that the election results be nullified, indulging the sentiment expressed by #Resistance icon Carl Reiner the other day: "Is there anything more exciting that [sic] the possibility of Trump's election being invalidated & Hillary rightfully installed as our President?"

So what was wrong with this story? Just one small thing: it was false. The story began to fall apart yesterday when Associated Press reported that Wisconsin – one of the states included in the original report that, for obvious reasons, caused the most excitement – did not, in fact, have its election systems targeted by Russian hackers:

The spokesman for Homeland Security then tried to walk back that reversal, insisting that there was still evidence that some computer networks had been targeted, but could not say that they had anything to do with elections or voting. And, as AP noted: "Wisconsin's chief elections administrator, Michael Haas, had repeatedly said that Homeland Security assured the state it had not been targeted."

Then the story collapsed completely last night. The Secretary of State for another one of the named states, California, issued a scathing statement repudiating the claimed report:

Sometimes stories end up debunked. There's nothing particularly shocking about that. If this were an isolated incident, one could chalk it up to basic human error that has no broader meaning.

But this is no isolated incident. Quite the contrary: this has happened over and over and over again. Inflammatory claims about Russia get mindlessly hyped by media outlets, almost always based on nothing more than evidence-free claims from government officials, only to collapse under the slightest scrutiny, because they are entirely lacking in evidence.

The examples of such debacles when it comes to claims about Russia are too numerous to comprehensively chronicle. I wrote about this phenomenon many times and listed many of the examples, the last time in June when 3 CNN journalists "resigned" over a completely false story linking Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci to investigations into a Russian investment fund which the network was forced to retract:

Remember that time the Washington Post claimed that Russia had hacked the U.S. electricity grid, causing politicians to denounce Putin for trying to deny heat to Americans in winter, only to have to issue multiple retractions because none of that ever happened? Or the time that the Post had to publish a massive editor's note after its reporters made claims about Russian infiltration of the internet and spreading of "Fake News" based on an anonymous group's McCarthyite blacklist that counted sites like the Drudge Report and various left-wing outlets as Kremlin agents?

Or that time when Slate claimed that Trump had created a secret server with a Russian bank, all based on evidence that every other media outlet which looked at it were too embarrassed to get near? Or the time the Guardian was forced to retract its report by Ben Jacobs – which went viral – that casually asserted that WikiLeaks has a long relationship with the Kremlin? Or the time that Fortune retracted suggestions that RT had hacked into and taken over C-SPAN's network? And then there's the huge market that was created – led by leading Democrats – that blindly ingested every conspiratorial, unhinged claim about Russia churned out by an army of crazed conspiracists such as Louise Mensch and Claude "TrueFactsStated" Taylor?

And now we have the Russia-hacked-the-voting-systems-of-21-states to add to this trash heap. Each time the stories go viral; each time they further shape the narrative; each time those who spread them say little to nothing when it is debunked.

None of this means that every Russia claim is false, nor does it disprove the accusation that Putin ordered the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta's email inboxes (a claim for which, just by the way, still no evidence has been presented by the U.S. government). Perhaps there were some states that were targeted, even though the key claims of this story, that attracted the most attention, have now been repudiated.

But what it does demonstrate is that an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards.

Seeing Putin lurking behind and masterminding every western problem is now religious dogma – it explains otherwise-confounding developments, provides certainty to a complex world, and alleviates numerous factions of responsibility – so media outlets and their journalists are lavishly rewarded any time they publish accusatory stories about Russia (especially ones involving the U.S. election), even if they end up being debunked.

A highly touted story yesterday from the New York Times – claiming that Russians used Twitter more widely known than before to manipulate U.S. politics – demonstrates this recklessness. The story is based on the claims of a new group formed just two months ago by a union of neocons and Democratic national security officials, led by long-time liars and propagandists such as Bill Kristol, former acting CIA chief Mike Morell, and Bush Homeland Security Secretary Mike Chertoff. I reported on the founding of this group, calling itself the Alliance for Securing Democracy, when it was unveiled (this is not to be confused with the latest new Russia group unveiled last week by Rob Reiner and David Frum and featuring a different former national security state official (former DNI James Clapper) – calling itself InvestigateRussia.org – featuring a video declaring that the U.S. is now "at war with Russia").

The Kristol/Morell/Chertoff group on which the Times based its article has a very simple tactic: they secretly decide which Twitter accounts are "Russia bots," meaning accounts that disseminate an "anti-American message" and are controlled by the Kremlin. They refuse to tell anyone which Twitter accounts they decided are Kremlin-loyal, nor will they identify their methodology for creating their lists or determining what constitutes "anti-Americanism."

They do it all in secret, and you're just supposed to trust them: Bill Kristol, Mike Chertoff and their national security state friends. And the New York Times is apparently fine with this demand, as evidenced by its uncritical acceptance yesterday of the claims of this group – a group formed by the nation's least trustworthy sources.

But no matter. It's a claim about nefarious Russian control. So it's instantly vested with credibility and authority, published by leading news outlets, and then blindly accepted as fact in most elite circles. From now on, it will simply be Fact – based on the New York Times article – that the Kremlin aggressively and effectively weaponized Twitter to manipulate public opinion and sow divisions during the election, even though the evidence for this new story is the secret, unverifiable assertions of a group filled with the most craven neocons and national security state liars.

That's how the Russia narrative is constantly "reported," and it's the reason so many of the biggest stories have embarrassingly collapsed. It's because the Russia story of 2017 – not unlike the Iraq discourse of 2002 – is now driven by religious-like faith rather than rational faculties.

No questioning of official claims is allowed. The evidentiary threshold which an assertion must overcome before being accepted is so low as to be non-existent. And the penalty for desiring to see evidence for official claims, or questioning the validity and persuasiveness of the evidence that is proffered, are accusations that impugn one's patriotism and loyalty (simply wanting to see evidence for official claims about Russia is proof, in many quarters, that one is a Kremlin agent or at least adores Putin – just as wanting to see evidence in 2002, or questioning the evidence presented for claims about Saddam, was viewed as proof that one harbored sympathy for the Iraqi dictator).

Regardless of your views on Russia, Trump and the rest, nobody can possibly regard this climate as healthy. Just look at how many major, incredibly inflammatory stories, from major media outlets, have collapsed. Is it not clear that there is something very wrong with how we are discussing and reporting on relations between these two nuclear-armed powers?

[Sep 26, 2017] Is Foreign Propaganda Even Effective by Leon Hadar

Highly recommended!
I think the key to collapse of Soviet society and its satellites was the victory of neoliberal ideology over communism. It was pure luck for neoliberalism was that its triumphal march over the globe coincide with deep crisis of both communist ideology and the Soviet elite (nomenklatura) in the USSR. Hapless, mediocre Gorbachov, a third rate politician who became the leader of the USSR is a telling example here. Propaganda, especially "big troika" (BBC, Deutsche Welle and Voice of America), also played a very important role in this. Especially in Baltic countries and Ukraine.
Domestic fake new industry always has huge advantage over foreign one in the USA and other Western countries, because of general cultural dominance of the West.
The loss of effectiveness of neoliberal propaganda now is the same as the reason for loss of effectiveness of communist propaganda since 60th. In the first case it was the crisis of communist ideology, in the second is the crisis of neoliberal ideology. Everybody now understands that the neoliberal promises were fake, and "bait and switch" manuver that enriched the tiny percentage of population (top 1% and even more 0.01%).
When the society experience the crisis of ideology it became inoculated toward official propaganda -- it simply loses its bite.
Notable quotes:
"... As the The Economist notes, a 2015 survey of the top 94 cable channels in America by the research firm Nielsen found that RT did not even make it into the rankings, capturing only 0.04 percent of viewers, according to the Broadcast Audience Research Board. ..."
"... RT has claimed dominance on YouTube, an assertion that apparently caught the attention of the U.S. intelligence community, which noted that RT videos get 1 million views a day, far surpassing other outlets. ..."
"... Or as media-effects theorists explain the communication process, the intentions of the producer (Soviet Union) and the conventions of the content (communist propaganda) were interwoven in a strategy aimed at influencing the receiver (the American audience). But the majority of Americans, with the exception of a few hard-core ideologues, interpreted the content of the message as pitiful Soviet propaganda, assuming they even paid attention to it. ..."
"... There is no doubt that Moscow, which regarded President Harry Truman as its leading American political nemesis, was hoping that Progressive presidential candidate Henry Wallace would win the 1948 election -- and had tailored its propaganda effort in accordance with that goal. That pro-Wallace campaign took place at a time when the American Communist Party still maintained some influence in the United States, where many Americans still sympathized with the former World War II ally and a large number of Soviet spies were operating in the country. But then Wallace's Progressives ended up winning 2.5 percent of the vote, less than Strom Thurmond's Southern segregationist ticket. ..."
"... Yet we are supposed to believe that by employing RT, Sputnik, Facebook, Twitter, and a bunch of hackers, the Russians could help their American candidate "steal" the 2016 presidential election. Is there any evidence that those white blue-collar workers and rural voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan -- the people who provided Trump with his margin of victory -- were even exposed to the reports distributed by RT and Sputnik, or by the memes constructed by Russian trolls or their posts on Facebook? ("Hey, did you watch RT last night?") ..."
"... Yet the assertion that a "silver bullet shot from a media gun" in the form of Russian propaganda was able "to penetrate a hapless audience" in the United States has been gaining more adherents in Washington and elsewhere. This conspiracy seems to correlate the intent of the Russian government and the content of their messages with the voting behavior of Americans. ..."
"... In a strange irony, those who are promoting this fallacious assertion may -- unlike their Russian scapegoat -- actually succeed in penetrating a hapless American audience. ..."
Sep 26, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Russians can dish it out, but don't expect Americans to swallow everything.

During the Cold War, it became an article of faith among Western policymakers and journalists: One of the most effective ways to discredit the leaders of Communist countries would be to provide their citizens with information from the West. It was a view that was shared by Soviet Bloc regimes who were worried that listening to the Voice of America (VOA) or watching Western television shows would induce their people to take political action against the rulers.

So it was not surprising that government officials in East Germany, anxious that many TV stations from West Germany could be viewed by their citizens, employed numerous means!such as jamming the airwaves and even damaging TV antennas that were pointing west!in order to prevent the so-called "subversive" western broadcasts from reaching audiences over the wall.

After the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989, communication researchers studying public attitudes in former East German areas assumed that they would discover that those who had access to West German television!and were therefore exposed to the West's political freedom and economic prosperity!were more politically energized and willing to challenge the communist regime than those who couldn't watch Western television.

But as Evgeny Morozov recalled in his Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom , a study conducted between 1966 and 1990 about incipient protests in the so-called "Valley of the Clueless"!an area in East Germany where the government successfully blocked Western television signals!raised questions about this conventional wisdom.

As it turns out, having access to West German television actually made life in East Germany more endurable. Far from radicalizing its citizens, it seemed to have made them more politically compliant. As one East German dissident quoted by Morozov lamented, "The whole people could leave the country and move to the West as a man at 8pm, via television."

Meanwhile, East German citizens who did not have access to Western German television were actually more critical of their regime, and more politically restless.

The study concluded that "in an ironic twist for Marxism, capitalist television seems to have performed the same narcotizing function in communist East Germany that Karl Marx had attributed to religious beliefs in capitalist society when he condemned religion as the 'opium of the people.'"

Morozov refers to the results of these and other studies to raise an interesting idea: Western politicians and pundits have predicted that the rise of the Internet, which provides free access to information to residents of the global village, would galvanize citizens in Russia and other countries to challenge their authoritarian regimes. In reality, Morozov contends that exposure to the Internet may have distracted Russian users from their political problems. The young men who should be leading the revolution are instead staying at home and watching online pornography. Trotsky, as we know, didn't tweet.

Yet the assumption that the content of the message is a "silver bullet shot from a media gun to penetrate a hapless audience," as communication theorists James Arthur Anderson and Timothy P. Meyer put it, remains popular among politicians and pundits today, despite ample evidence to the contrary.

Hence the common assertion that a presidential candidate who has raised a lots of money and can spend it on buying a lots of television commercials, has a clear advantage over rivals who cannot afford to dominate the media environment. But the loser in the 2016 presidential race spent about $141.7 million on ads, compared with $58.8 million for winner's campaign, according to NBC News . Candidate Trump also spent a fraction of what his Republican rivals had during the Republican primaries that he won.

Communication researchers like Anderson and Meyers are not suggesting that media messages don't have any effect on target audiences, but that it is quite difficult to sell ice to Eskimos. To put it in simple terms, media audiences are not hapless and passive. Although you can flood them with messages that are in line with your views and interests, audiences actively participate in the communication process. They will construct their own meaning from the content they consume, and in some cases they might actually disregard your message.

Imagine a multi-billionaire who decides to produce thousands of commercials celebrating the legacy of ISIS, runs them on primetime American television, and floods social media with messages praising the murderous terrorist group. If that happened, would Americans be rallying behind the flag of ISIS? One can imagine that the response from audiences would range from anger to dismissal to laughter.

In 2013 Al Jazeera Media Network purchased Current TV , which was once partially owned by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, and launched an American news channel. Critics expressed concerns that the network, which is owned by the government of Qatar and has been critical of U.S. policies in the Middle East, would try to manipulate American audiences with their anti-Washington message.

Three years later, after hiring many star journalists and producing mostly straight news shows, Al Jazeera America CEO Al Anstey announced that the network would cease operations. Anstey cited the "economic landscape" which was another way of saying that its ratings were distressingly low. The relatively small number of viewers who watched Al Jazeera America 's programs considered them not anti-American but just, well, boring.

You don't have to be a marketing genius to figure out that in the age of the 24/7 media environment, foreign networks face prohibitive competition from American cable news networks like CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, social media, not to mention Netflix and yes, those online porno sites. Thus the chances that a foreign news organization would be able to attract large American audiences, and have any serious impact on their political views, remain very low.

That, indeed, has been the experience of not only the defunct Al Jazeera America , but also of other foreign news outlets that have tried to imitate the Qatar-based network by launching operations targeting American audiences. These networks have included CGTN (China Global Television Network), the English-language news channel run by Chinese state broadcaster China Central Television ; PressTV, a 24-hour English language news and documentary network affiliated with Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting ; or RT (formerly Russia Today), a Russian international television network funded by the Russian government that operates cable and satellite television channels directed to audiences outside of Russia.

After all, unless you are getting to paid to watch CTGN, PressTV, or RT -- or you are a news junkie with a lot of time on your hands -- why in the world would you be spending even one hour of the day watching these foreign networks?

Yet if you have been following the coverage and public debate over the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, you get the impression that RT and another Russian media outlet, Sputnik (a news agency and radio broadcast service established by the Russian government-controlled news agency Rossiya Segodnya ), were central players in a conspiracy between the Trump presidential campaign and the Kremlin to deny the presidency to Hillary Clinton.

In fact, more than half of the much-cited January report on the Russian electoral interference released by U.S. intelligence agencies was devoted to warning of RT's growing influence in the United States and across the world, referring to the "rapid expansion" of the network's operations and budget to about $300 million a year, and citing the supposedly impressive audience numbers listed on the RT website.

According to America's spooks, the coordinated activities of RT and the online-media properties and social-media accounts that made up "Russia's state-run propaganda machine" have been employed by the Russian government to "undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order."

And in a long cover story in The New York Times Magazine this month, with the headline, " RT, Sputnik and Russia's New Theory of War, " Jim Rutenberg suggested that the Kremlin has "built one of the most powerful information weapons of the 21st century" and that it "may be impossible to stop."

But as the British Economist magazine reported early this year, while RT claims to reach 550 million people worldwide, with America and Britain supposedly being its most successful markets, its "audience" of 550 million refers to "the number of people who can access its channel, not those who actually watch it."

As the The Economist notes, a 2015 survey of the top 94 cable channels in America by the research firm Nielsen found that RT did not even make it into the rankings, capturing only 0.04 percent of viewers, according to the Broadcast Audience Research Board.

The Times' s Rutenberg argues that the RT's ratings "are almost beside the point." RT might not have amassed an audience that remotely rivals CNN's in conventional terms, "but in the new, 'democratized' media landscape, it doesn't need to" since "the network has come to form the hub of a new kind of state media operation: one that travels through the same diffuse online channels, chasing the same viral hits and memes, as the rest of the Twitter-and-Facebook-age media."

Traveling "through the same diffuse online channels" and "chasing the same viral hits and memes" sounds quite impressive. Indeed, RT has claimed dominance on YouTube, an assertion that apparently caught the attention of the U.S. intelligence community, which noted that RT videos get 1 million views a day, far surpassing other outlets.

But as The Economist points out, when it comes to Twitter and Facebook, RT's reach is narrower than that of other news networks. Its claim of YouTube success is mostly down to the network's practice of buying the rights to sensational footage -- for instance, Japan's 2011 tsunami -- and repackaging it with the company logo. It's not clear, however, how the dissemination of a footage of a natural disaster or of a dog playing the piano helps efforts to "undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order."

It is obvious that the Russian leaders have been investing a lot of resources in RT, Sputnik, and other media outlets, and that they employ them as propaganda tools aimed at promoting their government's viewpoints and interests around the world. From that perspective, these Russian media executives are heirs to the communist officials who had been in charge of the propaganda empire of the Soviet Union and its satellites during much of the 20th Century.

The worldwide communist propaganda machine did prove to be quite effective during the Great Depression and World War II, when it succeeded in tapping into the economic and social anxieties and anti-Nazi sentiments in the West and helped strengthen the power of the communist parties in Europe and, to some extent, in the United States.

But in the same way that Western German television programs failed to politically energize East Germans during the Cold War, much of the Soviet propaganda distributed by the Soviet Union at that time had very little impact on the American public and its political attitudes, as symbolized by the shrinking membership of the American Communist Party.

Or as media-effects theorists explain the communication process, the intentions of the producer (Soviet Union) and the conventions of the content (communist propaganda) were interwoven in a strategy aimed at influencing the receiver (the American audience). But the majority of Americans, with the exception of a few hard-core ideologues, interpreted the content of the message as pitiful Soviet propaganda, assuming they even paid attention to it.

Soviet propaganda may have scored limited success during the Cold War when it came to members of the large communist parties in France, Italy, and Japan, as well as exploited anti-American sentiments in some third-world countries. In these cases, the intentions of the producer and the convention of the message seemed to be in line with the interpretations of the receivers.

