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Hillary health issues

The photo, initially published by the Reuters and Getty news agencies, show Mrs. Clinton, 68,
 receiving help as she tries to ascend a staircase in front of a home.
The images were actually taken in February  in South Carolina.

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Introduction

The key question here is "How many people want quite sick president of the USA?" What additional risks are involved?

Clinton  age and health are certain to be talked about, given that she would be vying to become the second-oldest person in history to be elected as POTUS.  She would be 69, only a little younger than Ronald Reagan when he won his first term in 1980.

Moreover there were at least a dozen documented by video cases in the recent Presidential race when it's quite clear from footage alone that Hillary Clinton has serious health issues. Three of them ("extended bathroom break", "convulsions during her interview", "difficulties in ascending stairs") became heavily publicized and are well documented.  They probably represent just the tip of the iceberg as for each of them several similar events video might exist. 

There are two main hypothesis that circulated about her condition

Another important consideration if the level of progression. From this point of view it is important to understand then she started to demonstrate those symptoms. The consensus is that she has first symptom in 2008 or earlier.  Parson disease has several stage ( The Stages of Parkinson’s Disease National Parkinson Foundation ):

  1. Stage One: During this initial stage, the person has mild symptoms that generally do not interfere with daily activities. Tremor and other movement symptoms occur on one side of the body only. Friends and family may notice changes in posture, walking and facial expressions.
  2. Stage Two: In stage two of Parkinson’s, the symptoms start getting worse. Tremor, rigidity and other movement symptoms affect both sides of the body. Walking problems and poor posture may become apparent. In this stage, the person is still able to live alone, but completing day-to-day tasks becomes more difficult and may take longer. 
  3. Stage Three: Stage three is considered mid-stage in the progression of the disease. Loss of balance and slowness of movements are hallmarks of this phase. Falls are more common. Though the person is still fully independent, symptoms significantly impair activities of daily living such as dressing and eating. 
  4. Stage Four: During this stage of Parkinson’s, symptoms are severe and very limiting. It’s possible to stand without assistance, but movement may require a walker. The person needs help with activities of daily living and is unable to live alone. 
  5. Stage Five: This is the most advanced and debilitating stage of Parkinson’s disease. Stiffness in the legs may make it impossible to stand or walk. The person requires a wheelchair or is bedridden. Around-the-clock nursing care is required for all activities. The person may experience hallucinations and delusions. While stage five focuses on motor symptoms, the Parkinson’s community acknowledges that there are many important non-motor symptoms as well.

Existing evidence suggests that Hillary might be current at stage II which usually last seven-eight years, and she might be at this stage from 2012.  Some sources suggest stage three (Friends of Hillary say she has Parkinson’s)

Hillary Clinton has stage-three Parkinson’s disease and suffers from seizures, according to three sources who have had a personal relationship with the Democratic Party presidential nominee.

... ... ...

... However, images captured at the 9/11 memorial Sunday showed Clinton apparently being asked by a medical professional to squeeze her fingers, a test that would indicate she suffers from a neurological disease such as Parkinson’s.

Here is the timeline of her problems which started at least seven years ago and progressively worsened. It was created using timeline in Hillary Clinton Has Parkinson’s Disease, Physician Confirms  as a base, with additions from various other sources (all errors are mine):

Chronology of Hillary’s health condition

Strange, spontaneous coughing fits were observed from 2008

Hillary has strange and prolong coughing bouts (which sometimes happens to people who are allergic to something and do not take anti-histamines) . See Hillary mum on coughing fits, special eyeglasses

NEW YORK – Hillary Clinton’s refusal to answer questions about her recent coughing fits or to explain why she is wearing eyeglasses fitted with Fresnel prisms supports the conclusion of several qualified physicians that her presidential campaign is still keeping key health records hidden from the American public.

After her most recent coughing fit Tuesday during a speech in New York City, Clinton left Chicago on Wednesday wearing her normal contact lenses. But at a photo opportunity in Las Vegas, she was observed once again wearing the thick, black glasses fitted with Fresnel prisms, suggesting she was experiencing another bout of double vision.

The ‘Stop Hillary’ campaign is on fire! Join the surging response to this theme: ‘Clinton for prosecution, not president’

On Thursday and Friday, WND spoke with several physicians about Clinton’s double vision problem, asking if they believed it could be related to the concussion she suffered in December 2012 that resulted in a blood clot in her head.

WND also asked whether Clinton’s repeated coughing bouts could be related to her hypothyroid condition for which she is taking Armour Thyroid, as WND previously reported, a natural remedy made from desiccated pig glands, or from her apparently congenital predisposition to form blood clots. To prevent clots, as WND reported, she is taking Coumadin, otherwise known as warfarin, an old but commonly prescribed blood-thinning medication originally developed as a rat poison.

WND also reported the medication Clinton has taken since 1998 to deal with her blood-clotting problems may have side effects such as blurred vision and confusion, both of which she has experienced. And a California physician warned Coumadin could be more life-threatening to her than the possibility of a recurring blood clot.

Head trauma causing double vision?

“It is very hard to draw substantial conclusions from the limited medical information we have on Hillary Clinton,” explained Dr. Todd Lasner, a neurosurgeon at Mount Sinai Medical in Miami.

“We cannot opine with 100 percent certainty, because we do not have all the medical facts,” he said. “Fresnel prisms are typically used to correct double vision, to refract light through the prism so you can see a single image as you are normally used to seeing.

“My first suspicion would be the Fresnel prisms were prescribed for Hillary Clinton because of nerve damage causing double vision resulting from a trauma to her head, possibly from the fall causing the concussion,” Lasner concluded. “But without her medical records, I cannot say for certain.”

Lasner did not believe Clinton’s need to wear eyeglasses fitted with Fresnel prisms was related to the Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST), the blood clot in the head between the skull and the brain in the sinus behind the ear that she suffered as a result of the concussion.

“The type of blood clot she had in her brain can cause cerebral hemorrhaging, it can cause swelling of the brain, and other times it can just cause headaches, or it may not even be symptomatic in some cases,” he noted. “But for the CVST to cause double vision from a nerve injury that could be cured with a prism lens is unlikely.

“It’s possible all these conditions could be interrelated somehow,” he acknowledged.

He said the trauma to the head could damage a vein in the brain that leads to the vein developing a blood clot, with the same trauma to the head causing damage to a nerve resulting in the double vision requiring the Fresnel prism lens.

“That is the more likely scenario, but without a complete medical record, or unless I examined her myself, I cannot say for sure.”

Fresnel glasses require specialist diagnosis

Dr. Daniel Kassicieh, D.O., a dual board certified osteopathic neurologist and a leading headache specialist who directs the Florida Headache and Movement Disorder Center in Sarasota, Florida, agreed that the diagnosis of Clinton’s double vision and the prescription of a Fresnel prism lens would require consultation with a medical specialist.

“I saw Hillary Clinton first wearing the eyeglasses with the Fresnel prisms when she testified to Congress on Benghazi in January 2013, and she continued to wear them a while,” Kassicieh told WND. “Then I saw her again this week in Las Vegas wearing those black eyeglasses with the Fresnel prism lenses, and I wondered when her double vision came back, or if it never really went away.”

Kassicieh said he noticed Clinton’s coughing spells seem also to be a persistent and recurring problem.

“I think Hillary’s cough is a separate medical problem from her double vision,” he said. “But it makes me wonder if there isn’t something else going on with her health that we don’t know about.”

He said that if Clinton is taking medication for high blood pressure, she may be on ACE inhibitor, a pharmaceutical drug used to help relax blood vessels that in some patients causes a dry, persistent cough.

“But if high blood pressure medications were causing Hillary Clinton to have the persistent cough, I can’t imagine why her physicians wouldn’t do something about it, like simply changing her medications,” Kassicieh said.

“Or, the coughing could be related to a problem she has with gastroesophageal reflux disease [stomach acid flowing back into esophagus],” he posed. “But without having access to Hillary Clinton’s medical records, we really don’t know what the problem is causing her to have this persistent, hacking cough.”

But Kassicieh said it was nearly certain that wearing eyeglasses fitted with Fresnel prisms meant Clinton was under the care of a specialist eye doctor whose medical records have not been made public.

As WND reported Feb. 12, Kassicieh believes the concussion Clinton suffered in December 2012 that led to a serious blood clot requiring hospitalization may also have caused her to suffer post-concussion syndrome, with symptoms including confusion, headaches and dizziness.

“If I were treating a patient for post-concussion syndrome who complained of diplopia [the medical term for double vision] and had a history of concussion, I would send the patient to a neuro-opthamologist, to get an M.D. specialist consult. That would be the best medical practice,” he said.

“It takes a very complex examination and diagnosis to prescribe a Fresnel prism correctly, and no one other than trained eye physicians are qualified,” he continued.

“So when you are talking about someone who is a candidate for the president of the United States, I would assume, she would be referred to a high-end neuro-opthamologist to make the diagnosis and write the prescription if a Fresnel prism were required.”

‘Public has a right to know’

Dr. Ronald Hoffman, a New York City physician who hosts the nationally syndicated radio program “Intelligent Medicine,” told WND in a telephone interview that without the medical records, “we really have no idea what the medical condition causing Hillary Clinton to be wearing eyeglasses fitted with Fresnel prism lenses.”

Hoffman is past president of the nation’s largest organization of complementary and alternative doctors, the American College for Advancement in Medicine, or ACAM. He’s the founder and medical director of the Hoffman Center, specializing in a natural medicine approach that combines nutritional and metabolic medical assessment tools with high-tech innovations in traditional medicine.

On Feb. 4, WND reported Hoffman’s concerns that Clinton’s underactive hypothyroid condition complicates the medical treatment she is receiving for her genetic propensity to form blood clots.

This week, he told WND there is “no reason to suspect the medications Hillary Clinton is currently taking for her hypothyroid condition (Armour Thyroid) or for her blood clotting condition (Coumadin) are causing as a side-effect the persistent coughing we have seen interrupt her speeches recently.”

“I can’t imagine her diplopia is related to her hypothyroidism or her blood-clotting,” he continued. “The persistent coughing has to have some explanation. Maybe there is an underlying condition that is not being divulged. But with access to examine her full medical records, we simply do not know.

He said it’s unusual for a person to have an uncontrolled coughing spell that lasts for minutes at a time.

“That is something more than just an occasional clearing of the throat,” he said.

“But the real problem here with the Clintons is non-disclosure,” he concluded. “If she has some medical issues, let’s hear about them.

“It would not be unexpected her physicians might want to gloss over some medical problems to pronounce her in excellent health,” Hoffman said. “The truth is she might be in average health, taking several medications. It’s to be expected there might be some medical problems that beset people in their 60s.

“Why not just air out her full medical records? If she has some medical problems that are not yet disclosed, let’s hear about them,” he said. “Especially for a person running for president, the public has a right to know and there is no reason her full medical records should not be made open for examination.”

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/02/hillary-mum-on-coughing-fits-special-eyeglasses/#bl54pJedJwqj4uAl.99

Not holding press conferences for more then 260 days during her 2015-2016 campaign

Hillary Clinton hasn't held a press conference in 180 days. That fact hasn't been lost on reporters who cover her, nor has it escaped the notice of her Republican opponent. "I am getting great credit for my press conference today," Trump tweeted, referring to the Trump Tower fiasco on Tuesday in which he scolded reporters for doing their jobs.

"Crooked Hillary should be admonished for not having a press conference in 179 days." Likewise, political reporters have hinted that they'd really, really like Clinton to hold a press conference of her own, if only to counterbalance Trump's.

See also David Gregory Makes Excuses For Hillary Not Holding Press Conferences)

On Monday's New Day, CNN's David Gregory barely acknowledged the criticism of Hillary Clinton for not holding press conferences before trying to offer excuses for the former first lady: "I think she would much rather give the spotlight of negative publicity to Donald Trump, who's doing an excellent job occupying that spotlight....I don't think she wants to face a series of questions and follow-up questions on the I.G. report; on Clinton Foundation donations, and the, kind of, unscripted nature of a press conference." [video below]

Moments earlier, anchor Chris Cuomo asked The Daily Beast's Jackie Kucinich, "What are you seeing with Hillary Clinton, in terms of how she is working with the media? Do you believe that something is seen as needing to shift within that campaign? If so, do you believe you are seeing any shift or being told about a potential shift?" Kucinich answered, in part, that "it's a great contrast; and when you look at Donald Trump, who...will have a press conference. Whether or not what he says in them are true, he's at least having them."

Another fact is that she is traveling with at least one personal full time physician who according to reports in one episode administered valium  to her when her was making her speech:

Wikipedia on auto-injector pen:

“An autoinjector (or auto-injector) is a medical device designed to deliver a dose of a particular drug. Most autoinjectors are spring-loaded syringes. By design, autoinjectors are easy to use and are intended for self-administration by patients, or administration by untrained personnel.”

Accompanying her physician might be Oladotun Okunola, M.D., of the Neuroscience Center of Northern New Jersey. The picture in his profile shows a man who, although younger and thinner, has the same facial features as "Burly Black Man." (H/t The Last Refuge and FOTM‘s Anon )

Oladotun A. Okunola, M.D.

Dr. Okunola joins the prestigious Neurology group, Neuroscience Center of Northern New Jersey, to provide a variety of specialized care. He specializes in
epilepsy, clinical neurophysiology, and sleep medicine.

Dr. Okunola completed medical school at Howard University College of Medicine. He stayed and completed his internship and neurology residency at Howard University Hospital,
Washington, DC. He received fellowship training in epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology at Georgetown University Hospital Washington, DC. He also completed a sleep medicine fellowshij
at Norwalk Hospital, Connecticut.

As part of his fellowship training in clinical neurophysiology/epilepsy, he focused on intraoperative and epilepsy monitoring; EEG and EMG. As a sleep specialist, he diagnoses and treats sleep related disorders such as daytime sleepiness (hypersomnolence), insomnia, narcolepsy, obstructive, central, and complex sleep apnea, etc.

Dr. Okunola is board-certified in both adult neurology and clinical neurophysiology. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Neurology.

The neoliberal MSM try to swipe those facts under the carpet, but sensationalism sometime stake over. for example, the New York Post ran a provocative headline: “Karl Rove: Hillary may have brain damage.”

The newspaper reported that George W. Bush’s former chief strategist suggested as much at a recent conference near Los Angeles.

Rove, reached by The Washington Post, insisted that he had not gone quite that far, saying instead that the former secretary of state should provide more information about a head injury she sustained after a fall in December 2012.

“Of course she doesn’t have brain damage,” Rove said in the interview. But he maintained that Clinton had suffered “a serious health episode” about which “she is going to have to be forthcoming.”

Of course, those words coming from the Republican Party’s most famous bare-knuckles operative were read as something more than an expression of concern for her health.

“All he wants to do is inject the issue into the echo chamber, and he’s succeeding. It’s flagrant and thinly veiled,” said Clinton’s press secretary, Nick Merrill. “They are scared of what she has achieved and what she has to offer. What he’s doing is its own form of sickness. But she is 100 percent, period. Time for them to move on to their next desperate attack.”

Rove also came under harsh criticism from some in his party, including former House speaker Newt Gingrich.

“It’s a terrible thing for Karl to do,” said Gingrich, who is not known for being shy about attacking an opponent. “It’s petty. It’s personal. It’s negative. It eats up time and space with things that make no difference. . . . We are never going to beat her with this kind of stuff.”

The injury that Clinton suffered has been the subject of speculation by both her friends and her enemies.

Her doctors said that she had become severely dehydrated with an intestinal infection and fainted, suffering a concussion and a subsequent blood clot.

As a result, she had to reschedule her congressional testimony regarding the September 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya. When she did appear, Clinton wore special eyeglasses, with a lens known as a Fresnel prism, that help treat double vision.

“Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that,” Rove was quoted as saying at the conference.

In fact, Clinton spent only three days in the hospital. She was hospitalized Dec. 30, 2012, and released Jan. 2, 2013.

But Rove was correct that the health of presidential candidates — and presidents themselves — is no longer a subject they can avoid.

Early information from the book “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas,” by Edward Klein

On June 23, 2014 Jow Tacopino published in New York Post his review of the book “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas,” by Edward Klein. Here is what he extracted from the book:

Hillary Clinton’s health issues are drastically worse than she has revealed publicly — and the potential presidential candidate tried to keep her medical information private for fear that it would damage her bid for the White House in 2016, according to a new book.

The 66-year-old former secretary of state has suffered more fainting spells than publicly known, is prone to have blood clots, and may be at serious risk of a stroke, according to the book, “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas,” by Edward Klein.

The medical scare that forced Clinton to be rushed to New York-Presby­terian Hospital on Dec. 30, 2013, revealed how serious the situation is.“She has to be carefully monitored for the rest of her life,” doctors warned former President Bill Clinton before Hillary was released from the hospital, according to the book. The book claims Hillary was taken to New York­Presbyterian after a fainting spell and concussion that she suffered in her seventh-floor office at the State Department — not at her home, as claimed.

Hillary was initially treated at a State Department facility and was transferred to her home to recover. Bill Clinton, however, insisted Hillary be flown to New York City and be treated by specialists there, Klein claims. During her visit to the Manhattan hospital, the presumed 2016 Democratic front-runner was diagnosed with several problems, including the clots. Hillary had a right transverse venous thrombosis, or a blood clot, between her brain and skull. “The unique thing about clotting in the brain is that it could have transformed into a stroke,” a cardiac specialist with knowledge of Hillary’s condition says in the book.

Increased  health problems, especially the cognitive ones, might explain why she doesn’t do press conferences for so long. She probably can’t "think fast enough" to answer bombarding by questions. Such an atmosphere creates “confusion.” People with dementia do not like chaotic atmospheres, a lot of loud talking, etc.

Leaked documents supposedly originated by her physician  Dr. Bardack

Hillary Clinton diagnosed with Subcortical Vascular Dementia by Dr. Lisa Bardack, Medical records on Twitter forged, Hillary

Hillary Clinton diagnosed with Subcortical Vascular Dementia by Dr. Lisa Bardack?, Medical records on Twitter forged?, Hillary has diagnosed ailments and exhibits suspicious traits, HillsMedRecords account deleted retrieved from WayBack Machine

“Binswanger’s disease (BD), also called subcortical vascular dementia, is a type of dementia caused by widespread, microscopic areas of damage to the deep layers of white matter in the brain.”
“symptoms include forgetfulness (but not as severe as the forgetfulness of Alzheimer’s disease), changes in speech, an unsteady gait, clumsiness or frequent falls, changes in personality or mood (most likely in the form of apathy, irritability, and depression), and urinary symptoms that aren’t caused by urological disease.”…NIH

“The main stream media has been doing it’s best to hide the truth about Hillary Clinton’s rapidly deteriorating health, but it’s getting to be a harder and harder trick to continue to pull off. Just yesterday the Twitterverse lit up with photographs of her seemingly unable to make it up a flight of steps as seen here”…nowtheendbegins.com

“We are being lied to on a scale unimaginable by George Orwell.”…Citizen Wells

Hillary Clinton has ailments diagnosed by Dr. Lisa Bardack.

From a Healthcare Statement from Dr. Bardack dated July 28, 2015 we learn:

Hillary suffered a concussion in 2012.
Diagnosed with a transverse sinus venous thrombosis.
Anticoagulation therapy to disolve the clot.
Experienced double vision for a period of time.
Daily Coumadin treatment.

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/clintonhealth2015.pdf

For months Hillary Clinton has been exhibiting erratic behaviour in her speech, mannerisms and walking.

This has prompted numerous rumors and questions in the media and on the internet.

I was given a heads up during the past 24 hours about some alleged medical records placed on a Twitter account which was subsequently deleted.

The account was Hillary’s Records @HillsMedRecords on Twitter.

The account was deleted but I was able to retrieve the records from the WayBack Machine.

https://web.archive.org/web/20160809081237/https:/twitter.com/HillsMedRecords

Are these 2 “medical records” Forged?

HillaryMedical

HillaryMedicalMar5

All of the information looks plausible.

The account owner made the following claim:

“Hillary’s Records ‏@HillsMedRecords 1 d
Dr Bardack, you should have been honest about #HillaryClinton health. Luckily I saved a few things when I left for a new job. #NeverHillary”

I will let the reader decide.

But something is affecting Hillary’s body.

From Dr. Drew on Breitbart January 8, 2016.

“‘Sudden Death’: Dr. Drew Warns of Coming Pulmonary Embolism with Hillary Clinton’s ‘Shoddy’ Health”

““Why is somebody who’s running for the President of the United States getting such shoddy care?” Drew stressed on KABC’s Midday Live. “My problem is the quality of the overall care she is getting,” he added.

Dr. Drew was reacting to a recent report by Breitbart News that revealed security officials and medical professionals speculate Clinton could be suffering from long-term health issues stemming from a concussion and blood clot, a claim that the Clinton campaign denied – referencing Clinton’s health statement produced by her physician and published on her campaign website.”

“Dr. Drew noted several of his concerns:

Why is Clinton on Armor Thyroid “and not something that would be a higher standard of care?”
“Why is she clotting repeatedly? Something is wrong with her coagulation system.”
“Did she have an echocardiogram” and has she had a “sleep study?”
Dr. Drew, after reviewing Clinton’s doctor’s health statement, said she had “peculiar medical histories.”

“Forget the politics…all aside, my physician senses are tingling and I’m worried about the human being who also happens to be a presidential candidate,” he said.”

Read more:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/01/08/sudden-death-dr-drew-warns-of-coming-pulmonary-embolism-with-hillary-clintons-shoddy-health/

From Now The End Begins August 9, 2016.

“ARE HILLARY CLINTON’S SEIZURES AND STUMBLING BEING CAUSED BY SUBCORTICAL VASCULAR DEMENTIA?

Then there was this freakish episode from her rally on August 4th where she was momentarily disoriented and needed to be steadied by someone who was either a Secret Service agent or one of her doctors. Take a good, close look at the expression on her face as she loses sense of where she is mentally, and does not regain her composure until the man who appeared at her side steadied her.”

Read more:

Are Hillary Clinton’s Seizures And Stumbling Being Caused By Subcortical Vascular Dementia?

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

Dr. Mike Cernovich document

Hillary Clinton Has Parkinson’s Disease, Physician Confirms

The 2009 fall where HRC broke her elbow suggests that she had working protective reflexes, and her arm took the brunt of the fall. But three years later, she had a catastrophic fall where her reflexes were unable to help her. It is notable that this fall took place at home, where she would have been unstressed and in a familiar setting. Failing reflexes are common in PD. Poor balance is also common in PD, and a fall without working protective reflexes is a prescription for head injury. Her subsequent concerns with transverse sinus thrombosis are plausibly related to the fall. Her need for fresnel lens glasses also fits with post-concussion syndrome.

Huma Abedin’s email comment can be referring to PCS as well, since it was during the six-month period of rehab. One must, however, be cautious not to overlook persistent cognitive problems that PCS can have. (Editorial note: The reader will note that this discussion is giving the benefit of the doubt to as many HRC memes as can reasonably earn it.)

2016 starts a spate of new data. The photos of HRC being helped up the steps is consistent with a fall similar to 2012, but with a security detail close enough to catch her before she fell to the ground. This matches the loss of reflexes and balance with PD.

On July 21 a video of HRC is posted that has many observers calling a “seizure.”

We should note the setting. She is answering questions, and then multiple reporters call out at the same time. Such a shock is often too much stress for a PD patient, and the patient suffers an “on/off” episode. Higher control turns off and an unpredictable dyskinesia takes over. Shortly she switches back “on” and regains control. Her mind froze during the “off” state, but was aware, so she is able to speak again, but inappropriately.

It should be noted that such dyskinesias are sufficiently common with long term treatment that they have a name: Parkinson’s Disease LevoDopa Induced Dyskinesia (PD LID).

A week later, during the balloon drop at the Convention, HRC suddenly “freezes.” This is an “off” moment manifested by bradykinesia, another PD problem. The particular form is a brief oculogyric crisis, complete with head arched back, fixed gaze, and wide open mouth. Again, this is common in PD. We should compare it to HRC’s facial expressions on “Live with Kelly and Michael” on November 19, 2015.[xiii] At 6:30 in that video, we also see a PD tremor and posture in her left hand when it comes to rest momentarily. In most videos her hands are in constant motion or clasped against some object. These are strategies to suppress a tremor.

HRC’s description of her false answers to Chris Wallace as a “short circuit” is extremely unusual.

It comes from the field of electronics, in which HRC has never been involved. The Urban Dictionary definition is electrical, and there is no popular or slang usage. But one semi-technical description of PD calls it “short-circuiting” brain circuits.[xiv] Did she hear this during a doctor’s explanation of her disease? It would not be unusual to parrot such a phrase if she has PD.

Days later, HRC “freezes” again at a campaign rally. This “off” state is like the others, triggered by a startle/stress reaction. But what is more telling is that the security detail gives her specific instructions in an attempt to get her to turn “on” again. She then parrots those exact words as she restarts. This is another PD sign.

The numerous episodes of prolonged coughing are another tell. Swallowing disorders are very common in PD. They can lead to aspiration pneumonia, the most common cause of death in PD. But before that they lead to chronic difficulty swallowing saliva. It gets onto the vocal cords, leading to coughing in an attempt to clear them. The high frequency of these episodes strongly suggests a major swallowing disorder.

Multiple episodes of inappropriate and extended laughter have also been documented. This, again, is common in PD.

We do not have video evidence of the “pill rolling” tremor that is common in PD. But that is not a major concern for our thesis. Treatment with levodopa can reduce it. Also, PD sufferers develop a variety of techniques to hide it. Since it is a tremor at rest, keeping the hands in motion suppresses it. Grasping objects such as a lectern can also hide it. As long as the hands are busy, it is usually not visible.

Summary: HRC probably has PD.

She has had clinical symptoms for a minimum of 4 years, and probably much longer, given that the fall leading to her head injury required a significant progression of the disease. All of her bizarre physical actions since that time fit nicely into the spectrum of signs that we expect in PD. And since PD explains all of them, we have a high probability of a correct diagnosis. It has almost certainly been treated with levodopa. Some of her symptoms may be related to this drug treatment.

It is most curious that all of the bizarre physical signs seem to be in 2016 videos. HRC was a public figure in 2015, with a lot of campaign work underway. Yet all of the oddities seem to be within the last several months. This suggests a significant progression of her PD. We also know that her contact with the public has been rigidly controlled. She has not done news conferences during the campaign. These would be highly stressful to a PD sufferer and would elicit many PD signs.

PD is a chronic disease with a downhill prognosis. HRC’s instability and frequent cough suggest that her PD is advanced. This is not a good outlook for someone running for the Presidency. The office of the President is one of the highest stress jobs in the world. Stress sets off PD episodes, which render the sufferer incapable of proper response.

At this point, a bit of speculation seems appropriate. HRC talks about her yoga sessions. But no one we know of has ever documented one. It is possible that this is cover for sessions designed to teach her coping mechanisms for PD or for rest breaks. Exhaustion makes PD worse.

HRC’s coughing suggests that her swallowing disorder is advanced, placing her closer to an aspiration pneumonia that would disable or kill her. That’s bad enough, but PD has one more, even more dangerous step in its progression.

As PD continues, cognitive problems can develop. In time, they become full-blown dementia. The United States cannot survive if its President is mentally impaired.

 

Conclusion:

It is not appropriate for a physician to make a diagnosis at a distance. But since the evidence in the public record so strongly suggests that HRC has moderate to advanced PD, it is imperative that HRC release her complete medical record to an impartial panel of physicians for review. It is not necessary for the public at large to see them. Such a panel should be secure in its deliberations and should present a summary to the public. If she has PD, the panel would know and it would be made public. If not, then the air would clear.

 

Note on authorship:

The author of this document is a board-certified Anesthesiologist with 36 years of experience. That brings with it the ability to understand medical discussions, but not the expertise to evaluate PD signs and symptoms.

The first subject matter expert is a close friend of the author. This person is a brilliant businessman who was forced to sell his interest in eight successful businesses because early onset PD made him unable to continue in the daily duties of business. He is well versed in PD and sees its ravages in himself.

The second subject matter expert is the author’s brother. He is an RN who spent two years working 12-hour shifts caring for PD patients in a nursing home. This saturation experience allows him to pick up PD signs automatically. He notes that he called HRC’s PD and levodopa therapy when he watched the famous “What difference does it make?” exchange. Her mannerisms and behavior were classic and stereotypical.

Of interest is that during a teleconference, the author called the others to look at HRC’s left hand during the “Live With Kelly and Michael” video. The clip was played, and neither of the others even saw her hand. They were both riveted to her eyes, and both exclaimed that her eyes were “classic PD.” The clip had to be played a second and third time before they could even take their gaze away from her eyes. They did finally see her hand and agree that it was also demonstrating PD.

 

[i] http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/06/18/hillary-clinton-faces-surgery-for-broken-elbow/

[ii] http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/hillary-clinton-treated-concussion-fall-article-1.1220947

[iii] https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/hillary-clintons-blood-clot-most-likely-in-a-leg-experts-say/2012/12/31/d2c853ea-5376-11e2-bf3e-76c0a789346f_story.html

[iv] http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/05/hillary-clinton-took-6-months-to-get-over-concussion-bill-says-of-timeline/

[v] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3320900/Newly-released-email-shows-aide-Huma-Abedin-warned-colleagues-Hillary-confused-needed-hand-holding-calls-foreign-leaders.html

[vi] http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/08/07/hillary-clinton-needs-help-getting-stairs/

[vii] https://youtu.be/jkOUwIHUIgo

[viii] http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/283066-clinton-acts-startled-when-reporters-ask-about-warren-as

[ix] http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/video-news/watch-hillary-clintons-amazing-reaction-to-the-dnc-balloon-drop-34922354.html

[x] http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/05/politics/hillary-clinton-attacks-donald-trump-journalism/

[xi] http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/07/31/full_interview_hillary_clinton_on_fox_news_sunday.html

[xii] http://thelastgreatstand.com/2016/08/07/hillary-clinton-freezes-fear-secret-agents-says-keep-talking-video/

[xiii] https://youtu.be/OKUi0sd1Ocg

[xiv] Rodgers, R, PhD, Road to Recovery from Parkinson’s Disease, ISBN 978-0-9819767-5-4, 2013, p. 94.

 


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[Oct 05, 2018] How the Russia Spin Got So Much Torque by Norman Solomon

Notable quotes:
"... Shattered ..."
"... Yet last year, notably without success, the Clinton campaign devoted plenty of its messaging to the Trump-Russia theme. As the "Shattered" book notes, "Hillary would raise the issue herself repeatedly in debates" with Trump. For example, in one of those debates she said: "We have seventeen – seventeen ..."
"... In early spring, the former communications director of the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, Jennifer Palmieri, summed up the post-election approach neatly in a Washington Post ..."
"... The inability of top Clinton operatives to identify with the non-wealthy is so tenacious that they still want to assume "the public will be with us" the more they talk about Russia Russia Russia. Imagine sitting at a kitchen table with average-income voters who are worried sick about their financial futures – and explaining to them that the biggest threat they face is from the Kremlin rather than from US government policies that benefit the rich and corporate America at their expense ..."
"... One of the most promising progressives to arrive in Congress this year, Rep. Jamie Raskin from the Maryland suburbs of D.C., promptly drank what might be called the "Klinton Kremlin Kool-Aid." His official website features an article about a town-hall meeting that quotes him describing Trump as a "hoax perpetrated by the Russians on the United States of America. ..."
"... Like hundreds of other Democrats on Capitol Hill, Raskin is on message with talking points from the party leadership. That came across in an email that he recently sent to supporters for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser. It said: "We pull the curtain back further each day on the Russian Connection, forcing National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to resign, Attorney General Sessions to recuse, and America to reflect on who's calling the shots in Washington. ..."
A new book about Hillary Clinton's last campaign for president – Shattered , by journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes – has gotten a lot of publicity since it appeared two weeks ago. But major media have ignored a revealing passage near the end of the book.

Soon after Clinton's defeat, top strategists decided where to place the blame. "Within 24 hours of her concession speech," the authors report, campaign manager Robby Mook and campaign chair John Podesta "assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument."

Six months later, that centerpiece of the argument is rampant – with claims often lurching from unsubstantiated overreach to outright demagoguery.

A lavishly-funded example is the "Moscow Project," a mega-spin effort that surfaced in midwinter as a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It's led by Neera Tanden, a self-described "loyal soldier" for Clinton who also runs the Center for American Progress (where she succeeded Podesta as president). The Center's board includes several billionaires.

The "Moscow Project" is expressly inclined to go over the top, aiming to help normalize ultra-partisan conjectures as supposedly factual. And so, the homepage of the "Moscow Project" prominently declares: "Given Trump's obedience to Vladimir Putin and the deep ties between his advisers and the Kremlin, Russia's actions are a significant and ongoing cause for concern."

Let's freeze-frame how that sentence begins: "Given Trump's obedience to Vladimir Putin." It's a jaw-dropping claim; a preposterous smear.

Echoes of such tactics can be heard from many Democrats in Congress and from allied media. Along the way, no outlet has been more in sync than MSNBC, and no one on the network has been more promotional of the Russia-runs-Trump meme than Rachel Maddow, tirelessly promoting the line and sometimes connecting dots in Glenn Beck fashion to the point of journalistic malpractice.

Yet last year, notably without success, the Clinton campaign devoted plenty of its messaging to the Trump-Russia theme. As the "Shattered" book notes, "Hillary would raise the issue herself repeatedly in debates" with Trump. For example, in one of those debates she said: "We have seventeen – seventeen – intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election ."

After Trump's election triumph, the top tier of Clinton strategists quickly moved to seize as much of the narrative as they could, surely mindful of what George Orwell observed: "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." After all, they hardly wanted the public discourse to dwell on Clinton's lack of voter appeal because of her deep ties to Wall Street. Political recriminations would be much better focused on the Russian government.

In early spring, the former communications director of the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, Jennifer Palmieri, summed up the post-election approach neatly in a Washington Post opinion article : "If we make plain that what Russia has done is nothing less than an attack on our republic, the public will be with us. And the more we talk about it, the more they'll be with us."

The inability of top Clinton operatives to identify with the non-wealthy is so tenacious that they still want to assume "the public will be with us" the more they talk about Russia Russia Russia. Imagine sitting at a kitchen table with average-income voters who are worried sick about their financial futures – and explaining to them that the biggest threat they face is from the Kremlin rather than from US government policies that benefit the rich and corporate America at their expense.

Tone deaf hardly describes the severe political impairment of those who insist that denouncing Russia will be key to the Democratic Party's political fortunes in 2018 and 2020. But the top-down pressure for conformity among elected Democrats is enormous and effective.

One of the most promising progressives to arrive in Congress this year, Rep. Jamie Raskin from the Maryland suburbs of D.C., promptly drank what might be called the "Klinton Kremlin Kool-Aid." His official website features an article about a town-hall meeting that quotes him describing Trump as a "hoax perpetrated by the Russians on the United States of America. "

Like hundreds of other Democrats on Capitol Hill, Raskin is on message with talking points from the party leadership. That came across in an email that he recently sent to supporters for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser. It said: "We pull the curtain back further each day on the Russian Connection, forcing National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to resign, Attorney General Sessions to recuse, and America to reflect on who's calling the shots in Washington. "

You might think that Wall Street, big banks, hugely funded lobbyists, fat-check campaign contributors, the fossil fuel industry, insurance companies, military contractors and the like are calling the shots in Washington. Maybe you didn't get the memo.

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy . His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death .

[Oct 02, 2018] Kavanaugh vs Bill Clinton

Looks like Neoliberal Democrats have zero problem with rapists as long as they are democrats.
Oct 02, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Jean , September 28, 2018 at 11:58 pm

BS

I Believe Juanita

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/opinion/juanita-broaddrick-bill-clinton.html

What About Bil

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/us/politics/bill-clinton-sexual-misconduct-debate.amp.html

What Hillary Knew
Hillary Clinton once tweeted that "every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported." What about Juanita Broaddrick?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/546170/

The Clinton Double Standard

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/10/bill-clinton-harvey-weinstein-sexual-assault

rife kimler , September 29, 2018 at 6:18 am

So Clinton did not fly around with Jeffery Epstein?

jean , September 29, 2018 at 7:43 pm

https://www.salon.com/2017/10/16/hillary-clinton-weinstein-bbc-trump-bill/

You'd Better Put Some Ice On That: How I Survived Being Raped by Bill Clinton

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37797819-you-d-better-put-some-ice-on-that

[Sep 29, 2018] The Schizophrenic Deep State is a Symptom, Not the Disease by Charles Hugh Smith

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "a key feature of the Roman Empire in its final slide to collapse ... shared values and consensus which had held the Empire's core together dissolved, leaving petty fiefdoms to war among themselves for what power and swag remained." ..."
"... If we understand the profound political disunity fracturing the nation and its Imperial Project, we understand the Deep State must also fracture along the same fault lines. ..."
"... If we consider the state of the nation from 40,000 feet, several key indicators of profound political disunity within the elites pop out: ..."
"... Psychopaths with no moral principles. The nation's elites are not just divided--they're exhibiting signs of schizophrenic breakdown : disassociation and a loss of the ability to discern the difference between reality and their internal fantasies. ..."
"... A funny thing happens when a nation allows itself to be ruled by Imperial kleptocrats: such rule is intrinsically destabilizing, as there is no longer any moral or political center to bind the nation together. The public sees the value system at the top is maximize my personal profit by whatever means are available , i.e. complicity, corruption, monopoly and rentier rackets , and they follow suit by pursuing whatever petty frauds and rackets are within reach: tax avoidance, cheating on entrance exams, gaming the disability system, lying on mortgage and job applications, and so on. ..."
"... But the scope of the rentier rackets is so large, the bottom 95% cannot possibly keep up with the expanding wealth and income of the top .1% and their army of technocrats and enablers, so a rising sense of injustice widens the already yawning fissures in the body politic. ..."
"... As the Power Elites squabble over the dwindling crumbs left by the various rentier rackets, there's no one left to fight for the national interest because the entire Status Quo of self-interested fiefdoms and cartels has been co-opted and is now wedded to the Imperial Oligarchy as their guarantor of financial security. ..."
"... The divided Deep State is a symptom of this larger systemic political disunity. I have characterized the divide as between the Wall Street-Neocon-Globalist Neoliberal camp--currently the dominant public face of the Deep State, the one desperately attempting to exploit the "Russia hacked our elections and is trying to destroy us" narrative--and a much less public, less organized "rogue Progressive" camp, largely based in the military services and fringes of the Deep State, that sees the dangers of a runaway expansionist Empire and the resulting decay of the nation's moral/political center. ..."
Jul 31, 2018 | russia-insider.com

"a key feature of the Roman Empire in its final slide to collapse ... shared values and consensus which had held the Empire's core together dissolved, leaving petty fiefdoms to war among themselves for what power and swag remained."

If we understand the profound political disunity fracturing the nation and its Imperial Project, we understand the Deep State must also fracture along the same fault lines.

If we consider the state of the nation from 40,000 feet, several key indicators of profound political disunity within the elites pop out:

  1. The overt politicization of the central state's law enforcement and intelligence agencies: it is now commonplace to find former top officials of the CIA et al. accusing a sitting president of treason in the mainstream media. What was supposed to be above politics is now nothing but politics.
  2. The overt politicization of the centralized (corporate) media: evidence that would stand up in a court of law is essentially non-existent but the interpretations and exaggerations that fit the chosen narrative are ceaselessly promoted--the classic definition of desperate propaganda by those who have lost the consent of the governed.
Psychopaths with no moral principles.
The nation's elites are not just divided--they're exhibiting signs of schizophrenic breakdown : disassociation and a loss of the ability to discern the difference between reality and their internal fantasies.

I've been writing about the divided Deep State for a number of years, for example, The Conflict within the Deep State Just Broke into Open Warfare . The topic appears to be one of widespread interest, as this essay drew over 300,000 views.

It's impossible to understand the divided Deep State unless we situate it in the larger context of profound political disunity , a concept I learned from historian Michael Grant, whose slim but insightful volume The Fall of the Roman Empire I have been recommending since 2009.

As I noted in my 2009 book Survival+ , this was a key feature of the Roman Empire in its final slide to collapse. The shared values and consensus which had held the Empire's core together dissolved, leaving petty fiefdoms to war among themselves for what power and swag remained.

A funny thing happens when a nation allows itself to be ruled by Imperial kleptocrats: such rule is intrinsically destabilizing, as there is no longer any moral or political center to bind the nation together. The public sees the value system at the top is maximize my personal profit by whatever means are available , i.e. complicity, corruption, monopoly and rentier rackets , and they follow suit by pursuing whatever petty frauds and rackets are within reach: tax avoidance, cheating on entrance exams, gaming the disability system, lying on mortgage and job applications, and so on.

But the scope of the rentier rackets is so large, the bottom 95% cannot possibly keep up with the expanding wealth and income of the top .1% and their army of technocrats and enablers, so a rising sense of injustice widens the already yawning fissures in the body politic.

Meanwhile, diverting the national income into a few power centers is also destabilizing , as Central Planning and Market Manipulation (a.k.a. the Federal Reserve) are intrinsically unstable as price can no longer be discovered by unfettered markets. As a result, imbalances grow until some seemingly tiny incident or disruption triggers a cascading collapse, a.k.a. a phase shift or system re-set.

As the Power Elites squabble over the dwindling crumbs left by the various rentier rackets, there's no one left to fight for the national interest because the entire Status Quo of self-interested fiefdoms and cartels has been co-opted and is now wedded to the Imperial Oligarchy as their guarantor of financial security.

The divided Deep State is a symptom of this larger systemic political disunity. I have characterized the divide as between the Wall Street-Neocon-Globalist Neoliberal camp--currently the dominant public face of the Deep State, the one desperately attempting to exploit the "Russia hacked our elections and is trying to destroy us" narrative--and a much less public, less organized "rogue Progressive" camp, largely based in the military services and fringes of the Deep State, that sees the dangers of a runaway expansionist Empire and the resulting decay of the nation's moral/political center.

