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Demonization of Putin

Unending series of neoliberal MSM witch hunt and false flag operations by Western intelligence agencies
designed to weaken and discredit Russian leader

Reuters/David W Cerny

PseudoScience > Who Rules America > Pathological Russophobia of the US elite

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Europe has manufactured an artificial "Russian enemy"
 in order to create an artificial "European identity"

Guy Mettan

Demonization of Putin is integral part of policy of the US and British elite toward Russia, designed to weaken, and, if possible, dismember the Russian state. It is also an instrument of increasing national unity by creating a demonized external enemy.

Russophobia of the US elite should be understood in the context of Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism as Russia represent an obstacle for complete domination of the globe by the US neoliberal empire. Nothing personal here, just business. Recent statements by Putin made at Valday club in Sochi (October 24, 2014) also do not produce any love to Putin from the global and first of all the USA neoliberal elite as well as London-based financial oligarchy. Not accidentally for both the US and GB elite Putin is a "Great Satan".

Like anti-Semitism, Russophobia is based on standard mechanism of Demonization (Wikipedia):

In colloquial usage, the term demonization is used metaphorically to refer to propaganda directed on delitimization of particular individual or group.

Delegitimization is the psychological process which undermines or marginalizes an individual or entity by presenting value judgments as facts which are construed to devalue legitimacy. The ultimate goal of justifying harm or war.

The concept applies to a wide spectrum of social contexts but generally means categorization of individual or groups into extreme social categories which are ultimately excluded from society. Delegitimization provides the moral and the discursive basis to harm the delegitimized group, even in the most inhumane ways.

It is related to stereotyping in a sense that it leads to prejudice when people emotionally react to the name of the person, ascribe evil intention and characteristic to the person or group without evaluating objective evidence.

As always in such cases three-letter agencies are in the vanguard of such complains (Is the CIA Running a Defamation Campaign Against Putin - Russia Insider)

A major topic in the Russian media is mystification with how Putin is portrayed in the Western media. Wildly popular at home, and seen as a decent, modest, an admirable person, and Russians don't understand how there can be such a disconnect with Western impressions.

Recently, leading Russian commentators and politicians have been suggesting that this can only be explained by a deliberate campaign to defame Putin, by governments or other groups.

Yesterday, at a briefing to foreign journalists, Sergey Ivanov, Putin's chief of staff, arguably the 2nd most powerful man in Russia, spoke of an "information war" consisting of "personal attacks" on Putin.

The western media hit a new low...
>The day before another member of Putin's inner circle, Vyasheslav Volodin, made similar remarks, telling foreign journalists "an attack on Putin is an attack on Russia."

The logic, they argue, is that by defaming the leader of a country, you weaken his power domestically by undermining popular support for him, and internationally, by rallying popular opinion to support policies against that country. The ultimate goal, they argue, is to weaken the country itself. They also talk about regime change.

They argue that if one looks at the facts, that there is evidence of ongoing character assassination which cannot be explained by a vague popular zeitgeist in the West, but is more likely the result of a dedicated effort to introduce this defamation into the news flow.

Newsweek has been one of the most virulent Putin-bashers for years

The issue of manipulation of news by intelligence services has been in the news recently with revelations that the CIA and German Secret Service (GSS) have long-running programs to influence how media executives and top journalists convey and interpret the news, including direct cash payments.

Here are some examples they point to:

RI sat down with The Saker, a leading analyst of Russia in international affairs, and asked him what he thinks:

So, is there any credence to this line of thinking, or is this conspiracy theorists running wild?

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the US is waging a major psyop war against Russia, although not a shooting war, for now, and that what we are seeing is a targeted campaign to discredit Putin and achieve "regime change" in Russia or, should that fail, at the very least "regime weakening" and "Russia weakening".

And the Economist has been the very worst of them all...

So this is a US government program?

Yes, Putin is absolutely hated by certain factions in the US government two main reasons:

1. He partially, but not fully, restored Russia's sovereignty which under Gorbachev and Yeltsin had been totally lost … Russia then was a US colony like Ukraine is today … and,

2. He dared to openly defy the USA and its civilizational model.

… a free and sovereign Russia is perceived by the US "deep state" as an existential threat which has to be crushed. … this is a full-scale political assault on Russia and Putin personally.

So what the Russians are saying, that the constant personal attacks against Putin in the global media are partly the result of deliberate efforts by US intelligence services, … basically, planted stories…

Yes, absolutely

It seems like “Operation Mockingbird” all over again… Are you aware of other instances aimed at Putin?

(Editors Note: Operation Mockingbird was a CIA program started in the 1950s to influence the US media, which was gradually exposed by investigative journalists starting in the late 60s, culminating in sensational televised congressional hearings in 1975 which shocked the nation, forcing the program’s termination. Critics maintain that the same tactics have continued since, under different programs. Wikipedia)

Yes, of course. Since this defamation has very little traction with the Russian public … Putin's popularity is higher than ever before .., there is an organized campaign to convince them that Putin is "selling out" Novorussia, that he is a puppet of oligarchs who are making deals with Ukrainian oligarchs to back-stab the Novorussian resistance…

… So far, Putin's policies in the Ukraine have enjoyed very strong support from the Russian people who still oppose an overt military intervention…

… but if Kiev attacks Novorussia again - which appears very likely - and if such an attack is successful - which is less likely but always possible - then Putin will be blamed for having given the Ukrainians the time to regroup and reorganize.

Warm and fuzzy...

So you are saying that if the Ukrainian military strengthens its position enough to deliver a serious blow to the East Ukrainians, the US can use this as a method to strike at Putin’s support base…

Yes, that’s right ... there are a lot of "fake patriots" in Russia and abroad who will reject any negotiated solution and who will present any compromise as a "betrayal". They are the "useful idiots" used by western special services to smear and undermine Putin.

Is it limited to government special ops, or are there other groups who might have an interest in doing this?

Yes, well here is something that most people in the west don’t appreciate… there is a major behind-the scenes struggle among Russian elites between what I call the "Eurasian Sovereignists" (basically, those who support Putin) and what I call the "Atlantic Integrationists" (those whom Putin refers to as the "5th column).

The western media talks about this as the struggle between Russian liberals and conservatives, reformers and reactionaries, right?

Well its sort of like that, but not exactly…

The former see Russia's future in the Russian North and East and want to turn Russia towards Asia, Latin America and the rest of the world, while the latter want Russia to become part of the "North Atlantic" power configuration.

The Atlantic Integrationists are now too weak to openly challenge Putin - whose real power base is his immense popular support - but they are quietly sabotaging his efforts to reform Russia while supporting anti-Putin campaigns.

Regarding the revelations of CIA activities in Germany, do you think this is going on in other countries, in the US?

I am sure that this is happening in most countries worldwide. The very nature of the modern corporate media is such that it makes journalists corrupt.

As the French philosopher Alain Soral says "nowadays a reporter is either unemployed or a prostitute". There are, of course, a few exceptions, but by and large this is true.

This is not to say that most journalists are on the take. In the West this is mostly done in a more subtle way - by making it clear which ideas do or do not pass the editorial control, by lavishly rewarding those journalists who 'get it' and by quietly turning away those who don't.

If a journalist or reporter commits the crime of "crimethink" he or she will be sidelined and soon out of work.

There is no real pluralism in the West where the boundaries of what can be said or not are very strictly fixed.

Ok, but is it like what has been revealed in Germany, …similar specific operational programs in France, the UK, Italy, Latin America, etc.

Yes, one has to assume so – it is in their interests to have them and there is no reason for them not to.

As for the CIA, it de-facto controls enough of the corporate media to "set the tone". As somebody who in the past used to read the Soviet press for a living, I can sincerely say that it was far more honest and more pluralistic than the press in the USA or EU today.

Joseph Goebbels or Edward Bernays could not have imagined the degree of sophistication of modern propaganda machines.

If the US is doing it, can't one assume other governments are too? Are the Russians doing it against western leaders?

I think that all governments try to do that kind of stuff. However, what makes the US so unique it a combination of truly phenomenal arrogance and multi-billion dollar budgets.

The US "deep state" owns the western corporate media which is by far the most powerful media on the planet. Most governments can only do that inside their own country ... to smear a political opponent or discredit a public figure, but they simply do not have the resources to mount an international strategic psyop campaign. This is something only the US can do.

So foreign governments are at a great disadvantage in this arena vis-a-vis the US?

Absolutely.

Quotes from Putin speech and answers to the questions at the meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club

 


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[Sep 15, 2019] Blissful lack of self-awareness on the part of the USA defence secretary.

Does he mean the treat of de-dollarization? The USA military is just an the enforcement arm of Wall Street banks.
Notable quotes:
"... "It is increasingly clear that Russia and China want to disrupt the international order by gaining a veto over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions," ..."
Sep 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"It is increasingly clear that Russia and China want to disrupt the international order by gaining a veto over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions," Esper said, seemingly unaware of the absurd hypocrisy of his words.

[Sep 15, 2019] Iran A Club of Sanctioned Countries in Solidarity Against US Economic Terrorism Dissident Voice

Sep 15, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

Iran: A Club of Sanctioned Countries in Solidarity Against US Economic Terrorism

by Press TV / September 13th, 2019

PressTV Interview – transcript

Background links:
https://ifpnews.com/iranian-mps-propose-formation-of-club-of-sanctioned-countries
https://www.newsweek.com/russia-china-iran-fight-sanctions-1458096

Excerpts:

An Iranian parliamentary faction has come up with the idea of establishing a club of sanctioned countries for concerted action against the US economic terrorism.

The chairman of the Parliament's faction on countering sanctions, Poormokhtar, gave a report on the formation of the faction and its activities, as well as the ongoing efforts to establish the club of sanctioned countries. Iran's FM, Zaraf, said this would be enhancing the already existing alliance of Russia, China, Syria, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela against US economic terrorism.

PressTV: Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, and Venezuela are among the nations that have come out against the United States' use of sanctions to enforce its foreign policy around the world. In what ways can they fight these US sanctions as a group?

Peter Koenig: Brilliant idea! Solidarity makes stronger and eventually will attract other countries who are sick and tired of the US sanction regime, and since they have the backing of Russia and China, that's a very strong alliance, especially an economic alliance. The sanction regime can only be broken through economics, meaning decoupling from the western monetary system. I said this before and say it again, at the risk of repeating myself.

After all, China is the world's largest and strongest economy in Purchasing Power GDP measures which is the only comparison that really counts. I believe this solidarity alliance against US sanctions is certainly worth a trial.

And personally, I think it will be a successful trial, as more countries will join, possibly even non-sanctioned ones, out of solidarity against a common tyrant.

The countries in solidarity against sanctions, in addition to ignoring them -- and the more they ignore them, the more other countries will follow-suit -- that's logical as fear disappears and solidarity grows.

For example, Iran and Venezuela, oil exporting countries, could accompany their tankers by war ships. Yes, it's an extra cost, but think of it as temporary and as a long-term gain. Would "Grace I" have been accompanied by an Iranian war ship the Brits would not have dared confiscating it. That's for sure.

PressTV: Many of the US sanctions have led to death of civilians in those particular countries. At the same time, sanctions have also led to the improvement of these countries to the point where domestic production in various fields advanced. Don't sanctions become country-productive to US aims?'

PK: Of course, the sanctions are counter-productive. They have helped Russia to become food-self-sufficient, for example. That was not Washington's intention and less so the intention of the EU, who followed Washington's dictate like puppets.

Sanctions are like a last effort before the fall of the empire, to cause as much human damage as possible, to pull other nations down with the dying beast. It has always been like that starting with the Romans through the Ottoman's. They realize their time has come but can't see a world living in peace. So they must plant as much unrest and misery as possible before they disappear

That's precisely what's happening with the US.

Intimidation, building more and more military bases, all with fake money, as we know the dollar is worth nothing – FIAT money – that the world still accepts but less and less so, therefore military bases, deadly sanctions, and trade wars. Trump knows that a trade war against China is a lost cause. Still, he can intimidate other countries by insisting on a trade war with China or that's what he thinks.

PressTV: The more countries US sanctions, illegally, more people turn against the US: doesn't that defeat the US so-called fight against terrorism and violence?

PK: Well, US sanction and the entire scheme of US aggression has nothing to do with fighting terrorism, as you know. It's nothing but expanding US hegemony over the world, and if needed, and more often than not, the US finances terrorism to fight proxy wars against their so-called enemies, meaning anybody not conforming to their wishes and not wanting to submit to their orders and not letting them exploit – or rather steal – their natural resources.

Syria is a case in point. ISIL is funded and armed by the Pentagon, who buys Serbian produced weapon to channel them through the Mid-East allies to Syrian terrorists, the ISIL or similar kinds with different names -- just to confuse.

Venezuela too – the opposition consist basically of US trained, financed and armed opposition "leaders" – who do not want to participate in totally democratic elections – order of the US – boycott them. But as we have seen as of this day, the various coup attempts by the US against their legitimate and democratically elected President, Nicolás Maduro, have failed bitterly, and this despite the most severe sanctions regime South American has known, except for Cuba, against whom the US crime has been perpetuated for 60 years.

So, nobody should have the illusion that Washington's wars are against terrorism. Washington is THE terrorist regime that fights for world hegemony.

Press TV is the first Iranian international news network broadcasting in English on a round-the-clock basis. Read other articles by Press TV , or visit Press TV's website .

This article was posted on Friday, September 13th, 2019 at 7:33am and is filed under China , Cuba , Interview , Iran , Russia , Sanctions , Syria , United States , US Terrorism , Venezuela .

[Sep 15, 2019] Trump's new world disorder: competitive, chaotic, conflicted by

The key to understanding the c
The collapse of neoliberalism naturally lead to the collapse of the US influence over the globe. and to the treats to the dollar as the world reserve currency. That's why the US foreign policy became so aggressive and violent. Neocons want to fight for the world hegemony to the last American.
Notable quotes:
"... US foreign policy is ever more unstable and confrontational ..."
"... Bolton's brutal defenestration has raised hopes that Trump, who worries that voters may view him as a warmonger, may begin to moderate some of his more confrontational international policies. As the 2020 election looms, he is desperate for a big foreign policy peace-making success. And, in Trump world, winning matters more than ideology, principles or personnel. ..."
"... Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has not merely broken with diplomatic and geopolitical convention. He has taken a wrecking ball to venerated alliances, multilateral cooperation and the postwar international rules-based order. ..."
"... The resulting new world disorder – to adapt George HW Bush's famous 1991 phrase – will be hard to put right. Like its creator, Trump world is unstable, unpredictable and threatening. Trump has been called America's first rogue president. Whether or not he wins a second term, this Trumpian era of epic disruption, the very worst form of American exceptionalism, is already deeply entrenched. ..."
"... driven by a chronic desire for re-election, Trump's behaviour could become more, not less, confrontational during his remaining time in office, suggested Eliot Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins university. ..."
"... "The president has proved himself to be what many critics have long accused him of being: belligerent, bullying, impatient, irresponsible, intellectually lazy, short-tempered and self-obsessed," Cohen wrote in Foreign Affairs journal . "Remarkably, however, those shortcomings have not yet translated into obvious disaster. But [that] should not distract from a building crisis of US foreign policy." ..."
"... This pending crisis stems from Trump's crudely Manichaean division of the world into two camps: adversaries/competitors and supporters/customers. A man with few close confidants, Trump has real trouble distinguishing between allies and enemies, friends and foes, and often confuses the two. In Trump world, old rules don't apply. Alliances are optional. Loyalty is weakness. And trust is fungible. ..."
"... The crunch came last weekend when a bizarre, secret summit with Taliban chiefs at Camp David was cancelled . It was classic Trump. He wanted quick 'n' easy, primetime credit for a dramatic peace deal, pushed ahead blindly, then changed his mind at the last minute. Furious over a debacle of his own making, he turned his wrath on others, notably Bolton – who, ironically, had opposed the summit all along. ..."
"... With Trump's blessing, Israel is enmeshed in escalating, multi-fronted armed confrontation with Iran and its allies in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Add to this recent violence in the Gulf, the disastrous Trump-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen, mayhem in Syria's Idlib province, border friction with Turkey, and Islamic State resurgence in northern Iraq, and a region-wide explosion looks ever more likely. ..."
"... "the bipartisan consensus forged in the 1990s – in which the US towered over the world and, at low cost, sought to remake it in America's image – has failed and cannot be revived", ..."
Sep 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

With John Bolton dismissed, Taliban peace talks a fiasco and a trade war with China, US foreign policy is ever more unstable and confrontational

It was by all accounts, a furious row. Donald Trump was talking about relaxing sanctions on Iran and holding a summit with its president, Hassan Rouhani, at this month's UN general assembly in New York. John Bolton, his hawkish national security adviser, was dead against it and forcefully rejected Trump's ideas during a tense meeting in the Oval Office on Monday.

...Bolton's brutal defenestration has raised hopes that Trump, who worries that voters may view him as a warmonger, may begin to moderate some of his more confrontational international policies. As the 2020 election looms, he is desperate for a big foreign policy peace-making success. And, in Trump world, winning matters more than ideology, principles or personnel.

The US president is now saying he is also open to a repeat meeting with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, to reboot stalled nuclear disarmament talks. On another front, he has offered an olive branch to China, delaying a planned tariff increase on $250bn of Chinese goods pending renewed trade negotiations next month. Meanwhile, he says, new tariffs on European car imports could be dropped, too.

Is a genuine dove-ish shift under way? It seems improbable. Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has not merely broken with diplomatic and geopolitical convention. He has taken a wrecking ball to venerated alliances, multilateral cooperation and the postwar international rules-based order. He has cosied up to autocrats, attacked old friends and blundered into sensitive conflicts he does not fully comprehend.

The resulting new world disorder – to adapt George HW Bush's famous 1991 phrase – will be hard to put right. Like its creator, Trump world is unstable, unpredictable and threatening. Trump has been called America's first rogue president. Whether or not he wins a second term, this Trumpian era of epic disruption, the very worst form of American exceptionalism, is already deeply entrenched.

The suggestion that Trump will make nice and back off as election time nears thus elicits considerable scepticism. US analysts and commentators say the president's erratic, impulsive and egotistic personality means any shift towards conciliation may be short-lived and could quickly be reversed, Bolton or no Bolton.

Trump wanted quick 'n' easy, primetime credit for a dramatic peace deal in Afghanistan with the Taliban, pushed ahead blindly, then changed his mind at the last minute

Trump is notorious for blowing hot and cold, performing policy zigzags and suddenly changing his mind. "Regardless of who has advised Mr Trump on foreign affairs all have proved powerless before [his] zest for chaos," the New York Times noted last week .

Lacking experienced diplomatic and military advisers (he has sacked most of the good ones), surrounded by an inner circle of cynical sycophants such as secretary of state Mike Pompeo, and driven by a chronic desire for re-election, Trump's behaviour could become more, not less, confrontational during his remaining time in office, suggested Eliot Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins university.

"The president has proved himself to be what many critics have long accused him of being: belligerent, bullying, impatient, irresponsible, intellectually lazy, short-tempered and self-obsessed," Cohen wrote in Foreign Affairs journal . "Remarkably, however, those shortcomings have not yet translated into obvious disaster. But [that] should not distract from a building crisis of US foreign policy."

This pending crisis stems from Trump's crudely Manichaean division of the world into two camps: adversaries/competitors and supporters/customers. A man with few close confidants, Trump has real trouble distinguishing between allies and enemies, friends and foes, and often confuses the two. In Trump world, old rules don't apply. Alliances are optional. Loyalty is weakness. And trust is fungible.

As a result, the US today finds itself at odds with much of the world to an unprecedented and dangerous degree. America, the postwar global saviour, has been widely recast as villain. Nor is this a passing phase. Trump seems to have permanently changed the way the US views the world and vice versa. Whatever follows, it will never be quite the same again.

Clues as to what he does next may be found in what he has done so far. His is a truly calamitous record, as exemplified by Afghanistan. Having vowed in 2016 to end America's longest war, he began with a troop surge, lost interest and sued for peace. A withdrawal deal proved elusive. Meanwhile, US-led forces inflicted record civilian casualties .

Facebook Twitter Pinterest The US and Israeli flags are projected on the walls of Jerusalem's Old City in May, marking the anniversary of the US embassy transfer from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/Getty

The crunch came last weekend when a bizarre, secret summit with Taliban chiefs at Camp David was cancelled . It was classic Trump. He wanted quick 'n' easy, primetime credit for a dramatic peace deal, pushed ahead blindly, then changed his mind at the last minute. Furious over a debacle of his own making, he turned his wrath on others, notably Bolton – who, ironically, had opposed the summit all along.

All sides are now vowing to step up the violence, with the insurgents aiming to disrupt this month's presidential election in Afghanistan. In short, Trump's self-glorifying Afghan reality show, of which he was the Nobel-winning star, has made matters worse. Much the same is true of his North Korea summitry, where expectations were raised, then dashed when he got cold feet in Hanoi , provoking a backlash from Pyongyang.

The current crisis over Iran's nuclear programme is almost entirely of Trump's making, sparked by his decision last year to renege on the 2015 UN-endorsed deal with Tehran. His subsequent "maximum pressure" campaign of punitive sanctions has failed to cow Iranians while alienating European allies. And it has led Iran to resume banned nuclear activities – a seriously counterproductive, entirely predictable outcome.

Trump's unconditional, unthinking support for Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's aggressively rightwing prime minister – including tacit US backing for his proposed annexation of swathes of the occupied territories – is pushing the Palestinians back to the brink, energising Hamas and Hezbollah, and raising tensions across the region .

With Trump's blessing, Israel is enmeshed in escalating, multi-fronted armed confrontation with Iran and its allies in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Add to this recent violence in the Gulf, the disastrous Trump-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen, mayhem in Syria's Idlib province, border friction with Turkey, and Islamic State resurgence in northern Iraq, and a region-wide explosion looks ever more likely.

The bipartisan consensus forged in the 1990s – in which the US towered over the world and, at low cost, sought to remake it in America's image – has failed and cannot be revived

Stephen Wertheim, historian

Yet Trump, oblivious to the point of recklessness, remains determined to unveil his absurdly unbalanced Israel-Palestine "deal of the century" after Tuesday's Israeli elections. He and his gormless son-in-law, Jared Kushner, may be the only people who don't realise their plan has a shorter life expectancy than a snowball on a hot day in Gaza.

... ... ...

...he is consistently out of line, out on his own – and out of control. This, broadly, is Trump world as it has come to exist since January 2017. And this, in a nutshell, is the intensifying foreign policy crisis of which Professor Cohen warned. The days when responsible, trustworthy, principled US international leadership could be taken for granted are gone. No vague change of tone on North Korea or Iran will by itself halt the Trump-led slide into expanding global conflict and division.

Historians such as Stephen Wertheim say change had to come. US politicians of left and right mostly agreed that "the bipartisan consensus forged in the 1990s – in which the US towered over the world and, at low cost, sought to remake it in America's image – has failed and cannot be revived", Wertheim wrote earlier this year . "But agreement ends there " he continued: "One camp holds that the US erred by coddling China and Russia, and urges a new competition against these great power rivals. The other camp, which says the US has been too belligerent and ambitious around the world, counsels restraint, not another crusade against grand enemies."

This debate among grownups over America's future place in the world will form part of next year's election contest. But before any fundamental change of direction can occur, the international community – and the US itself – must first survive another 16 months of Trump world and the wayward child-president's poll-fixated, ego-driven destructive tendencies.

Survival is not guaranteed. The immediate choice facing US friends and foes alike is stark and urgent: ignore, bypass and marginalise Trump – or actively, openly, resist him.

Here are some of the key flashpoints around the globe

United Nations

Trump is deeply hostile to the UN. It embodies the multilateralist, globalist policy approaches he most abhors – because they supposedly infringe America's sovereignty and inhibit its freedom of action. Under him, self-interested US behaviour has undermined the authority of the UN security council's authority. The US has rejected a series of international treaties and agreements, including the Paris climate change accord and the Iran nuclear deal. The UN-backed international criminal court is beyond the pale. Trump's attitude fits with his "America First" isolationism, which questions traditional ideas about America's essential global leadership role.

Germany

Trump rarely misses a chance to bash Germany, perhaps because it is Europe's most successful economy and represents the EU, which he detests. He is obsessed by German car imports, on which protectionist US tariffs will be levied this autumn. He accuses Berlin – and Europe– of piggy-backing on America by failing to pay its fair share of Nato defence costs. Special venom is reserved for Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, most likely because she is a woman who stands up to him . Trump recently insulted another female European leader, Denmark's Mette Frederiksen, after she refused to sell him Greenland .

Israel

Trump has made a great show of unconditional friendship towards Israel and its rightwing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has skilfully maximised his White House influence. But by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, officially condoning Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights, and withdrawing funding and other support from the Palestinians, the president has abandoned the long-standing US policy of playing honest broker in the peace process. Trump has also tried to exploit antisemitism for political advantage, accusing US Democrat Jews who oppose Netanyahu's policies of "disloyalty" to Israel.

... ... ...

[Sep 15, 2019] Demythologizing the Roots of the New Cold War by Ted Snider

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Like the Cold War, the new cold war was triggered by an American lie. It was a lie so duplicitous, so all encompassing, that it would lead many Russians to see the agreement that ended the cold war as a devastating and humiliating deception that was really intended to clear the way for the US to surround and finally defeat the Soviet Union. It was a lie that tilled the soil for all future "Russian aggression." ..."
"... That key promise made to Gorbachev was shattered, first by President Clinton and then subsequently supported by every American President: NATO engulfed Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in 1999; Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in 2004, Albania and Croatia in 2009 and, most recently, Montenegro. ..."
"... When Clinton decided to break Bush's promise and betray Russia, George Kennen, father of the containment policy, warned that NATO expansion would be "the most fateful error of American foreign policy in the entire post-cold-war era." "Such a decision," he prophesied, "may be expected to . . . restore the atmosphere of the cold war in East-West relations . . .." ..."
"... As Matlock explains, the urgent transition allowed "privileged insiders[to] join the criminals who had been running a black market [and to] steal what they could, as fast as they could." The sudden, uncompromising transition imposed on Russia by the United States enabled, according to Cohen, "a small group of Kremlin-connected oligarchs to plunder Russia's richest assets and abet the plunging of some two-thirds of its people into poverty and misery." ..."
"... The rape of Russia was funded, overseen and ordered by the United States and handed over by President George H.W. Bush to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Much of their advice, Matlock says generously, "was not only useless, but sometimes actually damaging." ..."
"... The economic policies wrestled onto Russia by the US and the transition experts and international development experts it funded and sent over led to, what Cohen calls, "the near ruination of Russia." Russia's reward for ending the Cold War and joining the Western economic community was, in Cohen's words, "the worst economic depression in peacetime, the disintegration of the highly professionalized Soviet middle class, mass poverty, plunging life expectancy [for men, it had fallen below sixty], the fostering of an oligarchic financial elite, the plundering of Russia's wealth, and more." ..."
"... By the time Putin came to power in 2000, Cohen says, "some 75% of Russians were living in poverty." 75%! Millions and millions of Russian lives were destroyed by the American welcoming of Russia into the global economic community. ..."
"... But before Putin came to power, there was more Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin was a necessity for Clinton and the United States because Yeltsin was the pliable puppet who would continue to enforce the cruel economic transition. But to continue the interference in, and betrayal of, the Russian people economically, it would now be necessary to interfere in and betray the Russian democracy. ..."
"... Intoxicated with American support, Yeltsin dissolved the parliament that had rescinded his powers and abolished the constitution of which he was in violation. In a 636-2 vote, the Russian parliament impeached Yeltsin. But, President Clinton again sided with Yeltsin against the Russian people and the Russian law, backed him and gave him $2.5 billion in aid. Clinton was blocking the Russian people's choice of leaders. ..."
"... "Funded by the US government," Cohen reports, Americans "gave money to favored Russian politicians, instructed ministers, drafted legislation and presidential decrees, underwrote textbooks, and served at Yeltsin's reelection headquarters in 1996." ..."
"... Asserting its right as the unipolar victor of a Cold War it never won, betraying the central promise of the negotiated end of the cold war by engulfing Russia's neighbors, arming those nations against its written and signed word and stealing all Russian hope in capitalism and democracy by kidnapping and torturing Russian capitalism and democracy, the roots of the new cold war were not planted by Russian lies and aggression, as the doctrinal Western version teaches, but by the American lies and aggression that the fact checked, demythologized version of history reveals. ..."
Sep 09, 2019 | original.antiwar.com

When Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev received his peace prize in 1990, the Nobel Prize committee declared that "the two mighty power blocs, have managed to abandon their life-threatening confrontation" and confidently expressed that "It is our hope that we are now celebrating the end of the Cold War." Recently, U.N. General Secretary António Guterres funereally closed the celebrations with the realization that "The Cold War is back."

In a very short span of history, the window that had finally opened for Russia and the United States to build a new international system in which they work cooperatively to address areas of common interest had slammed back closed. How was that historic opportunity wasted? Why was the road from the Nobel committee's hope to the UN's eulogy such a short one?

The doctrinal narrative that is told in the U.S. is the narrative of a very short road whose every turn was signposted by Russian lies, betrayal, deception and aggression. The American telling of history is a tale in which every blow to the new peace was a Russian blow. The fact checked version offers a demythologized history that is unrecognizably different. The demythologized version is also a history of lies, betrayal, deception and aggression, but the liar, the aggressor, is not primarily Russia, but America. It is the history of a promise so historically broken that it laid the foundation of a new cold war.

But it was not the first promise the United States broke: it was not even the first promise they broke in the new cold war.

The Hot War

Most histories of the cold war begin at the dawn of the post World War II period. But the history of U.S-U.S.S.R. animosity starts long before that: it starts as soon as possible, and it was hot long before it turned cold.

The label "Red Scare" first appeared, not in the 1940s or 50s, but in 1919. Though it is a chapter seldom included in the history of American-Russian relations, America actively and aggressively intervened in the Russian civil war in an attempt to push the Communists back down. The United States cooperated with anti-Bolshevik forces: by mid 1918, President Woodrow Wilson had sent 13,000 American troops to Soviet soil. They would remain there for two years, killing and injuring thousands. Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev would later remind America of "the time you sent your troops to quell the revolution." Churchill would record for history the admission that the West "shot Soviet Russians on sight," that they were "invaders on Russian soil," that "[t]hey armed the enemies of the Soviet government," that "[t]hey blockaded its ports, and sunk its battleships. They earnestly desired and schemed for its downfall."

When the cause was lost, and the Bolsheviks secured power, most western countries refused to recognize the communist government. However, realism prevailed, and within a few short years, by the mid 1920s, most countries had recognized the communist government and restored diplomatic relations. All but the US It was not until several years later that Franklin D. Roosevelt finally recognized the Soviet government in 1933.

The Cold War

It would be a very short time before the diplomatic relations that followed the hot war would be followed by a cold war. It might even be possible to pin the beginning of the cold war down to a specific date. On April 22 and 23, President Truman told Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov to "Carry out his agreement" and establish a new, free, independent government in Poland as promised at Yalta. Molotov was stunned. He was stunned because it was not he that was breaking the agreement because that was not what Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin had agreed to at Yalta. The final wording of the Yalta agreement never mentioned replacing Soviet control of Poland.

The agreement that Roosevelt revealed to congress and shared with the world – the one that still dominates the textbook accounts and the media stories – is not the one he secretly shook on with Stalin. Roosevelt lied to congress and the American people. Then he lied to Stalin.

In exchange for Soviet support for the creation of the United Nations, Roosevelt secretly agreed to Soviet predominance in Poland and Eastern Europe. The cold war story that the Soviet Union marched into Eastern Europe and stole it for itself is a lie: Roosevelt handed it to them.

So did Churchill. If Roosevelt's motivation was getting the UN, Churchill's was getting Greece. Fearing that the Soviet Union would invade India and the oil fields of Iran, Churchill saw Greece as the geographical roadblock and determined to hold on to it at all cost. The cost, it turned out, was Romania. Churchill would give Stalin Romania to protect his borders; Stalin would give Churchill Greece to protect his empire's borders. The deal was sealed on October 9, 1944.

Churchill says that in their secret meeting, he asked Stalin, "how would it do for you to have ninety percent predominance in Romania, for us to have ninety percent predominance in Greece? . . ." He then went on to offer a fifty-fifty power split in in Yugoslavia and Hungary and to offer the Soviets seventy-five percent control of Bulgaria. The exact conversation may never have happened, according to the political record, but Churchill's account captures the spirit and certainly captures the secret agreement.

Contrary to the official narrative, Stalin never betrayed the west and stole Eastern Europe: Poland, Romania and the rest were given to him in secret. Then Roosevelt lied to congress and to the world.

That American lie raised the curtain on the cold war.

The New Cold War

Like the Cold War, the new cold war was triggered by an American lie. It was a lie so duplicitous, so all encompassing, that it would lead many Russians to see the agreement that ended the cold war as a devastating and humiliating deception that was really intended to clear the way for the US to surround and finally defeat the Soviet Union. It was a lie that tilled the soil for all future "Russian aggression."

At the close of the cold war, at a meeting held on February 9, 1990, George H.W. Bush's Secretary of State, James Baker, promised Gorbachev that if NATO got Germany and Russia pulled its troops out of East Germany, NATO would not expand east of Germany and engulf the former Soviet states. Gorbachev records in his memoirs that he agreed to Baker's terms "with the guarantee that NATO jurisdiction or troops would not extend east of the current line." In Super-power Illusions , Jack F. Matlock Jr., who was the American ambassador to Russia at the time and was present at the meeting, confirms Gorbachev's account, saying that it "coincides with my notes of the conversation except that mine indicate that Baker added "not one inch." Matlock adds that Gorbachev was assured that NATO would not move into Eastern Europe as the Warsaw Pact moved out, that "the understanding at Malta [was] that the United States would not 'take advantage' of a Soviet military withdrawal from Eastern Europe." At the February 9 meeting, Baker assured Gorbachev that "neither the President or I intend to extract any unilateral advantages from the processes that are taking place."

But the promise was not made just once, and it was not made just by the United States. The promise was made on two consecutive days: first by the Americans and then by West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. According to West German foreign ministry documents, on February 10, 1990, the day after James Baker's promise, West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher told his Soviet counterpart Eduard Shevardnadze "'For us . . . one thing is certain: NATO will not expand to the east.' And because the conversation revolved mainly around East Germany, Genscher added explicitly: 'As far as the non-expansion of NATO is concerned, this also applies in general.'"

A few days earlier, on January 31, 1990, Genscher had said in a major speech that there would not be "an expansion of NATO territory to the east, in other words, closer to the borders of the Soviet Union."

Gorbachev says the promise was made not to expand NATO "as much as a thumb's width further to the east." Putin also says mourns the broken promise, asking at a conference in Munich in February 2007, "What happened to the assurances our Western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? Where are those declarations today? No one even remembers them."

Putin went on to remind his audience of the assurances by pointing out that the existence of the NATO promise is not just the perception of him and Gorbachev. It was also the view of the NATO General Secretary at the time: "But I will allow myself to remind this audience what was said. I would like to quote the speech of NATO General Secretary Mr. [Manfred] Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at the time that: 'The fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee.' Where are those guarantees?"

Recent scholarship supports the Russian version of the story. Russian expert and Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent, Richard Sakwa says that "[r]ecent studies demonstrate that the commitment not to enlarge NATO covered the whole former Soviet bloc and not just East Germany." And Stephen Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Politics at Princeton University and of Russian Studies and History at New York University, adds that the National Security Archive has now published the actual documents detailing what Gorbachev was promised. Published on December 12, 2017, the documents finally, and authoritatively, reveal that "The truth, and the promises broken, are much more expansive than previously known: all of the Western powers involved – the US, the UK, France, Germany itself – made the same promise to Gorbachev on multiple occasions and in various emphatic ways."

That key promise made to Gorbachev was shattered, first by President Clinton and then subsequently supported by every American President: NATO engulfed Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in 1999; Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in 2004, Albania and Croatia in 2009 and, most recently, Montenegro.

It was this shattered promise, this primal betrayal, this NATO expansion to Russia's borders that created the conditions and causes of future conflicts and aggressions. When, in 2008, NATO promised Georgia and Ukraine eventual membership, Russia saw the threat of NATO encroaching right to its borders. It is in Georgia and Ukraine that Russia felt it had to draw the line with NATO encroachment into its core sphere of influence. Sakwa says that the war in Georgia was "the first war to stop NATO enlargement; Ukraine was the second." What are often cited as acts of Russian aggression that helped maintain the new cold war are properly understood as acts of Russian defense against US aggression that made a lie out of the promise that ended the Cold War.

When Clinton decided to break Bush's promise and betray Russia, George Kennen, father of the containment policy, warned that NATO expansion would be "the most fateful error of American foreign policy in the entire post-cold-war era." "Such a decision," he prophesied, "may be expected to . . . restore the atmosphere of the cold war in East-West relations . . .."

The broken promise restored the cold war. Though it is the most significant root of the new cold war, it was not the first. There was a prior broken promise, and this time the man who betrayed Russia was President H.W. Bush.

The end of the Cold War resulted from negotiations and not from any sort of military victory. Stephen Cohen says that "Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush negotiated with the last Soviet Russian leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, what they said was the end of the Cold War on the shared, expressed premise that it was ending 'with no losers, only winners.'"

The end of the Cold War and the end of the Soviet Union occurred so closely chronologically that it permitted the American mythologizers to conflate them in the public imagination and create the doctrinal history in which the US defeat of the Soviet Union ended the cold war. But the US did not defeat the Soviet Union. Gorbachev brought about what Sakwa calls a "self-willed disintegration of the Soviet bloc." The Soviet Union came to an end, not by external force or pressure, but out of Gorbachev's recognition of the Soviet Union's own self interest. Matlock flatly states that "pressure from governments outside the Soviet Union, whether from America or Europe or anywhere else, had nothing to do with [the Soviet collapse]." "Cohen demythologizes the history by reinstating the chronological order: Gorbachev negotiated the end of the cold war "well before the disintegration of the Soviet Union." The Cold War officially ended well before the end of the Soviet Union with Gorbachev's December 7, 1988 address to the UN

Matlock says that "Gorbachev is right when he says that we all won the Cold War." He says that President Reagan would write in his notes, "Let there be no talk of winners and losers." When Gorbachev compelled the countries of the Warsaw Pact to adopt reforms like his perestroika in the Soviet Union and warmed them that the Soviet army would no longer be there to keep their communist regimes in power, Matlock points out in Superpower Illusions that "Bush assured Gorbachev that the United States would not claim victory if the Eastern Europeans were allowed to replace the Communist regimes that had been imposed on them." Both the reality and the promise were that there was no winner of the Cold War: it was a negotiated peace that was in the interest of both countries.

When in 1992, during his losing re-election campaign, President Bush arrogantly boasted that "We won the Cold War!" he broke his own promise to Gorbachev and helped plant the roots of the new cold war. "In psychological and political terms," Matlock says, "President Bush planted a landmine under the future U.S.-Russian relationship" when he broke his promise and made that claim.

Bush's broken promise had two significant effects. Psychologically, it created the appearance in the Russian psyche that Gorbachev had been tricked by America: it eroded trust in America and in the new peace. Politically, it created in the American psyche the false idea that Russia was a defeated country whose sphere of interest did not need to be considered. Both these perceptions contributed to the new cold war.

Not only was the broken promise of NATO expansion not the first broken American promise, it was also not the last. In 1997, when President Clinton made the decision to expand NATO much more than an inch to the east, he at least signed the Russia-NATO Founding Act , which explicitly promised that as NATO expanded east, there would be no "permanent stationing of substantial combat forces." This obliterated American promise planted the third root of the new cold war.

Since that third promise, NATO has, in the words of Stephen Cohen, built up its "permanent land, sea and air power near Russian territory, along with missile-defense installations." US and NATO weapons and troops have butted right up against Russia's borders, while anti-missile installations have surrounded it, leading to the feeling of betrayal in Russia and the fear of aggression. Among the earliest moves of the Trump administration were the moving of NATO troops into Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and nearby Norway.

Mikhail Gorbachev, who offered the West Russia and cooperation in place of the Soviet Union and Cold War, was rewarded with lies, broken promises and betrayal. That was the sowing of the first seeds of the new cold war. The second planting happened during the Yeltsin years that followed. During this stage, the Russian people were betrayed because their hopes for democracy and for an economic system compatible with the West were both destroyed by American intervention.

The goal, Matlock too gently explains, "had to be a shift of the bulk of the economy to private ownership." What transpired was what Naomi Klein called in The Shock Doctrine "one of the greatest crimes committed against a democracy in modern history." The States allowed no gradual transition. Matlock says the "Western experts advised a clean break with the past and a transition to private ownership without delay." But there was no legitimate private capital coming out of the communist system, so there was no private money with which to privatize. So, there was only one place for the money to come. As Matlock explains, the urgent transition allowed "privileged insiders[to] join the criminals who had been running a black market [and to] steal what they could, as fast as they could." The sudden, uncompromising transition imposed on Russia by the United States enabled, according to Cohen, "a small group of Kremlin-connected oligarchs to plunder Russia's richest assets and abet the plunging of some two-thirds of its people into poverty and misery."

The rape of Russia was funded, overseen and ordered by the United States and handed over by President George H.W. Bush to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Much of their advice, Matlock says generously, "was not only useless, but sometimes actually damaging."

Sometimes damaging? In the first year, millions lost their entire life savings. Subsidy cuts meant that many Russians didn't get paid at all. Klein says that by 1992, Russians were consuming 40% less than they were the year before, and one third of them had suddenly sunk below the poverty line. The economic policies wrestled onto Russia by the US and the transition experts and international development experts it funded and sent over led to, what Cohen calls, "the near ruination of Russia." Russia's reward for ending the Cold War and joining the Western economic community was, in Cohen's words, "the worst economic depression in peacetime, the disintegration of the highly professionalized Soviet middle class, mass poverty, plunging life expectancy [for men, it had fallen below sixty], the fostering of an oligarchic financial elite, the plundering of Russia's wealth, and more."

By the time Putin came to power in 2000, Cohen says, "some 75% of Russians were living in poverty." 75%! Millions and millions of Russian lives were destroyed by the American welcoming of Russia into the global economic community.