There is no doubt that Moscow, which regarded President Harry Truman as its leading American political nemesis, was hoping that Progressive presidential candidate Henry Wallace would win the 1948 election -- and had tailored its propaganda effort in accordance with that goal. That pro-Wallace campaign took place at a time when the American Communist Party still maintained some influence in the United States, where many Americans still sympathized with the former World War II ally and a large number of Soviet spies were operating in the country. But then Wallace's Progressives ended up winning 2.5 percent of the vote, less than Strom Thurmond's Southern segregationist ticket.

Yet we are supposed to believe that by employing RT, Sputnik, Facebook, Twitter, and a bunch of hackers, the Russians could help their American candidate "steal" the 2016 presidential election. Is there any evidence that those white blue-collar workers and rural voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan -- the people who provided Trump with his margin of victory -- were even exposed to the reports distributed by RT and Sputnik, or by the memes constructed by Russian trolls or their posts on Facebook? ("Hey, did you watch RT last night?")

Yet the assertion that a "silver bullet shot from a media gun" in the form of Russian propaganda was able "to penetrate a hapless audience" in the United States has been gaining more adherents in Washington and elsewhere. This conspiracy seems to correlate the intent of the Russian government and the content of their messages with the voting behavior of Americans.

In a strange irony, those who are promoting this fallacious assertion may -- unlike their Russian scapegoat -- actually succeed in penetrating a hapless American audience.

Leon Hadar is a writer and author of the books Quagmire: America in the Middle East and Sandstorm: Policy Failure in the Middle East. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Washington Times, The Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and the National Interest.

The Color of Celery , says: September 26, 2017 at 1:20 am

For an example of the success of propaganda, look at Breitbart. The messages online during the 2016 election were pervasive and insidious. I think this post underestimates the threat by focusing on traditional media instead of social interaction.

RT covered Assange during the election better than other outlets.

It's easy to see everything from a personal perspective and forget that we are very diverse. We don't live in an ABC, CBS, and NBC world anymore, with information controlled. Changes in thought and belief happen online now, in many, many different venues.

polistra , says: September 26, 2017 at 3:39 am
A government that has confidence in its own support doesn't need to fight foreign information. In the '30s and '40s the US government encouraged shortwave listening, and manufacturers made money by adding SW bands to their radios. We were going through a depression and then a war, but our government was CONFIDENT enough to encourage us to understand the world.

Since 1950 the government has been narrowing the focus of external input because it knows that it no longer has the natural consent of the governed. TV and the Web are intentional forms of jamming, filling our eyes and ears with internally produced nonsense to crowd out the external info.

Meddlesome , says: September 26, 2017 at 7:44 am
The ones you have to worry about are those much closer to home – "inside the tent".

Friends in the UK, Canada, and Europe are appalled at the distorting effect Israeli propaganda has on American news sources, and how unaware of it typical Americans seem to be.

Indeed, it is odd and more than a little worrying that all the concern about "foreign meddling" has so far failed to engage with Israel, which is hands down the best funded, most sophisticated and successful foreign meddler.

The FBI annually reports that Israel spies on us at the same level as Russia and China. But we have yet to fully register that Israeli spying includes systematic efforts to influence American elections and policies, efforts that dwarf those of Putin's Russia both in scale and impact.

Fran Macadam , says: September 26, 2017 at 9:24 am
I think that the corporate masters of propaganda media and politics in these United States, have, in the words of Edward G. Robinson's Rico in Little Caesar, "gotten to where you can dish it out, but you can't take it anymore."

It's counterfactual to conflate Soviet propaganda with the perspective of Russians today, unless Communism never really was the real point. In fact, it's our own leaders in media and politics who now increasingly issue dogmatic and insulting derogatory language, sounding more and more like late Soviet propagandists themselves.

Pelayo Viriato , says: September 26, 2017 at 10:20 am
@The Color of Celery:

So what? What's wrong with people being exposed to a broad array of points of view, trying to better understand the world and constantly challenging, refining, and reshaping their worldview in the process?

You're coming perilously close to suggesting that Americans who are critical of their government are dupes of hostile foreign powers ! an unfair, unhelpful, and undemocratic assertion.

ZGler , says: September 26, 2017 at 11:45 am
The problem with Russian trolls is that people don't know they are Russian trolls. They think they are their fellow Americans and neighbors on Facebook. The influence of foreign propaganda on Americans is not due to transparent media like Al Jazeera. It's due to propaganda disguised as your neighbor's opinion.
Mike Johnson , says: September 26, 2017 at 3:33 pm
this conversation cant be taken serious without a serious discussion on Israel, who by the way provides the perfect case and point of how effective foreign propaganda can be. They work through our media, school systems and even our churches. Just look at what happened to McGraw Hill for daring to show before and after maps of the Palestine over the years.

[Sep 25, 2017] I am presently reading the book JFK and the Unspeakable by James W.Douglass and it is exactly why Kennedy was assassinated by the very same group that desperately wants to see Trump gone and the rapprochement with Russia squashed

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Although I voted for Trump, only because he was a slightly smaller POS than Hillary, it's hard to have any sympathy for him. ..."
"... The Democrats and the Deep State should have accused Israel of interfering in US elections. That would have been a credible complaint. ..."
"... Felix, Except that Israel and her deep state puppets were interfering on behalf of the democrats. ..."
"... What is happening in the U.S. is the same MO the CIA has developed over the past 64 years to create turmoil within a nation to overthrow a ruler that would not comply with the dictates of Wall Street. ..."
"... I am presently reading the book " JFK and the Unspeakable" by James W.Douglass and it is exactly why Kennedy was assassinated by the very same group that desperately wants to see Trump gone and the rapprochement with Russia squashed. ..."
"... Russia-gate - Just another weapon of mass distraction, brought to you by the liars in charge. ..."
"... David Stockman's excellent analysis makes clear that Trump doesn't know what he's doing and has appointed poor advisors, many of whom have been working against him from the start. Yet, per Stockman, "he doesn't need to be the passive object of a witch hunt." He could have and should have exposed the crimes of his accusers from the beginning, while he still had 100% support from the anti-war Right, which put him in office in the first place. He should have ignored the hysteria emanating from his enemies, and made peace with Vladimir Putin as a first order of business. Millions would have supported him. ..."
"... But, after his provocations in Syria and against Russia, which really resulted because he gave control of military decisions to uber hawk and Russia-phobic Mad Dog Mattis, his support from the anti-war crowd has all but evaporated and is unlikely to return. In other words, although he has been treated extremely unfairly by the corporate media, ultimately he has no one to blame but himself. Trump, with his endless stupid tweeting, has become a sad caricature of himself. ..."
"... When an outsider (like Trump) is elected POTUS and promises to do harm to the Pentagon, against the will of the Deep State -- the battle is on. A coup was planned against him, even before he took the oath of office. And, BTW--against the will of the people ..."
"... The Deep State bureaucracy will never let him have full control. Apparently, Obomber and Killery are running a Shadow White House, with all major decisions coming from the Deep State actors thereof. ..."
"... Killery still has her security clearance, by which she knew where the US Military would strike in Syria before Trump had any idea what was going on ..."
"... The Pentagon has seized power and does not recognize any elected or appointed power of the US government. Trump's 'power' is non-existent. If this 'soft coup' becomes a hard one, I predict all hell breaking loose in America ..."
"... "In a word, the Little Putsch in Kiev is now begetting a Great Big Coup in the Imperial City." Interesting point of view from David Stockman. Whatever happens in Washington, one can be sure there will come another provocation against Russia. ..."
"... Not the first time! "US Power Elite, at war among themselves?" https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/us-powe... ..."
"... Watching from Australia what passes for domestic politics in the US within the media, reminds me of a primitive tribe reacting to a solar eclipse. They run around in hysterical fear gnashing their teeth thinking the great evil spirit has come to steal their corn, carry off their daughters, and destroy their village. ..."
Jun 26, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

Jenny G · 3 days ago

Although I voted for Trump, only because he was a slightly smaller POS than Hillary, it's hard to have any sympathy for him.

Every time he walks out on a stage clapping his hands, encouraging applause, like a daytime TV game show host, I want to puke.

I honestly don't think Trump really expected to win the presidency. And when he did, he was clueless. His "Mission Accomplished" party at the White House for a bill which would never pass the senate, was pure Dubya Bush. The orange haired POS is an embarrassment to the country.

Felix · 4 days ago
The Democrats and the Deep State should have accused Israel of interfering in US elections. That would have been a credible complaint.
follyofwar · 3 days ago
Felix, Except that Israel and her deep state puppets were interfering on behalf of the democrats.
olde reb · 3 days ago
What is happening in the U.S. is the same MO the CIA has developed over the past 64 years to create turmoil within a nation to overthrow a ruler that would not comply with the dictates of Wall Street.

Detailed in --. http://farmwars.info/?p=15338 . A FACE FOR THE SHADOW GOVERNMENT

The "ultimate goal" (according to internal memos), is to collect on the fraudulent $20 trillion national debt which will result in Wall Street owning the United States. Hello, Greece.

Guysth · 3 days ago
I am presently reading the book " JFK and the Unspeakable" by James W.Douglass and it is exactly why Kennedy was assassinated by the very same group that desperately wants to see Trump gone and the rapprochement with Russia squashed.

Peace is not in their books,war is. John Kennedy had an epiphany and was wanting to make peace with the USSR at the time, after the Cuban crisis, and this could not be allowed to happen .

Same $hit different pile.

doray · 3 days ago
Russia-gate - Just another weapon of mass distraction, brought to you by the liars in charge.
astraeaisabella · 3 days ago
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2011/10/25... This may seem relevant, but considering Trump's visit to SAudi Arabia and then immediately "Israel", you might find it interesting.
follyofwar · 3 days ago

David Stockman's excellent analysis makes clear that Trump doesn't know what he's doing and has appointed poor advisors, many of whom have been working against him from the start. Yet, per Stockman, "he doesn't need to be the passive object of a witch hunt." He could have and should have exposed the crimes of his accusers from the beginning, while he still had 100% support from the anti-war Right, which put him in office in the first place. He should have ignored the hysteria emanating from his enemies, and made peace with Vladimir Putin as a first order of business. Millions would have supported him.

But, after his provocations in Syria and against Russia, which really resulted because he gave control of military decisions to uber hawk and Russia-phobic Mad Dog Mattis, his support from the anti-war crowd has all but evaporated and is unlikely to return. In other words, although he has been treated extremely unfairly by the corporate media, ultimately he has no one to blame but himself. Trump, with his endless stupid tweeting, has become a sad caricature of himself.

RedRubies · 3 days ago
Stockman has only been a Congressman. They are allowed more leeway.

When an outsider (like Trump) is elected POTUS and promises to do harm to the Pentagon, against the will of the Deep State -- the battle is on. A coup was planned against him, even before he took the oath of office. And, BTW--against the will of the people, themselves.

The Deep State bureaucracy will never let him have full control. Apparently, Obomber and Killery are running a Shadow White House, with all major decisions coming from the Deep State actors thereof.

Killery still has her security clearance, by which she knew where the US Military would strike in Syria before Trump had any idea what was going on (http://headlinebits.com/2017-06-21/deep-state-hillary-clinton-staffers-still-have-security-clearances-access-to-sensitive-governmen.AlsHBgBSVVwAV1FWVwdSAwBWAg8HXQYE.html) .

You can't write an article about a 'soft coup' and NOT mention her name in connection with it!

The Pentagon has seized power and does not recognize any elected or appointed power of the US government. Trump's 'power' is non-existent. If this 'soft coup' becomes a hard one, I predict all hell breaking loose in America.

Stephen M. St. John · 3 days ago

"In a word, the Little Putsch in Kiev is now begetting a Great Big Coup in the Imperial City." Interesting point of view from David Stockman. Whatever happens in Washington, one can be sure there will come another provocation against Russia.

This will probably be the Joint Investigation Team's final word on the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, not long after the little putsch in Kiev. The Joint Investigation Team relies on the Dutch Safety Board's Final Report on Flight MH17. With this report, the Dutch Safety Board has given the world a classic snow job, which I have pointed out in my critique on it. Please read it on my website at www.show-the-house.com/id119.html and share it with your elected representatives. Maybe a collective effort can head this off .

Schlüter 91p · 3 days ago
Not the first time! "US Power Elite, at war among themselves?" https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/us-powe...
Dick · 3 days ago
Watching from Australia what passes for domestic politics in the US within the media, reminds me of a primitive tribe reacting to a solar eclipse. They run around in hysterical fear gnashing their teeth thinking the great evil spirit has come to steal their corn, carry off their daughters, and destroy their village.

Emotional ignorance and blindness to the rational reality will only lead to more tears.

[Sep 24, 2017] They only picked Manafort's lock as a professional courtesy; thousands of average Americans have been awakened to their doors being smashed in, a couple flash-bangs tossed in, dogs being shot, etc. As Trump might have tweeted before the Deep State gained control of him, "Sad!"

Sep 24, 2017 | www.unz.com

The Alarmist > ,

September 23, 2017 at 8:27 am GMT

" pick their locks and force entry to their bedrooms in predawn mist as they did to Paul Manafort. This Gestapo-style terror knocked the wind out of Trump's sails."

Wasn't the Gestapo known for at least knocking on the door in the middle of the night before dragging their quarry to the building that no-one stops to watch? NKVD too, now that I think about it. They only picked Manafort's lock as a professional courtesy; thousands of average Americans have been awakened to their doors being smashed in, a couple flash-bangs tossed in, dogs being shot, etc. As Trump might have tweeted before the Deep State gained control of him, "Sad!"

Bannon was right to some extent that there is no military solution to this the piece he was missing was the qualifier, " for sane people who have a conscience." The fact that we repeatedly use the starvation of millions of innocent civilians in undeclared wars on their leaders shows the lack of conscience on the part of ours, because that route is more disingenuous to our values than making outright war against their nations, albeit not by much. I'm not qualified to render a diagnosis of insanity, but I think I have enough information to inform my opinion.

[Sep 24, 2017] Obama CIA Director Calls for Coup

Sep 24, 2017 | www.rushlimbaugh.com

Which takes us to John Brennan, John Brennan, the former CIA director for Obama. There's this thing in Aspen, they do it now and then called the Aspen Ideas conference. This is the outfit run by Walter Isaacson, who used to run TIME Magazine, used to run CNN. He wrote the big biography of Steve Jobs. Runs the Aspen Institute where they do the Aspen Ideas summit or seminar or what have you.

They get anchors from the various cable news networks to come out there and moderate these discussions. It was Wolf Blitzer nominating a discussion that included Brennan, the former CIA director for Obama. And he practically called for a coup if Trump decides to fire Mueller. And I guess Brennan means a second coup because there's already a coup underway. There is already a silent coup, and it's been underway for quite a while to get rid of Donald Trump. And it features a lot of buddies of Brennan, Obama administration holdovers and embeds in the deep state at the Pentagon, State Department, various intelligence agencies. There is this silent coup that's been going on for a while.

So I guess Brennan is actually calling for a second one here. The first one with Clapper, Brennan, Comey decided to use this phony Russian dossier to try to take down Trump or blackmail him, whatever they were trying to do with it, this totally phony golden showers dossier. That's when the original coup, the silent coup, began. Now, when you have a CIA director for Obama praising a special counsel, then you know that this idea that Mueller is this straight arrow down the middle moderate, goes both way, is not specifically partisan. You know that's bunk. I mean, if these people are gonna be praising the guy. Brennan also said that if Mueller is fired, I hope our elected reps will stand up and say enough is enough.

This burning hatred for Trump ! and, by the way, he's feeding it. There's no desire, he's feeding it with all of the tweets and all of the things he's saying, going to the Boy Scouts. He is just in their face on this stuff every day. A lot of people are scratching their heads over what it all means and what's going on. And none of it, none of the reaction, no polling data, none of it seems to deter Trump from what he is attempting to do here. But I mean this is pretty serious stuff when the former CIA director calls for a coup while there already is one underway, basically asking people to refuse to execute the order.

I mean, how would this silent coup ? Well, no. This wouldn't be silent. How would this requested coup manifest itself? I mean, a coup is a takeover. It's not just obstruction. It's not just stopping somebody. I mean, Brennan said here, "I hope that if that order is given that whoever gets it refuses to do it." Well, that's not a coup, refusing to do it. A coup is moving in there and ridding the government of the guy. A coup is moving in there and taking the guy out. That's why many coups actually occur with the military.

You need a show of force behind it ! and I'll tell you, I wouldn't doubt I've seen enough James Bond movies, and I've seen enough stuff to know that there are people attempting to convince military people. I think the level of panic about Trump inside the Beltway is beyond what we even think. I think the panic, the outrage, the frustration, the inability to cope I think it is way, way, way beyond what even we think based on what we see. I think they are bordering on panic, absent any kind of rationality, because this is driven by pure, unadulterated hatred.

The opposition to Trump is fueled by this hatred ! and it's causing them, I believe, to lose elements of their sanity. I think it's causing them to certainly lose elements of their rationality. So I wouldn't doubt I have no evidence, by the way. I will openly state I'm just speculating using intelligence guided by experience that these people are so far gone over what's happened to their precious town ! to their precious power base, to their precious control of things. That I wouldn't doubt if a couple of them are making phone calls retired generals (who still get up and put the uniform on every day even though they're retired) and soliciting their assistance ! should it ever become necessary, of course ! to lead a rebellion.

I don't have any evidence of it. None whatsoever. As I say, intelligence guided by experience. But clearly there's an uncontrolled rage and an irrationality in the anti-Trump forces ! on the left primarily. The Never Trumpers are not as far gone as the leftist groups that hate Trump. So I'm not including the I don't think, for example, anybody at one of your favorite conservative blog sites is colluding with retired generals and colluding with Brennan and former Obama intelligence types. But I think that these people are so, so unhinged now that, in their minds, "Whatever it takes! Whatever it takes, Mabel!"

So we'll just have to wait and see. And the more Trump tweets and the more he behaves in ways they just don't understand ! such as allowing Sessions to twist in the wind and be openly criticized the way Trump is doing ! they're going crazy. They started out crazy, you know, the night of the election, and it has only amplified since then. But the take-away here is that a former CIA director is essentially asking for a coup against the sitting president if the sitting president fires the special counsel ! which he is entirely constitutionally entitled to do. If Trump were to fire Mueller, legally, constitutionally, he can do it. The ramifications will be political, not legal.