What few observers seem to understand is that concentrating power in centralized nodes is intrinsically unstable. Contrast a system in which power, control and wealth is extremely concentrated in a few nodes (the current U.S. Imperial Project) and a decentralized network of numerous dynamic nodes.

The disruption of any of the few centralized nodes quickly destabilizes the entire system because each centralized node is highly dependent on the others. This is in effect what happened in the 2008-09 Financial Meltdown: the Wall Street node failed and that quickly imperiled the entire economy and thus the entire political order, up to and including the Global Imperial Project.

Historian Peter Turchin has proposed that the dynamics of profound political disunity (i.e. social, financial and political disintegration) can be quantified in a Political Stress Index, a concept he describes in his new book Ages of Discord .

If we understand the profound political disunity fracturing the nation and its Imperial Project, we understand the Deep State must also fracture along the same fault lines. There is no other possible output of a system of highly concentrated nodes of power, wealth and control and the competing rentier rackets of these dependent, increasingly fragile centralized nodes.

[Sep 12, 2018] If You Read This Book, It'll Make You a Radical A Conversation with Thomas Frank by John Siman

Notable quotes:
"... "Let us linger over the perversity," he writes in "Why Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump," one of the seventeen component essays in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "Let us linger over the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America -- one of our two monopoly parties -- chose long ago to turn its back on these people's concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a 'creative class' that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps ..."
"... And the real bad news is not that this Creative Class, this Expert Class, this Meritocratic Class, this Professional Class -- this Liberal Class, with all its techno-ecstasy and virtue-questing and unleashing of innovation -- is so deeply narcissistic and hypocritical, but rather that it is so self-interestedly parasitical and predatory. ..."
Sep 11, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Thomas Frank's new collection of essays: Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society (Metropolitan Books 2018) and Listen, Liberal; or,Whatever Happened to the Party of the People? (ibid. 2016)

To hang out with Thomas Frank for a couple of hours is to be reminded that, going back to 1607, say, or to 1620, for a period of about three hundred and fifty years, the most archetypal of American characters was, arguably, the hard-working, earnest, self-controlled, dependable white Protestant guy, last presented without irony a generation or two -- or three -- ago in the television personas of men like Ward Cleaver and Mister Rogers.

Thomas Frank, who grew up in Kansas and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, who at age 53 has the vibe of a happy eager college nerd, not only glows with authentic Midwestern Nice (and sometimes his face turns red when he laughs, which is often), he actually lives in suburbia, just outside of D.C., in Bethesda, where, he told me, he takes pleasure in mowing the lawn and doing some auto repair and fixing dinner for his wife and two children. (Until I met him, I had always assumed it was impossible for a serious intellectual to live in suburbia and stay sane, but Thomas Frank has proven me quite wrong on this.)

Frank is sincerely worried about the possibility of offending friends and acquaintances by the topics he chooses to write about. He told me that he was a B oy Scout back in Kansas, but didn't make Eagle. He told me that he was perhaps a little too harsh on Hillary Clinton in his brilliantly perspicacious "Liberal Gilt [ sic ]" chapter at the end of Listen, Liberal . His piercing insight into and fascination with the moral rot and the hypocrisy that lies in the American soul brings, well, Nathaniel Hawthorne to mind, yet he refuses to say anything (and I tried so hard to bait him!) mean about anyone, no matter how culpable he or she is in the ongoing dissolving and crumbling and sinking -- all his metaphors -- of our society. And with such metaphors Frank describes the "one essential story" he is telling in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "This is what a society looks like when the glue that holds it together starts to dissolve. This is the way ordinary citizens react when they learn that the structure beneath them is crumbling. And this is the thrill that pulses through the veins of the well-to-do when they discover that there is no longer any limit on their power to accumulate" ( Thomas Frank in NYC on book tour https://youtu.be/DBNthCKtc1Y ).

And I believe that Frank's self-restraint, his refusal to indulge in bitter satire even as he parses our every national lie, makes him unique as social critic. "You will notice," he writes in the introduction to Rendezvous with Oblivion, "that I describe [these disasters] with a certain amount of levity. I do that because that's the only way to confront the issues of our time without sinking into debilitating gloom" (p. 8). And so rather than succumbing to an existential nausea, Frank descends into the abyss with a dependable flashlight and a ca. 1956 sitcom-dad chuckle.

"Let us linger over the perversity," he writes in "Why Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump," one of the seventeen component essays in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "Let us linger over the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America -- one of our two monopoly parties -- chose long ago to turn its back on these people's concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a 'creative class' that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps " (p. 178).

And it is his analysis of this "Creative Class" -- he usually refers to it as the "Liberal Class" and sometimes as the "Meritocratic Class" in Listen, Liberal (while Barbara Ehrenreich uses the term " Professional Managerial Class ,"and Matthew Stewart recently published an article entitled "The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy" in the Atlantic ) -- that makes it clear that Frank's work is a continuation of the profound sociological critique that goes back to Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) and, more recently, to Christopher Lasch's The Revolt of the Elites (1994).

Unlike Veblen and Lasch, however, Frank is able to deliver the harshest news without any hauteur or irascibility, but rather with a deftness and tranquillity of mind, for he is both in and of the Creative Class; he abides among those afflicted by the epidemic which he diagnoses: "Today we live in a world of predatory bankers, predatory educators, even predatory health care providers, all of them out for themselves . Liberalism itself has changed to accommodate its new constituents' technocratic views. Today, liberalism is the philosophy not of the sons of toil but of the 'knowledge economy' and, specifically, of the knowledge economy's winners: the Silicon Valley chieftains, the big university systems, and the Wall Street titans who gave so much to Barack Obama's 2008 campaign . They are a 'learning class' that truly gets the power of education. They are a 'creative class' that naturally rebels against fakeness and conformity. They are an ' innovation class ' that just can't stop coming up with awesome new stuff" ( Listen, Liberal , pp. 27-29).

And the real bad news is not that this Creative Class, this Expert Class, this Meritocratic Class, this Professional Class -- this Liberal Class, with all its techno-ecstasy and virtue-questing and unleashing of innovation -- is so deeply narcissistic and hypocritical, but rather that it is so self-interestedly parasitical and predatory.

The class that now runs the so-called Party of the People is impoverishing the people; the genius value-creators at Amazon and Google and Uber are Robber Barons, although, one must grant, hipper, cooler, and oh so much more innovative than their historical predecessors. "In reality," Frank writes in Listen, Liberal ,

.there is little new about this stuff except the software, the convenience, and the spying. Each of the innovations I have mentioned merely updates or digitizes some business strategy that Americans learned long ago to be wary of. Amazon updates the practices of Wal-Mart, for example, while Google has dusted off corporate behavior from the days of the Robber Barons. What Uber does has been compared to the every-man-for-himself hiring procedures of the pre-union shipping docks . Together, as Robert Reich has written, all these developments are 'the logical culmination of a process that began thirty years ago when corporations began turning over full-time jobs to temporary workers, independent contractors, free-lancers, and consultants.' This is atavism, not innovation . And if we keep going in this direction, it will one day reduce all of us to day laborers, standing around like the guys outside the local hardware store, hoping for work. (p. 215).

And who gets this message? The YouTube patriot/comedian Jimmy Dore, Chicago-born, ex-Catholic, son of a cop, does for one. "If you read this b ook, " Dore said while interviewing Frank back in January of 2017, "it'll make y ou a radical" (Frank Interview Part 4 https://youtu.be/JONbGkQaq8Q ).

But to what extent, on the other hand, is Frank being actively excluded from our elite media outlets? He's certainly not on TV or radio or in print as much as he used to be. So is he a prophet without honor in his own country? Frank, of course, is too self-restrained to speculate about the motives of these Creative Class decision-makers and influencers. "But it is ironic and worth mentioning," he told me, "that most of my writing for the last few years has been in a British publication, The Guardian and (in translation) in Le Monde Diplomatique . The way to put it, I think, is to describe me as an ex-pundit."

Frank was, nevertheless, happy to tell me in vivid detail about how his most fundamental observation about America, viz. that the Party of the People has become hostile to the people , was for years effectively discredited in the Creative Class media -- among the bien-pensants , that is -- and about what he learned from their denialism.

JS: Going all the way back to your 2004 book What's the Matter with Kansas? -- I just looked at Larry Bartels's attack on it, "What's the Matter with What's the Matter with Kansas?" -- and I saw that his first objection to your book was, Well, Thomas Frank says the working class is alienated from the Democrats, but I have the math to show that that's false. How out of touch does that sound now?

TCF: [laughs merrily] I know.

JS: I remember at the time that was considered a serious objection to your thesis.

TCF: Yeah. Well, he was a professor at Princeton. And he had numbers. So it looked real. And I actually wrote a response to that in which I pointed out that there were other statistical ways of looking at it, and he had chosen the one that makes his point.

JS: Well, what did Mark Twain say?

TCF: Mark Twain?

JS: There are lies, damned lies --

TCF: [laughs merrily] -- and statistics! Yeah. Well, anyhow, Bartels's take became the common sense of the highly educated -- there needs to be a term for these people by the way, in France they're called the bien-pensants -- the "right-thinking," the people who read The Atlantic, The New York Times op-ed page, The Washington Post op-ed page, and who all agree with each other on everything -- there's this tight little circle of unanimity. And they all agreed that Bartels was right about that, and that was a costly mistake. For example, Paul Krugman, a guy whom I admire in a lot of ways, he referenced this four or five times. He agreed with it . No, the Democrats are not losing the white working class outside the South -- they were not going over to the Republicans. The suggestion was that there is nothing to worry about. Yes. And there were people saying this right up to the 2016 election. But it was a mistake.

JS: I remember being perplexed at the time. I had thought you had written this brilliant book, and you weren't being taken seriously -- because somebody at Princeton had run some software -- as if that had proven you wrong.

TCF: Yeah, that's correct . That was a very widespread take on it. And Bartels was incorrect, and I am right, and [laughs merrily] that's that.

JS: So do you think Russiagate is a way of saying, Oh no no no no, Hillary didn't really lose?

TCF: Well, she did win the popular vote -- but there's a whole set of pathologies out there right now that all stem from Hillary Denialism. And I don't want to say that Russiagate is one of them, because we don't know the answer to that yet.

JS: Um, ok.

TCF: Well, there are all kinds of questionable reactions to 2016 out there, and what they all have in common is the faith that Democrats did nothing wrong. For example, this same circle of the bien-pensants have decided that the only acceptable explanation for Trump's victory is the racism of his supporters. Racism can be the only explanation for the behavior of Trump voters. But that just seems odd to me because, while it's true of course that there's lots of racism in this country, and while Trump is clearly a bigot and clearly won the bigot vote, racism is just one of several factors that went into what happened in 2016. Those who focus on this as the only possible answer are implying that all Trump voters are irredeemable, lost forever.

And it comes back to the same point that was made by all those people who denied what was happening with the white working class, which is: The Democratic Party needs to do nothing differently . All the post-election arguments come back to this same point. So a couple years ago they were saying about the white working class -- we don't have to worry about them -- they're not leaving the Democratic Party, they're totally loyal, especially in the northern states, or whatever the hell it was. And now they say, well, Those people are racists, and therefore they're lost to us forever. What is the common theme of these two arguments? It's always that there's nothing the Democratic Party needs to do differently. First, you haven't lost them; now you have lost them and they're irretrievable: Either way -- you see what I'm getting at? -- you don't have to do anything differently to win them.

JS: Yes, I do.

TCF: The argument in What's the Matter with Kansas? was that this is a long-term process, the movement of the white working class away from the Democratic Party. This has been going on for a long time. It begins in the '60s, and the response of the Democrats by and large has been to mock those people, deride those people, and to move away from organized labor, to move away from class issues -- working class issues -- and so their response has been to make this situation worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse! And there's really no excuse for them not seeing it. But they say, believe, rationalize, you know, come up with anything that gets then off the hook for this, that allows them to ignore this change. Anything. They will say or believe whatever it takes.

JS: Yes.

TCF: By the way, these are the smartest people! These are tenured professors at Ivy League institutions, these are people with Nobel Prizes, people with foundation grants, people with, you know, chairs at prestigious universities, people who work at our most prestigious media outlets -- that's who's wrong about all this stuff.

JS: [quoting the title of David Halberstam's 1972 book, an excerpt from which Frank uses as an epigraph for Listen, Liberal ] The best and the brightest!

TCF: [laughing merrily] Exactly. Isn't it fascinating?

JS: But this gets to the irony of the thing. [locates highlighted passage in book] I'm going to ask you one of the questions you ask in Rendezvous with Oblivion: "Why are worshippers of competence so often incompetent?" (p. 165). That's a huge question.

TCF: That's one of the big mysteries. Look. Take a step back. I had met Barack Obama. He was a professor at the University of Chicago, and I'd been a student there. And he was super smart. Anyhow, I met him and was really impressed by him. All the liberals in Hyde Park -- that's the neighborhood we lived in -- loved him, and I was one of them, and I loved him too. And I was so happy when he got elected.

Anyhow, I knew one thing he would do for sure, and that is he would end the reign of cronyism and incompetence that marked the Bush administration and before them the Reagan administration. These were administrations that actively promoted incompetent people. And I knew Obama wouldn't do that, and I knew Obama would bring in the smartest people, and he'd get the best economists. Remember, when he got elected we were in the pit of the crisis -- we were at this terrible moment -- and here comes exactly the right man to solve the problem. He did exactly what I just described: He brought in [pause] Larry Summers, the former president of Harvard, considered the greatest economist of his generation -- and, you know, go down the list: He had Nobel Prize winners, he had people who'd won genius grants, he had The Best and the Brightest . And they didn't really deal with the problem. They let the Wall Street perpetrators off the hook -- in a catastrophic way, I would argue. They come up with a health care system that was half-baked. Anyhow, the question becomes -- after watching the great disappointments of the Obama years -- the question becomes: Why did government-by-expert fail?

JS: So how did this happen? Why?

TCF: The answer is understanding experts not as individual geniuses but as members of a class . This is the great missing link in all of our talk about expertise. Experts aren't just experts: They are members of a class. And they act like a class. They have loyalty to one another; they have a disdain for others, people who aren't like them, who they perceive as being lower than them, and there's this whole hierarchy of status that they are at the pinnacle of.

And once you understand this, then everything falls into place! So why did they let the Wall Street bankers off the hook? Because these people were them. These people are their peers. Why did they refuse to do what obviously needed to be done with the health care system? Because they didn't want to do that to their friends in Big Pharma. Why didn't Obama get tough with Google and Facebook? They obviously have this kind of scary monopoly power that we haven't seen in a long time. Instead, he brought them into the White House, he identified with them. Again, it's the same thing. Once you understand this, you say: Wait a minute -- so the Democratic Party is a vehicle of this particular social class! It all makes sense. And all of a sudden all of these screw-ups make sense. And, you know, all of their rhetoric makes sense. And the way they treat working class people makes sense. And they way they treat so many other demographic groups makes sense -- all of the old-time elements of the Democratic Party: unions, minorities, et cetera. They all get to ride in back. It's the professionals -- you know, the professional class -- that sits up front and has its hands on the steering wheel.

* * *

It is, given Frank's persona, not surprising that he is able to conclude Listen, Liberal with a certain hopefulness, and so let me end by quoting some of his final words:

What I saw in Kansas eleven years ago is now everywhere . It is time to face the obvious: that the direction the Democrats have chosen to follow for the last few decades has been a failure for both the nation and for their own partisan health . The Democrats posture as the 'party of the people' even as they dedicate themselves ever more resolutely to serving and glorifying the professional class. Worse: they combine self-righteousness and class privilege in a way that Americans find stomach-turning . The Democrats have no interest in reforming themselves in a more egalitarian way . What we can do is strip away the Democrats' precious sense of their own moral probity -- to make liberals live without the comforting knowledge that righteousness is always on their side . Once that smooth, seamless sense of liberal virtue has been cracked, anything becomes possible. (pp. 256-257).

[Aug 18, 2018] Best Available Evidence Hillary Clinton Has Parkinson's by Rudy Panko

Aug 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Sep 13, 2016

Clinton has been using her "dehydration" story for years. This time it won't work. 219 The media is already working around the clock to hush up questions about Hillary's rapidly deteriorating health. She overheated has allergies pneumonia! She'll be back on her feet soon, citizen. End of discussion. Anyone who says otherwise is a Looney Tune. (Remember that just a week ago the media shamed anyone who even suggested that Hillary Clinton might be sick.)

We don't buy it . Commenting on Clinton's latest "medical episode", Dr. Zuhdi Jasser M.D. observed : "What she had was a syncopal episode. She passed out. That's either cardiovascular or neurologic. Now, her team wants us to believe it is dehydration. She didn't appear to be dehydrated and that doesn't get fixed in 90 minutes."

There's a very good reason why Bill has already replaced his wife on the campaign trail : Hillary Clinton is suffering from advanced stages of Parkinson's. And it's just going to get worse.

But first, what is Parkinson's?

The Parkinson's theory has been floating around for quite some time, but in our humble opinion, Dr. Ted Noel, a physician who worked for 32 years in clinical medicine, makes the most compelling case that Clinton is suffering from this very serious neurological condition. We want to emphasize that Dr. Noel made this video on August 29 , long before Hillary's "medical episode" on September 11:

In his video analysis, Dr. Noel makes the following points:

  1. Leaked e-mails show that Clinton's aides researched medication used to treat Parkinson's.
  2. Clinton has suffered from fainting spells as early as 2005, when she lost consciousness while making a speech. In 2009 she fell and broke her elbow. In 2012 she suffered a concussion after fainting and striking her head. All of these falls can be explained by Parkinson's, which affects the motor system. (Team Hillary blames dehydration.)
  3. Hillary's personal aide Huma Abedin wrote in an e-mail that Clinton is "often confused." Again, this would be consistent with Parkinson's, which in its advanced stages can even lead to dementia.
  4. Numerous documented cases where Clinton needed physical assistance, whether it's using a chair as a support while giving a stump speech, or requiring help climbing stairs. Again, Parkinson's severely impedes motor functions.
  5. During a roundtable discussion in April, Hillary nodded her head for an extended period -- one estimate puts the number of nods at 400; it looks odd, but it makes perfect sense if she has Parkinson's: It's a head-nodding tremor. (Go to 5:45 in the video. Truly bizarre behavior.)
  6. Clinton has also shown signs of "pin-rolling" tremors, as well as unnatural (and even painful) finger positions.
  7. The now-famous video of Hillary's head bobbing uncontrollably while speaking with the press was not a "seizure" (or a result of "iced chai"): It's a very common side-effect of Levadopa, a common and effective treatment for Parkinson's. However, visual stimulus, or anxiety, can cause unnatural reactions. Which brings Dr. Noel to his next point:
  8. It's been nearly 300 days since Hillary Clinton has held a press conference. No one has offered a rational reason for this. But here's an easy explanation: It's because Hillary's condition makes it very difficult for her to handle stressful situations in which she is bombarded with multiple questions and requests at the same time. Furthermore:
  9. This also explains her frankly bizarre facial expressions during her nomination. (Go to 9:38 in the video, because you can't do this point justice without watching the video.)
  10. In response to a protestor at a rally, Clinton literally freezes. She's unable to move, let alone speak. An aide rushes up to her and says "It's okay. We're still here. Keep talking." We urge everyone to watch Dr. Noel's analysis of this event, which begins at the 11:14 mark.
  11. Her coughing fits are evidence of a swallowing disorder -- common in those who suffer from Parkinson's. It could even be a symptom of pneumonia, which is also quite common among those with Parkinson's. (NOTE: Dr. Noel made this observation more than a week before Hillary was "diagnosed" with pneumonia.)

After Clinton "overheated" on September 11 , Dr. Noel made a follow-up video:

The keys points in this video:

  1. Hillary's doctor claims that Clinton's behavior on September 11 was due to "dehydration", the excuse used every time Clinton has a "medical episode". Here you really have to watch the video to fully appreciate how unbelievable this claim is -- and how often it's been used.
  2. Clinton is wearing blue-tinted glasses, which are used to help stabilize motor functions in those suffering from Parkinson's.
  3. When Clinton begins to fall, as shown in the video, she doesn't attempt to hold out her arms or protect her face. She's frozen into a board-like rigidity. Again, common for someone with Parkinson's.
  4. It's obvious that Clinton's condition is serious -- but instead of going to the hospital, she is taken (against protocol) to Chelsea's apartment. The only way this makes sense is if Clinton's team already knew what was wrong.

  5. Pneumonia cannot explain much of Clinton's behavior. Parkinson's, on the other hand, would explain all of it.

me frameborder=

#Hillary squeezing her nurse's fingers. Clearly, she's disoriented. Final stages of Parkinson's disease? pic.twitter.com/E5SJjcIvDA

-- Mathijs Koenraadt (@mkoenraadt) September 12, 2016

Aside from Dr. Noel's analysis, it appears that Clinton took a neurological test shortly before collapsing:

Pneumonia!

As Paul Joseph Watson explains :

The image shows Hillary grasping the woman's fingers with her fist, which is a classic motor neuron test to determine abnormalities in the nervous system.

The NYU School of Medicine details how the test is conducted;

"Test the patient's grip by having the patient hold the examiner's fingers in their fist tightly and instructing them not to let go while the examiner attempts to remove them. Normally the examiner cannot remove their fingers. This tests the forearm flexors and the intrinsic hand muscles. Compare the hands for strength asymmetry."

This is precisely what appears to be taking place in the image above. So why would Hillary be receiving a motor neuron test if she was only suffering from pneumonia, as her campaign claimed?

Taken as separate, isolated incidents, one could easily dismiss any of the points made by Dr. Noel. But when examined as a whole, Clinton's "odd behavior" and "accidents due to dehydration" over the last ten years are much harder to dismiss as benign or symptoms of pneumonia.

There's a very good reason why Hillary Clinton hasn't held a press conference for nearly 300 days: Her physical and neurological condition simply won't allow for it. She can't even take softball questions from her list of pre-approved journalsts without breaking into a coughing fit .

Clinton is scheduled to debate Trump in two weeks. The pneumonia cover story will likely disintegrate long before then.

The DNC should find a new candidate before it's too late. The game is up.


This post first appeared on Russia Insider

[Aug 15, 2018] Some suggestions about contra sanctions that Russia can implement

Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Cortes says: August 12, 2018 at 10:44 pm

...Call a presser at the UN and have the Ambassador confirm that Obama and HRC are wholly paid-up RF assets and watch Civil War II unfold.

[Jul 17, 2018] I think there is much more to the comment made by Putin regarding Bill Browder and his money flows into the DNC and Clinton campaign. That would explain why the DNC didn t hand the servers over to the FBI after being hacked.

Highly recommended!
Jul 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

NumNutt -> 847328_3527 Tue, 07/17/2018 - 11:41 Permalink

I think there is much more to the comment made by Putin regarding Bill Browder and his money flows into the DNC and Clinton campaign. That would explain why the DNC didn't hand the servers over to the FBI after being hacked. If you follow the money a lot of what happened during the election and afterwards in regards to Russia and Trump start to make sense. Could it be that we are finally witnessing the removal the last layers of the center of the onion?

[Jun 21, 2018] Britain In Panic As Trump-Putin Summit Looms : all roads in Russiagate lead to London, not, be it noted, Moscow. by Alexander Mercouris

Notable quotes:
"... In my article for Consortium News I discussed at length the size of the British footprint in the scandal, and the outsized role in it of various British or British connected individuals such as the ex British spy Christopher Steele who compiled the Trump Dossier, the former chief of Britain's NSA equivalent GCHQ Robert Hannigan, the former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove, and the Cambridge based US academic Stefan Halper. ..."
"... I would add that there are now rumours that Professor Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious London based Maltese Professor who also had a big role in the Russiagate affair, may also have had connections to British intelligence. ..."
"... As this article in Zerohedge says, all roads in Russiagate lead to London, not, be it noted, Moscow. ..."
Jun 21, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Alexander Mercouris via TheDuran.com,

Britain alarmed as John Bolton travels to Moscow to prepare summit...

Days after I discussed rumours of an imminent Trump-Putin summit , seeming confirmation that such a summit is indeed in the works has been provided with the Kremlin's confirmation that President Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton is travelling to Moscow next week apparently to discuss preparations for the summit.

The Kremlin's confirmation of John Bolton's visit was given today by President Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov

As far as we know, such a visit is going to take place. This is all we can say for now.

Further suggestions that some sort of easing of tensions between Washington and Moscow may be in the works has been provided by confirmation that a group of US Republican Senators will shortly be visiting Moscow.

It seems that a combination of the collapse in the credibility of the Russiagate collusion allegations – which I suspect no Republican member of the House or Senate any longer believes – unease in the US at Russia's breakthrough in hypersonic weapons technology (recently discussed by Alex Christoforou and myself in this video ), and the failure of the recent sanctions the US Treasury announced against Rusal, has concentrated minds in Washington, and is giving President Trump the political space he needs to push for the easing of tensions with Russia which he is known to have long favoured.

One important European capital cannot conceal its dismay.

In a recent article for Consortium News I discussed the obsessive quality of the British establishment's paranoia about Russia , and not surprisingly in light of it an article has appeared today in The Times of London which made clear the British government's alarm as the prospect of a Trump-Putin summit looms.

As is often the way with articles in The Times of London, this article has now been "updated" beyond recognition. However it still contains comments like these

Mr Trump called for Russia to be readmitted to the G8 this month, wrecking Mrs May's efforts to further isolate Mr Putin after the Salisbury poisonings. Mr Trump then linked US funding of Nato to the trade dispute with the EU, singling out Germany for special criticism.

The prospect of a meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Putin appalls British officials. "It's unclear if this meeting is after or before Nato and the UK visit," a Whitehall official said. "Obviously after would be better for us. It adds another dynamic to an already colourful week." .

A senior western diplomatic source said that a Trump-Putin meeting before the Nato summit would cause "dismay and alarm", adding: "It would be a highly negative thing to do."

Nato is due to discuss an escalation of measures to deter Russian aggression. "Everyone is perturbed by what is going on and is fearing for the future of the alliance," a Whitehall source said.

I will here express my view that the Russiagate scandal was at least in part an attempt by some people in Britain to prevent a rapprochement between the US and Russia once it became clear that achieving such a rapprochement was a policy priority for Donald Trump.

In my article for Consortium News I discussed at length the size of the British footprint in the scandal, and the outsized role in it of various British or British connected individuals such as the ex British spy Christopher Steele who compiled the Trump Dossier, the former chief of Britain's NSA equivalent GCHQ Robert Hannigan, the former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove, and the Cambridge based US academic Stefan Halper.

I would add that there are now rumours that Professor Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious London based Maltese Professor who also had a big role in the Russiagate affair, may also have had connections to British intelligence.

As this article in Zerohedge says, all roads in Russiagate lead to London, not, be it noted, Moscow.

A summit meeting between the US and Russian Presidents inaugurated an improvement in relations between the US and Russia is exactly the opposite outcome which some people in London want.

That however looks to be what they are facing.

[May 03, 2018] Alert The Clintonian empire is still here and tries to steal the popular vote throug

Highly recommended!
The dramatic rise fo the number of CIA-democrats as candidates from Democratic Party is not assedental. As regular clintonites are discredited those guys can still appeal to patriotism to get elected.
Notable quotes:
"... Bernie continuously forcing Hillary to appear apologetic about her campaign funding from big financial interests. She tries hard to persuade the public that she will not serve specific interests. Her anxiety can be identified in many cases and it was very clear at the moment when she accused Bernie of attacking her, concerning this funding. Hillary was forced to respond with a deeply irrational argument: anyone who takes money from big interests doesn't mean that he/she will vote for policies in favor of these interests! ..."
"... Bernie drives the discussion towards fundamental ideological issues. He forced Hillary to defend her "progressiveness". She was forced to speak even about economic interests by names. A few years ago, this would be nearly a taboo in any debate between any primaries. ..."
"... After the disastrous defeat by Trump in 2016 election, the corporate Democrats realized that the progressive movement, supported mostly by the American youth, would not retreat and vanish. On the contrary, Bernie Sanders' popularity still goes up and there is a wave of progressive candidates who appear to be a real threat to the DNC establishment and the Clintonian empire. ..."
"... It seems that the empire has upgraded its dirty tactics beyond Hillary's false relocation to the Left. Seeing the big threat from the real progressives, the empire seeks to "plant" its own agents, masked as progressives, inside the electoral process, to disorientate voters and steal the popular vote. ..."
"... This is a Master's class in blatant historical revisionism and outright dishonesty. Beals was not a soldier unwillingly drafted into service, but an intelligence officer who voluntarily accepted an influential and critically important post for the Bush Administration in its ever-expanding crime against humanity in Iraq. ..."
May 03, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing

globinfo freexchange

During the 2016 Democratic party primaries we wrote that what Bernie achieved, is to bring back the real political discussion in America, at least concerning the Democratic camp. Bernie smartly "drags" his primary rival, Hillary Clinton, into the heart of the politics. Up until a few years ago, you could not observe too much difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, who were just following the pro-establishment "politics as usual", probably with a few, occasional exceptions. The "politics as usual" so far, was "you can't touch the Wall Street", for example.

Bernie continuously forcing Hillary to appear apologetic about her campaign funding from big financial interests. She tries hard to persuade the public that she will not serve specific interests. Her anxiety can be identified in many cases and it was very clear at the moment when she accused Bernie of attacking her, concerning this funding. Hillary was forced to respond with a deeply irrational argument: anyone who takes money from big interests doesn't mean that he/she will vote for policies in favor of these interests!

Bernie drives the discussion towards fundamental ideological issues. He forced Hillary to defend her "progressiveness". She was forced to speak even about economic interests by names. A few years ago, this would be nearly a taboo in any debate between any primaries.

After the disastrous defeat by Trump in 2016 election, the corporate Democrats realized that the progressive movement, supported mostly by the American youth, would not retreat and vanish. On the contrary, Bernie Sanders' popularity still goes up and there is a wave of progressive candidates who appear to be a real threat to the DNC establishment and the Clintonian empire.

It seems that the empire has upgraded its dirty tactics beyond Hillary's false relocation to the Left. Seeing the big threat from the real progressives, the empire seeks to "plant" its own agents, masked as progressives, inside the electoral process, to disorientate voters and steal the popular vote.

Eric Draitser gives us valuable information for such a type of candidate. Key points:

One candidate currently generating some buzz in the race is Jeff Beals, a self-identified "Bernie democrat" whose campaign website homepage describes him as a " local teacher and former U.S. diplomat endorsed by the national organization of former Bernie Sanders staffers, the Justice Democrats. " And indeed, Beals centers his progressive bona fides to brand himself as one of the inheritors of the progressive torch lit by Sanders in 2016. A smart political move, to be sure. But is it true?

Beals describes himself as a "former U.S. diplomat," touting his expertise on international issues born of his experience overseas. In an email interview with CounterPunch, Beals describes his campaign as a " movement for diplomacy and peace in foreign affairs and an end to militarism my experience as a U.S. diplomat is what drives it and gives this movement such force. " OK, sounds good, a very progressive sounding answer. But what did Beals actually do during his time overseas?

By his own admission, Beals' overseas career began as an intelligence officer with the CIA. His fluency in Arabic and knowledge of the region made him an obvious choice to be an intelligence spook during the latter stages of the Clinton Administration.

Beals shrewdly attempts to portray himself as an opponent of neocon imperialism in Iraq. In his interview with CounterPunch, Beals argued that " The State Department was sidelined as the Bush administration and a neoconservative cabal plunged America into the tragic Iraq War. As a U.S. diplomat fluent in Arabic and posted in Jerusalem at the time, I was called over a year into the war to help our country find a way out. "

This is a Master's class in blatant historical revisionism and outright dishonesty. Beals was not a soldier unwillingly drafted into service, but an intelligence officer who voluntarily accepted an influential and critically important post for the Bush Administration in its ever-expanding crime against humanity in Iraq.

Moreover, no one who knows anything about the Iraq War could possibly swallow the tripe that CIA/State Department officials in Iraq were " looking to help our country find a way out " a year into the war. A year into the war, the bloodletting was only just beginning, and Halliburton, Exxon-Mobil, and the other corporate vultures had yet to fully exploit the country and make billions off it. So, unfortunately for Beals, the historical memory of the anti-war Left is not that short.

It is self-evident that Beals has a laundry list of things in his past that he must answer for. For those of us, especially Millennials, who cut our activist teeth demonstrating and organizing against the Iraq War, Beals' distortions about his role in Iraq go down like hemlock tea. But it is the associations Beals maintains today that really should give any progressive serious pause.

When asked by CounterPunch whether he has any connections to either Bernie Sanders and his surrogates or Hillary Clinton and hers, Beals responded by stating: " I am endorsed by Justice Democrats, a group of former Bernie Sanders staffers who are pledged to electing progressives nationwide. I am also endorsed for the Greene County chapter of the New York Progressive Action Network, formerly the Bernie Sanders network. My first hire was a former Sanders field coordinator who worked here in NY-19. "

However, conveniently missing from that response is the fact that Beals' campaign has been, and continues to be, directly managed in nearly every respect by Bennett Ratcliff, a longtime friend and ally of Hillary Clinton. Ratcliff is not mentioned in any publicly available documents as a campaign manager, though the most recent FEC filings show that as of April 1, 2018, Ratcliff was still on the payroll of the Beals campaign. And in the video of Beals' campaign kickoff rally, Ratcliff introduces Beals, while only being described as a member of the Onteora School Board in Ulster County . This is sort of like referring to Donald Trump as an avid golfer.

Beals has studiously, and rather intelligently, avoided mentioning Ratcliff, or the presence of Clinton's inner circle on his campaign. However, according to internal campaign documents and emails obtained by CounterPunch, Ratcliff manages nearly every aspect of the campaign, acting as a sort of éminence grise behind the artifice of a progressive campaign fronted by a highly educated and photogenic political novice.

By his own admission, Ratcliff's role on the campaign is strategy, message, and management. Sounds like a rather textbook description of a campaign manager. Indeed, Ratcliff has been intimately involved in "guiding" Beals on nearly every important campaign decision, especially those involving fundraising .

And it is in the realm of fundraising that Ratcliff really shines, but not in the way one would traditionally think. Rather than focusing on large donations and powerful interests, Ratcliff is using the Beals campaign as a laboratory for his strategy of winning elections without raising millions of dollars.

In fact, leaked campaign documents show that Ratcliff has explicitly instructed Beals and his staffers not to spend money on food, decorations, and other standard campaign expenses in hopes of presenting the illusion of a grassroots, people-powered campaign with no connections to big time donors or financial elites .

It seems that Ratcliff is the wizard behind the curtain, leveraging his decades of contact building and close ties to the Democratic Party establishment while at the same time manufacturing an astroturfed progressive campaign using a front man in Beals .

One of Ratcliff's most infamous, and indefensible, acts of fealty to the Clinton machine came in 2009 when he and longtime Clinton attorney and lobbyist, Lanny Davis, stumped around Washington to garner support for the illegal right-wing coup in Honduras, which ousted the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya in favor of the right-wing oligarchs who control the country today. Although the UN, and even U.S. diplomats on the ground in Honduras, openly stated that the coup was illegal, Clinton was adamant to actively keep Zelaya out.

Essentially then, Ratcliff is a chief architect of the right-wing government in Honduras – the same government assassinating feminist and indigenous activists like Berta Cáceres, Margarita Murillo, and others, and forcibly displacing and ethnically cleansing Afro-indigenous communities to make way for Carribbean resorts and golf courses.

And this Washington insider lobbyist and apologist for war criminals and crimes against humanity is the guy who's on a crusade to reform campaign finance and fix Washington? This is the guy masquerading as a progressive? This is the guy working to elect an "anti-war progressive"?

In a twisted way it makes sense. Ratcliff has the blood of tens of thousands of Hondurans (among others) on his hands, while Beals is a creature of Langley, a CIA boy whose exceptional work in the service of Bush and Clinton administration war criminals is touted as some kind of merit badge on his resume.

What also becomes clear after establishing the Ratcliff-Beals connection is the fact that Ratcliff's purported concern with campaign financing and "taking back the Republic" is really just a pretext for attempting to provide a "proof of concept," as it were, that neoliberal Democrats shouldn't fear and subvert the progressive wing of the party, but rather that they should co-opt it with a phony grassroots facade all while maintaining links to U.S. intelligence, Wall Street, and the power brokers of the Democratic Party .

Info from the article How Clintonites Are Manufacturing Faux Progressive Congressional Campaigns by Eric Draitser

[Apr 21, 2018] On the Criminal Referral of Comey, Clinton et al by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Putting aside his partisan motivations, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) was unusually blunt two months ago in warning of legal consequences for officials who misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and his associates. Nunes's words are likely to have sent chills down the spine of those with lots to hide: "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said ."The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created." ..."
"... The media will be key to whether this Constitutional issue is resolved. Largely because of Trump's own well earned reputation for lying, most Americans are susceptible to slanted headlines like this recent one -- "Trump escalates attacks on FBI " -- from an article in The Washington Post , commiserating with the treatment accorded fired-before-retired prevaricator McCabe and the FBI he ( dis)served . ..."
"... What motivated the characters now criminally "referred" is clear enough from a wide variety of sources, including the text messages exchange between Strzok and Page. Many, however, have been unable to understand how these law enforcement officials thought they could get away with taking such major liberties with the law. ..."
"... None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, "opposition research," or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood, if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Secretary Clinton would become President, at which point illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win would garner praise, not prison. The activities were hardly considered high-risk, because candidate Clinton was sure to win. ..."
"... Comey admits, "It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the re-started investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in the polls." ..."
"... The key point is not Comey's tortured reasoning, but rather that Clinton was "sure to be the next president." This would, of course, confer automatic immunity on those now criminally referred to the Department of Justice. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men -- even very tall men. One wag claimed that the "Higher" in "A Higher Loyalty" refers simply to the very tall body that houses an outsized ego. ..."
"... "Hope springs eternal" would be the cynical folk wisdom. FYI we haven't had a functioning constitution since the National Security Act of 1947 brought this nation under color of law, but the IC types wouldn't have you know that. Too tough to square the idea you'd never have had your CIA career in a world where the FISA court couldn't exist either. ..."
"... there is concrete evidence that the Democratic party/Clinton manipulated the primaries to destroy Clinton's challanger. That the DOJ, FBI & other alphabet agencies conspired with Clinton to equally, destroy Trump's campaign. ..."
"... We saw the same nonsense with Obama, the "peace president". Obama a man who never saw a Muslim he did not want to bomb or a Jew he did not want to bail out ..."
"... The best thing about this referral is that it also demands deputy AG Rod Rosenstein the weasel to recluse himself from this case. Rosenstein is the pinnacle of corruption by the deep state. ..."
"... Former CIA Director John Brennan is the prime mover behind the ongoing coup attempt against Trump. He gathered his deep state allies at DOJ and the FBI to join him in this endeavor. Brennan's allies -- McCabe, Lynch, Strzok, Yates, ect., may or may not be aware of Brennan's true motive behind creating all the noise and distraction since the 2016 election. It could be they're just partisan hacks; or they're on board with Brennan to keep secret what was revealed in the hack of the Podesta emails. ..."
"... Assange had 'physical proof' Russians didn't hack DNC, Rohrabacher says https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/19/julian-assange-has-physical-proof-russians-didnt-h/ ..."
"... I noticed Comey tried to pull a J Edgar-style subtle blackmail on Trump by the way he brought up the so-called "dossier" ..."
"... Bill Clinton got recruited into CIA by Cord Meyer, who bragged of it himself in his cups. ..."
"... Hillary cut her teeth on CIA's Watergate purge of Nixon. (If it's news to anyone that the Watergate cast of characters was straight out of CIA central casting, Russ Baker has conclusively tied the elaborate ratfeck to the intelligence community.) ..."
"... Obama was son of spooks, grandson of spooks, greased in to Harvard by Alwaleed bin-Talal's bagman. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

Wednesday's criminal referral by 11 House Republicans of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as several former and serving top FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials is a giant step toward a Constitutional crisis.

Named in the referral to the DOJ for possible violations of federal law are: Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey; former Attorney General Loretta Lynch; former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe; FBI Agent Peter Strzok; FBI Counsel Lisa Page; and those DOJ and FBI personnel "connected to" work on the "Steele Dossier," including former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente.

With no attention from corporate media, the referral was sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah John Huber. Sessions appointed Huber months ago to assist DOJ Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz. By most accounts, Horowitz is doing a thoroughly professional job. As IG, however, Horowitz lacks the authority to prosecute; he needs a U.S. Attorney for that. And this has to be disturbing to the alleged perps.

This is no law-school case-study exercise, no arcane disputation over the fine points of this or that law. Rather, as we say in the inner-city, "It has now hit the fan." Criminal referrals can lead to serious jail time. Granted, the upper-crust luminaries criminally "referred" enjoy very powerful support. And that will come especially from the mainstream media, which will find it hard to retool and switch from Russia-gate to the much more delicate and much less welcome "FBI-gate."

As of this writing, a full day has gone by since the letter/referral was reported, with total silence so far from T he New York Times and The Washington Post and other big media as they grapple with how to spin this major development. News of the criminal referral also slipped by Amy Goodman's non-mainstream DemocracyNow!, as well as many alternative websites.

The 11 House members chose to include the following egalitarian observation in the first paragraph of the letter conveying the criminal referral: "Because we believe that those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American, we want to be sure that the potential violations of law outlined below are vetted appropriately." If this uncommon attitude is allowed to prevail at DOJ, it would, in effect, revoke the de facto "David Petraeus exemption" for the be-riboned, be-medaled, and well-heeled.

Stonewalling

Meanwhile, the patience of the chairmen of House committees investigating abuses at DOJ and the FBI is wearing thin at the slow-rolling they are encountering in response to requests for key documents from the FBI. This in-your-face intransigence is all the more odd, since several committee members have already had access to the documents in question, and are hardly likely to forget the content of those they know about. (Moreover, there seems to be a good chance that a patriotic whistleblower or two will tip them off to key documents being withheld.)

The DOJ IG, whose purview includes the FBI, has been cooperative in responding to committee requests for information, but those requests can hardly include documents of which the committees are unaware.