But before Putin came to power, there was more Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin was a necessity for Clinton and the United States because Yeltsin was the pliable puppet who would continue to enforce the cruel economic transition. But to continue the interference in, and betrayal of, the Russian people economically, it would now be necessary to interfere in and betray the Russian democracy.

In late 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin won a year of special powers from the Russian Parliament: for one year, he was to be, in effect, the dictator of Russia to facilitate the midwifery of the birth of a democratic Russia. In March of 1992, under pressure from the, by now, impoverished, devastated and discontented population, parliament repealed the dictatorial powers it had granted him. Yeltsin responded by declaring a state of emergency, re-bestowing upon himself the repealed dictatorial powers. Russia's Constitutional Court ruled that Yeltsin was acting outside the constitution. But the US sided – against the Russian people and against the Russian Constitutional Court – with Yeltsin.

Intoxicated with American support, Yeltsin dissolved the parliament that had rescinded his powers and abolished the constitution of which he was in violation. In a 636-2 vote, the Russian parliament impeached Yeltsin. But, President Clinton again sided with Yeltsin against the Russian people and the Russian law, backed him and gave him $2.5 billion in aid. Clinton was blocking the Russian people's choice of leaders.

Yeltsin took the money and sent police officers and elite paratroopers to surround the parliament building. Clinton "praised the Russian President has (sic) having done 'quite well' in managing the standoff with the Russian Parliament," as The New York Times reported at the time. Clinton added that he thought "the United States and the free world ought to hang in there" with their support of Yeltsin against his people, their constitution and their courts, and judged Yeltsin to be "on the right side of history."

On the right side of history and armed with machine guns and tanks, in October 1993, Yeltsin's troops opened fire on the crowd of protesters, killing about 100 people before setting the Russian parliament building on fire. By the time the day was over, Yeltsin's troops had killed approximately 500 people and wounded nearly 1,000. Still, Clinton stood with Yeltsin. He provided ludicrous cover for Yeltsin's massacre , claiming that "I don't see that he had any choice . If such a thing happened in the United States, you would have expected me to take tough action against it." Clinton's Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, said that the US supported Yeltsin's suspension of parliament in these "extraordinary times."

In 1996, elections were looming, and America's hegemonic dreams still needed Yeltsin in power. But it wasn't going to happen without help. Yeltsin's popularity was nonexistent, and his approval rating was at about 6%. According to Cohen, Clinton's interference in Russian politics, his "crusade" to "reform Russia," had by now become official policy . And so, America boldly interfered directly in Russian elections . Three American political consultants, receiving "direct assistance from Bill Clinton's White House," secretly ran Yeltsin's reelection campaign. As Time magazine broke the story , "For four months, a group of American political consultants clandestinely participated in guiding Yeltsin's campaign."

"Funded by the US government," Cohen reports, Americans "gave money to favored Russian politicians, instructed ministers, drafted legislation and presidential decrees, underwrote textbooks, and served at Yeltsin's reelection headquarters in 1996."

More incriminating still is that Richard Dresner, one of the three American consultants, maintained a direct line to Clinton's Chief Strategist, Dick Morris. According to reporting by Sean Guillory , in his book, Behind the Oval Office , Morris says that, with Clinton's approval, he received weekly briefings from Dresner that he would give to Clinton. Based on those briefings, Clinton would then provide recommendations to Dresner through Morris.

Then ambassador to Russia, Thomas Pickering, even pressured an opposing candidate to drop out of the election to improve Yeltsin's odds of winning.

The US not only helped run Yeltsin's campaign, they helped pay for it. The US backed a $10.2 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan for Russia, the second-biggest loan the IMF had ever given. The New York Times reported that the loan was "expected to be helpful to President Boris N. Yeltsin in the presidential election in June." The Times explained that the loan was "a vote of confidence" for Yeltsin who "has been lagging well behind in opinion polls" and added that the US Treasury Secretary "welcomed the fund's decision."

Yeltsin won the election by 13%, and Time magazine's cover declared: "Yanks to the rescue: The secret story of how American advisers helped Yeltsin win". Cohen reports that the US ambassador to Russia boasted that "without our leadership we would see a considerably different Russia today." That's a confession of election interference.

Asserting its right as the unipolar victor of a Cold War it never won, betraying the central promise of the negotiated end of the cold war by engulfing Russia's neighbors, arming those nations against its written and signed word and stealing all Russian hope in capitalism and democracy by kidnapping and torturing Russian capitalism and democracy, the roots of the new cold war were not planted by Russian lies and aggression, as the doctrinal Western version teaches, but by the American lies and aggression that the fact checked, demythologized version of history reveals.

Ted Snider writes on analyzing patterns in US foreign policy and history.

[Sep 15, 2019] USA foreign policy since 70th was controlled by neocons who as a typical Trotskyites (neoliberalism is actually Trotskyism for the rich) were/are hell-bent of world domination and practice gangster capitalism in foreign policy

The USA might eventually pay the price for the economic rape and alienation of Russia by criminal Clinton and his coterie
Notable quotes:
"... Madeline "not so bright" Allbright was the first swan. As well as Clinton attempts to bankrupt and subdue Russia and criminal (in a sense of no permission from the UN) attack on Yugoslavia. Both backfired: Russia became permanently hostile. The fact he and his coterie were not yet tried by something like Nuremberg tribunal is only due to the USA dominance at this stage of history. ..."
"... The truth is that after the dissolution of the USSR the USA foreign policy became completely unhinged. And inside the country the elite became cannibalistic, as there was no external threat to its dominance in the form of the USSR. ..."
"... Still as an imperial state and the center of neoliberal empire the USA relies more on financial instruments and neoliberal comprador elite inside the country. ..."
Sep 15, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

likbez -> anne... , September 14, 2019 at 08:30 PM

"The US served as a benevolent hegemon, administering the occasional rap on the knuckles to those acting in bad faith"

USA foreign policy since 70th was controlled by neocons who as a typical Trotskyites (neoliberalism is actually Trotskyism for the rich) were/are hell-bent of world domination and practice gangster capitalism in foreign policy.

Bolton attitude to UN is very symptomatic for the neocons as a whole.

Madeline "not so bright" Allbright was the first swan. As well as Clinton attempts to bankrupt and subdue Russia and criminal (in a sense of no permission from the UN) attack on Yugoslavia. Both backfired: Russia became permanently hostile. The fact he and his coterie were not yet tried by something like Nuremberg tribunal is only due to the USA dominance at this stage of history.

The truth is that after the dissolution of the USSR the USA foreign policy became completely unhinged. And inside the country the elite became cannibalistic, as there was no external threat to its dominance in the form of the USSR.

The USA stated to behave like a typical Imperial state (New Rome, or, more correctly, London) accepting no rules/laws that are not written by themselves (and when it is convenient to obey them) with the only difference from the classic imperial states that the hegemony it not based on the military presence/occupation ( like was the case with British empire)

Although this is not completely true as there are 761 US Military Bases across the planet and only 46 Countries with no US military presence. Of them, seven countries with 13 New Military Bases were added since 09/11/2001.In 2001 the US had a quarter million troops posted abroad.

Still as an imperial state and the center of neoliberal empire the USA relies more on financial instruments and neoliberal comprador elite inside the country.

I recently learned from https://akarlin.com/2010/04/on-liberasts-and-liberasty/ that the derogatory term for the neoliberal part of the Russian elite is "liberasts" and this term gradually slipping into English language ( http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/liberast ;-)

With the collapse of neoliberal ideology in 2008 the USA centered neoliberal empire experiences first cracks. Brexit and election of Trump widened the cracks in a sense of further legitimizing the ruling neoliberal elite (big middle finger for Hillary was addressed to the elite as whole)

If oil price exceed $100 per barrel there will yet another crack or even repetition of the 2008 Great Recession on a new level (although we may argue that the Great Recession never ended and just entered in Summers terms "permanent stagnation: phase)

Although currently with a bully at the helm the USA empire still going strong in forcing vassals and competitors to reconsider their desire to challenge the USA that situation will not last. Trump currently is trying to neutralize the treat from China by rejecting classic neoliberal globalization mechanism as well as signed treaties like WTO. He might be successful in the short run but in the "long run" that undermines the USA centered neoliberal empire and speed up its demise. .

In the long run the future does not look too bright as crimes committed by the USA during triumphal period of neoliberalism hangs like albatross around the USA neck.

EU now definitely wants to play its own game as Macron recently stated and which Merkel tacitly supports. If EU allies with Russia it will became No.1 force in the world with the USA No. 2. With severe consequences for the USA.

If Russia allied with China the USA Np.1 position will hinge of keeping EU vassals in check and NATO in place. Without them it will became No.2 with fatal consequences for the dollar as world reserve currency and sudden change of the USA financial position due to the level of external debt and requires devaluation of the dollar.

Looks like 75 year after WWII the world started to self-organize a countervailing force trying to tame the USA with some interest expressed by such players as EU, Russia, China, India, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and even Saudi Arabia. As well as ( in the past; and possibly in the future as neoliberal counterrevolutions in both countries probably will end badly) by Brazil and Argentina.

Only Canada, Australia and probably UK can be counted as the reliable parts of the USA empire. That's not much.

[Sep 13, 2019] Something to thank Russians for

Sep 13, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Robert McGregor , September 13, 2019 at 3:43 pm

I'm no fan of Trump, but I would like to see a comparison of the total "US instigated foreign fatalities" for his last 2 & 1/2 years compared with Obama's last 2 & 1/2 years, and what we guess the number would have been under Hillary. I'm sorry, but I think Trump's number would be the lowest. In coming up with an explanation, I like to use the "Reality Show Entertainment Value" theory which many have described. In this case, people like to watch Trump bullshitting and freaking out the establishment, but they really don't like watching dead bodies burn up or be carried away in body bags. That reality is not attractive entertainment, despite the fantasy of it being bankable entertainment when Tarantino flame throws a teenager at the end of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood."

Obama and Hillary are not "reality TV fans." They are more immersed in their megalomaniac view of themselves as world actors, and will willfully kill a few hundred thousand if they think it advances their misguided objectives.

Jonathan Holland Becnel , September 13, 2019 at 4:07 pm

Whoa there, buddy.

Spoiler alert.

-Tarantino fan :)

P.S. 'It 2' is def one of the best movies of the year. Still need to see Parasite and the Joker.

Punxsutawney , September 13, 2019 at 7:21 pm

Well, the "Liberal" excuse for this is that Putin is controlling him. Well if so, that's one thing to thank the Russians for.

[Sep 13, 2019] Trump the Russian Puppet. A Story That Just Will Not Die -- Strategic Culture

RussiaGate serves several very useful political purposes. First and foremost it supports exorbitant financing of MIC at the expense of everybody else, and as such it will not be abandoned, facts be dammed. In this sense Philip Giraldi is right. BTW intelligence agencies are apart of MIc and they (and first of all Brennan's faction of CIA and FBI (counterintelligence)) are the main force in RussiaGate. US government also was instrumental for the same reasons: for them maintaning EU hostility to Russia and preventing alliance of Russia and Germany is the ancient geopolitical goal, the goal which contributed to flaring two world wars.
But in view of Trump appointment of a war criminal and rabid warmonger Bolton as well as his track record of incompetence and impulsivity one can feel some sympathy to those who try to impeach Trump ;-)
Sep 13, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org
Philip Giraldi September 12, 2019 © Photo: Wikimedia Certainly, there are many things that President Donald Trump can rightly be criticized for, but it is interesting to note how the media and chattering classes continue to be in the grip of the highly emotional but ultimately irrational "Trump derangement syndrome (TDS)." TDS means that even the most ridiculous claims about Trump behavior can be regurgitated by someone like Jake Tapper or Rachel Maddow without anyone in the media even daring to observe that they are both professional dissemblers of truth who lie regularly to enhance their professional resumes.

There are two persistent bogus narratives about Donald Trump that are, in fact, related. The first is that his campaign and transition teams collaborated with the Russian government to defeat Hillary Clinton. Even Robert Mueller, he of the famous fact-finding commission, had to admit that that was not demonstrable. The only government that succeeded in collaborating with the incoming Trumpsters was that of Israel, but Mueller forgot to mention that or even look into it.

Nevertheless, Russia as a major contributing element in the Trump victory continues to be cited in the mainstream media, seemingly whenever Trump is mentioned, as if it were demonstrated fact. The fact is that whatever Russia did was miniscule and did not in any way alter the outcome of the election. Similarly, allegations that the Kremlin will again be at it in 2020 are essentially baseless fearmongering and are a reflection of the TDS desire to see the president constantly diminished in any way possible.

The other narrative that will not die is the suggestion that Donald Trump is either a Russian spy or is in some other, possibly psychological fashion, controlled by Russian President Vladimir Putin. That spy story was first floated by several former senior CIA officers who were closely tied to the Hillary Clinton campaign, apparently because they believed they would benefit materially if she were elected.

Former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell was the most aggressive promoter of Trump as Russian spy narrative. In August 2016, he wrote a New York Times op-ed entitled "I Ran the CIA. Now I'm endorsing Hillary Clinton." Morell's story began with the flat assertion that "Mrs. Clinton is highly qualified to be commander in chief. I trust she will deliver on the most important duty of a president – keeping our nation safe Donald J. Trump is not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security."

In his op-ed, Morell ran through the litany of then GOP candidate Trump's observed personality and character failings while also citing his lack of experience, but he delivered what he thought to be his most crushing blow when he introduced Vladimir Putin into the discussion. Putin, it seems, a wily ex-career intelligence officer, is "trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump's vulnerabilities In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

How can one be both unwitting and a recruited agent? Some might roll their eyes at that bit of hyperbole, but Morell, who was a top analyst at the Agency but never acquired or ran an actual spy in his entire career, goes on to explain how Moscow is some kind of eternal enemy. For Morell that meant that Trump's often stated willingness to work with Putin and the nuclear armed state he headed was somehow the act of a Manchurian Candidate, seen by Morell as a Russian interest, not an American one. So much for the presumed insider knowledge that came from the man who "ran the CIA."

The most recent "former intelligence agents'" blast against Trump appeared in the Business Insider last month in an article entitled "US spies say Trump's G7 performance suggests he's either a 'Russian asset' or a 'useful idiot' for Putin." The article cites a number of former government officials, including several from the CIA and FBI, who claimed that Trump's participation at the recent G7 summit in Biarritz France was marked by pandering to Putin and the Kremlin's interests, including a push to re-include Russia in the G-7, from which it was expelled after the annexation of Crimea.

One current anonymous FBI source cited in the article described the Trump performance as a "new low," while a former senior Justice Department official, labeled Trump's behavior as "directly out of the Putin playbook. We have a Russian asset sitting in the Oval Office." An ex-CIA officer speculated that the president's "intent and odd personal fascination with President Putin is worth serious scrutiny," concluding that the evidence is "overwhelming" that Trump is a Russian asset, while other CIA and NSA veterans suggested that Trump might be flattering Putin in exchange for future business concessions in Moscow.

Another recently retired FBI special agent opined that Trump was little more than "useful idiot" for the Russians, though he added that it would not surprise him if there were also Russian spies in Trump's inner circle.

The comments in the article are almost incoherent. They come from carefully selected current and former government employees who suffer from an excess of TDS, or possibly pathological paranoia, and hate the president for various reasons. What they are suggesting is little more than speculation and not one of them was able to cite any actual evidence to support their contentions. And, on the contrary, there is considerable evidence that points the other way. The US-Russia relationship is at its lowest point ever according to some observers and that has all been due to policies promoted by the Trump Administration to include the continuing threats over Crimea, sanctions against numerous Russian officials, abrogation of existing arms treaties, and the expansion of aggressive NATO activity right up to the borders with Russia.

Just this past week, the United States warned Russia against continuing its aerial support for the Syrian Army advance to eliminate the last major terrorist pocket in Idlib province. Once against, Washington is operating on the side of terrorists in Syria and against Russia, a conflict that the United States entered into illegally in the first place. Either Donald Trump acting as "the Russian agent" actually thinks threatening a Moscow that is pursuing its legitimate interests is a good idea or the labeling of the president as a "Putin puppet" or "useful idiot" is seriously misguided.

[Sep 13, 2019] The War in Eastern Ukraine May be Coming to an End But Do Any Americans Care? by Jeremy Kuzmaro

Ukraine is mainly the result of attempt of the USA to encircle Russia well as EU design for economic Drang nach Osten -- attempt to displace Russia in xUSSR republics.
So they pushed Ukraine into the pat that Baltic republic were already known for.
Notable quotes:
"... Ukraine's newly elected comedian president Volodymyr Zelensky called the prisoner exchange a "first step" in ending the war in Eastern Ukraine, which has killed an estimated 13,000 civilians. ..."
"... In a subsequent referendum, 89% in Donetsk and 96% in Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine voted for independence, which the new government of Petro Poroshenko government did not accept. ..."
"... She told U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in a telephone conversation that was tapped and later leaked that Arseniy Yatsenyuk, neoliberal head of the "Fatherland" Party, should be Prime Minister as he was thought to have the "economic" and "governing experience." ..."
"... Nuland further revealed that the U.S. had invested over $5 billion in "democracy promotion" in Ukraine since 1991 through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which was carrying on the kind of work previously undertaken by the CIA during the Cold War. ..."
"... NED president Carl Gershman called Ukraine "the biggest prize" and an important interim step towards toppling [Russian President Vladimir] Putin who "may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself." ..."
"... To help achieve this end, the Obama administration pledged $1 billion in loan guarantees to the post-coup government in Ukraine, which Putin considered as the "ideological heirs of [Stephen] Bandera, Hitler's accomplice in World War II." ..."
"... Swayed by a slick lobbying campaign backed by supporters of the Afghan mujahidin in the 1980s looking for a new cause and by the Senate's Ukraine Caucus, the Obama administration further provided nearly $600 million in security assistance to the Ukrainian military. ..."
"... American military advisers embedded in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry provided rocket propelled grenades, carried out training exercises and planned military operations including with members of the fascist Azov battalion, which had Nazi-inspired Wolfsangel patches emblazoned on their sleeves. ..."
Sep 13, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

On Saturday September 7, Russia and Ukraine agreed to a prisoner swap which has brought hope of improved relations between the two countries and an end to the 5-year long conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

A peace accord is being planned for later this month in Normandy involving Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany.

Ukraine's newly elected comedian president Volodymyr Zelensky called the prisoner exchange a "first step" in ending the war in Eastern Ukraine, which has killed an estimated 13,000 civilians.

The Ukraine War remains largely unknown to the American public even though the United States has had a great stake in it.

The war started after a coup d'états in Ukraine in February 2014, which overthrew the democratically elected pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovuch.

In a subsequent referendum, 89% in Donetsk and 96% in Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine voted for independence, which the new government of Petro Poroshenko government did not accept.

The United States was a heavy backer of the coup and dirty war that unfolded in the East.

Victoria Nuland, the head of the State Department's European desk, traveled to Ukraine three times during the protests that triggered the coup, handing out cookies to demonstrators.

She told U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in a telephone conversation that was tapped and later leaked that Arseniy Yatsenyuk, neoliberal head of the "Fatherland" Party, should be Prime Minister as he was thought to have the "economic" and "governing experience."

Nuland further revealed that the U.S. had invested over $5 billion in "democracy promotion" in Ukraine since 1991 through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which was carrying on the kind of work previously undertaken by the CIA during the Cold War.

Ukraine has long been considered an important bridge between Eastern and Western Europe and holds lucrative oil and gas deposits.

NED president Carl Gershman called Ukraine "the biggest prize" and an important interim step towards toppling [Russian President Vladimir] Putin who "may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself."

To help achieve this end, the Obama administration pledged $1 billion in loan guarantees to the post-coup government in Ukraine, which Putin considered as the "ideological heirs of [Stephen] Bandera, Hitler's accomplice in World War II."

Swayed by a slick lobbying campaign backed by supporters of the Afghan mujahidin in the 1980s looking for a new cause and by the Senate's Ukraine Caucus, the Obama administration further provided nearly $600 million in security assistance to the Ukrainian military.

It was supplied with counter-artillery radars, anti-tank systems, armored vehicles and drones in a policy expanded upon by Trump.

Before and after the Ukrainian military's campaign began, Secretary of State John Kerry, CIA Director John Brennan, and Vice President Joe Biden visited Kiev, followed by a flow of senior Pentagon officials.

A back-door arms pipeline was set up through the United Arab Emirates and Blackwater mercenaries were allegedly deployed.

American military advisers embedded in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry provided rocket propelled grenades, carried out training exercises and planned military operations including with members of the fascist Azov battalion, which had Nazi-inspired Wolfsangel patches emblazoned on their sleeves.

Obama's National Security adviser, Samantha Power, claimed that the [Ukrainian] governments "response [to alleged provocations by eastern rebels] [was] reasonable, it is proportional, and frankly it is what any of our countries would have done."

The Ukrainian military and allied warlord and neo-Nazi militias were not acting reasonably or proportionally, however, when they carried out artillery and air attacks on cities and struck residential buildings, shopping malls, parks, schools, hospitals and orphanages in Eastern Ukraine, and tortured and executed POWs in what amounted to clear war crimes.

NYU Professor Stephen Cohen notes that even The New York Times , which mainly deleted atrocities from its coverage, described survivors in Slovyansk living "as if in the Middle Ages."

That the American public knows nothing of these events is a sad reflection of the superficiality of our media and decline in the quality of international news coverage.

It is also a testament to the failing of the political left, which has embraced the cause of immigrant and Palestinian rights and fighting climate change, legitimately, but neglected the plight of the Eastern Ukrainian people. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jeremy Kuzmarov

Jeremy Kuzmarov is the author of The Russians are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce (Monthly Review Press, 2018).

[Sep 13, 2019] Since resigning his post, Mattis has burst through the "revolving door" of the arms industry, reclaiming his seat on the board of the fifth largest defense contractor, General Dynamics

Sep 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Thanks to Mattis and company, Trump's purported desire to withdraw from fruitless Middle Eastern wars has been stifled, the result being business as usual for the military-industrial-complex and national security state. And why not? Since resigning his post, Mattis has burst through the "revolving door" of the arms industry, reclaiming his seat on the board of the fifth largest defense contractor, General Dynamics. Albert Einstein famously (and perhaps apocryphally) said , "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." He might just as easily have been describing the career of James Mattis, who has been proven wrong again and again and again, from Iraq to Afghanistan to Syria.

... ... ...


Mpizzie , 15 seconds ago link

Maybe the emperor has no clothes.

Still an amazing commander.

Peon14 , 1 minute ago link

Why is the US in Afghanistan? So the CIA can make a ton of money in the Heroin trade.

Duc888 , 45 seconds ago link

Never forget the CIA partnership with the money laundering of the Central Banks. The CB's are just as complicit and facilitate the money laundering.

uhland62 , 2 minutes ago link

You have to be mad to let them rope you into that system for so long and so deep. Go and join up, shoot a few people so you have something to brag about in the pub, but leave early so the killing frenzies do not define you.

Tribalism is what he calls it? It's the minions pushing back America's policies and monopolies. Costly for Americans, deadly slavery for others!

PaulHolland , 3 minutes ago link

Mattis also refused to shake the hand of the Russia defense minister when they crossed paths somewhere. What a weak ******* coward.

[Sep 12, 2019] Dances With Bears: MARK GALEOTTI IS A FACT FAKER HIS BOOK ON RUSSIAN CRIME IS A HATE CRIME, A WAR CRIME

Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al September 9, 2019 at 9:14 am

I only mentioned Mark 'Gerasimov' Galeotti recently linked to a MT source one of you posted and hey, presto

Dances With Bears: MARK GALEOTTI IS A FACT FAKER – HIS BOOK ON RUSSIAN CRIME IS A HATE CRIME, A WAR CRIME
http://johnhelmer.net/mark-galeotti-is-a-fact-faker-his-book-on-russian-crime-is-a-hate-crime-a-war-crime/

Repeating lies over and over makes old-fashioned Joseph Goebbels-type propaganda. Repeating lies, then contradicting them; moving them from one government-paid think-tank to another; footnoting a new lie to an older version; quoting policemen and gangsters saying fatuities; adding slang and the words of pop songs -- this is still Goebbels-type but stretched out and product-diversified to make its author more money. This is Mark Galeotti's method .
####

The rest at the link and a deep dive on Galeotti himself.

[Sep 12, 2019] Russia has no net public debt left

Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile September 9, 2019 at 8:57 pm

У России не осталось чистого государственного долга
06:54 10.09.2019 (обновлено: 07:26 10.09.2019)

Russia has no net public debt left
06:54 09/10/2019 (updated: 07:26 09/10/2019)

MOSCOW, Sep 10 – RIA News. The net public debt of Russia has become negative for the first time since the introduction of the first sanctions for the annexation of the Crimea and the fall in oil prices in 2014, RBC writes, with reference to Ministry of Finance and Central Bank data.

As of August 1, the volume of public debt of the federal government, regions and municipalities, including state guarantees for enterprise loans, amounted to 16.2 trillion rubles.

At the same time, the liquid assets of the state – federal authorities, regions and extrabudgetary state funds – totalled 17.6 trillion ruble son the same date.

Thus, in the widest sense, the public debt since mid-2019 has become less than the liquid assets of the "expanded government", the publication indicates.

As noted, this has became possible owing to record reserves that have fully covered the state debt. That is to say, if Russia needed to immediately pay off all existing debts, this could be done at the expense of only government deposits with the Central Bank and commercial banks.

As the Minister of Economic Development, Maxim Oreshkin, emphasized, "what has been done in Russian macroeconomics from 2014 to 2019 will definitely fall into the textbooks", At the same time, the flip side of such a tough approach is the lack of fiscal incentives for economic development.

Over to you Bloomberg, WSJ, FT etc., etc!

Waddya say to that, arseholes?

And think on this, you happy folk of the Exceptional Nation who prosper ever onwards:

MOSCOW, 16 August 2019/ Radio Sputnik . Russia continues to reduce investments in US bonds in June, reducing their size to 10.8 billion dollars, the United States Ministry of Finance has reported.

According to Finance Department data, 5,296 billion dollars of this amount is for long-term securities and 5,552 billion are short – term.

For comparison, in may, the total amount was $ 12 billion.

As part of the de-dollarization course for Russia, other financial instruments are gaining importance: gold and investments in European and Asian securities, chief expert of FinEk agency Mikhail Belyaev said on Sputnik radio.

According to the economist, the instability of the US economy also contributes to the withdrawal of Russian assets from it.

[Sep 11, 2019] NYT tries to save Russiagate narrative using Smolenkov defection

Sep 11, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Some former intelligence officials said the president's closed-door meetings with Mr. Putin and other Russian officials , along with Twitter posts about delicate intelligence matters , have sown concern among overseas sources.

"We have a president who, unlike any other president in modern history, is willing to use sensitive, classified intelligence however he sees fit," said Steven L. Hall, a former C.I.A. official who led the agency's Russia operations. "He does it in front of our adversaries. He does it by tweet. We are in uncharted waters."

But the government had indicated that the source existed long before Mr. Trump took office, first in formally accusing Russia of interference in October 2016 and then when intelligence officials declassified parts of their assessment about the interference campaign for public release in January 2017. News agencies, including NBC , began reporting around that time about Mr. Putin's involvement in the election sabotage and on the C.I.A.'s possible sources for the assessment.

The following month, The Washington Post reported that the C.I.A.'s conclusions relied on "sourcing deep inside the Russian government." And The New York Times later published articles disclosing details about the source .

The news reporting in the spring and summer of 2017 convinced United States government officials that they had to update and revive their extraction plan, according to people familiar the matter.

The extraction ensured the informant was in a safer position and rewarded for a long career in service to the United States. But it came at a great cost: It left the C.I.A. struggling to understand what was going on inside the highest ranks of the Kremlin.

The agency has long struggled to recruit sources close to Mr. Putin, a former intelligence officer himself wary of C.I.A. operations. He confides in only a small group of people and has rigorous operational security, eschewing electronic communications.

James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence who left office at the end of the Obama administration, said he had no knowledge of the decision to conduct an extraction. But, he said, there was little doubt that revelations about the extraction were "going to make recruiting assets in Russia even more difficult than it already is." Correction : Sept. 10, 2019

An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to the timing of the initial reporting on the C.I.A.'s 2016 exfiltration offer to a Russian informant. An offer that appears to be the same one that The New York Times described was reported in 2018 in Bob Woodward's book "Fear."

[Sep 11, 2019] We don't really know WHY this spy was extracted. Anyone that believes that Russiagate was deliberately planned as part of the new Cold War is not surprised at yet another attempt to strengthen the nonexistent case for Russian meddling.

OK, lets' assume that neoliberal MSM are not lying. Then why Mueller did not include him in his report? He was already in the USA since June 2017. It is unclear when he was fired by russians.
Also as Smolenkov for a long time lived in the USA he knew very well what the USA wants and could lie with impunity trying to earn more money. In a way similar personality as Skripal.
Is the idea to create the second Skripals-style false poisoning hysteria to help to sustain RussiaGate?
Notable quotes:
"... The only way that he's the 'source' of the Steele fiction is if the whole thing was in the style of LeCarre's "The Tailor of Panama" where everyone is lying and inflating what they know and people at the top are paying out good money for this because it suits their little power games. But any Moscow tailor with a couple of important customers would be positioned to run that scam as well as an aide to an aide to a foreign minister. ..."
"... My personal guess, he made his money by the more typical corruption in Russia, which means he was working for an oligarch. He lost his job, possibly during one of Putin's anti-corruption cleanup campaigns. He decided to move to DC with his oligarch money because he'd served 10 years in the embassy there and he liked the area. He is buying property in his own name because he's not part of any sort of witness/spy protection program and nobody in the USG is setting him up with a fake identity. ..."
"... MoA's investigators have fairly well established that Skripal was the most likely contributor to the Steele Dossier given the overall web of established connections--that was most certainly an MI-6 operation in league with DNC/HRC officials, not CIA, although CIA was involved in Russiagate Cover-up. ..."
"... In examining Russia's foreign policy, where were the compromises generated by this alleged spy? Aside from the UNSC vote debacle on Libya ..."
"... A lot of commentators see the incongruence of this title and make jokes about it. Really,when a superpower becomes a source of jokes and ridicule, than the end might be nigh. ..."
"... We don't really know WHY this spy was extracted. Anyone that believes that Russiagate was deliberately planned as part of the new Cold War is not surprised at yet another attempt to strengthen the nonexistent case for Russian meddling. ..."
"... The first report in US Press about Putin personally involved was on Dec 14 2016 ..."
"... I don't think the exfiltration was the real source but someone to sacrifice, to protect the real source, who is working for Estonian intelligence. To me this seems like it is possibly Anton Vaino, Chief of Staff of the Kremlin since August 2016, Deputy Chief of Staff of Kremlin before that. This is not to say his info is accurate, but is in line with the foreign policy of Estonia to alienate everyone with Russia. ..."
"... Just out of curiosity, if what has been reported is true then what reason would Mueller have to exclude this from his report? The dude is proof of the Russia-did-it!! narrative. Check. The dude has already been extracted. Check. The Russians must have already noticed that he has done a runner. Check. ..."
"... What would stop Mueller from producing a one-paragraph report that starts with: "we know the following to be true because for the last decade everything that Putin did was being relayed to us by an aide to the foreign policy advisor to the Kremlin, since extracted and now living in the USA". ..."
"... Well, I just think Putin had more important things to think about than the charade that is now the US electoral process. Probably he felt (I'm guessing of course) that the whole Russiagate scenario was a desperate move to throw a curtain over the demise of American democracy that served his, Putin's, purposes very well because it kept the idiots busy while he shored up the badly leaking ship of his own state. ..."
"... And I go with Smiley@34 - no spy of even mediocre caliber would agree to being placed in such an exposed position under his own name, for crying out loud! ..."
"... It doesn't make sense that he would leave himself exposed if either in Russia or in the US he had undercover connections of this sort. Just doesn't make sense. But that he was the best the US operatives could come up with right now simply speaks to further deterioration of US ability to field persuasive stories. ..."
"... Putin hasn't had to worry about vendettas or showing corruption in American politics. Take a reliable poll. Who in the US thinks our politics ISN'T corrupt? ..."
"... We didn't need Putin, mastermind though he is, to 'create an image' of American unreliability. Was it Putin who reneged on so many treaties? Was it Putin who antagonized the Koreas? Was it Putin who set up the trade war with China? Was it Putin who threatened and sanctioned Russia, Iran, Venezuela? ..."
"... What can the Russians do to get ahead of the narrative on the likely impending demise of Smolenkov by novichok or polonium poisoning? ..."
"... The concern is about the three hundred million other Americans who are at least partially captured by the false narratives pumped out non-stop from their Plato's Cave displays. Is there anything that the Russians can do now to inoculate some Americans against the hard sell they will be facing when the corporate mass media ( Mighty Wurlitzer ) cranks up the multi-channel marketing campaign for the United States' own Skripal farce? ..."
Sep 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Smiley , Sep 10 2019 22:54 utc | 34

A point that appears to have missed by several is that an aide to an aide to the foreign minister is not likely to have access to Putin's super-top-secret plans to use a few thousand dollars worth of utube and twit ads to change the course of multi-billion dollar American election, nor would he have access to information that might be used to blackmail a potential foreign leader.

Both would be closely held secrets and apparently way above his pay grade. Often the FM wouldn't know of either, and both operations would be compartmentalized into a close team Putin can trust.

The only way that he's the 'source' of the Steele fiction is if the whole thing was in the style of LeCarre's "The Tailor of Panama" where everyone is lying and inflating what they know and people at the top are paying out good money for this because it suits their little power games. But any Moscow tailor with a couple of important customers would be positioned to run that scam as well as an aide to an aide to a foreign minister.

My personal guess, he made his money by the more typical corruption in Russia, which means he was working for an oligarch. He lost his job, possibly during one of Putin's anti-corruption cleanup campaigns. He decided to move to DC with his oligarch money because he'd served 10 years in the embassy there and he liked the area. He is buying property in his own name because he's not part of any sort of witness/spy protection program and nobody in the USG is setting him up with a fake identity.


karlof1 , Sep 10 2019 23:11 utc | 36

Smiley @33&34--

House likely bought by CIA and annual upkeep--taxes etc.--also paid by them.

MoA's investigators have fairly well established that Skripal was the most likely contributor to the Steele Dossier given the overall web of established connections--that was most certainly an MI-6 operation in league with DNC/HRC officials, not CIA, although CIA was involved in Russiagate Cover-up.

In examining Russia's foreign policy, where were the compromises generated by this alleged spy? Aside from the UNSC vote debacle on Libya, I see nothing but a string of successes, although the Ukraine Coup wasn't debauched. IMO, Outlaw US Empire policy toward Russia has failed spectacularly, and it is within the US government where I'd expect to find well placed spies.

Smiley , Sep 10 2019 23:21 utc | 39
Here's a tough problem for a counter-intelligence agent. Find the source of info for a fictional report.

Normally, after a link, one avenue of investigation would be to check who had access to the leaked information. But, if the report is completely fictional, then there is no list of people who had access to information that didn't exist. Everyone or no one had equal access to the non-existent information.

The Tailor of Moscow had the same access to the non-existent information as did Putin's closest personal aide. Who done it?

willie , Sep 10 2019 23:30 utc | 40
Headline in le Figaro: Ingérence russe :la CIA disposait d'une source haut-placée au Kremlin (Russian collusion: CIA had high placed source at the Kremlin.)

A lot of commentators see the incongruence of this title and make jokes about it. Really,when a superpower becomes a source of jokes and ridicule, than the end might be nigh.

Jackrabbit , Sep 11 2019 0:30 utc | 41
Evidence-free accusations of Russian meddling. Now with extra sauce.

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

We don't really know WHY this spy was extracted. Anyone that believes that Russiagate was deliberately planned as part of the new Cold War is not surprised at yet another attempt to strengthen the nonexistent case for Russian meddling.

GoldmanKropotkin , Sep 11 2019 0:47 utc | 43
The first report in US Press about Putin personally involved was on Dec 14 2016.
Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.

Putin's objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a "vendetta" against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to "split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn't depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore," the official said.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-officials-putin-personally-involved-u-s-election-hack-n696146

Notice the source is spies working for US Allies. Remember that the NSA did not sign off on the Russian interference/hacking because they were concerned that too much critical info rested on intelligence from a single foreign country.

Sergei Skripal was not just an turncoat for UK he also worked for Estonian intelligence. It seems to me the poisoning fits better as an Estonian job, to keep relations in Europe with Russia in very bad shape. It's easy to say that the Russians wouldn't be so incompetent, also goes for the UK, which could have come up with something more compelling if they pre planned it as false flag.

Notice how we have some sources saying concern grew after the Trump Putin meeting, where supposedly Trump gave Isreali intelligence to Putin on Syria, I think they were concerned Trump would have no problem revealing a spy for another government, much like he was free with foreign intelligence.

I don't think the exfiltration was the real source but someone to sacrifice, to protect the real source, who is working for Estonian intelligence. To me this seems like it is possibly Anton Vaino, Chief of Staff of the Kremlin since August 2016, Deputy Chief of Staff of Kremlin before that. This is not to say his info is accurate, but is in line with the foreign policy of Estonia to alienate everyone with Russia.

Yeah, Right , Sep 11 2019 0:57 utc | 44
Just out of curiosity, if what has been reported is true then what reason would Mueller have to exclude this from his report? The dude is proof of the Russia-did-it!! narrative. Check. The dude has already been extracted. Check. The Russians must have already noticed that he has done a runner. Check.

What would stop Mueller from producing a one-paragraph report that starts with: "we know the following to be true because for the last decade everything that Putin did was being relayed to us by an aide to the foreign policy advisor to the Kremlin, since extracted and now living in the USA".

I mean, bit of a slam-dunk, don't you think?

juliania , Sep 11 2019 14:57 utc | 58

Well, I just think Putin had more important things to think about than the charade that is now the US electoral process. Probably he felt (I'm guessing of course) that the whole Russiagate scenario was a desperate move to throw a curtain over the demise of American democracy that served his, Putin's, purposes very well because it kept the idiots busy while he shored up the badly leaking ship of his own state.

And I go with Smiley@34 - no spy of even mediocre caliber would agree to being placed in such an exposed position under his own name, for crying out loud!

This was a guy who had big money stashed away, wanted to be in a place where rich guys are held in high esteem, planned his exit from a no-longer-friendly-to-rich-folk environment (if you had money in Russia these days, you should use it for the good of the country).

It doesn't make sense that he would leave himself exposed if either in Russia or in the US he had undercover connections of this sort. Just doesn't make sense. But that he was the best the US operatives could come up with right now simply speaks to further deterioration of US ability to field persuasive stories.

And this gave me some amusement:

Putin's objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a "vendetta" against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to "split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn't depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore," the official said. [Quote from Goldman Kropotkin@43]

Putin hasn't had to worry about vendettas or showing corruption in American politics. Take a reliable poll. Who in the US thinks our politics ISN'T corrupt?

juliania , Sep 11 2019 15:11 utc | 59
We didn't need Putin, mastermind though he is, to 'create an image' of American unreliability. Was it Putin who reneged on so many treaties? Was it Putin who antagonized the Koreas? Was it Putin who set up the trade war with China? Was it Putin who threatened and sanctioned Russia, Iran, Venezuela?

We, our leaders, masterminded it all. Sorry, Mr. Putin - you lose that enviable title. We own it.

William Gruff , Sep 11 2019 15:50 utc | 60

What can the Russians do to get ahead of the narrative on the likely impending demise of Smolenkov by novichok or polonium poisoning?

I know some here might say "Everyone would know it is a false flag if Smolenkov gets assassinated!" and that is certainly true if by "everyone" one means the regular readers here and at a few other analysis sites that are not controlled by the empire.

The concern is about the three hundred million other Americans who are at least partially captured by the false narratives pumped out non-stop from their Plato's Cave displays. Is there anything that the Russians can do now to inoculate some Americans against the hard sell they will be facing when the corporate mass media ( Mighty Wurlitzer ) cranks up the multi-channel marketing campaign for the United States' own Skripal farce?

[Sep 11, 2019] What can the Russians do to get ahead of the narrative on the likely impending demise of Smolenkov by novichok or polonium poisoning?

Sep 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Sep 11 2019 15:50 utc | 60

What can the Russians do to get ahead of the narrative on the likely impending demise of Smolenkov by novichok or polonium poisoning?

I know some here might say "Everyone would know it is a false flag if Smolenkov gets assassinated!" and that is certainly true if by "everyone" one means the regular readers here and at a few other analysis sites that are not controlled by the empire.

The concern is about the three hundred million other Americans who are at least partially captured by the false narratives pumped out non-stop from their Plato's Cave displays. Is there anything that the Russians can do now to inoculate some Americans against the hard sell they will be facing when the corporate mass media ( Mighty Wurlitzer ) cranks up the multi-channel marketing campaign for the United States' own Skripal farce?

[Sep 11, 2019] On view of Russiagate hysteria it is pretty clear that Vladimir Putin s observations about American society and the growing sense that middle class America is being left behind is accurate

Sep 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sally Snyder , Sep 11 2019 17:43 utc | 3

Given that Washington continuously claims that Russians are responsible for the election of Donald Trump, here is an interesting look at what Vladimir Putin had to say about why Donald Trump was elected:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/09/vladimir-putin-on-americas-middle-class.html

While drawing links from economic class to voting patterns is difficult given that education impacts voting rates, it is pretty clear that Vladimir Putin's observations about American society and the growing sense that middle class America is being left behind is accurate. It is becoming increasingly clear that globalization benefits the few at the top and leaves behind the vast majority of society who feel that their place in society is under threat.

[Sep 11, 2019] On possible Oleg Smolenkov connection to Steele dossier

Sep 10, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Sep 10 2019 19:54 utc | 19

Is someone brewing up some fresh Novichok nerve agent as we speak?