[Sep 24, 2017] John Brennan, Obama loyalist and CIA director, drove FBI to investigate Trump associates by Rowan Scarborough

May 29, 2017 | www.washingtontimes.com
What caused the Barack Obama administration to begin investigating the Donald Trump campaign last summer has come into clearer focus following a string of congressional hearings on Russian interference in the presidential election.

It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan , a close confidant of Mr. Obama's, who provided the information ! what he termed the "basis" ! for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer. Mr. Brennan served on the former president's 2008 presidential campaign and in his White House . Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians. Mr. Brennan did not name either the Russians or the Trump people. He indicated he did not know what was said.

But he said he believed the contacts were numerous enough to alert the FBI , which began its probe into Trump associates that same July, according to previous congressional testimony from then- FBI director James B. Comey.

[Sep 24, 2017] Mark Ames When Mother Jones Was Investigated for Spreading Kremlin Disinformation by Mark Ames

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Adam Hochschild, the founding editor of Mother Jones (and author of some great books including King Leopold's Ghost), responded publicly to the threats coming out of the Senate in the early Reagan years. In a New York Times op-ed published in late 1981, "Dis-(Mis-?)Information", Hochschild wrote about a Republican Senate mailer sent out to 290 radio stations that accused Mother Jones of being Kremlin disinformation dupes. ..."
"... "In it, the writer Arnaud de Borchgrave accuses Mother Jones, the Village Voice, the Soho News, the Progressive magazine of serving as disseminators of K.G.B. 'disinformation' – the planting of false or misleading items in news media. "Mr. de Borchgrave provided no specific examples of facts or articles. But, then, the trouble with the K.G.B. is that you don't know what disinformation it is feeding you because you don't know who its myriad agents are. So the only safe thing is to distrust any author or magazine too critical of the United States. Because anyone who is against, say, the MX or the B-1 bomber could be working for the Russians." ..."
"... The communist/leftist imagery is there for a reason. In case you haven't noticed, Clinton supporters have waged a crude PR campaign to blame their candidate's loss on leftists, whom they equate with neo-Nazis and Trump. I've been smeared as "alt-left" by a Vanity Fair columnist, who equated me with Breitbart and other far-right journalists, for the crime of not sufficiently supporting Hillary Clinton. The larger goal of this crude PR effort is to equate opposition to Hillary Clinton with treason and Nazism. Which was exactly the goal of Reagan's "Kremlin disinformation" hysteria - the whole point was to smear critics of Reagan and his right-wing politics as pro-Kremlin traitors, whether they knew it or not. ..."
"... Even the words and the terminology are plagiarized from the Reagan Right witch-hunting campaign - "Kremlin active measures"; "Kremlin disinformation"; "Kremlin dupes" - terms introduced by right-wing novelists and intelligence hucksters, and repeated ad nauseam until they transformed into something plausible, giving quasi-academic cover to some very old-fashioned state repression, harassment, surveillance . . . and a lot of ruined lives. That's what happened last time, and if history is any guide, it's how this one will end up too. ..."
"... The Reagan Era kicked off with a lot of dark fear-mongering about the Kremlin using disinformation and active measures to destroy our way of life. Everything that the conservative Establishment loathed about 1970s - defeat in Vietnam, Church Committee hearings gutting the CIA and FBI, the cult of Woodward & Bernstein & Hersh, peace marchers, minority rights radicals - was an "active measures" treason conspiracy. ..."
"... The image at the top of this article comes from a lead article in Columbia University's student newspaper, the Spectator, published a few weeks after Reagan took office, on SST committee's assault on Mother Jones. The headline read: The New McCarthyism / Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been and the the full-page article begins, If you subscribe to Mother Jones, give money to the American Civil Liberties Union, or support the Institute for Policy Studies, Senator Jeremiah Denton's new Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism may be interested in you. ..."
"... It describes how in the 1970s Americans finally got rid of HUAC and the Senate Internal Security Committee, the Red Scare witch-hunting Congressional committees - only to have them revived one election cycle later in the Reagan Revolution. ..."
"... Sexual immorality -- it's a common theme in all the Russia panics of the past 100 years-whether the sexually liberated Emma Goldmans of the Red Scare, the homosexual-panic of the McCarthy witch-hunts, the hippie orgies of Denton's nightmares, or Trump's supposed golden shower fetish with immoral Russian prostitutes in our current panic. . . . ..."
"... To fight the Kremlin disinformation demons, Denton set up the Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism (SST), with two other young Republican senators-Orrin Hatch, who's still haunting Capitol Hill today; and John East of North Carolina, a Jesse Helms protege who later did his country a great service by committing suicide in his North Carolina garage, before the end of his first term in office in 1986. ..."
"... Sen. East's staffers leaned Nazi-ward, like their boss. One Sen. East staffer was Samuel Francis - now famous as the godfather of the alt-Right, but who in 1981 was known as the guru behind the Senate's "Russia disinformation" witch hunt. Funny how that works - today's #Resistance takes its core idea, that America is under the control of hostile Kremlin disinformation sorcerers - is culturally appropriated from the alt-Right's guru. ..."
"... Another staffer for Sen. East was John Rees, one of the most loathsome professional snitches of the post-McCarthy era, who collected files on suspected leftists, labor activists and liberal donors. I'll have to save John Rees for another post - he really belongs in a category by himself, proof of Schopenhauer's maxim that this world is run by demons. ..."
"... These were the people who first cooked up the "disinformation" panic. You can't separate the Sam Francises, Orrin Hatches, John Easts et al from today's panic-mongering over disinformation - you can only try to make sense of why, what is it about our culture's ruling factions that brings them together on this sort of xenophobic witch-hunt, even when they see themselves as so diametrically opposed on so many other issues. ..."
"... The subversion scare and moral panic were crucial in resetting the culture for the Reagan counter-revolution. Those who opposed Reagan's plans, domestically and overseas, would be labeled "dupes" of Kremlin "active measures" and "disinformation" conspiracies, acting on behalf of Moscow whether they knew it or not. The panic incubated in Denton's subcommittee investigations provided political cover for vast new powers given to the CIA, FBI, NSA and other spy and police agencies to spy on Americans. Fighting Russian "active measures" grew over the years into a massive surveillance program against Americans, particularly anyone involved in opposing Reagan's dirty wars in Central America, anyone opposing nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants, and anyone involved in providing sanctuary to refugees from south of the border. The "active measures" panic even led to FBI secret investigations into liberal members of Congress, some of whom wound up in a secret "FBI terrorist photo album". ..."
"... 'Russia is a bigger threat to America than Islamic State.' is almost certainly true. If one insists, as the US has done, on standing at the border of the bears lair and poking it with a very short stick, then there may well be consequences. On the other hand, Islamic State is no threat to the US in any way, shape or form. ..."
"... The Cold War is over, so now the US can reveal its truly feral nature. ..."
"... American slogan Violence R Us. Not judging, just being honest. We were no more interested in the common good of the Vietnamese back then, any more than we are interested in the common good of the Syrians today. ..."
"... It's always 'Russia this, Russia that', how we're going to bring democracy to some other part of the world, how some country's leader is a dictator. These are excuses we can do reverse Robin Hood wherever we can and enrich the 1%. ..."
"... It's my duty to point out that the glaring similarities in this brand of cold war Russophobia with that of pre-WW2 anti-Comintern material coming out of Nazi Germany (or even the anti-Semitic material from the early 1900s) are no coincidence. ..."
"... Among the Nazi intelligence officers and scientists we spirited away before the Russians could get their hands on them [ Operation Paperclip ] were a few sly operators who immediately started filling our elected leaders' ears with stories of Reds under the bed. One of these reps was Senator Joe McCarthy and the rest, as they say ..."
"... American-produced historical documentaries tell it like we were united as a country in support of Stalin against Hitler. This reluctance is usually credited to not wanting to get into another bloodbath like WW1 but let's be straight- about half the country (proto-deplorables?) wanted nothing to do with helping the commies beat the Nazis and actually thought the Germans weren't the bad guys. Anti-communism, big brother to anti-unionism and first cousin to anti-Semitism, was all the rage before we helped Uncle Joe beat Hitler, making it all the easier to revive after the war was over and it looked like the only threat to US world domination was a war-weakened Soviet Union. ..."
"... A few years ago, with the advent of internet freeness, I'd added MJ ..."
"... It is sensible but really too polite to say that NATO expanded because "that is what bureaucracies do and it became a way for U.S. presidents to show their 'toughness.'" To expand a bureaucracy by subversion of Ukraine and false reports of Russian aggression, to show toughness by aggression rather than defense, requires the mad power grasping of tyrants in the military, the intel agencies, the NSC, the administration, Congress. and the mass media. ..."
"... They are joined in a tyranny of inventing foreign monsters, to pose falsely as protectors, and to accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty, as Aristotle warned. This is the domestic political power grab of tyrants, a far greater danger. ..."
"... Apart from NATO and a few other treaties, the US would have no constitutional power to wage foreign wars, just to repel invasions and suppress insurrections, and that is the way it should be. Any treaty becomes part of the Supreme Law of the land, and must be rigorously restricted to defense, with provisions for international resolution of conflicts. NATO has been nothing but an excuse for warmongering since 1989. ..."
"... I think this is much closer to the mark than the association of the anti-russia fearmongering with sincere xenophobia. Russia is the go-to foreign enemy because there is such a huge and convenient stockpile of propaganda material lying around in stockpiles, but left unused because of the tragic and abrupt end of Cold War 1.0. And Russia is a great target because it is distant, and has a weird alphabet. Anyone who knows enough about Russia to contradict the disinformation (like by mentioning that they are not commies, but US-style authoritarian oligarchs) is suspicious ipso facto ..."
"... Both parties being pro wall street deficit and war hawks differing in perhaps degree .with the Demos supporting a more generous portion of calf's foot jelly being distributed to peasants of more varied hue as they also support privatization, more subtle tax cuts and deregulation for the rich, R2P wars, and globalization's race to the bottom. People seem to inhabit their own Plato's Cave each opposing their own particular artfully projected phantom menace. ..."
"... Brilliant, as Ames usually is. Especially the point that this is a manifestation of consistent anti-left sentiment within the establishment whether R or D. The confounding of Putin's Russia with some imagined communist threat always amazes me. D's got to keep up the hippie-punching at all times though! ..."
"... The Russophobia is stuck on an endless loop. I wish they'd at least come up with new lies or some fresh enemy for us all to fear. ..."
"... Without defending Trump, it is wrong of the Dems to push this stuff when Ukrainians helped Clinton's campaign and Clinton approved Uranium One getting 20% of US uranium when they gave $100 million to the Foundation. ..."
Jun 03, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Mark Ames, founding editor of the Moscow satirical paper The eXile and co-host of the Radio War Nerd podcast with Gary Brecher (aka John Dolan). Subscribe here. Originally published at The eXiled

Mother Jones recently announced it's "redoubling our Russia reporting"-in the words of editor Clara Jeffery. Ain't that rich. What passes for "Russia reporting" at Mother Jones is mostly just glorified InfoWars paranoia for progressive marks - a cataract of xenophobic conspiracy theories about inscrutable Russian barbarians hellbent on subverting our way of life, spreading chaos, destroying freedom & democracy & tolerance wherever they once flourished. . . . because they hate us, because we're free.

Western reporting on Russia has always been garbage, But the so-called "Russia reporting" of the last year has taken the usual malpractice to unimagined depths - whether it's from Mother Jones or MSNBC, or the Washington Post or Resistance hero Louise Mensch.

But of all the liberal media, Mother Jones should be most ashamed for fueling the moral panic about Russian "disinformation". It wasn't too long ago that the Reagan Right attacked Mother Jones for spreading "Kremlin disinformation" and subverting America. There were threats and leaks to the media about a possible Senate investigation into Mother Jones serving as a Kremlin disinformation dupe, a threat that hung over the magazine throughout the early Reagan years. A new Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism (SST for short) was set up in 1981 to investigate Kremlin "disinformation" and "active measures" in America, and the American "dupes" who helped Moscow subvert our way of life. That subcommittee was created to harass and repress leftist anti-imperial dissent in America, using "terrorism" as the main threat, and "disinformation" as terrorism's fellow traveller. The way the the SST committee put it, "terrorism" and "Kremlin disinformation" were one and the same, a meta-conspiracy run out of Moscow to weaken America.

And Mother Jones was one of the first American media outlets in the SST committee's sites.

Adam Hochschild, the founding editor of Mother Jones (and author of some great books including King Leopold's Ghost), responded publicly to the threats coming out of the Senate in the early Reagan years. In a New York Times op-ed published in late 1981, "Dis-(Mis-?)Information", Hochschild wrote about a Republican Senate mailer sent out to 290 radio stations that accused Mother Jones of being Kremlin disinformation dupes. The mailer, on Senate letterhead, featured a tape recording of an interview between the chairman of the SST subcommittee, Sen. Jeremiah Denton of Alabama, and a committee witness- a "disinformation expert" named Arnaud de Borchgrave, author of a bestselling spy novel called "The Spike" - about a fictional Kremlin plot to subvert the West with disinformation, and thereby rule the world.

Here's how Hochschild described the Republican Senate mailer in his NYTimes piece:

"In it, the writer Arnaud de Borchgrave accuses Mother Jones, the Village Voice, the Soho News, the Progressive magazine of serving as disseminators of K.G.B. 'disinformation' – the planting of false or misleading items in news media. "Mr. de Borchgrave provided no specific examples of facts or articles. But, then, the trouble with the K.G.B. is that you don't know what disinformation it is feeding you because you don't know who its myriad agents are. So the only safe thing is to distrust any author or magazine too critical of the United States. Because anyone who is against, say, the MX or the B-1 bomber could be working for the Russians."

Here, the Mother Jones founder describes the menacing logic of pursuing the "Kremlin disinformation" conspiracy: any American critical of US military power, police power, corporate power, overseas power . . . anyone critical of anything that powerful Americans do, is a Kremlin disinformation dupe whether they know it or not. That leaves only the appointed accusers to decide who is and who isn't a Kremlin agent.

Hochschild called this panic over Kremlin disinformation another "Red Scare", warning,

"[T]o accuse critical American journalists of serving as its unwitting dupes makes as little sense as Russians accusing rebellious Poles of being unwitting agents of American imperialism. When Mr. de Borchgrave accuses skeptical journalists of being unwitting purveyors of disinformation, the accusation is more slippery, less easy to definitively disprove, and less subject to libel law than if he were to accuse them of being conscious Communist agents.

" Although if you believe the K.G.B. is successfully infiltrating America's news media, then anything must seem possible."

It's a damn shame today's editorial staff at Mother Jones aren't aware of their own magazine's history.

Then again, who am I fooling? Mother Jones wouldn't care if you shoved their faces in their own recent history - they're way too donor-deep invested in pushing this "active measures" conspiracy. Trump has been a goldmine of donor cash for anyone willing to carry the #Resistance water.

PutinTrump was a project set up last fall by tech plutocrat Rob Glaser, CEO and founder of RealNetworks, to scare voters into believing that voting for Trump is treason. God knows I can't stand Trump or his politics, but of all the inane campaign ideas to run on - this?

One would've thought that the smart people would learn their lesson from the election, that running against a Kremlin conspiracy theory is a loser. But instead, they seem to think the problem is they didn't fear-monger enough, so they're "redoubling" on the Russophobia. Donor money is driving this - donor cash is quite literally driving Mother Jones' editorial focus. And it really is this crude.

Take for example a PutinTrump section titled "Russian Expansion" - the scary Red imagery and language are lifted straight out of the Reagan Cold War playbook from the early-mid 80s, when, it so happens, Mother Jones was targeted as a Kremlin dupe. Featuring a lot of shadowy red-colored alien soldiers over an outline of Crimea, Mother Jones' donor-partner promotes a classic Cold War propaganda line about Russian/Soviet expansionism-a lie that has been the basis for so many wars launched to "stop" this alleged "expansionism" in the past, wars that Mother Jones is supposed to oppose. Here's what MJ's partner writes now:

RUSSIAN EXPANSION

Through unknowing manipulation, or by direct support, Trump will become an accessory to the continual expansionism committed by Putin. Might does not equal right-and it never has for Americans-but Putin's Russia plays by different rules. Or maybe no rules at all.

The communist/leftist imagery is there for a reason. In case you haven't noticed, Clinton supporters have waged a crude PR campaign to blame their candidate's loss on leftists, whom they equate with neo-Nazis and Trump. I've been smeared as "alt-left" by a Vanity Fair columnist, who equated me with Breitbart and other far-right journalists, for the crime of not sufficiently supporting Hillary Clinton. The larger goal of this crude PR effort is to equate opposition to Hillary Clinton with treason and Nazism. Which was exactly the goal of Reagan's "Kremlin disinformation" hysteria - the whole point was to smear critics of Reagan and his right-wing politics as pro-Kremlin traitors, whether they knew it or not.

* * *

What's kind of shocking to me as someone who was alive in the Reagan scare is how unoriginal this current one is. Even the words and the terminology are plagiarized from the Reagan Right witch-hunting campaign - "Kremlin active measures"; "Kremlin disinformation"; "Kremlin dupes" - terms introduced by right-wing novelists and intelligence hucksters, and repeated ad nauseam until they transformed into something plausible, giving quasi-academic cover to some very old-fashioned state repression, harassment, surveillance . . . and a lot of ruined lives. That's what happened last time, and if history is any guide, it's how this one will end up too.

Today we're supposed to remember how cheerful and optimistic the Reagan Era was. But that's now how I remember it, it's not how it looked to Mother Jones at the time - and it's not how it looks when you go back through the original source material again and relive it. The Reagan Era kicked off with a lot of dark fear-mongering about the Kremlin using disinformation and active measures to destroy our way of life. Everything that the conservative Establishment loathed about 1970s - defeat in Vietnam, Church Committee hearings gutting the CIA and FBI, the cult of Woodward & Bernstein & Hersh, peace marchers, minority rights radicals - was an "active measures" treason conspiracy.

As soon as the new Republican majority in the Senate took power in 1981, they set up a new subcommittee to investigate Kremlin disinformation dupes, called the Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism. Staffers leaked to the media they intended to investigate Mother Jones. Panic spread across the progressive media world, and suddenly all those cool Ivy League kids who invested everything in becoming the next Woodward-Bernsteins - the cultural heroes at the time - got scared. The image at the top of this article comes from a lead article in Columbia University's student newspaper, the Spectator, published a few weeks after Reagan took office, on SST committee's assault on Mother Jones. The headline read: The New McCarthyism / Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been and the the full-page article begins, If you subscribe to Mother Jones, give money to the American Civil Liberties Union, or support the Institute for Policy Studies, Senator Jeremiah Denton's new Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism may be interested in you.