Putting aside his partisan motivations, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) was unusually blunt two months ago in warning of legal consequences for officials who misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and his associates. Nunes's words are likely to have sent chills down the spine of those with lots to hide: "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said ."The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created."

Whether the House will succeed in overcoming the resistance of those criminally referred and their many accomplices and will prove able to exercise its Constitutional prerogative of oversight is, of course, another matter -- a matter that matters.

And Nothing Matters More Than the Media

The media will be key to whether this Constitutional issue is resolved. Largely because of Trump's own well earned reputation for lying, most Americans are susceptible to slanted headlines like this recent one -- "Trump escalates attacks on FBI " -- from an article in The Washington Post , commiserating with the treatment accorded fired-before-retired prevaricator McCabe and the FBI he ( dis)served .

Nor is the Post above issuing transparently clever warnings -- like this one in a lead article on March 17: "Some Trump allies say they worry he is playing with fire by taunting the FBI. 'This is open, all-out war. And guess what? The FBI's going to win,' said one ally, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. 'You can't fight the FBI. They're going to torch him.'" [sic]

Mind-Boggling Criminal Activity

What motivated the characters now criminally "referred" is clear enough from a wide variety of sources, including the text messages exchange between Strzok and Page. Many, however, have been unable to understand how these law enforcement officials thought they could get away with taking such major liberties with the law.

None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, "opposition research," or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood, if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Secretary Clinton would become President, at which point illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win would garner praise, not prison. The activities were hardly considered high-risk, because candidate Clinton was sure to win.

But she lost.

Comey himself gives this away in the embarrassingly puerile book he has been hawking, "A Higher Loyalty" -- which

amounts to a pre-emptive move motivated mostly by loyalty-to-self, in order to obtain a Stay-Out-of-Jail card. Hat tip to Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone for a key observation, in his recent article , "James Comey, the Would-Be J. Edgar Hoover," about what Taibbi deems the book's most damning passage, where Comey discusses his decision to make public the re-opening of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Comey admits, "It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the re-started investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in the polls."

The key point is not Comey's tortured reasoning, but rather that Clinton was "sure to be the next president." This would, of course, confer automatic immunity on those now criminally referred to the Department of Justice. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men -- even very tall men. One wag claimed that the "Higher" in "A Higher Loyalty" refers simply to the very tall body that houses an outsized ego.

I think it can be said that readers of Consortiumnews.com may be unusually well equipped to understand the anatomy of FBI-gate as well as Russia-gate. Listed below chronologically are several links that might be viewed as a kind of "whiteboard" to refresh memories. You may wish to refer them to any friends who may still be confused.

2017

2018

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years. In retirement, he co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).


Mike Whitney , April 20, 2018 at 4:15 am GMT

This story appears to be developing very fast. Interested readers might want to look at this short video on the Tucker Carlson show last night: http://video.foxnews.com/v/5773524495001/?playlist_id=5198073478001#sp=show-clips

Will McCabe wind up in jail? Will Comey? Will Hillary face justice? Fingers crossed!

jilles dykstra , April 20, 2018 at 6:05 am GMT
A weird country, the USA. Reading the article I'm reminded of the 1946 Senate investigation into Pearl Harbour, where, in my opinion, the truth was unearthed. At the same time, this truth hardly ever reached the wider public, no articles, the book, ed. Harry Elmer Barnes, never reviewed.
Greg Bacon , Website April 20, 2018 at 6:54 am GMT

Will McCabe wind up in jail? Will Comey? Will Hillary face justice? Fingers crossed!

The short answer is NO. McCabe might, but not Comey and the Killer Queen, they've both served Satan, uh I mean the Deep State too long and too well.Satan and the banksters–who really run the show–take care of their own and apex predators like Hillary won't go to jail. But it does keep the rubes entertained while the banksters continue to loot, pillage and plunder and Israel keeps getting Congress to fight their wars.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 20, 2018 at 7:23 am GMT
"Hope springs eternal" would be the cynical folk wisdom. FYI we haven't had a functioning constitution since the National Security Act of 1947 brought this nation under color of law, but the IC types wouldn't have you know that. Too tough to square the idea you'd never have had your CIA career in a world where the FISA court couldn't exist either.

Consortium News many sops tossed to 'realpolitik' where false narrative is attacked with alternative false narrative, example given, drunk Ukrainian soldiers supposedly downing MH 17 with a BUK as opposed to Kiev's Interior Ministry behind the Ukrainian combat jet that actually brought down MH 17, poisons everything (trust issues) spewed from that news service.

The realpolitik 'face saving' exit/offer implied in the Consortium News narrative where Russia doesn't have to confront the West with Ukraine's (and by implication the western intelligence agencies) premeditated murder of 300 innocents does truth no favors.

Time to grow up and face reality. Realpolitik is dead; the caliber of 'statesman' required for these finessed geopolitical lies to function no longer exist on the Western side, and the Russians (I believe) are beginning to understand there is no agreement can be made behind closed doors that will hold up; as opposed to experiencing a backstabbing (like NATO not moving east.)

Back on topic; the National Security Act of 1947 and the USA's constitution are mutually exclusive concepts, where you have a Chief Justice appoints members of our FISA Court, er, nix that, let's call a spade a spade, it's a Star Chamber. There is no constitution to uphold, no matter well intended self deceits. There will be no constitutional crisis, only a workaround to pretend a constitution still exists:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2017/12/01/the-oath-and-the-trash-bin/

For those who prefer the satire:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2016/01/07/moot-court/^

animalogic , April 20, 2018 at 8:00 am GMT
To comprehend the internal machinations s of US politics one needs a mind capable of high level yoga or of squaring a circle. On the one hand there is a multimillion, full throttle investigation into – at best – nebulus, inconsequential links between trump/ his campaign & Russia.
On the other there is concrete evidence that the Democratic party/Clinton manipulated the primaries to destroy Clinton's challanger. That the DOJ, FBI & other alphabet agencies conspired with Clinton to equally, destroy Trump's campaign.

Naturally, its this 2nd conspiracy which is retarded. Imagine, a mere agency of a dept, the FBI, is widely considered untouchable by The President ! Indeed, they will "torch" him. AND the "the third estate" ie: the msm will support them the whole way! As a script the "The Twilight Zone" would have rejected all this as too ludicrous, too psychotic for even its broad minded viewers.

Jake , April 20, 2018 at 11:29 am GMT
The Deep State will make certain none of its most important functionaries get anything close to what they deserve.
redmudhooch , April 20, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT
Just a show, nothing will happen. Anything to keep you talking about anything other than 9/11, fake economy, fake war on terror, or Zionists..
jacques sheete , April 20, 2018 at 11:49 am GMT

And that will come especially from the mainstream media

I quit reading right there. Use of that term indicates mental laziness at best. What's mainstream about it? Please refer to corporate media in proper terms, such as PCR's "presstitute" media. Speaking of PCR, it's too bad he doesn't allow comments.

DESERT FOX , April 20, 2018 at 12:58 pm GMT
The MSM is controlled by Zionists as is the U.S. gov and the banks, so it is no surprise that the MSM protects the ones destroying America, this is what they do. Nothing of consequence will be done to any of the ones involved, it will all be covered up, as usual.
tjm , April 20, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMT
What utter nonsense. These people are ALL actors, no one will go to jail, because everything they do is contrived, no consequence for doing as your Zionist owners command.

There is no there there. This is nothing but another distraction, something o feed the dual narratives, that Clinton and her ilk are out to get Trump, and the "liberal media" will cover it up. This narrative feeds very nicely into the primary goal of driving Republicans/conservatives to support Trump, even as Trump does everything they elected him NOT TO DO!

We saw the same nonsense with Obama, the "peace president". Obama a man who never saw a Muslim he did not want to bomb or a Jew he did not want to bail out

Yet even while Obama did the work of the Zionist money machine, the media played up the fake battle between those who thought he was not born in America, "birthers" and his blind supporters.

Nothing came of any of it, just like Monica Lewinsky, nothing but theater, fill the air waves, divide the people, while America is driven insane.

anon [321] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 1:49 pm GMT
The best thing about this referral is that it also demands deputy AG Rod Rosenstein the weasel to recluse himself from this case. Rosenstein is the pinnacle of corruption by the deep state. It's seriously way pass time for Jeff Sessions to grow a pair, put on his big boy pants, unrecuse himself from the Russian collusion bullshit case, fire Rosenstein and Mueller and end the case once and for all. These two traitors are in danger of completely derailing the Trump agenda and toppling the Republican majority in November, yet Jeff Sessions is still busy arresting people for marijuana, talk about missing the forest for the trees.

As far as where this referral will go from here, my guess is, nowhere. Not as long as Jeff Sessions the pussy is the AG. It's good to hear that Giuliani has now been recruited by Trump to be on his legal team. What Trump really needs to do is replace Jeff Sessions with Giuliani, or even Chris Christie, and let them do what a real AG should be doing, which is clean house in the DOJ, and prosecute the Clintons for their pay-to-play scheme with their foundation. Not only is the Clinton corruption case the biggest corruption case in US history, but this might be the only way to save the GOP from losing their majority in November.

anon [321] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 1:54 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon

But it does keep the rubes entertained while the banksters continue to loot, pillage and plunder and Israel keeps getting Congress to fight their wars.

Sadly I think you're right. Things might be different if we had a real AG, but Jeff Sessions is not the man I thought he was. He's been swallowed by the deep state just like Trump. At least Trump is putting up a fight, Sessions just threw in the towel and recused himself from Day 1. Truly pathetic. Some patriot he is.

Twodees Partain , April 20, 2018 at 2:32 pm GMT
@Nick Granite

" He's ferreted out more than a few and probably has a lot better idea who his friends are he certainly knows the enemies by now."

He failed to ferret out Haley, Pompeo, or Sessions and he just recently appointed John Bolton, so I don't agree with your assessment. If his friends include those three, that says enough about Trump to make any of his earlier supporters drop him.

Anyway, not having a ready made team, or at least a solid short list of key appointees shows that he was just too clueless to have even been a serious candidate. It looks more as though Trump is doing now what he intended to do all along. That means he was bullshitting everybody during his campaign.

So, maybe the neocons really have been his friends all along.

Twodees Partain , April 20, 2018 at 2:46 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

It's also telling that Ray didn't mention what was included in the referral regarding an enforced recusal of Rosenstein going forward.

https://desantis.house.gov/_cache/files/8/0/8002ca75-52fc-4995-b87e-43584da268db/472EBC7D8F55C0F9E830D37CF96376A2.final-criminal-referral.pdf

Authenticjazzman , April 20, 2018 at 6:02 pm GMT
@Renoman

" America is a very crooked country, nothing suprises me".

Every country on this insane planet is "crooked" to a greater or lesser degree, when to a lesser degree, this is simply because they, the PTB, have not yet figured out how to accelerate, how to increase their corruption and thereby how to increase their unearned monetary holdings.

Money is the most potent singular factor which causes humans to lose their minds, and all of their ethics and decency.
And within the confines of a "socialist" system, "money" is replaced by rubber-stamps, which then wield, exactly in the manner of "wealth", the power of life or death, over the unwashed masses.

Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro jazz musician.

anon [140] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:24 pm GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

BTW Jeff Sessions is a fraternal brother of Pence (a member of the same club, same [recently deceased] guru) and is no friend of Trump.

That would explain why Sessions reclused himself from the start, and refused to appoint a special council to investigate the Clintons. He's in on this with Pence.

anon [140] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm GMT
Just as it looks like the Comey memos will further exonerate Trump, we now have this farce extended by the DNC with this latest lawsuit on the "Trump campaign". The Democrats are now the most pathetic sore losers in history, they are hell bent on dragging the whole country down the pit of hell just because they can't handle a loss.
anon [140] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:34 pm GMT
Wishful thinking that anything will come of this, just like when the Nunes memo was released. Nothing will happen as long as Jeff Sessions is AG. Trump needs to fire either Sessions or Rosenstein ASAP, before he gets dragged down by this whole Russian collusion bullshit case.
SunBakedSuburb , April 20, 2018 at 7:45 pm GMT
Former CIA Director John Brennan is the prime mover behind the ongoing coup attempt against Trump. He gathered his deep state allies at DOJ and the FBI to join him in this endeavor. Brennan's allies -- McCabe, Lynch, Strzok, Yates, ect., may or may not be aware of Brennan's true motive behind creating all the noise and distraction since the 2016 election. It could be they're just partisan hacks; or they're on board with Brennan to keep secret what was revealed in the hack of the Podesta emails.

John Podesta, in addition to being a top Democrat/DC lobbyist and a criminal deviant, is also a long-time CIA asset running a blackmail/influence operation that utilized his deviancy: the sexual exploitation of children.

Haxo Angmark , Website April 20, 2018 at 10:38 pm GMT
Seth Rich is still dead...
utu , April 20, 2018 at 11:33 pm GMT
Assange had 'physical proof' Russians didn't hack DNC, Rohrabacher says https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/19/julian-assange-has-physical-proof-russians-didnt-h/
UrbaneFrancoOntarian , April 21, 2018 at 12:18 am GMT
@anon

His cowardice is shocking. I wonder what they have on him? Probably some Roy Moore shit. Some shady stuff happened in the old South.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 21, 2018 at 12:56 am GMT
@utu

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2017/09/16/incompetent-espionage-wikileaks-iii/

Yeah, and General Kelly won't let Rohrabacher meet with Trump. What do you suppose is up with that (rhetorical question)

RobinG , April 21, 2018 at 1:02 am GMT
@utu

What kind of "physical proof" could Assange have? A thumb drive that was provably American, or something? Rohrabacher only got Red Pilled on Russia because he had one very determined (and well heeled) constituent. But he did cosponsor one of Tulsi Gabbard's "Stop Funding Terrorists" bills, which he figured out on his own. Nevertheless, a bit of a loose cannon and an eff'd up hawk on Iran He's probably an 'ISIS now, Assad later' on Syria.

anonymous [185] Disclaimer , April 21, 2018 at 2:36 am GMT
I noticed Comey tried to pull a J Edgar-style subtle blackmail on Trump by the way he brought up the so-called "dossier". Anyone could see it was absurd but he played his hand with it, pretending it was being looked at. I would say Trump could see through this sleazy game Comey was trying to play and sized him up. Comey is about as slimy as they get even as he parades around trying to look noble. What a corrupt bunch.
Culloden , April 21, 2018 at 2:45 am GMT
"The culprit has swayed with the immediate need for a villain "

[What follows is excerpted from an article headlined Robert Mueller's Questionable Past that appeared yesterday on the American Free Press website:]

During his tenure with the Justice Department under President George H W Bush, Mueller supervised the prosecutions of Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, the Lockerbie bombing (Pan Am Flight 103) case, and Gambino crime boss John Gotti. In the Noriega case, Mueller ignored the ties to the Bush family that Victor Thorn illustrated in Hillary (and Bill): The Drugs Volume: Part Two of the Clinton Trilogy. Noriega had long been associated with CIA operations that involved drug smuggling, money laundering, and arms running. Thorn significantly links Noriega to Bush family involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Regarding Pan Am Flight 103, the culprit has swayed with the immediate need for a villain. Pro-Palestinian activists, Libyans, and Iranians have all officially been blamed when US intelligence and the mainstream mass media needed to paint each as the antagonist to American freedom. Mueller toed the line, publicly ignoring rumors that agents onboard were said to have learned that a CIA drug-smuggling operation was afoot in conjunction with Pan Am flights. According to the theory, the agents were going to take their questions to Congress upon landing. The flight blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland.

http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.com/

"We were in Libya for oil" (only). Who said that:

http://www.firmmagazine.com

Bennis Mardens , April 21, 2018 at 2:47 am GMT
Without exception, leftists are degenerate filth.

But they won't be going to jail.

It's kabuki theater.

Art , April 21, 2018 at 5:21 am GMT
My god – who believes this woman?

Hillary says "they would never let me be president" – she is serious. She has gone bonkers with self-pity.

This is no longer laughable – it boarders on the pathological.

Art

WhiteWolf , April 21, 2018 at 5:39 am GMT
@Bennis Mardens

There has been some former high flyers going to jail recently. Sarkozy is facing a hard time at the moment. If it can happen to a former president of France it can happen to Hillary.

Stonehands , April 21, 2018 at 6:20 am GMT
@Twodees Partain

I still read ZH articles, but the commentariat has devolved to lockeroom towel-snapping, barely above YouTube chattering.

Stonehands , April 21, 2018 at 6:42 am GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

Ronald, thank-you for posting this Doug Coe sermon; l have never heard of him. BTW are you a Christian?

Stonehands , April 21, 2018 at 7:56 am GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

Ronald, thank-you for posting this Doug Coe sermon; l have never heard of him. BTW are you a Christian?

Twodees Partain , April 21, 2018 at 10:11 am GMT
@Culloden

Here's another about Mueller's involvement with the FBI's Whitey Bulger scandal.

https://saraacarter.com/questions-still-surround-robert-muellers-boston-past/

Mueller's past is so laden with misfeasance and malfeasance that he should have been disbarred a few decades ago.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 21, 2018 at 1:14 pm GMT
@Stonehands

Am I a Christian? Well, no. I had some exposure to Christianity but it never took hold. On the other hand, I do believe there was a historical Jesus that was a remarkable man, but there is a world (or universe) of difference between the man and the mythology. Here's some of my thoughts on the matter:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2013/04/11/celebrating-the-anti-christ/

^ It doesn't necessarily go where the title might suggest (for many)

CIA in Charge , April 21, 2018 at 1:58 pm GMT
@Authenticjazzman

Nothing uncanny about it. There's a frenetic Democratic cottage industry inferring magical emotional charisma powers that explain the outsized influence of those three. The fact is very simple. All three are CIA nomenklatura.

(1.) Bill Clinton got recruited into CIA by Cord Meyer, who bragged of it himself in his cups.

(2.) Hillary cut her teeth on CIA's Watergate purge of Nixon. (If it's news to anyone that the Watergate cast of characters was straight out of CIA central casting, Russ Baker has conclusively tied the elaborate ratfeck to the intelligence community.)

(3.) Obama was son of spooks, grandson of spooks, greased in to Harvard by Alwaleed bin-Talal's bagman. While he was vocationally wet behind the ears he not only got into Pakistan, no mean feat at the time, but he went to a falconry outing with the future acting president of Pakistan. And is there anyone alive who wasn't flabbergasted at the instant universal acclaim for some empty suit who made a speech at the convention? Like Bill Clinton, successor to DCI Bush, Obama was blatantly, derisively installed in the president slot of the CIA org chart.

Authenticjazzman , April 21, 2018 at 6:06 pm GMT
@CIA in Charge

Excellent post and quite accurate information, however my point being that the irrational fear harbored by the individuals who could actually begin to rope these scumbags in, is just that : Irrational, as they seem to think or have been lead/brainwashed to believe that these dissolute turds are somehow endowed with supernatural, otherworldy powers and options, and that they are capable of unholy , merciless vengeance : VF, SR, etc.

And the truth is as soon as they finally start to go after them they, they will fall apart at the seams, such as with all cowards, and this is the bottom line : They, the BC/HC/BO clique, they are nothing more than consumate cowards, who can only operate in such perfidious manners when left unchallenged.

Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro Jazz artist.

[Apr 17, 2018] Poor Alex

Highly recommended!
Now the color revolution against Trump just does not make any sense. We got to the point where Trump=Hillary. Muller should embrace and kiss Trump and go home... Nobody care if Trump is impeached anymore.
Apr 17, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

Donald Trump's far-right loyal fans must be really pissed off right now after permanently switching himself to pro-war mode with that evil, warmongering triplet in charge and the second bombing against Syria. Even worse, this time he has done it together with Theresa May and the neoliberal globalist Emmanuel Macron.

We can tell that by watching the mind-blowing reactions of one of his most fanatic alt-right media supporters: Alex Jones. Jones nearly cried(!) in front of the camera, feeling betrayed from his 'anti-establishment', 'anti-interventionist' idol and declared that he won't support Trump anymore. Well, what did you expect, Alex? expect, Alex?

A year before the 2016 US national elections, the blog already warned that Trump is a pure product of the neoliberal barbarism , stating that the rhetoric of extreme cynicism used by Trump goes back to the Thatcherian cynicism and the division of people between "capable" and "useless".
Right after the elections, we supported that the US establishment gave a brilliant performance by putting its reserve, Donald Trump, in power, against the only candidate that the same establishment identified as a real threat: Bernie Sanders. Right after the elections, we supported that the US establishment gave a brilliant performance by putting its reserve, Donald Trump, in power, against the only candidate that the same establishment identified as a real threat: Bernie Sanders.

Then, Donnie sent the first shock wave to his supporters by literally hiring the Goldman Sachs banksters to run the economy. And right after that, he signed for more deregulation in favor of the Wall Street mafia that ruined the economy in 2008!

The only hope that has been left, was to resist against starting a war with Russia, as the US deep state (and Hillary of course) wanted. Well, it was proven to be only a hope too. Last year, Trump bombed Syria under the same pretext resembling the lies that led us to the Iraq war disaster. Despite the fact that the US Tomahawk missile attack had zero value in operational level (the United States allegedly warned Russia and Syria, while the targeted airport was operating normally just hours after the attack), Trump sent a clear message to the US deep state that he is prepared to meet all its demands - and especially the escalation of confrontation with Russia. Indeed, a year later, Trump already built a pro-war team that includes the most bloodthirsty, hawkish triplet.

And then, Donnie ordered a second airstrike against Syria, together with his neo-colonial friends.

It seems that neither this strike was a serious attempt against the Syrian army and its allies. Yet, Donnie probably won't dare to escalate tension in the Syrian battlefield before the next US national elections. That's because many of his supporters are already pissed off with him and therefore, he wants to go with good chances for a second term.

Although we really hope that we are are wrong this time, we guess that, surrounded by all these warmongering hawks, Donnie, in a potential second term, will be pushed to open another war front in Syria and probably in Iran, defying the Russians and the consequent danger for a WWIII.

Poor Alex et al: we told you about Trump from the beginning. You didn't listen ...

[Apr 16, 2018] Trump is the Republican Obama. The follow the same model of government: faux populist leader dogged by crazy critics that want to derail a righteous agenda. Less slick, but more jingoistic

In reality Trump proved again that POTUS does not matter and presidential elections matter very little. In was he is like drunk Obama, reckelss and jingoistic to the extreme. Both foreign and domestic policy is determined by forces, and are outside POTUS control, with very little input possible. But the "deep state" fully control the POTUS, no matter who he/she are.
Notable quotes:
"... To Trump apologists: Trump is the Republican Obama. The follow the same model of government: faux populist leader dogged by crazy critics that want to derail a righteous agenda. ..."
"... Obamabots gave similar excuses. Real populists simply don't get have a chance of being elected in US money-driven elections. ..."
"... Why was there only two populists running for President in 2016? Sanders, Hillay's sheepdog, destroyed the movement that would been the best check on the establishment and the rush to war. That movement was never going to be allowed to take root. Trump, a friend of the Clinton's was probably meant to prevail. ..."
Apr 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit | Apr 15, 2018 5:57:58 PM | 105

To Trump apologists: Trump is the Republican Obama. The follow the same model of government: faux populist leader dogged by crazy critics that want to derail a righteous agenda.

Obamabots gave similar excuses. Real populists simply don't get have a chance of being elected in US money-driven elections.

Why was there only two populists running for President in 2016? Sanders, Hillay's sheepdog, destroyed the movement that would been the best check on the establishment and the rush to war. That movement was never going to be allowed to take root. Trump, a friend of the Clinton's was probably meant to prevail.

Rome had bread and circuses. We've got crumbs and tweets.

[Apr 01, 2018] Big American Money, Not Russia, Put Trump in the White House: Reflections on a Recent Report by Paul Street

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Running against what she (wrongly) perceived (along with most election prognosticators) as a doomed and feckless opponent and as the clear preferred candidate of Wall Street and the intimately related U.S foreign policy elite , including many leading Neoconservatives put off by Trump's isolationist and anti-interventionist rhetoric, the "lying neoliberal warmonger" Hillary Clinton arrogantly figured that she could garner enough votes to win without having to ruffle any ruling-class feathers. ..."
"... Smart Wall Street and K Street Democratic Party bankrollers have long understood that Democratic candidates have to cloak their dollar-drenched corporatism in the deceptive campaign discourse of progressive- and even populist-sounding policy promise to win elections. ..."
"... Trump trailed well behind Clinton in contributions from defense and aerospace – a lack of support extraordinary for a Republican presidential hopeful late in the race. ..."
"... one fateful consequence of trying to appeal to so many conservative business interests was strategic silence about most important matters of public policy. Given the candidate's steady lead in the polls, there seemed to be no point to rocking the boat with any more policy pronouncements than necessary ..."
"... Misgivings of major contributors who worried that the Clinton campaign message lacked real attractions for ordinary Americans were rebuffed. The campaign sought to capitalize on the angst within business by vigorously courting the doubtful and undecideds there, not in the electorate ..."
"... Of course, Bill and Hillary helped trail-blaze that plutocratic "New Democrat" turn in Arkansas during the late 1970s and 1980s. The rest, as they say, was history – an ugly corporate-neoliberal, imperial, and racist history that I and others have written about at great length. ..."
"... My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency ..."
"... Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton ..."
"... The Condemnation of Little B: New Age Racism in America ..."
"... Still, Trump's success was no less tied to big money than was Hillary's failure. Candidate Trump ran strangely outside the longstanding neoliberal Washington Consensus, as an economic nationalist and isolationist. His raucous rallies were laced with dripping denunciations of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, and globalization, mockery of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, rejection of the New Cold War with Russia, and pledges of allegiance to the "forgotten" American "working-class." He was no normal Republican One Percent candidate. ..."
"... Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache ..."
"... "In a frontal assault on the American establishment, the Republican standard bearer proclaimed 'America First.' Mocking the Bush administration's appeal to 'weapons of mass destruction' as a pretext for invading Iraq, he broke dramatically with two generations of GOP orthodoxy and spoke out in favor of more cooperation with Russia . He even criticized the 'carried interest' tax break beloved by high finance" (emphasis added). ..."
"... "What happened in the final weeks of the campaign was extraordinary. Firstly, a giant wave of dark money poured into Trump's own campaign – one that towered over anything in 2016 or even Mitt Romney's munificently financed 2012 effort – to say nothing of any Russian Facebook experiments [Then] another gigantic wave of money flowed in from alarmed business interests, including the Kochs and their allies Officially the money was for Senate races, but late-stage campaigning for down-ballot offices often spills over on to candidates for the party at large." ..."
"... "In a harbinger of things to come, additional money came from firms and industries that appear to have been attracted by Trump's talk of tariffs, including steel and companies making machinery of various types [a] vast wave of new money flowed into the campaign from some of America's biggest businesses and most famous investors. Sheldon Adelson and many others in the casino industry delivered in grand style for its old colleague. Adelson now delivered more than $11 million in his own name, while his wife and other employees of his Las Vegas Sands casino gave another $20 million. ..."
"... Peter Theil contributed more than a million dollars, while large sums also rolled in from other parts of Silicon Valley, including almost two million dollars from executives at Microsoft and just over two million from executives at Cisco Systems. ..."
"... Among those were Nelson Peltz and Carl Icahn (who had both contributed to Trump before, but now made much bigger new contributions). In the end, along with oil, chemicals, mining and a handful of other industries, large private equity firms would become one of the few segments of American business – and the only part of Wall Street – where support for Trump was truly heavy the sudden influx of money from private equity and hedge funds clearly began with the Convention but turned into a torrent " ..."
"... The critical late wave came after Trump moved to rescue his flagging campaign by handing its direction over to the clever, class-attuned, far-right white- and economic- nationalist "populist" and Breitbart executive Steve Bannon, who advocated what proved to be a winning, Koch brothers-approved "populist" strategy: appeal to economically and culturally frustrated working- and middle-class whites in key battleground states, where the bloodless neoliberal and professional class centrism and snooty metropolitan multiculturalism of the Obama presidency and Clinton campaign was certain to depress the Democratic "base" vote ..."
"... Neither turnout nor the partisan division of the vote at any level looks all that different from other recent elections 2016's alterations in voting behavior are so minute that the pattern is only barely differentiated from 2012." ..."
"... An interesting part of FJC's study (no quick or easy read) takes a close look at the pro-Trump and anti-Hillary Internet activism that the Democrats and their many corporate media allies are so insistently eager to blame on Russia and for Hillary's defeat. FJC find that Russian Internet interventions were of tiny significance compared to those of homegrown U.S. corporate and right-wing cyber forces: ..."
"... By 2016, the Republican right had developed internet outreach and political advertising into a fine art and on a massive scale quite on its own. ..."
"... Breitbart and other organizations were in fact going global, opening offices abroad and establishing contacts with like-minded groups elsewhere. Whatever the Russians were up to, they could hardly hope to add much value to the vast Made in America bombardment already underway. Nobody sows chaos like Breitbart or the Drudge Report ." ..."
"... no support from Big Business ..."
"... Sanders pushed Hillary the Goldman candidate to the wall, calling out the Democrats' capture by Wall Street, forcing her to rely on a rigged party, convention, and primary system to defeat him. The small-donor "socialist" Sanders challenge represented something Ferguson and his colleagues describe as "without precedent in American politics not just since the New Deal, but across virtually the whole of American history a major presidential candidate waging a strong, highly competitive campaign whose support from big business is essentially zero ." ..."
"... American Oligarchy ..."
"... teleSur English ..."
"... we had no great electoral democracy to subvert in 2016 ..."
"... Only candidates and positions that can be financed can be presented to voters. As a result, in countries like the US and, increasingly, Western Europe, political parties are first of all bank accounts . With certain qualifications, one must pay to play. Understanding any given election, therefore, requires a financial X-ray of the power blocs that dominate the major parties, with both inter- and intra- industrial analysis of their constituent elements." ..."
"... Elections alone are no guarantee of democracy, as U.S. policymakers and pundits know very well when they rip on rigged elections (often fixed with the assistance of U.S. government and private-sector agents and firms) in countries they don't like ..."
"... Majority opinion is regularly trumped by a deadly complex of forces in the U.S. ..."
"... Trump is a bit of an anomaly – a sign of an elections and party system in crisis and an empire in decline. He wasn't pre-approved or vetted by the usual U.S. " deep state " corporate, financial, and imperial gatekeepers. The ruling-class had been trying to figure out what the Hell to do with him ever since he shocked even himself (though not Steve Bannon) by pre-empting the coronation of the "Queen of Chaos." ..."
"... His lethally racist, sexist, nativist, nuclear-weapons-brandishing, and (last but not at all least) eco-cidal rise to the nominal CEO position atop the U.S.-imperial oligarchy is no less a reflection of the dominant role of big U.S. capitalist money and homegrown plutocracy in U.S. politics than a more classically establishment Hillary ascendancy would have been. It's got little to do with Russia, Russia, Russia – the great diversion that fills U.S. political airwaves and newsprint as the world careens ever closer to oligarchy-imposed geocide and to a thermonuclear conflagration that the RussiaGate gambit is recklessly encouraging. ..."
Mar 30, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

"She Doesn't Have Any Policy Positions"

On the Friday after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series and prior to the Tuesday on which the vicious racist and sexist Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, Bernie Sanders spoke to a surprisingly small crowd in Iowa City on behalf of Hillary Clinton. As I learned months later, Sanders told one of his Iowa City friends that day that Mrs. Clinton was in trouble. The reason, Sanders reported, was that Hillary wasn't discussing issues or advancing real solutions. "She doesn't have any policy positions," Sanders said.

The first time I heard this, I found it hard to believe. How, I wondered, could anyone run seriously for the presidency without putting issues and policy front and center? Wouldn't any serious campaign want a strong set of issue and policy positions to attract voters and fall back on in case and times of adversity?

Sanders wasn't lying. As the esteemed political scientist and money-politics expert Thomas Ferguson and his colleagues Paul Jorgensen and Jie Chen note in an important study released by the Institute for New Economic Thinking two months ago, the Clinton campaign "emphasized candidate and personal issues and avoided policy discussions to a degree without precedent in any previous election for which measurements exist .it stressed candidate qualifications [and] deliberately deemphasized issues in favor of concentrating on what the campaign regarded as [Donald] Trump's obvious personal weaknesses as a candidate."

Strange as it might have seemed, the reality television star and presidential pre-apprentice Donald Trump had a lot more to say about policy than the former First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a wonkish Yale Law graduate.

"Courting the Undecideds in Business, not in the Electorate"

What was that about? My first suspicion was that Hillary's policy silence was about the money. It must have reflected her success in building a Wall Street-filled campaign funding war-chest so daunting that she saw little reason to raise capitalist election investor concerns by giving voice to the standard fake-progressive "hope" and "change" campaign and policy rhetoric Democratic presidential contenders typically deploy against their One Percent Republican opponents. Running against what she (wrongly) perceived (along with most election prognosticators) as a doomed and feckless opponent and as the clear preferred candidate of Wall Street and the intimately related U.S foreign policy elite , including many leading Neoconservatives put off by Trump's isolationist and anti-interventionist rhetoric, the "lying neoliberal warmonger" Hillary Clinton arrogantly figured that she could garner enough votes to win without having to ruffle any ruling-class feathers. She would cruise into the White House with no hurt plutocrat feelings simply by playing up the ill-prepared awfulness of her Republican opponent.

If Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Chen (hereafter "JFC") are right, I was on to something but not the whole money and politics story. Smart Wall Street and K Street Democratic Party bankrollers have long understood that Democratic candidates have to cloak their dollar-drenched corporatism in the deceptive campaign discourse of progressive- and even populist-sounding policy promise to win elections. Sophisticated funders get it that the Democratic candidates' need to manipulate the electorate with phony pledges of democratic transformation. The big money backers know it's "just politics" on the part of candidates who can be trusted to serve elite interests (like Bill Clinton 1993-2001 and Barack Obama 2009-2017 ) after they gain office.

What stopped Hillary from playing the usual game – the "manipulation of populism by elitism" that Christopher Hitchens once called "the essence of American politics" – in 2016, a year when the electorate was in a particularly angry and populist mood? FJC's study is titled " Industrial Structure and Party Competition in an Age of Hunger Games : Donald Trump and the 2016 Presidential Election." It performs heroic empirical work with difficult campaign finance data to show that Hillary's campaign funding success went beyond her party's usual corporate and financial backers to include normally Republican-affiliated capitalist sectors less disposed than their more liberal counterparts to abide the standard progressive-sounding policy rhetoric of Democratic Party candidates. FJC hypothesize that (along with the determination that Trump was too weak to be taken all that seriously) Hillary's desire get and keep on board normally Republican election investors led her to keep quiet on issues and policy concerns that mattered to everyday people. As FJC note:

"Trump trailed well behind Clinton in contributions from defense and aerospace – a lack of support extraordinary for a Republican presidential hopeful late in the race. For Clinton's campaign the temptation was irresistible: Over time it slipped into a variant of the strategy [Democrat] Lyndon Johnson pursued in 1964 in the face of another [Republican] candidate [Barry Goldwater] who seemed too far out of the mainstream to win: Go for a grand coalition with most of big business . one fateful consequence of trying to appeal to so many conservative business interests was strategic silence about most important matters of public policy. Given the candidate's steady lead in the polls, there seemed to be no point to rocking the boat with any more policy pronouncements than necessary . Misgivings of major contributors who worried that the Clinton campaign message lacked real attractions for ordinary Americans were rebuffed. The campaign sought to capitalize on the angst within business by vigorously courting the doubtful and undecideds there, not in the electorate " (emphasis added). Hillary Happened

FJC may well be right that a wish not to antagonize off right-wing campaign funders is what led Hillary to muzzle herself on important policy matters, but who really knows? An alternative theory I would not rule out is that Mrs. Clinton's own deep inner conservatism was sufficient to spark her to gladly dispense with the usual progressive-sounding campaign boilerplate. Since FJC bring up the Johnson-Goldwater election, it is perhaps worth mentioning that 18-year old Hillary was a "Goldwater Girl" who worked for the arch-reactionary Republican presidential candidate in 1964. Asked about that episode on National Public Radio (NPR) in 1996 , then First Lady Hillary said "That's right. And I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with. I don't recognize this new brand of Republicanism that is afoot now, which I consider to be very reactionary, not conservative in many respects. I am very proud that I was a Goldwater girl."

It was a revealing reflection. The right-wing Democrat Hillary acknowledged that her ideological world view was still rooted in the conservatism of her family of origin. Her problem with the reactionary Republicanism afoot in the U.S. during the middle 1990s was that it was "not conservative in many respects." Her problem with the far-right Republican Congressional leaders Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay was that they were betraying true conservatism – "the conservatism [Hillary] was raised with." This was worse even than the language of the Democratic Leadership Conference (DLC) – the right-wing Eisenhower Republican (at leftmost) tendency that worked to push the Democratic Party further to the Big Business-friendly right and away from its working-class and progressive base.

Of course, Bill and Hillary helped trail-blaze that plutocratic "New Democrat" turn in Arkansas during the late 1970s and 1980s. The rest, as they say, was history – an ugly corporate-neoliberal, imperial, and racist history that I and others have written about at great length. (I cannot reprise here the voluminous details of Mrs. Clinton's longstanding alignment with the corporate, financial, and imperial agendas of the rich and powerful. Two short and highly readable volumes are Doug Henwood, My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency [OR Books, 2015]; Diana Johnstone, Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton [CounterPunch Books, 2015]. On the stealth, virulent racism of the Clintons in power, see Elaine Brown's classic volume The Condemnation of Little B: New Age Racism in America [2003].)

What happened? Horrid corporate Hillary happened. And she's still happening. The "lying neoliberal warmonger" recently went to India to double down on her "progressive neoliberal" contempt for the "basket of deplorables" (more on that phrase below) that considers poor stupid and backwards middle America to be by saying this : "If you look at the map of the United States, there's all that red in the middle where Trump won. I win the coasts. But what the map doesn't show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America's gross domestic product (GDP). So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward" (emphasis added).

That was Hillary Goldman Sachs-Council on Foreign Relations-Clinton saying "go to Hell" to working- and middle-class people in Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, and West Virginia. It was a raised middle and oligarchic finger from a super-wealthy arch-global-corporatist to all the supposedly pessimistic, slow-witted, and retrograde losers stuck between those glorious enclaves (led by Wall Street, Yale, and Harvard on the East coast and Silicon Valley and Hollywood on the West coast) of human progress and variety (and GDP!) on the imperial shorelines. Senate Minority Leader Dick Durbin had to go on television to say that Hillary was "wrong" to write off most of the nation as a festering cesspool of pathetic, ass-backwards, lottery-playing, and opioid-addicted white-trash has-beens. It's hard for the Inauthentic Opposition Party (as the late Sheldon Wolin reasonably called the Democrats ) to pose as an authentic opposition party when its' last big-money presidential candidate goes off-fake-progressive script with an openly elitist rant like that.

Historic Mistakes

Whatever the source of her strange policy silence in the 2016 campaign, that hush was "a miscalculation of historic proportion" (FJC). It was a critical mistake given what Ferguson and his colleagues call the "Hunger Games" misery and insecurity imposed on tens of millions of ordinary working- and middle-class middle-Americans by decades of neoliberal capitalist austerity , deeply exacerbated by the Wall Street-instigated Great Recession and the weak Obama recovery. The electorate was in a populist, anti-establishment mood – hardly a state of mind favorable to a wooden, richly globalist, Goldman-gilded candidate, a long-time Washington-Wall Street establishment ("swamp") creature like Hillary Clinton.

In the end, FJC note, the billionaire Trump's ironic, fake-populist "outreach to blue collar workers" would help him win "more than half of all voters with a high school education or less (including 61% of white women with no college), almost two thirds of those who believed life for the next generation of Americans would be worse than now, and seventy-seven percent of voters who reported their personal financial situation had worsened since four years ago."

Trump's popularity with "heartland" rural and working-class whites even provoked Hillary into a major campaign mistake: getting caught on video telling elite Manhattan election investors that half of Trump's supporters were a "basket of deplorables." There was a hauntingly strong parallel between Wall Street Hillary's "deplorables" blooper and the super-rich Republican candidate Mitt Romney's infamous 2012 gaffe : telling his own affluent backers saying that 47% of the population were a bunch of lazy welfare cheats. This time, though, it was the Democrat – with a campaign finance profile closer to Romney's than Obama's in 2012 – and not the Republican making the ugly plutocratic and establishment faux pas .

"A Frontal Assault on the American Establishment"

Still, Trump's success was no less tied to big money than was Hillary's failure. Candidate Trump ran strangely outside the longstanding neoliberal Washington Consensus, as an economic nationalist and isolationist. His raucous rallies were laced with dripping denunciations of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, and globalization, mockery of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, rejection of the New Cold War with Russia, and pledges of allegiance to the "forgotten" American "working-class." He was no normal Republican One Percent candidate. As FJC explain:

"In 2016 the Republicans nominated yet another super-rich candidate – indeed, someone on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans. Like legions of conservative Republicans before him, he trash-talked Hispanics, immigrants, and women virtually non-stop, though with a verve uniquely his own. He laced his campaign with barely coded racial appeals and in the final days, ran an ad widely denounced as subtly anti-Semitic. But in striking contrast to every other Republican presidential nominee since 1936, he attacked globalization, free trade, international financiers, Wall Street, and even Goldman Sachs. ' Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache . When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets, threatening our factories, the politicians do nothing. For years, they watched on the sidelines as our jobs vanished and our communities were plunged into depression-level unemployment.'"

"In a frontal assault on the American establishment, the Republican standard bearer proclaimed 'America First.' Mocking the Bush administration's appeal to 'weapons of mass destruction' as a pretext for invading Iraq, he broke dramatically with two generations of GOP orthodoxy and spoke out in favor of more cooperation with Russia . He even criticized the 'carried interest' tax break beloved by high finance" (emphasis added).

Big Dark Money and Trump: His Own and Others'

This cost Trump much of the corporate and Wall Street financial support that Republican presidential candidates usually get. The thing was, however, that much of Trump's "populist" rhetoric was popular with a big part of the Republican electorate, thanks to the "Hunger Games" insecurity of the transparently bipartisan New Gilded Age. And Trump's personal fortune permitted him to tap that popular anger while leaping insultingly over the heads of his less wealthy if corporate and Wall Street-backed competitors ("low energy" Jeb Bush and "little Marco" Rubio most notably) in the crowded Republican primary race.