Don't touch those doorknobs, Oleg!

for future reference: this post was for amusement purposes only

[Sep 10, 2019] 'End of Western hegemony' Why does Macron want Russia at Europe's side -- RT World News

Notable quotes:
"... "We're either pushing Russia into isolation, which increases tensions, or to ally itself with other major powers like China, which would not be in our interest," Macron said, calling for the "rethinking" of relations with Moscow. Otherwise, Europe will be stuck with being "a theater for strategic struggle between the US and Russia." ..."
"... France has long feared a Russia-China alliance, believes Evgeny Osipov, a senior fellow at the Institute of General History of the Russian Academy of Sciences. What has changed recently is the nature of relations between Moscow and Paris. Macron's rhetoric has somewhat softened in recent months – to the point that during talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, he vowed to do his best to rebuild trust between Russia and the EU. ..."
Sep 10, 2019 | www.rt.com

French President Emmanuel Macron has warned Western nations against the "strategic mistake" of alienating Russia – but in doing so, he seeks a bigger role for himself in international politics. "We are living the end of Western hegemony," Macron told diplomats on Tuesday, after hosting the G7 meeting in the city of Biarritz on France's Atlantic coast over the weekend. He named the rise of Beijing and Moscow as signs of a shift on the world scene.

Pushing Russia away from Europe is a profound strategic mistake.

President Macron went further, even saying that the main problem in the world is no longer Russia but instead the United States

Op-ed by John Laughland https://t.co/DzdF0khoh0

-- RT (@RT_com) August 20, 2019
Pushing Moscow into Beijing's arms?

"We're either pushing Russia into isolation, which increases tensions, or to ally itself with other major powers like China, which would not be in our interest," Macron said, calling for the "rethinking" of relations with Moscow. Otherwise, Europe will be stuck with being "a theater for strategic struggle between the US and Russia."

Also on rt.com Is Europe coming around to Putin's Munich warning, or is this yet another false dawn?

France has long feared a Russia-China alliance, believes Evgeny Osipov, a senior fellow at the Institute of General History of the Russian Academy of Sciences. What has changed recently is the nature of relations between Moscow and Paris. Macron's rhetoric has somewhat softened in recent months – to the point that during talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, he vowed to do his best to rebuild trust between Russia and the EU.

The ties have "stabilized" over the past two years, Osipov, a PhD in history, believes. "Moscow and Paris openly state their differences yet, they are now ready to gradually promote dialogue and move forward towards full normalization of relations," he said. Macron even called Russia a "deeply European" country with a future "tied" with the rest of Europe.

Also on rt.com 'New rules of trust & security': Macron wants EU ties with Moscow independent of NATO & US

All that does not necessarily mean Macron's actions are driven by a pure desire to see Russia return to the "family." It might be more about the balance of power, according to Osipov.

France is itself very active when it comes to relations with China, the historian explained. What Macron cares about is that neither China nor Russia or the US become too powerful too soon – and an alliance between Moscow and Beijing is most likely to tip the scales.

New de Gaulle?

However, there might be more to Macron's call for rapprochement with Moscow. He might be seeking ways to cement his position as a European leader – something he has arguably been craving since he took office.

"Two years ago it was just a dream. Now, it is within reach," Osipov said. With German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing mounting pressure at home and the UK's authority in Europe shaken by Brexit, France might yet emerge as the most stable – and the most powerful for that matter – of the European political grandees.

Also on rt.com Trump would 'certainly' invite Putin to next G7 summit

As he strives for this desired status, Macron seems to be trying to mimic France's iconic leader – Charles de Gaulle, who sought to keep the balance between the West and the Socialist Bloc in the 1960s. Now, Macron wants France to become a "bridge between the West and Russia," Osipov said.

His role is unlikely to be limited to mediation, though. Macron apparently wants to take the lead in shaping the West's – or at least Europe's – policies, and he has already taken it upon himself to point out their mistakes:

The world order is being shaken like never before.

"It's being shaken because of errors made by the West in certain crises, but also by the choices made by the United States in the past few years – and not just by the current administration."

These "choices" are impacting "the conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere, making it necessary to rethink military and diplomatic strategies," the president noted.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

[Sep 10, 2019] PATRICK LAWRENCE The Establishment is Changing its Tune on Russia>

Notable quotes:
"... Macron then outdid himself: "We are living the end of Western hegemony," he told the assembled envoys. ..."
"... Macron is an opportunistic main-chancer in European politics, and it is not at all certain how far he can or will attempt to advance his new vision of either the West or Europe in the Continent's councils of state. But as evidence of a new current in Western thinking about Russia, the non–West in general, and Europe's long-nursed desire for greater independence from Washington, the importance of his comments is beyond dispute. ..."
"... Macron may prove a pushover, or a would-be Gaullist who fails to make the grade. Or he may have just announced a long-awaited inflection point in trans–Atlantic ties. Either way, he has put highly significant questions on the table. It will be interesting to see what responses they may elicit, not least from the Trump White House. ..."
"... who in their right mind would trust the U.S. anymore for any reason? ..."
"... Until now, the conflict with Russia has resulted in the conversion of the Ukrainian (and other formerly eastern bloc countries) economy from highly industrial to a supplier of cheap labor, some agricultural products, and raw materials to the EU. ..."
"... The empire's war machine always needs a boogeyman. ..."
"... America has earned the mistrust of most of the world. Although establishing a good relationship with Russia is a good idea, using it to isolate Russia probably will not work. ..."
"... Many of Patrick's observations are astute and well-reasoned. But he is ABSOLUTELY WRONG to put any faith whatsoever in Trump being able to negotiate ANYTHING of importance, whether it be with North Korea or Russia. Wake up! There is "no one home" in Donald Trump!! ..."
"... We are witnessing a severely incapacitated, mentally ill individual pretending to be a leader, who is endangering the entire planet. If this doesn't scare the shit out of you, you need to have your head examined! ..."
"... IMHO, it is a fool's errand for our policy makers to think that Russia can be "peeled away from China", or that Russia and China has not seen through that strategy as another ploy by the West to retain hegemony. ..."
"... The West has been hostile to Russia since its inception as a non-monarchy in 1917. ..."
"... The New York Times has played an effective Orwellian role in recent years, simply by reflecting unannounced policy directives – notably the smooth shifts in designated official enemies from ISIS to Russia/Putin to China/Xi all in the space of six short years. ..."
"... The Times has become nothing but a bunch of stenographers for the Intelligence Community. ..."
"... You nailed it in calling it Orwellian. ISIS as "official" enemy indeed is a classic representation of 'doublespeak.' All of those *accidental* U.S. arms-drops on their positions, helicopters showing up to rescue their leaders, the apparent invisibility of those oil tanker fleets freely and blatantly running the highways into Turkey for several years ..."
"... As much of that oil was shipped to Israel by Erdogan's kid at below market prices, it was another testament to the duplicitous nature of the entire scheme to bring Syria down. Fail. Epic fail. I love it. That egg looks great on Netanyahu's face. ..."
"... Trump and the establishment punish and sanction Russia but get along fine with MBS Mohammad Bone Sawman. I voted for Trump but got Hillary's foreign policy. The Devil runs America. ..."
Sep 10, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

In desultory fashion over the past month or so, we have had indications that the policy cliques in Washington are indeed reconsidering the Cold War II they set in motion during the Obama administration's final years. And President Donald Trump, persistent in his effort to reconstruct relations with Russia, now finds an unlikely ally in Emmanuel Macron. This suggests a nascent momentum in a new direction.

"Pushing Russia away from Europe is a profound strategic mistake," the French president asserted in a stunning series of remarks to European diplomats immediately after the Group of 7 summit in Biarritz late last month.

This alone is a bold if implicit attack on the hawkish Russophobes Trump now battles in Washington. Macron then outdid himself: "We are living the end of Western hegemony," he told the assembled envoys.

It is difficult to recall when a Western leader last spoke so truthfully and insightfully of our 21 st century realities, chief among them the inevitable rise of non–Western nations to positions of parity with the Atlantic world. You have nonetheless read no word of this occasion in our corporate media: Macron's startling observations run entirely counter to the frayed triumphalism and nostalgia that grip Washington as its era of preeminence fades.

President Donald J. Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron in joint press conference in Biarritz, France, site of the G7 Summit, Aug. 26, 2019. (White House/ Andrea Hanks)

There is much to indicate that the West's aggressively hostile posture toward Russia remains unchanged. The Russophobic rhetoric emanating from Washington and featured daily in our corporate television broadcasts continues unabated. Last month Washington formally abandoned the bilateral treaty limiting deployment of intermediate-range ballistic missiles, signed with Moscow in 1987. As anyone could have predicted, NATO now suggests it will upgrade its missile defense systems in Poland and Romania. This amounts to an engraved invitation to the Russian Federation to begin a new arms race.

But a counter-argument favoring a constructive relationship with Russia is now evident. This is not unlike the abrupt volte-face in Washington's thinking on North Korea: It is now broadly accepted that the Korean crisis can be resolved only at the negotiating table.

The Times Are Changing

The New York Times seems to be on board with this this sharp turn in foreign policy. It reported the new consensus on North Korea in a news analysis on July 11. Ten days later it published another arguing that it's time to put down the spear and make amends with Moscow. Here is the astonishing pith of the piece: "China, not Russia, represents by far the greater challenge to American objectives over the long term. That means President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia and peel it away from China."

It is encouraging that the Times has at last discovered the well-elaborated alliance between Moscow and Beijing. It took the one-time newspaper of record long enough. But there is another feature of this article that is important to note: It was published as a lead editorial. This is not insignificant.

It is essential, when reading the Times , to understand the close -- not to say corrupt -- relations it has maintained with political power in Washington over many generations. This is well-documented in histories of the paper and of institutions such as the CIA. An editorial advancing a policy shift of this magnitude almost certainly reflects the paper's close consultations, at senior levels of management, with policy-setting officials at the National Security Council, the State Department, or at the Pentagon. The editorial is wholly in keeping with Washington's pronounced new campaign to designate China as America's most dangerous threat.

It is impossible to say whether Trump is emboldened by an inchoate shift of opinion on Russia, but he flew his banner high at the Biarritz G–7. Prior to his departure for the summit in southwest France he asserted that Russia should be readmitted to the group when it convenes in the U.S. next year. Russia was excluded in 2014, following its annexation of Crimea in response to the coup in Kiev.

Trump repeated the thought in Biarritz, claiming there was support among other members for the restoration of the G–8. "I think it's a work in progress," he said. "We have a number of people that would like to see Russia back."

Macron is plainly one of those people. It was just after Trump sounded his theme amid Biarritz's faded grandeur -- and what an excellent choice for a convention of the Western powers -- that the French president made his own plea for repairing ties with Russia and for Europe to escape its fate as "a theater for strategic struggle between the U.S. and Russia."

Biarritz from the Pointe Saint-Martin, 1999. (Wikimedia Commons)

"The European continent will never be stable, will never be secure, if we don't pacify and clarify our relations with Russia," Macron said in his address to Western diplomats. Then came his flourish on the imminent end of the Atlantic world's preeminence.

"The world order is being shaken like never before. It's being shaken because of errors made by the West in certain crises, but also by the choices made by the United States in the past few years -- and not just by the current administration."

Macron is an opportunistic main-chancer in European politics, and it is not at all certain how far he can or will attempt to advance his new vision of either the West or Europe in the Continent's councils of state. But as evidence of a new current in Western thinking about Russia, the non–West in general, and Europe's long-nursed desire for greater independence from Washington, the importance of his comments is beyond dispute.

The question now is whether or how soon better ties with Moscow will translate into practical realities. At present, Trump and Macron share a good idea without much substance to it.

Better US-Russia Ties May Be in Pipeline

But Trump may have taken a step in the right direction. Within days of his return from Biarritz, he put a hold on the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, a military aid program that was to provide Kiev with $250 million in assistance during the 2019 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1 and runs to Sept. 30, 2020. The funds are designated for weaponry, training and intelligence support.

Trump has asked his national security advisers to review the commitment. The delay, coming hard on his proposal to readmit Russia to a reconstituted G–8, cannot possibly be read as a coincidence.

There will be other things to watch for in months to come. High among these is Trump's policy toward the Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking Russian gas fields to terminals in Western Europe, thereby cutting Ukraine out of the loop. Trump, his desire to improve ties with Moscow notwithstanding, has vigorously opposed this project. The Treasury Department has threatened sanctions against European contractors working on it. If Trump is serious about bringing Russia back into the fold, this policy will have to go. This may mean going up against the energy lobby in Washington and Ukraine's many advocates on Capitol Hill.

To date, U.S. threats to retaliate against construction of Nord Stream 2 have done nothing but irritate Europeans, who have ignored them, while furthering the Continent's desire to escape Washington's suffocating embrace. This is precisely the kind of contradiction Macron addressed when he protested that Europeans need to begin acting in their own interests rather than acquiesce as Washington force-marches them on a never-ending anti–Russia crusade.

Macron may prove a pushover, or a would-be Gaullist who fails to make the grade. Or he may have just announced a long-awaited inflection point in trans–Atlantic ties. Either way, he has put highly significant questions on the table. It will be interesting to see what responses they may elicit, not least from the Trump White House.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune , is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century" (Yale). Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist . His web site is Patrick Lawrence . Support his work via his Patreon site .


Erelis , September 10, 2019 at 18:49

A few European countries may develop warmer relations .but reproachment with Russia will not happen in our lifetimes. Macron offered nothing but rhetoric. The West continues economic warfare and a militaristic stance toward Russia. Western institutions and interests are too tied into Russo-phobia to give it up–it is a financial and emotional heroin to the West. Break the Russian/Chinese alliance? Ain't gonna happen.

As for the NYTimes. They recently have published unsubstantiated accounts about some spy close to Putin who swears by gawd that Putin personally ordered Trump's victory. How is it going to be possible for Trump or even a new democratic president to engage Russia diplomatically with such widely published and accepted propaganda?. Every leading democratic party candidate have sworn to the Russiagate hoax and issued highly aggressive rhetoric. They will be called traitors if they even speak with Putin unless they attempt to punch out Putin.

Jim Glover , September 10, 2019 at 17:36

Now that the war monger Bolton is gone that is good news for pursuing Peace.
It is also good that Patrick points out what has been hiding in plain site from the divide and conquer propaganda from the mass media that the Cold War and the old ones have always been about the West against the East. Maybe the Trump challengers can join the new Pursuit of Peace for the good of Humanity. It Can't hurt!

Stephen M , September 10, 2019 at 15:14

This is as good a time as any to point to an alternative vision of foreign policy. One based on the principle of non-interference, respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and, above all, international law. One based on peaceful coexistence and mutual cooperation. A vision of the world at peace and undivided by arbitrary distinctions. Such a world is possible and even though there are currently players around the world who are striving in that direction we need look no further than our own history for inspiration. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you one Henry A. Wallace, for your consideration.

(The following excerpts from an article by Dr. Dennis Etler. Link to the full article provided below.) --

The highest profile figure who articulated an alternative vision for American foreign policy was the politician Henry Wallace, who served as vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1940-1944 and ran for president in 1948 as the candidate of the Progressive Party.

After he became vice president in 1940, as Roosevelt was increasingly ill, Wallace promoted a new vision for America's role in the world that suggested that rather than playing catch up with the imperial powers, the United States should work with partners to establish a new world order that eliminated militarism, colonialism and imperialism.

Wallace gave a speech in 1942 that declared a "Century of the Common Man." He described a post-war world that offered "freedom from want," a new order in which ordinary citizens, rather than the rich and powerful, would play a decisive role in politics.
That speech made direct analogy between the Second World War and the Civil War, suggesting that the Second World War was being fought to end economic slavery and to create a more equal society. Wallace demanded that the imperialist powers like Britain and France give up their colonies at the end of the war.
In diplomacy, Wallace imagined a multi-polar world founded on the United Nations Charter with a focus on peaceful cooperation. In contrast, in 1941 Henry Luce, publisher of Time Magazine, had called for an 'American century,' suggesting that victory in war would allow the United States to "exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit."
Wallace responded to Luce with a demand to create a world in which "no nation will have the God-given right to exploit other nations. Older nations will have the privilege to help younger nations get started on the path to industrialization, but there must be neither military nor economic imperialism." Wallace took the New Deal global. His foreign policy was to be based on non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
--
Sadly, since then, despite occasional efforts to head in a new direction, the core constituency for US foreign policy has been corporations, rather than the "common man" either in the United States, or the other nations of the world, and United States foreign relations have been dominated by interference in the political affairs of other nations. As a result the military was transformed from an "arsenal for democracy" during the Second World War into a defender of privilege at home and abroad afterwards.

-- -
Foreign aid for Wallace was not a tool to foster economic dominance as it was to become, but rather "economic assistance without political conditions to further the independent economic development of the Latin American and Caribbean countries." He held high "the principle of self-determination for the peoples of Africa, Asia, the West Indies, and other colonial areas." He saw the key policy for the United States to be based on "the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations and acceptance of the right of peoples to choose their own form of government and economic system."

--

Wallace's legacy suggests that it is possible to put forth a vision of an honest internationalism in US foreign policy that is in essence American. His approach was proactive not reactive. It would go far beyond anything Democrats propose today, who can only suggest that the United States should not start an unprovoked war with Iran or North Korea, but who embrace sanctions and propagandist reports that demonize those countries.

Rather than ridiculing Trump's overtures to North Korea, they should go further to reduce tensions between the North and the South by pushing for the eventual withdrawal of troops from South Korea and Japan (a position fully in line with Wallace and many other politicians of that age).
Rather than demonizing and isolating Russia (as a means to score political points against Trump), progressives should call for a real détente, that recognizes Russia's core interests, proposes that NATO withdraw troops from Russia's borders, ends sanctions and reintegrates Russia into the greater European economy. They could even call for an end to NATO and the perpetuation of the dangerous global rift between East and West that it perpetuates.
Rather than attempt to thwart China's rise, and attack Trump for not punishing it enough, progressives should seek to create new synergies between China and the US economically, politically and socioculturally.
-- -
In contrast to the US policy of perpetual war and "destroying nations in order to save them," China's BRI proposes an open plan for development that is not grounded in the models of French and British imperialism. It has proposed global infrastructure and science projects that include participants from nations in Africa, Asia, South and Central America previously ignored by American and European elites -- much as Wallace proposed an equal engagement with Latin America. When offering developmental aid and investment China does not demand that free market principles be adopted or that the public sector be privatized and opened up for global investment banks to ravish.
--
The United States should be emulating China, its Belt and Road Initiative and Community of Common Destiny, as a means of revitalizing its political culture and kicking its addiction to a neo-colonial concept of economic development and growth. Rather than relying on militarization and its attendant wars to spark the economy, progressives should demand that the US work in conjunction with nations such as China and Russia in building a sustainable future rather than creating one failed state after another.

Link to the full article provided below.
https://www.globalresearch.ca/henry-wallaces-internationalism-path-american-foreign-policy-could-have-taken-still-can/5683683

Alan Ross , September 10, 2019 at 15:09

Now it is clear why the CIA spilled the phony beans on a spy they had in Putin's inner circle – to revive the anti-Russian animus that has been dying down.

Rob , September 10, 2019 at 12:00

But if there is a rapprochement between the U.S. and Russia, will that put the brakes on the new arms race?Surely, the defense industry will fight that with every fiber of their being. China alone is not so great a potential military adversary as to warrant so a great expenditure. Or is it? I have little doubt that some interested parties will see it that way.

David Otness , September 10, 2019 at 11:16

A breath of fresh air ?
Dare we hope?
Good luck peeling away Russia from China, they have some very solid bonds established. Besides, who in their right mind would trust the U.S. anymore for any reason?

... ... ...

Vera Gottlieb , September 10, 2019 at 11:04

Well, for far too long has Europe allowed itself to be "run" by the US. And sadly, Europe – up to now- has lacked the backbone to stand up to the Americans. Time to realize that, even without the US, the sun will still rise in the East America this America the other why should we have to wait until the US makes up it's mind on anything. We are grown up folks who can manage very well by ourselves without constantly having to worry as to what the US might do or say. Enough of this blackmail.

Richard A. , September 10, 2019 at 10:18

Prime Minister Abe favors readmitting Russia into the G7: https://youtu.be/yOC5g31cL30

Robert , September 10, 2019 at 10:02

Insightful, Patrick. This new shift will present many new challenges and opportunities for the US and Russia. I can see that if Trump is permitted (by deep state and NATO) as much access to Putin as Netanyahu has had, I can see a far more balanced US foreign policy and certainly a large step toward reducing world conflicts. Iran may be convinced to negotiate with Trump for removal of sanctions coupled with a new nuclear deal. I have no idea if this will impact the Iran-China oil/security agreement which is a (very expensive, unpopular but necessary) lifesaver for Iran and huge investment opportunity for China (backed with up to 5000 Chinese military). Syria needs the removal of US sanctions to stabilize its economy, and with the US onside, more pressure can be put on Turkey to stop arming the terrorists in Idlib, enforce their removal/surrender, and accommodate the Kurds within Syria. Finally, with EU participation, I can see rapid settlement of the civil war in Eastern Ukraine, and normalization of trade with Russia. Until now, the conflict with Russia has resulted in the conversion of the Ukrainian (and other formerly eastern bloc countries) economy from highly industrial to a supplier of cheap labor, some agricultural products, and raw materials to the EU.

AnneR , September 10, 2019 at 09:51

Mr Lawrence, apparently the tune has not changed re Russiagate, not really. That is if the news item on the BBC World Service this a.m. is owt to go by.

This was all about some supposed CIA asset in the Kremlin that they got out in 2017 (Smolenkov according to RT and Sputnik) who played a role, so the BBC said in furtherance of maintaining Russophobia, in providing said "reputable" secret agency (as now so viewed by the Demrats and DNC) with info about Russian – nay, Putin's personal – interference in the 2016 US presidential election. All of the (dis/mis) information that the MSM presstitutes have been selling us on both sides of the pond re the "heinous" activities of Russia-Putin were rehearsed again from Russiagate to Russian attempted and completed assassinations of escaped/released ex-spies, Skripal among them.

They, the US-UK-IS deep states, will not let it go. And their stenographers in the MSM continue to propagate the real dis/misinformation in order to keep the corporate-capitalist-imperialist western dominance warmongering/war-profiteering status quo in operation.

Meanwhile, NPR (and PBS doubtless) are to be headed by one John Lansing, who till now was in charge of that dispenser of "the truth, whole and unadulterated" the Voice of America and Radio Marti; and the BBC is partnering with DARPA-Mossad via Google, FB, Twit and the rest of the internet behemoths, as they told us (well, they didn't advert to the underlying structure, of course). Why is the BBC so doing? In order, they said, to ensure that we, the plebeians, the mindless bewildered herd, are no longer subjected to, no longer have our perspectives distorted by "Dis or Misinformation."

Heartening to know, ain't it, that they – the really existing state-funded and controlled media – have our best interests at heart?

Patrick Lawrence , September 10, 2019 at 16:26

I'm v pleased you picked up on this shard of nonsense, AnneR, and then took the trouble to write of it. I thought to do the same while reading this morn's New York Times. A flimsier, more obvious propaganda ploy I have not seen in a while, and this is saying something. This fellow must be Guccifer 2's in-law or something. My read: Those who recklessly over-invested in the Russiagate universe thought it would go away the instant HRC was elected. They're now stuck w/ it three years on, and this is another effort to keep it alive long enough to get it into the histories. They'll never make it. Transparently horse-droppings. Tks again for writing. Patrick.

Skip Scott , September 10, 2019 at 09:23

The empire's war machine always needs a boogeyman. Macron is proposing transitioning to a multi-polar world, and ending its vassal status to empire. Good luck with that. We can only hope that Putin's countering of our war machine keeps MAD a reality, and that the example that Russia and China are setting in opposition to empire will encourage other vassals to rebel. Waging peace in a multi-polar world is the only moral course of action. The war machine, with its huge waste of manpower and resources, is the main factor in our current path to extinction. Reining it in is the first step to ensure mankind's survival.

Herman , September 10, 2019 at 09:11

America has earned the mistrust of most of the world. Although establishing a good relationship with Russia is a good idea, using it to isolate Russia probably will not work. Meremark's comments puts it very well. Meeremark is on the mark.

Peter Janney , September 10, 2019 at 08:23

Many of Patrick's observations are astute and well-reasoned. But he is ABSOLUTELY WRONG to put any faith whatsoever in Trump being able to negotiate ANYTHING of importance, whether it be with North Korea or Russia. Wake up! There is "no one home" in Donald Trump!!

We are witnessing a severely incapacitated, mentally ill individual pretending to be a leader, who is endangering the entire planet. If this doesn't scare the shit out of you, you need to have your head examined!

jessika , September 10, 2019 at 07:47

The US has been fed b.s. for so long and it's hard to see getting the country in any decent shape, foreign policy or otherwise. The Pentagon and alphabet agencies have been calling the shots since the days of the Dulles bros. I can't see anything other than a top heavy collapse since this long con. It's good to hear Macron saying this and good for Orange Bejesus wanting to get along with Russia, but how far gone have humans gone before Mother Nature gives us the swiftest kick due to our stupidity?

peter mcloughlin , September 10, 2019 at 05:09

I agree with Patrick Lawrence's perceptive analyses of 'frayed triumphalism and nostalgia'. An empire on the rise, for example modern China, is probably less dangerous than one in decline. There are more of the latter type, making geopolitics dangerously unstable, and increasingly difficult to prevent world war, where the pattern of history seems to be pointing us.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

Moi , September 10, 2019 at 02:54

Zhu, if you are not aware, China has just delivered the biggest F.You to the US in geopolitical history by more or less buying Iran oil.

China is to invest $US280 billion upgrading Iran's oil and gas sectors, unlocking a further $500 billion of otherwise unrecoverable oil, upping it's own oil purchases, opening factories to make "made in China" products, etc.

They also get to deploy 5,000 Chinese "security officers" so if the US attacks Iran they could kill lots of Chinese military.

See: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190907-a-blow-to-washington-china-to-invest-280-billion-in-iranian-sectors-targeted-by-sanctions/

Zhu , September 10, 2019 at 00:46

Should be "not submit, noy obey."

incontinent reader , September 10, 2019 at 00:39

IMHO, it is a fool's errand for our policy makers to think that Russia can be "peeled away from China", or that Russia and China has not seen through that strategy as another ploy by the West to retain hegemony. As for inviting Russia back into the G-8 and Russia's response, the following exchange at last week's Eastern Economic Forum in Vliadivostok is instructive [Yandex/Google translation of the Russian text]:

Sergey Brilev: Mr Abe, I would like to ask you about this. When I just said, "the big Seven" We all heard the report that President Trump was at the last summit of the "Seven" a kind of lawyer [advocate] for the Russian Federation and Vladimir Putin. You've seen it from the inside. Without breaking any obvious rules, after all it is a closed club, maybe you will tell how it was? (Laughter.)

Shinzo Abe: As for the G–7, there used to be a G-8, there was a discussion that creative influence on the international community is important. But as President Putin is well aware, because he took part in the" G-8″, there are such rules: you can only quote yourself, so other leaders can not be quoted. So I can't say exactly what President Trump said there, for example. But I personally said that Russian influence, Russian creative influence, plays an important role in solving international problems. Therefore, I raised the issue of Russia's possible return to this format. (Applause.)

Sergei Brilev: if they call, will you go, Mr President?

Vladimir Putin: Where?

S. Brilev: The "G-8". In the States, I think it's next. There, however, will be the height of Trump's campaign.

Vladimir Putin: At the time, the next "G-8" was to be held in Russia.

Sergei Brilev: In Sochi, yes.

Vladimir Putin: We are open. If our partners want to come to us, we will be happy. (Applause.) But we did not postpone it, our partners postponed it. If they want to restore the "Eight", please. But I think it's clear to everyone today, and President Macron just recently said publicly that the West's leadership is coming to an end. I cannot imagine an effective international organization that works without India and without China. (Applause.)

Any format is always good, it is always a positive exchange of views, even when it is held in a raised tone, as far as I understand, and it was this time in the "Seven", it is still useful. Therefore, we do not refuse any format of cooperation.

Jeff Harrison , September 10, 2019 at 00:32

I have to object on several levels, Patrick.

"Are Western democracies, the U.S. and France in the lead, rethinking the hostility toward Russia they conjured out of nothing since Moscow responded to the coup Washington cultivated in Ukraine five years ago?" Good question but it beggars the truth that The West has been hostile to Russia since its inception as a non-monarchy in 1917. The US refused to recognize it until 1933. The classic phrase "godless communist hordes" was intended to drive home the point that the commies were theoretically atheists and they were not capitalists. Russia helped it along by trying to spread communism just as the US is trying to spread capitalism now (we like to claim we're spreading democracy but that's bunk.) I'm not sure which is more distasteful, having some foreign economic structure shoved down your throat (communism) or some foreign political structure shoved down your throat (totalitarian dictatorship). Both suck.

"China, not Russia, represents by far the greater challenge to American objectives over the long term. That means President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia and peel it away from China." I realize you're quoting the Times but mind if I ask, what, precisely, are American objectives? If our objective was to simply live peaceably with the other nations of the world and dazzle them with the brilliance of every little thing we did, nobody, not Russia, not China, nobody could challenge that objective. But that's not our objective, now is it? It could be best characterized by the weekly exchange between Pinkie and The Brain. Pinkie: What are we going to do this week, Brain? Brain: Same thing we do every week, Pinkie. Establish world domination. That's never going to work. There are too many people in this world and too many countries in this world who will not put up with diktats from somebody else for the Brain to succeed.

As for the G7 becoming the G8, as I've already said, it's not gonna happen. Putin has already said that it should include India and China. The West won't accept that. Frankly, if membership in "the club" can be lifted as easily as it was last time, why should Russia be interested? As I've said, I think that Russia has turned eastward. If the west has something on offer, great but they wouldn't be looking for it. Russia has managed to make the sanctions regime very painful for the EU even though the EU doesn't seem to notice. Offering Russia a very junior chair at the G7 whilst maintaining the sanctions and other visions of economic warfare against Russia is not a calculus that Russia will be interested in.

This could turn into the one bridge too far for the Europeans.

Zhu , September 9, 2019 at 21:13

It'll be China, China, china, next. How dare they prosper! How dare they not submit and not obey!

jaycee , September 9, 2019 at 20:07

The New York Times has played an effective Orwellian role in recent years, simply by reflecting unannounced policy directives – notably the smooth shifts in designated official enemies from ISIS to Russia/Putin to China/Xi all in the space of six short years.

Judging by the Times' own comment sections, a fair number of the general public are quick to internalize a hatred of the "enemy" without reflection on how/why the object of their ire can be one day one villain, and then a whole new villain the next.

Steve , September 10, 2019 at 07:11

The Times has become nothing but a bunch of stenographers for the Intelligence Community. The days of them treating their sources with skepticism are LONG gone. I'm no fan of Ben Rhodes, but that guy was spot-on when he referred to the Washington press corps as a bunch of 20-something know-nothings whose ignorance makes them easily manipulated into becoming an echo chamber of support for whatever policies their government sources are pushing.

lysias , September 10, 2019 at 08:21

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

David Otness , September 10, 2019 at 11:01

" .. notably the smooth shifts in designated official enemies from ISIS to Russia/Putin to China/Xi all in the space of six short years."

You nailed it in calling it Orwellian. ISIS as "official" enemy indeed is a classic representation of 'doublespeak.' All of those *accidental* U.S. arms-drops on their positions, helicopters showing up to rescue their leaders, the apparent invisibility of those oil tanker fleets freely and blatantly running the highways into Turkey for several years. (The Russians sure found them in a hurry.) As much of that oil was shipped to Israel by Erdogan's kid at below market prices, it was another testament to the duplicitous nature of the entire scheme to bring Syria down. Fail. Epic fail. I love it. That egg looks great on Netanyahu's face.

Brent , September 9, 2019 at 20:00

Trump and the establishment punish and sanction Russia but get along fine with MBS Mohammad Bone Sawman. I voted for Trump but got Hillary's foreign policy. The Devil runs America.

Tim , September 9, 2019 at 19:48

Yes Bob, it would be a good change, except, if Britain is co-opted by the US, then it will be a wholly owned subsidy and block change in Europe.

Tim Jones , September 9, 2019 at 20:50

subsidiary

Tim Jones , September 9, 2019 at 19:40

Just hope Brexit is negotiated and Britain is not fully taken over by Washington as a new investment opportunity.

Ikallicrates , September 10, 2019 at 10:57

US corporations did indeed anticipate that post Brexit UK would be a new investment opportunity. The US health insurance industry, for example, was poised to swoop down on the UK as soon as the Tories finished destroying the NHS. But thanks to BoJo's bungling of Brexit, the Tories could lose the next general election, so they've reversed direction and are appeasing angry Brits by promising to save the NHS. By bringing down the Tories, BoJo may make Britain great again (#MBGA).

Meremark , September 9, 2019 at 19:18

RT said Putin says Russia in G-8 is improvident without China and India economies and geo-strategies also figured in. A G-10 league?

Putin's chessmanship is operaticly clean. not to be confused with poker as people generally do confuse. This lacks the bluffing of poker; in this the pieces of global power projection are standing on the board, chess obvious.

Maybe not so easy to peel Russia apart from China, if that's Plan B kicking around the Pentagon. At some point maybe they can consider Plan Delta ? which stands for change.

Steve , September 10, 2019 at 07:03

Let's be honest, the G-7 is pretty outdated. Canada and Italy are pretty much out of their league. America's hat and a fourth western European power seem unnecessary. Replace them with China and India, and bring Russia back in to make it the G-8.

floyd gardner , September 10, 2019 at 11:28

Thank you, Meremark. Putin does not take his directives from the NYT.

Daniel Rich , September 9, 2019 at 19:17

Macron, a Rothschild pawn, gives as much abut true Democrat as he does about the Yellow Vests' protest

No, no, not the Hong Kong, US flags waving goons, but ordinary French citizens who're fed up with the direction their government moves onward to, the ones you hear nothing about.

Bob Van Noy , September 9, 2019 at 17:25

Thank you Patrick Lawrence, if your analysis is correct it would be a turning point in international relations and extremely significant. I like to think that the web has put us about a week or two ahead of the headlines here at CN, so if the NYT is finally calling the events accurately, it would by a stunning breakthrough

[Sep 10, 2019] Now it is more then two years since intellignce againces started to push the Russiagate hoax

Sep 10, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Lyttennburgh said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 10 September 2019 at 03:20 AM

Ok, TTG. What's your proof? How can you believe, religiously, everything claimed without any proof?

The CNN article provided enough rope to hang itself with it. Literally anyone can try to verify it in a few easy steps:

1) Make a list of RusGov ranking officials by, say, May 2016.
2) See, who's absent in the current composition of the RusGov
3) Find out, who amongst those absent is no longer in Russia.
4) Of them, find out who had any kind of plausible potential to be the CIA asset, by having the access to all sorts of data and "insight into Putin's head" as per this CNN article.

Go ahead! Hey, anyone - care to join?

Ken , 09 September 2019 at 10:20 PM
After over two years of the Russiagate hoax pushed by the intelligence agencies, it's surprising you now uncritically swallow this new story.
confusedponderer said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 10 September 2019 at 06:11 AM
TTG,

re " I don't believe he's a Russian asset, either. His personality makes him unsuitable as a controlled asset. "

I think the key word here is indeed controlled . I have doubts that anyone can control him, and that excludes himself.

Should it ever come to the D's going for impeachment (which would IMO be understandable if unwise and pricely) and succeed - what would the US get instead?

Pence.

The difference that that dude is white & white and not orange & yellow. That's about it. Pence likely would immediately pardon Trump for whatever he was found to have done.

He is probably just as far right as Trump, only more discrete and self controlled - and of course evangelical. The evangelical part can be somewhat problematic as seen in Brazil under also evangelical Bolsonaro.

One of Bolsonaro's "underling politicos", formerly an evangelical bishop (or something like that) demanded to confiscate US marvel comics since in these comics some superheros , ghasp, were gay - and that that is utterly unacceptable since it undermines Brazil's ... immensely high moral principles.

Also, since Boslonaro took office the destruction of Amazonas, compared to the last year, has reportedly already doubled - and we're only in early september by now.

CK -> The Twisted Genius ... , 10 September 2019 at 07:23 AM
"His personality makes him unsuitable as a controlled asset."
and yet the IC keeps trying to do just that.
Eric Newhill , 10 September 2019 at 07:23 AM
Crappily assembled Steele dossier/crossfire hurricane coup d'etat fails. Democrats are floating only craven extremist nutjobs that most Americans can't handle and whose policies can't possibly work in the real world. So they will certainly lose in 2020. All manner of hyper aggressive negative media BS has failed. What's a power crazed global elitist to do? :-(

On to deep state plan F!!! Trump is a national security risk because he's CRAZY! and irresponsible! This one will stick. Sure. Bring out the liars! Spin the story! That's the ticket. And we can still shout "Racist!" all day every day.

Yawn.

Lyttennburgh , 10 September 2019 at 07:23 AM
And Lo and behold - some people (think) they've found the mole! Meet Oleg Smolenkov.

https://twitter.com/lincolnpigman/status/1171207593559281665

If (if!) true, it means:

a) CIA didn't bother to provide a new identity to this "high value asset", whose home is ludicruously easy to google

b) The guy in question was neither member of the RusGov (the Cabinet of the Ministers), neither was he a member of the Security Council, nor he was a "silovik". He was a secretary in Russia's embassy in D.C. In 2010 he became referent in the department of the Presidential Administration ( https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A0%D0%B5%D1%84%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%BD%D1%82_%D0%BF%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%B7%D0%B8%D0%B4%D0%B5%D0%BD%D1%82%D0%B0_%D0%A0%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%81%D0%B8%D0%B9%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%B9_%D0%A4%D0%B5%D0%B4%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%86%D0%B8%D0%B8). This shows that either CNN is dumb, and can't distinguish between the RusGov and the Administration of the President, or they were lying, or... that's another guy.

b , 10 September 2019 at 05:38 AM
According to the NYT the guy was asked to exfiltrate in 2016, way be fore Trump, but at first rejected.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/09/us/politics/cia-informant-russia.html
"when intelligence officials revealed the severity of Russia's election interference with unusual detail later that year, the news media picked up on details about the C.I.A.'s Kremlin sources.

C.I.A. officials worried about safety made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia. The situation grew more tense when the informant at first refused, citing family concerns -- prompting consternation at C.I.A. headquarters and sowing doubts among some American counterintelligence officials about the informant's trustworthiness. But the C.I.A. pressed again months later after more media inquiries. This time, the informant agreed."

This has nothing to do with Trump but with leaks from Brennan and Co who outed the spy. He worked in the Kremlin administration and had good but not top access.

Kommersant reports that the guy's name is Oleg Smolenko.
He and his wife bought a house in Stafford Virginia, LOT 28 HUNTERS POND, under their own name.
https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4087921

Maybe Pat or someone else in the area can visit them and find out how much of their information is true and how much is bonkers. I'd bet on 50:50.

anon , 10 September 2019 at 05:38 AM
Most of trump and the 7 Russians is fake news. The fact is that the USA has sought Russian assistance in pressuring Israel. The rest is a smoke screen. The whole scenario is being carefully managed so as to not set off a middle east war. The outcome of this project coming at the tail end of the Arab spring will become clear after the election.
turcopolier , 10 September 2019 at 09:20 AM
All

And then there is the possibility that CIA extracted a minor source to divert attention from someone or someones who remain(s) in place. The open purchase of a house in the outer suburbs of Washington by the extracted would seem to support the possibility that this is all a diversion. The narrative continues that "a former senior intelligence official" told Sciutto, an Obama man, at CNN of all this. Clapper is "a former senior intelligence official" and a CNN "contributor" (employee) is he not? He is dumb enough to have had this story planted on him.

Peter VE , 10 September 2019 at 09:58 AM
I'm sure Mr. Smolenko has been following the story of Sergei Skripal and wondering if perhaps he would have been better off going to prison in Russia....
Rhondda , 10 September 2019 at 10:08 AM
Info-seeding operation: plausible 'Kremlin source' needed for bare-naked Steele dossier...?
turcopolier , 10 September 2019 at 10:16 AM
Rhondda

Say what?

Rhondda said in reply to turcopolier ... , 10 September 2019 at 10:29 AM
LOL Sorry. Too terse? It strikes me that this CNN assertion is useful -- to provide a fig-leaf, albeit lacy, for the wretched Steele dossier's 'Kremlin source'.

I'm always amazed how little it takes and how little there is there. I'm probably wrong, but that's what came to my mind.

[Sep 10, 2019] The idea tha the USA won the Cold War is questionable

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... As early as the late 1940's, some of us living in Russia saw that the regime was becoming dangerously remote from the concerns and hopes of the Russian people. The original ideological and emotional motivation of Russian Communism had worn itself out and become lost in the exertions of the great war. And there was already apparent a growing generational gap in the regime. ..."
"... By the time Stalin died, in 1953, even many Communist Party members had come to see his dictatorship as grotesque, dangerous and unnecessary, and there was a general impression that far-reaching changes were in order. ..."
"... Nikita Khrushchev took the leadership in the resulting liberalizing tendencies. He was in his crude way a firm Communist, but he was not wholly unopen to reasonable argument. His personality offered the greatest hope for internal political liberalization and relaxation of international tensions. ..."
"... The more America's political leaders were seen in Moscow as committed to an ultimate military rather than political resolution of Soviet-American tensions, the greater was the tendency in Moscow to tighten the controls by both party and police, and the greater the braking effect on all liberalizing tendencies in the regime. Thus the general effect of cold war extremism was to delay rather than hasten the great change that overtook the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980's.... ..."
"... In the competition between major powers and/or alliances there are several somewhat complementary aspects of power: economic or physical aspect to create things of "value" (added by the commerce and industry of the entity), the military power, and moral aspects of the entity in terms of political and cultural resolve and unity. ..."
Sep 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , September 07, 2019 at 07:23 AM

https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/09/note-to-self-_the-ten-americans-who-did-the-most-to-win-the-cold-war-hoisted-from-the-archiveshttpswwwbradford-de.html

September 5, 2019

Note to Self: The Ten Americans Who Did the Most to Win the Cold War *

Harry Dexter White... George Kennan... George Marshall... Arthur Vandenberg... Paul Hoffman... Dean Acheson... Harry S Truman... Dwight D. Eisenhower... Gerald Ford... George Shultz

* https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/02/note-the-ten-americans-who-did-the-most-to-win-the-cold-war-archive-entry-from-brad-delongs-webjournal.html

-- Brad DeLong

anne -> anne... , September 07, 2019 at 07:24 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/1992/10/28/opinion/the-gop-won-the-cold-war-ridiculous.html

October 28, 1992

The G.O.P. Won the Cold War? Ridiculous.
By George F. Kennan

The claim heard in campaign rhetoric that the United States under Republican Party leadership "won the cold war" is intrinsically silly.