It describes how in the 1970s Americans finally got rid of HUAC and the Senate Internal Security Committee, the Red Scare witch-hunting Congressional committees - only to have them revived one election cycle later in the Reagan Revolution.

By the end of Reagan's first year in office, there was still no formal investigation into Mother Jones, but the harassment was there and it wasn't subtle at all - such as the Republican Senate mailer accusing the magazine of being KGB disinformation dupes. At the end of 1981, MJ editor/founder Adam Hochschild announced he was stepping aside, and in his final note to readers and the public, he wrote:

To Senator Jeremiah Denton, chair of the Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism: If your committee investigates Mother Jones, a plan hinted at some months ago, I demand to be subpoenaed. I would not want to miss telling off today's new McCarthyites.

So here we are a few decades later, and Mother Jones' editor Clara Jeffery is denouncing WikiLeaks - yesterday's journalism stars, today's traitors - as "Russia['s] willing dupes and propagandists" while Mother Jones magazine turned itself into a mouthpiece for America's spies peddling the same warmed-over conspiracy theories that once targeted Mother Jones.

* * *

Jeremiah Denton - the New Right senator from Alabama who led the SST committee investigation into Kremlin "disinformation" and its dupes like Mother Jones - believed that America was being weakened from within and had only a few years left at most to turn it around. As Denton saw it, the two most dangerous threats to America's survival were a) hippie sex, and b) Kremlin disinformation. The two were inseparable in his mind, linked to the larger "global terrorism" plot masterminded by Moscow.

To fight hippie sex and teen promiscuity, the freshman senator introduced a "Chastity Bill" funding federal programs that promoted the joys of chastity to Americans armies of bored, teen suburban long-hairs. A lot of clever people laughed at that, because at the time the belief in linear historical progress was strong, and this represented something so atavistic that it was like a curiosity more than anything - Pauly Shore's "Alabama Man" unfrozen after 10,000 years and unleashed on the halls of Congress.

Less funny were Denton's calls for death penalty for adulterers, and laws he pushed restricting women's right to abortion.

Jeremiah Denton was once a big name in this country. Americans have since forgotten Denton, because John McCain pretty much stole his act. But back in the 70s and early 80s, Denton was America's most famous Vietnam War hero/POW. Like McCain, Denton was a Navy pilot shot down over Vietnam and taken prisoner. Denton spent 1965-1973 in North Vietnamese POW camps-two years longer than McCain-and he was America's most famous POW. His most famous moment was when his North Vietnamese captors hauled him before the cameras to acknowledge his crimes, and instead Denton famously blinked out a Morse code message: "T-O-R-T-U-R-E".

In the 1973 POW exchange deal between Hanoi and Nixon, "Operation Homecoming," it was Denton who was the first American POW to come off the plane and speak to the American tv crews (McCain was on the same flight, but not nearly as prominent as Denton). I keep referring back to McCain here because not only were they both famous Navy pilot POWs, but they both wind up becoming the most pathologically obsessive Russophobes in the Senate. Just a few days ago, McCain said that Russia is a bigger threat to America than Islamic State. Something real bad must've happened in those Hanoi Hiltons, worse than anything they told us about, because those guys really, really hate Russians - and they reallywant the rest of us to hate Russians too.

Everything they loathed about America, everything that was wrong with America, had to be the fault of a hostile alien culture. There was no other explanation for what happened in the 1970s. The America that Denton came home to in 1973 was under some kind of hostile power, an alien-controlled replica of the America he last saw in 1965. Popular morality had been turned on its head: Hollywood blockbusters with bare naked bodies and gutter language! Children against their parents! Homosexuals on waterskis! Sex and treason! Patriots were the enemy, while America-haters were heroes! Denton re-appeared like some reactionary Rip Van Winkle who went to sleep in the safe feather-bed world of J Edgar Hoover's America - only to wake up eight years later on Bernadine Dohrn's futon, soaked in Bill Ayers' bodily fluids. For Denton, the post-60s cultural shock came on all at once - as sudden and as jarring as, well, the shock so many Blue State Americans experienced when Donald Trump won the election last November.

Sex, immorality & military defeat-these were inseparable in Denton's mind, and in a lot of reactionaries' minds. Attributing all of America's social convulsions of the previous 15 years to immorality and a Kremlin disinformation plot was a neat way of avoiding the complex and painful realities - then, as now.

"No nation can survive long unless it can encourage its young to withhold indulgence in their sexual appetites until marriage." - Jeremiah Denton

What hit Denton hardest was all the hippie sex and the pop culture glorification of hippie sex. It's hard to convey just how deeply all that smug hippie sex wounded tens of millions of Americans. It's a hate wound that's still raw, still burns to the touch. A wound that fueled so much reactionary political fire over the past 50 years, and it doesn't look like it'll burn out any time soon.

Back in 1980, Denton blamed all that pop culture sex on Russian active measures, and he did his best to not just outlaw it, but to demonize sex as something along the lines of treason.

Just as so many people today cannot accept the idea that Trumpism is Made In America-so Denton and his Reagan Right constituents believed there had to be some alien force to explain why Americans had changed so drastically, seeming to adopt values that were the antithesis of Middle America's values in 1965. It had to be the fault of an alien voodoo beam! It had to be a Russian plot!

And so, therefore, it was a Russian plot.

A 1981 Time magazine profile of the freshman Senator begins, Denton believes that America is being destroyed by sexual immorality and Soviet-sponsored political 'disinformation'-and that both are being promoted by dupes, or worse, in the media. By the mid-1980s, he warns, "we will have less national security than we had proportionately when George Washington's troops were walking around barefoot at Valley Forge."

Sexual immorality -- it's a common theme in all the Russia panics of the past 100 years-whether the sexually liberated Emma Goldmans of the Red Scare, the homosexual-panic of the McCarthy witch-hunts, the hippie orgies of Denton's nightmares, or Trump's supposed golden shower fetish with immoral Russian prostitutes in our current panic. . . .

To fight the Kremlin disinformation demons, Denton set up the Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism (SST), with two other young Republican senators-Orrin Hatch, who's still haunting Capitol Hill today; and John East of North Carolina, a Jesse Helms protege who later did his country a great service by committing suicide in his North Carolina garage, before the end of his first term in office in 1986.

Sen. East's staffers leaned Nazi-ward, like their boss. One Sen. East staffer was Samuel Francis - now famous as the godfather of the alt-Right, but who in 1981 was known as the guru behind the Senate's "Russia disinformation" witch hunt. Funny how that works - today's #Resistance takes its core idea, that America is under the control of hostile Kremlin disinformation sorcerers - is culturally appropriated from the alt-Right's guru.

Another staffer for Sen. East was John Rees, one of the most loathsome professional snitches of the post-McCarthy era, who collected files on suspected leftists, labor activists and liberal donors. I'll have to save John Rees for another post - he really belongs in a category by himself, proof of Schopenhauer's maxim that this world is run by demons.

These were the people who first cooked up the "disinformation" panic. You can't separate the Sam Francises, Orrin Hatches, John Easts et al from today's panic-mongering over disinformation - you can only try to make sense of why, what is it about our culture's ruling factions that brings them together on this sort of xenophobic witch-hunt, even when they see themselves as so diametrically opposed on so many other issues. I don't think this is something as simple as hypocrisy - it's actually quite consistent: Establishment faction wakes up to a world it doesn't recognize and loathes and feels threatened by, and blames it not on themselves or anything domestic, but rather on the most plausible alien conspiracy they can reach for: Russian barbarians. Anti-Russian xenophobia is burned into the Establishment culture's DNA; it's a xenophobia that both dominant factions, liberal or conservative, view as an acceptable xenophobia. When poorer "white working class" Americans feel threatened and panic, their xenophobia tends to be aimed at other ethnics - Latinos and Muslims these days - a xenophobia that the Establishment views as completely immoral and unacceptable, completely beyond the pale. The thought never occurs to them that perhaps all forms of xenophobia are bad, all bring with them a lot of violence and danger, it just depends on who's threatened and who's doing the threatening

The subversion scare and moral panic were crucial in resetting the culture for the Reagan counter-revolution. Those who opposed Reagan's plans, domestically and overseas, would be labeled "dupes" of Kremlin "active measures" and "disinformation" conspiracies, acting on behalf of Moscow whether they knew it or not. The panic incubated in Denton's subcommittee investigations provided political cover for vast new powers given to the CIA, FBI, NSA and other spy and police agencies to spy on Americans. Fighting Russian "active measures" grew over the years into a massive surveillance program against Americans, particularly anyone involved in opposing Reagan's dirty wars in Central America, anyone opposing nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants, and anyone involved in providing sanctuary to refugees from south of the border. The "active measures" panic even led to FBI secret investigations into liberal members of Congress, some of whom wound up in a secret "FBI terrorist photo album".

I'll get to that "FBI Terrorist Photo Album" story later. There's a lot of recent "Kremlin disinformation" history to recover, since it seems every last memory cell has been zapped out of existence.

After Reagan's inauguration (the most expensive, lavish inauguration ball in White House history), Senator Denton sent a chill through the liberal and independent media world with all the talk coming out of his committee about targeting activists, civil rights lawyers and journalists. Denton tried to come off as reasonable some of the times; other times, he came right out and said it: "disinformation" is terrorism: When I speak of a threat, I do not just mean that an organization is, or is about to be, engaged in violent criminal activity. I believe many share the view that support groups that produce propaganda, disinformation or legal assistance may be even more dangerous than those who actually throw the bombs.

Congratulations Mother Jones, you've come a long way, baby! Next post, I'll recover some of the early committee hearings, and the rightwing hucksters, creeps and spooks who fed Denton's committee.

glmmph , June 3, 2017 at 7:00 am

I think that John McCain may well be correct, if for the wrong reasons. 'Russia is a bigger threat to America than Islamic State.' is almost certainly true. If one insists, as the US has done, on standing at the border of the bears lair and poking it with a very short stick, then there may well be consequences. On the other hand, Islamic State is no threat to the US in any way, shape or form.

Disturbed Voter , June 3, 2017 at 7:23 am

This is now, that was then. There is no comparison. The Cold War is over, so now the US can reveal its truly feral nature. It seems both parties are struggling to bring back the 1960s with Cold War 2.0. We need to pull out of the Middle East, and invade Vietnam, again ;-( And yes, probably even back then, Mother Jones was controlled opposition. They just don't bother hiding it anymore.

John Zelnicker , June 3, 2017 at 3:18 pm

@Disturbed Voter – Dontcha know. We just signed deals with Viet Nam that will bring "billions of dollars" to the U.S. Trump said so last week after meeting with the Vietnamese Prime Minister, so it must be true. They're safe for now. :-)

witters , June 3, 2017 at 7:29 am

"Might does not equal right-and it never has for Americans-" Is there a Darwin Award for this?

Disturbed Voter , June 3, 2017 at 9:30 am

American slogan Violence R Us. Not judging, just being honest. We were no more interested in the common good of the Vietnamese back then, any more than we are interested in the common good of the Syrians today.

oh , June 3, 2017 at 3:18 pm

Our nation worries about other countries' problems but we never care about ours! It's always 'Russia this, Russia that', how we're going to bring democracy to some other part of the world, how some country's leader is a dictator. These are excuses we can do reverse Robin Hood wherever we can and enrich the 1%.

Magazines (tabloids) and (fake)news organization are cheer leaders to this effort because they cash in on the chant du jour.

Baby Gerald , June 3, 2017 at 8:16 am

Thank you so much for exposing in such great detail the hypocrisy regarding MJ s recent neo-Red Scare leanings. If only the editorial staff at dear MJ would educate themselves not only about their own organization's history, but history in general, they might avoid looking like complete fools and enemies to their own institution's founding principles when we collectively reminisce on this bizarre era at some point in the future.

It's my duty to point out that the glaring similarities in this brand of cold war Russophobia with that of pre-WW2 anti-Comintern material coming out of Nazi Germany (or even the anti-Semitic material from the early 1900s) are no coincidence.

Among the Nazi intelligence officers and scientists we spirited away before the Russians could get their hands on them [ Operation Paperclip ] were a few sly operators who immediately started filling our elected leaders' ears with stories of Reds under the bed. One of these reps was Senator Joe McCarthy and the rest, as they say

American-produced historical documentaries tell it like we were united as a country in support of Stalin against Hitler. This reluctance is usually credited to not wanting to get into another bloodbath like WW1 but let's be straight- about half the country (proto-deplorables?) wanted nothing to do with helping the commies beat the Nazis and actually thought the Germans weren't the bad guys. Anti-communism, big brother to anti-unionism and first cousin to anti-Semitism, was all the rage before we helped Uncle Joe beat Hitler, making it all the easier to revive after the war was over and it looked like the only threat to US world domination was a war-weakened Soviet Union.

As a kid in the 80s I remember MJ being singled out as a leftist commie rag by Reaganites of the day. Through college this was about all I knew about the magazine– as an epithet for what hippie commie liberals read before trying to ruin our country. Despite it leaning to my political inclinations, I never paid it any attention.

A few years ago, with the advent of internet freeness, I'd added MJ to my news stream. Once Sanders- then later Trump- started looking like an actual threat to the Clinton campaign, their headlines started turning snippy and trite toward her opposition. I turned them off my feed last year, so the only exposure to their drivel is thanks to the links here at NC . Now with the advent of twitter, their staff have taken the extra step of proving how twisted their personal Russophobian views really are. Between just Corn and Jeffery, there's enough material to make any McCarthyite proud.*

[* – I was going to close with ' and make Adam Hochschild roll in his grave' but then I googled him and discovered that he's still alive. Wonder what he thinks about this current turn at the magazine he co-founded?]

Damson , June 3, 2017 at 8:40 am

Reposting a comment that IMV, snapshots the reality of Russophobia far better than Ames (it was in response to a Ray McGovern article on Trump's visit to NATO HQ) :

"Ray has written well to the general audience, bridging the information gap for those heavily propagandized. He has properly shown the expansion of NATO as an act of calculated betrayal, a policy of aggression in the face of zero threat.

It is sensible but really too polite to say that NATO expanded because "that is what bureaucracies do and it became a way for U.S. presidents to show their 'toughness.'" To expand a bureaucracy by subversion of Ukraine and false reports of Russian aggression, to show toughness by aggression rather than defense, requires the mad power grasping of tyrants in the military, the intel agencies, the NSC, the administration, Congress. and the mass media.

They are joined in a tyranny of inventing foreign monsters, to pose falsely as protectors, and to accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty, as Aristotle warned. This is the domestic political power grab of tyrants, a far greater danger.

Tyranny is a subculture, a groupthink of bullies who tyrannize each other and compete for the most radical propositions of nonexistent foreign threats. They fully well know that they are lying to the people of the United States to serve a personal and factional agenda that involves the murder of millions of innocents, the diversion of a very large fraction of their own and other nations' budgets from essential needs, and they have not an ounce of humanity or moral restraint among them. Those who waver are cast aside, and the worst of the bullies rise to the top. This is why the nation's founders opposed a standing military, and they were right.

Apart from NATO and a few other treaties, the US would have no constitutional power to wage foreign wars, just to repel invasions and suppress insurrections, and that is the way it should be. Any treaty becomes part of the Supreme Law of the land, and must be rigorously restricted to defense, with provisions for international resolution of conflicts. NATO has been nothing but an excuse for warmongering since 1989.

Let us hope that Trump pulls the plug on NATO interventionism, accidentally or otherwise. The Dem leaders have now joined the Reps in their love of bribes for genocide, but at the least the Reps still don't like paying for it. Perhaps the last duopoly imitation of civilization."

nowhere , June 3, 2017 at 11:26 am

Hmm "but at the least the Reps still don't like paying for it." I strongly disagree. War is the only thing Rs don't mind openly supporting.

Ptolemy Philopater , June 3, 2017 at 3:15 pm

One can not repeat often enough: War Crimes Tribunals! How to disincentivize the madness.

Skip Intro , June 4, 2017 at 2:14 am

I think this is much closer to the mark than the association of the anti-russia fearmongering with sincere xenophobia. Russia is the go-to foreign enemy because there is such a huge and convenient stockpile of propaganda material lying around in stockpiles, but left unused because of the tragic and abrupt end of Cold War 1.0. And Russia is a great target because it is distant, and has a weird alphabet. Anyone who knows enough about Russia to contradict the disinformation (like by mentioning that they are not commies, but US-style authoritarian oligarchs) is suspicious ipso facto .

Mary Wehrhein , June 3, 2017 at 9:40 am

Having lived in Kansas for 60 some years which is the poster-child for trickle-down necromancy and a land heavily infused with rural, German-Catholic sensibilities, I can vouch for the deeply felt attitudes towards sex as a primary issue. "Family Values" being the code word for the whole sex and reproductive moral prism.

Like Cuba with its 50s autos, the conservatives have never given up their 60s conception of the Democrats as the party of free love, peace-nicks (soft on commies hard on guns) and tax and spend bleeding hearts coddling dependent malingerers.

The GOP here campaigns against a democrat party that no longer exists (if it ever did). They seem oblivious to the fact that the democrats have become the moderate republicans of yore. Both parties being pro wall street deficit and war hawks differing in perhaps degree .with the Demos supporting a more generous portion of calf's foot jelly being distributed to peasants of more varied hue as they also support privatization, more subtle tax cuts and deregulation for the rich, R2P wars, and globalization's race to the bottom. People seem to inhabit their own Plato's Cave each opposing their own particular artfully projected phantom menace.

GERMO , June 3, 2017 at 9:42 am

Brilliant, as Ames usually is. Especially the point that this is a manifestation of consistent anti-left sentiment within the establishment whether R or D. The confounding of Putin's Russia with some imagined communist threat always amazes me. D's got to keep up the hippie-punching at all times though!

Pespi , June 3, 2017 at 10:33 am

This is a great piece. The Russophobia is stuck on an endless loop. I wish they'd at least come up with new lies or some fresh enemy for us all to fear. Tell me about why South African dupes are causing all the problems in society, tell me that the people of the Maldives each own a nuclear capable artillery piece and are burning American flags.