A Republican candidate dependent on the usual elite bankrollers would never have been able to get away with Trump's crowd-pleasing (and CNN and FOX News rating-boosting) antics. Thanks to his own wealth, the faux-populist anti-establishment Trump was ironically inoculated against pre-emption in the Republican primaries by the American campaign finance "wealth primary," which renders electorally unviable candidates who lack vast financial resources or access to them.

Things were different after Trump won the Republican nomination, however. He could no longer go it alone after the primaries. During the Republican National Convention and "then again in the late summer of 2016," FJC show, Trump's "solo campaign had to be rescued by major industries plainly hoping for tariff relief, waves of other billionaires from the far, far right of the already far right Republican Party, and the most disruption-exalting corners of Wall Street." By FJC's account:

"What happened in the final weeks of the campaign was extraordinary. Firstly, a giant wave of dark money poured into Trump's own campaign – one that towered over anything in 2016 or even Mitt Romney's munificently financed 2012 effort – to say nothing of any Russian Facebook experiments [Then] another gigantic wave of money flowed in from alarmed business interests, including the Kochs and their allies Officially the money was for Senate races, but late-stage campaigning for down-ballot offices often spills over on to candidates for the party at large."

"The run up to the Convention brought in substantial new money, including, for the first time, significant contributions from big business. Mining, especially coal mining; Big Pharma (which was certainly worried by tough talk from the Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, about regulating drug prices); tobacco, chemical companies, and oil (including substantial sums from executives at Chevron, Exxon, and many medium sized firms); and telecommunications (notably AT&T, which had a major merge merger pending) all weighed in. Money from executives at the big banks also began streaming in, including Bank of America, J. P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. Parts of Silicon Valley also started coming in from the cold."

"In a harbinger of things to come, additional money came from firms and industries that appear to have been attracted by Trump's talk of tariffs, including steel and companies making machinery of various types [a] vast wave of new money flowed into the campaign from some of America's biggest businesses and most famous investors. Sheldon Adelson and many others in the casino industry delivered in grand style for its old colleague. Adelson now delivered more than $11 million in his own name, while his wife and other employees of his Las Vegas Sands casino gave another $20 million.

Peter Theil contributed more than a million dollars, while large sums also rolled in from other parts of Silicon Valley, including almost two million dollars from executives at Microsoft and just over two million from executives at Cisco Systems. A wave of new money swept in from large private equity firms, the part of Wall Street which had long championed hostile takeovers as a way of disciplining what they mocked as bloated and inefficient 'big business.' Virtual pariahs to main-line firms in the Business Roundtable and the rest of Wall Street, some of these figures had actually gotten their start working with Drexel Burnham Lambert and that firm's dominant partner, Michael Milkin.

Among those were Nelson Peltz and Carl Icahn (who had both contributed to Trump before, but now made much bigger new contributions). In the end, along with oil, chemicals, mining and a handful of other industries, large private equity firms would become one of the few segments of American business – and the only part of Wall Street – where support for Trump was truly heavy the sudden influx of money from private equity and hedge funds clearly began with the Convention but turned into a torrent "

The critical late wave came after Trump moved to rescue his flagging campaign by handing its direction over to the clever, class-attuned, far-right white- and economic- nationalist "populist" and Breitbart executive Steve Bannon, who advocated what proved to be a winning, Koch brothers-approved "populist" strategy: appeal to economically and culturally frustrated working- and middle-class whites in key battleground states, where the bloodless neoliberal and professional class centrism and snooty metropolitan multiculturalism of the Obama presidency and Clinton campaign was certain to depress the Democratic "base" vote . Along with the racist voter suppression carried out by Republican state governments (JFC rightly chide Russia-obsessed political reporters and commentators for absurdly ignoring this important factor) and (JFC intriguingly suggest) major anti-union offensives conducted by employers in some battleground states, this major late-season influx of big right-wing political money tilted the election Trump's way.

The Myth of Potent Russian Cyber-Subversion

As FJC show, there is little empirical evidence to support the Clinton and corporate Democrats' self-interested and diversionary efforts to explain Mrs. Clinton's epic fail and Trump's jaw-dropping upset victory as the result of (i) Russian interference, (ii), then FBI Director James Comey's October Surprise revelation that his agency was not done investigating Hillary's emails, and/or (iii) some imagined big wave of white working-class racism, nativism, and sexism brought to the surface by the noxious Orange Hulk. The impacts of both (i) and (ii) were infinitesimal in comparison to the role that big campaign money played both in silencing Hillary and funding Trump.

The blame-the-deplorable-racist-white-working-class narrative is belied by basic underlying continuities in white working class voting patterns. As FJC note: " Neither turnout nor the partisan division of the vote at any level looks all that different from other recent elections 2016's alterations in voting behavior are so minute that the pattern is only barely differentiated from 2012." It was about the money – the big establishment money that the Clinton campaign took (as FJC at least plausibly argue) to recommend policy silence and the different, right-wing big money that approved Trump's comparative right-populist policy boisterousness.

An interesting part of FJC's study (no quick or easy read) takes a close look at the pro-Trump and anti-Hillary Internet activism that the Democrats and their many corporate media allies are so insistently eager to blame on Russia and for Hillary's defeat. FJC find that Russian Internet interventions were of tiny significance compared to those of homegrown U.S. corporate and right-wing cyber forces:

"The real masters of these black arts are American or Anglo-American firms. These compete directly with Silicon Valley and leading advertising firms for programmers and personnel. They rely almost entirely on data purchased from Google, Facebook, or other suppliers, not Russia . American regulators do next to nothing to protect the privacy of voters and citizens, and, as we have shown in several studies, leading telecom firms are major political actors and giant political contributors. As a result, data on the habits and preferences of individual internet users are commercially available in astounding detail and quantities for relatively modest prices – even details of individual credit card purchases. The American giants for sure harbor abundant data on the constellation of bots, I.P. addresses, and messages that streamed to the electorate "

" stories hyping 'the sophistication of an influence campaign slickly crafted to mimic and infiltrate U.S. political discourse while also seeking to heighten tensions between groups already wary of one another by the Russians miss the mark.' By 2016, the Republican right had developed internet outreach and political advertising into a fine art and on a massive scale quite on its own. Large numbers of conservative websites, including many that that tolerated or actively encouraged white supremacy and contempt for immigrants, African-Americans, Hispanics, Jews, or the aspirations of women had been hard at work for years stoking up 'tensions between groups already wary of one another.' Breitbart and other organizations were in fact going global, opening offices abroad and establishing contacts with like-minded groups elsewhere. Whatever the Russians were up to, they could hardly hope to add much value to the vast Made in America bombardment already underway. Nobody sows chaos like Breitbart or the Drudge Report ."

" the evidence revealed thus far does not support strong claims about the likely success of Russian efforts, though of course the public outrage at outside meddling is easy to understand. The speculative character of many accounts even in the mainstream media is obvious. Several, such as widely circulated declaration by the Department of Homeland Security that 21 state election systems had been hacked during the election, have collapsed within days of being put forward when state electoral officials strongly disputed them, though some mainstream press accounts continue to repeat them. Other tales about Macedonian troll factories churning out stories at the instigation of the Kremlin, are clearly exaggerated."

The Sanders Tease: "He Couldn't Have Done a Thing"

Perhaps the most remarkable finding in FJC's study is that Sanders came tantalizingly close to winning the Democratic presidential nomination against the corporately super-funded Clinton campaign with no support from Big Business . Running explicitly against the "Hunger Games" economy and the corporate-financial plutocracy that created it, Sanders pushed Hillary the Goldman candidate to the wall, calling out the Democrats' capture by Wall Street, forcing her to rely on a rigged party, convention, and primary system to defeat him. The small-donor "socialist" Sanders challenge represented something Ferguson and his colleagues describe as "without precedent in American politics not just since the New Deal, but across virtually the whole of American history a major presidential candidate waging a strong, highly competitive campaign whose support from big business is essentially zero ."

Sanders pulled this off, FJC might have added, by running in (imagine) accord with majority-progressive left-of-center U.S. public opinion. But for the Clintons' corrupt advance- control of the Democratic National Committee and convention delegates, Ferguson et al might further have noted, Sanders might well have been the Democratic presidential nominee, curiously enough in the arch-state-capitalist and oligarchic United States

Could Sanders have defeated the billionaire and right-wing billionaire-backed Trump in the general election? There's no way to know, of course. Sanders consistently out-performed Hillary Clinton in one-on-one match -up polls vis a vis Donald Trump during the primary season, but much of the big money (and, perhaps much of the corporate media) that backed Hillary would have gone over to Trump had the supposedly "radical" Sanders been the Democratic nominee.

Even if Sanders has been elected president, moreover, Noam Chomsky is certainly correct in his recent judgement that Sanders would have been able to achieve very little in the White House. As Chomsky told Lynn Parramore two weeks ago, in an interview conducted for the Institute for New Economic Thinking, the same think-tank that published FJC's remarkable study:

"His campaign [was] a break with over a century of American political history. No corporate support, no financial wealth, he was unknown, no media support. The media simply either ignored or denigrated him. And he came pretty close -- he probably could have won the nomination, maybe the election. But suppose he'd been elected? He couldn't have done a thing. Nobody in Congress, no governors, no legislatures, none of the big economic powers, which have an enormous effect on policy. All opposed to him. In order for him to do anything, he would have to have a substantial, functioning party apparatus, which would have to grow from the grass roots. It would have to be locally organized, it would have to operate at local levels, state levels, Congress, the bureaucracy -- you have to build the whole system from the bottom."

As Chomsky might have added, Sanders oligarchy-imposed "failures" would have been great fodder for the disparagement and smearing of "socialism" and progressive, majority-backed policy change. "See? We tried all that and it was a disaster!"

I would note further that the Sanders phenomenon's policy promise was plagued by its standard bearer's persistent loyalty to the giant and absurdly expensive U.S.-imperial Pentagon System, which each year eats up hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars required to implement the progressive, majority-supported policy agenda that Bernie F-35 Sanders ran on.

"A Very Destructive Ideology"

The Sanders challenge was equally afflicted by its candidate-centered electoralism. This diverted energy away from the real and more urgent politics of building people's movements – grassroots power to shake the society to its foundations and change policy from the bottom up (Dr. Martin Luther King's preferred strategy at the end of his life just barely short of 50 years ago, on April 4 th , 1968) – and into the narrow, rigidly time-staggered grooves of a party and spectacle-elections crafted by and for the wealthy Few and the American Oligarchy 's "permanent political class" (historian Ron Formisano). As Chomsky explained on the eve of the 2004 elections:

"Americans may be encouraged to vote, but not to participate more meaningfully in the political arena. Essentially the election is a method of marginalizing the population. A huge propaganda campaign is mounted to get people to focus on these personalized quadrennial extravaganzas and to think, 'That's politics.' But it isn't. It's only a small part of politics The urgency is for popular progressive groups to grow and become strong enough so that centers of power can't ignore them. Forces for change that have come up from the grass roots and shaken the society to its core include the labor movement, the civil rights movement, the peace movement, the women's movement and others, cultivated by steady, dedicated work at all levels, every day, not just once every four years sensible [electoral] choices have to be made. But they are secondary to serious political action."

"The only thing that's going to ever bring about any meaningful change," Chomsky told Abby Martin on teleSur English in the fall of 2015, "is ongoing, dedicated, popular movements that don't pay attention to the election cycle." Under the American religion of voting, Chomsky told Dan Falcone and Saul Isaacson in the spring of 2016, "Citizenship means every four years you put a mark somewhere and you go home and let other guys run the world. It's a very destructive ideology basically, a way of making people passive, submissive objects [we] ought to teach kids that elections take place but that's not politics."

For all his talk of standing atop a great "movement" for "revolution," Sanders was and remains all about this stunted and crippling definition of citizenship and politics as making some marks on ballots and then returning to our domiciles while rich people and their agents (not just any "other guys") "run [ruin?-P.S.] the world [into the ground-P.S.]."

It will take much more in the way of Dr. King's politics of "who' sitting in the streets," not "who's sitting in the White House" (to use Howard Zinn's excellent dichotomy ), to get us an elections and party system worthy of passionate citizen engagement. We don't have such a system in the U.S. today, which is why the number of eligible voters who passively boycotted the 2016 presidential election is larger than both the number who voted for big money Hillary and the number who voted for big money Trump.

(If U.S. progressives really want to consider undertaking the epic lift involved in passing a U.S. Constitutional Amendment, they might want to focus on this instead of calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment. I'd recommend starting with a positive Democracy Amendment that fundamentally overhauls the nation's political and elections set-up in accord with elementary principles and practices of popular sovereignty. Clauses would include but not be limited to full public financing of elections and the introduction of proportional representation for legislative races – not to mention the abolition of the Electoral College, Senate apportionment on the basis of total state population, and the outlawing of gerrymandering.)

Ecocide Trumped by Russia

Meanwhile, back in real history, we have the remarkable continuation of a bizarre right-wing, pre-fascist presidency not in normal ruling-class hands, subject to the weird whims and tweets of a malignant narcissist who doesn't read memorandums or intelligence briefings. Wild policy zig-zags and record-setting White House personnel turnover are par for the course under the dodgy reign of the orange-tinted beast's latest brain spasms. Orange Caligula spends his mornings getting his information from FOX News and his evenings complaining to and seeking advice from a small club of right-wing American oligarchs.

Trump poses grave environmental and nuclear risks to human survival. A consistent Trump belief is that climate change is not a problem and that it's perfectly fine – "great" and "amazing," in fact – for the White House to do everything it can to escalate the Greenhouse Gassing-to-Death of Life on Earth. The nuclear threat is rising now that he has appointed a frothing right-wing uber-warmonger – a longtime advocate of bombing Iran and North Korea who led the charge for the arch-criminal U.S. invasion of Iraq – as his top "National Security" adviser and as he been convinced to expel dozens of Russian diplomats. Thanks, liberal and other Democratic Party RussiaGaters!

The Clinton-Obama neoliberal Democrats have spent more than a year running with the preposterous narrative that Trump is a Kremlin puppet who owes his presence in the White House to Russia's subversion of our democratic elections. The climate crisis holds little for the Trump and Russia-obsessed corporate media. The fact that the world stands at the eve of the ecological self-destruction, with the Trump White House in the lead, elicits barely a whisper in the reigning commercial news media. Unlike Stormy Daniels, for example, that little story – the biggest issue of our or any time – is not good for television ratings and newspaper sales.

Sanders, by the way, is curiously invisible in the dominant commercial media, despite his quiet survey status as the nation's "most popular politician." That is precisely what you would expect in a corporate and financial oligarchy buttressed by a powerful corporate, so-called "mainstream" media oligopoly.

Political Parties as "Bank Accounts"

One of the many problems with the obsessive Blame-Russia narrative that a fair portion of the dominant U.S. media is running with is that we had no great electoral democracy to subvert in 2016 . Saying that Russia has "undermined [U.S.-] American democracy" is like me – middle-aged, five-foot nine, and unblessed with jumping ability – saying that the Brooklyn Nets' Russian-born center Timofy Mozgof subverted my career as a starting player in the National Basketball Association. In state-capitalist societies marked by the toxic and interrelated combination of weak popular organization, expensive politics, and highly concentrated wealth – all highly evident in the New Gilded Age United States – electoral contests and outcomes boil down above all and in the end to big investor class cash. As Thomas Ferguson and his colleagues explain:

"Where investment and organization by average citizens is weak, however, power passes by default to major investor groups, which can far more easily bear the costs of contending for control of the state. In most modern market-dominated societies (those celebrated recently as enjoying the 'end of History'), levels of effective popular organization are generally low, while the costs of political action, in terms of both information and transactional obstacles, are high. The result is that conflicts within the business community normally dominate contests within and between political parties – the exact opposite of what many earlier social theorists expected, who imagined 'business' and 'labor' confronting each other in separate parties Only candidates and positions that can be financed can be presented to voters. As a result, in countries like the US and, increasingly, Western Europe, political parties are first of all bank accounts . With certain qualifications, one must pay to play. Understanding any given election, therefore, requires a financial X-ray of the power blocs that dominate the major parties, with both inter- and intra- industrial analysis of their constituent elements."

Here Ferguson might have said "corporate-dominated" instead of "market-dominated" for the modern managerial corporations emerged as the "visible hand" master of the "free market" more than a century ago.

We get to vote? Big deal.

People get to vote in Rwanda, Russia, the Congo and countless other autocratic states as well. Elections alone are no guarantee of democracy, as U.S. policymakers and pundits know very well when they rip on rigged elections (often fixed with the assistance of U.S. government and private-sector agents and firms) in countries they don't like, which includes any country that dares to "question the basic principle that the United States effectively owns the world by right and is by definition a force for good" ( Chomsky, 2016 ).

Majority opinion is regularly trumped by a deadly complex of forces in the U.S. The list of interrelated and mutually reinforcing culprits behind this oligarchic defeat of popular sentiment in the U.S. is extensive. It includes but is not limited to: the campaign finance, candidate-selection, lobbying, and policy agenda-setting power of wealthy individuals, corporations, and interest groups; the special primary election influence of full-time party activists; the disproportionately affluent, white, and older composition of the active (voting) electorate; the manipulation of voter turnout; the widespread dissemination of false, confusing, distracting, and misleading information; absurdly and explicitly unrepresentative political institutions like the Electoral College, the unelected Supreme Court, the over-representation of the predominantly white rural population in the U.S. Senate; one-party rule in the House of "Representatives"; the fragmentation of authority in government; and corporate ownership of the reigning media, which frames current events in accord with the wishes and world view of the nation's real owners.

Yes, we get to vote. Super. Big deal. Mammon reigns nonetheless in the United States, where, as the leading liberal political scientists Benjamin Page and Martin Gilens find , "government policy reflects the wishes of those with money, not the wishes of the millions of ordinary citizens who turn out every two years to choose among the preapproved, money-vetted candidates for federal office."

Trump is a bit of an anomaly – a sign of an elections and party system in crisis and an empire in decline. He wasn't pre-approved or vetted by the usual U.S. " deep state " corporate, financial, and imperial gatekeepers. The ruling-class had been trying to figure out what the Hell to do with him ever since he shocked even himself (though not Steve Bannon) by pre-empting the coronation of the "Queen of Chaos."

He is a homegrown capitalist oligarch nonetheless, a real estate mogul of vast and parasitic wealth who is no more likely to fulfill his populist-sounding campaign pledges than any previous POTUS of the neoliberal era.

His lethally racist, sexist, nativist, nuclear-weapons-brandishing, and (last but not at all least) eco-cidal rise to the nominal CEO position atop the U.S.-imperial oligarchy is no less a reflection of the dominant role of big U.S. capitalist money and homegrown plutocracy in U.S. politics than a more classically establishment Hillary ascendancy would have been. It's got little to do with Russia, Russia, Russia – the great diversion that fills U.S. political airwaves and newsprint as the world careens ever closer to oligarchy-imposed geocide and to a thermonuclear conflagration that the RussiaGate gambit is recklessly encouraging.

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Paul Street

Paul Street's latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm, 2014)

[Mar 16, 2018] Will the State Department Become a Subsidiary of the CIA

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... is an ex-geek turned writer and editor. He hails from Boston and writes about whatever distortions of reality strike his fancy. Currently, he's pedaling a novel chronicling the lives and times of members of a cell of terrorists in Europe, completing a collection of essays on high technology delusions, and can be found barking at progressivepilgrim.review. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

March 15, 2018 Will the State Department Become a Subsidiary of the CIA? by Geoff Dutton

Photo by Mark Taylor | CC BY 2.0

I wonder how Rex Tillerson feels about being the first high-level federal official to be fired publically and online, in one brutal tweet. I'm sure he expected the hammer to come down on him, but not like that. And I wonder if he will come forward to describe what led up to it. Unlikely, as he's an extremely wealthy and still influential corporate player who would have little to gain from telling all. Still, some intrepid journalist should take Rex to lunch and encourage him to cry in his beer.

The events unfurled in typical chaotic Trumpian fashion. According to The Atlantic,

The White House said Tuesday that Tillerson was informed last Friday that he would be replaced as secretary of state. But the statement released Tuesday by Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, suggested Tillerson did not see it coming until he saw the president's tweet Tuesday morning that he would be replaced by Mike Pompeo, the CIA director. Goldstein himself has been fired since making the statement.

Chief of Staff John Kelly claimed to have informed Tillerson three days previously that a tweet would be forthcoming, and let it hang. That's how long it took for the triumvirate behind the throne (Kelly, DoD Secretary James Mattis, and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster) to line up a B team. These military officers have become Trump's minders, nudging him toward decisions that implement deep state war plans. John Grant writes in CounterPunch :

The ex-Nixon dirty trickster Roger Stone, who Kelly blocked from Trump access, is cited in Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House as telling people, "Mattis, McMaster and Kelly had agreed that no military action would ever be taken unless the three were in accord -- and that at least one of them would always remain in Washington if the others were away."

And so, here we have a junta minding the store whose collective wisdom had determined that State under Tilllerson wasn't accommodating US bellicosity as enthusiastically as it should. Their solution? Elevate CIA Chief Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson. Pompeo, whom NPR glowingly described as having "an extraordinary résumé. He graduated at the top of his class at West Point. He served as a tank officer in Europe. He went to Harvard Law School." He's also a bombastic Tea-Party Republican and a national security hawk who takes a hard line no matter what crisis is at hand. I'm sure that résumé will be useful in convincing North Korea to disarm and Putin to back off from Syria. At least, that seems to be the troika's current calculus. Trump seems amenable to their choice: "With Mike, we've had a very good chemistry from the beginning," he told reporters. And Pompeo says he's equally chill with the Tweeter-in-Chief: "We have a half-hour, 40 minutes every day. He asks lots of hard questions as any good intelligence consumer would. He's very engaged."

Before that hammer hit Tillerson, they had already cleared the way to replace Pompeo with seasoned spook Gina Haspel, who proved her loyalty to the Company by destroying evidence of systematic torture. "She ran the 'black site' prison in Thailand where al-Qaida suspect Abu Zabaydah was waterboarded 83 times," NPR reported last winter. "Those sessions were videotaped but the tapes were destroyed in 2005, two years after a member of Congress called on the CIA to preserve such tapes." Who ordered or at least expedited their destruction? Gina Haspel herself. Running a torture center was a "dirty job," John Bennett, the chief of the CIA's clandestine service at the time later told NPR, but Gina bravely stepped up to do it. " it was not only legal but necessary for the safety of the country. And they did it – Gina did it – because they felt it was their duty."

Obama apparently felt that way, since he declined to prosecute any CIA officials for engaging in torture. Had he had the guts to go after them, Gina might be wearing a jumpsuit now instead of a business suit. As Dexter Filkins wrote in the New Yorker last year after Trump named Haspel Deputy Director,

When Obama took office, in 2009, he declared that he would not prosecute anyone involved in the C.I.A.'s interrogation programs, not even senior officers, among whom Haspel was one. At the time, Obama said he wanted to look forward and not back. But the past, as Obama well knows, never goes away. With the prospect of American torture looming again, I wonder if Obama regrets his decision. After all, people like Haspel, quite plausibly, could have gone to prison.

When Edward Snowden heard of her advancement, he tweeted ( March 13, 2018 )

Interesting: The new CIA Director Haspel, who "tortured some folks," probably can't travel to the EU to meet other spy chiefs without facing arrest due to an @ECCHRBerlin complaint to Germany's federal prosecutor. Details: https://t.co/7q4euQKtm7

Such team spirit clearly deserves a promotion. A round of applause, then, for Gina Haspel, someone who has known no calling besides black ops, winner of the George H. W. Bush Award for excellence in counterterrorism, and the first of her sex to crash through CIA's bulletproof glass ceiling to the Director's office. Her résumé implies she must have been born at Langley HQ. There's no paper trail for her prior to 1985, when she joined the agency.

The one bright spot is that both Pompeo and Haspel will have to testify before Congress votes of on their appointments. John McCain and Ron Wyden are already on record as being opposed to Haspel's appointment. Intense public pressure may help to drag skeltons of torture victims out of the agency's closet, but don't expect it to matter. The deep state is used to getting what it wants and doesn't let things like due process get in the way.

Now that the Department of State is to be a wholly owned subsidiary of the CIA, America can rest easy. No more mister nice guy. Diplomacy is for wimps. Let's show all those upstart nations and that upstart commander-in-chief who's boss. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Geoff Dutton

Geoff Dutton is an ex-geek turned writer and editor. He hails from Boston and writes about whatever distortions of reality strike his fancy. Currently, he's pedaling a novel chronicling the lives and times of members of a cell of terrorists in Europe, completing a collection of essays on high technology delusions, and can be found barking at progressivepilgrim.review.

[Feb 25, 2018] Any hierarchic system can and will be exploited by intelligent sociopaths

Notable quotes:
"... Democracy is not under stress – it's under aggressive attack, as unconstrained financial greed overrides public accountability ..."
Feb 25, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

albert , February 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm

" Democracy is not under stress – it's under aggressive attack, as unconstrained financial greed overrides public accountability ."

I request a lessatorium* on the term 'democracy', because there aren't any democracies. Rather than redefine the term, why not use a more accurate one, like 'plutocracy', or 'corporatocracy'.
-- -- -- -
* It's like a moratorium, you just do less of it.

[Feb 18, 2018] Had Hillary Won What Now by Andrew Levine

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Then Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, would be president of the United States, but the Senate, probably, and the House of Representatives, certainly, would have remained under Republican control.

In other words, had Hillary won, we would now have pretty much what we had when Barack Obama was president – but with the executive branch less competently led and more packed with Clintonite (neoliberal, liberal imperialist, shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later) officials, and with a Congress run by obstinate Republican troglodytes running roughshod over feckless, slightly less retrograde Democrats.

Radical impulses would, of course, continue to stir throughout the general population but notwithstanding widespread and deep popular support, to even less avail than before.

A Clinton presidency wouldn't make the blood of high-minded people boil, the way the Trump presidency has done, though, for anyone with the courage to face reality squarely, it would be nearly as painful to endure.

That pain would be much less constructive than the pain that is now so widely felt. Instead of sparking anodyne "resistance," it would be drowned out in a sea of acquiescence.

In a word, Clinton's first term would be what a third Obama term would have been – ratcheted down a few notches in the squelched "hope" and "change" departments.

By being African American, Obama stirred up plenty of hope and change illusions, especially at first, in many, maybe most, sectors of the population. In other sectors, Obama's race brought barely suppressed prejudices and resentments out into the open.

Because it soon became clear – not to everybody, but to everybody not willfully blind – that, under Obama, little, if any, good would come, Obamaphilia eventually faded away; the racism and nativism Obama's election boosted proved more durable.

Hillary, on the other hand, was anything but a beacon of hope – except perhaps to those of her supporters whose highest priority was electing a woman president. Hardly anyone else ever expected much good to come from her calling the shots.

In comparison with Obama, she wasn't even good at what she did. Despite a constant barrage of public relations babble about how experienced and competent she is, this was widely understood, even if seldom conceded.

She hadn't been much of a First Lady or Senator; among other things, she helped set the cause of health insurance reform back a generation, and she supported the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.

Then, as Secretary of State, she was at least partly responsible for devastating levels of disorder and mayhem throughout North Africa (Libya especially), the Greater Middle East (not just Syria), and elsewhere (Honduras, for example). But for her tenure at Foggy Bottom, there would be many fewer refugees in the world today.

It is therefore a good bet that were she president now, Obama would be sorely missed – notwithstanding his fondness for terrorizing civilians with weaponized drones, and for deporting Hispanics and others with a zeal exceeding George Bush's.

Inasmuch as he did break a color line that seemed infrangible, it was impossible for persons of good will not to root for the man. That would be like not rooting for Jackie Robinson. But the fact remains: except in comparison to his rivals and to Trump, he was no prize.

Because it was clear to nearly everybody outside the Clinton propaganda circuit that, by 2016, there really was no "glass ceiling" holding women back, Hillary had nothing like that going for her.

There were and are plenty of people of all ages and genders who would have liked to see a woman elected president; the time for that is long past due. But, by the time Clinton became the Democratic standard bearer, hardly anyone could truly believe that patriarchal attitudes or rampant misogyny were significant factors standing in her way.

To be sure, the lingering effects of attitudes in place years ago have diminished the pool of plausible female candidates. But then so too did the idea that Clinton was somehow entitled to the office. Because that attitude was so deeply entrenched, few women wanted to cross her.

Nevertheless, there are women who, running on the Democratic line, could surely have defeated Trump. An obvious example is Elizabeth Warren.

I am not alone in thinking that had the Democratic National Committee not rigged the nomination process in Clinton's favor, Bernie Sanders would have become the party's nominee and then gone on to defeat Trump. Warren's chances of winning the election were better still – precisely because, she is a woman.

Clinton's problem was not her gender; it was her politics.

Even so, we would be a lot better off now had she won in 2016 -- not just because the evil we know (too well!) is easier to deal with than the blooming buzzing confusion we ended up with instead, but also because, despite her Russophobia and fondness for "military solutions," the likelihood that the United States would blunder into a nuclear Armageddon would now be significantly less.

Too bad therefore that she flubbed even more egregiously than those of us who saw through the public relations myths about her accomplishments and competence thought possible.

Needless to say, in the alternative universe that Democrats and their media flacks have concocted, they explain the election outcome differently. In their view, Hillary lost because "the Russians" subverted our democratic institutions.

Or was it because James Comey, then the Director of the FBI, tipped that election to Trump by refocusing attention on Clinton's emails as Election Day approached?

One would think that it would faze Democratic confabulators that, shortly after the election was over, Comey rose to the top of Donald Trump's shit list – and was unceremoniously fired. They really should get their story straight.

While they are sorting that out, they might also make an effort to be a tad less besotted with the FBI. It is, to say the least, unseemly, even for faux-progressives, to cozy up to the perennial scourge of every progressive tendency in the American body politic.

And it isn't just the FBI – Democrats nowadays are smitten with the entire national security state apparatus, including the CIA and the NSA.

Democrats have always been that way to some extent, but, in the pre-Trump era, Republicans were generally the more gung ho of our two semi-established parties.

For decades, Cold War anti-Communist paranoia endeared the FBI and the others to wide swathes of the general public and to Republicans and Democrats alike. When a dearth of real world Communists made that story line impossible to maintain, "Islamic terrorists" were on hand to take their place.

These obsessions pair well with the right's passion for law and order – in other words, for keeping the poor generally, and persons of color especially, down.

And so, being the more rightwing of the duopoly parties, Republicans, before Trump, were especially besotted with the forces of order – from local police (for whom, black lives don't really matter) on up (or is it down?).

Democrats have never had any real quarrel with any of this, but, being the "nicer" and more reasonable of the duopoly parties, they were less inclined to go overboard.

It grieves me to say anything good about Donald Trump, but, to his credit, he did force Republicans onto a less unreasonable track – not in general, but towards Russia, a country with a nuclear arsenal so formidable that only maniacs would want to mess with it unnecessarily.

In all likelihood, Trump's reasons are venal or otherwise nefarious, and have little if anything to do with common sense. But anything that holds back the Doomsday Clock is welcome.

It is likely, though, that, before long, Republicans will revert back to their old ways.

Indeed, this is already happening: witness Trump's new "defense strategy" – aimed at the old Cold War bugaboos, Russia and China.

The scare quotes are in order because there is no strategy there, and what Trump is proposing has nothing to do with defense. It has everything to do, however, with giving free rein to the Pentagon to squander monies that could be otherwise spent in socially useful ways, and with stuffing the pockets of death merchants ("defense contractors") and those who feed off the taxpayer money our political class throws their way.

***

Despite even this, Democrats remain the less odious duopoly party. On nearly all "issues," just about any Republican is worse than any Democrat; and the attitudes and instincts Republicans evince are more execrable by far.

It should be born in mind, however, that the Democratic Party is, if anything, even more responsible for Trump than the Republicans are.

Insofar as he has set political views and attitudes, they were forged in New York City, under the aegis of Democratic Party politicians. And the Clintonite (neoliberal) turn in the larger political culture created the conditions for the possibility of Trump, or someone like him, rising to national prominence.

Democrats pulled this off by malignly neglecting the working class – and therefore less well-off white voters, among others – and by euthanizing nascent left oppositions that showed promise of challenging the economic supremacy and political power of the so-called "donor class" and of capitalists generally.

Neoliberalism shifts power and resources from the state sector to private capital, it encourages the globalization of trade, and it facilitates the free flow of capital around the world.

Its nostrums are integral to a form of class struggle aimed at weakening working class opposition – largely, but not exclusively, by attacks on the labor movement.

The classical fascism of the interwar years took aim at workers' economic and political organizations too – more directly, through violent frontal assaults. Neoliberalism works more gently, through protracted wars of attrition. The consequences, however, are much the same.

The Clintons and Tony Blair and their counterparts in other countries make a show of their progressivism – limiting their efforts, however, to cultural issues that do not materially harm capitalists' interests.

Around election times, they even make nice with union leaders -- because they need the resources and manpower they can still provide. But it is all a ruse, as workers and others know well.

Real fascists set out to intimidate workers' organizations; they liked bloodying noses. Neoliberals take aim at workers' power in such subtle but far-reaching ways that they often don't even realize that they have been had.

In the early days of the Regan era, Bertram Gross famously introduced the notion of "friendly fascism." The GOP used to be the friendly fascist's natural home. These days, however, Republicans are a lot nastier than they were in Reagan's time.

In recent years, the Tea Party and then Trump and the miscreants he has empowered have accentuated the GOP's racist, nativist, and authoritarian side. It is not a fascist party in the traditional sense, but the resemblances are more than a little worrisome.

And so, Reagan-style friendly fascism has largely disappeared from the Republican fold. But for what has taken its place, this would be a reason to celebrate.

Meanwhile, the spirit of the "Reagan revolution" lives on in the other duopoly party –where, thanks to the Clintons and others like them, efforts to keep "the donor class up" and everyone else down continue in a seemingly more benign way.

The electoral consequences are predictable. The kinds of working class people whom Trump derides – basically, everyone who is not white, male and straight – are, of course, more likely to vote for Democrats than Republicans. But they are more likely still not to vote at all.

Why would they when they have nothing to vote for ?

And, in large (mainly rural) swathes of the country, white working class men and the women who stand by them will vote for anyone, even an obviously incompetent billionaire buffoon whose policies will do nothing for them materially, provided only that he channels their resentments at Clintonite policies and people.

However, malign neglect of an important segment of the working class is only partly responsible for Trump. The absence of a genuine left is of far greater importance.

The reasons for its absence are many, and go far beyond the Democratic Party. Even so, Democrats have a lot to answer for.

As it became increasingly clear that the Bush-Cheney wars launched after 9/11 were responsible for enormous harm to people and to geopolitical stability, a peace movement took shape that, by 2006, had become a force to be reckoned with.

At the same time, in anticipation of the 2008 election, the leadership of the Democratic Party did its best to keep dissent in bounds. Their aim was to get Hillary Clinton elected president, and they feared that political turbulence would upset their plans.

At the very least, with the House back under Democratic control in 2006, Democrats could have initiated impeachment proceedings against George Bush; they had more than ample grounds. Whether or not he would then have been removed from office, he and his subordinates would have been impeded to some extent from doing at least some of the harm they went on to do.

But Nancy Pelosi and her co-thinkers in Congress put the kibosh on that idea. Their efforts did not stifle the growing peace movement entirely, but it did take some of the wind out its sails.

When it turned out that Obama was a stronger candidate than Clinton, and that the nomination would go his way, leading Democrats adapted. Hillary was their favorite, but Obama had been thoroughly vetted for corporate-friendliness and passed all the tests with flying colors. That was good enough for them.

And so it fell to the Nobel laureate to put the peace movement definitively down, even as he continued – temporarily even escalating -- the Bush-Cheney wars.

For too long and against too much contrary evidence, liberals took it for granted that Obama was on the side of the angels. They therefore let pass the murder and mayhem he was responsible for.

After eight years of that, what little semblance of a genuine left there had been within the Democratic Party's ambit found itself narcotized into oblivion.

An appetite for real opposition, even rebellion, existed within the general public; under the pressure of events it was growing all the time. But, with our debilitating duopoly party system in place, there was no political way out of the status quo.

Had Hillary won, that sad state of affairs would have continued, while the underlying maladies that Trump exploited for the benefit of himself and his class would have continued to fester.

And we would now likely be on the brink of even more appalling electoral outcomes than we suffered through in 2010 and 2014, and in 2016, when the Trump phenomenon defied all expectations.

Paradoxically, though, with Trump's victory, the prospects for a better mainstream politics actually improved. Trump is so manifestly unfit for the job he holds that his hold over the White House and the Republican Party actually harms the right more than it helps it.

His ever expanding docket of impeachable offenses and his crude misogyny are doing the work an organized left opposition would be doing, if only one existed -- creating space for popular movements to develop.

It started with the Women's March, immediately after Inauguration Day, and has been growing ever since; with women – black, brown, and white – leading the surge.

With midterm elections looming, the danger of cooptation is great -- Democrats, their media in tow, are working overtime to make that happen. But thanks to Trump, things have gone too far by now to be squelched entirely.

What Obama's victory did to the peace movement after 2008, a Hillary victory in 2016 would have done ten times over to the several (mainly woman-led) insurgencies that were beginning to take shape during the campaign.

With Trump in the White House, progressive women remain in the forefront of struggles to change the world for the better. With Clinton there instead, their best efforts would be swamped by anodyne campaigns led by well-meaning liberals of the kind that understandably rile up the Trump base.

All things considered, it would have been better (less catastrophically awful) had Hillary won. Even so, there is some reason to be grateful that she did not. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Andrew Levine

ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Dec 23, 2017] Neither party is on our side. The establishment in both parties is crooked and corrupt.

Notable quotes:
"... Of course, the notion of 'reform' within the Democratic Party is an oxymoron. Its been around since Nader, when the corrupt-corporate Democrats tried to tell us that the way forward was to work within the corrupt-corporate Democratic Party and change things that way. ..."
"... And I see Steve Bannon trying to wage the fight within the Republican party that the fake-reformers in the Democrats never even tried . ie, numerous primary challenges to corrupt-corporate Democrats. ..."
"... Neither party represents any but the richest of the rich these days. Both parties lie to voters and try to pretend that they might actually give a damn about the rest of us. But the only sign of life that I see of anyone trying to fight back against this Bannon inside the Republicans. I'm not thrilled with Bannon, although he's not nearly as bad as the loony-lefties in the corrupt-corporate Democratic Party and their many satellites call him. But he's the only one putting up a fight. I just hope that maybe someone will run in primaries against the corrupt-corporate-Republicans who fake-represent the part of the map where I live. ..."
Dec 23, 2017 | www.unz.com

Liverpool , December 22, 2017 at 9:16 pm GMT

I was raised by Democrats, and used to vote for them. But these days, I think heck would freeze over before I'd vote Democrat again. From my point of view, Bernie tried to pull them back to sanity. But the hard core Clinton-corporate-corrupt Democrats have declared war on any movement for reform within the Democratic Party. And there is no way that I'm voting for any of these corrupt-corporate Democrats ever again.

Of course, the notion of 'reform' within the Democratic Party is an oxymoron. Its been around since Nader, when the corrupt-corporate Democrats tried to tell us that the way forward was to work within the corrupt-corporate Democratic Party and change things that way. We saw the way the corrupt-corporate Democrats colluded and rigged the last Presidential Primaries so that Corrupt-Corporate-Clinton was guaranteed the corrupt-corporate Democrat nomination. That's a loud and clear message to anyone who thinks they can achieve change within the corrupt-corporate-colluding-rigged Democratic Party.

Since I've always been anti-war, I've been forced to follow what anti-war movement there is over to the Republicans. And I see Steve Bannon trying to wage the fight within the Republican party that the fake-reformers in the Democrats never even tried . ie, numerous primary challenges to corrupt-corporate Democrats. That never happened, and by 2012 I was convinced that even the fake-reformers within the corrupt-corporate Democrats were fakes who only wanted fund-raising but didn't really fight for reform.

Neither party represents any but the richest of the rich these days. Both parties lie to voters and try to pretend that they might actually give a damn about the rest of us. But the only sign of life that I see of anyone trying to fight back against this Bannon inside the Republicans. I'm not thrilled with Bannon, although he's not nearly as bad as the loony-lefties in the corrupt-corporate Democratic Party and their many satellites call him. But he's the only one putting up a fight. I just hope that maybe someone will run in primaries against the corrupt-corporate-Republicans who fake-represent the part of the map where I live.

Neither party is on our side. The establishment in both parties is crooked and corrupt. Someone needs to fight them. And I sure as heck won't vote for the corrupt and the crooked. Since the Democrats are doubling down on corrupt and crooked and telling such big lies that even Goebbels would blush, it doesn't look like I'll ever vote Dem0crat again.