The suggestion that any Administration had the power to influence decisively the course of a tremendous domestic political upheaval in another great country on another side of the globe is simply childish. No great country has that sort of influence on the internal developments of any other one.

As early as the late 1940's, some of us living in Russia saw that the regime was becoming dangerously remote from the concerns and hopes of the Russian people. The original ideological and emotional motivation of Russian Communism had worn itself out and become lost in the exertions of the great war. And there was already apparent a growing generational gap in the regime.

These thoughts found a place in my so-called X article in Foreign Affairs in 1947, from which the policy of containment is widely seen to have originated. This perception was even more clearly expressed in a letter from Moscow written in 1952, when I was Ambassador there, to H. Freeman Matthews, a senior State Department official, excerpts from which also have been widely published. There were some of us to whom it was clear, even at that early date, that the regime as we had known it would not last for all time. We could not know when or how it would be changed; we knew only that change was inevitable and impending.

By the time Stalin died, in 1953, even many Communist Party members had come to see his dictatorship as grotesque, dangerous and unnecessary, and there was a general impression that far-reaching changes were in order.

Nikita Khrushchev took the leadership in the resulting liberalizing tendencies. He was in his crude way a firm Communist, but he was not wholly unopen to reasonable argument. His personality offered the greatest hope for internal political liberalization and relaxation of international tensions.

The downing of the U-2 spy plane in 1960, more than anything else, put an end to this hope. The episode humiliated Khrushchev and discredited his relatively moderate policies. It forced him to fall back, for the defense of his own political position, on a more strongly belligerent anti-American tone of public utterance.

The U-2 episode was the clearest example of that primacy of military over political policy that soon was to become an outstanding feature of American cold war policy. The extreme militarization of American discussion and policy, as promoted by hard-line circles over the ensuing 25 years, consistently strengthened comparable hard-liners in the Soviet Union.

The more America's political leaders were seen in Moscow as committed to an ultimate military rather than political resolution of Soviet-American tensions, the greater was the tendency in Moscow to tighten the controls by both party and police, and the greater the braking effect on all liberalizing tendencies in the regime. Thus the general effect of cold war extremism was to delay rather than hasten the great change that overtook the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980's....

ilsm -> anne... , September 07, 2019 at 08:28 AM
Very interesting observation.

In the competition between major powers and/or alliances there are several somewhat complementary aspects of power: economic or physical aspect to create things of "value" (added by the commerce and industry of the entity), the military power, and moral aspects of the entity in terms of political and cultural resolve and unity.

Early in my time in the service, when I had time to think being at a remote station I decided the west had the marked economic advantage, particularly as the green revolution permitted some higher level of nutrition security.

Later on I recall discussions where the collapse of the Soviet Union was assured but would take in to the 21st century to occur. The big question then was "would a nuclear exchange occur in the way of a peaceful collapse".....

The presence of the A Bomb in some ways prevented war in other encouraged intrigue and small scrapes in to each other's spheres.

There was a bit of the Divine in the world getting through the Cold War.

The Berlin wall came down as hoped but 25 years earlier than I expected.

Plp -> ilsm... , September 07, 2019 at 08:58 AM
Stalin built the party military complex that ran Russia from 1932 to 1989

Cold war liberals built uncle's post was military industrial complex as a counterpart to Stalin's

alas thanx to guys from wasp firms on Wall Street like Dean Acheson that knew the planet was ours to pluck post 1946

anne -> Plp... , September 07, 2019 at 09:14 AM
These are important comments, and deserve to be saved and gradually expanded on. I appreciate this.
ilsm -> Plp... , September 07, 2019 at 09:35 AM
As an aside the Ukraine farmers whom Stalin "collectivized" were seen as impediment to industrializing.......

interesting too, how LBJ kept guns and butter and went pedal to the metal in Vietnam......

politics has always (since June 1950, anyway) "ended when the pentagon appropriations bills were up for enacting".

Which may be synonymous with the proscription about politics kept out of diplomacy?

anne -> ilsm... , September 07, 2019 at 09:15 AM
Do save and develop this interesting thinking further over time.
Plp -> anne... , September 07, 2019 at 08:46 AM
KENNAN Was a lucky guy. He hit the right notes at the right time and then as he got second thoughts and better vision. Like yugoslaving peoples China in 1949
He was side tracked and then sent out to ivy pastures
Plp -> Plp... , September 07, 2019 at 08:53 AM
U 2

Nonsense. The moment to engage was 1953 -54 and yes a goo regime blocked it

But it was Truman that crossed the parallel in 1950 and tried to liberate north Korea

It was Kennedy that preferred brinksmanship to real engagement. Brush wars and regime change to accommodation. Missile racing to sensible unilateralism

Yes LBJ was an ignorant oaf on foreign policy. But it was Nixon that finally used PRC as Yugo twenty years too late of course

The cold war was invented by democrats and exploited by republicans for domestic shindiggery. Tragicomedy cinescope scaled

EMichael -> Plp... , September 07, 2019 at 09:18 AM
Yes, very clever how democrats coerced Stalin into annexing eastern Europe and placing millions of people under total control in every way of life.

Your ideology trumps facts when needed.

ilsm -> EMichael... , September 07, 2019 at 09:39 AM
democrats + Truman and Churchill......

Had FDR survived the 3 western sectors of Germany would have been demilitarized, and agrarian.

Churchill conned Truman to use Potsdam as a replay of Munich!

Keenan's angst was the "militarized" usurped "containment".

Stalin may not have been replaying 1938........

Plp -> anne... , September 07, 2019 at 08:37 AM
Pompous banality worthy of a tenured entitled utterly secure mind

I don't like or respect Brad but I do enjoy him ss a punching bag

Plp -> anne... , September 07, 2019 at 08:39 AM
Nixon and Kissinger won the cold war For God sake. Everyone knows that

George Schultz and KENNAN?

Where's Joe McCarthy? And Paul Nitze

ilsm -> Plp... , September 07, 2019 at 08:51 AM
Where is Luce?

Truman and Acheson.... were there when Keenan went off to teach instead of be ignored.

Marshall aside from his plan, he and his Army staffers just off beating Hitler knew Chiang was not worth propping.

The Luce empire went all cold warrior over "who lost China" which gave Joe McCarthy a drum.

ilsm -> Plp... , September 07, 2019 at 09:27 AM
:<)

You could have no Cold War without the agitprop. As with the GWOT today.

The one no loser in the demise of the commies: the MIC!

ilsm -> Plp... , September 07, 2019 at 09:41 AM
As Vinegar Joe Stillwell observed.......

eventually Stillwell went.

anne -> anne... , September 07, 2019 at 09:31 AM
Obviously since there is a determined American Cold War effort being waged right now, American historians were mistaken at the end of the 1980s. There had been no winning of the Cold War, nor even a clear and shared understanding of what the Cold War was about. If the Cold War was only about balancing the Soviet Union and developing economically far beyond the Soviet Union and Soviet ideas faltering, that happened. However, there was obviously more or with no Soviet Union to counter we would not now be taking policy steps to carry on the Cold War.

[Sep 10, 2019] 'One America News' Claims Defamation In $10 Million Lawsuit Against Rachel Maddow

Sep 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

It looks as though liberals may never learn that just because they disagree with someone's opinion, it doesn't automatically make them a tool of the Russian government. And leading the charge of liberals disseminating Russiagate nothingburgers, of course, continues to be Rachel Maddow.

Conservative television network One America News (OAN) is suing Rachel Maddow for $10 million after she referred to the network as "paid Russian propaganda" . OAN filed the defamation suit in federal court in San Diego, according to AP . OAN is a small, family owned conservative network that is based in San Diego and has received favorable Tweets from the President. It is seen as a competitor to Fox News.

OAN's lawsuit claims that Maddow's comments were retaliation after OAN President Charles Herring accused Comcast of censorship. The suit said that Comcast refuses to carry its channel because "counters the liberal politics of Comcast's own news channel, MSNBC."

It was about a week after Herring e-mailed a Comcast executive when Maddow opened her show by referring to a Daily Beast report that claimed an OAN employee also worked for Sputnik News, which has ties to the Russian government. Maddow said: "In this case, the most obsequiously pro-Trump right-wing news outlet in America really literally is paid Russian propaganda. Their on-air U.S. politics reporter is paid by the Russian government to produce propaganda for that government."

Except Maddow, likely still upset from spending 3 years trying to promulgate a Russian hoax that didn't exist, didn't quite get her facts straight. Big surprise.

OAN said in its lawsuit that while reporter Kristian Rouz was associated with Sputnik News, he worked solely as a freelancer for them and was not a staff employee of OAN. And the lawsuit includes a statement from Rouz stating that while he has written some 1,300 articles over the past 4 and a half years for Sputnik, he has "...never written propaganda, disinformation, or unverified information." Skip Miller, OAN's attorney stated:

"One America is wholly owned, operated and financed by the Herring family in San Diego. They are as American as apple pie. They are not paid by Russia and have nothing to do with the Russian government. This is a false and malicious libel, and they're going to answer for it in a court of law."

The lawsuit included an August 6th letter from an NBC Universal attorney who stated that "OAN publishes content collected or created by a journalist who is also paid by the Russian government for writing over a thousand articles. Ms. Maddow's recounting of this arrangement is substantially true and therefore not actionable."

We'll see about that.


Bone-Machine , 13 seconds ago link

A fate worse than death; being stuck in a 10x10 room for eternity with Maddow.

EenuschOne , 25 seconds ago link

"MSNBC interrupts Rachel Maddow's scissoring to bring you an urgent news update."

Bay of Pigs , 58 seconds ago link

Pulling for OAN.

How is Maddow still on TV? Who watches that **** anymore?

[Sep 10, 2019] It s all about Gene Sharp and seeping neoliberal regime change using Western logistical support, money, NGO and intelligence agencies and MSM as the leverage

Highly recommended!
What democracy they are talking about? Democracy for whom? This Harvard political prostitutes are talking about democracy for oligarchs which was the nest result of EuroMaydan and the ability of Western companies to buy assets for pennies on the dollar without the control of national government like happen in xUSSR space after dissolution of the USSR, which in retrospect can be classified as a color revolution too, supported by financial injection, logistical support and propaganda campaign in major Western MSM.
What Harvard honchos probably does not understand or does not wish to understand is that neoliberalism as a social system lost its attraction and is in irreversible decline. The ideology of neoliberalism collapsed much like Bolsheviks' ideology. As Politician like Joe Boden which still preach neoliberalism are widely viewed as corrupt or senile (or both) hypocrites.
The "Collective West" still demonstrates formidable intelligence agencies skills (especially the USA and GB), but the key question is: "What they are fighting for?"
They are fighting for neoliberalism which is a lost case. Which looks like KGB successes after WWIII. They won many battles and lost the Cold war.
Not that Bolsheviks in the USSR was healthy or vibrant. Economics was a deep stagnation, alcoholism among working class was rampant, the standard of living of the majority of population slides each year, much like is the case with neoliberalism after, say, 1991. Hidden unemployment in the USSR was high -- at least in high teens if not higher. Like in the USA now good jobs were almost impossible to obtain without "extra help". Medical services while free were dismal, especially dental -- which were horrible. Hospitals were poor as church rats as most money went to MIC. Actually, like in the USA now, MIC helped to strangulate the economy and contributed to the collapse. It was co a corrupt and decaying , led by completely degenerated leadership. To put the person of the level of Gorbachov level of political talent lead such a huge and complex country was an obvious suicide.
But the facts speak for themselves: what people usually get as the result of any color revolution is the typical for any county which lost the war: dramatic drop of the standard of living due to economic rape of the country.
While far form being perfect the Chinese regime at least managed to lift the standard of living of the majority of the population and provide employment. After regime change China will experience the same economic rape as the USSR under Yeltsin regime. So in no way Hong Cong revolution can be viewed a progressive phenomenon despite all the warts of neoliberalism with Chenese characteristics in mainland China (actually this is a variant of NEP that Gorbachov tried to implement in the USSR, but was to politically incompetent to succeed)
Aug 31, 2019 | Chris Fraser @ChrisFraser_HKU • Aug 27 \z

Replying to @edennnnnn_ @AMFChina @lihkg_forum

A related resource that deserves wide circulation:

Why nonviolent resistance beats violent force in effecting social, political change – Harvard Gazette

CHENOWETH: I think it really boils down to four different things. The first is a large and diverse participation that's sustained.

The second thing is that [the movement] needs to elicit loyalty shifts among security forces in particular, but also other elites. Security forces are important because they ultimately are the agents of repression, and their actions largely decide how violent the confrontation with -- and reaction to -- the nonviolent campaign is going to be in the end. But there are other security elites, economic and business elites, state media. There are lots of different pillars that support the status quo, and if they can be disrupted or coerced into noncooperation, then that's a decisive factor.

The third thing is that the campaigns need to be able to have more than just protests; there needs to be a lot of variation in the methods they use.

The fourth thing is that when campaigns are repressed -- which is basically inevitable for those calling for major changes -- they don't either descend into chaos or opt for using violence themselves. If campaigns allow their repression to throw the movement into total disarray or they use it as a pretext to militarize their campaign, then they're essentially co-signing what the regime wants -- for the resisters to play on its own playing field. And they're probably going to get totally crushed.

Wai Sing-Rin @waisingrin • Aug 27

Replying to @ChrisFraser_HKU @edennnnnn_ and 2 others

Anyone who watched the lone frontliner (w translator) sees the frontliners are headed for disaster. They're fighting just to fight with no plans nor objectives.
They see themselves as heroes protecting the HK they love. No doubt their sincerity, but there are 300 of them left.

[Sep 10, 2019] Behaving like a normal country

Sep 10, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Martin , Sep 10 2019 4:56 utc | 24

As newly appointed US Defense Secretary, Mark Esper, was reported to have claimed about wanting for Russia to ''behave like a normal country'', Sergey Lavrov urged for him to clarify what he means by ''normality'' during a press conference in the Russian capital; if Russia was to behave like the US, it would have had to bomb Iraq, Libya, supporting an armed, anti-constitutional coup in Kiev, and allocating millions in the interference in the affairs of other countries, as in the ''promotion of democracy'' in Russia.

Sergey Shoygu did not have much to add, but what he did add could not be clearer: Russia will probably have to remain being ''not normal''.

[Sep 09, 2019] Will NPR Now Officially Change Its Name to National Propaganda Radio? by Edward Curtin

The main achievement of neoliberal and imperial (warmongering) propaganda in the USA is that it achieved the complete, undisputed dominance in MSM
Pot Calling the Kettle Black: "The Kremlin’s propaganda and disinformation machine is being unleashed via new platforms and continues to grow in Russia and internationally. Russia seeks to destroy the very idea of an objective, verifiable set of facts as it attempts to influence opinions about the United States and its allies. It is not an understatement to say that this new form of combat on the information battlefield may be the fight of the 21st century."
Notable quotes:
"... Back in the 1960s, the CIA official Cord Meyer said the agency needed to "court the compatible left." ..."
"... The CIA therefore secretly worked to influence American and world opinion through the literary and intellectual elites. ..."
"... Then in 1977, Carl Bernstein wrote a long piece for Esquire – “The CIA and the Media” – naming names of journalists and media (The New York Times, CBS, etc.) that worked hand-in-glove with the CIA, propagandizing the American people and the rest of the world. ..."
Sep 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Back in the 1960s, the CIA official Cord Meyer said the agency needed to "court the compatible left."

Right-wing and left-wing collaborators were needed to create a powerful propaganda apparatus that would be capable of hypnotizing audiences into believing the myth of American exceptionalism and its divine right to rule the world.

The CIA therefore secretly worked to influence American and world opinion through the literary and intellectual elites.

Frances Stonor Saunders comprehensively covers this in her 1999 book, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA And The World Of Arts And Letters, and Joel Whitney followed this up in 2016 with Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers, with particular emphasis on the complicity between the CIA and the famous literary journal, The Paris Review.

By the mid-1970s, as a result of the Church Committee hearings, it seemed as if the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc. had been caught in flagrante delicto and disgraced, confessed their sins, and resolved to go and sin no more.

Then in 1977, Carl Bernstein wrote a long piece for Esquire – “The CIA and the Media” – naming names of journalists and media (The New York Times, CBS, etc.) that worked hand-in-glove with the CIA, propagandizing the American people and the rest of the world.

It seemed as if all would be hunky-dory now with the bad boys purged from the American “free” press. Seemed to the most naïve, that is, by which I mean the vast numbers of people who wanted to re-stick their heads in the sand and believe, as Ronald Reagan’s team of truthtellers would announce, that it was “Morning in America” again with the free press reigning and the neo-conservatives, many of whom had been “converted” from their leftist views, running things in Washington.

... ... ...

...read Lansing’s July 10, 2019 testimony before the House Appropriations Sub-Committee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs: “United States Efforts to Counter Russian Disinformation and Malign Influence.”

Here is an excerpt:

USAGM provides consistently accurate and compelling journalism that reflects the values of our society: freedom, openness, democracy, and hope. Our guiding principles—enshrined in law—are to provide a reliable, authoritative, and independent source of news that adheres to the strictest standards of journalism…

Russian Disinformation. And make no mistake, we are living through a global explosion of disinformation, state propaganda, and lies generated by multiple authoritarian regimes around the world. The weaponization of information we are seeing today is real. The Russian government and other authoritarian regimes engage in far-reaching malign influence campaigns across national boundaries and language barriers.

The Kremlin’s propaganda and disinformation machine is being unleashed via new platforms and continues to grow in Russia and internationally. Russia seeks to destroy the very idea of an objective, verifiable set of facts as it attempts to influence opinions about the United States and its allies. It is not an understatement to say that this new form of combat on the information battlefield may be the fight of the 21st century.

Then research the history of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Voice of America, Radio and Television Marti, etc. You will be reassured that Lansing’s July testimony was his job interview to head National Propaganda Radio.

Edward Curtin writes, and his writing on varied topics has appeared widely over many years. He writes as a public intellectual for the general public, not as a specialist for a narrow readership. He believes a non-committal sociology is an impossibility and therefore sees all his work as an effort to enhance human freedom through understanding. His website is edwardcurtin.com

[Sep 09, 2019] Does Shiff take himself seriously?

Notable quotes:
"... is admittedly so cool (given the advanced technology) to be dropping bombs on women and children for the uncountable time, clearly we now know we are going broke killing the innocent. We are bludgeoning them to the point that we have broken our rifles on their corpses. Time to let off. ..."
Sep 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

jared , Sep 9 2019 17:36 utc | 119

Excellent posting on RT -
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/468193-russiagate-collusion-trump-election/

Which is re-publication of article by Stephen Cohen on The Nation -
https://www.thenation.com/article/what-we-still-do-not-know-about-russiagate/

Very well written and keeping focus on what's important.
Very useful, revealing event with many issues remaining to be fully considered regarding behaviors of
- the elected officials,
- the "intelligence" "community",
- the media,
- the public.

And behind it all, the demonization (demonetization) of Russia (and Putin) still continues.

There likely are cases where Russia is acting nefariously or in bad faith, but who could tell given all the b/s they are feeding us.

So it's clear (to anyone interested) that they are misleading us, and (I think) clear why they are misleading us, but that does stop the the constant stream of crap in the media - "news" and "entertainment". Is thier target audience the most obtuse among us? While is admittedly so cool (given the advanced technology) to be dropping bombs on women and children for the uncountable time, clearly we now know we are going broke killing the innocent. We are bludgeoning them to the point that we have broken our rifles on their corpses. Time to let off.

Leaving aside the need to feed the war machine (particularly in light of slowing economy), many on both sides seemed to fear that the public had succeeded in electing a populist and that could not be allowed. So they attacked him knowing the technocratic state would support them. But Trump out-smarted them and went all in deep state, elitest and sooth the worried vested interests and their owners. So that's all past us now. Still, kind of hard to over-look. Does Shiff take himself seriously?

[Sep 08, 2019] 8-30-19 John Kiriakou on the Deep State's Search for a 'Russiagate' Scalp The Scott Horton Show

Sep 08, 2019 | scotthorton.org

John Kiriakou fills in some of the details of the real story of Maria Butina, the alleged Russian spy who is said to have conspired with the 2016 Trump campaign. The problem with the official narrative, explains Kiriakou, is that Butina is not a spy at all and there's no evidence for illegal activity, except for a Foreign Agents Registration form that she should have filled out but did not. For this relatively minor, first time offense, Butina is serving more than a year in prison and has had her name and reputation completely and falsely destroyed. She has also been used in order to build a case of alleged collusion between President Trump and Vladimir Putin, which Kiriakou says is just as flimsy as the case against Butina.

Discussed on the show:

John Kiriakou is a former CIA officer and author of The Convenient Terrorist: Two Whistleblowers' Stories of Torture, Terror, Secret Wars, and CIA Lies and Doing Time Like A Spy . He is the host of Loud and Clear on Sputnik Radio. Follow him on Twitter @JohnKiriakou .

[Sep 08, 2019] Kidnapping as a tool of imperial statecraft by The Saker

Sep 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

There is nothing new about empires taking hostages and using them to put pressure on whatever rebel group needs to reminded "who is boss". The recent arrest in Italy of Alexander Korshunov , the director for business development at Russia's United Engine Corporation (UEC), is really nothing new but just the latest in a long string of kidnappings. And, as I already mentioned in distant 2017 , that kind of thuggery is not a sign of strength but, in fact, a sign of weakness. Remember Michael Ledeen's immortal words about how "" Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business "? Well, you could say that this latest spat of kidnappings is indicative of the same mindset and goal, just on a much smaller, individual, scale. And, finally, it ain't just Russia, we all know about the kidnapping of Huawei's CFO Meng Wanzhou by the Canadian authorities .

By the way, you might wonder how can I speak of "kidnapping" when, in reality, these were legal arrests made by the legitimate authorities of the countries in which these arrests were made? Simple! As I mentioned last week , words matter and to speak of an "arrest" in this case wrongly suggest that 1) some crime was committed (when in reality there is ZERO evidence of that, hence the talk of "conspiracy" to do something illegal) 2) that this crime was investigated and that the authorities have gathered enough evidence to justify an arrest and 3) that the accused will have a fair trial. None of that applies to the cases of Viktor Bout , Konstantin Iaroshenko , Marina Butina or, for that matter, Meng Wanzhou or Wang Weijing . The truth is that these so-called "arrests" are simple kidnappings, the goal is hostage taking with the goal to either 1) try to force Russia (and China) to yield to US demands or 2) try to "get back" at Russia (and China) following some humiliating climb down by the US Administration (this was also the real reason behind the uncivilized seizure of Russian diplomatic buildings in the USA).

This is not unlike what the Gestapo and the SS liked to do during WWII and their kidnapping of hostages was also called "arrest" by the then state propaganda machine. By the way, the Bolsheviks also did a lot of that during the civil war, but on a much larger scale. In reality, both in the case of the Nazi authorities and in the case of the imperial USA, as soon as a person is arrested he/she is subjected to solitary confinement and other forms of psychological torture (Manning or Assange anybody?!) in order to either make them break or to at least show Russia and China that the US, being the World Hegemon gets to seize anybody worldwide, be it by a CIA kidnapping team or by using local colonial law enforcement authorities (aka local police forces).

US politicians love to "send messages" and this metaphor is used on a daily basis by US officials in all sorts of circumstances. Here the message is simple: we can do whatever the hell we want, and there ain't nothing you can do about it!

But is that last statement really true?

Well, in order to reply to this we should look at the basic options available to Russia (this also applies to China, but here I want to focus on the Russian side of the issue). I guess the basic list of options is pretty straightforward:

Publicly protest and denounce these kidnappings as completely illegal (and immoral to boot!) Retaliate by using legal means (sanctions, cancellation of agreements, etc.) Retaliate by using extra-legal means (counter-kidnappings, not unlike what China allegedly decided to do in the case of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor )

Frankly, in the case of the USA, options one and two are useless: the AngloZionist leaders have long given up any hope of not being hated and despised by 99% of mankind and they have long dropped any pretense of legality, nevermind morality: they don't give a damn what anybody thinks. Their main concern is to conceal their immense weakness, but they fail to do so time and time again. Truly, when wannabe "empires" can't even bring an extremely weakened country such as Venezuela to heel, there ain't much they can do to boot their credibility. If anything, this thuggery is nothing more than the evidence of a mind-blowing weakness of the Empire.

But that weakness in no way implies that Russia and China have good options. Sadly, they don't.

Russia can engage in various types of sanctions, ranging from the petty bureaucratic harassment of US representations, diplomats, businessmen and the like to economic and political retaliations. But let's not kid ourselves, there is very little Russia can do to seriously hurt the USA with such retaliations. Many would advocate retaliation in kind, but that poses a double problem for the Kremlin:

some are more equal than others " and that that which is "allowed" to the World Hegemon is categorically forbidden to everybody else. Thus if Russia retaliates in kind, there will be an explosion of hysterical protests not only by the western legacy corporate and state ziomedia, but also from the 5 th columnist in the Russian "liberal" press.

And yes, unlike the USA, Russia does have a vibrant, diverse and pluralistic media and each time when Putin agrees to a press conference (especially one several hours long) he knows that he will be asked the tough, unpleasant, questions. But since he, unlike most western leaders, can intelligently answer them he does not fear them. As for Dmitrii Peskov and Maria Zakharova, they have heard it all a gazillion during the past years, including often the most ridiculously biased, mis-informed and outright ridiculous "questions" (accusations, really) from the western presstitute corps in Russia.

So yes, Russia could, in theory, retaliate by arresting US citizens in Russia (or by staging Cold War type provocations) or by kidnapping them abroad (Russia does have special forces trained for this kind of operation). But this is most unlikely to yield any meaningful results and it would create a PR nightmare for the Kremlin.

ORDER IT NOW

The truth is that in most of these cases we always come down to the fundamental dichotomy: on one hand we have a rogue state gone bonkers with imperial hubris, arrogance and crass ignorance (say, the USA and/or Israel) while on the other we have states which try to uphold a civilized international order (Russia, China, Iran, etc.). This is by logical necessity a lop-sided struggle in which the thugs will almost always have the advantage.

Kevin Frost , says: September 7, 2019 at 12:05 pm GMT

I see that not everyone believes in an eye for an eye. Bless your religion sir. If I had the power to call down blessings, which I don't, I'd have to make that a double order. You are twice blessed for saying, out loud, publicly and all, that the Soviet Union did not fall, nor did anyone push it over. It was not about the price of oil or the cost of wheat or even the darkness that lurks in the depths of mens souls. It was dismantled by its own chief executive officers and it fell apart precisely because its officials still did their jobs. People have all sorts of strong feelings about this, understandably so, yet is it well to stick to the truth. I agree with you on this matter thought it's difficult to endure such provocative and insulting evils. In past struggles with Europe, Russia has proven itself capable and willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve its aims. A determined stance on the part of the leaders puts a burden on the people. But as well, it empowers them to. In this way they succeed.
renfro , says: September 8, 2019 at 4:37 am GMT
Captain Hook to Captain Kumar of the runaway oil tanker lol peter pan clowns running the State Department.

"This is Brian Hook . . . I work for secretary of state Mike Pompeo and serve as the US Representative for Iran," Mr Hook wrote to Akhilesh Kumar on August 26, according to several emails seen by the Financial Times. "I am writing with good news."

"With this money you can have any life you wish and be well-off in old age," Mr Hook wrote in a second email to Mr Kumar that also included a warning. "If you choose not to take this easy path, life will be much harder for you."

[Sep 08, 2019] Pray for peace, and no mistakes! Neocon warmonger Nicholas Kristof speculates in NYT How a War With China Could Begin

Sep 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , September 07, 2019 at 12:06 PM

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/04/opinion/china-taiwan-war.html

September 4, 2019

This Is How a War With China Could Begin
First, the lights in Taiwan go out.
By Nicholas Kristof

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- If the United States gets embroiled in a war with China, it may begin with the lights going out here in Taipei.

Tensions are rising across the Taiwan Strait, and there's a growing concern among some security experts that Chinese President Xi Jinping might act recklessly toward Taiwan in the next few years, drawing the United States into a conflict....

[ Nuttier and nuttier but there we are, and as Les Gelb explained, the foreign policy community at such times have become incapable of independent thought. ]

anne -> anne... , September 07, 2019 at 12:06 PM
https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1167904600604590081

May 12, 2009

Mission Unaccomplished: Meet the press -- and see why it failed at several crucial points during the Iraq War
By Leslie H. Gelb with Jeanne-Paloma Zelmati - Council on Foreign Relations

My initial support for the war was symptomatic of unfortunate tendencies within the foreign policy community, namely the disposition and incentives to support wars to retain political and professional credibility. We "experts" have a lot to fix about ourselves, even as we "perfect" the media. We must redouble our commitment to independent thought, and embrace, rather than cast aside, opinions and facts that blow the common -- often wrong -- wisdom apart. Our democracy requires nothing less.

anne -> anne... , September 07, 2019 at 12:17 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/04/opinion/china-taiwan-war.html

September 4, 2019

This Is How a War With China Could Begin
First, the lights in Taiwan go out.
By Nicholas Kristof

[ Though this essay is nutty, the implications are really frightening to me. We have reached a point where New York Times columnists are imagining the bombing of China. This, to my imagination, was precisely what was imagined during the height of the supposedly won Cold War. ]

ilsm -> anne... , September 07, 2019 at 06:55 PM
Sad!

The atomic scientists should move their clock half the distance to mid night.

A side benefit of the US finding an excuse to terminate Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987 is to ring China with INF banned weapon systems!

The new, made up, cold war has two major fronts, Europe and the Pac Rim, whereas the Soviet based [my] cold war only had Russia ringed from Germany Belgium UK and Spain.....

Pray for peace, and no mistakes!

[Sep 07, 2019] 14 Strange Facts Exposed As General Flynn's Endgame Approaches

Sep 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Here are just some of the twists and turns in the case, which has gone on for more than three years.

  1. Flynn's trip to Russia in 2015, where it was claimed Flynn went without the knowledge or approval of the DIA or anyone in Washington, was proven not to be true .
  2. Flynn was suspected of being compromised by a supposed Russian agent, Cambridge academic Svetlana Lokhova, based on allegations from Western intelligence asset Stefan Halper. This was also proven to be not true.
  3. Flynn's phone calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were framed as being incredibly shady and a potential violation of the Logan Act . This allegation was always preposterous .
  4. Unnamed intelligence officials leaked the details of the Flynn-Kislyak phone calls to The Washington Post.
  5. FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joseph Pientka were dispatched by Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe to interview Flynn at the White House, even though the FBI had already reviewed the transcripts of the calls and cleared Flynn of any crimes .
  6. Both FBI Director James Comey and McCabe testified to Congress that Flynn didn't lie.
  7. Despite what McCabe and Comey both testified to under oath before Congress, the Mueller special counsel's office decided to prosecute Flynn for perjury in November of 2017 .
  8. The very strange post-dated FD-302 form on the FBI's January 2017 interview of Flynn that wasn't filled out until August 2017, almost seven months afterward, is revealed in a court filing by Flynn's defense team .
  9. FBI agent Pientka became the "DOJ's Invisible Man," despite the fact that Congress has repeatedly called for him to testify. Pientka has remained out of sight and out of mind more than a year and a half since his name first surfaced in connection with the Flynn case.
  10. Judge Rudolph Contreras was removed from the Flynn case immediately after accepting Flynn's guilty plea and was replaced by Judge Emmit Sullivan .
  11. Sullivan issued what's known as a Brady order to prosecutors -- which ordered them to immediately turn over any exculpatory evidence to Flynn's defense team. Flynn's team then made a filing alleging the withholding of exculpatory evidence .
  12. Flynn was given a chance to withdraw his guilty plea by Judge Sullivan but refused , and insisted to go forward with sentencing.
  13. Flynn suddenly fired his lawyers for the past two years and hired Sidney Powell to lead his new legal team following special counsel Robert Mueller's disastrous testimony to Congress . And now, the latest startling development:
  14. Flynn filed to have the Mueller prosecution team replaced for having withheld exculpatory evidence , despite Sullivan having directly ordered them to hand any such evidence over months ago.

Now, it's not that far-fetched of an idea that the Mueller special counsel prosecutors would hide exculpatory evidence from the Flynn defense team, since they've just admitted to having done exactly that in another case their office has been prosecuting .

The defense team for Internet Research Agency/Concord, more popularly known as "the Russian troll farm case," hasn't been smooth going for the Mueller prosecutors.

First, the prosecution team got a real tongue-lashing from Judge Dabney L. Friedrich in early July , when it turned out they had no evidence whatsoever to prove their assertion that the Russian troll farms were being run by the Putin government.

Then, in a filing submitted to the court on Aug. 30, the IRA/Concord defense team alerted Judge Friedrich that the prosecutors just got around to handing them key evidence the prosecutors had for the past 18 months. The prosecution gave no explanation whatsoever as to why they hid this key evidence for more than a year.

It's hard to see at this point how the entire IRA/Concord case isn't tossed out.

What would it mean for Flynn's prosecutors to have been caught hiding exculpatory evidence from him and his lawyers, even after the presiding judge explicitly ordered them in February to hand over everything they had?

It would mean that the Flynn case is tossed out, since the prosecution team was caught engaging in gross misconduct.

Now you can see why Flynn refused to withdraw his guilty plea when Judge Sullivan gave him the opportunity to do so in late December 2018.

A withdrawal of the guilty plea or a pardon would let the Mueller prosecution team off the hook.

And they're not getting off the hook.

Flynn hired the best lawyer he possibly could have when it comes to exposing prosecutorial misconduct. Nobody knows the crafty, corrupt, and dishonest tricks federal prosecutors use better than Powell, who actually wrote a compelling book about such matters, entitled " License to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice ."

Everything this Mueller prosecution team did in withholding exculpatory evidence from Flynn's defense team -- and continued to withhold even after Judge Sullivan specifically issued an order about it -- is going to be fully exposed.

Defying a federal judge's Brady order is a one-way ticket to not only getting fired, it's a serious enough offense to warrant disbarment and prosecution.

If it turns out Mueller special counsel prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence -- not only in the IRA/Concord case, but also in the cases against Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Rick Gates, Roger Stone, and others -- that will have a huge impact.

If they are willing to withhold exculpatory evidence in one case, why wouldn't they do the same thing in other cases they were prosecuting? Haven't they have already demonstrated they are willing to break the rules? Tags


Tirion , 3 minutes ago link

We have become a third-world country. Even throwing Mueller and his entire prosecutors' team in jail would not be enough to restore confidence in our legal system. But it would be a start.

consistentliving , 2 hours ago link

On or about December 28, 2016, the Russian Ambassador contacted FLYNN.

c. On or about December 29, 2016, FLYNN called a senior official of the Presidential Transition Team ("PTT official"), who was with other senior ·members of the Presidential Transition Team at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, to discuss what, if anything, to communicate to the Russian Ambassador about the U.S. Sanctions. On that call, FLYNN and 2 Case 1:17-cr-00232-RC Document 4 Filed 12/01/17 Page 2 of 6 the PTT official discussed the U.S. Sanctions, including the potential impact of those sanctions on the incoming administration's foreign policy goals. The PIT official and FLYNN also discussed that the members of the Presidential Transition Team at Mar-a-Lago did not want Russia to escalate the situation. d. Immediately after his phone call with the PTT official, FLYNN called the Russian Ambassador and requested that Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. Sanctions in a reciprocal manner. e. Shortly after his phone call with the Russian Ambassador, FLYNN spoke with the PTT official to report on the substance of his call with the Russian Ambassador, including their discussion of the U.S. Sanctions. f. On or about December 30, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin released a statement indicating that Russia would not take retaliatory measures in response to the U.S. Sanctions at that time. g. On or about December 31, 2016, the Russian Ambassador called FLYNN and informed him that Russia had chosen not to retaliate in response to FL YNN's request. h. After his phone call with the Russian Ambassador, FLYNN spoke with senior members of the Presidential Transition Team about FL YNN's conversations with the Russian Ambassador regarding the U.S. Sanctions and Russia's decision not to escalate the situation.

https://www.justice.gov/file/1015126/download

Charlie_Martel , 2 hours ago link

The coup plot between the international intelligence community (which includes our FBI-CIA-etc) and their unregistered foreign agents in the multinational corporate media is slowly being revealed.

Mah_Authoritah , 2 hours ago link

The truth is so precious that it must be spoon fed.

Transmedia001 , 3 hours ago link

Here’s another possibility... elites in the US Gov set on running a soft coup against a duly elected president and his team made up a whole pile of **** and passed it off as truth.

spoonful , 2 hours ago link

Agreed, so long as you put Flynn on the side of the elites

Boris Badenov , 3 hours ago link

The Manafort thing has me totally riled since HRC's "Password" guy and his brother were PARTNERS with manafort, did the same damn things, and were NOT investigated.

Donald Trump is many things to many people, but is not his social personna to be patient. He is being VERY patient to let this unfold, to "give a man enough rope" or political party and its owner, as it may be....

Donna Brazile's book is under-rated: it holds they keys as to who ran the DNC and why after Obie bailed.

TheAnswerIs42 , 3 hours ago link

Our local community rag (Vermont) had an opinion piece last week about "The slide towards Facism", where the author breathlessly stated that she had learned from a MSNBC expose by Rachel Maddow that the administration was firing researchers at NASA and EPA as well as cutting back funding for LGBTQ support groups. Oh the horror. The author conveniently forgot that the same dyke had lied for 2 years about Russia,Russia,Russia but it's still OK to believe any **** that drops out of her mouth.

This is the level of insanity happening around here. Of course it is Bernie's turf.

People who are so stupid and gullible deserve everything they are gonna get.

LEEPERMAX , 4 hours ago link

14 Strange Facts About Mueller's "Michael Flynn Scam"

https://youtu.be/ksb8VsOMqQg

LEEPERMAX , 4 hours ago link

MUELLER and his "Band of Legal Clowns" have played us all for "Absolute Fools" again and again.

THE U.S. IS A CAPTURED OPERATION

Drop-Hammer , 4 hours ago link

Poor Flynn. Rail-roaded by ZOG and Obama and Hillary and Co. I hope beyond hope that the truth is revealed and that he can sue the **** out of the seditionists/(((seditionists))) who put him into this mess such that his great-great-grandchildren will never have to work.

I also blame Trump for throwing Flynn under the bus.

Westcoastliberal , 3 hours ago link

Trump didn't throw Flynn under the bus, I think he would pardon him later, but Trump needs to let this play out. Otherwise the left will bury him.

just the tip , 36 minutes ago link

trump threw flynn under the bus when trump said the reason he let flynn go was flynn lied to pence.

Homer E. Rectus , 4 hours ago link

If they are willing to withhold exculpatory evidence in one case, why wouldn’t they do the same thing in other cases they were prosecuting? Haven’t they have already demonstrated they are willing to break the rules?

Duh! Because it's easy and the media never covers it and AG Barr and FBI director Wray will cover it all up. America no longer operates under rule of law, and now we all know it. Never cooperate with them!

Roger Casement , 4 hours ago link

Mike Flynn stands for us. Help him put handicapped trolls out of work.

Buy lunch for Sidney Powell. o7

https://mikeflynndefensefund.org/

ztack3r , 4 hours ago link

flynn didn't rape children, to buzy trying to fight liberators of iraq and afganistan from invasion... that's his major crime.

I guess, kelly, mattis, mcmaster neither are on the child rape trend. but what can they do? when the entire cia and doj and fbi are full on controlled and run by the pedos? it's like when all the cardinals and the pope are pedos, what a bishop to do...

Why would CIA Rothschild'd up puppet Trump pick only the best William Barr?

Who told Acosta to cut no prosecution deal with Epstein? George Bush? Robert Mukasey? or Bob Mueller?

Trump, Barr, Bush, Mueller all on the same no rule of law national no government pys op , for Epstein & 9/11 clean op team Poppa Bush, Clinton, & Mossad.

Barr: CIA operative

It is a sobering fact that American presidents (many of whom have been corrupt) have gone out of their way to hire fixers to be their attorney generals.

Consider recent history: Loretta Lynch (2015-2017), Eric Holder (2009-2015), Michael Mukasey (2007-2009), Alberto Gonzales (2005-2007), John Ashcroft (2001-2005),Janet Reno (1993-2001), **** Thornburgh (1988-1991), Ed Meese (1985-1988), etc.

Barr, however, is a particularly spectacular and sordid case. As George H.W. Bush’s most notorious insider, and as the AG from 1991 to 1993, Barr wreaked havoc, flaunted the rule of law, and proved himself to be one of the CIA/Deep State’s greatest and most ruthless champions and protectors :

A strong case can be made that William Barr was as powerful and important a figure in the Bush apparatus as any other, besides Poppy Bush himself.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/ciabushiran-contra-covert-operative-fixer-william-barr-nominated-attorney-general/5662609

my new username , 4 hours ago link

That's FBI lawfare: either you plead guilty of crimes you did not commit, or we frame your son, as well as bankrupt you.

Roger Casement , 5 hours ago link

Mike Flynn stands for us. Going to buy guns or butter for the cause?

These consiglieres went after his son. They aren't lawyers. They are hitmen.

https://mikeflynndefensefund.org/

ztack3r , 4 hours ago link

there is a war on america, and the DoD and men like flynn are too arrogant, dumb, and proud to admit they have been fucked and conned deeply by men way smarter than them...

we don't need ******* brains, but killers to wage this revolution against the american pedostate.

and that, what they master, they don't want to do.

if they want money, they should have learned to trade and not kill...