Susan the other , June 3, 2017 at 11:25 am

Thanks for this post down memory lane. I assumed MJ was liberal. And Jane Fonda was a conservative. And by 1981 I was completely confused about where the media stood on any given issue. And now finally the mask is coming off and we can see (Phillip K. Dick style) that left is right and right is left. And we are all fascists. Will the real Atilla please stand up? #Resistance is a little over the top and so is putintrump. But what looks like actual progress is the fact that Bernie was not completely destroyed by the state paranoia. There has to be a certain bed-rock decency that can rise above this eternal crap. Just a note of interest on the young Orrin Hatch being on the SST as a freshman senator. Orrin was the subject of local rumors that claimed he had been put in the senate by the mafia (some mormon-mafia connection in las vegas) and the fact that they did use entrapment with a hooker to disgrace his opponent was mafia-enough to make the story convincing. The story died out fast. But we should all remember that the mafia was involved in its own anti-commie terrorist tactics for decades.

Susan the other , June 3, 2017 at 2:28 pm

file under Too Weird: 15 minutes after I posted the above I got a call from Orrin Hatch's robo-computer inviting me to a local discussion call me paranoid.

John Zelnicker , June 3, 2017 at 2:45 pm

@Susan the other – It's not paranoia if someone really is out to get you. Or, to get all of us. Or, demonstrates that they have the ability to do so at will.

REDPILLED , June 3, 2017 at 11:39 am

Only 16% of people surveyed are very worried about climate change.

Corporate news is consumed with covering the Trump/Russia affair, but whatever the truth of all this turns out to be, it pales in significance to the real existential threat that is upon us. Largely due to a lack of coverage by corporate television news, there is a dangerous lack of public awareness of it.

Susan the other , June 3, 2017 at 11:42 am

land of the free and home of the brave you have to be brave to live in this free-for-all. Just want to pass on this killer quote from Discover Magazine: "It is sometimes argued that the illusion of free will arises from the fact that we can't adequately judge all possible moves with the result that our choices are based on imperfect or impoverished information." what a nightmare world.

mpalomar , June 3, 2017 at 9:43 pm

"It is sometimes argued that the illusion of free will arises from the fact that we can't adequately judge all possible moves with the result that our choices are based on imperfect or impoverished information."

Accepting that premise does not rule out the possibility of free will, it only suggests that our free will is likely mired in a blind stumbling, darkness of unknowing.
Hallelujah.

sunny129 , June 3, 2017 at 1:57 pm

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. George Orwell. Every one has that 'right', right or wrong! But it is your right & duty to develop 'critical' thinking to DISCERN the difference

Darn , June 4, 2017 at 4:48 am

Without defending Trump, it is wrong of the Dems to push this stuff when Ukrainians helped Clinton's campaign and Clinton approved Uranium One getting 20% of US uranium when they gave $100 million to the Foundation. The book "Shattered" says her campaign did internal polling which found Uranium One was the most damaging line to use against Clinton so she decided to get her retaliation in first and use the Russia charge at every opportunity. And on election night when they realised they had been defeated they decided to blame Russia again. What has Trump done for Russia so far? He's kept up sanctions and bombed their client state Syria. Whereas Clinton had a pattern of arms sales to Foundation donors. Prefer Clinton? Fine, but not over this.

[Sep 24, 2017] Trump allies see vindication in reports on Manafort wiretapping

Obama did spied on his political opponents... He really was a well connected to intelligence agencies wolf in sheep's clothing.
Sep 24, 2017 | www.msn.com

For some of President Trump's staunchest allies, reports that former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was under U.S. surveillance are nothing short of vindication of the president's widely-dismissed claims that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.

... ... ...

Longtime advisor Roger Stone has gleefully circulated a segment from Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News in which the host says "all those patronizing assurances that nobody is spying on political campaigns were false" and "it looks like Trump's tweet may have been right."

... ... ...

A spokesperson for Manafort, Jason Maloni, has characterized the court orders as an abuse of power by the Obama administration, which he says wanted to spy on a political opponent.

"It's unclear if Paul Manafort was the objective," Maloni told The Journal. "Perhaps the real objective was Donald Trump."

Surveillance experts are skeptical of that suggestion. For one thing, it is illegal for investigators to "reverse target" a U.S. person by spying on a person with whom they know their true target to be in communication.

If the president were in fact the oblique target of government surveillance - either as a candidate or as the president-elect - both Eddington and Shedd say, it would have been so explosive that it would have almost certainly been leaked to the press.

... ... ...

The disclosure of the warrants targeting Manafort have drawn legitimate scrutiny as a violation of Manafort's civil liberties and a possible criminal leak - the mere existence of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, warrant is classified.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who first raised alarm about the practice of "unmasking" the names of Americans caught up in government surveillance, is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly exposing classified information when he disclosed his findings to reporters.

[Sep 23, 2017] The Crazy Imbalance of Russia-gate by Robert Parry

Notable quotes:
"... In response to this political pressure – at a time when Facebook is fending off possible anti-trust legislation – its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg added that he is expanding the investigation to include "additional Russian groups and other former Soviet states." ..."
"... But why stop there? If the concern is that American political campaigns are being influenced by foreign governments whose interests may diverge from what's best for America, why not look at countries that have caused the United States far more harm recently than Russia? ..."
"... After all, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Wahabbi leaders have been pulling the U.S. government into their sectarian wars with the Shiites, including conflicts in Yemen and Syria that have contributed to anti-Americanism in the region, to the growth of Al Qaeda, and to a disruptive flow of refugees into Europe. ..."
"... Although the military disaster in Iraq threw a wrench into those plans, the Israeli/neocon agenda never changed. Along with Israel's new regional ally, Saudi Arabia , a proxy war was fashioned to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. ..."
"... Israel's influence over U.S. politicians is so blatant that presidential contenders queue up every year to grovel before the Israel Lobby's conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. In 2016, Donald Trump showed up and announced that he was not there to "pander" and then pandered his pants off. ..."
"... And, if you want a historical review, throw in the British and German propaganda around the two world wars; include how the South Vietnamese government collaborated with Richard Nixon in 1968 to sabotage President Lyndon Johnson's Paris peace talks; take a serious look at the collusion between Ronald Reagan's campaign and Iran thwarting President Jimmy Carter's efforts to free 52 American hostages in Tehran in 1980; open the books on Turkey's covert investments in U.S. politicians and policymakers; and examine how authoritarian regimes of all stripes have funded important Washington think tanks and law firms. ..."
"... But the Russia-gate investigation is not about fairness and balance; it's a reckless scapegoating of a nuclear-armed country to explain away – and possibly do away with – Donald Trump's presidency. Rather than putting everything in context and applying a sense of proportion, Russia-gate is relying on wild exaggerations of factually dubious or relatively isolated incidents as an opportunistic means to a political end. ..."
"... As reckless as President Trump has been, the supposedly wise men and wise women of Washington are at least his match. ..."
Sep 23, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

The core absurdity of the Russia-gate frenzy is its complete lack of proportionality. Indeed, the hysteria is reminiscent of Sen. Joe McCarthy warning that "one communist in the faculty of one university is one communist too many" or Donald Trump's highlighting a few "bad hombres" raping white American women.

It's not that there were no Americans who espoused communist views at universities and elsewhere or that there are no "bad hombre" rapists; it's that these rare exceptions were used to generate a dangerous overreaction in service of a propagandistic agenda. Historically, we have seen this technique used often when demagogues seize on an isolated event and exploit it emotionally to mislead populations to war.

Today, we have The New York Times and The Washington Post repeatedly publishing front-page articles about allegations that some Russians with "links" to the Kremlin bought $100,000 in Facebook ads to promote some issues deemed hurtful to Hillary Clinton's campaign although some of the ads ran after the election.

Initially, Facebook could find no evidence of even that small effort but was pressured in May by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia. The Washington Post reported that Warner, who is spearheading the Russia-gate investigation in the Senate Intelligence Committee, flew to Silicon Valley and urged Facebook executives to take another look at possible ad buys.

Facebook responded to this congressional pressure by scouring its billions of monthly users and announced that it had located 470 suspect accounts associated with ads totaling $100,000 – out of Facebook's $27 billion in annual revenue.

Here is how the Times described those findings: "Facebook officials disclosed that they had shut down several hundred accounts that they believe were created by a Russian company linked to the Kremlin and used to buy $100,000 in ads pushing divisive issues during and after the American election campaign." (It sometimes appears that every Russian -- all 144 million of them -- is somehow "linked" to the Kremlin.)

Last week, congressional investigators urged Facebook to expand its review into "troll farms" supposedly based in Belarus, Macedonia and Estonia – although Estonia is by no means a Russian ally; it joined NATO in 2004.

"Warner and his Democratic counterpart on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, have been increasingly vocal in recent days about their frustrations with Facebook," the Post reported

Facebook Complies

So, on Thursday, Facebook succumbed to demands that it turn over to Congress copies of the ads, a move that has only justified more alarmist front-page stories about Russia! Russia! Russia!

In response to this political pressure – at a time when Facebook is fending off possible anti-trust legislation – its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg added that he is expanding the investigation to include "additional Russian groups and other former Soviet states."

So, it appears that not only are all Russians "linked" to the Kremlin, but all former Soviet states as well.

But why stop there? If the concern is that American political campaigns are being influenced by foreign governments whose interests may diverge from what's best for America, why not look at countries that have caused the United States far more harm recently than Russia?

After all, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Wahabbi leaders have been pulling the U.S. government into their sectarian wars with the Shiites, including conflicts in Yemen and Syria that have contributed to anti-Americanism in the region, to the growth of Al Qaeda, and to a disruptive flow of refugees into Europe.

And, let's not forget the 8,000-pound gorilla in the room: Israel. Does anyone think that whatever Russia may or may not have done in trying to influence U.S. politics compares even in the slightest to what Israel does all the time?

Which government used its pressure and that of its American agents (i.e., the neocons) to push the United States into the disastrous war in Iraq? It wasn't Russia, which was among the countries urging the U.S. not to invade; it was Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Indeed, the plans for "regime change" in Iraq and Syria can be traced back to the work of key American neoconservatives employed by Netanyahu's political campaign in 1996. At that time, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and other leading neocons unveiled a seminal document entitled " A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm ," which proposed casting aside negotiations with Arabs in favor of simply replacing the region's anti-Israeli governments.

However, to make that happen required drawing in the powerful U.S. military, so after the 9/11 attacks, the neocons inside President George W. Bush's administration set in motion a deception campaign to justify invading Iraq, a war which was to be followed by more "regime changes" in Syria and Iran.

A Wrench in the Plans

Although the military disaster in Iraq threw a wrench into those plans, the Israeli/neocon agenda never changed. Along with Israel's new regional ally, Saudi Arabia , a proxy war was fashioned to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

As Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren explained , the goal was to shatter the Shiite "strategic arc" running from Iran through Syria to Lebanon and Israel's Hezbollah enemies.

How smashing this Shiite "arc" was in the interests of the American people – or even within their consciousness – is never explained. But it was what Israel wanted and thus it was what the U.S. government enlisted to do, even to the point of letting sophisticated U.S. weaponry fall into the hands of Syria's Al Qaeda affiliate.

Israel's influence over U.S. politicians is so blatant that presidential contenders queue up every year to grovel before the Israel Lobby's conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. In 2016, Donald Trump showed up and announced that he was not there to "pander" and then pandered his pants off.

And, whenever Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to show off his power, he is invited to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress at which Republicans and Democrats compete to see how many times and how quickly they can leap to their feet in standing ovations. (Netanyahu holds the record for the number of times a foreign leader has addressed joint sessions with three such appearances, tied with Winston Churchill.)

Yet, Israeli influence is so engrained in the U.S. political process that even the mention of the existence of an "Israel Lobby" brings accusations of anti-Semitism. "Israel Lobby" is a forbidden phrase in Washington.

However, pretty much whenever Israel targets a U.S. politician for defeat, that politician goes down, a muscle that Israel flexed in the early 1980s in taking out Rep. Paul Findley and Sen. Charles Percy , two moderate Republicans whose crime was to suggest talks with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

So, if the concern is the purity of the American democratic process and the need to protect it from outside manipulation, let's have at it. Why not a full-scale review of who is doing what and how? Does anyone think that Israel's influence over U.S. politics is limited to a few hundred Facebook accounts and $100,000 in ads?

A Historical Perspective

And, if you want a historical review, throw in the British and German propaganda around the two world wars; include how the South Vietnamese government collaborated with Richard Nixon in 1968 to sabotage President Lyndon Johnson's Paris peace talks; take a serious look at the collusion between Ronald Reagan's campaign and Iran thwarting President Jimmy Carter's efforts to free 52 American hostages in Tehran in 1980; open the books on Turkey's covert investments in U.S. politicians and policymakers; and examine how authoritarian regimes of all stripes have funded important Washington think tanks and law firms.

If such an effort were ever proposed, you would get a sense of how sensitive this topic is in Official Washington, where foreign money and its influence are rampant. There would be accusations of anti-Semitism in connection with Israel and charges of conspiracy theory even in well-documented cases of collaboration between U.S. politicians and foreign interests.

So, instead of a balanced and comprehensive assessment of this problem, the powers-that-be concentrate on the infinitesimal case of Russian "meddling" as the excuse for Hillary Clinton's shocking defeat. But the key reasons for Clinton's dismal campaign had virtually nothing to do with Russia, even if you believe all the evidence-lite accusations about Russian "meddling."

The Russians did not tell Clinton to vote for the disastrous Iraq War and play endless footsy with the neocons ; the Russians didn't advise her to set up a private server to handle her State Department emails and potentially expose classified information; the Russians didn't lure Clinton and the U.S. into the Libyan fiasco nor suggest her ghastly joke in response to Muammar Gaddafi's lynching ("We came, we saw, he died"); the Russians had nothing to do with her greedy decision to accept millions of dollars in Wall Street speaking fees and then try to keep the speech contents secret from the voters; the Russians didn't encourage her husband to become a serial philanderer and make a mockery of their marriage; nor did the Russians suggest to Anthony Weiner, the husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, that he send lewd photos to a teen-ager on a laptop also used by his wife, a development that led FBI Director James Comey to reopen the Clinton-email investigation just 11 days before the election; the Russians weren't responsible for Clinton's decision not to campaign in Wisconsin and Michigan; the Russians didn't stop her from offering a coherent message about how she would help the struggling white working class; and on and on.

But the Russia-gate investigation is not about fairness and balance; it's a reckless scapegoating of a nuclear-armed country to explain away – and possibly do away with – Donald Trump's presidency. Rather than putting everything in context and applying a sense of proportion, Russia-gate is relying on wild exaggerations of factually dubious or relatively isolated incidents as an opportunistic means to a political end.

As reckless as President Trump has been, the supposedly wise men and wise women of Washington are at least his match.

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

This article was first published by Consortium News -

[Sep 23, 2017] Welcome to 1984 Big Brother Google Now Watching Your Every Political Move

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Our willingness to place eternal faith in an earth-straddling company that oversees the largest collection of information ever assembled was doomed to end in a bitter divorce from the start. After all, each corporation, just like humans, has their own political proclivities, and Google is certainly no exception. But we aren't talking about your average car company here. ..."
"... Schmidt's grandiose vision, where there is just "one answer to every question," sounds like a chapter borrowed from Orwell's dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where omnipresent Big Brother had an ironclad grip on history, news, information, everything. In such a intensely controlled, nightmarish world, individuals - as well as entire historical events - can be 'disappeared' down the memory hole without a trace. Though we've not quite reached that bad land yet, we're plodding along in that direction. ..."
"... Just before Americans headed to the polls in last year's presidential election, WikiLeaks delivered a well-timed steaming dump, revealing that Eric Schmidt had been working with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as early as April 2014. ..."
"... The implications of the CEO of the world's most powerful company playing favorites in a presidential race are obvious, and make the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s resemble a rigged game of bingo at the local senior citizens center by comparison. Yet the dumbed-down world of American politics, which only seems to get excited when Republicans goof up, continued to turn on its wobbly axis as if nothing untold had occurred. ..."
"... Back to the 2016 campaign. Even CNN at the time was admitting that Google was Donald Trump's "biggest enemy." Indeed, not only was Schmidt apparently moonlighting for the DNC, his leftist company was actively shutting down information on the Republican front runner. At one point when Google users typed in a query for 'presidential candidates,' they got thousands of results for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Missing in action from the search results, however, was, yes, Donald Trump. ..."
"... When NBC4 reached out to Google about the issue, a spokesperson said a "technical bug" was what caused Trump to disappear into the internet ether. Now, where have we heard the word "bug" before? It is worth wondering if this is what Eric Schmidt had in mind when he expressed his vision of a "one answer" Google search future? ..."
"... The fact that Trump - in direct contradiction to what the polls had been long predicting - ended up winning by such a huge margin, there is a temptation to say the polls themselves were 'fake news,' designed to convince the US voter that a Clinton landslide victory was forthcoming. This could have been a ploy by the pollsters, many of whom are affiliated with left-leaning news corporations, by the way, for keeping opposition voters at home in the belief their vote wouldn't matter. In fact, statisticians were warning of a "systemic mainstream misinformation" in poll data favoring Clinton in the days and weeks before Election day. Yet the Leftist brigade, in cahoots with the Googlers, were busy nurturing their own fervent conspiracy theory that 'fake news' - with some help from the Russians, of course - was the reason for Hillary Clinton's devastating defeat. ..."
"... Just one month after Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States, purportedly on the back of "fake news," Google quietly launched Project Owl, the goal of which was to devise a method to "demote misleading, false and offensive articles online," according to a Bloomberg report . The majority of the crackdown will be carried out by machines. Now here is where we enter the rat's nest. After all, what one news organization, or alternative news site, might consider legitimate news and information, another news group, possibly from the mainstream media, would dismiss as a conspiracy theory. And vice versa. ..."
"... With this masterly sleight of hand, did you notice what happened? We are no longer talking about the whereabouts of Clinton's estimated 33,000 deleted emails , nor are we discussing how the DNC worked behind the scenes to derail Bernie Sanders' chances at being a presidential candidate. Far worse, we are not considering the tragic fate of a young man named Seth Rich, the now-deceased DNC staffer who was gunned down in Washington, DC on July 10, 2016. Some news sites say Rich was preparing to testify against the DNC for "voter fraud," while others say that was contrived nonsense. ..."
"... "In the months since his murder, Rich has become an obsession of the far right, an unwilling martyr to a discredited cause," Newsweek commented . "On social media sites like Reddit and news outlets like World Net Daily, it is all but an article of faith that Rich, who worked for the Democratic National Committee, was the source who gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks, for which he was slain, presumably, by Clinton operatives. If that were to be true!and it very clearly isn't!the faithful believe it would invalidate any accusations that Donald J. Trump's campaign colluded with Russia in tilting the election toward him." ..."
"... Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? ..."
"... Unsurprisingly, Mr. Pichai and his increasingly Orwellian company already stand accused of censorship, following the outrageous decision to bar former Congressman Ron Paul and his online news program, Liberty Report, from receiving advertising revenue for a number of videos which Paul recently posted. ..."
"... Dr. Ron Paul would never be confused as a dangerous, far-right loony. Paul is a 12-term ex-congressman and three-time presidential candidate. However, he is popular among his supporters for views that often contradict those of Washington's political establishment, especially on issues of war and peace. Now if squeaky clean Ron Paul can't get a fair hearing before the Google/YouTube tribunal, what are chances for average commentators? "We have no violence, no foul language, no political extremism, no hate or intolerance," Daniel McAdams, co-producer of the Ron Paul Liberty Report, told RT America. "Our program is simply a news analysis discussion from a libertarian and antiwar perspective." ..."
"... In light of this inquisition against free speech and free thought, it is no surprise that more voices are calling for Google, and other massive online media, like Facebook and Amazon, to become nationalized for the public good. ..."
"... "If we don't take over today's platform monopolies, we risk letting them own and control the basic infrastructure of 21st-century society," wrote Nick Srnicek, a lecturer in the digital economy at King's College London. ..."
Sep 23, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Google has taken the unprecedented step of burying material, mostly from websites on the political right, that it has deemed to be inappropriate. The problem, however, is that the world's largest search engine is a left-leaning company with an ax to grind.