[Dec 14, 2017] The Foundering Russia-gate 'Scandal' Consortiumnews

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The disclosure of fiercely anti-Trump text messages between two romantically involved senior FBI officials who played key roles in the early Russia-gate inquiry has turned the supposed Russian-election-meddling "scandal" into its own scandal, by providing evidence that some government investigators saw it as their duty to block or destroy Donald Trump's presidency. ..."
"... As much as the U.S. mainstream media has mocked the idea that an American "deep state" exists and that it has maneuvered to remove Trump from office, the text messages between senior FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal how two high-ranking members of the government's intelligence/legal bureaucracy saw their role as protecting the United States from an election that might elevate to the presidency someone as unfit as Trump. ..."
"... In the text messages, Strzok also expressed visceral contempt for working-class Trump voters, for instance, writing on Aug. 26, 2016, "Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support. it's scary real down here." ..."
"... Another text message suggested that other senior government officials – alarmed at the possibility of a Trump presidency – joined the discussion. In an apparent reference to an August 2016 meeting with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Strzok wrote to Page on Aug. 15, 2016, "I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way he gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk." ..."
"... The scheme involved having some Democratic electors vote for former Secretary of State Colin Powell (which did happen), making him the third-place vote-getter in the Electoral College and thus eligible for selection by the House. But the plan fizzled when enough of Trump's electors stayed loyal to their candidate to officially make him President. ..."
"... After that, Trump's opponents turned to the Russia-gate investigation as the vehicle to create the conditions for somehow nullifying the election, impeaching Trump, or at least weakening him sufficiently so he could not take steps to improve relations with Russia. ..."
"... And, the new revelations of high-level FBI bias puts Clapper's statement about "hand-picked" analysts in sharper perspective, since any intelligence veteran will tell you that if you hand-pick the analysts you are effectively hand-picking the analysis. ..."
"... Although it has not yet been spelled out exactly what role Strzok and Page may have had in the Jan. 6 report, I was told by one source that Strzok had a direct hand in writing it. Whether that is indeed the case, Strzok, as a senior FBI counterintelligence official, would almost surely have had input into the selection of the FBI analysts and thus into the substance of the report itself. [For challenges from intelligence experts to the Jan. 6 report, see Consortiumnews.com's " More Holes in the Russia-gate Narrative. "] ..."
"... If the FBI contributors to the Jan. 6 report shared Strzok's contempt for Trump, it could explain why claims from an unverified dossier of Democratic-financed "dirt" on Trump, including salacious charges that Russian intelligence operatives videotaped Trump being urinated on by prostitutes in a five-star Moscow hotel, was added as a classified appendix to the report and presented personally to President-elect Trump. ..."
"... That discovery helped ensnare another senior Justice Department official, Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, who talked with Steele during the campaign and had a post-election meeting with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Recently, Simpson has acknowledged that Ohr's wife, Nellie Ohr, was hired by Fusion GPS last year to investigate Trump. ..."
"... But the story soon collapsed when it turned out that the date on the email was actually Sept. 14, 2016, i.e., the day after ..."
"... Yet, despite the cascade of errors and grudging corrections, including some belated admissions that there was no "17-intelligence-agency consensus" on Russian "hacking" – The New York Times made a preemptive strike against the new documentary evidence that the Russia-gate investigation was riddled with conflicts of interest. ..."
"... Pursuing the truth can be a fascinating hobby, that leads to a person awakening. Make it interesting, awaken your friend's curiosity. ..."
"... Weeks before the 2016 election, Peter Strzok's FBI team agreed to pay former MI6 agent and Fusion GPS operative Christopher Steele $50,000 if he could verify the claims contained within the dossier – which relied on the cooperation of two senior Kremlin officials. (One more time for you, Walter Devine -- "if he [Steele] could verify the claims"). When Steele was unable to verify the claims in the dossier, the FBI wouldn't pay him according to the New York Times. ..."
"... Despite the fact that Steele was not paid by the FBI for the dossier, Peter Strzok used it to launch a counterintelligence investigation into President Trump's team. Steele was ultimately paid $168,000 by Fusion GPS to assemble the dossier. ..."
"... Of interest to me is why the Republicans did not hammer Hillary for placing an ambassador in what was essentially a CIA compound in the first place. My guess and I can only guess is that they no objection to its being a ratline to ship Libya's stolen armaments to head-chopping jihadists (with USA blessing) fighting Assad. So to raise the issue of why putting an ambassador there would have opened the door to sensitive questions -- if the press would ask them, of course. ..."
"... That's the real Benghazi story the MSM won't talk about. Although I suspect the armaments were given to the head choppers by the CIA, and then they rebelled at having them transferred to the head choppers in Syria after they had succeeded in killing Ghaddafi. ..."
"... "Madame Secretary, WHY was it necessary to destroy Libya?" No republican asked THAT question. ..."
"... Hello Skip, nice to read your good comments again and to exchange info. Here is an article which talks about the weapons ratline in Syria. Within four days, the powerful anti-tank missiles that CIA bought in Bulgaria and (supposedly) delivered to "moderate" rebels, ended up in ISIS hands. The only problem with the article's narrative is that it is still drawing the official line that the lack of oversight is to blame for such, whilst it was clearly a deliberate action to supply weapons to ISIS wrapped up in plausible deniability of passing them through the hands of some poor inept souls serving as intermediaries. ..."
"... Starting a grand-scale investigation on the basis of allegations of conspiracy with another government and treason is rather dubious when these allegations from dirty campaign tactics are not based on any tangible facts. It is true that the Muller team does not leak as much to the press as the intelligence services did previously. This investigation still plays an important role for the media propaganda that still pushes the Russiagate conspiracy theory even though there had never been any factual basis for it and no evidence has been found in over a year. Since there is still this investigation is going on, they can use it for justifying their daily minutes of hate against Russia, their calls for censorship and denounciation of any political position that diverges from the neoconservative and neoliberal ideology. ..."
"... the most dubious thing was, of course, the lobbying related to a UN security council resolution vote, but that might at best hint at colluding with Israel, it certainly does not fit the Russiagate conspiracy theory ..."
"... So, if we judge the Muller investigation by its results, it is not going anywhere. Obviously, that is what should be expected when a commission is set up for investigating a conspiracy theory for which there had never been any evidence to begin with. I suppose the result would be similar if the Illuminati, the Elders of Zion, or reptiloids were officially investigated. ..."
"... It seems that the Muller team wants to delay that moment when they have to confess that the conspiracy theory has broken down, but that won't necessarily make it easier, either. ..."
"... Think you nailed it. The bankster regime changers already tried once to structurally adjust Russia into being a US puppet state in the 90s under Clinton. Russia was robbed blind while Yeltzin drank himself into a stupor. Putin is the one who put a stop to the looting. That is his crime against the western oligarchs and why he is enemy #1. ..."
"... There's no 'lack of discussion about what they have uncovered' which has basically amounted to a pile of dirt. Have not read from the VIPS and William Binney? Uncovering shady business with oligarchs doesn't show collusion, but the dossier oppo does, but it's business as usual. Denying the FBI-DNC server subpoena was odd don't you think? ..."
"... "Fusion GPS appears to be in the center of a web of corruption. Who hired Fusion GPS to ramp up its opposition research against Trump? Hillary Clinton and the DNC. the wife of Justice Department official Bruce G. Ohr worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 presidential election. Nellie Ohr is listed as working for the CIA's Open Source Works department in a 2010 DOJ report." Look how the CIA, FBI, and DNC have found each other and made a friendship forever. ..."
"... Also, do you personally have any concern about the murder of Seth Rich? -- Donna Brazil has become afraid of being Seth-Riched. How come? What kind of scum the Democratic apparatus has become? -- Guess Tony Podesta and Bill Clinton and madame "we came, we saw, he died ha, ha, ha " are the composite face of the Democratic Party today. ..."
"... Have at it Walter. What exactly have they uncovered? The "process" lost credibility long ago. The "intelligence" report of January 6th was garbage and it's been all downhill since. ..."
"... Obama's expulsion of the Russian diplomats after Trump's election, with no reason based on fact/danger to the USA gave a good start to the Russophobia encouraged by the Clinton losers and leading on to the ludicrous extreme situation still going on. ..."
"... Since the whole Guccifer 2.0 operation appears to be an attempt to falsely smear WikiLeaks as a Russian agent (by publicly claiming to be a hacker associated with WikiLeaks and then being "caught" releasing documents (the ones of June 15, 2016) with "Russian fingerprints"), perhaps his uploading files (Sept 13, 2016) to a server with (past) ties to someone associated with WikiLeaks (Kim Dot Com) would have been part of the same effort. ..."
"... Such a reversal of evidence and conclusion bespeaks deliberate deception. The motive is unclear, as the failed Newsweek is said to have been revived in 2013 by a Korean-American Christian fundamentalist David Jang formerly of Moon's Unification Church, whose followers consider him the Second Coming of JC, according to the linked source. http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/03/newsweek-ibt-olivet-david-jang/ ..."
"... It's been a year and a half since Hillary Clinton first accused Donald Trump of being a Putin puppet and in collusion with the Kremlin. Any fool should be able to understand that if there existed any real evidence to support this accusation the world would have seen it under banner headlines long ago. ..."
"... Thank you for your spot-on analysis! The motives of the deep state – including FBI operatives, NY Times and WAPO – is crystal clear. They do not want Trump to be president, and are determined to either remove him or handcuff him indefinitely. But why? Why has the establishment gone crazy? Is it simply political, or something deeper and darker? ..."
"... The real "deep" reason is the PNAC plot to make sure that the USA remains the sole super power that can impose its will anywhere in the world. Trump's campaign position of seeking detente with Russia would have led us into a multi-polar world giving Russia a sphere of influence. That is unacceptable to the empire. ..."
"... RussiaGate is an attempt to remove Trump from power, or at a minimum make it impossible for him to seek detente. I am no Trump apologist, but I do think our only hope for a future in this nuclear age is to seek peace and cooperation in a multi-polar world that respects national sovereignty and the rule of law. I suspect Trump will continue to be brought to heel, with or without the success of RussiaGate. And there is always the JFK solution as a last resort. ..."
"... Where is William Binney's "Thin String" signals intelligence (SIGINT) software when it's needed? Wouldn't it be lovely to focus it on the communications of our own government? Binney says applying it after 9/11 to the pre-9/11 communications streams did successfully predict the 9/11 attacks. If only we had stored all communications of government officials dating back to . hey, let's say 1774 or so, what truths might we now know, and what proofs might we now have? What would FDR's communications prior to Pearl Harbor reveal? What about the JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X assassinations? ..."
Dec 14, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Exclusive: Taking on water from revealed FBI conflicts of interest, the foundering Russia-gate probe – and its mainstream media promoters – are resorting to insults against people who note the listing ship, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The disclosure of fiercely anti-Trump text messages between two romantically involved senior FBI officials who played key roles in the early Russia-gate inquiry has turned the supposed Russian-election-meddling "scandal" into its own scandal, by providing evidence that some government investigators saw it as their duty to block or destroy Donald Trump's presidency.

Peter Strzok, who served as a Deputy Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, second in command of counterintelligence.

As much as the U.S. mainstream media has mocked the idea that an American "deep state" exists and that it has maneuvered to remove Trump from office, the text messages between senior FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal how two high-ranking members of the government's intelligence/legal bureaucracy saw their role as protecting the United States from an election that might elevate to the presidency someone as unfit as Trump.

In one Aug. 6, 2016 text exchange, Page told Strzok: "Maybe you're meant to stay where you are because you're meant to protect the country from that menace." At the end of that text, she sent Strzok a link to a David Brooks column in The New York Times, which concludes with the clarion call: "There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you're not in revolt, you're in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame."

Apparently after reading that stirring advice, Strzok replied, "And of course I'll try and approach it that way. I just know it will be tough at times. I can protect our country at many levels, not sure if that helps."

At a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, criticized Strzok's boast that "I can protect our country at many levels." Jordan said: "this guy thought he was super-agent James Bond at the FBI [deciding] there's no way we can let the American people make Donald Trump the next president."

In the text messages, Strzok also expressed visceral contempt for working-class Trump voters, for instance, writing on Aug. 26, 2016, "Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support. it's scary real down here."

Another text message suggested that other senior government officials – alarmed at the possibility of a Trump presidency – joined the discussion. In an apparent reference to an August 2016 meeting with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Strzok wrote to Page on Aug. 15, 2016, "I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way he gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk."

Strzok added, "It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event that you die before you're 40."

It's unclear what strategy these FBI officials were contemplating to ensure Trump's defeat, but the comments mesh with what an intelligence source told me after the 2016 election, that there was a plan among senior Obama administration officials to use the allegations about Russian meddling to block Trump's momentum with the voters and -- if elected -- to persuade members of the Electoral College to deny Trump a majority of votes and thus throw the selection of a new president into the House of Representatives under the rules of the Twelfth Amendment .

The scheme involved having some Democratic electors vote for former Secretary of State Colin Powell (which did happen), making him the third-place vote-getter in the Electoral College and thus eligible for selection by the House. But the plan fizzled when enough of Trump's electors stayed loyal to their candidate to officially make him President.

After that, Trump's opponents turned to the Russia-gate investigation as the vehicle to create the conditions for somehow nullifying the election, impeaching Trump, or at least weakening him sufficiently so he could not take steps to improve relations with Russia.

In one of her text messages to Strzok, Page made reference to a possible Watergate-style ouster of Trump, writing: "Bought all the president's men. Figure I needed to brush up on watergate."

As a key feature in this oust-Trump effort, Democrats have continued to lie by claiming that "all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred" in the assessment that Russia hacked the Democratic emails last year on orders from President Vladimir Putin and then slipped them to WikiLeaks to undermine Hillary Clinton's campaign.

That canard was used in the early months of the Russia-gate imbroglio to silence any skepticism about the "hacking" accusation, and the falsehood was repeated again by a Democratic congressman during Wednesday's hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.

But the "consensus" claim was never true. In May 2017 testimony , President Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper acknowledged that the Jan. 6 "Intelligence Community Assessment" was put together by "hand-picked" analysts from only three agencies: the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.

Biased at the Creation

And, the new revelations of high-level FBI bias puts Clapper's statement about "hand-picked" analysts in sharper perspective, since any intelligence veteran will tell you that if you hand-pick the analysts you are effectively hand-picking the analysis.

Although it has not yet been spelled out exactly what role Strzok and Page may have had in the Jan. 6 report, I was told by one source that Strzok had a direct hand in writing it. Whether that is indeed the case, Strzok, as a senior FBI counterintelligence official, would almost surely have had input into the selection of the FBI analysts and thus into the substance of the report itself. [For challenges from intelligence experts to the Jan. 6 report, see Consortiumnews.com's " More Holes in the Russia-gate Narrative. "]

If the FBI contributors to the Jan. 6 report shared Strzok's contempt for Trump, it could explain why claims from an unverified dossier of Democratic-financed "dirt" on Trump, including salacious charges that Russian intelligence operatives videotaped Trump being urinated on by prostitutes in a five-star Moscow hotel, was added as a classified appendix to the report and presented personally to President-elect Trump.

Though Democrats and the Clinton campaign long denied financing the dossier – prepared by ex-British spy Christopher Steele who claimed to rely on second- and third-hand information from anonymous Russian contacts – it was revealed in October 2017 that the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign shared in the costs, with the payments going to the "oppo" research firm, Fusion GPS, through the Democrats' law firm, Perkins Coie.

That discovery helped ensnare another senior Justice Department official, Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, who talked with Steele during the campaign and had a post-election meeting with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Recently, Simpson has acknowledged that Ohr's wife, Nellie Ohr, was hired by Fusion GPS last year to investigate Trump.

Bruce Ohr has since been demoted and Strzok was quietly removed from the Russia-gate investigation last July although the reasons for these moves were not publicly explained at the time.

Still, the drive for "another Watergate" to oust an unpopular – and to many insiders, unfit – President remains at the center of the thinking among the top mainstream news organizations as they have scrambled for Russia-gate "scoops" over the past year even at the cost of making serious reporting errors .

For instance, last Friday, CNN -- and then CBS News and MSNBC -- trumpeted an email supposedly sent from someone named Michael J. Erickson on Sept. 4, 2016, to Donald Trump Jr. that involved WikiLeaks offering the Trump campaign pre-publication access to purloined Democratic National Committee emails that WikiLeaks published on Sept. 13, nine days later.

Grasping for Confirmation

Since the Jan. 6 report alleged that WikiLeaks received the "hacked" emails from Russia -- a claim that WikiLeaks and Russia deny -- the story seemed to finally tie together the notion that the Trump campaign had at least indirectly colluded with Russia.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona. March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

This new "evidence" spread like wildfire across social media. As The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald wrote in an article critical of the media's performance, some Russia-gate enthusiasts heralded the revelation with graphics of cannons booming and nukes exploding.

But the story soon collapsed when it turned out that the date on the email was actually Sept. 14, 2016, i.e., the day after WikiLeaks released the batch of DNC emails, not Sept. 4. It appeared that "Erickson" – whoever he was – had simply alerted the Trump campaign to the public existence of the WikiLeaks disclosure.

Greenwald noted , "So numerous are the false stories about Russia and Trump over the last year that I literally cannot list them all."

Yet, despite the cascade of errors and grudging corrections, including some belated admissions that there was no "17-intelligence-agency consensus" on Russian "hacking" – The New York Times made a preemptive strike against the new documentary evidence that the Russia-gate investigation was riddled with conflicts of interest.

The Times' lead editorial on Wednesday mocked reporters at Fox News for living in an "alternate universe" where the Russia-gate "investigation is 'illegitimate and corrupt,' or so says Gregg Jarrett, a legal analyst who appears regularly on [Sean] Hannity's nightly exercise in presidential ego-stroking."

Though briefly mentioning the situation with Strzok's text messages, the Times offered no details or context for the concerns, instead just heaping ridicule on anyone who questions the Russia-gate narrative.

"To put it mildly, this is insane," the Times declared. "The primary purpose of Mr. Mueller's investigation is not to take down Mr. Trump. It's to protect America's national security and the integrity of its elections by determining whether a presidential campaign conspired with a foreign adversary to influence the 2016 election – a proposition that grows more plausible every day."

The Times fumed that "roughly three-quarters of Republicans still refuse to accept that Russia interfered in the 2016 election – a fact that is glaringly obvious to everyone else, including the nation's intelligence community." (There we go again with the false suggestion of a consensus within the intelligence community.)

The Times also took to task Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, for seeking "a Special Counsel to investigate ALL THINGS 2016 – not just Trump and Russia." The Times insisted that "None of these attacks or insinuations are grounded in good faith."

But what are the Times editors so afraid of? As much as they try to insult and intimidate anyone who demands serious evidence about the Russia-gate allegations, why shouldn't the American people be informed about how Washington insiders manipulate elite opinion in pursuit of reversing "mistaken" judgments by the unwashed masses?

Do the Times editors really believe in democracy – a process that historically has had its share of warts and mistakes – or are they just elitists who think they know best and turn away their noses from the smell of working-class people at Walmart?

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).

mike k , December 13, 2017 at 9:54 pm

The NYT is just another tool of the multi-billionaire oligarchs who rule this USA from the shadows. They fear nothing more than the light. When that investigative light gets strong enough, more and more ordinary folks will begin to awake to the massive fraud that has been perpetrated at their expense. And when that happens, we will finally see the Oligarchy begin to crumble under the pressure of the 99%. The truth will out, then heads will roll ..

mike k , December 13, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Keep up the pressure – get your friends interested, tell them about CN, Counterpunch, Strategic-Culture, Chris Hedges, etc. Pursuing the truth can be a fascinating hobby, that leads to a person awakening. Make it interesting, awaken your friend's curiosity.

incontinent reader , December 14, 2017 at 12:04 am

How about also including RT in your list? It's a news and commentary site with strong journalistic values and credibility, notwithstanding what the Administration or the MSM may say or imply.

T.J , December 14, 2017 at 8:45 am

If RT didn't have the qualities you describe, attempts by the Administration and the MSM to discredit it would have been successful. However they will attempt to silence it by other means.

Adam Kraft , December 14, 2017 at 11:59 am

Very true TJ. I found counterpunch when wapo / propornot blacklisted them. Gave 'em creds imo. I also like mint press, occupy, naked capitalism, **world socialist website**, disobedient media, truthout, some of Glenns work on the Intercept and my youtube subs include: wearechange, **anonymous Scandinavia**, **the jimmy dore show**, RT America, TeleSUR English*, Zoon Politikon, **democracy at work**, HA Goodman, theRealNews*, mintpressnews, watching the hawks, secular talk, laura kinhtlinger, judicial watch, empire files, redacted tonight, TBTV, a little from Julian Assange's twitter.

tina , December 14, 2017 at 11:06 pm

what about Al-Jazeera?

Erik G , December 14, 2017 at 8:03 am

Good suggestion; in such persuasion, one must respectfully suggest better sources and avoid any conflict.

Mr. Parry has well summarized for beginners these essential counterpoints to the mass media propaganda.

Those who would like to petition the NYT to make Robert Parry their senior editor may do so here:
https://www.change.org/p/new-york-times-bring-a-new-editor-to-the-new-york-times?recruiter=72650402&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink
While Mr. Parry may prefer independence, and we all know the NYT ownership makes it unlikely, and the NYT may try to ignore it, it is instructive to them that intelligent readers know better journalism when they see it. A petition demonstrates the concerns of a far larger number of potential or lost subscribers.

Amyg , December 14, 2017 at 1:40 pm

I like this use of "awakened," in contrast to the establishment culture's fascination with "woke." People don't need to get woke. They need to become awakened. Thanks to Robert Parry.

Walter Devine , December 13, 2017 at 10:15 pm

I thought we were waiting to hear what the evidence is found. The lack of discussion about what they have uncovered seems to me to speak of a professional operation. Once they are done and present what they have found, then everyone can get on their soap boxes and let loose. As for Bias, that exists in everyone to some extent or another, where was the moral outrage from the Republicans charging this today when the Benghazi investigation was being conducted by folks with known axes to grind themselves? It is the Washington hypocrisy machine at its most obvious. As for the media, print or otherwise, they are just preaching to their choirs in order to sell whatever their particular consumers are buying. Frankly I have come to expect more from you than this article Mr. Parry, here's hoping

Robert Gardner , December 13, 2017 at 10:45 pm

I've been skeptical out the Russian conspiracy so far, but I agree with what Walter Devine wrote.

tina , December 13, 2017 at 11:42 pm

I am still waiting . Mr. Parry can ride on his story back in the 1980's. We are in 2017, The internet is good. What did those people in Washington do today? get rid of net neutrality? Love you all people on CN, Happy Hanukah Merry Christmas, and Kwanzaa, And the winter solstice. Peace to all. Love, tina everyone is going to believe that they want to believe.

incontinent reader , December 14, 2017 at 12:08 am

Are you kidding about Benghazi? Obviously you have still not informed yourself about the egregious security breakdown of the Administration or how the Benghazi facility factored into the CIA's proxy war in Syria. (And, btw, where was Hillary "Rod up her Hiney" Clinton when that '3AM call' came in at 4pm?

Larco Marco , December 14, 2017 at 4:32 am

Hillary Rodham Clinton AND William Hamrod Clinton

Anna , December 14, 2017 at 12:56 am

Thank you for bringing attention to the Benghazi scandal: "FBI Chief Instructed Agents To Lie About Benghazi To Protect Hillary" http://yournewswire.com/fbi-lie-benghazi-hillary/

"By placing the interests of the Obama administration over the public's interests, the order is yet another data point highlighting the politicization of the FBI: After the September 11, 2012 attack against U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama administration peddled a lie, telling the public that the attack was related to Muslims who had become enraged at an anti-Islam YouTube video, and not a planned act of terrorism – despite Hillary Clinton emailing Chelsea Clinton from her unsecure @clintonemail.com server the night of the attack to say exactly that."

-- On a topic of evidence: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/anti-trump-texts-between-fired-fbi-agents-having-extramarital-affair-leak-and-theyre "

In 2016, [the FBI] received the infamous anti-Trump "dossier" The "dossier" was a compendium of allegations about then-candidate Trump and others around him that was compiled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm's bank records, obtained by House investigators, revealed that the project was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Weeks before the 2016 election, Peter Strzok's FBI team agreed to pay former MI6 agent and Fusion GPS operative Christopher Steele $50,000 if he could verify the claims contained within the dossier – which relied on the cooperation of two senior Kremlin officials. (One more time for you, Walter Devine -- "if he [Steele] could verify the claims"). When Steele was unable to verify the claims in the dossier, the FBI wouldn't pay him according to the New York Times.

Despite the fact that Steele was not paid by the FBI for the dossier, Peter Strzok used it to launch a counterintelligence investigation into President Trump's team. Steele was ultimately paid $168,000 by Fusion GPS to assemble the dossier.

-- More evidence" "FBI Texts Reveal "Insurance Policy" To Prevent Trump Presidency" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/we-cant-take-risk-fbi-texts-reveal-insurance-policy-prevent-trump-presidency

-- Have you noticed the numbers for payments? The bank records? The names? -- these are the evidence. Or you believe that there a Bias against the miserable Steele?

bobzz , December 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Of interest to me is why the Republicans did not hammer Hillary for placing an ambassador in what was essentially a CIA compound in the first place. My guess and I can only guess is that they no objection to its being a ratline to ship Libya's stolen armaments to head-chopping jihadists (with USA blessing) fighting Assad. So to raise the issue of why putting an ambassador there would have opened the door to sensitive questions -- if the press would ask them, of course.

Skip Scott , December 14, 2017 at 4:28 pm

That's the real Benghazi story the MSM won't talk about. Although I suspect the armaments were given to the head choppers by the CIA, and then they rebelled at having them transferred to the head choppers in Syria after they had succeeded in killing Ghaddafi.

Jon Adams , December 14, 2017 at 6:17 pm

"Madame Secretary, WHY was it necessary to destroy Libya?" No republican asked THAT question.

Kiza , December 14, 2017 at 7:16 pm

Hello Skip, nice to read your good comments again and to exchange info. Here is an article which talks about the weapons ratline in Syria. Within four days, the powerful anti-tank missiles that CIA bought in Bulgaria and (supposedly) delivered to "moderate" rebels, ended up in ISIS hands. The only problem with the article's narrative is that it is still drawing the official line that the lack of oversight is to blame for such, whilst it was clearly a deliberate action to supply weapons to ISIS wrapped up in plausible deniability of passing them through the hands of some poor inept souls serving as intermediaries.

Thus, the CIA kept being surprised that its powerful weapons kept ending up in ISIS hands but kept doing the same over and over: oops an oversight mistake, oops and another one, oops one more, and another one, . the two hundredth one

https://www.buzzfeed.com/aramroston/blowback-isis-got-a-powerful-missile-the-cia-secretly?utm_term=.joevpx9dG#.lxegj54A7

Adrian Engler , December 14, 2017 at 3:44 am

Starting a grand-scale investigation on the basis of allegations of conspiracy with another government and treason is rather dubious when these allegations from dirty campaign tactics are not based on any tangible facts. It is true that the Muller team does not leak as much to the press as the intelligence services did previously. This investigation still plays an important role for the media propaganda that still pushes the Russiagate conspiracy theory even though there had never been any factual basis for it and no evidence has been found in over a year. Since there is still this investigation is going on, they can use it for justifying their daily minutes of hate against Russia, their calls for censorship and denounciation of any political position that diverges from the neoconservative and neoliberal ideology.

I wonder how long this can go on. So far, the indictments of the Muller team have had nothing to do with the Russiagate conspiracy theory. Paul Manafort was indicted for tax evasion related to lobbying business with Ukraine, mostly years ago. Michael Flynn was indicted because when he reported a call from his holidays to the Russian ambassador to the FBI more than three weeks later, he left out two elements (the FBI had the recordings from the NSA, anyway, so they wouldn't have had to ask him about the telephone call). There was nothing illegal about the contents of the telephone call (the most dubious thing was, of course, the lobbying related to a UN security council resolution vote, but that might at best hint at colluding with Israel, it certainly does not fit the Russiagate conspiracy theory). It seems quite plausible that Flynn just forgot these two elements of a telephone call in which quite a large number of points was raised and that he pleaded guilty because of a plea deal (otherwise he might have been indicted in connection with his lobbying work for Turkey). Superficially, the closest to the idea of Russiagate is the indictment of Papadopoulos, someone who played a minor role in the Trump campaign and was looking for contacts with Russians, but, as it seems did not get very far (for some reasons he seemed to think a Russian woman he was talking with was a relative of Putin). His actions may have been naïve or misguided, but nothing about them was illegal, like in the case of Michael Flynn, he is only accused of lying to the FBI about normal, legal actions.

So, if we judge the Muller investigation by its results, it is not going anywhere. Obviously, that is what should be expected when a commission is set up for investigating a conspiracy theory for which there had never been any evidence to begin with. I suppose the result would be similar if the Illuminati, the Elders of Zion, or reptiloids were officially investigated.

The question is how they will wind down. If they just say that apart from things like Manafort's possible tax evation and Flynn's lobbying for Israel, they have not found anything – certainly nothing that confirms the Russiagate conspiracy theory -, that will be quite difficult, people will demand that it is investigated how it came about that such a conspiracy was spread and played such an influential role in political discourse for some time. It seems that the Muller team wants to delay that moment when they have to confess that the conspiracy theory has broken down, but that won't necessarily make it easier, either.

Antiwar7 , December 14, 2017 at 7:24 am

How long should we wait until we hear of ONE, that's right, ONE piece of evidence backing these claims up? Please answer: 2 years? 10 years? The only evidence so far amounts to "trust us".

And that's ignoring the monumental number of pieces of false evidence that have been put forward. That in itself makes the whole "investigation" suspicious. On top of the long, documented history of the CIA planting false stories in the press.

bobzz , December 14, 2017 at 3:09 pm

I don't know. How long did it take the Dutch to cook the evidence to condemn Russian partisans for the downing of the Malaysian airliner -- with Ukraine holding a gun to their heads.

Dunno , December 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm

Dear Mr. 7, I have come to the grudging conclusion that Russia-gate is and has always been more about Russia and Putin than about the crooked Don. If we stop to think about it, Trump has succumbed to the deep control of the Deep-State colossus. Russia evil; Israel good! Got it? When the pathetic wiener & crotch-grabber isn't bitchin' for Bibi and doing little pooch tricks for Israel, he is being programmed by the pentagon and the Deep State, and making sure that the super-rich get super richer. His own SOS Tillerson called him an effin' moron. Enough said!

Therefore, 7, Russia-gate is all about keeping the pot boiling for the presidential election in Russia next year. Demonizing Putin and Russia is the new great game of our era. The NWO Nebula lusts after Russia's geostrategic location and its abundant resources. It's 1905-1925 all over again. Read the book, "Wall Street and the Russian Revolution 1905-1925" by Richard B. Spence and also take a gander at Trine Day books' website of suppressed books. The deep-state Plutocrats and their secret societies hatch their evil little plots, while trying to keep the rest of us in the dark. Right now, Trump is a convenient platform for anti-Russian propaganda.

Lois Gagnon , December 14, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Think you nailed it. The bankster regime changers already tried once to structurally adjust Russia into being a US puppet state in the 90s under Clinton. Russia was robbed blind while Yeltzin drank himself into a stupor. Putin is the one who put a stop to the looting. That is his crime against the western oligarchs and why he is enemy #1.

Sam F , December 14, 2017 at 8:10 am

Once more the standard troll line about being a prior supporter, which plainly "Devine" is not.
We are well over a year into this matter with nothing but speculation and manufactured claims.
It is clear that Russia-gate = Israel-gate, a diversion from zionist control of the DNC.
Where is the concern of "Devine" for the lack of investigation of control of elections and mass media by Israel?
Why does he seek to cover up the complete destruction of democracy by the foreign power Israel?

Lois Gagnon , December 14, 2017 at 8:43 pm

Oliver Stone had this to say on the matter on FaceBook. If you're on FB, here is the link.

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=oliver%20stone

Adam Kraft , December 14, 2017 at 12:16 pm

facts don't show bias walt. yeah, media sells to the public, but they're also selling (or trading narratives for access) to the gov't. Wikileaks exposed the MSM – DNC collusion and we've witnessed the leaks and anonymous sources from the IC. Trust the CIA?

There's no 'lack of discussion about what they have uncovered' which has basically amounted to a pile of dirt. Have not read from the VIPS and William Binney? Uncovering shady business with oligarchs doesn't show collusion, but the dossier oppo does, but it's business as usual. Denying the FBI-DNC server subpoena was odd don't you think?

I personally believe that progressive hope dies at the DNC and exposing the party's lies (their private and public views) and undemocratic practices (preliminary process, fundraising) is the best thing for the country. It brings us one step closer to potentially building a third party that represents the proletariat and petty bourgeois classes.

Lois Gagnon , December 14, 2017 at 8:49 pm

I agree with your sentiment, but I'm finding it disturbing how many so called progressives are convinced beyond any doubt, despite the evidence I produce to instill doubt, that Russia interfered in "our democracy."

They have come unglued to the point of idiocy over Trump. They are firmly in the clutches of the CIA Deep State apparatus.

Anna , December 14, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Hey, Walter Devine, here is more for your whining about evidence: There are plenty of evidence when the disgusting clintonistas are concerned: http://theduran.com/fusion-gps-admits-that-it-hired-wife-of-doj-official-to-investigate-then-candidate-trump/

"Fusion GPS appears to be in the center of a web of corruption. Who hired Fusion GPS to ramp up its opposition research against Trump? Hillary Clinton and the DNC. the wife of Justice Department official Bruce G. Ohr worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 presidential election. Nellie Ohr is listed as working for the CIA's Open Source Works department in a 2010 DOJ report." Look how the CIA, FBI, and DNC have found each other and made a friendship forever.

Also, do you personally have any concern about the murder of Seth Rich? -- Donna Brazil has become afraid of being Seth-Riched. How come? What kind of scum the Democratic apparatus has become? -- Guess Tony Podesta and Bill Clinton and madame "we came, we saw, he died ha, ha, ha " are the composite face of the Democratic Party today.

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , December 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm

@ Walter Devine: "Once they are done and present what they have found, then everyone can get on their soap boxes and let loose."

But overlook that the Democrats and mainstream media are doing the opposite? It seems to me that this is precisely the point that Mr. Parry's reporting has been aimed at, that the Democrats and mainstream media are jumping enormously to RussiaGate conclusions without disclosing any evidence to back up their incredibly dangerous claims and that there *is* very strong evidence of ulterior motives.

Gregory Herr , December 14, 2017 at 8:22 pm

Have at it Walter. What exactly have they uncovered? The "process" lost credibility long ago. The "intelligence" report of January 6th was garbage and it's been all downhill since.

Peter de Klerk , December 14, 2017 at 8:53 pm

I had great respect Parry's earlier writing which had a healthy dose of MSM skepticism (albeit largely for personal reasons). This whole business of jumping to conclusions on the Russia meddling has put me off him totally. All the reporting seems to be in service of defending a forgone conclusion. I wonder if this has anything to do with fundraising.

falcemartello , December 13, 2017 at 10:28 pm

This whole Russia ate my lunch has entered the realm of alternate truth. The MSM are now actually stating that the Russian hacking the 2016 election as fact. Just like all the other false and fabricated statements of world events in the last 20 years . Fro Yugoslavia, Milosovic exonerated for the falsely laid charges of genocide . How convenient after his death . Qadaffi murdering and slaughtering his own people hence RPL interventionist and voila the highest standard of living in the African continent is now reduced to takfiri heaven for the NATO proxy army recruiting centre. MH17 disaster is still being paroled as Russian deliberate murder. No facts no evidence that would stand even in a Stalinist show trial. Assad gassing his own people. More than debunked by multiple sources and US academics to boot no still being paroled as fact by western MSM.

The whole charade post 9/11 has gone into this Orwellian nightmare that just keep on growing and news and information has become pure Hollwoodian fantasy that the sheeple are sleep walking into this futuristic hell hole that these vile masters of the universe will not be able to back track without losing face and without causing the populace to stand up and be counted and kick tjhese vile players out for good.

john wilson , December 14, 2017 at 6:00 am

Take heart Falcemartello, its not all bad. Over here in the Britain RT has its own free to view TV channel which sits next to the BBC news and the parliament programme. It is now widely watched by the public and has millions of viewers with many using RT as their main news source. The fact that the American deep state criminals have made things difficult for RT America in the US, is a clear indication that the fake news masters otherwise known as the MSN, and their handlers in the deep state are rattled by the ever growing alternative voice. Its up to you, me and the rest of the posters on CN to tell our friends colleagues and others about CN, RT etc. If only one percent take a look then alternative opinion will start to filter through and more importantly, show the public what liars and criminals are in charge of their country.

Skip Scott , December 14, 2017 at 8:15 am

Thanks for the info John. I am really glad that at least Britain has a reasonable degree of freedom of the press. If it spreads across Europe, the USA may eventually find itself so isolated by its own propaganda that the whole evil empire scheme will implode, and we will have to learn to wage peace in a multi-polar world. That is my Christmas wish.

BobS , December 14, 2017 at 11:36 am

It's not difficult to get RT in the US- I watch it regularly on Dish Network. Youtube is another option- I'm guessing it's big and rich enough to survive any changes in net neutrality that will result from the Trump/Pai FCC (of course, Obama and Clinton were just as bad, DEEP STATE!!!!, etc.).
If you're going to tout conspiracies, get your facts straight.

rosemerry , December 14, 2017 at 4:48 pm

John Pilger has an article in counterpunch explaining the importance of documentaries (not just his!). It is notable that his first one, on Cambodia, in 1970, was shown free to air on TV in the UK and thirity other countries, with huge audience impact, but refused by PBS as too disturbing!!

The free press in the USA is in tune with the ptb.

rosemerry , December 14, 2017 at 5:06 pm

I see the Pilger article is here on consortiumnews. It is worth a read, like the rest here!

Kiza , December 14, 2017 at 7:58 pm

What you wrote john wilson is simply not the complete truth, although I wish it was. It is true that RT UK has its own terrestrial digital TV channel. It appears that Margarita Simonyan bid for such channel at an auction when Britain was converting from analogue to digital TV and got it. Thus, the British TV viewers can now see RT without any subscription or special equipment, "next to BBC" as you optimistically say.

What you did not mention john wilson is that the British Government regulator Ofcom is putting severe pressure on RT because their news offered an alternative view to the British propaganda. They rinse and repeat the same biased-news allegations almost every year, keeping RT UK under constant threat of the loss of its broadcasting licence due to "breach of truth standards" = "fake news". They even banned the lightbox, radio and other media advertising campaign of RT in Britain, the so called "RT is the second opinion", only because the campaign claimed that if RT existed before UK attack on Iraq in 2003, Tony Blair may have not been successful in passing the war resolutions through the parliament.

What most people do not appreciate is that the methods of suppression are not the same in all Western countries, and why should they be? Simonyan got a terrestrial TV channel and the broadcasting licence because of the British propaganda hubris – the British still believed that their post-imperial propaganda is the best in the World, just because it was the best in the world during the empire. They simply never expected the Russians to be so successful, just the same as US.

In summary:
US => force RT to register as a foreign agent to force reporting of every little detail of its operations; refuse journalistic credentials to Congress etc to disadvantage its reporting
UK => keep constant threat of the loss of broadcasting licence to skew the reporting towards the British Government version of the news

I post the links relevant to what I wrote here separately to avoid being put on hold.

Kiza , December 14, 2017 at 8:00 pm

https://secondopinion.rt.com/

https://www.rt.com/about-us/press-releases/rt-uk-second-opinion/

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/nov/10/russia-today-ofcom-sanctions-impartiality-ukraine-coverage

https://theintercept.com/2015/03/02/uk-media-regulator-threatens-rt-bias-airing-anti-western-views/

Joe Tedesky , December 13, 2017 at 10:32 pm

Philip Giraldi writes about a shift occurring over at the CIA in Trump's favor, Politico's interview with a somewhat repentant Trump hater Mike Morell now saying 'maybe our plan wasn't that well thought out' , and now these MSM Russia Gate screwups coupled with a discovery of FBI Trump haters, is a result of Trump's recognizing Jerusalem as it being Israel's capital? Just say'n.

rosemerry , December 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm

Obama's expulsion of the Russian diplomats after Trump's election, with no reason based on fact/danger to the USA gave a good start to the Russophobia encouraged by the Clinton losers and leading on to the ludicrous extreme situation still going on.

BobH , December 14, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Amen

Kiza , December 14, 2017 at 8:19 pm

Spot on Bob, the unfortunate and idealistic Mr Seth Rich became the DNC's bottom line, the shining example of its "anything goes as long as we have friends in the right places" (FBI, DOJ, CIA, etc etc).

Lois Gagnon , December 14, 2017 at 9:04 pm

Agreed. Let's not forget Process Server for the DNC Fraud Lawsuit Shawn Lucas who died mysteriously 2 weeks after serving the DNC either.

I never would have believed the rot in the Democratic Party establishment would rival the Republicans, but here we are.

Anon , December 14, 2017 at 8:23 am

"Tina" is a troll assigned to CN to claim extremism, and never presents evidence or argument.

Steven A , December 13, 2017 at 11:16 pm

This is another great review by Robert Parry. However, he again uses the formulation that "WikiLeaks published" and "WikiLeaks released" purloined DNC emails on September 13, 2016. Greenwald and the Washington Post have stated, more carefully, that WikiLeaks "promoted" the data source of these emails by means of a Tweet on that date.

Adam Carter noted in a comment under Parry's previous article that the DNC emails in question are the NGP/VAN files associated with Guccifer 2.0's pre-announced "hack" on July 5, 2016 and reportedly released by him on Sept 13, 2016.

In fact, they are certainly not part of WikiLeak's official archive. One can see from their website that they published nothing between the times of the DNC emails release of July 22, 2016 and the Podesta emails release of October 7. So "published" is clearly the wrong word.

Whether or in what sense it may fairly be stated that WikiLeaks "released", "promoted" or "uploaded" (as according to the Erickson email, which probably represents nothing more than an outsider's impression) the September 13 files needs to be cautiously assessed. Their Tweet did include an access key, as did the Erickson email, and the address for the file given in the latter was a "mega.nz" address. I assume that this address is associated with Kim Dot Com, who also claims to have been involved with WikiLeaks.

Did Guccifer 2.0 himself upload the files to mega.nz? Did he play Kim Dot Com to use the latter's association with Wikileaks to get Wikileaks itself to put out the Sept 13 Tweet advertising the data release? I'm not sure how this all worked, but it seems that it is misleading to simply refer to this set of emails as having been "published" by Wikileaks.

incontinent reader , December 14, 2017 at 12:12 am

Didn't you read the VIPS analyses of the DNC leaks?

Steven A , December 14, 2017 at 8:21 am

Yes, I did, but not while writing my comment above. Do they say anything relevant to the question of whether it is accurate to correct the false media report that the Trump campaign was given access to the NGP/VAN DNC emails before WikiLeaks published them with a "corrected" statement that the Trump campaign was notified (but may never have noticed) of a link to those files by a random member of the public _after WikiLeaks had already published them_? As I recall, the original VIPS memo was itself somewhat confused about the distinction between the NGP/VAN material and the five DNC documents made public by "Guccifer 2.0" on June 15, 2016, so I'm not sure one will find anything relevant to my question there.