[Sep 06, 2019] Trump vs MSM spectacle gets boring

Notable quotes:
"... Anyone read Ronan Farrows "War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence"? In one passage he describes a meeting at the State Department where they are complaining that nobody is interested in their policy prescriptions and decide that the problem is that they need some graphs. They all turn to Farrrow and look at him as he is the youngest in the meeting and figure he is the only one who would know how to do that. "Ageism" he thought. ..."
"... The problem with the mainstream media calling out Trump is that this is like the pot calling a kettle black. Trump is awful, sure. But so is the corporate media with its pro-war and neoliberal economic agenda. ..."
"... As Ian Welsh notes, the press is Trump's enemy, not the servant of the people: https://www.ianwelsh.net/the-press-is-trumps-enemy-not-the-lefts-friend/ ..."
"... RussiaRussiaRussia has been very profitable, not only personally for the talking heads in the intelligence community but for the press. Removing clearance not only hits the talking heads in the wallet, it disrupts the relation between the press and its network of anonymous sources. ..."
"... Re 2), there seems to be an element of induced demand to support the preponderance of repetitive coverage, somewhat akin to the dopamine manipulation in video games and on social media websites. Bug and feature. ..."
Sep 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev , August 17, 2018 at 7:59 am

This author is right. I do not know if you would call what the media did a form of virtue-signalling or whatever but the net effect is a demonstration that the media is into coordinated campaigns. I do not think that people have forgotten the "This Is Extremely Dangerous to Our Democracy" Sinclair script a few months ago. This is just more of the same.
I don't even know why they act so b***-hurt when Trump attacks their honesty. In the last few months I have seen them call him a traitor, a gay-bitch, they have called for a military coup to unseat him, they have begged for the deep state to rescue them, they have elevated people who are responsible for the deaths of thousands of American soldiers to the ranks of noble heroes of the Republic. As far as I am concerned, they have made their own bed and now they can lay in it, even if they have to share it with Donald J. Trump.

Kokuanani , August 17, 2018 at 9:20 am

Big media outlets need not actually report news that affects your life and point to serious solutions for social ills. They can just bad mouth Trump.

Substitute "The Democratic Party" for "big media outlets" and you've got another accurate picture.

Angie Neer , August 17, 2018 at 1:40 pm

Yesterday when I looked at the NYT online, the big featured graphic in the center of the page, typically a photo, was a rotating feed of Trump tweets, in headline-sized text. It struck me as a new low in the pathetic Trump-media feedback loop. It's all a game of "made you look!"

Bill Smith , August 17, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Yeah, they probably got a summer intern to do that.

Anyone read Ronan Farrows "War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence"? In one passage he describes a meeting at the State Department where they are complaining that nobody is interested in their policy prescriptions and decide that the problem is that they need some graphs. They all turn to Farrrow and look at him as he is the youngest in the meeting and figure he is the only one who would know how to do that. "Ageism" he thought.

Altandmain , August 17, 2018 at 6:25 pm

The problem with the mainstream media calling out Trump is that this is like the pot calling a kettle black. Trump is awful, sure. But so is the corporate media with its pro-war and neoliberal economic agenda.

As Ian Welsh notes, the press is Trump's enemy, not the servant of the people: https://www.ianwelsh.net/the-press-is-trumps-enemy-not-the-lefts-friend/

A case could be made that independent media like Naked Capitalism is doing a key public service. Not the corporate media though, whose main objective is always to maximize advertising revenues and to impose the views of its owners, the very rich, on society.

Lambert Strether , August 18, 2018 at 2:32 pm

Two random comments on this topic:

1) The best justification for giving officials formally out of government clearance on either side of the revolving door is that you may need to call on them for advice. It seems to me that this incentivizes "intelligence" over wisdom. And for wisdom, long experience plus open sources should be enough. (For example, if you want to call in an ex-official on North Korean nukes, they don't really need to know the details of the latest weaponry, or Kim's weight gain, or whatever. That can be explained to them by the customer , as needed. What's really needed is an outside voice -- the role played by an honest consultant -- plus wisdom about power relations on the Korean peninsula. No need for clearance there.)

2) RussiaRussiaRussia has been very profitable, not only personally for the talking heads in the intelligence community but for the press. Removing clearance not only hits the talking heads in the wallet, it disrupts the relation between the press and its network of anonymous sources.


Enquiring Mind, August 18, 2018 at 9:02 pm

Re 2), there seems to be an element of induced demand to support the preponderance of repetitive coverage, somewhat akin to the dopamine manipulation in video games and on social media websites. Bug and feature.

[Sep 06, 2019] MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell hits Russiagate rock bottom The Grayzone

Sep 06, 2019 | thegrayzone.com

AARON MATÉ: When it comes to Russiagate, there have been too many embarrassing media stories to count. And somehow, after nearly three years of this, the most discredited journalists are finding new ways to discredit themselves. The latest is Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC. Speaking another prominent conspiracy theorist, Rachel Maddow, O'Donnell shared this bombshell claim.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL : This single source close to Deutsche Bank has told me that the Trump – Donald Trump's loan documents there show that he has co-signers. That's how he was able to obtain those loans. And that the co-signers are Russian oligarchs.

RACHEL MADDOW : What? Really?

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL : That would explain, it seems to me, every kind word Donald Trump has ever said about Russia and Vladimir Putin, if true.

AARON MATÉ: Well it turns out, it's not true, or at least, there's no evidence for it. According to MSNBC, Lawrence O'Donnell's "information came from a single source who has not seen the bank records." And so, O'Donnell had to retract his story after less than 24 hours.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: I should not have said it on air or posted it on Twitter. I was wrong to do so. This afternoon, attorneys for the president sent us a letter asserting the story is false. They also demanded a retraction. Tonight, we are retracting the story.

AARON MATÉ: But in the process of walking back his story, O'Donnell also said this.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: Saying 'if true' as I discussed the information was simply not good enough. I did not go through the rigorous verification and standards process here at MSNBC before repeating what I heard from my source.

AARON MATÉ: That's about as dubious a claim as Lawrence O'Donnell's retracted one. When it comes to the Trump-Russia story, the idea of "a rigorous verification and standards process" at MSNBC is a joke. The bulk of this network's output for more than two years has been innuendo and conspiracy theories about a non-existent Trump-Russia plot and a massive Russia interference campaign.

This also was not the first time that MSNBC has used the 'if true' caveat to put something on air. Take the time Lawrence O'Donnell himself speculated that Vladimir Putin orchestrated a chemical weapons attack in Syria to distract the media from his ties to Donald Trump.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: If Vladimir Putin, if, if, if Vladimir Putin masterminded the last week in Syria, he has gotten everything he could have asked for . Go ahead. Do a small chemical attack. Nothing – nothing like the big ones you've done in the past. Just big enough to attract media attention so that my friend in the White House will see it on TV. And then Donald Trump can fire some missiles at Syria that will do no real damage, and then the American news media will change the subject from Russian influence in the Trump campaign and the Trump transition and the Trump White House. It's perfect.

AARON MATÉ: By the way that was in April 2017 -- more than two years ago. Fast forward to say, July 2018, when MSNBC's Chris Hayes brought on liberal writer Jonathan Chait to ponder if Donald Trump has been a Russian military intelligence asset since 1987.

CHRIS HAYES: In a new cover story for New York Magazine, Writer Jonathan Chait argues we have not allowed ourselves to consider the full range of possibilities. Chait lays out what could be considered the worst-case scenario for Trump-Russia collusion, that Donald Trump has been a Russian intelligence asset since 1987.

AARON MATÉ: Then there's Rachel Maddow. I don't know, take your pick. How about, Putin may use the pee tape & other kompromat to force Trump into withdrawing US troops near Russia.

RACHEL MADDOW : And here's the question. Is the new president going to take those troops out? After all the speculation, after all the worry, we are actually about to find out if Russia maybe has something on the new president? We're about to find out if the new president of our country is going to do what Russia wants once he's commander-in-chief of the U.S. military starting noon on Friday. What is he going to do with those deployments?

AARON MATÉ: Trump didn't withdraw those troops. How about also, Vladimir Putin got Trump to hire Paul Manafort as his campaign manager.

RACHEL MADDOW: I mean, take the view from Moscow. If you know a guy who needs a presidential campaign manager, how about our friend Paul? Right? From the Russian's point of view, who would be the better choice to run Donald Trump's presidential campaign? From our perspective in the United States, Paul Manafort made no sense. Who's he? From the Russian perspective, he'd be the obvious choice.

AARON MATÉ: Speaking of hiring decisions, there was also Vladimir Putin getting Trump to hire Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.

RACHEL MADDOW: Rex Tillerson – who Donald Trump had never met, had never had anything to do with before, had never laid eyes on before. How did Rex Tillerson get that job? He must have come very highly recommended – by someone. [MSNBC screen shows Putin with Tillerson].

AARON MATÉ: By the way, when Trump later fired Rex Tillerson, Maddow blamed that on Putin as well. So you get the picture. Lawrence O'Donnell's story was not MSNBC's first glaring error. Before this one, there was just no accountability for them. But the biggest problem here is not that these stories are embarrassing the cable news hosts and pundits who promote them. The Trump- Russia conspiracy theory has degraded journalism, and seriously undermining the actual resistance to Donald Trump.

Think about what a gift it is for Trump that his media critics constantly validate his claims about fake news. And it's an even bigger gift to Trump that his media and political foes have spent the bulk of their air time on a moronic conspiracy theory, instead of his actual policies, and the damage that they do.

So the Russiagate conspiracy theory has done serious damage. And it will continue to do so unless there is some minimal accountability for the people who promote it and profit from it. Because when you think about the fact that MSNBC hosts and others are still doing this – still promoting the Russiagate conspiracy theory, and still calling themselves journalists in the process – well, this is my response.

RACHEL MADDOW : What? Really?

Aaron Mate headshot Aaron Maté

[Sep 06, 2019] Didn't I tell you American get their reality from their Plato's Cave screens? The message being sent to Americans by the Current Neoliberal Oligarchy is Get Out; We Don't Need You! as they fight tooth nail to destroy what little remains of the pathetic to begin with welfare state, while dumbing-down education

Sep 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Sep 5 2019 20:00 utc | 28

"Do you really think they spend $400 on a hammer?"

That line comes straight out of a movie . Didn't I tell you American get their reality from their Plato's Cave screens?

I briefly worked in a machine shop that did DoD contract work. We would buy washers by the pound from the hardware store down the street, heat seal them individually into little plastic baggies with the part number printed on them, and then sell them to the Navy for $50 each .

Yeah, the military pays $400 each, if not a good deal more, for their hammers.


karlof1 , Sep 5 2019 20:23 utc | 35

To focus exclusively on weapons is to focus on the wrong aspect of a nation's strength. I always find it funny in a very sadistic manner that the Outlaw US Empire is constantly declared to be the richest nation on the planet when it has at minimum 30 Million people well below the far too low poverty line, millions more mal-nourished, millions more kept in a state of ignorance, and with a wealth disparity problem of an enormous magnitude where 3 men own as much wealth as the bottom 50% of the population, or @165 Million people.

What all that and more not included spells out to me is that the Outlaw US Empire is the planet's most Dysfunctional nation.

Russia in stark contrast as clearly shown by Putin's speech I linked to above is striving very hard to overcome the dysfunctions applied to it by outside actors and the previous system in ways only Bernie Sanders is promoting while Trump and the neoliberals from both political parties continue to do the exact opposite by striving to escalate the dysfunctions.

The message being sent to Americans by the Current Neoliberal Oligarchy is Get Out; We Don't Need You! as they fight tooth & nail to destroy what little remains of the pathetic to begin with welfare state, while dumbing-down education and promoting carcinogenic foodstuffs. Putin's contrasting message: Come Here! I Welcome You! Here are the many inducements to become Russian and fulfill your abilities and destiny! No! It's not a pipe dream; read his speech! One of the most important factors in a nation's strength is the opportunities it provides for its citizens and how well that collective cares for itself via the mediums of government and culture. In that respect, IMO, the USA is in the worst shape its ever been due to its insane level of moral corruption.

Putin's trolling points directly at that last sentence. It's his way of pounding his shoe on the podium and saying We'll bury you all while smiling wryly. Moreover, other national leaders are beginning to abandon the dysfunctional Outlaw US Empire as they find it irrational and impossible to deal with.

The same goes for the EU with its similar domineering neoliberal nature. Putin was correct about the demise of Liberalism. What needs to rise up and replace it is a mother-like humanistic social order that cares for and provides opportunities to fulfill one's abilities while also paying close attention to the condition of the planet that supports us.

what did I just read , Sep 5 2019 20:32 utc | 38
Ok, lets clear this misunderstanding up. The nuclear missile is not hypersonic and Putin never sold these weapons as "super weapons" ala Trump. That's an ungenerous reading. A while back, Putin gave a speech before the parliament in which he detailed some new weapons systems.

The point of it all was to highlight the foolish and dangerous assumptions on which aggressive Western policy towards Russia rest. One of these assumptions is that the US could launch a first strike against Russia and be safe from retaliation behind it's ABM screen. In reality, that system is incapable of stopping any significant number of current ballistic warheads and that further, Russia was now fielding systems that can circumvent or penetrate that defense easily.

He listed several of these systems. Two were hypersonic, the kinzhal and avangard. Another was the new ICBM, RS-28 Sarmat. It is powerful enough to send the warheads into orbit. From there they no longer follow a strict ballistic path and can circle the earth to any target they choose, making them impossible to predict and defend against. It is a concept tried in the early 70's but then withdrawn called fobos.

The last of the strategic weapons were based around the new miniaturized nuclear reactor that had just been perfected. It is being applied to a cruise missile and a sub-torpedo concept. The nuclear cruise missile will have practically unlimited range, but it will be subsonic not hypersonic.

William Gruff , Sep 5 2019 20:44 utc | 40
Clue for the clueless: "Secret weapons" are only useful for surprise attacks... sucker punches. Defensive weapons intended to deter attacks only work as a deterrence if they are advertised. The very fact that Putin announced the existence of the new weapons is in and of itself proof that those weapons are intended to deter aggression, not be used aggressively.

The corollary to this fact is that if the United States really does have secret weapons like attack sharks with frickin` laser beams on their heads, then those are intended as offensive first strike weaponry.

Why is it that Americans are proud of being seen as the most offensive people on the planet? Arguing for the existence of super secret weapons is arguing for Americans being the biggest scumbag villains alive. It is strange that many Americans don't get that. Super-secret weapons don't deter and defend, their secrecy can only surprise America's victims.

This is part and parcel of why I am always arguing that Americans are literally mentally ill.

[Sep 04, 2019] The Future of the Grand Spectacle which is the USA reality by C.J. Hopkins

Sep 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

If you want a vision of the future, don't imagine "a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever," as Orwell suggested in 1984 . Instead, imagine that human face staring mesmerized into the screen of some kind of nifty futuristic device on which every word, sound, and image has been algorithmically approved for consumption by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ("DARPA") and its "innovation ecosystem" of "academic, corporate, and governmental partners."

The screen of this futuristic device will offer a virtually unlimited range of "non-divisive" and "hate-free" content, none of which will falsify or distort the "truth," or in any way deviate from "reality." Western consumers will finally be free to enjoy an assortment of news, opinion, entertainment, and educational content (like this Guardian podcast about a man who gave birth , or MSNBC's latest bombshell about Donald Trump's secret Russian oligarch backers ) without having their enjoyment totally ruined by discord-sowing alternative journalists like Aaron Maté or satirists like myself.

"Fake news" will not appear on this screen. All the news will be "authentic." DARPA and its partners will see to that. You won't have to worry about being "influenced" by Russians, Nazis, conspiracy theorists, socialists, populists, extremists, or whomever. Such Persons of Malicious Intent will still be able to post their content (because of "freedom of speech" and all that stuff), but they will do so down in the sewers of the Internet where normal consumers won't have to see it. Anyone who ventures down there looking for it (i.e., such "divisive" and "polarizing" content) will be immediately placed on an official DARPA watchlist for "potential extremists," or "potential white supremacists," or "potential Russians."

Once that happens, their lives will be over (i.e., the lives of the potentially extremist fools who have logged onto whatever dark web platform will still be posting essays like this, not the lives of the Persons of Malicious Intent, who never had any lives to begin with, and who by that time will probably be operating out of some heavily armed, off-the-grid compound in Idaho). Their schools, employers, and landlords will be notified. Their photos and addresses will be published online. Anyone who ever said two words to them (or, God help them, appears in a photograph with them) will have 24 hours to publicly denounce them, or be placed on DARPA’s watchlist themselves.

The Alarmist , says: September 4, 2019 at 9:02 am GMT

@El Dato Dude, you watch RT? You may as well go turn yourself in at the local Federal Building.
The Alarmist , says: September 4, 2019 at 9:03 am GMT
I’d laugh, if this was actually satire and not the reality unfolding before our very eyes.

[Sep 04, 2019] What We Still Do Not Know About Russiagate by Stephen F. Cohen's

Notable quotes:
"... It must again be emphasized: It is hard, if not impossible, to think of a more toxic allegation in American presidential history than the one leveled against candidate, and then president, Donald Trump that he "colluded" with the Kremlin in order to win the 2016 presidential election -- and, still more, that Vladimir Putin's regime, "America's No. 1 threat," had compromising material on Trump that made him its "puppet." Or a more fraudulent accusation. ..."
"... Was it plausible, for example, that Trump, a longtime owner and operator of international hotels, would commit an indiscreet act in a Moscow hotel that he did not own or control? Or that, as Steele also claimed, high-level Kremlin sources had fed him damning anti-Trump information even though their vigilant boss, Putin, wanted Trump to win the election? ..."
"... Nor was Russian "meddling" in the election anything akin to a "digital Pearl Harbor," as widely asserted, and it was certainly far less and less intrusive than President Bill Clinton's political and financial "interference" undertaken to assure the reelection of Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1996. ..."
"... Nonetheless, Russiagate's core allegation persists, like a legend, in American political life -- in media commentary, in financial solicitations by some Democratic candidates for Congress, and, as is clear from my own discussions, in the minds of otherwise well-informed people. The only way to dispel, to excoriate, such a legend is to learn and expose how it began -- by whom, when, and why. ..."
"... Why did Western intelligence agencies, prompted, it seems clear, by US ones, seek to undermine Trump's presidential campaign? ..."
"... the repeatedly hapless Comey seems incapable of having initiated such an audacious operation against a presidential candidate, still less a president-elect. As I have long suggested, John Brennan and James Clapper, head of the CIA and Office of National Intelligence under Obama respectively, are the more likely culprits. ..."
"... First and foremost, Russiagate is about the present and future of the American political system, not about Russia. (Indeed, as I have repeatedly argued, there is very little, if any, Russia in Russiagate.) ..."
"... At every "debate" or comparable forum, all of the Democratic candidates should be asked about this grave threat to American democracy -- what they think about what happened and would do about it if elected president. Consider it health care for our democracy. ..."
Sep 04, 2019 | www.thenation.com

It must again be emphasized: It is hard, if not impossible, to think of a more toxic allegation in American presidential history than the one leveled against candidate, and then president, Donald Trump that he "colluded" with the Kremlin in order to win the 2016 presidential election -- and, still more, that Vladimir Putin's regime, "America's No. 1 threat," had compromising material on Trump that made him its "puppet." Or a more fraudulent accusation.

Even leaving aside the misperception that Russia is the primary threat to America in world affairs, no aspect of this allegation has turned out to be true, as should have been evident from the outset. Major aspects of the now infamous Steele Dossier, on which much of the allegation was based, were themselves not merely "unverified" but plainly implausible.

Was it plausible, for example, that Trump, a longtime owner and operator of international hotels, would commit an indiscreet act in a Moscow hotel that he did not own or control? Or that, as Steele also claimed, high-level Kremlin sources had fed him damning anti-Trump information even though their vigilant boss, Putin, wanted Trump to win the election? Nonetheless, the American mainstream media and other important elements of the US political establishment relied on Steele's allegations for nearly three years, even heroizing him -- and some still do, explicitly or implicitly.

Not surprisingly, former special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of "collusion" between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. No credible evidence has been produced that Russia's "interference" affected the result of the 2016 presidential election in any significant way. Nor was Russian "meddling" in the election anything akin to a "digital Pearl Harbor," as widely asserted, and it was certainly far less and less intrusive than President Bill Clinton's political and financial "interference" undertaken to assure the reelection of Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1996.

Nonetheless, Russiagate's core allegation persists, like a legend, in American political life -- in media commentary, in financial solicitations by some Democratic candidates for Congress, and, as is clear from my own discussions, in the minds of otherwise well-informed people. The only way to dispel, to excoriate, such a legend is to learn and expose how it began -- by whom, when, and why.

Officially, at least in the FBI's version, its operation "Crossfire Hurricane," the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign that began in mid-2016 was due to suspicious remarks made to visitors by a young and lowly Trump aide, George Papadopoulos. This too is not believable, as I pointed out previously . Most of those visitors themselves had ties to Western intelligence agencies. That is, the young Trump aide was being enticed, possibly entrapped, as part of a larger intelligence operation against Trump. (Papadopoulos wasn't the only Trump associate targeted, Carter Page being another.)

But the question remains: Why did Western intelligence agencies, prompted, it seems clear, by US ones, seek to undermine Trump's presidential campaign? A reflexive answer might be because candidate Trump promised to "cooperate with Russia," to pursue a pro-détente foreign policy, but this was hardly a startling, still less subversive, advocacy by a would-be Republican president. All of the major pro-détente episodes in the 20th century had been initiated by Republican presidents: Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan.

So, again, what was it about Trump that so spooked the spooks so far off their rightful reservation and so intrusively into American presidential politics? Investigations being overseen by Attorney General William Barr may provide answers -- or not. Barr has already leveled procedural charges against James Comey, head of the FBI under President Obama and briefly under President Trump, but the repeatedly hapless Comey seems incapable of having initiated such an audacious operation against a presidential candidate, still less a president-elect. As I have long suggested, John Brennan and James Clapper, head of the CIA and Office of National Intelligence under Obama respectively, are the more likely culprits.

The FBI is no longer the fearsome organization it once was and thus not hard to investigate, as Barr has already shown. The others, particularly the CIA, are a different matter, and Barr has suggested they are resisting. To investigate them, particularly the CIA, it seems, he has brought in a veteran prosecutor-investigator, John Durham.

Which raises other questions. Are Barr and Durham, whose own careers include associations with US intelligence agencies, determined to uncover the truth about the origins of Russiagate? And can they really do so fully, given the resistance already apparent? Even if so, will Barr make public their findings, however damning of the intelligence agencies they may be, or will he classify them? And if the latter, will President Trump use his authority to declassify the findings as the 2020 presidential election approaches in order to discredit the role of Obama's presidency and its would-be heirs?

Equally important perhaps, how will mainstream media treat the Barr-Durham investigation and its findings? Having driven the Russiagate narrative for so long and so misleadingly -- and with liberals perhaps finding themselves in the incongruous position of defending rogue intelligence agencies -- will they credit or seek to discredit the findings?

It is true, of course, that Barr and Durham, as Trump appointees, are not the ideal investigators of Intel misdeeds in the Russiagate saga. Much better would be a truly bipartisan, independent investigation based in the Senate, as was the Church Committee of the mid-1970s, which exposed and reformed (it thought at the time) serious abuses by US intelligence agencies. That would require, however, a sizable core of nonpartisan, honorable, and courageous senators of both parties, who thus far seem to be lacking.

There are also, however, the ongoing and upcoming Democratic presidential debates. First and foremost, Russiagate is about the present and future of the American political system, not about Russia. (Indeed, as I have repeatedly argued, there is very little, if any, Russia in Russiagate.)

At every "debate" or comparable forum, all of the Democratic candidates should be asked about this grave threat to American democracy -- what they think about what happened and would do about it if elected president. Consider it health care for our democracy.

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com .

Stephen F. Cohen Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his most recent book War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate is available in paperback and in an ebook edition. His weekly conversations with the host of The John Batchelor Show, now in their sixth year, are available at www.thenation.com .

[Sep 03, 2019] Wallerstein on China

Notable quotes:
"... Can China then depend on widening internal demand to maintain its global edge? There are two reasons why not. The present authorities worry that a widening middle stratum could jeopardize their political control and seek to limit it.[a] ..."
"... The second reason, more important, is that much of the internal demand is the result of reckless borrowing by regional banks, which are facing an inability to sustain their investments. If they collapse, even partially, this could end the entire economic edge[b] of China. ..."
Sep 03, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

From Wallerstein's site, " What About China? " (2017):

A structural crisis is chaotic. This means that instead of the normal standard set of combinations or alliances that were previously used to maintain the stability of the system, they constantly shift these alliances in search of short-term gains. This only makes the situation worse. We notice here a paradox – the certainty of the end of the existing system and the intrinsic uncertainty of what will eventually replace it and create thereby a new system (or new systems) to stabilize realities .

Now, let us look at China's role in what is going on. In terms of the present system, China seems to be gaining much advantage. To argue that this means the continuing functioning of capitalism as a system is basically to (re)assert the invalid point that systems are eternal and that China is replacing the United States in the same way as the United States replaced Great Britain as the hegemonic power. Were this true, in another 20-30 years China (or perhaps northeast Asia) would be able to set its rules for the capitalist world-system.

But is this really happening? First of all, China's economic edge, while still greater than that of the North, has been declining significantly. And this decline may well amplify soon, as political resistance to China's attempts to control neighboring countries and entice (that is, buy) the support of faraway countries grows, which seems to be occurring.

Can China then depend on widening internal demand to maintain its global edge? There are two reasons why not. The present authorities worry that a widening middle stratum could jeopardize their political control and seek to limit it.[a]

The second reason, more important, is that much of the internal demand is the result of reckless borrowing by regional banks, which are facing an inability to sustain their investments. If they collapse, even partially, this could end the entire economic edge[b] of China.

In addition, there have been, and will continue to be, wild swings in geopolitical alliances. In a sense, the key zones are not in the North, but in areas such as Russia, India, Iran, Turkey, and southeastern Europe, all of them pursuing their own roles by a game of swiftly and repeatedly changing sides. The bottom line is that, though China plays a very big role in the short run, it is not as big a role as China would wish and that some in the rest of the world-system fear. It is not possible for China to stop the disintegration of the capitalist system. It can only try to secure its place in a future world-system.

As far as Wallerstein's bottom line: The proof is in the pudding. That said, there seems to be a tendency to regard Xi as all-powerful. IMNSHO, that's by no means the case, not only because of China's middle class, but because of whatever China's equivalent of deplorables is. The "wild swings in geopolitical alliances" might play a role, too; oil, Africa's minerals.

NOTES [a] I haven't seen this point made elsewhere. [b] Crisis, certainly. "Ending the entire economic edge"? I'm not so sure.

[Sep 03, 2019] Russiagate as crocodile tears of western propaganda

Highly recommended!
Sep 02, 2019 | www.yahoo.com

Rob, yesterday

So all the fuss about "Russian hacking" was crocodile tears western propaganda.

[Aug 30, 2019] Russiagate skeptics are vindicated, but conspiracy theorists are rewarded (w- Glenn Greenwald) - YouTube

Aug 30, 2019 | www.youtube.com

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Published on Aug 28, 2019

* Pushback with Aaron Maté *
Support Pushback by joining our Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/aaronmate

Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept joins Aaron Maté to discuss the disappearance of Russiagate after Robert Mueller's testimony; how Andrew McCabe has become the latest former U.S. intelligence official to join either CNN and MSNBC; and the absence of accountability for those who continue to promote what he calls the "moronic, irrational, baseless, conspiracist narrative" of Donald Trump as a Russian asset.

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Minds: https://minds.com/thegrayzone Category News & Politics Comments • 259 Add a public comment...


Andrew Hackett , 1 day ago

Both of your guy's hard work is appreciated...

Oren Albert Meisel , 1 day ago

Aaron and Glenn are two massive beacons of truth in these dark times of journalistic decay

garyweglarz , 1 day ago (e

dited)

Lovey Dovey Doo , 1 day ago

The American "left" is not left, which explains why they love the CIA and the FBI.

Guo Mashi , 1 day ago div

class="comment-renderer-text-content expanded"> Greenwald hits the nail on the head. Hillary's little RUSSIA! RUSSIA!! RUSSIA!!! crying-boo-boo-hissy-fit has brought the world to the brink of destruction. Anyone still think that woman would have been a better president? Madame President "If I can't have it I will destroy the world"? This issue is not about past battles, but rather about what the DNC does now. Hillary 2.0 in whatever form they try to excrete upon us is just as dangerous. If the DNC can't offer a real choice for us and only comes up with another obsequious sniveling doorman for the MIC, we are truly and irrevocably doomed.

Brian Everill , 1 day ago (edited)

Mueller? Does he live in the United States of Amnesia? "Lying" is institutionalized in the United States of Hypocrisy? It is a corrupt and broken ethos, has been since its inception?

AR Frances , 1 day ago

Someone like Warren or really any of them, if they win the White House, will have to be very tough with Russia so Glenn is right. Increases to the military will be knee-jerk, nuclear clock too close to midnight.

GHart , 1 day ago (edited)

US Political Establishment: "Thank you Robert Mueller for the 3 years of providing evidence-free conspiracy theories, nonsensical distractions, hysterical red-baiting, and massive deflection from the corruption that seeps through both parties in America. You've served your purpose, now it's time for you to go down the memory hole!"

M Martin , 1 day ago

CNN and MSNBC are status quo outlets... they're just overly excited to have gov professionals and known republicans willing to come out and talk about how mean Trump is... nevermind focusing on policy issues that everyday Americans actually care about and want information and votes on

[Aug 30, 2019] Hollywood reboots Russophobia for the New Cold War by Max Parry

See also National Security Cinema The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood by Matthew Alford
Aug 30, 2019 | www.unz.com

It is apparent that the caricature of the Soviet Union in both productions is really a stand-in for the present-day Russian government under Vladimir Putin. As only American exceptionalism could permit, Hollywood did not hold the same disdain for his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, whose legacy of high inflation and national debt have since been eliminated. In fact, most have forgotten that the same filmdom community outraged about Russia's supposed interference in the 2016 U.S. election made a celebratory movie back in 2003, Spinning Boris , which practically boasted about the instrumental role the West played in Yeltsin's 1996 reelection in Russia.

The highly unpopular alcoholic politician benefited from a near universal media bias as virtually all the federation's news outlets came under the control of the 'oligarchs' (in America known simply as billionaires) which his economic policies of mass privatization of state industry enriched overnight.

Yeltsin initially polled at less than 10% and was far behind Communist Party candidate Gennady Zyuganov until he became the recipient of billions from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) thanks to his corrupt campaign manager, Anatoly Chubais, now one of the most hated men in all of Russia. After the purging of votes and rampant ballot-box stuffing, Yeltsin successfully closed the gap between his opponent thanks to the overt U.S. meddling.

Spinning Boris was directed by Roger Spottiswoode, who previously helmed an installment in the James Bond series, Tomorrow Never Dies . The 1997 entry in the franchise is one of thousands of Hollywood films and network television shows exposed by journalists Matthew Alford and Tom Secker as having been influenced or directly assisted by the Pentagon and CIA in their must-read book National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood. Based on evidence from documents revealed in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, their investigation divulges the previously unknown extent to which the national security complex has gone in exerting control over content in the film industry. While it has always been known that the military held sway over movies that required usage of its facilities and equipment to be produced, the level of impact on such films in the pre-production and editing stages, as well as the control over non-military themed flicks one wouldn't suspect to be under supervision by Washington and Langley, is exhaustively uncovered.

As expected, Hollywood and the military-industrial complex's intimate relationship during the Cold War is featured prominently in Alford and Secker's investigative work. It is unclear whether HBO or Netflix sought US military assistance or were directly involved with the national security state in their respective productions, but these are just two recent examples of many where the correlated increase in geopolitical tensions with Moscow is reflected. The upcoming sequel to DC's Wonder Woman set to be released next year , Wonder Woman 1984, featuring the female superhero " coming into conflict with the Soviet Union during the Cold War in the 1980s ", is yet another. Reprising her role is Israeli actress and IDF veteran is Gal Gadot as the title character, ironically starring in a blockbuster that will demonize the Eurasian state which saved her ethnicity from extinction. Given the Pentagon's involvement in the debacle surounding 2014's The Interview which provoked very real tensions with North Korea, it is likely they are at least closely examining any entertainment with content regarding Russia, if not directly pre-approving it for review.

Ultimately, the Western panic about its imperial decline is not limited to assigning blame to Moscow. Sinophobia has manifested as well in recent films such as the 2016 sci-fi film Arrival where the extra-terrestrials who reach Earth seem more interested in communicating with Beijing as the global superpower than the U.S. However, while the West forebodes the return of Russia and China to greater standing, you can be certain its real fear lies elsewhere. The fact that Chernobyl and Stranger Things are as preoccupied with portraying socialism in a bad light as they are in rendering Moscow nefarious shows the real underlying trepidation of the ruling elite that concerns the resurgence of class consciousness. The West must learn its lesson that its state of perpetual war has caused its own downfall or it could attempt a last line of defense that would inevitably conscript all of humanity to its death as the ruling class nearly did to the world in 1914 and 1939.

[Aug 29, 2019] First McCabe, then; Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Strzok, the Ohrs, Steele (in absentia) Clinton Campaign people, etc. - Sic Sempe

Notable quotes:
"... "Who will watch the watchers?" Well, if Barr and company are not going to indict these characters, the answer is NOBODY! ..."
"... If you read the long litany of articles on SST by David Habakkuk and Larry Johnson, the pattern of a soft coup conspiracy against the possibility of HC's defeat is quite clear. ..."
Aug 29, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Federal prosecutors have been weighing for well over a year whether to charge McCabe, after the Justice Department's inspector general alleged that McCabe had misled investigators several times about a media disclosure regarding the investigation into Hillary Clinton's family foundation.

By the inspector general's telling, McCabe approved the disclosure and later -- when asked about the matter by investigators with the FBI's inspection division and inspector general's office -- denied having done so. McCabe's attorney has said previously that his statements "are more properly understood as the result of misunderstanding, miscommunication, and honest failures of recollection based on the swirl of events around him." Lying to investigators is a federal crime."

Washpost

-------------

This whole thing has the odor of something by Dostoevsky, C&P maybe?

"Who will watch the watchers?" Well, if Barr and company are not going to indict these characters, the answer is NOBODY!

If you read the long litany of articles on SST by David Habakkuk and Larry Johnson, the pattern of a soft coup conspiracy against the possibility of HC's defeat is quite clear.

And then following her loss, largely brought on IMO, by her unwillingness to cultivate the Deplorables, the semi-Deplorables and the Irredeemable Deplorables, this disdain on her part for ordinary people was further displayed in her offhand dismissal of coal miners as future wards of the state.

Once she had lost, the plot rolled on in an effort to make the ultimate Deplorable a failure in office.

It is de rigeur to write that both parties should feel equally wounded by the plot but they do not. pl

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/justice-dept-could-be-nearing-decision-on-whether-to-charge-andrew-mccabe/2019/08/26/0e1a636c-c840-11e9-a1fe-ca46e8d573c0_story.html

turcopolier ,

PRC90
We have to make it clear that fidelity to the constitution is not a pretense. IMO HRC and Obama are at the heart of this matter, but better to scourge them and let them go.

[Aug 28, 2019] Fabricating the Russian DNC Hack by Larry C Johnson

Aug 28, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

I will make this very simple. The DNC emails that ultimately were published on Wikileaks likely originated with a DNC staffer, Seth Rich. It was not the Russians. The decision to blame the Russians was an intelligence construct that was concocted once U.S. and British intelligence officials plotting against Donald Trump realized that Rich had downloaded the emails and was communicating with Julian Assange and his cohorts.

Here are the facts:

  1. It was 29 April 2016 , when the DNC claims it became aware its servers had been penetrated. No claim yet about who was responsible.
  2. According to CrowdStrike founder , Dimitri Alperovitch, his company first supposedly detected the Russians mucking around inside the DNC server on 6 May 2016. A CrowdStrike intelligence analyst reportedly told Alperovitch that:
    1. Falcon had identified not one but two Russian intruders: Cozy Bear, a group CrowdStrike's experts believed was affiliated with the FSB, Russia's answer to the CIA; and Fancy Bear, which they had linked to the GRU, Russian military intelligence.
  3. The Wikileaks data shows that the last message copied from the DNC network is dated Wed, 25 May 2016 08:48:35.
  4. 10 June 2016--CrowdStrike waited until 10 June 2016 to take concrete steps to clean up the DNC network. Alperovitch told Esquire's Vicky Ward that: 'Ultimately, the teams decided it was necessary to replace the software on every computer at the DNC. Until the network was clean, secrecy was vital. On the afternoon of Friday, June 10, all DNC employees were instructed to leave their laptops in the office."
  5. On June 14, 2016, Ellen Nakamura, a Washington Post reporter who had been briefed by computer security company hired by the DNC -- Crowdstrike--, wrote:
    1. Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.
    2. The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC's system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts.
    3. The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations. The networks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were also targeted by Russian spies, as were the computers of some Republican political action committees, U.S. officials said. But details on those cases were not available.
  6. 15 June, 2016, an internet "personality" self-described as Guccifer 2.0 surfaces and claims to be responsible for the hacks but denies being Russian. However, the meta data in the documents posted by Guccifer 2.0 appear to be deliberately crafted to show "Russian" involvement.
  7. The DNC emails that were released on July 22, 2016 by Wikileaks covered the period from January 2015 thru 25 May 2016.

Continue reading "Fabricating the Russian DNC Hack by Larry C Johnson" "

Posted at 02:14 AM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink | Comments (2)

Mightypeon , 28 August 2019 at 03:48 AM

The FSB is not really Ruusias CIA equvalent though. It is more akin to an unholy alliance of homeland security and the FBI. GRU is kind of like DIA + the army, navy, air force and marine intelligence. Closest thing to the CIA Russia has would be the SVR, but their overall remit is still somewhat different.
Oscar Peterson , 28 August 2019 at 11:23 AM
Nice laydown. One really needs this sort of step-by-step letdown to get and keep the facts straight.

Some sort of link chart/diagram that could be updated as needed would be great.

Between the DNC emails, the Steele faux-dossier, Seth Rich, Guccifer 2.0, and whatever connection there might be to Skripal and the British, it's really challenging to keep all the players and actions in the right relationship to one another.

One side question: Where does DC Leaks fit into this?

[Aug 28, 2019] Russiagate: It really is that simple

How are "Russian Oligarchs" different than "American Oligarchs" who bought Trump? Inquiring minds want to know :)
Notable quotes:
"... The mass media is desperate to propagate a fake narrative, they keep making "mistakes." Over and over. For 3 freakin years. ..."
Aug 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Mike Krieger summed the farce up best:

Michael Krieger

@LibertyBlitz

Replying to @LibertyBlitz

The mass media is desperate to propagate a fake narrative, they keep making "mistakes." Over and over. For 3 freakin years. It really is that simple.

[Aug 28, 2019] Putin is now explicity making the point that Russia will have to consider these BMD facilities as a direct threat to Russia and will respond symmetrically

Aug 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Perimetr , Aug 26 2019 20:38 utc | 134

The US launched a land based Tomahawk nuclear-capable intermediate range cruise missile less than 3 weeks after the US withdrew from the INF Treaty. Clearly, the missile was under development for some time prior to the test; the sea-based variant launched by naval vessels armed with the Aegis systems can carry a W80 variable yield warhead (5-150 kilotons).

The land-based Tomahawk was also launched by the multipurpose Mark 41 launch system, which is deployed at the Aegis Ashore facility in Romania and soon-to-be-opened Aegis Ashore facility in Poland. This clearly demonstrates the the Ballistic Missile "Defense" systems deployed in Romania and Poland by the US/NATO can also be used to launch offensive nuclear weapons. Because the missiles are deployed in closed cannisters, it is impossible for observers to verify if the cannisters contain interceptor missiles or cruise missiles.

Putin specifically warned about this possibility in 2016.

Several days ago, Putin told his security council that the BMD deployments are/were "a direct and material breach of the INF Treaty." The Russians believe the US was planning all along to use the BMD facilities to target Russia with both offensive and defensive weapons (defensive in the sense that US/NATO BMD can be used as a mop-up system to take out remaining Russian nuclear forces after a US first strike). US Neocons may believe that this will give them leverage in any confrontation with Russia. I think they are wrong, I think it will simply tempt the Russians to take out these facilities early on in the event of any direct military conflict with the US/NATO.

Putin is now explicity making the point that Russia will have to consider these BMD facilities as a direct threat to Russia and will respond symmetrically, with at "tit-for-tat" response. This may also include Russian missiles in Cuba and Venezuela.

[Aug 26, 2019] The article about how many intelligence officials (retired) now work for the corporate press is misleading. It does not take into account the "undeclared" operatives such as Anderson Cooper and Rachael Maddow

Aug 26, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Babyl-on , Aug 25 2019 19:42 utc | 28

The article about how many intelligence officials (retired) now work for the corporate press is misleading. It does not take into account the "undeclared" operatives such as Anderson Cooper and Rachael Maddow. Cooper went to work for the CIA and they out him in his job, Maddow is a Rhodes Scholar, a trained apparatchik for the elites.

This is nothing new, after WWII, when the press was most compliant and the CIA was formed the press was "taken over" by the newly reforming and consolidating of deep state power. There was Operation Mockingbird which was exposed long ago but nothing changes if they get caught they just reorganize and continue.