Let's face it, deep down in our heart of hearts we knew the honeymoon wouldn't last forever. Our willingness to place eternal faith in an earth-straddling company that oversees the largest collection of information ever assembled was doomed to end in a bitter divorce from the start. After all, each corporation, just like humans, has their own political proclivities, and Google is certainly no exception. But we aren't talking about your average car company here.

The first sign Google would eventually become more of a political liability than a public utility was revealed in 2005 when CEO Eric Schmidt (who is now executive chairman of Alphabet, Inc , Google's parent company) sat down with interviewer Charlie Rose, who asked Schmidt to explain "where the future of search is going."

Schmidt's response should have triggered alarm bells across the free world. "Well, when you use Google, do you get more than one answer," Schmidt asked rhetorically, before answering deceptively: "Of course you do. Well, that's a bug. We have more bugs per second in the world. We should be able to give you the right answer just once... and we should never be wrong."

Really?

Think about that for a moment. Schmidt believes, counter-intuitively, that getting multiple possible choices for any one Google query is not the desirable prospect it should be (aren't consumers always in search of more variety?), but rather a "bug" that should be duly squashed underfoot. Silly mortal, you should not expect more than one answer for every question because the almighty Google, our modern-day Oz, "should never be wrong!" This is the epitome of corporate hubris. And it doesn't require much imagination to see that such a master plan will only lead to a colossal whitewashing of the historic record.

For example, if a Google user performs a search request for - oh, I don't know - "what caused the Iraq War 2003," he or she would be given, according to Schmidt's algorithmic wet dream, exactly one canned answer. Any guesses on what that answer would be? I think it's safe to say the only acceptable answer would be the state-sanctioned conspiracy theory that Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction, an oft-repeated claim we now know to be patently false . The list of other such complicated events that also demand more than one answer - from the Kennedy assassination to the Gulf of Tonkin incident - could be continued for many pages.

Schmidt's grandiose vision, where there is just "one answer to every question," sounds like a chapter borrowed from Orwell's dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where omnipresent Big Brother had an ironclad grip on history, news, information, everything. In such a intensely controlled, nightmarish world, individuals - as well as entire historical events - can be 'disappeared' down the memory hole without a trace. Though we've not quite reached that bad land yet, we're plodding along in that direction.

That much became disturbingly clear ever since Donald Trump routed Hillary Clinton for the presidency. This surprise event became the bugle call for Google to wage war on 'fake news' outlets, predominantly on the political right.

'Like being gay in the 1950s'

Just before Americans headed to the polls in last year's presidential election, WikiLeaks delivered a well-timed steaming dump, revealing that Eric Schmidt had been working with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as early as April 2014. This news came courtesy of a leaked email from John Podesta, former chairman of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, who wrote:

I met with Eric Schmidt tonight. As David reported, he's ready to fund, advise recruit talent, etc. He was more deferential on structure than I expected. Wasn't pushing to run through one of his existing firms. Clearly wants to be head outside advisor, but didn't seem like he wanted to push others out. Clearly wants to get going...
The implications of the CEO of the world's most powerful company playing favorites in a presidential race are obvious, and make the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s resemble a rigged game of bingo at the local senior citizens center by comparison. Yet the dumbed-down world of American politics, which only seems to get excited when Republicans goof up, continued to turn on its wobbly axis as if nothing untold had occurred.

Before continuing our trip down memory lane, let's fast forward a moment for a reality check. Google's romance with the US political left is not a matter of conjecture. In fact, it has just become the subject of a released internal memo penned by one James Damore, a former Google engineer. In the 10-point memo, Damore discussed at length the extreme liberal atmosphere that pervades Google, saying that being a conservative in the Silicon Valley sweat shop was like "being gay in the 1950s."

"We have... this monolithic culture where anyone with a dissenting view can't even express themselves. Really, it's like being gay in the 1950s. These conservatives have to stay in the closet and have to mask who they really are. And that's a huge problem because there's open discrimination against anyone who comes out of the closet as a conservative."

Beyond the quirky, laid back image of a Google campus, where "Googlers" enjoy free food and foot massages, lies a "monolithic culture where anyone with a dissenting view can't even express themselves," says Damore, who was very cynically fired from Google for daring to express a personal opinion. That is strange.

Although Google loudly trumpets its multicultural diversity in terms of its hiring policy, it clearly has a problem dealing with a diversity of opinion. That attitude does not seem to bode well for a search engine company that must remain impartial on all matters - political or otherwise.

Back to the 2016 campaign. Even CNN at the time was admitting that Google was Donald Trump's "biggest enemy." Indeed, not only was Schmidt apparently moonlighting for the DNC, his leftist company was actively shutting down information on the Republican front runner. At one point when Google users typed in a query for 'presidential candidates,' they got thousands of results for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Missing in action from the search results, however, was, yes, Donald Trump.

When NBC4 reached out to Google about the issue, a spokesperson said a "technical bug" was what caused Trump to disappear into the internet ether. Now, where have we heard the word "bug" before? It is worth wondering if this is what Eric Schmidt had in mind when he expressed his vision of a "one answer" Google search future?

In any case, this brings to the surface another disturbing question that is directly linked to the 'fake news' accusations, which in turn is fueling Google's crackdown on the free flow of news from the political right today.

In the run up to the 2016 presidential election, poll after poll predicted a Clinton landslide victory. Of course, nothing of the sort materialized, as even traditional Democratic strongholds , like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan pulled the lever for Trump. As the Economist reported :

On the eve of America's presidential election, national surveys gave Hillary Clinton a lead of around four percentage points, which betting markets and statistical models translated into a probability of victory ranging from 70 percent to 99 percent.
The fact that Trump - in direct contradiction to what the polls had been long predicting - ended up winning by such a huge margin, there is a temptation to say the polls themselves were 'fake news,' designed to convince the US voter that a Clinton landslide victory was forthcoming. This could have been a ploy by the pollsters, many of whom are affiliated with left-leaning news corporations, by the way, for keeping opposition voters at home in the belief their vote wouldn't matter. In fact, statisticians were warning of a "systemic mainstream misinformation" in poll data favoring Clinton in the days and weeks before Election day. Yet the Leftist brigade, in cahoots with the Googlers, were busy nurturing their own fervent conspiracy theory that 'fake news' - with some help from the Russians, of course - was the reason for Hillary Clinton's devastating defeat.

Who will guard us against the Google guardians?

Just one month after Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States, purportedly on the back of "fake news," Google quietly launched Project Owl, the goal of which was to devise a method to "demote misleading, false and offensive articles online," according to a Bloomberg report . The majority of the crackdown will be carried out by machines. Now here is where we enter the rat's nest. After all, what one news organization, or alternative news site, might consider legitimate news and information, another news group, possibly from the mainstream media, would dismiss as a conspiracy theory. And vice versa.

In other words, what we have here is a battle for the misty mountain top of information, and Google appears to be paving the way for its preferred candidate, which is naturally the mainstream media. In other words, Google has a dog in this fight, but it shouldn't. Here is how they have succeeded in pushing for their crackdown on news and information.

The mainstream media almost immediately began peddling the fake news story as to why Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump. In fact, it even started before Clinton lost the election after Trump jokingly told a rally: "I will tell you this, Russia: If you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing... I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press." The Democrats, of course, found no humor in the remark. Indeed, they began pushing the fake news story, with help from the likes of Amazon-owned Washington Post, that it was Russians who hacked the DNC email system and passed along the information to WikiLeaks, who then dumped it at the most inopportune time for the Democrats.

With this masterly sleight of hand, did you notice what happened? We are no longer talking about the whereabouts of Clinton's estimated 33,000 deleted emails , nor are we discussing how the DNC worked behind the scenes to derail Bernie Sanders' chances at being a presidential candidate. Far worse, we are not considering the tragic fate of a young man named Seth Rich, the now-deceased DNC staffer who was gunned down in Washington, DC on July 10, 2016. Some news sites say Rich was preparing to testify against the DNC for "voter fraud," while others say that was contrived nonsense.

According to the mainstream media, in this case, Newsweek, only batshit crazy far-right conspiracy sites could ever believe Seth Rich leaked the Clinton emails.

"In the months since his murder, Rich has become an obsession of the far right, an unwilling martyr to a discredited cause," Newsweek commented . "On social media sites like Reddit and news outlets like World Net Daily, it is all but an article of faith that Rich, who worked for the Democratic National Committee, was the source who gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks, for which he was slain, presumably, by Clinton operatives. If that were to be true!and it very clearly isn't!the faithful believe it would invalidate any accusations that Donald J. Trump's campaign colluded with Russia in tilting the election toward him."

Blame Russia

The reality is, we'll probably never know what happened to Mr. Rich, but what we do know is that Russia has become the convenient fall guy for Clinton's emails getting hacked and dumped in the public arena. We also know Google is taking advantage of this conspiracy theory (to this day not a thread of proof has been offered to prove Russia had anything to do with the release of the emails) to severely hinder the work of news sites - most of which sit on the right of the political spectrum.

Last November, just two weeks after Trump's victory, Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google, addressed the question of 'fake news' in a BBC interview, and whether it could have swayed the vote in Trump's favor.

"You know, I think fake news as a whole could be an issue [in elections]. From our perspective, there should just be no situation where fake news gets distributed, so we are all for doing better here. So, I don't think we should debate it as much as work hard to make sure we drive news to its more trusted sources, have more fact checking and make our algorithms work better, absolutely," he said.

Did you catch that? Following the tiresome rigmarole, the Google CEO said he doesn't think "we should debate it as much as we work hard to make sure we drive news to its more trusted sources..."

That is a truly incredible comment, buried at the sea floor of the BBC article. How can the head of the largest search engine believe a democracy needn't debate how Google determines what information, and by whom, is allowed into the public realm, thus literally shaping our entire worldview? To ask the question is to answer it...

"Just in the last two days we announced we will remove advertising from anything we identify as fake news," Pichai said.

And how will Google decide who the Internet baddies are? It will rely on "more than 15 additional expert NGOs and institutions through our Trusted Flagger program, including the Anti-Defamation League, the No Hate Speech Movement, and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue," to determine what should be flagged and what should not.

Feeling better yet? This brings to mind the quaint Latin phrase, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? -- Who will guard the guards themselves? -- especially since these groups also have their own heavy political axes to grind.

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Pichai and his increasingly Orwellian company already stand accused of censorship, following the outrageous decision to bar former Congressman Ron Paul and his online news program, Liberty Report, from receiving advertising revenue for a number of videos which Paul recently posted.

Dr. Ron Paul would never be confused as a dangerous, far-right loony. Paul is a 12-term ex-congressman and three-time presidential candidate. However, he is popular among his supporters for views that often contradict those of Washington's political establishment, especially on issues of war and peace. Now if squeaky clean Ron Paul can't get a fair hearing before the Google/YouTube tribunal, what are chances for average commentators? "We have no violence, no foul language, no political extremism, no hate or intolerance," Daniel McAdams, co-producer of the Ron Paul Liberty Report, told RT America. "Our program is simply a news analysis discussion from a libertarian and antiwar perspective."

McAdams added that the YouTube demonetization "creates enormous financial burdens for the program." Many other commentators have also been affected by the advert ban, including left-wing online blogger Tim Black and right-wing commentator Paul Joseph Watson. Their videos have registered millions of views.

"Demonetization is a deliberate effort to stamp out independent political commentary – from the left or the right," Black told the Boston Globe's Hiawatha Bray. "It's not about specific videos... It's about pushing out the diversity of thought and uplifting major news networks such as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC."

In light of this inquisition against free speech and free thought, it is no surprise that more voices are calling for Google, and other massive online media, like Facebook and Amazon, to become nationalized for the public good.

"If we don't take over today's platform monopolies, we risk letting them own and control the basic infrastructure of 21st-century society," wrote Nick Srnicek, a lecturer in the digital economy at King's College London.

It's time for Google to take a stroll beyond its isolated Silicon Valley campus and realize there is a whole world of varying political opinion out there that demands a voice. Otherwise, it may find itself on the wrong side of history and time, a notoriously uninviting place known as 1984.

Reprinted with permission from RT .

[Sep 23, 2017] Trumps UN Speech the Swamps Wine in an America First! Bottle

Notable quotes:
"... Listening to the president, one would almost think Trump was giving two different speeches, one rhetorical and one substantive. The rhetorical speech ( reportedly authored by Stephen Miller ) was the most stirring advocacy one could hope for of the rule of law and of the Westphalian principle of the sovereign state as the bedrock of the international order. The substantive speech, no doubt written by someone on the National Security Council staff, abrogates the very same Westphalian principle with the unlimited prerogatives of the planet's one government that reserves the right to violate or abolish the sovereignty of any other country – or to destroy that country altogether – for any reason political elites in Washington decide. ..."
"... With respect to North Korea, some people assume that because the consequences would be patently catastrophic the "military option" must be off the table and that all this war talk is just bluster. That assumption is dead wrong. The once unthinkable is not only thinkable, it is increasingly probable. As Trump said: "The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea." This is exactly backwards. Threatening North Korea with total destruction doesn't equate to the defense of the US (forget about our faux ..."
"... With respect to Iran, the relevant passages of Trump's speech could as well have been drafted in the Israeli and Saudi foreign ministries – and perhaps they were. Paradoxically, such favoritism toward some countries and hatred for others is the exact opposite of the America First! principle on which Trump won the presidency. ..."
"... Not to belabor the obvious, at least as far as foreign policy goes, the would-be Swamp-drainer has lost and the Swamp has won. ..."
"... We can speculate as to why. Some say Trump was always a liar and conman and had no intention of keeping his promises. ..."
"... To be fair, Trump's populism was never based on consistent non-interventionism. In 2016 he promised more money for the Pentagon and vowed to be the most " militaristic " president ever. Still, he seemed to understand that wars of choice unrelated to vital national interests, like Bush's in Iraq and Obama's in Libya, were a waste of untold billions of dollars and produced only disasters. ..."
"... His acceptance of the Swamp's continuation of the war in Afghanistan was his first major stumble towards the dismal path of his predecessors. War against North Korea or Iran, or God forbid both, would wreck his presidency and his pledge to "Make America Great Again!" even more surely than Iraq ruined Bush's. ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from the Strategic Culture Foundation . ..."
Sep 23, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

In his maiden speech to the United Nations General Assembly , President Donald Trump invoked the terms "sovereign" and "sovereignty" 21 times. In a manner unimaginable coming from any other recent occupant of the White House, the President committed the United States to the principle of national sovereignty and to the truth that "the nation-state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition." More, Trump rightly pointed out that these pertain not just to the US and the safeguarding of American sovereignty but to all countries:

In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty. Our government's first duty is to its people, to our citizens -- to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values.

As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like you, as the leaders of your countries will always, and should always, put your countries first."

Then he took it all back.

Listening to the president, one would almost think Trump was giving two different speeches, one rhetorical and one substantive. The rhetorical speech ( reportedly authored by Stephen Miller ) was the most stirring advocacy one could hope for of the rule of law and of the Westphalian principle of the sovereign state as the bedrock of the international order. The substantive speech, no doubt written by someone on the National Security Council staff, abrogates the very same Westphalian principle with the unlimited prerogatives of the planet's one government that reserves the right to violate or abolish the sovereignty of any other country – or to destroy that country altogether – for any reason political elites in Washington decide.

Numerous commentators immediately rushed to declare that Trump had dialed back to George W. Bush's 2002 " Axis of Evil " speech. (The phrase is attributed to then-speechwriter David Frum , now a moving figure behind the " Committee to Investigate Russia ," which in the sage opinion of Rob Reiner and Morgan Freeman claims "we are at war" with Russia already.) Trump has now laid down what amounts to declarations of war against both North Korea and Iran. On both he has left himself very little room for maneuver, or for any compromise that would be regarded as weakness or Obama-style "leading from behind." While hostilities against both countries may not be imminent (though in the case of North Korea, they might be) we are, barring unforeseen circumstances, now approaching the point of no return.

With respect to North Korea, some people assume that because the consequences would be patently catastrophic the "military option" must be off the table and that all this war talk is just bluster. That assumption is dead wrong. The once unthinkable is not only thinkable, it is increasingly probable. As Trump said: "The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea." This is exactly backwards. Threatening North Korea with total destruction doesn't equate to the defense of the US (forget about our faux allies South Korea and Japan, which contribute nothing to our security), it positively increases the danger to our country and people.