While it is true that the "correction" here is _much_ closer to the truth than the original misinformation, the underlined part at the end of my question still seems misleading in that the "publication" is attributed to WikiLeaks without qualification. And it seems Parry is not the only one to make this mistake. As Adam Carter pointed out two days ago, he was very surprised that almost no one has been noticing that the files in question came from "Guccifer 2.0" and not from WikiLeaks. While Parry's attribution misleading, I am still not clear in my own mind about precisely what did happen, i.e. how WikiLeaks came to "promote" the release of the files and whether in some loose or indirect sense WikiLeaks did "release" them.

mike k , December 14, 2017 at 11:08 am

Is there really any other purpose in your involved questioning but seeking to cloud and confuse the obvious issues in the "Russia hacked" affair?

Steven A , December 14, 2017 at 2:05 pm

How is it clouding the issue to suggest, as Adam Carter did, that one element in Parry's (and others') description of the facts in an otherwise excellent article seems to be misleading?

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , December 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm

@ "the address for the file given in the latter was a "mega.nz" address. I assume that this address is associated with Kim Dot Com, who also claims to have been involved with WikiLeaks."

Kim Dot Com's relationship with Mega was already extremely strained by the time of the Guccifer leaks and to the extent he ever had control of the company it had apparently ended. See e.g., https://torrentfreak.com/kim-dotcom-warns-mega-users-to-backup-their-files-160421/

Steven A , December 14, 2017 at 3:17 pm

These are the sort of details I haven't been familiar with and about which I was hoping to learn more – so thanks! I was relying on a vague impression from memory when I made the link between the "mega.nz" address seen in the email from Erickson and Kim Dot Com.

Since the whole Guccifer 2.0 operation appears to be an attempt to falsely smear WikiLeaks as a Russian agent (by publicly claiming to be a hacker associated with WikiLeaks and then being "caught" releasing documents (the ones of June 15, 2016) with "Russian fingerprints"), perhaps his uploading files (Sept 13, 2016) to a server with (past) ties to someone associated with WikiLeaks (Kim Dot Com) would have been part of the same effort.

A contemporary article says this about the release: "'Guccifer 2.0' released over 670 megabytes of documents at a cybersecurity conference in London Tuesday . The documents were released on a file storage system and not on WikiLeaks or on Guccifer 2.0's website." https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/hacker-guccifer-2-0-releases-more-dnc-docs-including-tim-n647921

Thus the statement that "WikiLeaks published" the files in question (repeated by Parry, Justin Raimondo and others) appears to be false. I share the surprise expressed by Adam Carter (under Parry's previous piece) that few appear to have noticed or bothered to correct this error – even though they were on target in exposing the main part of the latest MSM lie.

robjira , December 14, 2017 at 12:17 am

Great related reporting on BAR.
https://www.blackagendareport.com/entire-russian-hacking-narrative-invalidated-single-assange-tweet
https://www.blackagendareport.com/russsiagate-and-collapse-obamas-war-against-syria

Bob Van Noy , December 14, 2017 at 4:37 pm

Excellent links, robjira. Thanks.

Karl Sanchez , December 14, 2017 at 12:57 am

Those of us who live within the Outlaw US Empire have been seduced by lies Big and small since we could understand language. RussiaGate is an example of a Big Lie, just as the Outlaw US Empire being a democracy is a Big Lie–both are indoctrinational. Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Great Pumpkin, Sand Man, Cupid, et al are other excellent examples of indoctrinational Big Lies. One of the most severe is the maxim delivered from parents: You must share and play nice, when the real world acts in the exact opposite fashion. What's more, RussiaGate serves as a cover-up for several major crimes–some by Clinton, some by DNC, some by FBI, some by Justice Department, and some by CIA: None of them are being actively investigated despite there being lots of evidence existing in the public domain, which is why we know those crimes occurred.

I very highly suggest reading this article, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/13/the-u-s-is-not-a-democracy-it-never-was/

Marko , December 14, 2017 at 2:22 am

The last great hope for the Dems :

"A Russian hacker accused of stealing from Russian banks reportedly confessed in court that he hacked the U.S. Democratic National Committee (DNC) and stole Hillary Clinton's emails under the direction of agents from Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB)"

PUTIN ORDERED THEFT OF CLINTON'S EMAILS FROM DNC, RUSSIAN HACKER CONFESSES
BY CRISTINA MAZA ON 12/12/17

http://www.newsweek.com/russian-hacker-stealing-clintons-emailshacking-dnc-putinsfsb-745555

irina , December 14, 2017 at 4:03 am

And on PBS tonite the author of this Atlantic article got to put in her two cents about Putin:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/putins-game/546548/

in which she stated that not only did Putin 'annex Crimea' but also invaded Ukraine, among other things. None of her statements were backed up by any facts, which apparently are irrelevant anymore. Wikipedia has an interesting bio on her.

Bob Van Noy , December 14, 2017 at 9:57 am

Thank you irina for that "catch". I'm a long time reader of "The Atlantic Magazine" well aware of its long, liberal history and was surprised to find David Frum reporting there. David was a speech writer for W. Bush and apparently came up with the infamous "Axis of Evil" tag for President Bush's State Of The Union speech. I'll link the Wikipedia page below for those interested. I'm concerned that propaganda has spread far and wide

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_of_evil

Sam F , December 14, 2017 at 8:56 am

Despite its extremely conclusive title and substance, the Newsweek article later admits the extremely suspect nature of the accusation, and the lack of any evidence whatsoever:

"Andrei Soldatov an expert on Russian cybersecurity, said he believes Kozlovsky invented the story about his direction from the FSB for personal gain. 'I've been communicating with [Kozlovsky] for four months, and he has failed to give me any proof or answer my questions," Soldatov told Newsweek .'He was put in jail by these guys so it could be out of revenge, or he wanted to make a deal with the FSB,'"

Such a reversal of evidence and conclusion bespeaks deliberate deception. The motive is unclear, as the failed Newsweek is said to have been revived in 2013 by a Korean-American Christian fundamentalist David Jang formerly of Moon's Unification Church, whose followers consider him the Second Coming of JC, according to the linked source. http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/03/newsweek-ibt-olivet-david-jang/

Perhaps another quasi-religious CIA front like Fethullah Gulen's madrassas in Turkey and across central Asia.

exiled off mainstreet , December 14, 2017 at 3:13 pm

They keep publishing the same horseshit just like Pravda did in the Soviet era and just like the Voelkischer Beobachter and Stuermer did during the Nazi era. I guess the uninformed hoi polloi get so used to it in these situations that they accept the situation, like ducks and frogs accept watery ponds as their environments.

Manfred Whimplebottem , December 14, 2017 at 9:20 pm

I think I heard a similar story from newsweek months ago, looks like someone took the deal(?).

FBI Probe Into Clinton Emails Prompted Offer of Cash, Citizenship for Confession, Russian Hacker Claims

"On October 5, 2016, days before U.S. intelligence publicly accused Russia of endorsing an infiltration of Democratic Party officials' emails, Nikulin was arrested in Prague at the request of the U.S. on separate hacking charges. Now, Nikulin claims U.S. authorities tried to pin the email scandal on him."

"ikulin's lawyer, Martin Sadilek, [claims] that the FBI visited him at least a couple of times, offering to drop the charges and grant him U.S. citizenship as well as cash and an apartment in the U.S. if the Russian national confessed to participating in the 2016 hacks of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta's emails in July."

"[They told me:] you will have to confess to breaking into Clinton's inbox for [U.S. President Donald Trump] on behalf of [Russian President Vladimir Putin]," Nikulin wrote"

http://www.newsweek.com/fbi-investigation-clinton-emails-russia-hack-607538

Wm. Boyce , December 14, 2017 at 2:33 am

I'm curious as to why this is still an issue. Here's a link to an article from last August:
http://www.businessinsider.com/top-fbi-investigator-peter-strzok-steps-away-from-russia-probe-2017-8

At that time, it wasn't known why Mr. Strzok was transferred/whatever from counter-intelligence, but since then it has been revealed that Mr. Mueller did so for his ( Strzok) political opinions. That would seem a fair thing to do. What's the problem? Might be right-wing fear.

Marko , December 14, 2017 at 4:43 am

" What's the problem? "

C'mon , man. Given Strzok's position and his influence on Russiagate AND the earlier Hillarygate investigations , the fact that he was transferred in July is of little comfort. Any damage he could do he'd already done by then. Jim Jordan will explain it to you , in six minutes :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=69&v=cShxjlUfmhk

exiled off mainstreet , December 14, 2017 at 3:16 pm

The problem is that when that story first appeared, nothing else was disclosed. The damning material took months to emerge, as did Strzok's links to the Clinton coverups and the links to the fake dossier and the FBI's "anti-Trump" insurance policy. Those who want to believe the regime's falsehoods can always come up with rationales such as "I guess the government people know best" which was typical of the answers to sceptics against the Viet Nam war in the mid '60s.

Realist , December 14, 2017 at 2:43 am

It's been a year and a half since Hillary Clinton first accused Donald Trump of being a Putin puppet and in collusion with the Kremlin. Any fool should be able to understand that if there existed any real evidence to support this accusation the world would have seen it under banner headlines long ago. Instead, we get nothing but one set of sensational fake headlines unsupported by any actual facts time and again, all in an attempt to fool the mentally-challenged public. Yet the NYT and the rest of the yellow press continue to insist that the evidence continues to mount against Trump. What a laugh. Moreover, these deceivers are the people that want what they define as "fake news" to be systematically rooted out and stricken from the public record so no thinking person can ever see it. And, they tell us this is a free and democratic country. Got any more jokes?

Homina , December 14, 2017 at 3:48 am

Totally agree. And it reminds me of some reality "quest" shows about finding Bigfoot or the Oak Island treasure, etc.

If those were actually found, it would be reported a day or two later, unless every single one of the producers, actors, workers, etc. were under an NDA enough to wait until some season finale a year or two later. Ridiculous. If Bigfoot exists that will come to us on news, and big news, international. It won't come on a 4th season of some Bigfoot-finding show.

So yeah, season two of the Trump-Russia whatever.

Maddow/MSNBC and the likes have gone utterly insane. Bigfoot behind every door. Scant or zero facts, who cares. This isn't like Benghazi or White Water or Bush's air service this is 24/7 inane terrible journalism from nearly every journalist publisher in the US.

exiled off mainstreet , December 14, 2017 at 3:30 am

I think that the new evidence discussed provides Trump the cover to pull the plug on the whole Mueller operation despite the Alabama debacle. Sure the media talkers would compare it to the Saturday Night Massacre, but the proven falsity of the whole absurd circus renders risible such comparisons. While I don't expect much out of Trump, the championing of this absurd theory by the mainstream democrats renders them an existential threat to civilization itself based on the fact that enmity with Russia seems to be their be-all and end-all. It is all not only criminal but profoundly stupid.

Homina , December 14, 2017 at 3:40 am

"The primary purpose of Mr. Mueller's investigation is not to take down Mr. Trump. It's to protect America's national security and the integrity of its elections by determining whether a presidential campaign conspired with a foreign adversary to influence the 2016 election – a proposition that grows more plausible every day."

1. How is Russia an "adversary"? And even if Russia is, that's weasel-words and subjective. Is Turkey a foreign adversary? Is Israel? China? Mexico?

2. Why wasn't there decades ago a special Election Panel looking into foreign influence? I guess it just started to happen in this last election though .Only with Putin!

3. "more plausible" .this fucking idiot. After a year of headlines of "this is what will finally take down Trump" and such, all with zero reasons, zero facts .Is naught more plausible than naught?

4. I detest Trump. I more detest hypocrites and idiots.

But sure, "blah blah more possible take trump down" says some idiot or collective NYT idiocy. Bore me more your next op-ed, you partisan morons.

Sam F , December 14, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Yes, the NYT is mere propaganda. We already know that "a presidential campaign conspired with a foreign adversary to influence the 2016 election" because Clinton's top ten donors were all Zionists, and she supported all wars for Israel.

Rich Monahan , December 14, 2017 at 3:57 am

Thank you for your spot-on analysis! The motives of the deep state – including FBI operatives, NY Times and WAPO – is crystal clear. They do not want Trump to be president, and are determined to either remove him or handcuff him indefinitely. But why? Why has the establishment gone crazy? Is it simply political, or something deeper and darker?

Skip Scott , December 14, 2017 at 8:59 am

The real "deep" reason is the PNAC plot to make sure that the USA remains the sole super power that can impose its will anywhere in the world. Trump's campaign position of seeking detente with Russia would have led us into a multi-polar world giving Russia a sphere of influence. That is unacceptable to the empire.

RussiaGate is an attempt to remove Trump from power, or at a minimum make it impossible for him to seek detente. I am no Trump apologist, but I do think our only hope for a future in this nuclear age is to seek peace and cooperation in a multi-polar world that respects national sovereignty and the rule of law. I suspect Trump will continue to be brought to heel, with or without the success of RussiaGate. And there is always the JFK solution as a last resort.

M C Martin , December 14, 2017 at 6:08 am

Where is William Binney's "Thin String" signals intelligence (SIGINT) software when it's needed? Wouldn't it be lovely to focus it on the communications of our own government? Binney says applying it after 9/11 to the pre-9/11 communications streams did successfully predict the 9/11 attacks. If only we had stored all communications of government officials dating back to . hey, let's say 1774 or so, what truths might we now know, and what proofs might we now have? What would FDR's communications prior to Pearl Harbor reveal? What about the JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X assassinations?

While I can't endorse our government's illegal and immoral collection and storing of virtually all communications among people, if the store is there and is used against petty criminals, why couldn't or shouldn't it be used to detect and prove the illegal acts of our government power brokers?

What's good for the goose

[Dec 10, 2017] When Washington Cheered the Jihadists Consortiumnews

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... William Roebuck, the American embassy's chargé d'affaires in Damascus, thus urged Washington in 2006 to coordinate with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to encourage Sunni Syrian fears of Shi'ite Iranian proselytizing even though such concerns are "often exaggerated." It was akin to playing up fears of Jewish dominance in the 1930s in coordination with Nazi Germany. ..."
"... A year later, former NATO commander Wesley Clark learned of a classified Defense Department memo stating that U.S. policy was now to "attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years," first Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. (Quote starts at 2:07 .) ..."
"... So the answer was not to oppose the Islamists, but to use them. Even though "the Islamist surge will not be a picnic for the Syrian people," Gambill said, "it has two important silver linings for US interests." One is that the jihadis "are simply more effective fighters than their secular counterparts" thanks to their skill with "suicide bombings and roadside bombs." ..."
"... The other is that a Sunni Islamist victory in Syria will result in "a full-blown strategic defeat" for Iran, thereby putting Washington at least part way toward fulfilling the seven-country demolition job discussed by Wesley Clark. ..."
"... The U.S. would settle with the jihadis only after the jihadis had settled with Assad. The good would ultimately outweigh the bad. This kind of self-centered moral calculus would not have mattered had Gambill only spoken for himself. But he didn't. Rather, he was expressing the viewpoint of Official Washington in general, which is why the ultra-respectable FP ran his piece in the first place. ..."
"... The parallels with the DIA are striking. "The west, gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition," the intelligence report declared, even though "the Salafist[s], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [i.e. Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency." ..."
"... ancien régime, ..."
"... With the Saudis footing the bill, the U.S. would exercise untrammeled sway. ..."
"... Has a forecast that ever gone more spectacularly wrong? Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair. But thanks largely to the U.S.-backed sectarian offensive, 400,000 Syrians or more have died since Gambill's article appeared, with another 6.1 million displaced and an estimated 4.8 million fleeing abroad. ..."
"... So instead of advancing U.S. policy goals, Gambill helped do the opposite. The Middle East is more explosive than ever while U.S. influence has fallen to sub-basement levels. Iranian influence now extends from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean, while the country that now seems to be wobbling out of control is Saudi Arabia where Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is lurching from one self-induced crisis to another. The country that Gambill counted on to shore up the status quo turns out to be undermining it. ..."
"... It's not easy to screw things up so badly, but somehow Washington's bloated foreign-policy establishment has done it. Since helping to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Gambill has moved on to a post at the rightwing Middle East Forum where Daniel Pipes, the group's founder and chief, now inveighs against the same Sunni ethnic cleansing that his employee defended or at least apologized for. ..."
"... The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy ..."
"... I do not believe than anyone in the civil or military command ever believed that arming the jihadists would bring any sort of stability or peace to the region. I do not believe that peace was ever an interest of the US until it has once again gained hegemonic control of central Asia. This is a fight to retain US global domination – causalities do not matter. The US and its partners or co-rulers of the Empire the Saud family and the Zionist oligarchy will slaughter with impunity until someone stops them or their own corruption defeats them. ..."
"... The Empire can not exist without relentless ongoing slaughter it has been at it every day now for 73 years. It worked for them all that time but that time has run out. China has already set the date for when its currency will become fully freely exchanged, less than 5 years. ..."
"... Even the most stupid person on earth couldn't think that the US was using murdering, butchering head choppers in a bid to bring peace and stability to the middle East. The Neocons and the other criminals that infest Washington don't want peace at any price because its bad for business. ..."
"... It's the same GROTESQUE caricature of these wars that the mainstream media always presents: that the U.S. is on the side of good, and fights for good, even though every war INVARIABLY ends up in a bloodbath, with no one caring how many civilians have died, what state the country is left in, that civilian infrastructure and civilians were targeted, let alone whether war could have been prevented. For example, in 1991, shortly after the first Gulf War, Iraqis rose up against their regime, but George H. Bush allowed Saddam to fly his military helicopters (permission was needed due to the no-fly zones), and quell the rebellion in blood – tens of thousands were butchered! Bush said that when he told Iraqis to rebel, he meant the military generals, NOT the Iraqi people themselves. In other words, the U.S. wanted Saddam gone, but the same regime in place. The U.S. never cared about the people! ..."
"... The military-industrial-complex sicced Mueller on Trump because they despise his overtures towards rapprochement with the Kremlin. The military-industrial-complex MUST have a villain to justify the gigantic defense [sic] spending which permeates the entire U.S. politico-economic system. Putin and Russia were always the preferred demon because they easily fit the bill in the minds of an easily brainwashed American public. Of course saber rattling towards Moscow puts the world on the brink of nuclear war, but no matter, the careerism and fat contracts are all that matter to the MIC. Trump's rhetoric about making peace with the Kremlin has always mortified the MIC. ..."
"... This is a rare instance of our elites battling it out behind the scenes, both groups being reprehensible power hungry greed heads and sociopaths, it's hard to tell how this will end. ..."
"... Lets be clear: The military-industrial-complex wants plenty of low intensity conflict to fuel ever more fabulous weapons sales, not a really hot war where all those pretty expensive toys are falling out of the sky in droves. ..."
"... On 24 October 2017, the Intercept released an NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which reveals that terrorist militants in Syria were under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives. ..."
"... The US intelligence memo is evidence of internal US government confirmation of the direct role that both the Saudi and US governments played in fueling attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as military targets in pursuit of "regime change" in Syria. ..."
"... Israel's support for terrorist forces in Syria is well established. The Israelis and Saudis coordinate their activities. ..."
"... An August 2012 DIA report (written when the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist groups: "the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." The "deterioration of the situation" was predicted to have "dire consequences" for Iraq, which included the "grave danger" of a terrorist "Islamic state". Some of the "dire consequences" are blacked out but the DIA warned one such consequence would be the "renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena." ..."
"... The heavily redacted DIA memo specifically mentions "the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)." ..."
"... To clarify just who these "supporting powers" were, mentioned in the document who sought the creation of a "Salafist principality," the DIA memo explained: "The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime." ..."
"... The DIA memo clearly indicates when it was decided to transform US, Saudi, and Turkish-backed Al Qaeda affiliates into ISIS: the "Salafist" (Islamic) "principality" (State). NATO member state Turkey has been directly supporting terrorism in Syria, and specifically, supporting ISIS. In 2014, Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle's reported "'IS' supply channels through Turkey." DW exposed fleets of hundreds of trucks a day, passing unchallenged through Turkey's border crossings with Syria, clearly bound for the defacto ISIS capital of Raqqa. Starting in September 2015, Russian airpower in Syria successfully interdicted ISIS supply lines. ..."
"... The usual suspects in Western media launched a relentless propaganda campaign against Russian support for Syria. The Atlantic Council's Bellingcat disinformation operation started working overtime. ..."
"... The propaganda effort culminated in the 4 April 2017 Khan Shaykhun false flag chemical incident in Idlib. Bellingcat's Eliot Higgins and Dan Kaszeta have been paraded by "First Draft" coalition media "partners" in a vigorous effort to somehow implicate the Russians. ..."
"... In a January 2016 interview on Al Jazeera, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn admitted that he "paid very close attention" to the August 2012 DIA report predicting the rise of a "declared or undeclared Salafist Principality" in Syria. Flynn even asserts that the White House's sponsoring of terrorists (that would emerge as Al Nusra and ISIS) against the Syrian regime was "a willful decision." ..."
"... Flynn was interviewed by British journalist Mehdi Hasan for Al Jazeera's Head to Head program. Flynn made it clear that the policies that led to the "the rise of the Islamic State, the rise of terrorism" were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making ..."
"... General Flynn explained to Hersh that 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic.' Hersh's investigative report exposed a kind of intelligence schism between the Pentagon and CIA concerning the covert program in Syria. ..."
"... The article raises a very serious charge. Up till now it appeared that supplying weapons to Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria was just another example of Pentagon incompetence but the suggestion here is that it was a concerted policy and it's hard to believe that there was no one in the Pentagon that was privy to that policy who wouldn't raise an objection. ..."
"... That it conformed with Israeli, Saudi and CIA designs is not surprising, but that there was no dissension within the Pentagon is appalling (or that Obama didn't raise objections). Clark's comment should put him on the hot seat for a congressional investigation but, of course, there is no one in congress to run with it. The policy is so manifestly evil that it seems to dwarf even the reckless ignorance of preceding "interventions". ..."
"... The DIA report released by Gen. Flynn in 2012 predicted the Islamic State with alarm. That is why Flynn was fired as Director of DIA. He objected to the insane policy of supporting the CIA/Saudi madness and saw it as not only counter-productive but disastrous. His comments to AlJazeera in 2016 reinforced this position. Gen Flynn's faction of the American military has been consistent in its opposition to CIA support of terrorist forces. ..."
"... I see Gen. Flynn as a whistleblower. The 2012 report he circulated saw the rise of the Salafist Islamic state with alarm ..."
"... Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. ..."
"... Thank you. Gen Flynn also urged coordination with Russia against ISIS, so it doesn't take much to see why he was targeted. ..."
"... The use of Islamist proxy warriors to help achieve American geo-political ends goes back to at least 1979, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Libya, and Syria. One of the better books on 9/11 is Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed's "The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism". The first section of that book – "The Geopolitics of Terrorism" – covers, across 150 well-sourced pages, the history and background of this involvement. It is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to be better informed on this topic. ..."
"... Jaycee, actually you have to go back much further than that to WW2. Hitler used the marginalized Turkic people in Russia and turned them into effective fighters to create internal factions within the Soviet Union. After Hitler lost and the Cold War began, the US, who had no understanding of the Soviets at the time radicalized and empowered Islamist including the Muslim Brotherhood to weaponize Islam against the Soviet Union. ..."
"... All these western imperial geostrategic planners are certifiably insane and have no business anywhere near the levers of government policy. They are the number one enemy of humanity. If we don't find a way to remove them from power, they may actually succeed in destroying life on Earth. ..."
"... There is a volume of evidence that the war criminals in our midst were arming and training "jihadists." See link below. http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html ..."
"... Incompetence and stupidity are their only defense because if anyone acknowledged that trillions of dollars have been made by the usual suspects committing these crimes, the industrialists of war would face a justice symbolized by Nuremberg. ..."
"... The American groupthink rarely allows propaganda and disinformation disturb: endless wars and endless lies and criminality, have not disturbed this mindset. It is clever to manipulate people to think in a way opposite of truth so consistently. All the atrocities by the US have been surrounded by media propaganda and mastery of groupthink techniques go down well. Mention something unusual or real news and you might get heavily criticized for daring to think outside the box and doubt what are (supposedly) "religious truths". Tell a lie long enough and it becomes the truth. ..."
"... The CIA was a key force behind the creation of both al Qaeda and ISIS. Most major incidents of "Islamic Terrorism" have some kind of CIA backing behind them. See this large collection of links for compiled evidence: http://www.pearltrees.com/joshstern/government-supporting/id18814292 ..."
"... This journalist and other journalists writing on some of my favorite Russian propaganda news websites, have reported the US empire routinely makes "deals with the devil", the enemy of my enemy is my friend, if doing so furthers their goal of perpetual war and global hegemony. Yet, inexplicably, these journalists buy the US empire's 911 story without question, in the face of many unanswered questions ..."
"... Bin Laden (CIA staffer) and a handful of his men, all from close allied countries to the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, delivered the 2nd Pearl Harbor on 911. What a timely coincidence! We accept the US Empire provides weapons and military support to the same enemy, and worse, who attacked us on 911, but one is labeled a "conspiracy nut" if they believe that same US Empire would orchestrate 911 to justify their long planned global war. One thing about being a "conspiracy nut", if you live long enough, often you will see your beliefs vindicated ..."
"... So many questions, and so much left unanswered, but don't worry America may run out of money for domestic vital needs but the U.S. always has the money to go fight another war. It's a culture thing, and if you ain't into it then you just don't pay no attention to it. In fact if your life is better off from all of these U.S. led invasions, then your probably not posting any comments here, either. ..."
"... From the October 1973 Yom Kippur War onward, the United States had no foreign policy in the Middle East other than Israel's. Daniel Lazare should read "A clean break: a new strategy for the Realm". ..."
"... For the majority of amoral opportunists of the US, money=power=virtue and they will attack all who disagree. ..."
"... I am stunned that anyone could be so foolish as to think that the US military machine, US imperialism, does things "naively", bumbling like a helpless giant into wars that destroy entire nations with no end in sight. One need not be a "conspiracy theorist" to understand that the Pentagon does not control the world with an ever-expanding war budget equal to the next 10 countries combined, that it does this just because it is stuck on the wrong path. No! US imperialism develops these "big guns" to use them, to overpower, take over and dominate the world for the sake of profits and protection of the right to exploit for private profit. ..."
"... Daniel Pipes, from what I've read of him, is among those who counsel the U.S. government to use its military power to support the losing side in any civil wars fought within Israel's enemy states, so that the wars will continue, sparing Israel the threat of unified enemy states. What normal human beings consider a humanitarian disaster, repeated in Iraq, Syria and Libya, would be reckoned a success according to this way of thinking. The thinking would appear to lead to similar treatment of Iran, with even more catastrophic consequences. ..."
"... I think this pattern of using Salafists for regime change started already in Afghanistan, with Brzezinski plotting with Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan to pay and train Osama bin Laden to attack the pro Russia regime and trying to get the USSR involved in it, also trying to blame the USSR for its agression, like they did in Syri"r? ..."
"... Yes, the Brzezinski/Reagan support of fanatic insurgencies began in AfPak and was revived for the zionists. Russia happened to be on the side more or less tending to progress in both cases, so it had to be opposed. The warmongers are always the US MIC/intel, allied with the anti-American zionist fascists for Mideast wars. ..."
"... Sheldon Adelson, Soros, Saban all wanted carving up of Arabic states into small sectarian pieces (No Nasseric pan-Arabic states, a threat to Israël). And protracted wars of total destruction. Easy. ..."
"... Of course, they were told (by whom?) that the jihadists were 'democratic rebels' and 'freedom fighters' who just wanted to 'bring democracy' to Syria, and get rid of the 'tyrant Assad.' 5 years later, so much of the nonsense about "local councils" and "white helmets" has been exposed for what it was. Yet many 'free thinking' people bought the propaganda. Just like they do on Russiagate. Who needs an "alt-right" when America's "left" is a total disgrace? ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

When a Department of Defense intelligence report about the Syrian rebel movement became public in May 2015, lots of people didn't know what to make of it. After all, what the report said was unthinkable – not only that Al Qaeda had dominated the so-called democratic revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for years, but that the West continued to support the jihadis regardless, even to the point of backing their goal of creating a Sunni Salafist principality in the eastern deserts.

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative in August 2014.

The United States lining up behind Sunni terrorism – how could this be? How could a nice liberal like Barack Obama team up with the same people who had brought down the World Trade Center?

It was impossible, which perhaps explains why the report remained a non-story long after it was released courtesy of a Judicial Watch freedom-of-information lawsuit . The New York Times didn't mention it until six months later while the Washington Post waited more than a year before dismissing it as "loopy" and "relatively unimportant." With ISIS rampaging across much of Syria and Iraq, no one wanted to admit that U.S. attitudes were ever anything other than hostile.

But three years earlier, when the Defense Intelligence Agency was compiling the report, attitudes were different. Jihadis were heroes rather than terrorists, and all the experts agreed that they were a low-risk, high-yield way of removing Assad from office.

After spending five days with a Syrian rebel unit, for instance, New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers wrote that the group "mixes paramilitary discipline, civilian policing, Islamic law, and the harsh demands of necessity with battlefield coldness and outright cunning."

Paul Salem, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, assured the Washington Post that "al Qaeda is a fringe element" among the rebels, while, not to be outdone, the gossip site Buzzfeed published a pin-up of a "ridiculously photogenic" jihadi toting an RPG.

"Hey girl," said the subhead. "Nothing sexier than fighting the oppression of tyranny."

And then there was Foreign Policy, the magazine founded by neocon guru Samuel P. Huntington, which was most enthusiastic of all. Gary Gambill's " Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists ," which ran on the FP web site just a couple of weeks after the DIA report was completed, didn't distort the facts or make stuff up in any obvious way. Nonetheless, it is a classic of U.S. propaganda. Its subhead glibly observed: "So the rebels aren't secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn't much matter."

Assessing the Damage

Five years later, it's worth a second look to see how Washington uses self-serving logic to reduce an entire nation to rubble.

First a bit of background. After displacing France and Britain as the region's prime imperial overlord during the 1956 Suez Crisis and then breaking with Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser a few years later, the United States committed itself to the goal of defeating Arab nationalism and Soviet Communism, two sides of the same coin as far as Washington was concerned. Over the next half-century, this would mean steering Egypt to the right with assistance from the Saudis, isolating Libyan strong man Muammar Gaddafi, and doing what it could to undermine the Syrian Baathist regime as well.

William Roebuck, the American embassy's chargé d'affaires in Damascus, thus urged Washington in 2006 to coordinate with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to encourage Sunni Syrian fears of Shi'ite Iranian proselytizing even though such concerns are "often exaggerated." It was akin to playing up fears of Jewish dominance in the 1930s in coordination with Nazi Germany.

A year later, former NATO commander Wesley Clark learned of a classified Defense Department memo stating that U.S. policy was now to "attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years," first Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. (Quote starts at 2:07 .)

Since the United States didn't like what such governments were doing, the solution was to install more pliable ones in their place. Hence Washington's joy when the Arab Spring struck Syria in March 2011 and it appeared that protesters would soon topple the Baathists on their own.

Even when lofty democratic rhetoric gave way to ominous sectarian chants of "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin," U.S. enthusiasm remained strong. With Sunnis accounting for perhaps 60 percent of the population, strategists figured that there was no way Assad could hold out against religious outrage welling up from below.

Enter Gambill and the FP. The big news, his article began, is that secularists are no longer in command of the burgeoning Syrian rebel movement and that Sunni Islamists are taking the lead instead. As unfortunate as this might seem, he argued that such a development was both unavoidable and far from entirely negative.

"Islamist political ascendancy is inevitable in a majority Sunni Muslim country brutalized for more than four decades by a secular minoritarian dictatorship," he wrote in reference to the Baathists. "Moreover, enormous financial resources are pouring in from the Arab-Islamic world to promote explicitly Islamist resistance to Assad's Alawite-dominated, Iranian-backed regime."

So the answer was not to oppose the Islamists, but to use them. Even though "the Islamist surge will not be a picnic for the Syrian people," Gambill said, "it has two important silver linings for US interests." One is that the jihadis "are simply more effective fighters than their secular counterparts" thanks to their skill with "suicide bombings and roadside bombs."

The other is that a Sunni Islamist victory in Syria will result in "a full-blown strategic defeat" for Iran, thereby putting Washington at least part way toward fulfilling the seven-country demolition job discussed by Wesley Clark.

"So long as Syrian jihadis are committed to fighting Iran and its Arab proxies," the article concluded, "we should quietly root for them – while keeping our distance from a conflict that is going to get very ugly before the smoke clears. There will be plenty of time to tame the beast after Iran's regional hegemonic ambitions have gone down in flames."

Deals with the Devil

The U.S. would settle with the jihadis only after the jihadis had settled with Assad. The good would ultimately outweigh the bad. This kind of self-centered moral calculus would not have mattered had Gambill only spoken for himself. But he didn't. Rather, he was expressing the viewpoint of Official Washington in general, which is why the ultra-respectable FP ran his piece in the first place.The Islamists were something America could employ to their advantage and then throw away like a squeezed lemon. A few Syrians would suffer, but America would win, and that's all that counts.

The parallels with the DIA are striking. "The west, gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition," the intelligence report declared, even though "the Salafist[s], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [i.e. Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency."

Where Gambill predicted that "Assad and his minions will likely retreat to northwestern Syria," the DIA speculated that the jihadis might establish "a declared or undeclared Salafist principality" at the other end of the country near cities like Hasaka and Der Zor (also known as Deir ez-Zor).

Where the FP said that the ultimate aim was to roll back Iranian influence and undermine Shi'ite rule, the DIA said that a Salafist principality "is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)."

Bottle up the Shi'ites in northwestern Syria, in other words, while encouraging Sunni extremists to establish a base in the east so as to put pressure on Shi'ite-influenced Iraq and Shi'ite-ruled Iran.

As Gambill put it: "Whatever misfortunes Sunni Islamists may visit upon the Syrian people, any government they form will be strategically preferable to the Assad regime, for three reasons: A new government in Damascus will find continuing the alliance with Tehran unthinkable, it won't have to distract Syrians from its minority status with foreign policy adventurism like the ancien régime, and it will be flush with petrodollars from Arab Gulf states (relatively) friendly to Washington."

With the Saudis footing the bill, the U.S. would exercise untrammeled sway.

Disastrous Thinking

Has a forecast that ever gone more spectacularly wrong? Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair. But thanks largely to the U.S.-backed sectarian offensive, 400,000 Syrians or more have died since Gambill's article appeared, with another 6.1 million displaced and an estimated 4.8 million fleeing abroad.

U.S.-backed Syrian "moderate" rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the YouTube video] War-time destruction totals around $250 billion , according to U.N. estimates, a staggering sum for a country of 18.8 million people where per-capita income prior to the outbreak of violence was under $3,000. From Syria, the specter of sectarian violence has spread across Asia and Africa and into Europe and North America as well. Political leaders throughout the advanced industrial world are still struggling to contain the populist fury that the Middle East refugee crisis, the result of U.S.-instituted regime change, helped set off.

So instead of advancing U.S. policy goals, Gambill helped do the opposite. The Middle East is more explosive than ever while U.S. influence has fallen to sub-basement levels. Iranian influence now extends from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean, while the country that now seems to be wobbling out of control is Saudi Arabia where Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is lurching from one self-induced crisis to another. The country that Gambill counted on to shore up the status quo turns out to be undermining it.

It's not easy to screw things up so badly, but somehow Washington's bloated foreign-policy establishment has done it. Since helping to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Gambill has moved on to a post at the rightwing Middle East Forum where Daniel Pipes, the group's founder and chief, now inveighs against the same Sunni ethnic cleansing that his employee defended or at least apologized for.

The forum is particularly well known for its Campus Watch program, which targets academic critics of Israel, Islamists, and – despite Gambill's kind words about "suicide bombings and roadside bombs" – anyone it considers the least bit apologetic about Islamic terrorism.

Double your standard, double the fun. Terrorism, it seems, is only terrorism when others do it to the U.S., not when the U.S. does it to others.

Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).

Babyl-on , December 8, 2017 at 5:26 pm

I do not believe than anyone in the civil or military command ever believed that arming the jihadists would bring any sort of stability or peace to the region. I do not believe that peace was ever an interest of the US until it has once again gained hegemonic control of central Asia. This is a fight to retain US global domination – causalities do not matter. The US and its partners or co-rulers of the Empire the Saud family and the Zionist oligarchy will slaughter with impunity until someone stops them or their own corruption defeats them.

The Empire can not exist without relentless ongoing slaughter it has been at it every day now for 73 years. It worked for them all that time but that time has run out. China has already set the date for when its currency will become fully freely exchanged, less than 5 years. When that happens the world will return to the gold standard + Bitcoin possibly and US dollar hegemony will end. After that the trillion dollar a year military and the 20 trillion debt take on a different meaning. Before that slaughter non-stop will continue.

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:31 am

Really, Baby-lon, your first short paragraph sums this piece by Lazare perfectly and makes the rest of his blog seem rather pointless. Even the most stupid person on earth couldn't think that the US was using murdering, butchering head choppers in a bid to bring peace and stability to the middle East. The Neocons and the other criminals that infest Washington don't want peace at any price because its bad for business.

Jerald Davidson , December 9, 2017 at 11:53 am

Babyl-on and John Wilson: you have nailed it. The last thing the US (gov't.) wants is peace. War is big business; casualties are of no concern (3 million Koreans died in the Korean War; 3 million Vietnamese in that war; 100's of thousands in Iraq [including Clinton's sanctions] and Afghanistan). The US has used jihadi proxies since the mujahedeen in 1980's Afghanistan and Contras in Nicaragua. To the US (gov't.), a Salafist dictatorship (such as Saudi Arabia) is highly preferable to a secular, nationalist ruler (such as Egypt's Nasser, Libya's Gaddafi, Syria's Assad).
So the cover story of the jjihadi's has changed – first they are freedom fighters, then terrorists. What does not change is that in either case they are pawns of the US (gov't.) goal of hegemony.
(Incidentally, Drew Hunkins must be responding to a different article.)

BannanaBoat , December 9, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Exactly Baby right on, Either USA strategists are extremely ignorant or they are attempting to create chaos, probably both. Perhaps not continuously but surely frequently the USA has promoted war prior to the last 73 years. Native Genocide , Mexican Wars, Spanish War, WWI ( USA banker repayment war)

Richard , December 9, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Exactly Babylon! Looks like consortiumnews is turning into another propaganda rag. Assad was allied with Russia and Iran – that's why the U.S. wanted him removed. Israel said that they would preferred ISIS in power over Assad. The U.S. would have happily wiped out 90% of the population using its terrorist proxies if it thought it could have got what it wanted.

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 8:50 am

CN tends to make moderate statements so as to communicate with those most in need of them. One must start with the understandings of the audience and show them that the evidence leads further.

Richard , December 10, 2017 at 10:27 am

Sam F, no, it's a DELIBERATE lie in support of U.S. foreign policy. The guy wrote: "the NAIVE belief that jihadist proxies could be used to TRANSFORM THE REGION FOR THE BETTER." It could have been written as: "the stated justification by the president that he wanted to transform the region for the better, even though there are often ulterior motives."

It's the same GROTESQUE caricature of these wars that the mainstream media always presents: that the U.S. is on the side of good, and fights for good, even though every war INVARIABLY ends up in a bloodbath, with no one caring how many civilians have died, what state the country is left in, that civilian infrastructure and civilians were targeted, let alone whether war could have been prevented. For example, in 1991, shortly after the first Gulf War, Iraqis rose up against their regime, but George H. Bush allowed Saddam to fly his military helicopters (permission was needed due to the no-fly zones), and quell the rebellion in blood – tens of thousands were butchered! Bush said that when he told Iraqis to rebel, he meant the military generals, NOT the Iraqi people themselves. In other words, the U.S. wanted Saddam gone, but the same regime in place. The U.S. never cared about the people!

Either Robert Parry or the author wrote that introduction. I suspect Mr Parry – he always portrays the president as having a heart of gold, but, always, sadly, misinformed; being a professional journalist, he knows full well that people often only read the start and end of an article.

Drew Hunkins , December 8, 2017 at 5:31 pm

What we have occurring right now in the United States is a rare divergence of interests within our ruling class. The elites are currently made up of Zionist-militarists. What we're now witnessing is a rare conflict between the two factions. This particular internecine battle has reared its head in the past, the Dubai armaments deal comes to mind off the top of my head.

Trump started the Jerusalem imbroglio because he's concerned about Mueller's witch hunt.

The military-industrial-complex sicced Mueller on Trump because they despise his overtures towards rapprochement with the Kremlin. The military-industrial-complex MUST have a villain to justify the gigantic defense [sic] spending which permeates the entire U.S. politico-economic system. Putin and Russia were always the preferred demon because they easily fit the bill in the minds of an easily brainwashed American public. Of course saber rattling towards Moscow puts the world on the brink of nuclear war, but no matter, the careerism and fat contracts are all that matter to the MIC. Trump's rhetoric about making peace with the Kremlin has always mortified the MIC.

Since Trump's concerned about 1.) Mueller's witch hunt (he definitely should be deeply concerned, this is an out of control prosecutor on mission creep), and 2.) the almost total negative coverage the press has given him over the last two years, he's made a deal with the Zionist Power Configuration; Trump, effectively saying to them: "I'll give you Jerusalem, you use your immense influence in the American mass media to tamp down the relentlessly hostile coverage toward me, and perhaps smear Mueller's witch hunt a bit ".

This is a rare instance of our elites battling it out behind the scenes, both groups being reprehensible power hungry greed heads and sociopaths, it's hard to tell how this will end.

How this all eventually plays out is anyone's guess indeed. Let's just make sure it doesn't end with mushroom clouds over Tehran, Saint Petersburg, Paris, Chicago, London, NYC, Washington and Berlin.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Trump's purported deviation from foreign policy orthodoxy regarding both Russia and Israel was a propaganda scam engineered by the pro-Israel Lobby from the very beginning. As Russia-gate fiction is progressively deconstructed, the Israel-gate reality becomes ever more despicably obvious.