[Aug 26, 2019] 20 Years of Demonization of Putin by the Western experts

The level of "experts" is pretty dismal. While some quotes are apt, the general level is horrible for such an important topic., Not a single one put Putin career in context of ascendance of neoliberalism from 1990 to 2007 and then crash and decline with the USA economics entering the period of secular stagnation. not a single one.
Most of those are neocons or some king of imperialists who believe in God given right for the USA to dominate the globe. That's another problem.
Notable quotes:
"... At the same time, with the demands of the Ukraine crisis on the Russian military, it will be stretched to sustain operations in Syria. Given the risks, the buildup is not likely a cynical play to whip up patriotic fervor and bolster Putin's domestic rating; it is rather an effort to defend Russian national interests. ..."
"... Putin and the Kremlin recognized Americans’ anger with the political establishment, because they are always on the alert for it at home. … Putin and the Kremlin seemed to recognize that this election was really a referendum on America’s future. The November 8 ballot, as Trump also understood, was more like the June 23 Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. ..."
"... The demonization of Putin is a reflection of our declining confidence in our own capabilities. It's easier to blame Putin. He's pursuing Russian national interests, but he's not running world affairs ..."
"... Putin stands in the mainstream of a centuries-old Russian foreign policy tradition and worldview and he enjoys broad elite support and popular consent for his policies. Any approach premised mainly on "being tough" with Putin (as Hillary Clinton promises) or on charming him into making a deal (as Trump does) misses the point entirely. ( New York Times , 10.25.16) ..."
"... Putin was personally angered by events in Libya and the death of President Muammar Qaddafi at the hands of rebels as Qaddafi tried to flee Tripoli after NATO’s intervention in the civil war there. In Putin’s view (again expressed openly in his public addresses and in interviews), the United States was now responsible for a long sequence of revolutions close to Russia’s borders and in countries with close ties to Moscow. ( Brookings, 02.10.16 ) ..."
"... Henry Kissinger : “For the West, the demonization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy; it is an alibi for the absence of one.” ( The Washington Post, 03.05.14 ) ..."
"... Russia's antipathy toward the general thrust of the Bush administration's foreign policy, particularly what Putin and his entourage came to see as Washington's excessive unilateralism and disposition to use force, also did more than its share of damage. ( Foreign Affairs , 07.01.2009) ..."
"... Putin has no reliable interlocutors in the West from his perspective, only a handful of intermediaries. And he simply does not trust anyone. ..."
"... Henry Kissinger : Starting with American support for the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004, Putin has gradually convinced himself that the U.S. is structurally adversarial. By “structural,” I mean that he may very well believe that America defines its basic interest as weakening Russia, transforming us from a potential ally to another foreign country that he balances with China and others. ( The Atlantic, 11.10.16 ) ..."
"... Thomas Graham and Rajan Menon : In Moscow’s reading, the United States had masterminded the revolution [in Ukraine] to install a pro-Western figure as president over the candidate endorsed by Putin. Putin soon came to view the revolution in Ukraine as a dress rehearsal for regime change in Russia itself. ..."
"... In Putin’s view, the United States, the European Union and NATO have launched an economic and proxy war in Ukraine to weaken Russia and push it into a corner. As Valery Gerasimov, chief of staff of the Russian armed forces, has underscored, this is a hybrid, 21st-century conflict, in which financial sanctions, support for oppositional political movements and propaganda have all been transformed from diplomatic tools to instruments of war. Putin likely believes that any concession or compromise he makes will encourage the West to push further. ( The Washington Post, 02.05.15 ) ..."
Aug 07, 2019 | www.russiamatters.org
Putin's personality

NATO-Russia relations:

Syria and MiddleEast

Elections interference: (aka Russiagate false flag operation by CIA and MI6)

Energy exports from the former Soviet Union:

U.S.-Russian relations in general:

Ukraine

[Aug 26, 2019] George Kennan view on News and original Cold War

Notable quotes:
"... [T]here has been some tendency, over many years, to exaggerate the relative conventional strength of the USSR and to underestimate Soviet awareness of the enormous costs and risks of any form of aggression against NATO. (co-author, Foreign Affairs , 03.01.82) ..."
"... On the Senate's ratification of NATO expansion : I think it is the beginning of a new Cold War. I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the founding fathers of this country turn over in their graves. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way. [NATO expansion] was simply a lighthearted action by a Senate that has no real interest in foreign affairs. Our differences in the Cold War were with the Soviet Communist regime. And now we are turning our backs on the very people who mounted the greatest bloodless revolution in history to remove that Soviet regime. And Russia's democracy is as far advanced, if not farther, as any of these countries we've just signed up to defend from Russia. It shows so little understanding of Russian history and Soviet history. Of course, there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are -- but this is just wrong. (Interview in New York Times , 05.02.98) ..."
Aug 21, 2019 | www.russiamatters.org

New and original Cold Wars:

Military issues, including NATO-Russia relations: Missile defense: Nuclear weapons and arms control:

[Aug 25, 2019] The G7 Should Pressure China but Find a Solution with Russia The National Interest

Aug 25, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

[Aug 24, 2019] Russiagate has elements which are similar to anti-Semitism hysteria in Nazi Germany

Aug 24, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Reader mark

This is a case of setting up a ludicrous straw man.

Suppose for the sake of argument it was established that the Russian state actually did try to kill Skripal. Of course they didn't, but assume they did.

It would be entirely legitimate to say "the Russians" did it. This wouldn't be racist, or bigoted, or anything else. It wouldn't mean that all 150 million Russians were personally involved, or approved of this action, or played an active part in it, or even that they knew of it or could care less about it.

It wouldn't be some kind of racist trope that bus driver Mr. Ivanovich in Novosibirsk was somehow responsible.

Any more than 300 million Americans and 60 million British were personally responsible for the conspiracy to invade Iraq, or Bush's and Blair's criminal war of aggression.

In like manner the 9/11 atrocity was carried out by a few hundred individuals. Mostly Israeli and dual national Americans, and a significant number of Israel First stooge goys serving Zionist interests.

The vast majority of Jews and Israelis in the world played no part at all, and are just passive recipients of the cover conspiracy theories to explain it away.

This is just a smokecreen that is habitually thrown up whenever anyone connects the dots between Silverstein, a 200 strong Mossad ring, Chertoff, and so many others.

[Aug 24, 2019] George Kennan on Russia Insights and Recommendations

Highly recommended!
The more things change the more they stay the same. The level of paranoia of the neoliberal elite toward Russia probably exceeds the level achieved during the Cold War I, and their intellectual level is considerably lower, so the danger is greater.
Notable quotes:
"... I am coming to believe that it will never be possible to achieve anything resembling a sophisticated understanding of Russia in American governmental and journalistic circles. ..."
"... The lingering tendencies in [the United States] to see Russia as a great and dangerous enemy are simply silly, and should have no place in our thinking. We have never been at war with Russia, should never need to be and must not be. ..."
Aug 24, 2019 | www.russiamatters.org

[Aug 24, 2019] Putin strongly objects to the USA start of production of midrange rockets which can be used from Romania s and Poland s existing launching facilities

While this is a Russian site with specific audience, comments show that people reject the USA policy which might creates problems for the USA in the future. Not the USA neoliberal/neocon elite cares.
This decisions just had shown to the whole would that Trump is a clown capable of twitting, not much more. Other people make key decisions for the county.
Aug 24, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Drew Hunkins , August 23, 2019 at 13:33

off topic:

Putin's taking the gloves off:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAfyftONbFY&list=LLWzo4sS343MNLWEG7VvwJ_Q&index=3&t=222s

Franz Bauer , 1 day ago

The deep state that controls the US are lying criminal psychopaths. Any agreements and treaties negotiated with them aren't worth the time or paper they are written on.

Narayana Narayana , 1 day ago

We love honourable putin's each decision because he always gives with legal proof. Love you honourable putin and Russia people. From India.

rafael albizu , 1 day ago (edited)

Super hypersonic russian rockets need just 5 minutes to hit target, & they're in Russian land, not in foreign usurped countries

Brian Ahern , 1 day ago

all.putin wants world peace but the Americans whats to tell everyone what to do and start wars what.they.sould buid a wall.around america stop them getting out

394pjo , 1 day ago (edited) div tabindex="0" role="artic

le"> We can certainly expect Poland and Romania to be targeted with Nuclear munitions at the very least. There will likely be an official Russian announcement of this fact as well. In the event of a breakout of hostilities with Nato then Russia will target the military infrastructure in both countries and vaporise them immediately. Unfortunately a very large number of Polish and Romanian civilians will be caught in the blasts. That will be tragic of course.

pulaat , 1 day ago

I live in the Netherlands and I am on the side of Russia. Europe is disgusting for not condemning the USA intentions. Eu will regret it. When bombs fall on Europe because of these incompetent leaders we will not forget.

Drew Hunkins , 1 day ago div tabindex="0" role="art

icle"> The Western public MUST, MUST become very familiar pronto with the few intellectuals, scholars, journalists, writers and authors who have been at the forefront for global peace and world justice for decades! It's our only hope! Right now the only sane voice on the national stage is Tulsi Gabbard. People must start reading: John Pilger, James Petras, Diana Johnstone, Stephen Lendman, Ray McGovern, Finian Cunningham, Andre Vltchek, Michael Parenti, Stephen Cohen, The Saker, Caitlin Johnstone, Paul Craig Roberts.

Techno Tard , 1 day ago

Good one U.S.A. government! Lets try to instigate a fkn war where we can actually be attacked on our home land!

Luis martins , 1 day ago (edited)

tit-for-tat that was the right words from Putin

Madaleine , 1 day ago

USA a decadent nation run by global mafia . Cannot trust what they say , is proven by their actions Sold their soul to the devil for money and power. Yet they will fail God is in charge!

Drew Hunkins , 1 day ago div tabindex="0" role="articl

e"> The double standard in the West is breathtaking. It's as simple as the Golden Rule: merely try to imagine the reaction in New York, London, Washington, Paris, Chicago, Boston if Russia or China were to do the exact same thing in southern Canada or the Caribbean. The Washington military empire builders could possibly destroy humanity with their reckless and imperial behavior. They simply cannot accept any sovereign nation-states that 1.) give the finger to Wall Street or the idea of the uni-polar world Washington's intent on establishing, or 2.) gives diplomatic support to the Palestinians or is even a mild thorn in the side of Israel. For further reading, see the following scholars, intellectuals, journalists and writers: James Petras, Diana Johnstone, John Pilger, Stephen Lendman, Michael Parenti, Finian Cunningham, Andre Vltchek and a few others I'm forgetting at the moment.

George Mavrides , 1 hour ago

US ramping up for a war before dollar collapse. However, a war against Russia and China is not one they can win.

JimmyRJump , 1 day ago (edited) div tabindex="0" role="articl

e"> Under Trump the USA are rapidly steering towards an open dictatorship, something they've been doing for years but more covertly. The USA have always been shouting the loudest about democracy and freedom but that's just a façade while they bully the world and their own people into submission. The curtain is falling faster and faster now. Oh, and ask the American Natives what the Americans do with treaties...

orderoutofchaos621 , 20 hours ago

The US does not want friendship with Russia, it seeks to either control it or destroy it. Since the first option isn't going to happen, it's obvious what's next and it'll start with more sanctions, expanding NATO into Georgia and Ukraine and placing nuclear missiles on Russia's Eastern and Western border.

Bernt Sunde , 1 day ago div class=

"comment-renderer-text-content expanded"> All it takes, is 1 single warhead fired from ex. Poland to reach Moscow. How many launchers do USA have placed in these countries near Russia? Is Moscow more than 500 KM away from any NATO border? If the enemy sets up catapults outside your city walls, isn't that a clear sign the enemy intend to fire those catapults against your walls? So what do you do? Do you sit and wait? Or do you take out the catapults before they break down your walls? As far as any strategist see this, it can be only one solution for survival.

joshron99 , 1 day ago div class="c

omment-renderer-text-content expanded"> During FDR's 'Pearl Harbor' speech he said, "It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago." There are echoes of this speech in Putin's words ( 02:18 ) and the type of treachery referred to by Roosevelt applies to the American exit from the INF. America has become a nation holding "a big stick" and loudly shouting about it (contrary to an earlier Roosevelt's advice). The White House acknowledged (and the NYT reported) that we are involved in seven wars right now (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Niger). We have 38 "named" foreign military bases as well as upwards of 600 overseas military installations of some sort including "lily pads," i.e., "cooperative security locations" and an undisclosed number of "black" locations. Our military budget is pushing towards a trillion dollars per year ($717 billion this year). We are threatening small countries such as Venezuela with military action (and yes, something needs to be done for the good of the people there but that should not include an American military attack which President Trump, our Secretary of State ("and his colleague") have said is "on the table." And now, we are dumping nuclear weapons treaties. We have truly become a country which "lives by the sword." Good luck to us all.

Deon Richards , 10 hours ago

Okay , so this is a broadcast of the President of Russia speaking to his security council right , this is official researched factual intel ....has to be on that level ...right . Now to the few negative responses I have come across ,what intel do you have and where did you get it...

Mad Rooky , 4 hours ago

Poland and Romania wanted to be on the safe side, but now they are getting a crosshair painted on their countries. What irony.

Drew Hunkins , 1 day ago

Instead of addressing and trying to ameliorate this most dangerous development, let's instead focus on Trump's idiotic and diversionary comments and tweets about buying Greenland or some such other nonsense.

[Aug 24, 2019] "U.S. Signals the Beginning of a New Arms Race" SF

Notable quotes:
"... The 'hyper-aggressive nuts' don't even have new or original ideas. Even the hyper-aggressiveness isn't exactly new but simply an expression of megalomania. ..."
"... That aside, that land based Tomahawks are an idea from the height of the cold war, iirc in response to the russian SS-20 (which, thanks to the INF, is gone now). ..."
"... In light of that, and the recent US tests, Russian concerns that US land based missile defense in Romania and Poland with Mk.41 & Mk.57 type vertical launchers (or the old trucks) could use to fire US GLCM is exactly rather rational. ..."
"... US cruisers and destroyers with VLS can use the same launcher systems to launch an ESSM, SM-2/3, VL ASROCK or a Tomahawk. Why just from there? ..."
"... It's GLCM again, just vertically launched this time, and with by now more accurate GPS. ..."
"... The problem for the anti-china and neocon nuts IMO is hat China legally allowed has plenty medium range missiles and was not in the INF treaty. Thus the INF treaty was an obstacle for 'hyper-aggressive nuts' when going after China with medium range missiles of which China has plenty. ..."
"... As the by now severely demented Rudy Giuliani put is so clearly (if there is a political interest) the ' reality is now not truth '. ..."
"... Likely Boltonists see any treaty as an unacceptable limitation of the freedom to handle at whits, as an ' indispensable nation ', or to rule by arbitrary tweets or other solo acts like presidential decrees as far as Trump is concerned. ..."
"... The 'hyper-aggressive nuts' are focused but are geographically disoriented. To hit China they kicked Russia. ..."
Aug 24, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"The Associated Press ran a brief article asserting that:

"The U.S. military has conducted a flight test of a type of missile banned for more than 30 years by a treaty that both the United States and Russia abandoned this month, the Pentagon said.

The Trump administration has said it remains interested in useful arms control but questions Moscow's willingness to adhere to its treaty commitments."

This was stated within the first paragraph. The author failed to mention that it was the United States that unilaterally abandoned the treaty. Russia only abandoned the treaty after the U.S. did, despite numerous Russian efforts to keep the treaty alive. Russia only abandoned the INF treaty when it became the only party to it, and treaties are quite pointless when they do not actually have more than one party as a signatory. Russia had in fact adhered to the restrictions imposed by the treaty, vague and unproven Pentagon leveled accusations aside.

Let's be honest, both Russia and the United States have had the technology and the guided missile systems in service to field the intermediate range land-based missiles prohibited by the INF treaty. Both field such systems on their naval warships. The only thing that kept them from fielding such weapons was the INF treaty itself. Now that formal framework of prohibition is gone.

Now that we can acknowledge the fact that the INF Treaty no longer exists because the United States unilaterally abandoned it, let's take a look at the missile that the U.S. military tested." SF

---------------

OK, pilgrims, first we bailed out of the JCPOA, an agreement that was accomplishing what it was intended to do in impeding Iranian progress toward their supposed goal of a deliverable nuclear weapon. Our claim, resoundingly approved by Israel, is that the JCPOA nuclear deal did not restrict Iran to a role as a "hermit kingdom" producer of pistachio nuts and carpets. This policy of the US is ridiculously servile to the Zionist interest.

Now, WE (the US) have walked away from the INF Treaty, an agreement that had been in place since the dark days of the Cold War. Its purpose was to prevent the deployment of land based intermediate range nuclear tipped missiles and it served that purpose well.

But, pilgrims, in the era of the triumph of the Trumpian neocon view of the world, we must prepare for war. WAR! Any advantage that can be pursued against possible enemies must be pursued. Pompeo, Bolton and the other hyper-aggressive nuts want total world dominance. Sooo, we canceled the INF and now have tested a land based version of the navy's Tomahawk which has a range of over 300 miles.

For shame! Shame! We are unmasked as liars. pl

confusedponderer , 24 August 2019 at 07:29 AM

Mr. Lang,

as for " a land based version of the navy's Tomahawk " ...

The 'hyper-aggressive nuts' don't even have new or original ideas. Even the hyper-aggressiveness isn't exactly new but simply an expression of megalomania.

That aside, that land based Tomahawks are an idea from the height of the cold war, iirc in response to the russian SS-20 (which, thanks to the INF, is gone now).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BGM-109G_Ground_Launched_Cruise_Missile

To re-vive that dead old program can use developed technology and is thus rather cheap, as far as the volume of US military budget goes.

In light of that, and the recent US tests, Russian concerns that US land based missile defense in Romania and Poland with Mk.41 & Mk.57 type vertical launchers (or the old trucks) could use to fire US GLCM is exactly rather rational.

US cruisers and destroyers with VLS can use the same launcher systems to launch an ESSM, SM-2/3, VL ASROCK or a Tomahawk. Why just from there?

It's GLCM again, just vertically launched this time, and with by now more accurate GPS.

IMO the only reason why the 'hyper-aggressive nuts' killed the INF was not that Russia had good missiles (which they had also before INF) or missiles violating the INF.

The problem for the anti-china and neocon nuts IMO is hat China legally allowed has plenty medium range missiles and was not in the INF treaty. Thus the INF treaty was an obstacle for 'hyper-aggressive nuts' when going after China with medium range missiles of which China has plenty.

Now, thanks to not being in INF the US can have their own.

That the US could perhaps lie here to get that is sadly rather plausible, considering the BS story about Iraqi WMD used as an excuse to attack the country.

As the by now severely demented Rudy Giuliani put is so clearly (if there is a political interest) the ' reality is now not truth '.

Indeed! And Trump is a 'stable genius' (and not the opposite) and earned the millions he had at 8 years by extremely successfully distributing newspapers.

The US, being in the INF, were not allowed to have the desired medium range missiles, thus ... they perhaps arbitrily accused Russia of violating the INF to have an excuse to kill the treaty and, now legally, get for themselves the medium range missiles they wanted.

Absurdly they did about exactly what they accused Russia of - violate the INF practically (and not just in spirit). Alas ...

Likely Boltonists see any treaty as an unacceptable limitation of the freedom to handle at whits, as an ' indispensable nation ', or to rule by arbitrary tweets or other solo acts like presidential decrees as far as Trump is concerned.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/aug/23/trump-hereby-order-response-president-mocked-decree

The 'hyper-aggressive nuts' are focused but are geographically disoriented. To hit China they kicked Russia.

Who knows, maybe in a year the US will have an orange Whitehouse and a president for life with a crown - or - from folks still living in the cold war - a revived Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a US Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS) and perhaps Pershing III?

[Aug 24, 2019] Putin says US missile test raises new threats to Russia

Aug 24, 2019 | apnews.com

... ... ...

Speaking after talks Wednesday with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Putin argued that the quick test indicated the U.S. had begun work on the missile long before declaring its intention to withdraw from the pact.

"The Americans have tested this missile too quickly after having withdrawn from the treaty," Putin said. "That gives us strong reason to believe that they had started work to adapt the sea-launched missile long before they began looking for excuses to opt out of the treaty."

... ... ...

He said that for Russia that means "the emergence of new threats, to which we will react accordingly."

[Aug 24, 2019] Rachel Maddow, where are you?

Now there's something that could actually make the Mueller Report look legitimate.
Aug 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

anon in so cal , August 23, 2019 at 6:38 pm

Putin derangement syndrome:

"Putin's most innovative, and dangerous, weapon. The dogs will be handed out to Democrats on election night, suppressing the vote and guaranteeing a second Trump term. Rachel Maddow, where are you?"

https://twitter.com/RealScottRitter/status/1164939107610570752?s=20

hunkerdown , August 23, 2019 at 7:28 pm

It's Bull Connor redux, but nicer and more intersectional.

[Aug 22, 2019] Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne Quits As 'Deep State' Remarks Cause Uproar

While Butina is definitely a gun crazy idiotess (and 18 mouth while a little bit harsh is more or less fair punishment for being such a idiot unless we remember that Epstein got less then that for supposedly much more complicated foreign influence scheme ) , this guy now looks like a sinister double dealing crook, who on one hand supported and encouraged Butina "adventures" with NRA while sleeping with her, but on the other rat the girl to FBI...
Notable quotes:
"... The Russian girl, Maria Butina, must have had the worst lawyer on the planet. To get 18 months in prison for trying to infiltrate the NRA to get the NRA to influence the American government on behalf of Russia. That's the NRA, not the NSA. That's even a crime? That case was lame, even by Muller standards ..."
Aug 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Byrne's August 12 press release drew attention to his three-year relationship with Russian spy Maria Butina, though it wasn't specifically mentioned. He made the statement to reveal his issues with how the federal government handled its case against Butina, The New York Times reported.

The spy's work came to light after her July 2018 arrest. Butina was sentenced to 18 months in prison in April for conspiring to infiltrate the National Rifle Association on behalf of Russia.

... ... ...


Promethus

, 15 minutes ago link

The Russian girl, Maria Butina, must have had the worst lawyer on the planet. To get 18 months in prison for trying to infiltrate the NRA to get the NRA to influence the American government on behalf of Russia. That's the NRA, not the NSA. That's even a crime? That case was lame, even by Muller standards

vienna_proxy , 11 minutes ago link

infiltrate? have you heard her speak? she has the heaviest Russian accent possible. she's no spy, she might as well wear a Russian flag.

DoctorFix , 5 minutes ago link

About as believable as the Skirpal fiasco. Has anyone even heard much lately?

Kafir Goyim , 24 minutes ago link

My Rabbi made me see that "coming forward" meant telling the public (not just the government) the truth.

Oy Vey. Now I understand why it's so hard to understand if this guy has anything at all, and if so, what the hell it is.

Heroic Couplet , 36 minutes ago link

If Robert Mueller didn't need Byrne's help, most likely he is easy to ignore. Thanks, Robert Mueller, for showing the US and Byrne the priority.

[Aug 21, 2019] Solomon If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed

Highly recommended!
They are afraid to admin that a color revolution was launched to depose Trump after the elections of 2016. Essentially a coup d'état by intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of Democratic Party.
Notable quotes:
"... The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA. ..."
"... The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . ..."
"... Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. ..."
"... The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. ..."
"... The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. ..."
"... The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump ..."
"... The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit. ..."
"... Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. ..."
"... Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed." ..."
Aug 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As the Russiagate circus attempts to quietly disappear over the horizon, with Democrats preferring to shift the anti-Trump narrative back to "racist", "white supremacist", "xenophobe", and the mainstream media ready to squawk "recession"; the Trump administration may have a few more cards up its sleeve before anyone claims the higher ground in this farce we call an election campaign.

As The Hill's John Solomon details, in September 2018 that President Trump told my Hill.TV colleague Buck Sexton and me that he would order the release of all classified documents showing what the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other U.S. intelligence agencies may have done wrong in the Russia probe.

And while it's been almost a year since then, of feet-dragging and cajoling and deep-state-fighting, we wonder, given Solomon's revelations below, if the president is getting ready to play his 'Trump' card.

Here are the documents that Solomon believes have the greatest chance of rocking Washington, if declassified:

1.) Christopher Steele 's confidential human source reports at the FBI. These documents, known in bureau parlance as 1023 reports, show exactly what transpired each time Steele and his FBI handlers met in the summer and fall of 2016 to discuss his anti-Trump dossier. The big reveal, my sources say, could be the first evidence that the FBI shared sensitive information with Steele, such as the existence of the classified Crossfire Hurricane operation targeting the Trump campaign. It would be a huge discovery if the FBI fed Trump-Russia intel to Steele in the midst of an election, especially when his ultimate opposition-research client was Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The FBI has released only one or two of these reports under FOIA lawsuits and they were 100 percent redacted. The American public deserves better.

2.) The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA.

3.) The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . We know for sure that one or both had contact with targeted Trump aides like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos at the end of the election. My sources tell me there may be other documents showing Halper continued working his way to the top of Trump's transition and administration, eventually reaching senior advisers like Peter Navarro inside the White House in summer 2017. These documents would show what intelligence agencies worked with Halper, who directed his activity, how much he was paid and how long his contacts with Trump officials were directed by the U.S. government's Russia probe.

4.) The October 2016 FBI email chain. This is a key document identified by Rep. Nunes and his investigators. My sources say it will show exactly what concerns the FBI knew about and discussed with DOJ about using Steele's dossier and other evidence to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in October 2016. If those concerns weren't shared with FISA judges who approved the warrant, there could be major repercussions.

5.) Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. If he made that statement with the FBI monitoring, and it was not disclosed to the FISA court, it could be another case of FBI or DOJ misconduct.

6.) The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. Of all the documents congressional leaders were shown, this is most frequently cited to me in private as having changed the minds of lawmakers who weren't initially convinced of FISA abuses or FBI irregularities.

7.) The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. Given Steele's own effort to leak intel in his dossier to the media before Election Day, the public deserves to see the FBI's final analysis of his credibility. A document I reviewed recently showed the FBI described Steele's information as only "minimally corroborated" and the bureau's confidence in him as "medium."

8.) The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump , had a political deadline to make his dirt public, was working for the DNC/Clinton campaign and was leaking to the news media. If he told that to the FBI and it wasn't disclosed to the FISA court, there could be serious repercussions.

9.) The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit.

10.) Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. Members of Congress have searched recently for some key contact documents with British intelligence . My sources say these documents might help explain Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed."

These documents, when declassified, would show more completely how a routine counterintelligence probe was hijacked to turn the most awesome spy powers in America against a presidential nominee in what was essentially a political dirty trick orchestrated by Democrats.


rahrog , 2 minutes ago link

America's Ruling Class is laughing at all you fools still falling for the Rs v Ds scam.

Stupid people lose.

LibertyVibe , 3 minutes ago link

I disagree with Solomon. Nothing will "doom" the swamp unless the righteous few are willing to indict, prosecute and carry out sentencing for the guilty. Exposing the guilty accomplishes nothing, because anyone paying attention already knows of their crimes. Those who want to believe lies will still believe them after the truth comes out.
It's ALL A WASTE OF TIME unless we follow through.

#TheDailyNews #DrainTheSwamp

Lord Raglan , 5 minutes ago link

Where's all the other, earlier docs Trump was going to declassify? Just wondering..............

TheFQ , 16 minutes ago link

Does anyone see a pattern here after the 2009 Tea Party movement began?

2009 - Republicans: "If we win back the House, we can accomplish our agenda."

2011 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House)

2012 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS After winning back the House)

2013 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 1 YEAR after winning back the House and the Senate)

2014 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2015 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 3 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2016 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 4 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2017 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 6 YEARS AGO and the Senate 4 YEARS AGO)

2018 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 7 YEARS AGO and the Senate 5 YEARS AGO)

2019 - John Solomon - "If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed"

I hate to say it, but I DON'T BELIEVE YOU, JOHN.

ALL WE HAVE HEARD OVER THE COURSE OF THIS DECADE IS "IF THIS HAPPENS...THEN THEY ARE DOOMED / WE CAN ACCOMPLISH OUR AGENDA / YADDA YADDA YADDA.

WHEN THE FOLLOWING ARE FOUND GUILTY OF TREASON, THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL I BELIEVE YOU:

WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?

WTF?

FFS...

benb , 12 minutes ago link

WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?

Because the people doing the indicting are in on it.

enfield0916 , 36 minutes ago link

As if there's any major philosophical difference between the Librtads and Zionist Cocksuckvatives.

Both sides use the .gov agencies to subvert and ignore the Constitution whenever possible. Best example is WikiLeaks and how each party wished Assange would just go away when he revealed damaging information about both sides on multiple occasions.

[Aug 21, 2019] Further US sanctions on Russia. Russian gdp growth is very low now, forecasts are about mere 1,2 % per anum, and thus Russia's share of world GDP is declining

Notable quotes:
"... EU is the power, that took part in creating narco-haven in Kosovo, murdering children of Iraq, building sex slaves markets in Libya, destroying what was left of democracy in Ukraine. EU power is diminishing? Let it crash and burn if you ask me. ..."
Aug 21, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Arioch , Aug 20 2019 14:22 utc | 83

> Further US sanctions on Russia. Russian gdp growth is very low now, forecasts are about mere 1,2 % per anum, and thus Russia's share of world GDP is declining.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 20 2019 13:15 utc

You think "harming Russia" is a good answer to question "how does it boost USA the hegemon?". Well, let's suppose it...

Problem then is, Russia does not care that much about nominal GDP and even about PPP GDP. It is "average temperature in hospital", where some patients are in 41C fever and others in 4C morgue, but on average they all have that healthy 36,6C.

However, even for those sanctions that did hit Russia and EU hard (and those were enacted mostly in 2015), under the "China-Russia double helix" model, economic soft power is Chinese responsibility, so targetting EU and Russia economically was perhaps a mis-aiming, like would be targetting China militarily.

Also, take a single line - "congress obliges Trump to enlist Russian officials for sanctions" and do the search in both pro-Clinton Google and in DDG. first page of Google has zero relebvant results. DDG however starts with

Trump Administration Sends Congress List of Possible Russia ...
www.nytimes.com/2017/10/26/us/politics/trump-russia-sanctions.html

Congress has tied Trump's hands on Russian sanctions - Vox
www.vox.com/2017/7/29/16061878/trump-russian-sanctions-sign

Congress Forces Trump to Sanction Russia - Fash the Nation
fashthenation.com/2018/03/congress-forces-trump-to-sanction-russia/

Trump Finally Imposes Russia Sanctions That Congress Ordered ...
www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/03/trump-finally-imposes-russia-sanctions-that-congress-ordered-months-ago/

Is 2017 so far ago that we already forgot it? Trump has no freedom of choice to sanction Russia or not. It is not his authority to make this choice. Trump is ordered to sanction and he would do. If he has any leeway, it is to how specifically sanction, but even that choice is framed into UIS domestic politic fuel, as a vehicle to fry Trump over being "Putin's shil" and looking "not enough" into evil Russians.

> China postponed for overtaking the US in gdp MER to 2032 from 2024.

Estimations are just that, estimations. Guesses into the future mixed with propaganda. If you don't buy Trump's tweets about "China begging for deal" and Obama's about "Russian economy in tatters" - why to buy these estimations?

> Indian growth downgraded - which taken together with China means slowing down Asia's rise.

Pro-American Modi in power of India was a definite win for USA. But I do not think Trump did it in 2016. Such events are grown for years and years of undercover works.

Same for the Brazil fiasco, which i perceive was much heavier blow upon BRICS than Modi. But Brazilian coup was in preparation yet before Trump's oath. May 2016 was the FINAL act, prepared months before: nytimes.com/interactive/2016/world/americas/brazil-dilma-rousseff-impeachment.html

> Iran in recession - long term growth is low - it means that Iran's share of the world economy is now declining. This will lower Iranian influence in the long term.

Long term? like Trump is planning for long term? Would he, like Putin, still be American president in 2016+18=2034 ?
Well, maybe. However does it boost much US the hegemon position today?

Also notice how this pushes Iran back to Russian bucket. Before JCPOA Iran was flirting with "Lesser Satan" a lot, promising to buy russian airliners, promising to barter Iranian goods (oil and others) for Russian goods, thus de facto letting Russia be quasi-monopolistic seller of Iranian goods on world market for any margin Russia would manage to extract. All those hints and kinda-plans were squashed instantly after JCPOA. Iran rushed to trade with EU directly, to buy Boeing and Airbis jets.... But was shot into the leg before it started. I think China would also find their way to be "big helping brother" to Iranian economy, on some conditions of course.

> Venezueala in deep recession

True, and this is again fitting the isolationist bill, to a degree. If Team Trump ready to exclude USA from global trade - it would have to secure oil supply. Enslaving a nearby oil-containing nation would do.

Additionally, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States–Venezuela_relations lists 2014 as start of economic sanctions against Venezuela. So, Trump has inherited "office of Venezuelan affairs" from Cinton/Obama. And... he brought it to light and headlines by making that idiotic wannabe-coup. The sh*t that previously USA did silently pretending whitegloved "shining beacon", Trump exposed.

Did it really made USA position better in 2018 than it was in 2014? I doubt. To me it seemes more like T.T. accelerated things and "threw it all on the table" making Venezuela "hit the rock bottom". Now Venezuela can adjust to the new brave world, while USA would probably not be in position to tighten its grip - it already burned all the reserves and in so clumsy way, that Bolton and Co became a laughing stock. If anything, it exposed that while most gov't there would be paying lip service to USA, none would go with something material. France invaded with USA Libya, Germany invaded with USA Serbia, but none enlisted to invade Venezuela with USA.

> In Latin America most governments are now US puppet governments.

Brazil was indeed a huge blow into the BRICS dream. But i see it more of that indirect, covert "soft power" that USA secret services prepared and rushed to implement before Trump.

> Weakened the EU, via support for Brexit and other ways - it means that the euro will not be a viable alternative for replacing the dollar

Basically turning EU elites against USA and splitting "Western Hegemony" into rivaling factions.

From multipolar view circa 2010, would it be much difference for, say, Russia or China or Iran, whether USD or EUR would be "reserve currency"?

After Alexander of Macedonia died his empire split to pieces, and some of those pieces soon started warring. Did this enhance Greek hegemony or reduced it?

When COMECOM and Warsaw Pact disbanded did it enhanced Soviet hegemony over Eastern Europe or reduced it? But it slashed exports of those lands, Bulgaria is not more agriculture super-power it used to be, "Ikarus" bus is still often meet in Moscow street but in the "remnants of old times still able to run" kind, Poland is no more producing ocean-grade ships. So, was it enhancing USSR share of world economy then?

Also, didn't he kind of forced EU elites into Chinese OBOR camp? That said, similarly Russia was forced towards China in 2013-2014 by Western lunacy, so i would not say it was Trump's novelty to push EU eastwards.

EU was in with US in looting Libya, EU was in with US in looting Serbia, now US calls for EU to join in "patrolling" Persian Gulf and response is... like the one about invading Venezuela. Hegemon became stronger?

> Trade wars seem to be hitting EU's export dependent economy pretty hard.

And i wish to see more of those wars not less. Won't you? EU is the power, that took part in creating narco-haven in Kosovo, murdering children of Iraq, building sex slaves markets in Libya, destroying what was left of democracy in Ukraine. EU power is diminishing? Let it crash and burn if you ask me.

> Turkey has serious economic problems - partly due to the US again - which again means slowing down multipolarity

Wasn't in 2012 Turkey part of Hegemon entourage neck-deep in bloody ISIS affair?
Wasn't Turkey for decades be knockign into closed EU membership doors?
Wasn't Turkey send their people into Germany to intertwine and cross-influence?

Turkey as part of multipolarity? Maybe. But exactly because it was prohibited from what they see their place in global western world. However i am not very sure that would West offer "larger piece" to Turkey in their crippling hegemony, turkey would not turn back yet again. Goog thing, it would be hard to do as few believe western promises today, but again, didn't Trump (but other western politicians too, and including many pre-Trump) invested into making West glaringly "not agreement-capable" in but everyone's view?

Trump could smash Turkey and instate Kudistan.
Trump could smash Kurds and make amends with Erdo.
Instead Trump is breaking pots with both. Neither Kurds not Turks no trust "the shining beacon".

> Overall situation - the US share in the world economy is declining at slower rates than before

Won't this mean Trump's economic policy is if limited success?

> the retarding of growth of everyone else, which means defacto slowing down multipolarity and the replacement of the US dollar

That may be what some faction of Team Trump counting upon. But i have reservations.
Uni-polarity is not about economic growth. It is about trading on One True Market, hegemon's one.
And when everything goes down, another factors start to weigh in. Like elasticity of demand and replacement with cheaper substitutes. Like, if i need a tooling for my house, i would perhaps want to purchase Japanese Makita or German Bosh. Those are famous brands with decades of well earned reputation. But if i only can salivate on them, then perhaps i can go with some cheaper Chinese knock-off? Or perhaps to blow the dust from my grandpa's old tool and purchase nothing at all? If i can buy genuine American Levi's it is a fad, but if i can, then perhaps i will make it in Turkey-made or China-made or Philipinnes-made or even Syria-made jeans? You know, their cut is not that fitting as European or American, but perhaps we can deal with it for the price? If in Russia i can no more buy Czech or German beer as before 2014, then perhaps i can sooth myself with apple cidre from semi-eastern Altai region of Russia? And then, will my gov't still had the same need for USD for those adjusted trade transactions, as it used to?

[Aug 20, 2019] They just can't get enough of that Novichok

I never suspected that UK authorities will be such obvious idiots. This is a clear sign of complete degeneration of the UK elite.
Aug 15, 2019 | telegraph.co.uk

A new victim's been discovered!

'Second officer was poisoned with Novichok in Salisbury incident, police reveal', ,

"Counter Terrorism Detectives, who are investigating the nerve agent attack in 2018, have confirmed that traces of Novichok have been found in a blood sample which was taken at the time from a second police officer.

The officer from Wiltshire Police, who does not wish to be identified , was involved in the response to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

The Telegraph understands the male officer displayed signs at the time of the incident that indicated exposure to a very small amount of Novichok .

He received appropriate medical treatment at the time and returned to duties shortly afterwards.

A police spokesman told the Telegraph the officer was part of the initial response.

Forensic examination of the officer's blood sample, taken in March 2018, has since been carried out by scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

The forensic test – which uses a different method to that used to assess the clinical effects of nerve agent poisoning – has now given detectives confirmation that traces of Novichok were present.

The officer, the fourth person to be confirmed through forensic testing as a victim of the initial Salisbury attack, has been informed and continues to receive support from Wiltshire Police along with other officers and staff affected by the events in Salisbury and Amesbury last year."

Well, now that number depends on Gina Haspel's report about the dead ducks and sick children poisoned by the Novichoked bread the Skripals had been tossing to the ducks, doesn't it? But Officer Nick Baily was allegedly #5.

"The spokesman said: "some of the other police officers that attended the scene may have been exposed, but it is possible to find forensic traces [of Novichok] in blood that have no health implications at the time". [snip]

"The UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats and the US expelled 60 more in retaliation for poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March last year, blaming the Russian military intelligence service, the GRU, for the botched assassination attempt."

From the link above:

'British authorities are confident they know "everything worth knowing" about the assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal, including a trail right up to Vladimir Putin."


"The Russian intelligence agency behind the Salisbury nerve agent attack has been dismantled in the UK [<Moscow spins webb of lies] and will remain out of action for years to come, according to government sources.

The threat posed by the GRU, which carried out the attempted assassination of Skripal last March, has been severely curtailed as a result of the counter-terror investigation that exposed the agents who carried out the attack.'

"Counter-terror police working with the intelligence services were able to piece together the plot to murder Colonel Skripal, a former GRU officer who had sold secrets to MI6, using CCTV, including footage from the streets close to the Col Skripal's home in Salisbury, and from passenger flight manifests and immigration data at the time of the attempted hit."

(with photos of GRU Boris and Natasha)

'Novichok Sickened 2nd British Officer, Police Say', August 15, 2019 , nytimes.com, Anna Schaverien

"Another officer, Detective Sgt. Nick Bailey, became critically ill after going to Mr. Skripal's home to investigate the attack. Mr. Skripal, a former colonel in Russia's military intelligence, and his daughter, Yulia, had been found unconscious and slumped on a bench.

Sergeant Bailey, who made contact with the nerve agent through the house's door handle, made a full recovery. Last Sunday, he ran a marathon to raise money for the intensive-care unit at the hospital where he was treated.

Two other people, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, also suffered high levels of exposure to Novichok as a result of the poisoning. They were accidentally exposed to residue in Amesbury, a town near Salisbury, months after the initial episode .

Both were critically sickened on July 1 when Ms. Sturgess sprayed a substance that she thought was [Nina Ricci l'air du Novichoque ] perfume onto her wrist from a bottle that Mr. Rowley, her boyfriend, had found. Investigators believe the vial was used to transport the Novichok that poisoned the Skripals. Mr. Rowley survived, but Ms. Sturgess died .

In the wake of the attack, tensions escalated to their highest pitch in decades between Britain and Russia, which London blamed for the poisoning. Moscow denied any involvement." [snip]

"The European Union placed economic sanctions on the two suspects and two senior Russian military intelligence officials in January. And this month President Trump signed an executive order imposing new sanctions on Russia over the episode."

From the Aug. 1 NYT : 'Mr. Trump has been reluctant to take punitive actions against Russia, instead seeking better relations with Moscow despite its well-documented interference in the 2016 election.

But in recent weeks, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have criticized his administration's delay in taking what they have called legally mandated action to follow up on sanctions imposed last August.' [snip]

On Monday, the top Democrat and Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee sent a joint letter to the White House threatening new congressional action to force the administration's hand.

"Failure by the administration to respond to Russia's unabashed aggression is unacceptable and would necessitate that Congress take corrective action," wrote the members, Eliot L. Engel, Democrat of New York, and Michael McCaul, Republican of Texas.

The law provided the administration with numerous sanctions to choose from. The executive order released by the White House on Thursday banned loans or other assistance to Russia by international financial institutions and prohibited most loans from American banks to Russia's government."

"They are suspected groundlessly," the Kremlin's spokesman told reporters when the European Union imposed travel bans and asset freezes on the suspects. " We have still not heard any evidence ."

A year after the poisoning, and after 13,000 hours of cleaning, the British government announced that the decontamination of the former Skripal home was complete. But the investigation into the attack continues.

"There are parts of the picture that we are continuing to piece together," the Metropolitan Police statement said."

All of which begs the question: what new sanctions will the US and UK levy on Russia? Of course we'll never know where Sergei and Yulia are, will we?

And sure we remember when they raised a new roof because some of that Novichok gel (or was it a spray?) on the Skripal's front door knob migrated upstairs into the attic or something

This may have been my favorite story, though: ' Public toilet in Salisbury 'may have been used by Russian agents to prepare deadly Novichok', themirror.co./uk.com , Aug. 4, 2018

"A public toilet may be where Russian agents mixed deadly Novichok used to try and assassinate ex-spy Sergei Skripal , according to reports .