The Deep State would rather risk the lives of almost 30,000 American military personnel in Korea, of hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of South Koreans, and of even more millions in North Korea – not to mention prodding Pyongyang to accelerate acquisition of a capability for a nuclear strike on the United States itself – than pry its grip off of a single square meter of our forward base against China on the northeast Asian mainland.

With respect to Iran, the relevant passages of Trump's speech could as well have been drafted in the Israeli and Saudi foreign ministries – and perhaps they were. Paradoxically, such favoritism toward some countries and hatred for others is the exact opposite of the America First! principle on which Trump won the presidency. As stated in his Farewell Address by our first and greatest president (wait – are we still allowed to say that? George Washington was a slave-owner!), a country that allows itself to be steered not by its own interests but the interests of others negates it own freedom and becomes a slave to its foreign affections and antipathies:

The nation which indulges toward another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur.
Not to belabor the obvious, at least as far as foreign policy goes, the would-be Swamp-drainer has lost and the Swamp has won.

We can speculate as to why. Some say Trump was always a liar and conman and had no intention of keeping his promises. (Let's see what he does on the "Dreamers" and throwing away his wall on the Mexican border. As Ann Coulter says , "If Trump doesn't get that wall built, and fast, his base will be done with him and feed him to Robert Mueller.") Others say Trump meant what he said during the campaign but now surrounded by generals and globalists that dominate his administration, and with populists in the White House now about as common as passenger pigeons , he's a virtual captive. If so, it's a captivity of his own making.

To be fair, Trump's populism was never based on consistent non-interventionism. In 2016 he promised more money for the Pentagon and vowed to be the most " militaristic " president ever. Still, he seemed to understand that wars of choice unrelated to vital national interests, like Bush's in Iraq and Obama's in Libya, were a waste of untold billions of dollars and produced only disasters.

His acceptance of the Swamp's continuation of the war in Afghanistan was his first major stumble towards the dismal path of his predecessors. War against North Korea or Iran, or God forbid both, would wreck his presidency and his pledge to "Make America Great Again!" even more surely than Iraq ruined Bush's.

Still unanswered: does Trump know that, does he care, and does he have the wherewithal to do anything about it? At the moment, it doesn't look good.

Reprinted with permission from the Strategic Culture Foundation .


Related

[Sep 23, 2017] Spinning by NYT can and will form the base of a conspiracy. NYT is lying . But this lies can help build the necessary platform for future wars

Notable quotes:
"... Spinning by NYT can and will form the base of a conspiracy. ..."
"... NYT is lying . But this lies can help build the necessary platform for future wars . Another Sarin gas? Another Harriri death? Another picture of beheadings ? Another story of North Korean supplying nukes ? Wrongful consequences from falsehood will not cost NYT excepting a correction years later somehere in the 5 th page. A conspiracy to hatch is something that has no consequences for the plotters . ..."
"... NYT will be there claiming for the right to crow – how it has prepared the ground. All are done openly. When resistance is mounted, Bernie Sander supporters are sent home with flowers and a reminder to vote for Clinton because in this age all over the world America is the exception that has heard them. With that satisfaction they can go home and vote as expected. They are not allowed to know how the campaign marginalized Sander's chances from the get go. ..."
www.unz.com
KA , September 5, 2016 at 5:19 pm GMT

"HANGZHOU, China : The image of a 5-year-old Syrian boy, dazed and bloodied after being rescued from an airstrike on rebel-held Aleppo, reverberated around the world last month, a harrowing reminder that five years after civil war broke out there, Syria remains a charnel house.

But the reaction was more muted in Washington, where Syria has become a distant disaster rather than an urgent crisis. President Obama's policy toward Syria has barely budged in the last year and shows no sign of change for the remainder of his term. The White House has faced little pressure over the issue,

That frustrates many analysts because they believe that a shift in policy will come only when Mr. Obama has left office. "Given the tone of this campaign, I doubt the electorate will be presented with realistic and intelligible options, with respect to Syria," said Frederic C. Hof, a former adviser on Syria in the administration."

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/05/world/middleeast/obama-syria-foreign-policy.html

Spinning by NYT can and will form the base of a conspiracy.

The world we see are not festooned with the morbid pictures and the world has not one echo chamber among its 7 billions that are reverberating with his sad cry .
No American taxpayer is piling pressure on Obama.

Tone of the election doesn't and shouldn't provide option on Syria . Electorates are not asking to know what America should do.

Next president will introduce something that he wont share w and making them known before the voters will destroy his chances. Someone shared and was evisecrated by NYT and other as Putin's Trojan horse .

NYT is lying . But this lies can help build the necessary platform for future wars . Another Sarin gas? Another Harriri death? Another picture of beheadings ? Another story of North Korean supplying nukes ? Wrongful consequences from falsehood will not cost NYT excepting a correction years later somehere in the 5 th page. A conspiracy to hatch is something that has no consequences for the plotters .

If Dulles were hanged for role in all the illegal things he had done in Guatemala and Iran, may be Kennedy would have survived. But his earlier political escapades were also built on something that were way earlier . Conspiracy keeps on coming back begging for one more round ,for one more time .

NYT will be there claiming for the right to crow – how it has prepared the ground. All are done openly. When resistance is mounted, Bernie Sander supporters are sent home with flowers and a reminder to vote for Clinton because in this age all over the world America is the exception that has heard them. With that satisfaction they can go home and vote as expected. They are not allowed to know how the campaign marginalized Sander's chances from the get go.

Neither NYT explains how reckless Trump with nuclear code will start a nuclear war with Putin's Russia despite being his co conspirator .

Chalabi s daughter exclaimed in early part of 2004 – We are heroes in mistakes. She won't say it now . Conspirators would love to get the credit and be recognized . It all depends on the success . First Iraq war, if went bad from beginning, Lantos wouldn't have been reelected . But again who knows what media can deliver. They delivered Joe Liberman .

[Sep 23, 2017] Possible entrapment of Trump with the help of FBI

Notable quotes:
"... Republican Senator Chuck Grassley's office said on Thursday he wrote to Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray asking whether the agency provided "defensive briefings" to Trump's team given its ongoing investigation of Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager. ..."
Sep 23, 2017 | www.yahoo.com

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has asked the FBI whether it warned Donald Trump's presidential campaign about alleged attempts by Russia to infiltrate the campaign.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley's office said on Thursday he wrote to Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray asking whether the agency provided "defensive briefings" to Trump's team given its ongoing investigation of Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager.

Related Searches Trump Campaign Manager Trump Russia Investigation

"If the FBI did provide a defensive briefing or similar warning to the campaign, then that would raise important questions about how the Trump campaign responded," Grassley wrote in the letter dated Sept. 20.

If the FBI did not alert the campaign, Grassley said, that would raise "serious questions about what factors contributed to its decision and why it appears to have been handled differently in a very similar circumstance involving a previous campaign."

The senator said that according to press reports, U.S. intelligence had raised similar concerns with John McCain during the Republican senator's 2008 presidential campaign.

[Sep 23, 2017] Sensational Report Is Russiagate a Hoax Ordered by Vladimir Putin

Notable quotes:
"... One possible explanation would simply be that they have all gone nuts. But since this cannot possibly be the case, this leaves just one other explanation: Russiagate itself is a clever but sinister hoax intended to make it look like our political and media class have lost their marbles, therefore undermining our democracy, our values and our way of life ..."
Sep 23, 2017 | russia-insider.com

The Russians may have developed the capability to create elaborate hoaxes that turn the US into a laughing stock in the eyes of outsiders Russell O'Phobe 90

For almost a year, Russia's meddling in last year's election, along with collusion with the Trump campaign, have dominated the political and media landscape. But an explosive new classified report produced by US intelligence may be about to blow apart the narrative, and reveal an even bigger story that has been missed in all the commentary so far.

The report was set up to try to answer two questions: firstly, why is it that after nearly a year, there still hasn't been a single piece of hard evidence to prove either the hacking or the collusion? And secondly, given this lack of credible evidence, how is it that the US media and political classes have been talking about nothing else for months and months without any sign of letting it go, to the point of giving the impression of being obsessed with the issue?

The report, which was signed off by all 17 agencies ! that's the DIA, CIA, FBI and NSA ! reaches a conclusion which is nothing short of sensational:

"If there hasn't actually been any hard evidence presented of meddling or collusion, we must ask the question of how and why the entire political and media class have been talking about nothing else for months.

One possible explanation would simply be that they have all gone nuts. But since this cannot possibly be the case, this leaves just one other explanation: Russiagate itself is a clever but sinister hoax intended to make it look like our political and media class have lost their marbles, therefore undermining our democracy, our values and our way of life."

... ... ...

[Sep 22, 2017] Samantha Power sought to unmask Americans on almost daily basis, sources say

Sep 20, 2017 | www.foxnews.com

Samantha Power, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was 'unmasking' at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016 - and even sought information in the days leading up to President Trump's inauguration, multiple sources close to the matter told Fox News.

Two sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record, said the requests to identify Americans whose names surfaced in foreign intelligence reporting, known as unmasking, exceeded 260 last year. One source indicated this occurred in the final days of the Obama White House.

[Sep 21, 2017] Susan Rice admits that she spied on Donald Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Until now, Susan Rice had always denied spying on Donald Trump and his team both in the transition period and also in the run up to the presidential elections. There have been several times when President Trump has denounced the illegal tappings that the Obama Administration had authorized against him, which the Press in the United States had qualified as completely fabricated. ..."
"... President Richard Nixon had been forced to resign for spying on the Democratic Party's electoral headquarters. However, in the case of Susan Rice, the Congressmen have not "acquired a conviction" that she had committed a federal crime and that she had tried to cover it up. ..."
"... In contrast, President Obama's team is presenting the tappings ordered by Susan Rice as wholly legitimate in the context of an investigation into possible Russian interferences. Furthermore, it is a fact that the United Arab Emirates has organized at the same time, a meeting in the Seychelles, between someone close to President Putin and Erik Prince (former director of Blackwater, military advisor to the Emirates and brother of the current Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos). ..."
Sep 18, 2017 | www.voltairenet.org

Susan Rice, the former National Security Advisor, has admitted before the House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee that during the transition period, she had spied on Donald Trump and his team when they were in Trump Tower, New York. She also admitted that she had had the names of Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, Michael Flynn and Steve Bannon deleted from summaries of the tappings.

Mrs Rice has guaranteed that her intention was not to find out the secret plans of the Team Trump. She just was trying to figure out what the United Arab Emirates was up to, and was hoping to gather relevant information from the content of an interview that the President Elect was supposed to have given to the Prince and heir to the throne of Abu Dhabi.

Until now, Susan Rice had always denied spying on Donald Trump and his team both in the transition period and also in the run up to the presidential elections. There have been several times when President Trump has denounced the illegal tappings that the Obama Administration had authorized against him, which the Press in the United States had qualified as completely fabricated.

President Richard Nixon had been forced to resign for spying on the Democratic Party's electoral headquarters. However, in the case of Susan Rice, the Congressmen have not "acquired a conviction" that she had committed a federal crime and that she had tried to cover it up.

In contrast, President Obama's team is presenting the tappings ordered by Susan Rice as wholly legitimate in the context of an investigation into possible Russian interferences. Furthermore, it is a fact that the United Arab Emirates has organized at the same time, a meeting in the Seychelles, between someone close to President Putin and Erik Prince (former director of Blackwater, military advisor to the Emirates and brother of the current Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos).

https://www.youtube.com/embed/b6edWWMlbWQ

[Sep 21, 2017] Trump's UN Speech A Neocon Dream by Daniel McAdams

Please listen to the audio at the link...
Sep 21, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org
President Trump's speech yesterday at the United Nations got rave reviews from neocons like John Bolton and Elliot Abrams. The US president threatened North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, Yemen, and Iran. At the same time he claimed that the US is the one country to lead by example rather than by violating the sovereignty of others. Are the neocons on a roll as they push for more war? Have they "won" Trump?

[Sep 21, 2017] Mueller investigation is patterned after the independent prosecutors investigation of Bill Clinton. If they pressure Trump long enough, then Trump may well make a mistake such as lying. or they can dig out something embarrassing

Notable quotes:
"... They're trying to manufacture an obstruction of justice charge. Without the independent prosecutor's investigation, there would be no opportunity for someone to lie, mislead, or inadvertently omit facts. ..."
"... The warrant's timing may also shed light on the FBI's relationship to the infamous " Steele dossier." That widely discredited dossier claiming ties between Russians and the Trump campaign was commissioned by left-leaning research firm Fusion GPS and developed by former British spy Christopher Steele -- who relied on Russian sources. ..."
"... But the Washington Post and others have reported that Mr. Steele was familiar to the FBI, had reached out to the agency about his work, and had even arranged a deal in 2016 to get paid by the FBI to continue his research. ..."
"... But Mr. Mueller is not investigating the FBI, and in any event his ties to the bureau and Mr. Comey make him too conflicted for such a job. Congress is charged with providing oversight of law enforcement and the FISA courts, and it has an obligation to investigate their role in 2016. The intelligence committees have subpoena authority and the ability to hold those who don't cooperate in contempt. ..."
"... No investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 campaign will be credible or complete without the facts about all Mr. Comey's wiretaps. ..."
"... And beyond delving into Comey's machinations, I think it high time to get former AG, Loretta Lynch under oath in front of a Congressional Committee to inquire after the real substance of her supposedly impromptu meeting with Slick Willy on the airport tarmac. ..."
"... If she needs to be compelled to answer through an offer of immunity, this would be a very clarifying moment, indeed. And if she still refuses, preferring being cited for contempt of Congress, well, that might be pretty interesting in its own right. And if she left any trail of evidence behind her like, say for instance, relating this information to one of her staff, the staffer could be questioned under similar terms. ..."
"... Also a good time to have a little chat with the guy from Crowdstrike, too. And on a related note, maybe a wee bit of inquiry with Mr. Comey on the logic of the FBI in not demanding access to the server ? ..."
"... Working my way through Gibbons' Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire. There are ominous parallels to be observed between some of the events he recounts, and events of the present day. The Praetorian Guards and the legions more generally actively manipulated events to attain self-serving outcomes. Elements of our intelligence community seem to be treading a similar path; harrassing, crippling, and if felt necessary working toward the eviction of a legitimately chosen President are rather obviously in play. Not, as in the case of the Roman military, killing him, but effectively overturning the government seems to be the tactic, and all to serve their own ends, and the Constitutional order be damned. History, as has been said, may not repeat, but it sure as hell rhymes. ..."
"... Intel agencies secretly monitored conversations of members of Congress while the Obama administration negotiated the Iran nuclear deal. ..."
"... In 2014, the CIA got caught spying on Senate Intelligence committee staffers, though CIA Director John Brennan had explicitly denied that. ..."
"... I have spent more than two years litigating against the Department of Justice for the computer intrusions. Forensics have revealed dates, times and methods of some of the illegal activities. The software used was proprietary to a federal intel agency. The intruders deployed a keystroke monitoring program, accessed the CBS News corporate computer system, listened in on my conversations by activating the computer's microphone and used Skype to exfiltrate files. ..."
"... I was also curious to see what kind of crime would be committed under US law since anything the Russians did was just normal state-to-state competition. ..."
"... Manafort should sue the Federal Gov for violation of his rights against unlawful search and seizure. FISA is unconstitutional and should challenge the entire case on the basis that anything obtained was based on a FISA warrant. Force the courts and above all else the Supreme Court to address the issue finally. Manafort is by no means an angel, but he has rights and deserves a fair shake instead of the train ride he's on. ..."
"... With the world's 7th largest economy, what sane businessman would NOT want to cultivate relationships and develop the Russian market, particularly since it is virtually untapped by Western companies? ..."
"... According to Martha Stewart, a false statement to a federal officer need not be sworn. ..."
"... on't understand any of this. Unless Mr Steele was entirely off the leash, which is difficult to believe, there's evidence of our complicity in covert interference with the US Presidential elections. Then there's evidence of Israeli interference, and that overt. Also, although it's not directly relevant here, there's sufficient evidence that the US itself pulls strings in other countries' elections. ..."
"... The criminal laws in this country are sufficiently broad and far-reaching that an aggressive prosecutor can find a reason to imprison almost anyone, especially if the target is engaged in political or business matters of any sophistication. ..."
"... This is intentional. The laws are designed such that the people that the establishment wants to imprison are imprisoned when they do the things the establishment doesn't want, and those people that the establishment does not want imprisoned are not. ..."
"... This is why HRC can blatantly violate the Espionage Act and then spoliate evidence with no fear of prosecution. In fact, law enforcement twist themselves into knots to avoid conducting a serious investigation, as that might force them to act. After that farce, Comey publicly justified conduct that (as he admitted) would send a normie on a one-way trip to a SuperMax. ..."
"... Mueller will get some scalps. Guaranteed. ..."
Sep 21, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

It appears to me that the current dream/hope in the "resistance" is that Mueller will fish around enough to come up with "evidence" that DJT and some of the people in his campaign and administration have been witting or unwitting cultivated assets of the Russian state for some years. I do not really understand how that would be crime under US law unless espionage against US official secrets were involved but the political effect would be ruinous. pl

James , 20 September 2017 at 07:35 PM

Personally, I think this investigation is patterned after the independent prosecutor's investigation of Bill Clinton. Bill was brought down by a dalliance with an intern. If they pressure Trump long enough then Trump may well make a mistake such as lying. Or they can use their investigative powers to find something embarrassing (they get to question everyone they want under oath and those questioned have to answer the questions). Otherwise the investigation can just drag on forever.

I wish more people understood that this is not about Democats vs Republicans.

Les -> James ... , 21 September 2017 at 09:50 AM
They're trying to manufacture an obstruction of justice charge. Without the independent prosecutor's investigation, there would be no opportunity for someone to lie, mislead, or inadvertently omit facts.

I'm getting tired of seeing the same events trumpeted by the media and the independent prosecutor as if there was something new. How many times can you disclose you were wiretapping one of the persons of interest or that you raided their home for documents?

turcopolier , 20 September 2017 at 07:37 PM
All

I suppose that there could be a FARA violation if the person involved was involved in US foreign policy or if a false statement were made in something official and sworn. pl

Sam Peralta , 20 September 2017 at 07:37 PM
Col. Lang

In light of what you wrote about the FISA wiretaps, the WSJ has an editorial requesting Congress to investigate "Comey's wiretaps".

https://www.wsj.com/articles/all-mr-comeys-wiretaps-1505862793

The warrant's timing may also shed light on the FBI's relationship to the infamous " Steele dossier." That widely discredited dossier claiming ties between Russians and the Trump campaign was commissioned by left-leaning research firm Fusion GPS and developed by former British spy Christopher Steele -- who relied on Russian sources.