The shamelessly Israel-pandering Trump received the "Liberty Award" for his contributions to US-Israel relations at a 3 February 2015 gala hosted by The Algemeiner Journal, a New York-based newspaper, covering American and international Jewish and Israel-related news.

"We love Israel. We will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent." VIDEO minutes 2:15-8:06 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiwBwBw7R-U

After the event, Trump did not renew his television contract for The Apprentice, which raised speculation about a Trump bid for the presidency. Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015.

Trump's purported break with GOP orthodoxy, questioning of Israel's commitment to peace, calls for even treatment in Israeli-Palestinian deal-making, and refusal to call for Jerusalem to be Israel's undivided capital, were all stage-managed for the campaign.

Cheap theatrics notwithstanding, the Netanyahu regime in Israel has "1000 percent" support from the Trump regime.

Drew Hunkins , December 8, 2017 at 8:10 pm

If Trump were totally and completely subservient to Netanyahu he would have bombed Damascus to remove Assad and would have bombed Tehran to obliterate Iran. Of course thus far he has done neither. Don't get me wrong, Trump is essentially part and parcel of the Zionist cabal, but I don't quite think he's 1,000% under their thumb (not yet?).

I don't think the Zionist Power Configuration concocted Trump's policy of relative peace with the Kremlin. Yes, the ZPC is extremely powerful in America, but Trump's position of detente with Moscow seemed to be genuine. He caught way too much heat from the mass media for it to be a stunt, it's almost torpedoed his presidency, and may eventually do just that. It was actually one of the very few things Trump got right; peace with Russia, cordial relations with the Kremlin are a no-brainer. A no-brainer to everyone but the military-industrial-complex.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 10:59 pm

Russian. Missiles. Lets be clear: The military-industrial-complex wants plenty of low intensity conflict to fuel ever more fabulous weapons sales, not a really hot war where all those pretty expensive toys are falling out of the sky in droves.

Whether it was "bird strike" or something more technological that recently grounded the "mighty" Israeli F-35I, it's clear that America isn't eager to have those "Inherent Resolve" jets, so busily not bombing ISIS, painted with Russian SAM radar.

Russia made it clear that Trump's Tomahawk Tweet in April 2017 was not only under totally false pretenses. It had posed a threat to Russian troops and Moscow took extra measures to protect them.

Russian deployment of the advanced S-400 system on the Syrian coast in Latakia also impacts Israel's regional air superiority. The S-400 can track and shoot down targets some 400 kilometers (250 miles) away. That range encompasses half of Israel's airspace, including Ben Gurion International Airport. In addition to surface-to-air missiles installations, Russian aircraft in Syria are equipped with air-to-air missiles. Those weapons are part of an calculus of Israeli aggression in the region.

Of course, there's much more to say about this subject.

WC , December 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Here's a good one from Hedges (for what little good it will do). https://www.truthdig.com/articles/zero-hour-palestine/

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:34 am

Surely, Drew, even the brain washed sheep otherwise known as the American public can't seriously believe that their government armed head choppers in a bid to bring peace to the region, can they?

Drew Hunkins , December 9, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Yup Mr. Wilson. It's too much cognitive dissonance for them to process. After all, we're the exceptional nation, the beacon on the hill, the country that ONLY intervenes abroad when there is a 'right to protect!' or it's a 'humanitarian intervention.' As Ken Burns would say: Washington only acts "with good intentions. They're just sometimes misplaced." That's all. The biggest global empire the world has ever seen is completely out of the picture.

mike k , December 8, 2017 at 5:34 pm

When evil people with evil intentions set out to do something in the world, the result is evil. Like Libya, or Iraq, or Syria. Why do I call these people who killed millions for their own selfish greed for power evil? If you have to ask that, then you just don't understand what evil is – and you have a lot of company, because many people believe that evil does not even exist! Such sheeple become the perfect victims of the evil ones, who are destroying our world.

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:36 am

Correction, Mike. The public do believe that evil exists but they sincerely think that Putin and Russia are the evil ones'

mike k , December 9, 2017 at 5:41 pm

One of the ways to avoid recognizing evil is to ascribe it to inappropriate, incorrect sources usually as a result of believing misleading propaganda. Another common maneuver is to deny evil's presence in oneself, and believe it is always "out there". Or one can feel that "evil" is an outmoded religious concept that is only used to hit at those one does not like.

Mild - ly Facetious , December 8, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Oh Jerusalem: Requiem for the two-state solution (Gas masks required)

https://electronicintifada.net/content/oh-jerusalem-requiem-two-state-solution/22521

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 6:24 pm

On 24 October 2017, the Intercept released an NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which reveals that terrorist militants in Syria were under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives.

https://theintercept.com/2017/10/24/syria-rebels-nsa-saudi-prince-assad/

Marked "Top Secret" the NSA memo focuses on events that unfolded outside Damascus in March of 2013.

The US intelligence memo is evidence of internal US government confirmation of the direct role that both the Saudi and US governments played in fueling attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as military targets in pursuit of "regime change" in Syria.

Israel's support for terrorist forces in Syria is well established. The Israelis and Saudis coordinate their activities.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 6:27 pm

An August 2012 DIA report (written when the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist groups: "the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." The "deterioration of the situation" was predicted to have "dire consequences" for Iraq, which included the "grave danger" of a terrorist "Islamic state". Some of the "dire consequences" are blacked out but the DIA warned one such consequence would be the "renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena."

The heavily redacted DIA memo specifically mentions "the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)."

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

To clarify just who these "supporting powers" were, mentioned in the document who sought the creation of a "Salafist principality," the DIA memo explained: "The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime."

The DIA memo clearly indicates when it was decided to transform US, Saudi, and Turkish-backed Al Qaeda affiliates into ISIS: the "Salafist" (Islamic) "principality" (State). NATO member state Turkey has been directly supporting terrorism in Syria, and specifically, supporting ISIS. In 2014, Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle's reported "'IS' supply channels through Turkey." DW exposed fleets of hundreds of trucks a day, passing unchallenged through Turkey's border crossings with Syria, clearly bound for the defacto ISIS capital of Raqqa. Starting in September 2015, Russian airpower in Syria successfully interdicted ISIS supply lines.

The usual suspects in Western media launched a relentless propaganda campaign against Russian support for Syria. The Atlantic Council's Bellingcat disinformation operation started working overtime.

The propaganda effort culminated in the 4 April 2017 Khan Shaykhun false flag chemical incident in Idlib. Bellingcat's Eliot Higgins and Dan Kaszeta have been paraded by "First Draft" coalition media "partners" in a vigorous effort to somehow implicate the Russians.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 12:26 pm

In a January 2016 interview on Al Jazeera, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn admitted that he "paid very close attention" to the August 2012 DIA report predicting the rise of a "declared or undeclared Salafist Principality" in Syria. Flynn even asserts that the White House's sponsoring of terrorists (that would emerge as Al Nusra and ISIS) against the Syrian regime was "a willful decision."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6Y274U7QIs

Flynn was interviewed by British journalist Mehdi Hasan for Al Jazeera's Head to Head program. Flynn made it clear that the policies that led to the "the rise of the Islamic State, the rise of terrorism" were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making:

Hasan: "You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn't listening?"

Flynn: "I think the administration."

Hasan: "So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?"

Flynn: "I don't know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision."

Hasan: "A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?"

Flynn: "It was a willful decision to do what they're doing."

Holding up a paper copy of the 2012 DIA report declassified through FOIA, Hasan read aloud key passages such as, "there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime."

Rather than downplay the importance of the document and these startling passages, as did the State Department soon after its release, Flynn did the opposite: he confirmed that while acting DIA chief he "paid very close attention" to this report in particular and later added that "the intelligence was very clear."

Lt. Gen. Flynn, speaking safely from retirement, is the highest ranking intelligence official to go on record saying the United States and other state sponsors of rebels in Syria knowingly gave political backing and shipped weapons to Al-Qaeda in order to put pressure on the Syrian regime:

Hasan: "In 2012 the U.S. was helping coordinate arms transfers to those same groups [Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda in Iraq], why did you not stop that if you're worried about the rise of quote-unquote Islamic extremists?"

Flynn: "I hate to say it's not my job but that my job was to was to to ensure that the accuracy of our intelligence that was being presented was as good as it could be."

Flynn unambiguously confirmed that the 2012 DIA document served as source material in his own discussions over Syria policy with the White House. Flynn served as Director of Intelligence for Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) during a time when its prime global mission was dismantling Al-Qaeda.

Flynn's admission that the White House was in fact arming and bolstering Al-Qaeda linked groups in Syria is especially shocking given his stature. The Pentagon's former highest ranking intelligence officer in charge of the hunt for Osama bin Laden confessed that the United States directly aided the Al Qaeda terrorist legions of Ayman al-Zawahiri beginning in at least 2012 in Syria.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Mehdi Hasan goes Head to Head with Michael Flynn, former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency

Full Transcript: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/headtohead/2016/01/transcript-michael-flynn-160104174144334.html

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 2:11 pm

"Flynn would later tell the New York Times that this 2012 intelligence report in particular was seen at the White House where it was 'disregarded' because it 'didn't meet the narrative' on the war in Syria. He would further confirm to investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that Defense Department (DoD) officials and DIA intelligence in particular, were loudly warning the administration that jihadists were leading the opposition in Syria -- warnings which were met with 'enormous pushback.' Instead of walking back his Al Jazeera comments, General Flynn explained to Hersh that 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic.' Hersh's investigative report exposed a kind of intelligence schism between the Pentagon and CIA concerning the covert program in Syria.

"In a personal exchange on his blog Sic Semper Tyrannis, legendary DoD intelligence officer and former presidential briefer Pat Lang explained [ ] that the DIA memo was used as a 'warning shot across the [administration's] bow.' Lang has elsewhere stated that DIA Director Flynn had 'tried to persuade people in the Obama Administration not to provide assistance to the Nusra group.' It must be remembered that in 2012 what would eventually emerge as distinct 'ISIS' and 'Nusra' (AQ in Syria) groups was at that time a singular entity desiring a unified 'Islamic State.' The nascent ISIS organization (referenced in the memo as 'ISI' or Islamic State in Iraq) was still one among many insurgent groups fighting to topple Assad.

"In fact, only one year after the DIA memo was produced (dated August 12, 2012) a coalition of rebels fighting under the US-backed Revolutionary Military Council of Aleppo were busy celebrating their most strategic victory to date, which served to open an opposition corridor in Northern Syria. The seizure of the Syrian government's Menagh Airbase in August 2013 was only accomplished with the military prowess of fighters identifying themselves in front of cameras and to reporters on the ground as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

"Public embarrassment came for Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford who reluctantly confirmed that in fact, yes, the US-funded and supplied FSA commander on the ground had personally led ISIS and Nusra fighters in the attack (Ford himself was previously filmed alongside the commander). This after the New York Times publicized unambiguous video proof of the fact. Even the future high commander of Islamic State's military operations, Omar al-Shishani, himself played a leading role in the US sponsored FSA operation."

Obama and the DIA 'Islamic State' Memo: What Trump Gets Right
By Brad Hoff
https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2016/07/01/obama-and-the-dia-islamic-state-memo-what-trump-gets-right/

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 3:08 pm

"one first needs to understand what has happened in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries in recent years. The original plan of the US and Saudi Arabia (behind whom stood an invisible Israel) was the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad and his replacement with Islamic fundamentalists or takfiris (Daesh, al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra).

"The plan involved the following steps:

"It was an ambitious plan, and the Israelis were completely convinced that the United States would provide all the necessary resources to see it through. But the Syrian government has survived thanks to military intervention by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. Daesh is almost defeated and Iran and Hezbollah are so firmly entrenched in Syria that it has driven the Israelis into a state of fear bordering on panic. Lebanon remains stable, and even the recent attempt by the Saudis to abduct Prime Minister Saad Hariri failed.

"As a result, Saudi Arabia and Israel have developed a new plan: force the US to attack Iran. To this end, the 'axis of good"' (USA-Israel-Saudi Arabia) was created, although this is nothing new. Saudi Arabia and the other Arab States in the Persian Gulf have in the past spoken in favor of intervention in Syria. It is well known that the Saudis invaded Bahrain, are occupying it de facto, and are now at war in Yemen.

"The Israelis will participate in any plan that will finally split the Sunnis and Shiites, turning the region into rubble. It was not by chance that, having failed in Lebanon, they are now trying to do the same in Yemen after the murder of Ali Abdullah Saleh.

"For the Saudis and Israelis, the problem lies in the fact that they have rather weak armed forces; expensive and high-tech, but when it comes to full-scale hostilities, especially against a really strong opponent such as the Iranians or Hezbollah, the 'Israel/Wahhabis' have no chance and they know it, even if they do not admit it. So, one simply needs to think up some kind of plan to force the Shiites to pay a high price.

"So they developed a new plan. Firstly, the goal is now not the defeat of Hezbollah or Iran. For all their rhetoric, the Israelis know that neither they nor especially the Saudis are able to seriously threaten Iran or even Hezbollah. Their plan is much more basic: initiate a serious conflict and then force the US to intervene. Only today, the armed forces of the United States have no way of winning a war with Iran, and this may be a problem. The US military knows this and they are doing everything to tell the neo-cons 'sorry, we just can't.' This is the only reason why a US attack on Iran has not already taken place. From the Israeli point of view this is totally unacceptable and the solution is simple: just force the US to participate in a war they do not really need. As for the Iranians, the Israeli goal of provoking an attack on Iran by the US is not to defeat Iran, but just to bring about destruction – a lot of destruction [ ]

"You would need to be crazy to attack Iran. The problem, however, is that the Saudis and the Israelis are close to this state. And they have proved it many times. So it just remains to hope that Israel and the KSA are 'crazy', but 'not that crazy'."

The Likelihood of War with Iran By Petr Lvov https://journal-neo.org/2017/12/09/the-likelihood-of-war-with-iran/

BobH, December 8, 2017 at 7:13 pm

The article raises a very serious charge. Up till now it appeared that supplying weapons to Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria was just another example of Pentagon incompetence but the suggestion here is that it was a concerted policy and it's hard to believe that there was no one in the Pentagon that was privy to that policy who wouldn't raise an objection.

That it conformed with Israeli, Saudi and CIA designs is not surprising, but that there was no dissension within the Pentagon is appalling (or that Obama didn't raise objections). Clark's comment should put him on the hot seat for a congressional investigation but, of course, there is no one in congress to run with it. The policy is so manifestly evil that it seems to dwarf even the reckless ignorance of preceding "interventions".

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:24 pm

There WAS dissension within the Pentagon, not only about being in a coalition with the Gulf States and Turkey in support of terrorist forces, but about allowing ISIS to invade Ramadi, which CENTCOM exposed by making public that US forces watched it happen and did nothing. In addition, CENTCOM and SOCOM publicly opposed switching sides in Yemen.

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/4/17/us-generals-think-saudi-strikes-in-yemen-a-bad-idea.html

A senior commander at Central Command (CENTCOM), speaking on condition of anonymity, scoffed at that argument. "The reason the Saudis didn't inform us of their plans," he said, "is because they knew we would have told them exactly what we think -- that it was a bad idea.

Military sources said that a number of regional special forces officers and officers at U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) argued strenuously against supporting the Saudi-led intervention because the target of the intervention, the Shia Houthi movement -- which has taken over much of Yemen and which Riyadh accuses of being a proxy for Tehran -- has been an effective counter to Al-Qaeda.

The DIA report released by Gen. Flynn in 2012 predicted the Islamic State with alarm. That is why Flynn was fired as Director of DIA. He objected to the insane policy of supporting the CIA/Saudi madness and saw it as not only counter-productive but disastrous. His comments to AlJazeera in 2016 reinforced this position. Gen Flynn's faction of the American military has been consistent in its opposition to CIA support of terrorist forces.

BobH , December 8, 2017 at 10:55 pm

Thanks, I never read anything about it in the MSM (perhaps Aljazeera was an exception?). However, this doesn't explain Gen. Flynn's tight relationship with Turkey's Erdogan who clearly backed the Al Qaeda affiliated rebels to the point of shooting down a Russian jet over Syria.

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 8:57 am

The fighter shoot-down incident was before Erdogan's reversals in Syria policy.

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:28 pm

I see Gen. Flynn as a whistleblower. The 2012 report he circulated saw the rise of the Salafist Islamic state with alarm.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

B. THE SALAFIST, THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.

C. THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY SUPPORT THE OPPOSITION; WHILE RUSSIA, CHINA, AND IRAN SUPPORT THE REGIME.

C. IF THE SITUATION UNRAVELS THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME, WHICH IS CONSIDERED THE STRATEGIC DEPTH OF THE SHIA EXPANSION (IRAQ AND IRAN).

D. THE DETERIORATION OF THE SITUATION HAS DIRE CONSEQUENCES ON THE IRAQI SITUATION AND ARE AS FOLLOWS:

–1. THIS CREATES THE IDEAL ATMOSPHERE FOR AQI TO RETURN TO ITS OLD POCKETS IN MOSUL AND RAMADI, AND WILL PROVIDE A RENEWED MOMENTUM UNDER THE PRESUMPTION OF UNIFYING THE JIHAD AMONG SUNNI IRAQ AND SYRIA ISI COULD ALSO DECLARE AN ISLAMIC STATE THROUGH ITS UNION WITH OTHER TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA, WHICH WILL CREATE GRAVE DANGER IN REGARDS TO UNIFYING IRAQ AND THE PROTECTION OF ITS TERRITORY

https://geopolitics.co/2015/12/22/dempseys-pentagon-aided-assad-with-military-intelligence-hersh/
London Review of Books Vol. 38 No. 1 · 7 January 2016
Military to Military: US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war
Seymour M. Hersh

Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition. Turkey wasn't doing enough to stop the smuggling of foreign fighters and weapons across the border. 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic,' Flynn told me. 'We understood Isis's long-term strategy and its campaign plans, and we also discussed the fact that Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria.' The DIA's reporting, he said, 'got enormous pushback' from the Obama administration. 'I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.'

j. D. D. , December 9, 2017 at 8:33 am

Thank you. Gen Flynn also urged coordination with Russia against ISIS, so it doesn't take much to see why he was targeted. Ironically, the MSM is now going bananas over his support for nuclear power in the region, which he had tied to desalination of sea water, toward alleviating that crucial source of conflict in the area.

Abbybwood , December 9, 2017 at 11:24 pm

I believe Wesley Clark told Amy Goodman that he was handed the classified memo regarding the U.S. overthrowing seven countries in five years starting with Iraq and ending with Iran, in 2001, not 2006. He said it was right after 9/11 when he visited the Pentagon and Joint Chief of Staff's office and was handed the memo.

jaycee , December 8, 2017 at 7:19 pm

The use of Islamist proxy warriors to help achieve American geo-political ends goes back to at least 1979, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Libya, and Syria. One of the better books on 9/11 is Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed's "The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism". The first section of that book – "The Geopolitics of Terrorism" – covers, across 150 well-sourced pages, the history and background of this involvement. It is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to be better informed on this topic.

One disturbing common feature across the years have been US sponsored airlifts of Islamist fighters facing defeat, as seen in Afghanistan in late 2001 and just recently in eastern Syria. In 2001, some of those fighters were relocated to North Africa, specifically Mali – the roots of the Islamist insurgency which has destabilized that country over the past few years. Where exactly the ISIS rebels assisted some weeks ago were relocated is yet unknown.

turk151 , December 9, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Jaycee, actually you have to go back much further than that to WW2. Hitler used the marginalized Turkic people in Russia and turned them into effective fighters to create internal factions within the Soviet Union. After Hitler lost and the Cold War began, the US, who had no understanding of the Soviets at the time radicalized and empowered Islamist including the Muslim Brotherhood to weaponize Islam against the Soviet Union.

Hence the birth of the Mujaheddin and Bin Laden, the rest is history.

j. D. D. , December 8, 2017 at 7:57 pm

The article does not support the sub-headline. There is no evidence provided, nor is there any evidence to be found, that Washington's policy in the region was motivated by anything other than geopolitical objectives.

David G , December 9, 2017 at 7:25 am

I think that phrasing may point to the hand of editor Robert Parry. The incredible value of CN notwithstanding, Parry in his own pieces (erroneously in my eyes) maintains a belief that Obama somehow meant well. Hence the imputation of some "naïve" but ultimately benevolent motive on the part of the U.S. genocidaires, as the whole Syria catastrophe got going on Obama's watch.

Anon , December 9, 2017 at 9:14 am

The imputation of naivete works to avoid accusation of a specific strategy without sufficient evidence.

Skip Scott , December 9, 2017 at 9:45 am

Although I am no fan of Obama, and most especially the continuation of the warmongering for his 8 years, he did balk at the "Red line" when he found out he was being set up, and it wasn't Assad who used chemical weapons. I don't think he "meant well" so much as he knew the exact length of his leash. His bragging about going against "The Washington playbook" was of course laughable; just as his whole hopey/changey thing was laughable with Citigroup picking his cabinet.

Stephen , December 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Off topic but you can listen to some of Obama's banking handiwork here: https://sputniknews.com/radio_loud_and_clear/201712091059844562-looming-government-shutdown-will-democrats-fight-trumps-pro-rich-plan/ It starts at about minute 28:14. It explains the whole reaction by Obama and Holder to the banking fiasco in my mind. Sorry but I had to get it from the evil Rooski radio program.

Lois Gagnon , December 8, 2017 at 8:41 pm

All these western imperial geostrategic planners are certifiably insane and have no business anywhere near the levers of government policy. They are the number one enemy of humanity. If we don't find a way to remove them from power, they may actually succeed in destroying life on Earth.

Stephen J. , December 8, 2017 at 8:42 pm

There is a volume of evidence that the war criminals in our midst were arming and training "jihadists." See link below. http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html

MarkU , December 8, 2017 at 10:00 pm

"Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better, explains Daniel Lazare." What a load of old rubbish, naïve belief indeed. it is difficult to believe that anyone could write this stuff with a straight face.

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Incompetence and stupidity are their only defense because if anyone acknowledged that trillions of dollars have been made by the usual suspects committing these crimes, the industrialists of war would face a justice symbolized by Nuremberg.

Zachary Smith , December 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

That Gary Gambill character "outed" himself as a Zionist on September 4 of this year. He appears to have mastered the propaganda associated with the breed. At the link see if you can find any mention of the murders, thefts, ethnic cleansing, or apartheid of his adopted nation. Blaming the victim may be this fellow's specialty. Sample:

The well-intentioned flocked in droves to the belief that Israeli- Palestinian peace was achievable provided Israel made the requisite concessions, and that this would liberate the Arab-Islamic world from a host of other problems allegedly arising from it: bloated military budgets, intolerance of dissent, Islamic extremism, you name it.

Why tackle each of these problems head on when they can be alleviated all at once when Israel is brought to heel? Twenty years later, the Middle East is suffering the consequences of this conspiracy of silence.

Zachary Smith , December 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-accidental-Zionist-504221

Gerry , December 9, 2017 at 4:51 am

The American groupthink rarely allows propaganda and disinformation disturb: endless wars and endless lies and criminality, have not disturbed this mindset. It is clever to manipulate people to think in a way opposite of truth so consistently. All the atrocities by the US have been surrounded by media propaganda and mastery of groupthink techniques go down well. Mention something unusual or real news and you might get heavily criticized for daring to think outside the box and doubt what are (supposedly) "religious truths". Tell a lie long enough and it becomes the truth.

It takes courage to go against the flow of course and one can only hope that the Americans are what they think they are: courageous and strong enough to hear their cherished truths smashed, allow the scales before their eyes to fall and practise free speech and free thought.

Theo , December 9, 2017 at 6:35 am

Thanks for this article and many others on this site.In Europe and in Germany you hardly hear,read or see any of these facts and their connections.It seems to be only of marginal interest.

Josh Stern , December 9, 2017 at 6:49 am

The CIA was a key force behind the creation of both al Qaeda and ISIS. Most major incidents of "Islamic Terrorism" have some kind of CIA backing behind them. See this large collection of links for compiled evidence: http://www.pearltrees.com/joshstern/government-supporting/id18814292

triekc , December 9, 2017 at 8:27 am

This journalist and other journalists writing on some of my favorite Russian propaganda news websites, have reported the US empire routinely makes "deals with the devil", the enemy of my enemy is my friend, if doing so furthers their goal of perpetual war and global hegemony. Yet, inexplicably, these journalists buy the US empire's 911 story without question, in the face of many unanswered questions.

Beginning in the 1990's, neocons who would become W's cabinet, wrote detailed plans of military regime change in Middle East, but stating they needed a "strong external shock to the United States -- a latter-day 'Pearl Harbor", to get US sheeple to support increased militarism and global war. Few months after W took office, and had appointed those war mongering neocons to positions of power, Bin Laden (CIA staffer) and a handful of his men, all from close allied countries to the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, delivered the 2nd Pearl Harbor on 911. What a timely coincidence! We accept the US Empire provides weapons and military support to the same enemy, and worse, who attacked us on 911, but one is labeled a "conspiracy nut" if they believe that same US Empire would orchestrate 911 to justify their long planned global war. One thing about being a "conspiracy nut", if you live long enough, often you will see your beliefs vindicated

Joe Tedesky , December 9, 2017 at 11:27 am

You commented on what I was thinking, and that was, 'remember when al Queda was our enemy on 911'? So now that bin Laden is dead, and his al Queda now fights on our side, shouldn't the war be over? And, just for the record who did attack us on 911?

So many questions, and so much left unanswered, but don't worry America may run out of money for domestic vital needs but the U.S. always has the money to go fight another war. It's a culture thing, and if you ain't into it then you just don't pay no attention to it. In fact if your life is better off from all of these U.S. led invasions, then your probably not posting any comments here, either.

Knowing the Pentagon mentality they probably have an 'al Queda combat medal' to pin on the terrorists chest. Sarcasm I know, but seriously is anything not within the realm of believable when it comes to this MIC establishment?

Christene Bartels , December 9, 2017 at 8:53 am

Great article and spot on as far as the author takes it. But the world is hurtling towards Armageddon so I'd like to back things up about one hundred years and get down to brass tacks.

The fact of the matter is, the M.E. has never been at total peace but it has been nothing but one colossal FUBAR since the Ottoman Empire was defeated after WWI and the Allied Forces got their grubby, greedy mitts on its M.E. territories and all of that luscious black gold. First up was the British Empire and France and then it really went nuclear (literally) in 1946 when Truman and the U.S. joined in the fun and decided to figure out how we could carve out that ancient prime piece of real estate and resurrect Israel. By 1948 ..violà ..there she was.

So now here we sit as the hundred year delusion that we knew what the hell we were doing comes crashing down around us. Seriously, whoever the people have been who thought that a country with the historical perspective of a toddler was going to be able to successfully manage and manipulate a region filled with people who are still tribal in perspective and are still holding grudges and settling scores from five thousand years ago were complete and total arrogant morons. Every single one of them. Up to the present moment.

Which gets me down to those brass tacks I alluded to at the beginning of my comment. Delusional crusades lead by arrogant morons always, always, always end up as ash heaps. So, I would suggest we all prepare for that rapidly approaching conclusion accordingly. For me, that means hitting my knees.

Gregory Herr , December 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Middle Eastern people are no more "tribal" or prone to holding grudges than any other people. Middle Eastern people have exhibited and practiced peaceful and tolerant living arrangements within several different contexts over the centuries. Iraq had a fairly thriving middle class and the Syrians are a cultured and educated people.

Gregory Herr , December 9, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Syrian society is constructed very much within the construct of close family ties and a sense of a Syrian homeland. It is solely the business of the Syrian people to decide whether the socialist Ba'ath government functions according to their own sense of realities and standards. Some of those realities may include aspects of a necessitated national security state (necessitated by CIA and Israeli subterfuge) that prompts shills to immediately characterize the Assad government as "an authoritarian regime" and of course that's all you need to know. Part of what pisses the West off about the Syrians is that they are so competent, and that includes their intelligence and security services. One of the other parts is the socialist example of government functioning in interests of the general population, not selling out to vultures.

It bothers me that Mr. Lazare wrote: "Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair." Really? Well the Syrian government can hardly be blamed for the vile strategy of using terrorist mercenaries to take or destroy a people's homeland–killing horrific numbers of fathers, mothers, and children on the way to establish some kind of Wild West control over Damascus that can then be manipulated for the typical elite deviances. What was purposely planned and visited upon the Syrian people has had human consequences that were known and disregarded by the planners. It has been and continues to be a grave crime against our common humanity that should be raised to the roof of objection! People like Gambill should be excoriated for their crass appraisal of human costs .and for their contrived and twisted rationalizations and deceits. President Assad recently gave an interview to teleSUR that is worth a listen. He talks about human costs with understanding for what he is talking about. Gambill doesn't give a damn.

BASLE , December 9, 2017 at 10:46 am

From the October 1973 Yom Kippur War onward, the United States had no foreign policy in the Middle East other than Israel's. Daniel Lazare should read "A clean break: a new strategy for the Realm".

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 9:08 am

Yes, Israel is the cut-out or fence for US politicians stealing campaign money from the federal budget. US policy is that of the bribery sources and nothing else. And it believes that to be professional competence. For the majority of amoral opportunists of the US, money=power=virtue and they will attack all who disagree.

Herman , December 9, 2017 at 10:47 am

"Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better, explains Daniel Lazare."

Lazare makes the case very well about our amoral foreign policy but I think he errs in saying our aim was to "transform the region for the better." Recent history, going back to Afghanistan shows a very different goal, to defeat our enemies and the enemies of our allies with little concern for the aftermath. Just observing what has happened to the people where we supported extremists is evidence enough.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men. We hope the conscience of our nation is bothered by our behavior but we know that is not true, and we sleep very well, thank you.

Marilyn Vogt-Downey , December 9, 2017 at 11:18 am

I am stunned that anyone could be so foolish as to think that the US military machine, US imperialism, does things "naively", bumbling like a helpless giant into wars that destroy entire nations with no end in sight. One need not be a "conspiracy theorist" to understand that the Pentagon does not control the world with an ever-expanding war budget equal to the next 10 countries combined, that it does this just because it is stuck on the wrong path. No! US imperialism develops these "big guns" to use them, to overpower, take over and dominate the world for the sake of profits and protection of the right to exploit for private profit.

There is ample evidence–see the Brookings Institute study among many others–that the Gulf monarchies–flunkies of US imperialism–who "host" dozens of US military bases in the region, some of them central to US war strategy–initiated and nourished and armed and financed the "jihadi armies" in Syria AND Libya AND elsewhere; they did not do this on their own. The US government–the executive committee of the US ruling class–does not naively support the Gulf monarchies because it doesn't know any better! Washington (following British imperialism) organized, established and backed these flunky regimes. They are autocratic, antediluvian regimes, allowing virtually civil rights, with no local proletariat to speak of, no popular base. They are no more than sheriffs for imperialism in that region of the world, along with the Zionist state of Israel, helping imperialism do the really dirty work.

I research this and gathered the evidence to support what I just asserted in a long study printed back in Dec. 2015 in Truthout. Here is the link: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34151-what-is-the-war-on-terror-and-how-to-fight-it

Look at the evidence. Stop the totally foolish assessment that the US government spends all this money on a war machine just to "naively" blunder into wars that level entire nations–and is not taking on destruction of the entire continent of Africa to eliminate any obstacles to its domination.

No! That is foolish and destructive. Unless we look in the face what is going on–the US government since its "secret" intervention in Afghanistan in the 1970s and 1980s, has recruited, trained, armed, funded and relied on jihadi armies to unseat regimes and destabilize and destroy populations and regimes the US government wants to overthrow, and destroy, any that could potentially develop into an alternative model of nationalist, bourgeois industrial development on any level.

Wake up!!! The evidence is there. There is no reason to bumble and bungle along as if we are in the dark.

Randal Marlin , December 9, 2017 at 11:26 am

Daniel Pipes, from what I've read of him, is among those who counsel the U.S. government to use its military power to support the losing side in any civil wars fought within Israel's enemy states, so that the wars will continue, sparing Israel the threat of unified enemy states. What normal human beings consider a humanitarian disaster, repeated in Iraq, Syria and Libya, would be reckoned a success according to this way of thinking.
The thinking would appear to lead to similar treatment of Iran, with even more catastrophic consequences.

Behind all this is the thinking that the survival of Israel outweighs anything else in any global ethical calculus. Those who don't accept this moral premise but who believe in supporting the survival of Israel have their work cut out for them. This work would be made easier if the U.S. population saw clearly what was going on, instead of being preoccupied with salacious sexual misconduct stories or other distractions.

Zachary Smith , December 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm

A Russian interceptor has been scrambled to stop a rogue US fighter jet from actively interfering with an anti-terrorist operation, the Russian Defense Ministry said. It also accused the US of provoking close encounters with the Russian jets in Syria.

A US F-22 fighter was preventing two Russian Su-25 strike aircraft from bombing an Islamic State (IS, former ISIS) base to the west of the Euphrates November 23, according to the ministry. The ministry's spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov described the episode as yet another example of US aircraft attempts to prevent Russian forces from carrying out strikes against Islamic State.

"The F-22 launched decoy flares and used airbrakes while constantly maneuvering [near the Russian strike jets], imitating an air fight," Konashenkov said. He added that the US jet ceased its dangerous maneuvers only after a Russian Su-35S fighter jet joined the two strike planes.

If this story is true, then it illustrates a number of things. First, the US is still providing ISIS air cover. Second, either the F-22 pilot or his commander is dumber than dirt. The F-22 may be a fine airplane, but getting into a contest with an equally fine non-stealth airplane at eyeball distances means throwing away every advantage of the super-expensive stealth.

Zachary Smith , December 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm

https://www.rt.com/news/412590-russia-us-syria-air-force/

Pablo Diablo , December 9, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Gotta keep the War Machine well fed and insure Corporate control of markets and taking of resources.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm

In October 1973, a nuclear armed rogue state almost triggered a global thermonuclear war.

Yom Kippur: Israel's 1973 nuclear alert
By Richard Sale
https://www.upi.com/Yom-Kippur-Israels-1973-nuclear-alert/64941032228992/

Israel obtained operational nuclear weapons capability by 1967, with the mass production of nuclear warheads occurring immediately after the Six-Day War. In addition to the Israeli nuclear arsenal, Israel has offensive chemical and biological warfare stockpiles.

Israel, the Middle East's sole nuclear power, is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In 2015, the US-based Institute for Science and International Security estimated that Israel had 115 nuclear warheads. Outside estimates of Israel's nuclear arsenal range up to 400 nuclear weapons.

Israeli nuclear weapons delivery mechanisms include Jericho 3 missiles, with a range of 4,800 km to 6,500 km (though a 2004 source estimated its range at up to 11,500 km), as well as regional coverage from road mobile Jericho 2 IRBMs.

Additionally, Israel is believed to have an offshore nuclear capability using submarine-launched nuclear-capable cruise missiles, which can be launched from the Israeli Navy's Dolphin-class submarines.

The Israeli Air Force has F-15I and F-16I Sufa fighter aircraft are capable of delivering tactical and strategic nuclear weapons at long distances using conformal fuel tanks and supported by their aerial refueling fleet of modified Boeing 707's.

In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician at Dimona, fled to the United Kingdom and revealed to the media some evidence of Israel's nuclear program and explained the purposes of each building, also revealing a top-secret underground facility directly below the installation.

The Mossad, Israel's secret service, sent a female agent who lured Vanunu to Italy, where he was kidnapped by Mossad agents and smuggled to Israel aboard a freighter. An Israeli court then tried him in secret on charges of treason and espionage, and sentenced him to eighteen years imprisonment.

At the time of Vanunu's kidnapping, The Times reported that Israel had material for approximately 20 hydrogen bombs and 200 fission bombs by 1986. In the spring of 2004, Vanunu was released from prison, and placed under several strict restrictions, such as the denial of a passport, freedom of movement limitations and restrictions on communications with the press. Since his release, he has been rearrested and charged multiple times for violations of the terms of his release.

Safety concerns about this 40-year-old reactor have been reported. In 2004, as a preventive measure, Israeli authorities distributed potassium iodide anti-radiation tablets to thousands of residents living nearby. Local residents have raised concerns regarding serious threats to health from living near the reactor.

According to a lawsuit filed in Be'er Sheva Labor Tribunal, workers at the center were subjected to human experimentation in 1998. According to Julius Malick, the worker who submitted the lawsuit, they were given drinks containing uranium without medical supervision and without obtaining written consent or warning them about risks of side effects.

In April 2016 the U.S. National Security Archive declassified dozens of documents from 1960 to 1970, which detail what American intelligence viewed as Israel's attempts to obfuscate the purpose and details of its nuclear program. The Americans involved in discussions with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and other Israelis believed the country was providing "untruthful cover" about intentions to build nuclear weapons.

mike k , December 9, 2017 at 6:38 pm

The machinations of those seeking to gain advantages for themselves by hurting others, are truly appalling. If we fail to name evil for what it is, then we fail as human beings.Those who look the other way as their country engages in an organized reign of terror, are complicit in that enormous crime.

Den Lille Abe , December 9, 2017 at 8:54 pm

The path the US has chosen since the end of WWII has been over dead bodies. In the name of "security", bringing "Freedom" and "Democracy" and complete unconstrained greed it has trampled countless nations into piles of rubble. To say it is despised or loathed is an overwhelming understatement. It is almost universally hated in the third world. Rightly. Bringing this monstrosity to a halt is a difficult task, and probably cannot be done militarily without a nuclear war, economically could in the end have the same outcome, then how?

Easy! Ruin its population. This process has started, long ago. The decline in the US of health, general wealth, nutrition, production, education, equality, ethics and morals is already showing as cracks in the fabrics of the US.

A population of incarcerated, obese, low iQ zealot junkies, armed to teeth with guns, in a country with a crumbling infrastructure, full of environmental disasters is 21 st century for most Americans. In all the areas I mentioned the US is going backwards compared to most other countries. So the monster will come down.

turk151 , December 9, 2017 at 10:20 pm

I think you are being a little hard on the incarcerated, obese, low iQ zealot junkies, armed to teeth with guns

I am not sure who is more loathsome the evangelicals who were supporting the Bush / Cheney cabal murderous wars until the bitter end or the liberal intelligentsia careerist cheerleaders for Obama and Hilary's Wars in Iraq and Syria, who also dont give a damn about another Arab country being destroyed and sold into slavery as long as Hillary gets elected. At least with the former group, you can chalk it up to a lack of education.

Linda Wood , December 10, 2017 at 1:52 am

This is possibly the most intelligent and hopeful discussion I have read since 9/11. It says that at least some Americans do see that we have a fascist cell in our government. That is the first step in finding a way to unplug it. Best wishes to all of you who have written here. We will find a way to put war out of business.

Barbara van der Wal-Kylstra , December 10, 2017 at 2:46 am

I think this pattern of using Salafists for regime change started already in Afghanistan, with Brzezinski plotting with Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan to pay and train Osama bin Laden to attack the pro Russia regime and trying to get the USSR involved in it, also trying to blame the USSR for its agression, like they did in Syri"r?

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 9:18 am

Yes, the Brzezinski/Reagan support of fanatic insurgencies began in AfPak and was revived for the zionists. Russia happened to be on the side more or less tending to progress in both cases, so it had to be opposed. The warmongers are always the US MIC/intel, allied with the anti-American zionist fascists for Mideast wars.

Luutzen , December 10, 2017 at 9:15 am

Sheldon Adelson, Soros, Saban all wanted carving up of Arabic states into small sectarian pieces (No Nasseric pan-Arabic states, a threat to Israël). And protracted wars of total destruction. Easy.

mike k , December 10, 2017 at 11:05 am

The US Military is part of the largest terrorist organization on Earth. For the super rich and powerful rulers of that US Mafia, the ignorant religious fanatics and other tools of Empire are just pawns in their game of world domination and universal slavery for all but themselves. These monsters of evil delight in profiting from the destruction of others; but their insatiable greed for more power will never be satisfied, and will become the cause of the annihilation of every living thing – including themselves. But like other sold out human addicts, at this point they don't really care, and will blindly pursue their nightmare quest to the very end – and perhaps they secretly hope that that final end of everything will at last quench their burning appetite for blood and gold.

Joe Tedesky , December 10, 2017 at 11:12 am

I'm leaving a link to a very long David Swanson article, where Mr Swanson goes into quite a lot of detail to how the U.S. wages war.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/12/76-years-pearl-harbor-lies.html

Brendan , December 10, 2017 at 12:09 pm

What's interesting of course is how not just Washington, but much of the 'left' also cheered on the jihadists.

Of course, they were told (by whom?) that the jihadists were 'democratic rebels' and 'freedom fighters' who just wanted to 'bring democracy' to Syria, and get rid of the 'tyrant Assad.' 5 years later, so much of the nonsense about "local councils" and "white helmets" has been exposed for what it was. Yet many 'free thinking' people bought the propaganda. Just like they do on Russiagate. Who needs an "alt-right" when America's "left" is a total disgrace?