It is thought Met Police counter terror cops are investigating the likelihood that the assassins smuggled the components to the nerve agent into the country then mixed it in a public toilet in Salisbury.

Forensic teams have discovered low-level contamination in toilets in the city's Queen Elizabeth Gardens."

But I'll turn it over to BBC news : 'BBC to dramatise Salisbury Novichok poisoning', 17 May 2019 , bbc.com/news

"The new drama is being written by Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn who said in a joint statement: "We feel extremely privileged to be telling this story.

"Extensive, meticulous research is at the heart of how we like to work and we've been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of Salisbury who have opened up to us over the past few months and continue to do so."

Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, added: "The poisonings in Salisbury shocked the nation and had a huge impact on an unsuspecting community.

"This drama will capture the bravery, resilience and personal experience of the local people who faced a situation of unimaginable horror, so close to home."

Casting for the drama is yet to be announced."

An historical bonus from the good Ambassador: ' Pure: Ten Points I Just Can't Believe About the Official Skripal Narrative', March 7, 2109, Craig Murray, craigmurray .org; a few snippets:

"I still do not know what happened in the Skripal saga, which perhaps might more respectfully be termed the Sturgess saga. I cannot believe the Russian account of Boshirov and Petrov, because if those were their real identities, those identities would have been firmly established and displayed by now. But that does not mean they attempted to kill the Skripals, and there are many key elements to the official British account which are also simply incredible.

Governments play dark games, and a dark game was played out in Salisbury which involved at least the British state, Russian agents (possibly on behalf of the state), Orbis Intelligence and the BBC. Anybody who believes it is simple to identify the "good guys" and the "bad guys" in this situation is a fool. When it comes to state actors and the intelligence services, frequently there are no "good guys", as I personally witnessed from the inside over torture, extraordinary rendition and the illegal invasion of Iraq. But in the face of a massive media campaign to validate the British government story about the Skripals, here are ten of the things I do not believe in the official account:

3) Nursing Care

The very first person to discover the Skripals ill on a park bench in Salisbury just happened to be the Chief Nurse of the British Army , who chanced to be walking past them on her way back from a birthday party. How lucky was that? The odds are about the same as the chance of my vacuum cleaner breaking down just before James Dyson knocks at my door to ask for directions. There are very few people indeed in the UK trained to give nursing care to victims of chemical weapon attack, and of all the people who might have walked past, it just happened to be the most senior of them!

The government is always trying to get good publicity for its armed forces, and you would think that the heroic role of its off-duty personnel in saving random poisoned Russian double agents they just happened to chance across, would have been proclaimed as a triumph for the British military. Yet it was kept secret for ten months. We were not told about the involvement of Colonel Alison McCourt until January of this year, when it came out by accident. Swollen with maternal pride, Col. McCourt nominated her daughter for an award from the local radio station for her role in helping give first aid to the Skripals, and young Abigail revealed her mother's identity on local radio – and the fact her mother was there "with her" administering first aid."

6) Mark Urban/Pablo Miller

The BBC's "Diplomatic Editor" is a regular conduit for the security services. He fronted much of the BBC's original coverage of the Skripal story. Yet he concealed from the viewers the fact that he had been in regular contact with Sergei Skripal for months before the alleged poisoning, and had held several meetings with Skripal.

This is extraordinary behaviour. It was the biggest news story in the world, and news organisations, including the BBC, were scrambling to fill in the Skripals' back story. Yet the journalist who had the inside info on the world's biggest news story, and was actually reporting on it, kept that knowledge to himself. Why? Urban was not only passing up a career defining opportunity, it was unethical of him to continually report on the story without revealing to the viewers his extensive contacts with Skripal.

The British government had two immediate reactions to the Skripal incident. Within the first 48 hours, it blamed Russia, and it slapped a D(SMA) notice banning all media mention of Skripal's MI6 handler, Pablo Miller. By yet another one of those extraordinary coincidences, Miller and Urban know each other well, having both been officers together in the Royal Tank Regiment, of the same rank and joining the Regiment the same year."

Conclusion

I do not know what happened in Salisbury. Plainly spy games were being played between Russia and the UK, quite likely linked to the Skripals and/or the NATO chemical weapons exercise then taking place on Salisbury Plain yet another one of those astonishing coincidences."

Weird how literally every one of thes poisioning incidents keep happening less than 10 miles from the uk's largest and most notorious deadly chemical weapons factory. The fascist uk regime should really stop murdering its own people with chemical weapons https://t.co/zvIXrJ57eK

-- Handsome Man of Steel (@HandsomeSteel) August 16, 2019

(cross-posted from Café Babylon

MrWebster on Mon, 08/19/2019 - 2:44pm

Novichok is all these things

At first Novichok described as thee most deadilest chemical weapon in the world. It immediate kills anybody exposed to it and any unprotected first responders.

It failed to immediately kill to anybody exposed to it.
Seems more like a bad flu instead.

Novichok degrades almost immediately.
Norvichock can stay around for months in a perfume bottle.

Only Russians can and did make it.
For a few bucks, university chem majors made a batch.

wendy davis on Mon, 08/19/2019 - 4:52pm
arrrrr, matey!

@MrWebster

the nerve agent is a chimera in time, too! you can even pull it out of a hat, like a wabbit!

thanks for the great chuckle-worthy additions, Mr.Webster. ; )

p.s. it did kill dawn sturgess, as far as we've been told, but iirc, there were extenuating circumstances given her addiction history. i love it that officer bailey ran a marathon recently, too.

and the saga continues....will it ever end?

At first Novichok described as thee most deadilest chemical weapon in the world. It immediate kills anybody exposed to it and any unprotected first responders.

It failed to immediately kill to anybody exposed to it.
Seems more like a bad flu instead.

Novichok degrades almost immediately.
Norvichock can stay around for months in a perfume bottle.

Only Russians can and did make it.
For a few bucks, university chem majors made a batch.

Alligator Ed on Mon, 08/19/2019 - 2:54pm
The tweet says it all

Just so happens, etc.

Another well-researched article. Thanks.

Now where can I find l'air du Novichoque ? This could ultimately shorten my Christmans shopping list next year.

wendy davis on Mon, 08/19/2019 - 5:20pm
who on earth is on your

@Alligator Ed

xmas list, santa gator? looks like ya gotta either keep your eyes peeled for knock-offs, or head to the soviet union... light bulb! maybe they left a few bottles hidden in the roof of that bog in the salisbury park!

wendy davis on Mon, 08/19/2019 - 5:19pm
and all those bad pennies...

@travelerxxx

are addin' up to a fistful of dollars and pound notes by now, aren't they? i'd call it humiliating, myownself.

i did dig out more from craig murray on pablo miller, orbus, et.al., cuz i'd needed a refresher: Where They Tell You Not to Look , april 30, 2019 lots of tweets, plus this great aaron maté interview w/ luke harding.

by the by, i finally heard from Rosette Sewali, Producer & Membership Relations Manager after i'd asked TRNN why is might be that neither sharmini piries nor paul jay have been there since june 13; she wrote back:

'Thanks for your email. Paul and Sharmini have been on leave since early June. Updates will be available when we have more information .'

??????

'At the very beginning of the of the Skripal incident, the security services blocked by D(SMA) notice any media mention of Pablo Miller and told the media not to look at Orbis and the Steele dossier on Trump, acting immediately to get out their message via trusties in the BBC and Guardian. Gordon Corera, "BBC Security Correspondent", did not name the source who told him to say this, but helpfully illustrated his tweet with a nice picture of MI6 Headquarters.

'MI6's most important media conduit (after Frank Gardner) is Luke Harding of the Guardian.'
..................
'Given that the Steele dossier is demonstrably in large degree nonsense, it seems to me more probable the idea was to silence Skripal to close the danger that he would reveal his part in the concoction of this fraud. Remember he had sold out Russian agents to the British for cash and was a man of elastic loyalties. It is also worth noting that Luke Harding has a bestselling book currently on sale, in large part predicated on the truth of the Steele Dossier.

Steele, MI6 and the elements of the CIA which are out to get Trump, all would have a powerful motive to have the Skripal loose end tied.
Rule number one of real investigative journalism: look where they tell you not to look .'

[Aug 20, 2019] How the British Government subjected thousands of people to chemical and biological warfare trials during Cold War

Notable quotes:
"... The research reveals, for the first time, that around 4600 kilos of the chemical, zinc cadmium sulphide (now thought to be potentially carcinogenic, on account of its cadmium content) were dispersed from ships, aircraft and moving lorries between 1953 and 1964. ..."
"... Professor Schmidt's investigation – published on 9 July as a book, Secret Science – has revealed that commuters on the London underground were also used as guinea pigs on a substantially larger scale than previously thought. ..."
"... The new research reveals, for the first time, that in another British imperial possession, Nigeria, a location was found for chemical warfare field trials. In an area called Obanaghoro in southern Nigeria, four British Cold War scientific missions spent a total of around 15 months dispersing, and assessing the effects of, large quantities of experimental nerve gas weapons. The advantage of the location was that it permitted field trials to be carried out in a tropical environment – and, of course, that it was not in Britain or Australia. ..."
"... Ulf Schmidt's book, Secret Science, is published today on 9 July, by Oxford University Press. ..."
Aug 11, 2019 | independent.co.uk

Substantial quantities were also dispersed across parts of the English Channel and the North Sea. It's not known the extent to which coastal towns in England and France were affected.

The research reveals, for the first time, that around 4600 kilos of the chemical, zinc cadmium sulphide (now thought to be potentially carcinogenic, on account of its cadmium content) were dispersed from ships, aircraft and moving lorries between 1953 and 1964.

Read more

Professor Schmidt's investigation – published on 9 July as a book, Secret Science – has revealed that commuters on the London underground were also used as guinea pigs on a substantially larger scale than previously thought.

The new research has discovered that a hitherto unknown biological warfare field trial was carried out in the capital's tube system in May 1964.

The secret operation – carried out by scientists from the government's chemical and biological warfare research centre at Porton Down, Wiltshire - involved the release of large quantities of bacteria called Bacillus globigii. The scientists were keen to discover whether 'long distance travel of aerosols' in the tube network 'was due to transportation within trains' or through the tube's air ventilation systems.

At the time, the government thought that Bacillus globigii bacteria were harmless – but they are today regarded as a cause of food poisoning, eye infections, and even septicaemia. It is not known whether the authorities attempted to properly test the bacterium before releasing it into the tube system. An earlier series of tube field trials, in July 1963, has been known to historians for many years.

However, the new research has now revealed that some of the British scientists involved had grave misgivings about the field trials that had been carried out. Indeed some had long felt that it was not politically advisable to conduct large-scale trials in Britain with live bacterial agents.

One particular test – involving live plague bacteria – was carried out off the west coast of Scotland in 1952. It's long been known that a fishing vessel inadvertently passed through the cloud of bacteria and that the authorities were very worried that the fishermen might contract the disease.

The plague bacteria field trials, though at sea, took place only a few miles from the Isle of Lewis which had a population of several thousand.

The government scientists, carrying out the trials, banked on the fact that the prevailing wind normally blew away from the coast. If, however, the wind had changed direction, thousands of Hebrideans would have been at risk from plague infection, says Professor Schmidt.

Equipment for the isolation of patients in a germ free atmosphere, which was developed at Porton Down in collaboration with the Institute of Child Health (Getty)

Following the fishing vessel incident, the scientists were eager to carry out any further potentially very hazardous field trials outside the UK. Prime Minister Churchill therefore approved a plan to carry out tests in a British overseas territory, the Bahamas.

New research shows that the government scientists took the view that the Bahamas was the best place "on the surface of the globe" to carry out tests "without restrictions".

In 1954, the British government sent Cold War biological warfare scientists to an area of sea near an uninhabited island in the Bahamas to release clouds of dangerous Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis viruses. These organisms were capable of causing, in humans, high fever, long term fatigue, headaches and occasionally death.

The new research reveals, for the first time, that in another British imperial possession, Nigeria, a location was found for chemical warfare field trials. In an area called Obanaghoro in southern Nigeria, four British Cold War scientific missions spent a total of around 15 months dispersing, and assessing the effects of, large quantities of experimental nerve gas weapons. The advantage of the location was that it permitted field trials to be carried out in a tropical environment – and, of course, that it was not in Britain or Australia.

The extent that local people (including locally employed field trial personnel) were affected by the nerve agents is not known.

Historians have so far been unable to find out who did the particularly hazardous work of 'hand-charging' the nerve agent artillery shells, mortar bombs and aircraft cluster bombs. Likewise they have not been able to discover the extent to which local Nigerian soils were contaminated or whether nearby villages and schools were affected by any of the toxic clouds that would have been blown across the countryside.

"The government records I've been looking at are conspicuously silent on all this," said Ulf Schmidt.

"Officials had clearly good reasons as to why the kind of experiments undertaken in Nigeria were strictly prohibited on the British mainland, which is why the files and photographic records surrounding Britain's post-war nerve agent testing in Africa were regarded as particularly sensitive," he said.

Professor Schmidt's research has also revealed the vast scale of Cold War chemical warfare tests carried out on 'volunteer' British service personnel here in the UK – involving numbers of people much greater than previously thought.

His investigation now suggests that up to 30,000 secret chemical warfare substance experiments were carried out, mainly at Porton Down, on more than 14,000 British soldiers between 1945 and 1989. He believes that, in most cases, the servicemen were not given sufficient information to allow them to give properly informed consent.

Ulf Schmidt's book, Secret Science, is published today on 9 July, by Oxford University Press.

Spreading diseases: 'Harmless' proxies

Aircraft, lorries and ships spread 4,600kg of cadmium sulphide in one decade

Zinc Cadmium Sulfide ultra-fine particles

. This inorganic compound was used by Cold War scientists in the UK and the US as a supposedly harmless proxy to simulate the behaviour, in the lower atmosphere and on the ground, of biological warfare substances. However it is still not known whether particles of ZCS that may have become embedded in people's lungs for decades could ultimately cause disease.

Bacillus globigii . This bacterium was used as a supposedly harmless proxy to simulate the behaviour, in terms of dispersal and penetration, of biological warfare aerosols. Although not considered harmful when it was used in Cold War field trials, it is now known to be capable of causing fevers, food poisoning (occasionally resulting in death), peritonitis and septicaemia .

Pasteurella pestis (now known as Yersina pestis) . Clouds of this highly infections bacterium were dispersed only over areas of sea – but nevertheless very near to Lewis, a Scottish Island with thousands of inhabitants. In order not to infect the islands, it appears that the scientists relied entirely on the wind not changing direction and speed. This bacterium is the one that has caused plague epidemics worldwide in the past (including those of the medieval world's Black Death).

Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis. Clouds of this virus were dispersed over an area of sea close to an uninhabited island in the Bahamas. The virus debilitates or kills horses and donkeys and can also cause severe fever and even death in humans. Mosquitos spread the virus further by biting equines.

G-series nerve agents. Clouds of this chemical warfare weapon were dispersed during field trials in a small part of southern Nigeria, some miles north of the town of Warri. G-series nerve agents were first developed by the Nazis before and during World War Two. The group includes substances like sarin and attacks the human nervous system, causing loss of bodily function and normally death. Survivors are likely to suffer long-term neurological damage and psychiatric disorders.

[Aug 19, 2019] Now where can I find l'air du Novichoque ? This could ultimately shorten my Christmas shopping list the next year

These idiots just keep digging themselves deeper and deeper into that hole they're in. It's almost embarrassing, even if I didn't wish them the worst.
Aug 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

[Aug 19, 2019] Conspiracy theory label can generate propaganda sufficiently toxic to severely damage or even destroy political opponents. For instance, Russiagate.

Aug 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

Sean McBride says: August 17, 2019 at 7:57 pm GMT 100 Words "dominate both polls" = "dominate both poles"?

A nice analysis of the rhetorical structure of conspiracy theories in general.

Another important aspect of this: the use of conspiracy theories to generate propaganda sufficiently toxic to severely damage or even destroy political opponents. For instance, Russiagate.

The mainstream media, since 2016, while railing against the conspiratorial mindset expressed in Internet alternative media channels, have been wallowing in it, promoting it with all the power at their disposal. Talk about twisty and sinister doublethink. One could almost describe it as diabolical.

They are often portraying false conspiracy theories as truth, and true conspiracy research as lies -- turning reality upside down and inside out.

[Aug 19, 2019] The Seth Rich story tells us how corruption spreads. The Mayor of DC, Muriel Bowser, tells Peter Newsham, the guy in charge of the Seth Rich investigation, to shut it down.

Aug 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

si1ver1ock , says: August 17, 2019 at 10:42 pm GMT

The Seth Rich story is coming back to life. A fellow named Butowski is exposing things.

He claims that Ellen Ratner of Fox News told him that Seth Rich and his brother Aaron gave Wikileaks Hillary's emails. Julian Assange is said to have told Ellen Ratner.

The story is that the cover-up came down from now disgraced FBI agent, Andrew McCabe, to the Mayor of DC and on down to the police. They were told to sit on the case.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0M3Z4eE6cJA?feature=oembed

Twodees Partain , says: August 18, 2019 at 3:27 pm GMT
@si1ver1ock Here's a link to a detailed written article about the Butowski story and the lawsuit he has filed.

https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/deep-state-have-finally-met-their-match-ed-butowsky/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Deep+State+Have+Finally+Met+their+Match+-+Ed+Butowsky

Not everyone prefers viewing a video.

Si1ver1ock , says: August 18, 2019 at 1:58 pm GMT
The Seth Rich story tells us how corruption spreads. The Mayor of DC, Muriel Bowser, tells Peter Newsham, the guy in charge of the Seth Rich investigation, to shut it down.

Then, a year later she promotes him to Chief of Police.

[Aug 18, 2019] Trump Slams NYT After Leaker Reveals Pivot From Russiagate To Racism Witch Hunt

Notable quotes:
"... "The failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from the Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt ," Trump wrote on Twitter ..."
"... Systematic deception by the press is a national security issue. In a real crisis, 2/3rds of this country is not going to believe either the government nor the media. That will be a real problem, and it's a massive weakness. ..."
"... Neoliberal MSM propaganda like heroin. Those "news" outlets don't care about actual facts or news, they are more script writers than anything else. ..."
Aug 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump Slams NYT After Leaker Reveals Pivot From 'Russiagate' To 'Racism Witch Hunt'

by Tyler Durden Sun, 08/18/2019 - 11:49 0 SHARES

President Trump slammed the "failing New York Times" on Sunday after leaked comments from executive editor Dean Baquet revealed that the paper is pivoting from the Russia narrative (which he described as being "a little tiny bit flat-footed") to 'Trump is a racist.'

"The failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from the Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt ," Trump wrote on Twitter, adding "'Journalism' has reached a new low in the history of our Country. It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke But the public is aware! The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke But the public is aware!"

Sanity Bear , 13 minutes ago link

Systematic deception by the press is a national security issue. In a real crisis, 2/3rds of this country is not going to believe either the government nor the media. That will be a real problem, and it's a massive weakness.

MrAToZ , 37 minutes ago link

Neoliberal MSM propaganda like heroin. Those "news" outlets don't care about actual facts or news, they are more script writers than anything else. These pretend journalists have conjured up a narrative and it is all about repeat repeat repeat, keeping that constant drip going into the vein of the Dem constituency. It's been going on for decades and the only people that are too stupid to see it are the Dems themselves.

[Aug 17, 2019] Debunking the Putin Panic by Stephen F. Cohen

Highly recommended!
Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

STEPHEN COHEN: I'm not aware that Russia attacked Georgia. The European Commission, if you're talking about the 2008 war, the European Commission, investigating what happened, found that Georgia, which was backed by the United States, fighting with an American-built army under the control of the, shall we say, slightly unpredictable Georgian president then, Saakashvili, that he began the war by firing on Russian enclaves. And the Kremlin, which by the way was not occupied by Putin, but by Michael McFaul and Obama's best friend and reset partner then-president Dmitry Medvedev, did what any Kremlin leader, what any leader in any country would have had to do: it reacted. It sent troops across the border through the tunnel, and drove the Georgian forces out of what essentially were kind of Russian protectorate areas of Georgia.

So that- Russia didn't begin that war. And it didn't begin the one in Ukraine, either. We did that by [continents], the overthrow of the Ukrainian president in [20]14 after President Obama told Putin that he would not permit that to happen. And I think it happened within 36 hours. The Russians, like them or not, feel that they have been lied to and betrayed. They use this word, predatl'stvo, betrayal, about American policy toward Russia ever since 1991, when it wasn't just President George Bush, all the documents have been published by the National Security Archive in Washington, all the leaders of the main Western powers promised the Soviet Union that under Gorbachev, if Gorbachev would allow a reunited Germany to be NATO, NATO would not, in the famous expression, move two inches to the east.

Now NATO is sitting on Russia's borders from the Baltic to Ukraine. So Russians aren't fools, and they're good-hearted, but they become resentful. They're worried about being attacked by the United States. In fact, you read and hear in the Russian media daily, we are under attack by the United States. And this is a lot more real and meaningful than this crap that is being put out that Russia somehow attacked us in 2016. I must have been sleeping. I didn't see Pearl Harbor or 9/11 and 2016. This is reckless, dangerous, warmongering talk. It needs to stop. Russia has a better case for saying they've been attacked by us since 1991. We put our military alliance on the front door. Maybe it's not an attack, but it looks like one, feels like one. Could be one.


Disturbed Voter , July 30, 2018 at 6:32 am

Real politik. Don't bring a knife to a gun fight. Don't start fights in the first place. The idea that American leadership is any better than mid-Victorian imperialism, is laughable.

Jerri-Lynn Scofield , July 30, 2018 at 8:15 am

Here's the RNN link to part one: The Russia "National Security Crisis" is a U.S. Creation .

integer , July 30, 2018 at 7:12 am

AARON MATE: We hear, often, talk of Putin possibly being the richest person in the world as a result of his entanglement with the very corruption of Russia you're speaking about

Few appear to be aware that Bill Browder is single-handedly responsible for starting, and spreading, the rumor that Putin's net worth is $200 billion (for those who are unfamiliar with Browder, I highly recommend watching Andrei Nekrasov's documentary titled " The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes "). Browder appears to have first started this rumor early in 2015 , and has repeated it ad nauseam since then, including in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017 . While Browder has always framed the $200 billion figure as his own estimate, that subtle qualifier has had little effect on the media's willingness to accept it as fact.

Interestingly, during the press conference at the Helsinki Summit, Putin claimed Browder sent $400 million of ill-gotten gains to the Clinton campaign. Putin retracted the statement and claimed to have misspoke a week or so later, however by that time the $400 million figure had been cited by numerous media outlets around the world. I think it is at least possible that Putin purposely exaggerated the amount of money in question as a kind of tit-for-tat response to Browder having started the rumor about his net worth being $200 billion.

Blue Pilgrim , July 30, 2018 at 11:39 am

The stories I saw said there was a mistranslation -- but that the figure should have $400 thousand and not $400 million. Maybe Putin misspoke, but the $400,000 number is still significant, albeit far more reasonable.

Putin never was on the Forbes list of billionaires, btw, and his campaign finance statement comes to far less. It never seems to occur to rabid capitalists or crooks that not everyone is like them, placing such importance on vast fortunes, or want to be dishonest, greedy, or power hungry. Putin is only 'well off' and that seems to satisfy him just fine as he gets on with other interests, values, and goals.

integer , July 30, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Yes, $400,000 is the revised/correct figure. My having written that "Putin retracted the statement" was not the best choice of phrase. Also, the figure was corrected the day after it was made, not "a week or so later" as I wrote in my previous comment. From the Russia Insider link:

Browder's criminal group used many tax evasion methods, including offshore companies. They siphoned shares and funds from Russia worth over 1.5 billion dollars. By the way, $400,000 was transferred to the US Democratic Party's accounts from these funds. The Russian president asked us to correct his statement from yesterday. During the briefing, he said it was $400,000,000, not $400,000. Either way, it's still a significant amount of money.

JohnnyGL , July 30, 2018 at 2:54 pm

I hadn't heard about the revision/edit to the $400M, thanks!

Seems crazy to think how much Russo-phobia seems to have been ginned up by one tax-dodging hedgie with an axe to grind.

Procopius , July 31, 2018 at 1:11 am

There's something weird about the anti-Putin hysteria. Somehow, many, many people have come to believe they must demonstrate their membership in the tribe by accepting completely unsupported assertions that go against common sense.

Eureka Springs , July 30, 2018 at 7:58 am

In a sane world we the people would be furious with the Clinton campaign, especially the D party but the R's as well, our media (again), and our intel/police State (again). Holding them all accountable while making sure this tsunami of deception and lies never happens again.

It's amazing even in time of the internetz those of us who really dig can only come up with a few sane voices. It's much worse now in terms of the numbers of sane voices than it was in the run up to Iraq 2.

CenterOfGravity , July 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm

Regardless of broad access to far more information in the digital age, never under estimate the self-preservation instinct of American exceptionalist mythology. There is an inverse relationship between the decline of US global primacy and increasingly desperate quest for adventurism. Like any case of addiction, looking outward for blame/salvation is imperative in order to prevent the mirror of self-reflection/realization from turning back onto ourselves.

integer , July 30, 2018 at 9:28 am

we're not to believe we're not supposed to believe we're supposed to believe

Believe whatever you want, however your comment gives the impression that you came to this article because you felt the need to push back against anything that does not conform to the liberal international order's narrative on Putin and Russia, rather than "with an eagerness to counterbalance the media's portrayal of Putin". WRT to whataboutism, I like Greenwald's definition of the term :

"Whataboutism": the term used to bar inquiry into whether someone adheres to the moral and behavioral standards they seek to impose on everyone else. That's its functional definition.

Rojo , July 30, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Invoking "whataboutism" is a liberal team-Dem tell.

Amfortas the Hippie , July 30, 2018 at 2:20 pm

aye. I've never seen it used by anyone aside from the worst Hill Trolls.
Indeed, when it was first thrown at me, I endeavored to look it up, and found that all references to it were from Hillaryites attempting to diss apostates and heretics.

Jonathan Holland Becnel , July 30, 2018 at 8:22 pm

Eh, probably

John Oliver, whos been completely sucking lately with TDS, did a semi decent segment on Whataboutism.

Eureka Springs , July 30, 2018 at 9:52 am

The degree of consistency and or lack of hypocrisy based on words and actions separates US from Russia to an astonishing level. That is Russia's largest threat to US, our deceivers. The propaganda tables have turned and we are deceiving ourselves to points of collective insanity and warmongering with a great nuclear power while we are at it. Warmongering is who we are and what we do.

Does Russia have a GITMO, torture Chelsea Manning, openly say they want to kill Snowden and Assange? Is Russia building up arsenals on our borders while maintaining hundreds of foreign bases and conducting several wars at any given moment while constantly threatening to foment more wars? Is Russia dropping another trillion on nuclear arsenals? Is Russia forcing us to maintain such an anti democratic system and an even worse, an entirely hackable electronic voting system?

You ready to destroy the world, including your own, rather than look in the mirror?

rkka , July 30, 2018 at 9:52 am

You're talking about extending Russian military power into Europe when the military spending of NATO Europe alone exceeds Russia's by almost 5-1 (more like 12-1 when one includes the US and Canada), have about triple the number of soldiers than Russia has, and when the Russian ground forces are numerically smaller than they have been in at least 200 years?

" to put their self-interests above those of their constituents and employees, why can't we apply this same lens to Putin and his oligarchs?"

The oligarchs got their start under Yeltsin and his FreeMarketDemocraticReformers, whose policies were so catastrophic that deaths were exceeding births by almost a million a year by the late '90s, with no end in sight. Central to Yeltsin's governance was the corrupt privatization, by which means the Seven Bankers came to control the Russian economy and Russian politics.

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

Central to Putin's popularity are the measures he took to curb oligarchic predation in 2003-2005. Because of this, Russia's debt:GDP ratio went from 1.0 to about 0.2, and Russia's demographic recovery began while Western analysis were still predicting the death of Russia.

So Putin is the anti-oligarch in Russian domestic politics.

Blue Pilgrim , July 30, 2018 at 12:17 pm

"While it's true that power corrupts"

I know of many people who sacrifice their own interests for those of their children (over whom they have virtually absolute power), family member and friends. I know of others who dedicate their lives to justice, peace, the well being of their nation, the world, and other people -- people who find far greater meaning and satisfaction in this than in accumulating power or money. Other people have their own goals, such as producing art, inventing interesting things, reading and learning, and don't care two hoots about power or money as long as their immediate needs are met.

I'm cynical enough about humans without thinking the worst of everyone and every group or culture. Not everyone thinks only of nails and wants to be hammers, or are sociopaths. There are times when people are more or less forced into taking power, or getting more money, even if they don't want it, because they want to change things for the better or need to defend themselves.
There are people who get guns and learn how to use them only because they feel a need for defending themselves and family but who don't like guns and don't want to shoot anyone or anything.

There are many people who do not want to be controlled and bossed around, but neither want to boss around anyone else. The world is full of such people. If they are threatened and attacked, however, expect defensive reactions. Same as for most animals which are not predators, and even predators will generally not attack other animals if they are not hungry or threatened -- but that does not mean they are not competent or can be dangerous.

Capitalism is not only inherently predatory, but is inherently expansive without limits, with unlimited ambition for profits and control. It's intrinsically very competitive and imperialist. Capitalism is also a thing which was exported to Russia, starting soon after the Russian Revolution, which was immediately attacked and invaded by the West, and especially after the fall of the Soviet Union. Soviet Russia had it's own problems, which it met with varying degrees of success, but were quite different from the aggressive capitalism and imperialism of the US and Europe.

Not every culture and person are the same.

BenX , July 30, 2018 at 3:28 pm

The pro-Putin propaganda is pretty interesting to witness, and of course not everything Cohen says is skewed pro-Putin – that's what provides credibility. But "Putin kills everybody" is something NOBODY says (except Cohen, twice in one interview) – Putin is actually pretty selective of those he decides to have killed. But of course, he doesn't kill anyone, personally – therefore he's an innocent lamb, accidentally running Russia as a dictator.

rkka , July 31, 2018 at 9:11 am

The most recent dictator in Russian history was Boris Yeltsin, who turned tanks on his legislature while it was in the legal and constitutional process of impeaching him, and whose policies were so catastrophic for Russians (who were dying off at the rate of 900k/yr) that he had to steal his re-election because he had a 5% approval rating.

But he did as the US gvt told him, so I guess that makes him a Democrat.

Under Putin Russia recovered from being helpless, bankrupt & dying, but Russia has an independent foreign policy, so that makes Putin a dictator.

Plenue , July 30, 2018 at 3:54 pm

"Does any sane person believe that there will ever be a Putin-signed contract provided as evidence? Does any sane person believe that Putin actually needs to "approve" a contract rather than signaling to his oligarch/mafia hierarchy that he's unhappy about a newspaper or journalist's reporting?"

Why do you think Putin even needs, or feels a need, to have journalists killed in the first place? I see no evidence to support this basic assumption.

The idea of Russia poised to attack Europe is interesting, in light of the fact that they've cut their military spending by 20%. And even before that the budgets of France, Germany, and the UK combined well exceeded that of Russia, to say nothing of the rest of NATO or the US.

Putin's record speaks for itself. This again points to the absurdity of claiming he's had reporters killed: he doesn't need to. He has a vast amount of genuine public support because he's salvaged the country and pieced it back together after the pillaging of the Yeltsin years. That he himself is a corrupt oligarch I have no particular doubt of. But if he just wanted to enrich himself, he's had a very funny way of going about it. Pray tell, what are these 'other interpretations'?

"The US foreign policy has been disastrous for millions of people since world war 2. But Cohen's arguments that Russia isn't as bad as the US is just a bunch of whattaboutism."

What countries has the Russian Federation destroyed?

witters , July 31, 2018 at 1:30 am

Here is a fascinating essay ["Are We Reading Russia Right?"] by Nicolai N. Petro who currently holds the Silvia-Chandley Professorship of Peace Studies and Nonviolence at the University of Rhode Island. His books include, Ukraine
in Crisis (Routledge, 2017), Crafting Democracy (Cornell, 2004), The Rebirth of Russian Democracy (Harvard, 1995), and Russian Foreign Policy, co-authored with Alvin Z. Rubinstein (Longman, 1997). A graduate of the University of Virginia, he is the recipient of Fulbright awards to Russia and to Ukraine, as well as fellowships from the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies in Washington,
D.C., and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. As a Council on Foreign Relations Fellow, he served as special assistant for policy toward the Soviet Union in the U.S. Department of State from 1989 to 1990. In addition to scholarly publications
on Russia and Ukraine, he has written for Asia Times, American Interest, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian (UK), The Nation, New York Times, and Wilson Quarterly. His writings have appeared frequently on the web sites of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and The National Interest.

I warn you – it is terrifying!

http://npetro.net/resources/Petro-FF+Spring+2018.pdf

Carolinian , July 30, 2018 at 8:55 am

Thanks for so much for this. Great stuff. Cohen says the emperor has no clothes so naturally the empire doesn't want him on television. I believe he has been on CNN one or two times and I saw him once on the PBS Newshour where the interviewer asked skeptical questions with a pained and skeptical look. He seems to be the only prominent person willing to stand up and call bs on the Russia hate. There are plenty of pundits and commentators who do that but not many Princeton professors.

Thye Rev Kev , July 30, 2018 at 9:04 am

It has been said in recent years that the greatest failure of American foreign policy was the invasion of Iraq. I think that they are wrong. The greatest failure, in my opinion, is to push both China and Russia together into a semi-official pact against American ambitions. In the same way that the US was able to split China from the USSR back in the seventies, the best option was for America to split Russia from China and help incorporate them into the western system. The waters for that idea have been so fouled by the Russia hysteria, if not dementia, that that is no longer a possibility. I just wish that the US would stop sowing dragon's teeth – it never ends well.

NotTimothyGeithner , July 30, 2018 at 9:45 am

The best option, but the "American exceptionalists" went nuts. Also, the usual play book of stoking fears of the "yellow menace" would have been too on the nose. Americans might not buy it, and there was a whole cottage industry of "the rising China threat" except the potential consumer market place and slave labor factories stopped that from happening.

Bringing Russia into the West effectively means Europe, and I think that creates a similar dynamic to a Russian/Chinese pact. The basic problem with the EU is its led by a relatively weak but very German power which makes the EU relatively weak or controllable as long as the German electorate is relatively sedate. I think they still need the international structures run by the U.S. to maintain their dominance. What Russia and the pre-Erdogan Turkey (which was never going to be admitted to the EU) presented was significant upsets to the existing EU order with major balances to Germany which I always believed would make the EU potentially more dynamic. Every decision wouldn't require a pilgrimage to Berlin. The British were always disinterested. The French had made arrangements with Germany, and Italy is still Italy. Putting Russia or Turkey (pre-Erdogan) would have disrupted this arrangement.

John Wright , July 30, 2018 at 11:11 am

>which is oddly not easy to locate on its site

It appeared to me that Aaron Mate knew he was dealing with a weak hand by the end of the interview.

When Mate stated "it's widely held that Putin is responsible for the killing of journalists and opposition activists who oppose him."

There are many widely held beliefs in the world, and that does not make them true.

For example, It was widely held, and still may be believed by some, that Saddam Hussein was involved in the events of 9/11.

It is widely believed that humans are not responsible, in any part, for climate change.

Mate may have been embarrassed when he saw the final version and as a courtesy to him, the interview was made more difficult to find.

pretzelattack , July 30, 2018 at 11:35 am

iirc he didn't say it was true.

Elizabeth Burton , July 30, 2018 at 7:18 pm

The Crimea voted to be annexed by Russia by a clear majority. The US overran Hawaii with total disregard for the wishes of the native population. Your comparison is invalid.

vato , July 31, 2018 at 3:37 am

"Putin's finger prints are all over the Balkan fiasco".How is that with Putin only becoming president in 2000 and the Nato bombing started way beforehand. It's ridiculous to think that Putin had any major influence at that time as govenor or director of the domestic intelligence service on what was going during the bombing of NATO on Belgrad. Even Gerhard Schroeder, then chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, admitted in an interview in 2014 with a major German Newspaper (Die Zeit) that this invasion of Nato was a fault and against international law!

Can you concrete what you mean by "fingerprints" or is this just another platitudes?

ewmayer , July 31, 2018 at 6:05 pm

"Somebody called it Trump derangement syndrome."

I believe that the full and proper name of the psychiatric disorder in question is Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome [PTDS].

Symptoms include:

o Eager and uncritical ingestion and social-media regurgitation of even the most patently absurd MSM propaganda. For example, the meme that releasing factual information about actual election-meddling (as Wikileaks did about the Dem-establishment's rigging of its own nomination process in 2016) is a grave threat to American Democracy™;

o Recent-onset veneration of the intelligence agencies, whose stock in trade is spying on and lying to the American people, spreading disinformation, election rigging, torture and assassination and its agents, such as liar and perjurer Clapper and torturer Brennan;

o Rehabilitation of horrid unindicted GOP war criminals like G.W. Bush as alleged examples of "norms-respecting Republican patriots";

o Smearing of anyone who dares question the MSM-stoked hysteria as an America-hating Russian stooge.

[Aug 17, 2019] The Anti-Russia Inquisition Intensifies by Ted Galen Carpenter

Images and links to video removed.
The title sounds like it was written yesterday, despite the fact the article is two years ago. That suggest that Russophobia is the official policy of both parties. Why they are trying to remove Trump, who folded after thee month in power, is less clear. May be the crimes they committed are such that anybody in power then Clinton gang is very dangerous for them.
Please looks also at selected comments. They are definitely sounds as written yesterday.
Notable quotes:
"... Congressional Democrats and their media allies have renewed their offensive in the past two weeks. Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) even argues that the evidence already amassed seems to be enough to warrant President Trump's impeachment. It was especially notable that no prominent Democrat denounced such an inflammatory accusation. Indeed, Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee appear to be escalating their concept of what constitutes a thorough investigation, now insisting that any contact by advisers to the Trump campaign with any Russian official be subject to scrutiny. ..."
"... They and their neoconservative allies also insist on a laser-like focus on the alleged misdeeds of the Trump people and nothing else. ..."
"... Such an outrageous accusation might have made even the infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy blush. That it came from a prominent Republican also suggests that the current bout of Russophobia is not purely a partisan phenomenon. The broader implications are extremely worrisome. A campaign appears to be underway to intimidate and silence critics of the current policy toward Russia, and even policy regarding NATO. ..."
"... The track record on previous group think on such decisions as the military interventions in Vietnam, Iraq, and Libya also confirms that it can produce truly tragic results. Creating a similar situation of stifling debate regarding U.S. policy toward a nation armed with thousands of nuclear weapons is the essence of folly. ..."
May 07, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

or a brief period in April, it appeared that the campaign that Democrats and neo-conservative Republicans were waging for a comprehensive investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with the Russian government to influence the 2016 presidential election had peaked and was beginning to ebb. The Trump administration's decision to launch missile strikes against a Syrian air base despite Russian President Vladimir Putin vehement objections to the assault on his ally, quieted accusations that Trump was Putin's puppet. Indeed, hawks in both parties praised Trump for taking action in Syria, and the president's supporters at Fox News and elsewhere contended that the U.S. attack discredited the notion that he was guilty of appeasing Russia.

But the hiatus in the allegations of collusion was only temporary. Worse, the resurgent anti-Russia hysteria has broader, ominous implications for U.S. foreign policy and the health of political discourse in the United States.

Congressional Democrats and their media allies have renewed their offensive in the past two weeks. Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) even argues that the evidence already amassed seems to be enough to warrant President Trump's impeachment. It was especially notable that no prominent Democrat denounced such an inflammatory accusation. Indeed, Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee appear to be escalating their concept of what constitutes a thorough investigation, now insisting that any contact by advisers to the Trump campaign with any Russian official be subject to scrutiny.

They and their neoconservative allies also insist on a laser-like focus on the alleged misdeeds of the Trump people and nothing else. The current scandal erupted full force when leaked reports from the U.S. intelligence community that newly installed National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the campaign and discussed sensitive issues, including the ongoing U.S. economic sanctions against Russia, thus apparently undermining the Obama administration's policies. Flynn's action showed poor judgment, and his attempt to conceal the contact from Vice President Mike Pence, was even worse. A recent Washington Post article contends that Flynn went ahead with his meeting even though senior Trump campaign officials cautioned against it and warned him that it was almost certain that U.S. intelligence agencies were electronically monitoring Kislyak and all of his contacts.

Examining Flynn's behavior is appropriate, but even that investigation should focus not only on his questionable Russia contacts but on the leak of the intelligence report outing him. Indeed, an intelligence official's unmasking the identity of an American citizen in that fashion constitutes a felony. However, except for perfunctory statements from a few Democratic members of Congress that such an illegal leak also needed to be investigated, little interest has emerged in actually doing so.

Such an outrageous accusation might have made even the infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy blush. That it came from a prominent Republican also suggests that the current bout of Russophobia is not purely a partisan phenomenon. The broader implications are extremely worrisome. A campaign appears to be underway to intimidate and silence critics of the current policy toward Russia, and even policy regarding NATO.

Attempting to enshrine Washington's group think on crucial issues is unhealthy for any democratic system. The track record on previous group think on such decisions as the military interventions in Vietnam, Iraq, and Libya also confirms that it can produce truly tragic results. Creating a similar situation of stifling debate regarding U.S. policy toward a nation armed with thousands of nuclear weapons is the essence of folly.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at the National Interest, is the author of 10 books, the contributing editor of 10 books, and the author of more than 650 articles on international affairs.


nicksorokin 2 years ago ,

Mr. Carpenter makes the excellent point that political sobriety, rational thought and action, and responsible dialogue is missing from the cadre of drum beating anti-Trump die hearts, who are using the made-up Trump collusion story to destroy the Trump presidency.
Their kamikaze style political tactics will end badly for the democrats, who will be pulverized during the next election for neglecting the people’s business in favor of political scandal, turmoil and extremist partisan behavior.
Keep it up Chuck, you are working overtime to insure greater Republican gains.

RedBaron9495 2 years ago ,

Actually, I am an agent of all people who disapprove of Washington’s willingness to use nuclear war in order to establish Washington’s hegemony over the world, but let us understand what it means to be a “Russian agent.”