But the Washington Post and others have reported that Mr. Steele was familiar to the FBI, had reached out to the agency about his work, and had even arranged a deal in 2016 to get paid by the FBI to continue his research.

The FISA court sets a high bar for warrants on U.S. citizens, and presumably even higher for wiretapping a presidential campaign. Did Mr. Comey's FBI marshal the Steele dossier to persuade the court?

Russian meddling is a threat to democracy but so was the FBI if it relied on Russian disinformation to eavesdrop on a presidential campaign. The Justice Department and FBI have stonewalled Congressional requests for documents and interviews, citing the "integrity" of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

But Mr. Mueller is not investigating the FBI, and in any event his ties to the bureau and Mr. Comey make him too conflicted for such a job. Congress is charged with providing oversight of law enforcement and the FISA courts, and it has an obligation to investigate their role in 2016. The intelligence committees have subpoena authority and the ability to hold those who don't cooperate in contempt.

Mr. Comey investigated both leading presidential campaigns in an election year, playing the role of supposedly impartial legal authority. But his maneuvering to get Mr. Mueller appointed, and his leaks to the press, have shown that Mr. Comey is as political and self-serving as anyone in Washington.

No investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 campaign will be credible or complete without the facts about all Mr. Comey's wiretaps.

JerseyJeffersonian -> Sam Peralta... , 20 September 2017 at 10:30 PM
Sam Peralta,

Amen to that.

And beyond delving into Comey's machinations, I think it high time to get former AG, Loretta Lynch under oath in front of a Congressional Committee to inquire after the real substance of her supposedly impromptu meeting with Slick Willy on the airport tarmac.

If she needs to be compelled to answer through an offer of immunity, this would be a very clarifying moment, indeed. And if she still refuses, preferring being cited for contempt of Congress, well, that might be pretty interesting in its own right. And if she left any trail of evidence behind her like, say for instance, relating this information to one of her staff, the staffer could be questioned under similar terms.

I rather think no staffer would be operating under the delusion that they could survive thumbing their nose at Congress like their boss doubtless would. But then again, maybe Seth Rich's still unexplained death may serve as an incentive to them to clam up and weather whatever consequences might flow from that decision.

Also a good time to have a little chat with the guy from Crowdstrike, too. And on a related note, maybe a wee bit of inquiry with Mr. Comey on the logic of the FBI in not demanding access to the server ?

Probably none of this will happen however, this being arguably what we can expect from Imperial Politics; no longer are we to recognize this as the functioning of a Constitutional Republic, sad to say.

JerseyJeffersonian -> JerseyJeffersonian... , 21 September 2017 at 10:17 AM
Working my way through Gibbons' Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire. There are ominous parallels to be observed between some of the events he recounts, and events of the present day. The Praetorian Guards and the legions more generally actively manipulated events to attain self-serving outcomes. Elements of our intelligence community seem to be treading a similar path; harrassing, crippling, and if felt necessary working toward the eviction of a legitimately chosen President are rather obviously in play. Not, as in the case of the Roman military, killing him, but effectively overturning the government seems to be the tactic, and all to serve their own ends, and the Constitutional order be damned. History, as has been said, may not repeat, but it sure as hell rhymes.

Oh, and in a not entirely dissimilar development, in Philadelphia, and in PA, it has emerged that legal immigrants, despite being ineligible, have registered and voted. The hend wavers at the Philadelphia Inquirer are trying to minimize this, of course. The thought arises, if it happened in PA, what about in CA? So maybe yet again, one of President Trump's charges is true? Cue our own crew of handwavers here at SST. Over to you, ladies and gentlemen...

Sam Peralta , 20 September 2017 at 08:05 PM
All

Have we crossed the rubicon to a totalitarian state?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-20/sharyl-attkisson-rages-looks-obama-spied-trump-just-he-did-me

Nobody wants our intel agencies to be used like the Stasi in East Germany; the secret police spying on its own citizens for political purposes. The prospect of our own NSA, CIA and FBI becoming politically weaponized has been shrouded by untruths, accusations and justifications.

You'll recall DNI Clapper falsely assured Congress in 2013 that the NSA was not collecting "any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans."

Intel agencies secretly monitored conversations of members of Congress while the Obama administration negotiated the Iran nuclear deal.

In 2014, the CIA got caught spying on Senate Intelligence committee staffers, though CIA Director John Brennan had explicitly denied that.

There were also wiretaps on then-Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) in 2011 under Obama.

The same happened under President George W. Bush to former Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-Calif.).

Journalists have been targeted, too. This internal email exposed by WikiLeaks should give everyone chills. It did me.

.....

I have spent more than two years litigating against the Department of Justice for the computer intrusions. Forensics have revealed dates, times and methods of some of the illegal activities. The software used was proprietary to a federal intel agency. The intruders deployed a keystroke monitoring program, accessed the CBS News corporate computer system, listened in on my conversations by activating the computer's microphone and used Skype to exfiltrate files.

We survived the government's latest attempt to dismiss my lawsuit. There's another hearing Friday. To date, the Trump Department of Justice -- like the Obama Department of Justice -- is fighting me in court and working to keep hidden the identities of those who accessed a government internet protocol address found in my computers.

Lars , 20 September 2017 at 08:19 PM
It is too early to say where this investigation is going, but there are indications that money laundering and shady real estate transactions are scrutinized. How far up that goes, nobody knows. If close associates of Donald Trump get indicted, he will have both legal and political problems.

Of course that is only one aspect. There may also be some serious conflict of interest problems. All of it is about to face a burst of sunshine and that will illuminate every thing, good or bad. It appears that Donald Trump is seriously bothered by all this activity and that in itself is interesting.

The Twisted Genius , 20 September 2017 at 09:01 PM
I was also curious to see what kind of crime would be committed under US law since anything the Russians did was just normal state-to-state competition.

That happens all the time and will continue to happen all the time. Seems that if anyone on the Trump team can be found soliciting help from a foreign source, it would be a violation of campaign finance laws. If anyone can be tied to the hacking and theft of data or the use of that hacked data (there was a lot of voter data taken in addition to the DNC and Podesta data), the crime would be engaging in a criminal conspiracy. Then, of course, there are the targets of opportunity associated with any cover up like witness intimidation, perjury, obstruction of justice, and the like.

Then there is the NYAG's investigation into Trump and his associates under NY RICO laws. That investigation is still very much alive.

All this makes me wonder who is concentrating on the Russian IO itself. There's no crime here, besides the hacks and theft of data, but that should be the crux of the investigation in my opinion. Perhaps Mueller is doing this. I would think he'd have to understand exactly what was done, how it was coordinated and how it was financed before he could look for any crimes related to this whole Russia thing.

LeaNder -> The Twisted Genius ... , 21 September 2017 at 05:31 AM
TTG, I am not following this closely enough but for whatever reason Manafort popped up on my mind. Maybe due to earlier curiosity concerning the Ukraine. Were would he fit in? And how?

Checking spelling of his name, I realized it made headlines again.

MGS , 20 September 2017 at 09:28 PM
Manafort should sue the Federal Gov for violation of his rights against unlawful search and seizure. FISA is unconstitutional and should challenge the entire case on the basis that anything obtained was based on a FISA warrant. Force the courts and above all else the Supreme Court to address the issue finally. Manafort is by no means an angel, but he has rights and deserves a fair shake instead of the train ride he's on.
JohnH , 20 September 2017 at 10:21 PM
With the world's 7th largest economy, what sane businessman would NOT want to cultivate relationships and develop the Russian market, particularly since it is virtually untapped by Western companies?

Exxon-Mobil certainly wanted to do that. And they don't strike me as unpatriotic dummies --

Will.2718 , 20 September 2017 at 10:21 PM
According to Martha Stewart, a false statement to a federal officer need not be sworn. The best response to an FBI agent or any federal officer is "Have a good day Sir/Maam -- " or Buenos Dias, I prefer to have counsel with me when answering questions.
English Outsider , 21 September 2017 at 05:29 AM
Don't understand any of this. Unless Mr Steele was entirely off the leash, which is difficult to believe, there's evidence of our complicity in covert interference with the US Presidential elections. Then there's evidence of Israeli interference, and that overt. Also, although it's not directly relevant here, there's sufficient evidence that the US itself pulls strings in other countries' elections.

So whatever the Russians did or didn't do messing around with another country's elections, they're pretty far back in the queue. I'm all for the greater readiness to investigate such matters that we see in the US; but why is the spotlight directed only into this little corner?

Sid Finster , 21 September 2017 at 11:14 AM
Google "three felonies a day" or contemplate the words attributed to Richelieu - "Give me but six words written by the most honorable of men, and I will find something therein to hang him with."

The criminal laws in this country are sufficiently broad and far-reaching that an aggressive prosecutor can find a reason to imprison almost anyone, especially if the target is engaged in political or business matters of any sophistication.

This is intentional. The laws are designed such that the people that the establishment wants to imprison are imprisoned when they do the things the establishment doesn't want, and those people that the establishment does not want imprisoned are not.

This is why HRC can blatantly violate the Espionage Act and then spoliate evidence with no fear of prosecution. In fact, law enforcement twist themselves into knots to avoid conducting a serious investigation, as that might force them to act. After that farce, Comey publicly justified conduct that (as he admitted) would send a normie on a one-way trip to a SuperMax.

Mueller will get some scalps. Guaranteed.

[Sep 20, 2017] Mueller Seeks White House Documents Related to Trump's Actions as President

Should not NYT be investigated as for the source of information of this leak?

One of the requests is about a meeting Mr. Trump had in May with Russian officials in the Oval Office the day after James B. Comey, the F.B. I director, was fired. That day, Mr. Trump met with the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, and the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey I. Kislyak, along with other Russian officials. The New York Times reported that in the meeting Mr. Trump said that firing Mr. Comey relieved "great pressure" on him.

[Sep 20, 2017] Manafort News a Blockbuster or Nothingburger

Notable quotes:
"... News anchors keep referring to Manafort as "Trump's campaign manager," elevating his significance. Recall that Trump had Corey Lewandowski as his campaign chairman from January to June; Manafort from June to August; and Stephen Bannon from August to November. Why not say, "Bannon, the second out of three Trump campaign chiefs"? And why not add: " who resigned when it was disclosed that he had been paid huge sums as a consultant for former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych?" ..."
"... And then mention that Yanukovych had been democratically elected in 2010, and that Manafort, who had advised U.S. presidential candidates Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, Ferdinand Marcos, Mobuto Sese Seko, and Jonas Savimbi. And that there's probably nothing illegal about that. ..."
"... But why this term, "operative"? What is a "Russian operative," such as the Trump campaign may have met? As opposed to a Russian businessman, politician, lawyer, journalist, priest? The term is tendentious, implying that every Russian operates on behalf of the Russian state and Vladimir Putin. Russophobic language infects the relentless coverage of this issue, which!as Van Jones suggested!has been a nothingburger. ..."
Sep 20, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

Flipping the channel to U.S. cable news, the lead story is Paul Manafort's imminent indictment, apparently for his business dealings. Presented as a BLOCKBUSTER, it's got all the talking heads smelling blood in the water. Here, they hope, is the smoking gun. Their eyes are bright with hope, if not for Trump's impeachment, for his forced embrace of continued confrontation with Moscow.

On the night of the election, most anchors reacted in shock. Rachel Maddow appeared aghast. They were stunned at their own failure to predict this outcome and were obliged to seek excuses for the unexpected, unfortunate outcome. The Comey announcement was of course the first explanation deployed, but soon a far more useful one appeared: Russia had rigged the election by providing stolen DNC emails to Wikileaks, using them to discredit Hillary. (It's rarely mentioned how, precisely, they had done that, by showing that the DNC under Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had rigged the primaries against Bernie Sanders.)

Obama requested a quick intelligence report, to justify immediate harsh sanctions. He got it, expelled over 700 Russian diplomats, and closed down consulates and recreational facilities owned by the Russian state. These follow the sanctions applied in 2014 in response to events in Ukraine, which caused Russia to retaliate, among other things, by ending the program through which Americans adopt Russian children.

"Russian Interference"

The meeting between Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in Trump Tower in June 2016, including Donald Jr., Jared Kushner, Manafort, Rinat Akhmetshin and publicist Rob Goldstone appears to have included three elements: withdrawal of sanctions under a Trump administration, restitution of the adoption program (with which Veselnitskaya has indeed been involved) as one action in return, and the issue which drew Don Jr. to the gathering: and possibly the promise of info on Hillary. So if Don Jr. and Jared say it was about adoption they might be telling the partial truth.

Hadn't Junior been told that there were documents that "would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father," and hadn't he said "I love it"? It is just possible that this meeting resulted in Russian hacking of the DNC and the leaking of the documents by Wikileaks (although Julian Assange and colleague Craig Murray strongly deny this).

On July 22, Wikileaks released its first batch of DNC emails. Wasserman-Schultz and half a dozen others had to resign, and DNC sincerely apologized to Sanders for Wasserman-Schultz's comment that it would be "silly" to imagine a Sanders victory.

On July 27 Trump speaking to a news conference in Doral, Florida said this:

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing [from Clinton's emails] I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

On Nov. 7, Wikileaks released a second batch of documents, including a email written by Hillary's own campaign chairman John Podesta in January, saying: "I'm down. Our team is all tactics and has no idea of how to lift her up." Very embarrassing just before the election. But the provenance of the leaked documents is in fact unclear, and contested.

This BLOCKBUSTER news about Manafort reportedly involves financial transactions. The idea may be to trade leniency for financial wrongdoing for information on the alleged "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Moscow. But what if there is none?

News anchors keep referring to Manafort as "Trump's campaign manager," elevating his significance. Recall that Trump had Corey Lewandowski as his campaign chairman from January to June; Manafort from June to August; and Stephen Bannon from August to November. Why not say, "Bannon, the second out of three Trump campaign chiefs"? And why not add: " who resigned when it was disclosed that he had been paid huge sums as a consultant for former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych?"

And then mention that Yanukovych had been democratically elected in 2010, and that Manafort, who had advised U.S. presidential candidates Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, Ferdinand Marcos, Mobuto Sese Seko, and Jonas Savimbi. And that there's probably nothing illegal about that.

Why All the Fuss?

Why all this fuss about Manafort in Ukraine? Because he's accused of developing ties with Russians while there, which is hardly surprising, considering that he's a mercenary opportunist and businessman, and Russia and Ukraine have numerous historical, cultural, economic and business ties. Yanukovich's party (Party of Regions) is described by the U.S. as "pro-Russian" although that is simplistic and reflects ignorance of the ethnic mix in Ukraine and the relationship to both Russia and the EU. (Victoria Nuland, Obama's assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, promoted that view and declared the U.S.'s support for "the Ukrainian people's European aspirations.")

Yanukovich could have introduced Manafort to lots of Russians. But that was all over in 2014 before Trump announced his campaign.

We now know that Manafort came under investigation by the FBI soon after the U.S.-backed putsch in February 2014 and is ongoing. But it didn't start as an investigation into Russian election meddling. And it will very possibly not find any evidence for that. It may find, for example, an email in which Manafort supports the withdrawal of the party plank in July 2015 advocating lethal arms to the current government. (This is another of the very few "facts" cited establish "Russian interference." But it seems to me a lot of Republicans don't want to provoke Russia in Russia's backyard. Since when does mere reason constitute "collusion"?) But it would be a stretch to assume he's the key villain interlocutor between "Russian operatives" and the Trump campaign.

But why this term, "operative"? What is a "Russian operative," such as the Trump campaign may have met? As opposed to a Russian businessman, politician, lawyer, journalist, priest? The term is tendentious, implying that every Russian operates on behalf of the Russian state and Vladimir Putin. Russophobic language infects the relentless coverage of this issue, which!as Van Jones suggested!has been a nothingburger.

Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan ; Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan ; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900 . He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion , (AK Press). He can be reached at: gleupp@tufts.edu

[Sep 20, 2017] The Politics of Military Ascendancy by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In this paper we will discuss the advantages that the military elite accumulate from the war agenda and the reasons why ' the Generals' have been able to impose their definition of international realities. ..."
"... We will discuss the military's ascendancy over Trump's civilian regime as a result of the relentless degradation of his presidency by his political opposition. ..."
"... The massive US-led bombing and destruction of Libya, the overthrow of the Gadhafi government and the failure of the Obama-Clinton administration to impose a puppet regime, underlined the limitations of US air power and the ineffectiveness of US political-military intervention. The Presidency blundered in its foreign policy in North Africa and demonstrated its military ineptness. ..."
"... The invasion of Syria by US-funded mercenaries and terrorists committed the US to an unreliable ally in a losing war. This led to a reduction in the military budget and encouraged the Generals to view their direct control of overseas wars and foreign policy as the only guarantee of their positions. ..."
"... The Obama-Clinton engineered coup and power grab in the Ukraine brought a corrupt incompetent military junta to power in Kiev and provoked the secession of the Crimea (to Russia) and Eastern Ukraine (allied with Russia). The Generals were sidelined and found that they had tied themselves to Ukrainian kleptocrats while dangerously increasing political tensions with Russia. The Obama regime dictated economic sanctions against Moscow, designed to compensate for their ignominious military-political failures. ..."
"... The Obama-Clinton legacy facing Trump was built around a three-legged stool: an international order based on military aggression and confrontation with Russia; a ' pivot to Asia' defined as the military encirclement and economic isolation of China – via bellicose threats and economic sanctions against North Korea; and the use of the military as the praetorian guards of free trade agreements in Asia excluding China. ..."
"... After only 8 months in office President Trump helplessly gave into the firings, resignations and humiliation of each and every one of his civilian appointees, especially those who were committed to reverse Obama's 'international order'. ..."
"... Trump was elected to replace wars, sanctions and interventions with economic deals beneficial to the American working and middle class. This would include withdrawing the military from its long-term commitments to budget-busting 'nation-building' (occupation) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and other Obama-designated endless war zones. ..."
"... The Generals provide a veneer of legitimacy to the Trump regime (especially for the warmongering Obama Democrats and the mass media). However, handing presidential powers over to ' Mad Dog' Mattis and his cohort will come with a heavy price. ..."
"... While the military junta may protect Trump's foreign policy flank, it does not lessen the attacks on his domestic agenda