It means to respect international law, which Washington does not. It means to respect life, which Washington does not. It means to respect the national interests of other countries, which Washington does not. It means to respond to provocations with diplomacy and requests for cooperation, which Washington does not. But Russia does. Clearly, a “Russian agent” is a moral person who wants to preserve life and the national identity and dignity of other peoples.

RussG 2 years ago ,

Aren't people in the US getting tired of the Russia bashing? Really. And don't the Russia bashers know that the longer this goes on, without evidence, the public is slowly waking up to the truth. Now to blame Russia for the US failings in Afghanistan is beyond ridiculous. Keep it up, kiddies.

greg789 2 years ago ,

Neo-cons and Democrats - Traitors all.

dsafd asdfasdf 2 years ago ,

Russian troll! Carpenter paid by putin! Lock him up! Send him back to Moscow!

deliaruhe 2 years ago ,

The success of the web of lies that got 65 to 75 percent of Americans to believe that Saddam had WMD and was responsible for 9/11 only encourages these regime-change lunatics. All they have to do now is articulate the equivalent of Bush’s “We cannot wait for the smoking gun, which might come in the form of a mushroom cloud,” — i.e., we don’t need evidence, we just need to generate enough fear — and they’ll have all the public support they could possibly need to commence with their program of regime change at home, followed by regime change in Russia. That’s the diabolical beauty of governing a population through the politics of fear — which has been the practise since the beginning of the first Cold War.

johnnydavis1 2 years ago ,

It's interesting that the Democrats and the media didn't seem very interested in Hillary Clinton's foreign ties (and the money she received), or the potential blackmail that could have been tied to any of her "missing" emails that the Russians and others probably have.

toolateformost johnnydavis1 2 years ago ,

Its interesting that you are ignoring the traitor in the white house.
Trump will look great in orange

Wyrdless toolateformost 2 years ago ,

Do you have any evidence?

toolateformost Wyrdless 2 years ago ,

I can't share it with you because it's classified and I don't (unlike Trumps administration) believe in sharing sensitive information with Russian stooges.

Wyrdless toolateformost 2 years ago ,

LOL, love the sarcasm

Kizar_Sozay 2 years ago ,

The media is upset the Russians (allegedly) did what American journalists should have been doing.

St Reformed 2 years ago ,

Russia [aka Soviet Union] was simply a "red herring" (pun intended) during the Cold War days when the Left always blamed American first. Now post-Soviet autocratic Russia is a lethal menace behind every GOP trash can. The irony is so rich.

VoteOutIncumbents 2 years ago ,

I am old enough to have a conscious memory of the end days of the McCarthy smears. This seems a lot like that. Wild charges, no evidence. Senator McCarthy always "had" a list of 57, 95, or 212 active communists in the State Department, he just never got around to disclosing names. Evidence? The Democrats don't seem to need it. Just investigate, investigate, investigate. Anything to distract from the true reasons for Clinton's loss. The party of FDR wrote off the white working class. They thought they'd have enough minority and female voters to win. They didn't.

odys 2 years ago ,

Oh, oh. Mike Rogers, Obama's head of the NSA is testifying that the NSA did NOT have high confidence that the wusskies interfered to help Trump win. I wonder if Boris Badanoff and Natasha threatened him and his family?

odys 2 years ago • edited ,

Maybe we should call in moose and squirrel.

Look, Democrats just cannot bring themselves to accept the blame for their loss, no surprise, they truly believe they are on the right side of history, Cuba, North Korea, and venezuela not withstanding. But the aging cold warriors, like McNasty, pine for the days when people used to seek their opinion on the USSR.

dannyboy116 2 years ago ,

Thank you for an excellent article. Building a sense of hysteria against the one country in the world with as many nuclear weapons as us is truly foolish and dangerous.

Robert 2 years ago ,

And the best part in this fishing expedition of democRATS and politicized government agencies is that they have found NOTHING, only the daily, weekly and monthly fabrications cooked backstage by MSM and accomplices agents leaning or part of Obanus regime..

The Dead Rabbits 2 years ago ,

Really good piece. So why does DC go bonkers over Russia but not deeper and more problematic connections of politicians and public figures such as with Turkey, China, or Israel? It's all about the emails and Hillary's lame excuses.

R. Arandas 2 years ago ,

I find it ironic because during the Cold War, it was generally Republicans who opposed the Soviet Union and its foreign policy the most strongly, with both language and action, while Democrats favored conciliation with American rivals. Nowadays, however, conservatives seem more pro-Russia while liberals seem much more hostile.

Wyrdless 2 years ago ,

Let's be realistic, given the enormous number of leaks about Trump, if there was anything to this we would know by now.

That's why I say :. Bring on the investigation!

It will just end in the entire media/Dem establishment looking bad.

Also:. Why would Putin want a US president that has a very aggressive pro drilling stance and who wants a larger US military?

I would imagine it's the last thing he wants. Putin would probably *VASTLY* prefer Sanders who is anti-energy, anti-military and honeymooned in Moscow during the cold war as a political statement.

Drinas Philip K 2 years ago ,

Buhaha You assume that I am a russian/live in Russia because I dare (oh, by the Gods what a sacrilege!) to support russian foreign policy..
This alone is a good example of the delusional and zealot-like nature of russophobes such as you..
Learn my uneducated "friend" that I live in an EU country, born and raised here-and judging by the median US salary there is a great chance I make more $$ than you..But then again only a cretin would judge a country based solely on these metrics..(Well, a cretin and a russophobe in your case..)

Wakko 2 years ago ,

Americans don't see it, but this anti-russian craze is creating serious pressures in Europe, where voters more and more consider EU governments' blind following of U.S. foreign policy as dangerous to their interests. Contrary to U.S. establishment, we Europeans are not supremacists who believe that only their opinions and ways are the right ones and the whole world needs to bow down to them. Remember what is the basis of democracy? It's pluralism of opinions and civilised discussion. If Washington continues this ideological war for longer time, it may cause serious problems for NATO.

[Aug 17, 2019] Clapper: "A

Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another. It may also include prejudice , discrimination , or antagonism directed against other people because they are of a different race or ethnicity , or the belief that members of different races or ethnicities should be treated differently. [1] [2] [3] Modern variants of racism are often based in social perceptions of biological differences between peoples. These views can take the form of social actions , practices or beliefs, or political systems in which different races are ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities, or qualities. [2] [1] [4]
Notable quotes:
"... Given the Democratic Party's reliance on the Russia narrative, these types of comments are likely to continue and worsen as the highly polarized investigations continue ..."
May 30, 2017 | observer.com

During an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd on May 28, Clapper said, "If you put that in context with everything else we knew the Russians were doing to interfere with the election," he said. "And just the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So, we were concerned."

It's unclear what Clapper meant or what evidence he has to suggest that Russians are "almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor." His comments are xenophobic towards an entire ethnicity and are far beyond criticism of Putin and the Russian government.

His comments go far into neo-McCarthyist territory, which many critics and skeptics have warned the Democratic Party and intelligence community against. Clapper jumped from explaining the investigation into Russia's role in the election to propagating an unhealthy and unfounded definition of the Russian people. These comments are the type of sentiments that provoke such policies as deporting all Russians from the United States, severing all ties with Russians, banning all multi-national corporations from engaging in business with Russians, dispelling the Russian Embassy, and setting off a chain of events that exponentially increase the likelihood of military conflict between two nuclear superpowers.

In the United States alone, nearly three million people claim direct Russian ancestry and almost one million people speak Russian. However, Russia's interference in the election and the current political climate have fostered an environment in which Clapper could say this on national television without anyone batting an eye. Chuck Todd ignored the comment and proceeded with the interview as though Clapper's response was normal.

The mainstream media have contributed to this Russiophobic rhetoric by perpetuating, elevating and sensationalizing the Russia narrative. Several hucksters and conspiracy theorists have gained massive followings from crying Russia at every opportunity, such as British Conservative Louise Mensch and former Bill Clinton volunteer director Claude Taylo r, who continue duping followers into believing they have exclusive sources or insight into the "smoking gun" on Trump's ties with Russia. By interviewing them, the mainstream media have irresponsibly elevated these people as reliable sources on the subject. The New York Times even published an op-ed by Mensch, who has furthered baseless claims that Russia was behind Anthony Weiner's sexting crimes and has called Bernie Sanders a "Russian agent."

Given the Democratic Party's reliance on the Russia narrative, these types of comments are likely to continue and worsen as the highly polarized investigations continue .

[Aug 17, 2019] The idea or impetus to launch the investigation of Butina came courtesy of Christopher Steele, who was relaying rumor and conjecture to Bruce Ohr

Aug 17, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Shifting gears, there are two very important pieces recently posted at The Conservative Tree House that I encourage you to read:

The first piece focuses on CEO Patrick Byrne and the role he played in trying to entrap and portray Marina Butina as a Russian agent.

What is not emphasized in the piece, and it is something I want to direct you to, is that the idea or impetus to launch the investigation of Butina came courtesy of Christopher Steele, who was relaying rumor and conjecture to Bruce Ohr.

You can find this information in the Bruce Ohr 302s that Judicial Watch also secured.

Marina Butina was unfairly and unjustly portrayed and prosecuted as a Russian intelligence agent. It was a damn lie. I do not ever want to hear another American complaining about an American State Department or CIA employee who is entrapped and unfairly prosecuted in Russia.

We have done the same damn thing that we have accused the Soviets of doing. The same thing. It is shameful

[Aug 17, 2019] Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome (PTDS)

Highly recommended!
Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ewmayer , July 31, 2018 at 6:05 pm

"Somebody called it Trump derangement syndrome."

I believe that the full and proper name of the psychiatric disorder in question is Putin-Trump Derangement Syndrome [PTDS].

Symptoms include:

[Aug 17, 2019] Unleashing country-wide epidemic of Russophenia and anti-Russian hysteria as well as stifling debate regarding the US policy toward a nation armed with thousands of nuclear weapons might be not such a huge folly as some think

Aug 17, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

RAP999 2 years ago ,

Look at the bright side. If the Russkies nuke Washington and NYC think how much better off the rest of the country will be.

[Aug 17, 2019] The Campaign Press: Members of the 10 Percent, Reporting for the One Percent

Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Our Famously Free Press

"The Campaign Press: Members of the 10 Percent, Reporting for the One Percent" [Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone ]. "Anyone who's worked in the business (or read Manufacturing Consent) knows nobody calls editors to red-pencil text.

The pressure comes at the point of hire. If you're the type who thinks Jeff Bezos should be thrown out of an airplane, or that it's a bad look for a DC newspaper to be owned by a major intelligence contractor, you won't rise.

Meanwhile, the Post has become terrific at promoting Jennifer Rubins and Max Boots. Reporters watch as good investigative journalism about serious structural problems dies on the vine, while mountains of column space are devoted to trivialities like Trump tweets and/or simplistic partisan storylines.

Nobody needs to pressure anyone. We all know what takes will and will not earn attaboys in newsrooms. Trump may have accelerated distaste for the press, but he didn't create it. He sniffed out existing frustrations and used them to rally anger toward 'elites' to his side.

The criticism works because national media are elites, ten-percenters working for one-percenters.

The longer people in the business try to deny it, the more it will be fodder for politicians. Sanders wasn't the first, and won't be the last."

• Yep. I'm so glad Rolling Stone has Matt Taibbi on-board. Until advertisers black-list "the One Percent," I suppose.

[Aug 17, 2019] Where are they now? Who knows? Who asks?

Aug 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Sophie Siebert , August 14, 2019 at 13:30

I'm experiencing a virulent case of deja vu here, that usually leads to hopelessness. I, like many readers, eagerly devoured the news of the Scripals – every contradiction, reframing, new bit of evidence. It's fair to say I was obsessed. Where are they now? Who knows? Who asks? I expect the same here. Another step on our downward path, to be preempted by yet another.

The best one can say is that with every one of these "incidents" we all become a little less sure of our old assumptions, more skeptical. Leading where?

[Aug 16, 2019] One of the ways the Deep State undermines conspiracy theories is to plant evidence purporting to support the theory, but easily disproved by easily available information

Notable quotes:
"... Even more importantly, we should all be troubled by efforts to shut down content and discussions labeled "false and misleading" on major social media platforms . ..."
"... Conspiracies can be found out by many different ways e.g. documents uncovered, discrepancies, evidence that contradicts what has been claimed etc. ..."
"... "A two decade old CT, like 9/11, or worse, one six decades old (the JFK assassination), are false because they would have involved too many people–someone would have blown the whistle, if only on their deathbed." ..."
"... "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. ..."
"... The old adage 'two men can keep a secret, if one of them is dead' applies here. ..."
"... This co-ordinated and global media attack on the 'Conspiracy Theorist' is co-ordinated and Global for good reason. ..."
"... The determination of international deepstate to make illegal any question or recognition of it under guise of 'Conspiracy theorist=domestic terrorist/anti-semite/anti-Zionist/BDS/trump supporting white supremacist(etc)'- conflating those ULTRA memes with growing awareness of the Anglo/Yankee/zionist PSYOPS underway globally, mean we are entering a choke point in progression of reason, truth and beauty. ..."
"... The danger of the conspiracy theorist to the present world order, is that most of the BIG ones, the nasty ones, are true. And CIA operation Mockingbirds' job (Quote) 'is to Guard against the illicit Transformation of Probability into Certainty," that they are . ..."
"... Ultimately, the average conspiracy theorist has a better grasp of how the world works than the average liberal. ..."
"... The reality is that the ruling class and its public servants really do have a parasitic and predatory relationship to the vast majority of humanity ..."
"... I like Michael Moore's response when asked if he believed the conspiracy theories which were floating about at the time: "Just the ones that are true" ..."
"... A conspiracy theory, like any theory is as strong as the evidence put forward to support it. ..."
"... One of the ways they will do this is to plant "evidence" purporting to support the theory, but easily disproved by easily available information. Unfortunately,it is a sad fact that far too many "conspiracy theorists" readily accept and share along with genuine evidence, this planted "evidence" to the wider internet, thereby undermining the solid evidence of a conspiracy, by associating it with the easily disprovable nonsense. ..."
"... For example, after the attack on the WTC Kissinger was appointed to the head the 9/11 commission (before stepping down). ..."
"... 'Conspiracy theorists' would have thought – why are neocons appointing a mass-murdering neocon to investigate an event that might have involved neocons (raising obvious credibility issues) – whereas those who regard conspiracy theorists as dribbling fruitcakes would have welcomed the appointment of the nobel peace prize winner. ..."
OffGuardian

Noam Chomsky has pointed out , the more educated we are, the more we are a target for state-corporate propaganda. Even journalists outside the mainstream may internalize establishment values and prejudices. Which brings us to Parramore's embrace of the term "conspiracy theory." Once a neutral and little-used phrase, "conspiracy theory" was infamously weaponized in 1967 by a memo from the CIA to its station chiefs worldwide.

Troubled by growing mass disbelief in the "lone nut" theory of President Kennedy's assassination, and concerned that "[c]onspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization," the agency directed its officers to "discuss the publicity problem with friendly and elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)" and to "employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose."

As Kevin Ryan writes , and various analyses have shown :

In the 45 years before the CIA memo came out, the phrase 'conspiracy theory' appeared in the Washington Post and New York Times only 50 times, or about once per year. In the 45 years after the CIA memo, the phrase appeared 2,630 times, or about once per week."
While it turns out that Parramore knows something about this hugely successful propaganda drive, she chose in her NBC piece to deploy the phrase as the government has come to define it, i.e., as "something that requires no consideration because it is obviously not true." This embeds a fallacy in her argument which only spreads as she goes on. Likewise, the authors of the studies she cites, who attempt to connect belief in "conspiracy theories" to "narcissistic personality traits," are not immune to efforts to manipulate the wider culture. Studies are only as good as the assumptions from which they proceed; in this case, the assumption was provided by an interested Federal agency. And what of their suggested diagnosis?

The DSM-5's criteria for narcissism include "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity a need for admiration and lack of empathy." My experience in talking to writers and advocates who -- to mention a few of the subjects Parramore cites -- seek justice in the cases of the political murders of the Sixties , have profound concerns about vaccine safety , or reject the official conspiracy theory of 9/11 , does not align with that characterization.

On the contrary, most of the people I know who hold these varied (and not always shared) views are deeply empathic, courageously humble, and resigned to a life on the margins of official discourse, even as they doggedly seek to publicize what they have learned. A number of them have arrived at their views through painful, direct experience, like the loss of a friend or the illness of a child, but far from having a "negative view of humanity," as Parramore writes, most hold a deep and abiding faith in the power of regular people to see injustice and peacefully oppose it. In that regard, they share a great deal in common with writers like Parramore: ultimately, we all want what's best for our children, and none of us want a world ruled by unaccountable political-economic interests. If we want to achieve that world, then we should work together to promote speech that is free from personal attacks on all sides. Even more importantly, we should all be troubled by efforts to shut down content and discussions labeled "false and misleading" on major social media platforms.

Who will decide what is false and what is true? ... ... ...

President Kennedy said:

a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
Perhaps we should take a closer look at ideas that so frighten the powers-that-be. Far from inviting our ridicule, the people who insist that we look in these forbidden places may one day deserve our thanks.
John Kirby is a documentary filmmaker. His latest project, Four Died Trying, examines what John Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were doing in the last years of their lives which may have led to their deaths.

George
I am responding to an earlier comment you made because, for some reason, I cannot reply to it in the proper place.

"The old adage 'two men can keep a secret, if one of them is dead' applies here."

Wrong: secrets can be uncovered even if both of them are dead.

"The conspiracies we know about are exposed because someone talks, or a computer gets hacked."

Conspiracies can be found out by many different ways e.g. documents uncovered, discrepancies, evidence that contradicts what has been claimed etc.

"A two decade old CT, like 9/11, or worse, one six decades old (the JFK assassination), are false because they would have involved too many people–someone would have blown the whistle, if only on their deathbed."

Always a bad sign when you start to repeat "would have". Lots of presumption here.

"No new facts have emerged because the only people who knew anything are long dead, taking the reasons to their graves .."

New facts can emerge all the time even regarding the most ancient of events.

" .or in the case of 9/11, because there was no great conspiracy, beyond the one reported."

So you now have godlike omniscience?

"A propensity for subscribing to conspiracy theories, is, sad to say, indicative of mental inadequacy "

There's no point in going much further here. You now devolve into psychobabble which, as always, is based on the dogmatic assertion that you are right. (cf. the formerly mentioned godlike omniscience)

Ragnar
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.

It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State." These words are attributed to Joseph Goebbels.

-So, George, it would hardly make a difference whether the State is Marxist or Capitalist. It's either power or truth. They are inherently different and can not be reconciled. Ultimately, there is no bridge possible.

However, so-called "common" goals are of a lower order and cooperation here is possible, temporarily. These relationships are unstable and prone to breaking up precisely because they're ultimately not common at all. The principle are different and the personalities too. Ships Passing In The Night, like. -See?

George
We all have common goals. Basically the goals of life and health. And these are hardly goals "of a lower order". If that was true then we must be living in a state of "postmodernist relativity" where anyone can decide arbitrarily what matters. And that would certainly lead to your ships-passing-in-the-night scenario i.e. the ultimate divide-and-rule vision.

As for power, the late Marxist writer Ellen Meiksins Wood noted that, in modern times, we have an unprecedented degree of political freedom. But the reason for that is that power no longer lies in politics. It lies in economics. What is the point of having formal rights when your livelihood is gone?

William HBonney

The old adage 'two men can keep a secret, if one of them is dead' applies here.

The conspiracies we know about are exposed because someone talks, or a computer gets hacked. A two decade old CT, like 9/11, or worse, one six decades old (the JFK assassination), are false because they would have involved too many people – someone would have blown the whistle, if only on their deathbed. No new facts have emerged because the only people who knew anything are long dead, taking the reasons to their graves, or in the case of 9/11, because there was no great conspiracy, beyond the one reported.

A propensity for subscribing to conspiracy theories, is, sad to say, indicative of mental inadequacy. Such people are unable to deal with the complexities of the world as it is, and therefore seek to make it a world of black and white, good and evil, heroes and villains. The internet, with its blurring of fantasy and fact enables them. This is why discussions like this get so polarised.

TFS

1. 9/11 and JFK are false because WILLIAM HBonney has declared it so.

Boom, thanks for watching kids.

2. In other news, some Conspiracy Theorists Imagined 747-E4Bs above Washington at the time of 9/11 and 25+second delay introduced into the Air Traffic Control System but the Official Conspiracy Account of 9/11 didn't discuss it because there was nothing to see.

3. In related news, HWB wack jobs go on one

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/07/no_author/new-york-fire-commissioners-call-for-new-9-11-investigation-about-pre-planted-explosives/

4. Corbett, goes off on one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXYswf3lzU8

5. And again, Corbett goes even more mental. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWLis-TVB2w

6. But it's ok kidz, because HWB wack jobs, like first responders, police, fire personnel architects, physicists, former military personnel, pilots, Nobel Peace Prixe winners, medical experts, etc etc all collectively asertained that the Official Conspiracy Theory of 9/11 is about as usefull as the Warren Commission Report.

7. HOWEVER, HWB THINKS YOU'RE A WACK JOB.

r. rebar
unless & until someone goes to jail -- there are no conspiracies & as silence is -- like any commodity -- only as good as the price paid to maintain it -- those who know have a real vested interest in not talking (it's not a secret if you tell someone)
roger morris
Ms Parramore is doing nothing more than her profession and tenure demands. Witting or un-witting. This co-ordinated and global media attack on the 'Conspiracy Theorist' is co-ordinated and Global for good reason.

It is the 'Great Wurlitzer' at full throat coinciding with extraordinary reductions in internet freedoms of information flow. The determination of international deepstate to make illegal any question or recognition of it under guise of 'Conspiracy theorist=domestic terrorist/anti-semite/anti-Zionist/BDS/trump supporting white supremacist(etc)'- conflating those ULTRA memes with growing awareness of the Anglo/Yankee/zionist PSYOPS underway globally, mean we are entering a choke point in progression of reason, truth and beauty.

A read of the Cass Sunstein/Cornelius Adrian Comstock Vermeule Paper describing 'Conspiracy theory' as a 'crippled Epistemology' and determining 'COINTELPRO' type strategies to counter the danger of their truth becoming certainty, will enlighten those in the dark of IIO methodology and expose Ms Parramore as a true MOCKINGBIRD.

The danger of the conspiracy theorist to the present world order, is that most of the BIG ones, the nasty ones, are true. And CIA operation Mockingbirds' job (Quote) 'is to Guard against the illicit Transformation of Probability into Certainty," that they are .

mathias alexand
Try this for conspiracy thinking

https://lorenzoae.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/part-2/

George
Good link. I like this bit:

"Ultimately, the average conspiracy theorist has a better grasp of how the world works than the average liberal. Even the most outlandish "conspiracy theory" in existence -- that people like George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth are shape-shifting, extra-dimensional reptilians -- is closer to the truth than what liberals believe.

The reality is that the ruling class and its public servants really do have a parasitic and predatory relationship to the vast majority of humanity "

I've often felt there is a lot of (metaphorical!) truth in David Icke's ravings, although the reptile image is unfortunate in that actual reptiles are amongst the most sedate and peaceful creatures.

Molloy
Eichmann and today's useful idiots; Hannah Arendt

(start Arendt quote)

Despite all the efforts of the prosecution, everybody could see that this man was not a "monster," but it was difficult indeed not to suspect that he was a clown. And since this suspicion would have been fatal to the whole enterprise, and was also rather hard to sustain, in view of the sufferings he and his like had caused so many millions of people, his worst clowneries were hardly noticed. What could you do with a man who first declared, with great emphasis, that the one thing he had learned in an ill-spent life was that one should never take an oath ("Today no man, no judge could ever persuade me to make a sworn statement. I refuse it; I refuse it for moral reasons. Since my experience tells me that if one is loyal to his oath, one day he has to take the consequences, I have made up my mind once and for all that no judge in the world or other authority will ever be capable of making me swear an oath, to give sworn testimony.

I won't do it voluntarily and no one will be able to force me"), and then, after being told explicitly that if he wished to testify in his own defense he might "do so under oath or without an oath," declared without further ado that he would prefer to testify under oath? Or who, repeatedly and with a great show of feeling, assured the court, as he had assured the police examiner, that the worst thing he could do would be to try to escape his true responsibilities, to fight for his neck, to plead for mercy -- and then, upon instruction of his counsel, submitted a handwritten document that contained a plea for mercy?

As far as Eichmann was concerned, these were questions of changing moods, not of inconsistencies, and as long as he was capable of finding, either in his memory or on the spur of the moment, an elating stock phrase to go with them, he was quite content.
(end quote)

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1963/02/16/eichmann-in-jerusalem-i

Molloy
Chomsky dealing with the indoctrinated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLcpcytUnWU&app=desktop Why it is important to call out the so-called 'Global Elite' facilitators on here.

And why it is essential to understand what Eichmann was facilitating (and the madness that morphed into the same apartheid bigotry in the 21st century).

Better understand than be hanged.

Gary Weglarz

I appreciate the article, but the sentence below is offered with no logical or rational support – it is simply an evidence free assertion:

("But Parramore and many journalists like her are neither assets of an intelligence service nor unthinking tools of big media; ) – really?

It is quite clear that if someone "is" (an asset of an intelligence service) that they will certainly not be broadcasting this fact to the world or to friends and family. And for someone to assert that "conspiracies" don't exist in the real world requires a level of credulity that most intelligent and rational people the least bit familiar with the historical record would find rather difficult to muster up. I dare say it would be much easier in fact to prove the assertion that our Western history is simply the "history of conspiracies" given the oligarchic control of Western populations for millennia. This is hardly "rocket science" as they say. We do have a rather well documented historical record to fall back on to show the endless scheming of Western oligarchy behind the backs of Western populations.

wardropper
I like Michael Moore's response when asked if he believed the conspiracy theories which were floating about at the time: "Just the ones that are true"
John Thatcher
A conspiracy theory, like any theory is as strong as the evidence put forward to support it. Often people offer as fact conspiracies that only as yet exist as theories,with greater or lesser amounts of evidence to support.I have no doubt that interested parties who are the accused in these theories, will mount efforts to discredit any theory mounted against them or those they represent.

One of the ways they will do this is to plant "evidence" purporting to support the theory, but easily disproved by easily available information. Unfortunately,it is a sad fact that far too many "conspiracy theorists" readily accept and share along with genuine evidence, this planted "evidence" to the wider internet, thereby undermining the solid evidence of a conspiracy, by associating it with the easily disprovable nonsense.

Harry Stotle

Isn't it high time we had a term to describe those who always accept the official version of events after controversial political incidents no matter how implausible this account might be?

For example, after the attack on the WTC Kissinger was appointed to the head the 9/11 commission (before stepping down).

'Conspiracy theorists' would have thought – why are neocons appointing a mass-murdering neocon to investigate an event that might have involved neocons (raising obvious credibility issues) – whereas those who regard conspiracy theorists as dribbling fruitcakes would have welcomed the appointment of the nobel peace prize winner.

Anyway, here's a clip of Henry – the believers in everything the government say would never have considered the objections raised in the film – such questions are tantamount to mental illness according to these 'progressives'.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/YcxjJDlbnC4?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

[Aug 16, 2019] Punishing the World With Sanctions by Philip Giraldi

Aug 16, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

August 15, 2019 © Photo: Flickr Sanctions are economic warfare, pure and simple. As an alternative to a direct military attack on a country that is deemed to be misbehaving they are certainly preferable, but no one should be under any illusions regarding what they actually represent. They are war by other means and they are also illegal unless authorized by a supra-national authority like the United Nations Security Council, which was set up after World War II to create a framework that inter alia would enable putting pressure on a rogue regime without going to war. At least that was the idea, but the sanctions regimes recently put in place unilaterally and without any international authority by the United States have had a remarkable tendency to escalate several conflicts rather than providing the type of pressure that would lead to some kind of agreement.

The most dangerous bit of theater involving sanctions initiated by the Trump administration continues to focus on Iran. Last week, the White House elevated its extreme pressure on the Iranians by engaging in a completely irrational sanctioning of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. The sanctions will have no effect whatsoever and they completely contradict Donald Trump's repeated assertion that he is seeking diplomacy to resolving the conflict with Iran. One doesn't accomplish that by sanctioning the opposition's Foreign Minister. Also, the Iranians have received the message loud and clear that the threats coming from Washington have nothing to do with nuclear programs. The White House began its sanctions regime over a year ago when it withdrew from the JCPOA and they have been steadily increasing since that time even though Iran has continued to be fully compliant with the agreement. Recently, the US took the unprecedented step of sanctioning the entire Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is part of the nation's military.

American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made clear that the sanctions on Iran are intended to cause real pain, which, in fact, they have succeeded in doing. Pompeo and his accomplice in crime National Security Advisor John Bolton believe that enough pressure will motivate the starving people to rise up in the streets and overthrow the government, an unlikely prospect as the American hostility has in fact increased popular support for the regime.

To be sure, ordinary people in Iran have found that they cannot obtain medicine and some types of food are in short supply but they are not about to rebel. The sanctioning in May of Iranian oil exports has only been partially effective but it has made the economy shrink, with workers losing jobs. The sanctions have also led to tit-for-tat seizures of oil and gas tankers, starting with the British interception of a ship carrying Iranian oil to Syria in early July.

Another bizarre escalation in sanctions that has taken place lately relates to the Skripal case in Britain. On August 2 nd , Donald Trump signed an executive order imposing a package of new sanctions against Moscow over the alleged poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England in March 2018. The order "prohibit[s] any United States bank from making any loan or providing any credit except for loans or credits for the purpose of purchasing food or other agricultural commodities or products." The ban also includes "the extension of any loan or financial or technical assistance by international financial institutions," meaning that international lenders will also be punished if they fail to follow Washington's lead.

The sanctions were imposed under the authority provided by the US Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act adopted in 1991, which imposes penalties for use of chemical weapons. Novichok, which was reportedly used on the Skripals, is a chemical weapon developed in the labs of the Soviet Union, though a number of states are believed to currently have supplies of the agent in their arsenals. Russia can appeal the sanctions with 90 days by providing "reliable assurance" that it will not again use chemical weapons.

Russia has strenuously denied any role in the attack on the Skripals and the evidence that has so far been produced to substantiate the Kremlin's involvement has been less than convincing. An initial package of US-imposed sanctions against Russia that includes the export of sensitive technologies and some financial services was implemented in August 2018.

Venezuela is also under the sanctions gun and is a perfect example how sanctions can escalate into something more punitive, leading incrementally to an actual state of war. Last week Washington expanded its sanctions regime, which is already causing starvation in parts of Venezuela, to include what amounts to a complete economic embargo directed against the Maduro regime that is being enforced by a naval blockade.

The Venezuelan government announced last Wednesday that the United States Navy had seized a cargo ship bound for Venezuela while it was transiting the Panama Canal. According to a government spokesman, the ship's cargo was soy cakes intended for the production of food. As one of Washington's raisons d'etre for imposing sanctions on Caracas was that government incompetence was starving the Venezuelan people, the move to aggravate that starvation would appear to be somewhat capricious and revealing of the fact that the White House could care less about what happens to the Venezuelan civilians who are caught up in the conflict.

Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez condemned the move as "serious aggression," and accused the Trump Administration of trying to impede Venezuela's basic right to import food to feed its people.

One of the most pernicious aspects of the sanctions regimes that the United States is imposing is that they are global. When Washington puts someone on its sanctions list, other countries that do not comply with the demands being made are also subject to punishment, referred to as secondary sanctions. The sanctions on Iran's oil exports, for example, are being globally enforced with some few exceptions, and any country that buys Iranian oil will be punished by being denied access to the US financial and banking system. That is a serious penalty as most international trade and business transactions go through the dollar denominated SWIFT banking network.

Finally, nothing illustrates the absurdity of the sanctions mania as a recent report that President Trump had sent his official hostage negotiator Robert O'Brien to Stockholm to obtain freedom for an American rap musician ASAP Rocky who was in jail after having gotten into a fight with some local boys. The Trumpster did not actually know the lad, but he was vouched for by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, both of whom have had nice things to say about the president. The negotiator was instructed to tell Sweden that if they did not release Rocky there would be "negative consequences." Who can doubt that the consequences would undoubtedly have included sanctions?

It has reached the point where the only country that likes the United States is Israel, which is locked into a similar cycle of incessant aggression. To be sure Donald Trump's rhetoric is part of the problem, but the indiscriminate, illegal and immoral use of sanctions, which punish whole nations for the presumed sins of those nations' leaders, is a major contributing factor. And the real irony is that even though sanctions cause pain, they are ineffective. Cuba has been under sanctions, technically and embargo, since 1960 and its ruling regime has not collapsed, and there is no chance that Venezuela, Iran or Russia's government will go away at any time soon either. In fact, real change would be more likely if Washington were to sit down at a negotiating table with countries that it considers enemies and work to find solutions to common concerns. But that is not likely to happen with the current White House line-up, and equally distant with a Democratic Party obsessed with the "Russian threat" and other fables employed to explain its own failings.

[Aug 16, 2019] Ministry of truth materialized in XXI century in a neoliberal way by Kit Knightly

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Latest is the secretive Andy Pryce squandering millions of public money on the "Open Information Partnership" (OIP) which is the latest name-change for the Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, just like al-Qaeda kept changing its name. ..."
"... In true Orwellian style, they splashed out on a conference for "defence of media freedom", when they are in the business of propaganda and closing alternative 'narratives' down. And the 'media' they would defend are, in fact, spies sent to foreign countries to foment trouble to further what they bizarrely perceive as 'British interests'. Just like the disgraceful White Helmets, also funded by the FO. ..."
"... "The Guardian is struggling for money" Surely, they would be enjoying some of the seemingly unlimited US defense and some of the mind control programmes budgets. ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

OffGuardian already covered the Global Media Freedom Conference, our article Hypocrisy Taints UK's Media Freedom Conference , was meant to be all there was to say. A quick note on the obvious hypocrisy of this event. But, in the writing, I started to see more than that. This event is actually creepy. Let's just look back at one of the four "main themes" of this conference:

Building trust in media and countering disinformation
"Countering disinformation"? Well, that's just another word for censorship. This is proven by their refusal to allow Sputnik or RT accreditation. They claim RT "spreads disinformation" and they "countered" that by barring them from attending. "Building trust"? In the post-Blair world of PR newspeak, "building trust" is just another way of saying "making people believe us" (the word usage is actually interesting, building trust not earning trust). The whole conference is shot through with this language that just feels off. Here is CNN's Christiane Amanpour :
Our job is to be truthful, not neutral we need to take a stand for the truth, and never to create a false moral or factual equivalence."
Being "truthful not neutral" is one of Amanpour's personal sayings , she obviously thinks it's clever. Of course, what it is is NewSpeak for "bias". Refusing to cover evidence of The White Helmets staging rescues, Israel arming ISIS or other inconvenient facts will be defended using this phrase – they will literally claim to only publish "the truth", to get around impartiality and then set about making up whatever "truth" is convenient. Oh, and if you don't know what "creating a false moral quivalence is", here I'll demonstrate: MSM: Putin is bad for shutting down critical media. OffG: But you're supporting RT being banned and Wikileaks being shut down. BBC: No. That's not the same. OffG: It seems the same. BBC: It's not. You're creating a false moral equivalence . Understand now? You "create a false moral equivalence" by pointing out mainstream media's double standards. Other ways you could mistakenly create a "false moral equivalence": Bringing up Gaza when the media talk about racism. Mentioning Saudi Arabia when the media preach about gay rights. Referencing the US coup in Venezuela when the media work themselves into a froth over Russia's "interference in our democracy" Talking about the invasion of Iraq. Ever. OR Pointing out that the BBC is state funded, just like RT. These are all no-longer flagrant examples of the media's double standards, and if you say they are , you're "creating a false moral equivalence" and the media won't have to allow you (or anyone who agrees with you) air time or column inches to disagree. Because they don't have a duty to be neutral or show both sides, they only have a duty to tell "the truth" as soon as the government has told them what that is. Prepare to see both those phrases – or variations there of – littering editorials in the Guardian and the Huffington Post in the coming months. Along with people bemoaning how "fake news outlets abuse the notion of impartiality" by "being even handed between liars the truth tellers". (I've been doing this site so long now, I have a Guardian-English dictionary in my head).

Equally dodgy-sounding buzz-phrases litter topics on the agenda. "Eastern Europe and Central Asia: building an integrated support system for journalists facing hostile environments" , this means pumping money into NGOs to fund media that will criticize our "enemies" in areas of strategic importance. It means flooding money into the anti-government press in Hungary, or Iran or (of course), Russia. That is ALL it means. I said in my earlier article I don't know what "media sustainability" even means, but I feel I can take a guess. It means "save the government mouthpieces". The Guardian is struggling for money, all print media are, TV news is getting lower viewing figures all the time. "Building media sustainability" is code for "pumping public money into traditional media that props up the government" or maybe "getting people to like our propaganda". But the worst offender on the list is, without a doubt "Navigating Disinformation"

https://www.youtube.com/embed/1vbSj1WQqUw?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

"Navigating Disinformation" was a 1 hour panel from the second day of the conference. You can watch it embedded above if you really feel the need. I already did, so you don't have to. The panel was chaired by Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian Foreign Minister. The members included the Latvian Foreign Minister, a representative of the US NGO Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Information

Have you guessed what "disinformation" they're going to be talking about? I'll give you a clue: It begins with R. Freeland, chairing the panel, kicks it off by claiming that "disinformation isn't for any particular aim" . This is a very common thing for establishment voices to repeat these days, which makes it all the more galling she seems to be pretending its is her original thought. The reason they have to claim that "disinformation" doesn't have a "specific aim" is very simple: They don't know what they're going to call "disinformation" yet. They can't afford to take a firm position, they need to keep their options open. They need to give themselves the ability to describe any single piece of information or political opinion as "disinformation." Left or right. Foreign or domestic. "Disinformation" is a weaponised term that is only as potent as it is vague. So, we're one minute in, and all "navigating disinformation" has done is hand the State an excuse to ignore, or even criminalise, practically anything it wants to. Good start. Interestingly, no one has actually said the word "Russia" at this point. They have talked about "malign actors" and "threats to democracy", but not specifically Russia. It is SO ingrained in these people that "propaganda"= " Russian propaganda" that they don't need to say it.

The idea that NATO as an entity, or the individual members thereof, could also use "disinformation" has not just been dismissed it was literally never even contemplated. Next Freeland turns to Edgars Rinkēvičs, her Latvian colleague, and jokes about always meeting at NATO functions. The Latvians know "more than most" about disinformation, she says. Rinkēvičs says disinformation is nothing new, but that the methods of spreading it are changing then immediately calls for regulation of social media. Nobody disagrees. Then he talks about the "illegal annexation of Crimea", and claims the West should outlaw "paid propaganda" like RT and Sputnik. Nobody disagrees. Then he says that Latvia "protected" their elections from "interference" by "close cooperation between government agencies and social media companies". Everyone nods along. If you don't find this terrifying, you're not paying attention. They don't say it, they probably don't even realise they mean it, but when they talk about "close cooperation with social media networks", they mean government censorship of social media. When they say "protecting" their elections they're talking about rigging them. It only gets worse. The next step in the Latvian master plan is to bolster "traditional media".

The problems with traditional media, he says, are that journalists aren't paid enough, and don't keep up to date with all the "new tricks". His solution is to "promote financing" for traditional media, and to open more schools like the "Baltic Centre of Media Excellence", which is apparently a totally real thing .

It's a training centre which teaches young journalists about "media literacy" and "critical thinking". You can read their depressingly predictable list of "donors" here . I truly wish I was joking. Next up is Courtney Radsch from CPJ – a US-backed NGO, who notionally "protect journalists", but more accurately spread pro-US propaganda. (Their token effort to "defend" RT and Sputnik when they were barred from the conference was contemptible).

She talks for a long time without saying much at all. Her revolutionary idea is that disinformation could be countered if everyone told the truth. Inspiring. Beata Balogova, Journalist and Editor from Slovakia, gets the ship back on course – immediately suggesting politicians should not endorse "propaganda" platforms. She shares an anecdote about "a prominent Slovakian politician" who gave exclusive interviews to a site that is "dubiously financed, we assume from Russia". They assume from Russia. Everyone nods.

It's like they don't even hear themselves.

Then she moves on to Hungary. Apparently, Orban has "created a propaganda machine" and produced "antisemitic George Soros posters". No evidence is produced to back-up either of these claims. She thinks advertisers should be pressured into not giving money to "fake news sites". She calls for "international pressure", but never explains exactly what that means. The stand-out maniac on this panel is Emine Dzhaparova, the Ukrainian First Deputy Minister of Information Policy. (She works for the Ministry of Information – nicknamed the Ministry of Truth, which was formed in 2014 to "counter lies about Ukraine". Even The Guardian thought that sounded dodgy.)

She talks very fast and, without any sense of irony, spills out a story that shoots straight through "disinformation" and becomes "incoherent rambling". She claims that Russian citizens are so brainwashed you'll never be able to talk to them, and that Russian "cognitive influence" is "toxic like radiation." Is this paranoid, quasi-xenophobic nonsense countered? No. Her fellow panelists nod and chuckle. On top of that, she just lies. She lies over and over and over again. She claims Russia is locking up Crimean Tartars "just for being muslims", nobody questions her. She says the war in Ukraine has killed 13,000 people, but doesn't mention that her side is responsible for over 80% of civilian deaths.

She says only 30% of Crimeans voted in the referendum, and that they were "forced". A fact not supported by any polls done by either side in the last four years, and any referenda held on the peninsula any time in the last last 30 year. It's simply a lie. Nobody asks her about the journalists killed in Ukraine since their glorious Maidan Revolution . Nobody questions the fact that she works for something called the "Ministry of Information". Nobody does anything but nod and smile as the "countering disinformation" panel becomes just a platform for spreading total lies.

When everyone on the panel has had their ten minutes on the soapbox, Freeland asks for recommendations for countering this "threat" – here's the list:

  1. Work to distinguish "free speech" from "propaganda", when you find propag