[Nov 07, 2017] Donna Brazile, the Rigged Democratic Primary, and Relitigating 2016 naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... By Lambert Strether of Corrente ..."
"... The agreement -- signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to [DNC lawyer] Marc Elias -- specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party's finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings. ..."
"... A second difference in substance: Let's remember that for Clinton, the JFA enabled her campaign to circumvent contribution limits for large donors (Brazile: "Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400"). The Sanders campaign , by contrast, had no issue with maxed out donors: "During fall '15, 99.8% of Bernie donors could give again" (because it's awful hard to max out $27 at a time). ..."
"... That's pretty amazing, isn't it? Personnel is policy, as they say, and the Clinton campaign has made sure that the DNC's Communications Director and new hires in the senior staff in the communications, technology, and research departments will be acceptable to it. The Clinton campaign will also review all mass email and communcations (which explains why Brazile, as interim DNC chair, couldn't send out a press release without checking with Brooklyn. Since the notorious debate schedule was already controlled by Wasserman Schultz, there was no point messing about with it, I assume.) There is one place in this passage where the general election is mentioned, so let's look at it: ..."
"... Second, the DNC itself does not ..."
"... But I'd like to know how far up the editorial totem poles the fix went and how it was achieved. ..."
"... It has been a while since I handled a criminal defense case, but I am not sure that the agreement is not in fact, criminal. When the Sanders for President campaign signed an agreement and paid money in consideration of getting access to the voter file and when the state parties agreed to merge their fundraising efforts with the DNC and HFA, the commercial fraud laws applied to that relationship. Since the fundraising was done using interstate phone calls, letters, and emails and the voter file access was provided by electronic transmissions from servers in DC to end users in Burlington, Vermont that includes 18 USC 1341, 1343 and 1346 (mail, wire and honest services fraud). These laws do not just ban outright lying, but also the concealment of material facts that one has a duty to disclose. ..."
"... The DNC got into the position of selling themselves to the Clintons as they were $20 million in debt, right? I have read that the major reason for these debts was that the DNC had not shrunk itself since the last campaign and was paying out a ton of money for consultants doing Christ knows what. In fact, Obama also used the DNC to support a stack of his consultants as well as grifters gotta grift, right? ..."
"... My question is whether this was a deliberate ploy on Obama and the Clinton factions to put the DNC into such a vulnerable position before 2016 came along that when the time came, they had to take up an offer that they could not refuse. I have not heard if Obama has made any comments on this fiasco that took place on his watch and it seems nobody wants to call him out on it. In the Brazile case, it is not a matter of following the money but following the lack of money. ..."
"... "Both sides in the Democratic Party's current faction fight, as I see it, are in denial about the true nature and scope of the problem "Both responses are essentially utopian: They rest on the premise that the Democratic Party is still a functioning political organization and that the United States is still a functioning democracy." ..."
Nov 07, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Donna Brazile, the "Rigged" Democratic Primary, and Relitigating 2016 Posted on November 6, 2017 by Lambert Strether By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Long-time Democratic[1] operative Donna Brazile, interim chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) after Debbie Wasserman Schultz was defenestrated[2], has, like two other participants in the 2016 Presidential election and at least one set of observers , written a book, Hacked , and published a long excerpt from it four days ago, in Politico . Here is the key passage, in which Brazile paraphrases and quotes a conversation with Gary Gensler, former of Goldman Sachs and the CFTC, and then the chief financial officer of the Clinton campaign:

[Gensler] described the party as fully under the control of Hillary's campaign , which seemed to confirm the suspicions of the Bernie camp. The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearinghouse. Under FEC law, an individual can contribute a maximum of $2,700 directly to a presidential campaign. But the limits are much higher for contributions to state parties and a party's national committee.

Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund -- that figure represented $10,000 to each of the 32 states' parties who were part of the Victory Fund agreement -- $320,000 -- and $33,400 to the DNC. The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that. Money in the battleground states usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the DNC, which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn.

Yes, you read that right. Although the Hillary Victory Fund was billed as aiding the states, in fact the states were simply pass-throughs, and the money went to the Clinton campaign. (This is not news; Politico covered the Victory Fun in 2016 : "The Democratic front-runner says she's raising big checks to help state committees, but they've gotten to keep only 1 percent of the $60 million raised.")

"Wait," I said. "That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races. You're telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?"

Gary said the campaign had to do it or the party would collapse.

"That was the deal that Robby struck with Debbie," he explained, referring to campaign manager Robby Mook. "It was to sustain the DNC. We sent the party nearly $20 million from September until the convention, and more to prepare for the election."

After some research, Brazile finds a document ("the agreement") that spells out what "fully under the control of Hillary's campaign" meant operationally:

The agreement -- signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to [DNC lawyer] Marc Elias -- specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party's finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.

I had been wondering why it was that I couldn't write a press release without passing it by Brooklyn. Well, here was the answer.

(Importantly, Gensler has not disputed this account, of which, assuming he's not vacationing Antarctica, he must have been aware of, given the media uproar. We can therefore assume its accurate). Note two aspects of this passage, which I'm quoting at such length to ensure we know what Brazile actually charged. I've helpfully underlined them: (1) Brazile leads with the money; that is, the Clinton Victory Fund, and (2) Brazile describes the DNC as "fully under the control" of the Clinton campaign.

Predictably, an enormous controversy erupted, much of it over the weekend just passed, but I'm not going to do a blow-by-blow of the talking points. (Glenn Greenwald provides an excellent media critique in "Four Viral Claims Spread by Journalists on Twitter in the Last Week Alone That Are False "; all four have to do with this controversy[3].) I think the following three quotes are key, the first two being oft-repeated talking points by Clinton loyalists:

First, from the current DNC chair, Tom Perez :

"The joint fundraising agreements were the same for each campaign except for the treasurer, and our understanding was that the DNC offered all of the presidential campaigns the opportunity to set up a JFA and work with the DNC to coordinate on how those funds were used to best prepare for the general election."

Question: Were the agreements "the same" for each campaign? (Perez focuses only on the JFA, but that omits a separate Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the DNC and the Clinton campaign, as we shall see below.)

Second, from 2005-9 DNC chair Howard Dean:

Question: Did the agreement apply only to the general election, and not the primary? (Dean says "this memo," but he also omits the distinction between the MOU and the JFA.)

Third, from Elizabeth Warren. CNN :

"We learned today from the former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile that the Clinton campaign, in her view, did rig the presidential nominating process by entering into an agreement to control day-to-day operations at the DNC," Tapper said, continuing on to describe specific arms of the DNC the Clinton camp had a say over, including strategy and staffing, noting that the agreement was "entered into in August of 2015," months before Clinton won the nomination .

Tapper then asked, "Do you agree with the notion that it was rigged?" And Warren responded simply: "Yes."

Question: Can we say that the 2016 Democratic primary was rigged? (Tapper uses the word "rigged," and Warren adopts it, but a careful reading of Brazile's article shows that although she uses the word, she does not actually make the claim.[4])

In this post, I'm going to answer each of these three questions by looking at the documents, plural, in question (Spoiler: My answers are "No," "No," and "Yes," respectively.) Here is a timeline of the documents:

In summary, the Clinton JFA set up the Hillary Victory Fund scam , the MOU gave Clinton control of (much of) the DNC apparatus, and ( according to Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver ) the Sanders JFA bought their campaign access to the DNC voter list, and was never used for fundraising because the DNC never asked the campaign to do any. So to answer the our first question, we'll look at the JFA. To answer the second, we'll look at the MOU. And to answer the third, we'll see how all the evidence balances out.

Were the Agreements "the Same" for Each Campaign?

Perez is wrong. The agreements were not at all the same, either formally or substantively.

Formally, the agreements were not the same because the Clinton JFA had an MOU (the "side deal") and the Sanders JFA did not. ABC :

[T]he Clinton campaign Friday afternoon confirmed the existence of a memo between the DNC and their campaign, which specifically outlines an expanded scope and interpretation of their funding agreement . [R]epresentatives from Sanders' former campaign say they only signed a basic, formulaic fundraising agreement that did not include any additional language about joint messaging or staffing decision-making [as does the MOU].

Substantively, the agreements weren't the same either. The substance of the JFA was a scheme enable the Hillary Victory Fund to collect "big checks" (as Politico puts it), supposedly behalf of the state parties, but in reality treating them as conduits to the coffers of the Clinton campaign. Page 3:

From time to time and in compliance with FECA, after expenses have been deducted from the gross proceeds, the Victory Fund will transfer the net proceeds to the Committees according to the Allocation Formula, as modified by any reallocation required.

"[T]he Committees" being the state party political committees, into whose accounts the contributions were deposited, only to be immediately removed and transferred to the Clinton campaign (at least for the states that signed entered into the agreement; a few did not).

However, the Sanders campaign wasn't in the business of collecting "big checks," being small-donor driven. Hence the substance of the agreement could not have been the same. ABC once more :

Former Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told ABC News Friday night that the campaign entered the agreement with the party in November 2015 to facilitate the campaign's access to the party's voter rolls. Weaver claims the DNC offered to credit any fundraising the senator did for the party against the costs of access to the party's data costs, priced at $250,000. But, Weaver continued, the party did not follow up about fundraising appearances for the independent senator.

Instead, the Sanders campaign raised the $250,000 from small donors. WaPo :

Weaver said the Sanders campaign decided early on to ignore the joint fundraising program and raise small dollars on its own to pay for access to the voter file. "Who are the wealthy people Bernie was going to bring to a fundraiser?" Weaver asked. "We had to buy the voter file right before the primaries."

A second difference in substance: Let's remember that for Clinton, the JFA enabled her campaign to circumvent contribution limits for large donors (Brazile: "Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400"). The Sanders campaign , by contrast, had no issue with maxed out donors: "During fall '15, 99.8% of Bernie donors could give again" (because it's awful hard to max out $27 at a time).

Suppose you were comparing two mortgages on different houses: One mortgage has a side deal attached, the other does not. One is for a lavish facility and demands a complex financing arrangement involving a third party. The other is for a fixer-upper and a lump sum is paid in cash. Would you say those two mortgages are "the same," or not? Even if they both had the word "Mortage" at the top of page one?

Did the Agreement Apply Only to the General Election, and not the Primary?

We now turn our attention to the MOU. Howard Dean, sadly , is wrong. The MOU contains two key passages; the first describes the relationship between Hillary for America (HFA; the Clinton campaign) and the DNC (Brazile: "fully under the control of Hillary's campaign"), and the second is language on the general election. Let's take each in turn. On control, pages 1 and 2:

With respect to the hiring of a DNC Communications Director , the DNC agrees that no later than September 11, 2015 it will hire one of two candidates previously identified as acceptable to HFA.

2. With respect to the hiring of future DNC senior staff in the communications, technology, and research departments , in the case of vacancy, the DNC will maintain the authority to make the final decision as between candidates acceptable to HFA. 3. Agreement by the DNC that HFA personnel will be consulted and have joint authority over strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and general election related communications, data, technology, analytics, and research. The DNC will provide HFA advance opportunity to review on-line or mass email, communications that features a particular Democratic primary candidate . This does not include any communications related to primary debates – which will be exclusively controlled by the DNC. The DNC will alert HFA in advance of mailing any direct mail communications that features a particular Democratic primary candidate or his or her signature .

That's pretty amazing, isn't it? Personnel is policy, as they say, and the Clinton campaign has made sure that the DNC's Communications Director and new hires in the senior staff in the communications, technology, and research departments will be acceptable to it. The Clinton campaign will also review all mass email and communcations (which explains why Brazile, as interim DNC chair, couldn't send out a press release without checking with Brooklyn. Since the notorious debate schedule was already controlled by Wasserman Schultz, there was no point messing about with it, I assume.) There is one place in this passage where the general election is mentioned, so let's look at it:

Agreement by the DNC that HFA personnel will be consulted and have joint authority over strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and general election[-]related communications, data, technology, analytics, and research.

At the most generous reading, the Clinton campaign has "joint authority" with the DNC over "strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures." At the narrowest reading, given that the "general-election[-]related qualifier applies only to "communications," the joint authority applies to "strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and data, technology, analytics, and research." And given that the Clinton campaign is writing the checks that keep the DNC afloat, who do you think will have the whip hand in that "joint authority" relationship?

Now to the clause that supposedly says the agreement (JFA + MOU) applies only to the general election. Here it is, from page 3:

Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to violate the DNC's obligation of impartiality and neutrality through the Nominating process. All activities performed under this agreement will be focused exclusively on preparations for the General Election and not the Democratic Primary. Further we understand you may enter into similar agreements with other candidates

(Pause for hollow laughter, given Wasserman Schultz's defenestration, Brazile passing debate questions to the Clinton campaign, etc.). First, even though Hoho seems to think it's exculpatory, the clause is an obvious fig leaf. Glenn Greenwald explains :

DNC and Clinton allies pointed to the fact that the agreement contained self-justifying lawyer language claiming that it is "focused exclusively on preparations for the General," but as Fischer noted that passage "is contradicted by the rest of the agreement." This would be like creating a contract to explicitly bribe an elected official ("A will pay Politician B to vote YES on Bill X"), then adding a throwaway paragraph with a legalistic disclaimer that "nothing in this agreement is intended to constitute a bribe," and then have journalists cite that paragraph to proclaim that no bribe happened even though the agreement on its face explicitly says the opposite.

Second, the DNC itself does not believe that it has any "obligation of impartiality and neutrality" whatever. From Wilding et al. v. DNC Services Corporation, D/B/A Democratic National Committee and Deborah "Debbie" Wasserman Schultz (as cited in Naked Capitalism here ), the DNC's lawyer, Mr. Spiva:

MR. SPIVA: [W}here you have a party that's saying, We're gonna, you know, choose our standard bearer, and we're gonna follow these general rules of the road, which we are voluntarily deciding, we could have -- and we could have voluntarily decided that, Look, we're gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way . That's not the way it was done. But they could have. And that would have also been their right, and it would drag the Court well into party politics, internal party politics to answer those questions.

Third, look at the institutional realities from point one on control. The Clinton campaign had control over the Communications Director slot and major strategic decisions from the moment the agreement was signed. Are we really to believe that they were behaving as neutral parties? (One obvious way to have shown that would have been to release the MOU either when it was signed.)

Can We Say that the 2016 Democratic Primary Was Rigged?

Brazile herself says no . She says, of "rigging":

I found no evidence, none whatsoever. 'The only thing I found, which I said, I've found the cancer but I'm not killing the patient,' was this memorandum that prevented the DNC from running its own operation," Brazile added

I think Brazile is either overly charitable, or overly legalistic (perhaps confusing "rigged" with "fixed," where only in the latter case is the outcome absolutely determined). I also think she's wrong. The dictionary definition of rigged is:

to manipulate fraudulently

There's ample evidence of rigging in both the JFA and the MOU. The JFA enabled the Hillary Victory Fund, which was a fraudulent scheme to allow big donors to contribute to the Clinton campaign by using the states as passthroughs. And the MOU enabled to Clinton campaign to fraudulently manipulate the public and the press into the belief that the DNC was an independent entity, when in fact it was a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of the Clinton campaign.

Conclusion

I know we're not supposed to "relitigate" the 2016 campaign ; we're supposed to look forward and not back. However, the demand not to "relitigate" assumes that the case is closed; as Brazile shows, we're hardly through with the depositions, let alone prepared to render judgment. So, when you hear "relitigate," think "silencing tactic," and ask yourself who and what silence serves. And perhaps this post will provide a basis for further discussion. 119 comments

Moocao , November 6, 2017 at 2:16 pm

Another reason why it will be a long time until I can vote Democrat again. The betrayal of trust is enormous.

David, by the lake , November 6, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Likewise, confirms my decision to wash my hands of the party. If, by some miracle, a candidate acceptable to my priorities is nominated, I will still vote for him/her, but the party isn't getting any default support or any $.

Elizabeth Burton , November 6, 2017 at 2:55 pm

People need to stop conflating the DNC with the Democratic Party. I realized I was doing so and stopped.

The DNC is an organization for raising money to support Democratic Party candidates for US President; its subsidiaries are, of course, the DCCC and the DSCC. The only reason they have power to dictate to the actual party is because they hold the purse strings. That Bernie and others have run successful campaigns, to one degree or another, without their "help" is one of the reasons they're fighting so hard to maintain the status quo. If they're shown to be redundant, the power of those who currently run it evaporates.

Saying "I'll never vote Democrat again" is, as my sainted mother used to say, cutting off your nose to spite your face. Right now, if we're going to at least slow down the rocketing juggernaut that is GOP/plutocratic ownership of our governments, we need to elect progressive candidates. There's no time to create a third party that can compete, so we need to vote for the candidates who are advancing a non-neoliberal/neocon agenda whatever party they run under. It's mostly Democrats, at the moment, but a social media acquaintance spoke of a clearly progressive candidate running for a local office as a Republican because that's how she's registered.

One of the ways the GOP was so successful in conning the working people and small business owners and others into buying their hogwash was by demonizing "the Democrats." Now, their message that "Democrats" are nothing but crazy-headed hippies who want to take their money and give it to other people is so deeply ingrained it's a hard row to how convincing them just how big a lie it is. Indeed, I suspect I shocked a raging right-winger the other day when I told him we agreed about Obama and Clinton, because his Fox-muddled mind firmly believes a Democrat thinks Obama rules the heavens.

If we don't "vote Democrat" in the upcoming primaries, then the establishment local and state parties are going to throw more New Democrats against the GOP and lose. That can't happen.

Vatch , November 6, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Yes, thank you! People need to vote for the progressive candidates in the Democratic primaries. If they don't, then the establishment candidates will easily win, and the national government will continue to be dominated by both Republican and Democratic lap dogs of the billionaires. And if there are a few progressive Republicans out there, sure, vote for them, too.

I often wonder whether some of the people who admonish us to stop voting for Democrats are really employed by one of the many Koch brothers organizations. Not all of them, of course, and I'm not making an accusation against anyone who is commenting here. But if people don't vote for progressive Democrats, the billionaires and the corporate advocates of financialization will win.

nippersmom , November 6, 2017 at 5:09 pm

You're presupposing the presence of "progressive democrats". In many races, they don't exist.

animalogic , November 6, 2017 at 10:53 pm

Of course, appearances can be deceptive: Obama ran as a progressive candidate . As a quick ready-reckoner -- the more a candidate bloviates on Identity issues, the less likely they are (should they be elected) to be "progressive" on issues of substance: the economy, tax, war/imperialism

ArcadiaMommy , November 6, 2017 at 11:51 pm

Right! Where are these progressive democrats? I would love to support one other than Bernie Sanders (yes I know he is not perfect and he is too old). But they don't seem to exist at the national level. There seem to be mayoral and other municipal candidates on the right track – just have no idea how to move those ideas onto the state or national level. Maybe I am just cranky and pessimistic right now.

BoycottAmazon , November 7, 2017 at 6:16 am

Here, here!

TYT did several interviews of "Justice Democrats", newbies running on a progressive platform. Some of the interviews you could see Cenk Uynger almost cringing, and the usually voluble Jimmy Dore very quiet as the candidates lacked public speaking skills, and demonstrating a probable lack of political smarts necessary to maneuver any bureaucracy.

Without trial by fire at lower levels, learning how to run a government and get results, then there is no way to judge the candidates.

Unless candidates like Roza Calderon a faster learn that is apparent at this point, they the Justice Democrats can only win when "anyone but him/her" applies ,

witters , November 6, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Progressive Democrats. Square Circle. 2+2=5. "We Can Make it Happen!" All we need? "The Audacity of Hope".

witters , November 7, 2017 at 12:10 am

So it was our apathy that did it. It was our moral failure. "Really," says Algernon, in The Importance of Being Earnest, "if the lower orders don't set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them? They seem, as a class, to have absolutely no sense of moral responsibility."

bronco , November 6, 2017 at 3:59 pm

no your democratic party is also a party of plutocrats . That's why it needs to be burned to the ground.

annenigma , November 6, 2017 at 4:52 pm

There's an important difference between being and voting Democrat. Actually, we already have a defacto 3rd party, Independents/Unaffiliated, a larger block of voters than either Republicans or Democrats.

With even greater numbers of Independents/Unaffiliated, we could be a force to be reckoned with. Actually, we should recognize and own our power right now because we could decimate the ranks of the Duopoly and make room for an actual third party. We can still vote for Democrats of course, but they'll realize that they can't continue to take our votes for granted.

There's actually no good reason to remain a registered Democrat. You can still vote for Democrats as an Independent/Unaffiliated voter. It's only for some presidential primaries and caucuses that party registration is a limitation. If you live in one of those states, you can temporarily register as a Democrat to vote, then revert to independent/unaffiliated afterwards. Other than that, all other elections are open without regard to affiliation.

The Democrats and Republicans are two wings of the same bird of prey, and we're the prey only because we haven't yet learned to fly to escape their talons. If we start owning our power as free agents/Independent voters, that can change. While deep pocketed donors may have the power to make the wheels turn for the Duopoly, those wheels can't go anywhere without our votes. Since we don't have the power of money, we can at least exercise our political power to stay out of their talons.

Independence is the way to fly. It's not just leverage, it's also the only way to clear more space and demand for official third parties. Since the Duopoly refuses to change their ways and repair the rigged system they created to keep only themselves in power, we can and should abandon them in droves.

Let's spread our wings and fly.

mrsyk , November 6, 2017 at 6:41 pm

In order to vote in the New York State Democrat party primary you must be a registered Democrat. In NY the primary is where most seats are won and lost. Being registered as a Democrat is a necessary evil in some cases.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 7, 2017 at 3:53 am

It has never been clear to me why a hostile takeover of the Democrats, followed by a management purge and seizure of its assets, should be framed as "saving" the Democrat Party. I think that's what a lot of Sanders people would like to do. It's also not clear to me why people think the Democrats can simply be by-passed , and don't need to be assaulted, and if from the inside, all the better.

As readers know, my experience with the Greens was poor (as it has been with others I have talked to). This is especially sad since the GP in Maine had seemed to be viable. So, my fear of the Greens is not fear of the un known, but fear of the known ; I worked at dysfunctional non-profits before, and I don't need to do it again. Others, especially CP activists, may differ in their experience, but that's mine. (Note that I was reinforced in my priors by Stein's lawyer adopting the "Russian hacking" meme in Stein's post-election lawsuits.)

Vatch , November 7, 2017 at 10:04 am

if Bernie's primary campaign and support had been transferred to the Green Party, he would have been a very serious contender,

I agree. But Sanders couldn't join the Green ticket, because he made a promise to support the Democratic candidate, and unlike some politicians, he tries to keep his promises. So what did the Greens do? Instead of actively trying to gain the support of Sanders primary voters, they nominated ideological purist Ajamu Baraka as their Vice Presidential candidate, and he would not back down from unrealistic insulting criticism of Sanders. In effect, the Greens chose to fail.

todde , November 7, 2017 at 10:20 am

I am not interested in keeping the two party system. Either the country breaks apart, or we will have regional parties that can compete with the Democrats and the Republicans.

Audacity of Hope , November 6, 2017 at 6:25 pm

How many clowns can dance on the head of a pin? Debating whether it feels better to have a donkey or an elephant standing on your neck is a fools errand. Neither the Democrat or Republican party is democratic or representative of any more than a handful of families from the Billionaires Club. While they may favor different individuals in the ruling class, neither faux-party has the slightest interest in the rabble who don't line their pockets and provide protection against electoral defeat.

Elections are a stage managed charade in our kleptocracy. Expecting them to change anything that matters, or alter the course of the Warfare State is pure delusion. First we must have Collapse, then Chaos before we can have Change that we can believe in.

animalogic , November 6, 2017 at 11:07 pm

"First we must have Collapse, then Chaos before we can have Change that we can believe in." You are right -- although hopefully mere "crisis" will be sufficient for radical change rather than complete collapse & chaos . Collapse & chaos may void any chance of organised positive change. Having said that the signs are not good: see https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/06/the-ecosystem-is-breaking-down/ for the less than cheery news on ecosystem breakdown. Both parties must be revealed unambiguously to the whole public as the completely morally bankrupt, treasonous & vicious entities that socialists & progressives have known them to be for decades.

zapster , November 6, 2017 at 9:03 pm

The big problem with the Democrats is that they just kicked all the Progressives out and actively oppose them. Voting for blue dogs doesn't get us anywhere.

Vatch , November 6, 2017 at 9:36 pm

Yes, that's a genuine problem. Here are some possible solutions:

https://www.ourrevolution.com/candidates/

https://now.justicedemocrats.com/candidates

http://brandnewcongress.org/candidates/

Vatch , November 7, 2017 at 10:07 am

You are correct about Carter. Zbigniew Brzezinski was a creature of the Rockefellers, and he was Carter's Special Assistant for National Security. Prior to becoming President, Carter was a member of the Trilateral Commission.

sharonsj , November 6, 2017 at 2:27 pm

The rigging was obvious from the start. When nearly all the super delegates declared for Clinton before a single primary was held, I read numerous reports that said the reason was quid pro quo. The super delegates were to be given campaign money in exchange for their support. The agreement proves it.

That, and what the DNC did to Bernie supporters during the convention, made me swear I'd never give them a penny. I have only donated to specific candidates directly. Meanwhile, the Dem establishment stubbornly remains clueless as to why it cannot regain the House and Senate.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 6, 2017 at 4:38 pm

I have seen portions of the agreement (not sure if JFA or MOU) characterized as a "slush fund" for consultants. Naturally, of course, but one might also wonder if that slush fund was used to purchase any superdelegate votes. Pure speculation I didn't have time to run down, so I left it on the cutting room floor.

SpringTexan , November 6, 2017 at 11:06 pm

G, a lot happened to Sanders supporters at the convention, too much to recap but you can probably find stories about it. Many walked out but their seats were filled by paid seat-fillers so the hall didn't look empty, also from what I understand paid seat-fillers sometimes didn't let them take their seats. Signs were blocked, white noise was used to muffle boos, etc.

Before the convention, many of the primaries had a lot of funny business (not all, I know of no problems here in Texas). But California, Arizona, New York, Puerto Rico, Nevada and others all had SERIOUS problems with things such as efforts to prevent Sanders supporters from voting, questionable vote counting (such as at Nevada caucuses), efforts to make voting difficult by having few poll places, etc., etc.

nonclassical , November 7, 2017 at 12:32 am

..actually, while all you intone is accurate, we did clearly hear the boos from Senator Sanders supporters of which I was one.

Vatch , November 7, 2017 at 10:12 am

I think there were irregularities in Illinois, too. I recall that 6 counties did not have enough Democratic ballots, and the Democratic Attorney General, a Clinton supporter, sued to prevent voters in those counties from voting after election day. In Massachusetts, Bill Clinton illegally electioneered near or in a polling place. But the authorities let him get away with it.

Steve from CT , November 6, 2017 at 2:29 pm

Great article Lambert. TheGreenwald article was helpful but yours is the icing on the cake. Hopefully many will read this so that they do not get confused with all of the Clintonista response to Brazile. Howard Dean must be suffering from early Alzheimer's to write such a lie. But he has done it before.

Fiery Hunt , November 6, 2017 at 2:48 pm

It's hard for me to believe anyone can, with a straight face, suggest the 2 agreements are equal.How can you have more than one agreement giving "the authority to make the final decision " ??!! Final means last, no? #corruptlosers

ChrisAtRU , November 6, 2017 at 2:58 pm

From no less than Joy Ann Reid w.r.t. "DNC Collusion":

"YOU CAN'T TRICK PEOPLE INTO VOTING FOR WHO THEY VOTED FOR"

I wonder if this type of logic can and should be applied to #Russian Collusion/Interference ;-)

#ProbablyNotCoolByMSNBC

hemeantwell , November 6, 2017 at 2:58 pm

I know we're not supposed to "relitigate" the 2016 campaign; we're supposed to look forward and not back. However, the demand not to "relitigate" assumes that the case is closed; as Brazile shows, we're hardly through with the depositions, let alone prepared to render judgment. So, when you hear "relitigate," think "silencing tactic," and ask yourself who and what silence serves.

Well said. Regular contact with the centrist MSM recently is like being subjected to hypnotism routines from 50s movies. "You are thinking forward, forward, forward. When I snap my fingers you will feel fresh, eager to believe in the promises of the party of Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama."

Elizabeth Burton , November 6, 2017 at 5:50 pm

A case could be made that the party of FDR is not the same one as the party of Barack Obama. :-)

nonclassical , November 7, 2017 at 12:43 am

and yet FDR stood by while his own "Senator Sanders" – Henry Wallace was sidetracked from his vice-presidency and legacy as FDR's successor (to the chagrin of Eleanor, among many) by corporate dems James Byrnes, stooge for big oil and U.S. steel, who replaced Wallace with Truman at 1944 dem convention

However, there certainly is no comparison, as you note, between obama's complete lack of "transparency, oversight, accountability" regarding bush-cheney war crimes, Wall Street frauds, destabilization of entire Middle-East, leading to republican trump administration, and FDR

Most authors-historicans I have encountered believe FDR had no real idea how ill he was

jsba , November 6, 2017 at 3:04 pm

A while ago, I read a story about the DNC's misuse of unpaid interns. The story itself was barfy enough, but what really shocked me was an aside asserting that even official elected DNC members were barred from viewing the DNC's budget. ( http://paydayreport.com/unpaidinternsatdnc/ )

"Surely that can't be true," I said to myself. But it is! I looked up the DNC's charter and bylaws and the standing budget committee is specifically exempted from article 9 section 12, which says that all official meetings of the DNC and its committees must be open to the public and cannot involve voting by secret ballot. http://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.democrats.org/Downloads/DNC_Charter__Bylaws_9.17.15.pdf

"WTF kind of an organization is this?!" I thought. How on earth is that even legal?

Well, after the Brazile disclosure of the Clinton MOU, I went back to look at the DNC charter/bylaws. You'll note on the first page the date the current version was adopted–2 days after the MOU was signed!

Anyone wanna take a bet that the budget committee carveout was one of things that was changed?

Anonymous , November 6, 2017 at 4:40 pm

jsba, suggest you use the Wayback machine or another internet archive and look at prior historical copies of DNC charter/bylaws, to identify the changes. Could be very illuminating as to (possible) criminal intent?

jsba , November 6, 2017 at 5:46 pm

I did find a 2009 dated version ( https://www.demrulz.org/wp-content/files/DNC_Charter__Bylaws_9.11.2009.pdf ).

I was wrong about the budget committee carveout–it's in this version as well (still completely insane!).

The fact that it was amended 2 days after the MOU is, obviously, still extremely suspicious. I don't have time to, but the 2009 version would be useful to identify possible changes.

Di Modica's Dumb Steer , November 6, 2017 at 3:09 pm

As much as I'd like to switch parties (hah) so as to add to the greater numbers of fleeing formerly party faithful, I'm in one of those 'closed primary' states. My vote is already nearly worthless (though I exercise my right every chance I get); to switch to a third party would make sure I'm both excluded from the more interesting local party contests AND drowned out in national contests. Lose/lose. Maybe if something like Maine's (currently under attack) Ranked Choice Voting existed all over, I'd be less sour about the whole thing.

Donald , November 6, 2017 at 9:04 pm

Yeah, you need people like Lambert willing to do the work. It is exhausting keeping up with the truths, half truths and lies promulgated in the press and trying to figure out what is true and what isn't.

EricT , November 6, 2017 at 3:17 pm

I find it interesting that the agreement involved control of the IT/data infrastructure of the DNC. Doesn't the DNC administer the democratic party registry? And with that observation, wasn't there a lot of illegal party switching that caused a problem for some Democrats voting in party restricted primaries that had their registration switched, so that they couldn't take part in the primaries. Wouldn't it be interesting if the switched parties were on the DNC record as donating to Bernie's campaign? Fixed, indeed.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 7, 2017 at 1:13 am

I'm not sure I understand your scenario, but the DNC "voter file" and the state's list of registered voters are two different things.

JCC , November 6, 2017 at 3:18 pm

It just goes to show you

Skip in DC , November 6, 2017 at 3:27 pm

Manipulations of the deplorable superdelegate system, with its covert quid pro quo payoffs after the Clintons take power, was part of a seamless fix. Premature coronation by media and party wigs after primary victories in red states no Democrat would win in the general election helped ice it.

Perhaps revelations will turn up on mainstream media, from the Sabbath Gasbags to NPR, knifing Bernie with Hillary talking points at every opportunity, when he wasn't being ignored. Thomas Frank wrote persuasively on WaPo's bias in Swat Team in Harper's, and there have been tidbits on off-record Clinton media cocktail parties and such. But I'd like to know how far up the editorial totem poles the fix went and how it was achieved. Certainly Jeff Bezos has a Washington wish list. I marveled at how many journalists suddenly sounded like breathless valley girl propagandists. And still do. What faster way to tank journalism's credibility than that perception?

I guess that's why after catching headlines more of my reading time shifts to alternative offerings such as those presented here.

Mark P. , November 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm

But I'd like to know how far up the editorial totem poles the fix went and how it was achieved.

I worked as a journalist in America for over a decade. I cannot stress enough how unnecessary such a literal fix would be. (Though doubtless words were and are exchanged between concerned parties when needed.)

The hive-mind position of most U.S. journalists -- and especially of editors, who tend to be the most compliant with the power-structure and often the stupidest people in the room -- was (and is) an automatical default to unquestioning support -- even worship -- of the Democratic Party, its elite, and Clintonite neoliberalism.

I once wrote a long feature that got a crush-letter from Joe Lieberman's office. The editors at the magazine in question were ecstatic and printed that letter as its own separate feature in the next issue. Personally, I thought Leiberman was scum, but kept my qualms to myself and was glad I used a byline.

Samuel Conner , November 6, 2017 at 3:28 pm

It seems to me that the HRC campaign's JFA was expressly designed to -- and succeeded in its design -- circumvent the statutory $2700 limit on direct campaign contributions. Yet I have not seen commentary that suggests any laws were violated. What am I missing?

AnnieB , November 6, 2017 at 3:30 pm

To me, it seemed that the Democratic Party had already decided for clinton before the primaries, as at my local caucus the party had planted each neighborhood group with a party faithful, not from the neighborhood, who would argue for clinton and fear monger about Trump. I know this because I talked to the plant in my group, asked her where she lived, and discovered it was not in my neighborhood; it was a different town. Others reported the same.

Also, a Dem party leader came up to me and said "Sanders is not going to be the nominee" and "When this is over (meaning the primary), then you'll be supporting Hillary, right?" I told her to never assume anything.

So, thanks to Brazile, no matter her motivation, for providing proof of what we already knew.

Richard , November 6, 2017 at 9:33 pm

I think you don't see that skill set very much in party leaders because they so rarely need for the party to win elections. They do need to be able to maintain control over their parties, so they're great at being cutthroat and cheating. But apart from certain important individual elections, the success of the party as a whole isn't a big priority for them. There are spoils to divide either way.

nonclassical , November 7, 2017 at 12:49 am

fyi, Lambert, the two political parties, while both far too corrupt, are different-your own false-equivalencies aside

Sam Adams , November 6, 2017 at 5:37 pm

I worked on the Sanders primary campaign in my city. I watched as the state/regional leadership consistently tanked the gotv and other Sanders ground outreach while a few local leaders working in smaller areas worked their hearts out on the ground. Surprisingly (or not) the state/ regional leadership bailed to work on the HRC campaign within hours of closing the primary office.

Nancy Sutton , November 6, 2017 at 3:31 pm

I swear, in one of her interviews on the past weekend, Brazile made a quick, underbreath, reference to 'poor Seth Rich' in recounting the death threats aimed at her. Glad someone has not forgotten that connection.

jalrin , November 6, 2017 at 3:43 pm

It has been a while since I handled a criminal defense case, but I am not sure that the agreement is not in fact, criminal. When the Sanders for President campaign signed an agreement and paid money in consideration of getting access to the voter file and when the state parties agreed to merge their fundraising efforts with the DNC and HFA, the commercial fraud laws applied to that relationship. Since the fundraising was done using interstate phone calls, letters, and emails and the voter file access was provided by electronic transmissions from servers in DC to end users in Burlington, Vermont that includes 18 USC 1341, 1343 and 1346 (mail, wire and honest services fraud). These laws do not just ban outright lying, but also the concealment of material facts that one has a duty to disclose.

Considering the importance of voter file access, it is impossible to imagine that your chief competitor having joint authority over hiring the people who handle all your customer service and monitor your compliance with voter file contract is not a material fact. If, under DC contract law or FTC commerical regulations, these kinds of conflicts of interest are mandatorily disclosable (I do not practice in DC but I doubt DC applies caveat emptor to that degree), then 18 USC 1343 was broken and Jeff Sessions could indict everyone involved.

It is even worse for the state parties agreement. The DNC arguably has a duty of loyalty to its state affiliates which makes agreeing to encourage them all to sign up even though it is concealing its knowledge that the money will be allocated in a way that will be bad for at least some of them seem utterly inconsistent with the honest services provisions of 1346. All in all, it is probably a good thing for the DNC that the Sessions aides I went to law school with paid less attention in criminal law that I did.

Jeff W , November 6, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Thanks!

It seemed to me that the nondisclosure of material facts and of conflicts of interest might, arguably, constitute some type of criminal activity and that Donna Brazile's characterization of the agreement as "not a criminal act" was, perhaps, a bit too facile but I did not know the specific statutes or claims that might be involved. I really appreciate your detailed observations here.

a different chris , November 6, 2017 at 9:41 pm

>that the Sessions aides I went to law school with paid less attention in criminal law

Did they? Does it really make sense to destroy the Democratic Party and open up space for something new and dangerous? I would just make popcorn.

PS: thanks for the excellent post, btw.

Oregoncharles , November 7, 2017 at 2:13 am

"Not a dime's worth of difference."
When it comes to politics, it isn't Russians we need to worry about, it's Americans. That's where the collusion is – between the parties.

It was the Republicans' turn, period. Jeff Sessions doubtless knows that.

dk , November 6, 2017 at 3:53 pm

Rigged, fixed, defrauded I like "compromised".

Just want to point out that the state-party=>DNC pass-through is not at all new. Has been active in some form and proportion in every presidential campaign since 1992 (mainly, or at least nominally due to changes in FEC regulation), but really ramped up in and after 2008.

Pushback by states has decreased over time, as state party executive directors are now almost always (even in off-cycle years) routed in from DC, instead of staffing from the local pool of operatives.

One of the important impacts is on state legislatures. Gutted of necessary funding, and discouraged (and sometimes contractually inhibited) from soliciting further funds on the national level, state parties have little left in their coffers to support their legislative candidates and committees (and forget about the bottom of the ticket).

So this kind of money hoovering is a significant factor in the national net loss of Dem seats in state houses in non-"battleground" states.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 6, 2017 at 4:30 pm

> the state-party=>DNC pass-through is not at all new

I believe the amounts are new. Campaign Legal Center :

During oral arguments in McCutcheon v. FEC three years ago, Justice Samuel Alito dismissed the Campaign Legal Center's analysis showing how, absent limits on the total amount that donors could give to multiple political committees, candidates could use joint fundraising schemes to raise huge, potentially corrupting contributions.

These scenarios, Justice Alito claimed, are "wild hypotheticals that are not obviously plausible." Hillary Clinton, though, is proving that the Campaign Legal Center was right all along.

I'm not at all a campaign finance expert. Perhaps readers will weigh in?

dk , November 6, 2017 at 5:49 pm

Yes, the amounts are new. Just saying this was the direction things were going for a while already. Good will between DNC and state parties already at a low ebb, DWS a big part of that.

Kris Alman , November 6, 2017 at 7:58 pm

As we know, the Citizens United Supreme Court decision allows corporations, individuals and labor unions to make unlimited contributions to independent organizations that use the money to support or defeat a candidate. Rules prohibit coordination between a candidate committee and an individual or organization making "independent expenditures."

Clearly this was not the arrangement between the HVF, State Democratic Central Committees participating in the PAC and the DNC. Hillary was pulling the strings at the DNC. But I'm just now appreciating that the Hillary Victory Fund is not a Super PAC.

https://www.fec.gov/updates/joint-fundraising-2/

Joint fundraising is fundraising conducted jointly by a political committee and one or more other political committees or unregistered organizations. Joint fundraising rules apply to:

Party committees;
Party organizations not registered as political committees;
Federal and/or nonfederal candidate committees;
Nonparty, unauthorized political committees (nonconnected PACs); and
Unregistered nonparty organizations. 11 CFR 102.17(a)(1)(i) and (2).

The HVF was the first joint fundraising committee between a presidential candidate and the Democratic party since the 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision McCutcheon v FEC. A horrible precedent at that!

McCutcheon declared a total limit on how much an individual can give federal candidates and parties in a two-year cycle unconstitutional. Chief Justice Roberts opined, "The existing aggregate limits may in fact encourage the movement of money away from entities subject to disclosure."

Right!

The HVF demonstrates how rechanneling dark money from super PACs toward candidates and parties doesn't stop unethical and undemocratic processes.

That the HVF was needed to balance the Obama debt is one thing. That the HVF can pass through money from State committees to the DNC and then coordinate activities there while passing off as a joint fundraising committee is another thing.

The rechanneling of hundreds of millions of dollars donated by rich D elites to bypass individual contribution limits was a brilliant financial engineering feat–one that the Rs will surely emulate.

Before conducting a joint fundraiser, all participants must enter into a written agreement that identifies the JFR and states the allocation formula -- the amount or percentage that the participants agree to use for allocating proceeds and expenses. 11 CFR 102.17(c)(1).

What was the allocation formula of the joint fundraising committee?

As the HVF fairy tale plays out, Clinton is the witch who lures Hansel and Gretel to the forest with a castle of confections, with the intention to eat them.

Are Democrats capable of outsmarting the witches that want to cannibalize the party?

Down2Long , November 6, 2017 at 10:02 pm

Thanks Lambert for this. As usual, you have seen around corners and cleared the mud from the water. Thank God you like crawling through this sh*t, so that I at least don't have to.

Our local radio host Warren Olney, on KCRW who started his show "To The Point" (which is syndicated nationally on Public Radio International) during the 2000 Bush v Gore Supreme Court crowning of Bush fiasco is doing a week long retrospective of the disintegration of Americans' faith in "our" institutions (ha!) before he goes to a once a week podcast.

I have listened to him for 17 years and I don't know how he could stomach covering U.S. society, politics, and culture during those years of non-ending sh*t show. He was fair to all guests including some right wing loonies, but you never got the feeling he was going for "balance." He always seemed to get the truth. Gonna sorely miss him.

So glad you are still on the case, and loving it. You have my gratitude, and soon, a contribution.

Edward , November 6, 2017 at 4:33 pm

How much of the $250,000 the Sanders campaign paid for the DNC voter list went to the Clinton campaign? I am still wondering if this kind of thing has occurred in other elections?

Deadl E Cheese , November 6, 2017 at 5:08 pm

As far as relitigating the primary goes, we should've had that fight back, if not in 2000, then definitely in 2004. After Team Clinton, people who justified their sellouts and perfidy with 'we must never have another McGovern or Carter', gave the GOP a gift of a unified government that should have been the permanent end of their credibility. Because while McGovern, Carter, and Mondale went down in flames they didn't so thoroughly destroy the anti-reactionary institutions as badly as the Third Way did.

The endless 2016 primary is our punishment for giving these centrist vipers a second chance.

Hana M , November 6, 2017 at 5:29 pm

I appreciate Lambert going through these documents and laying out the timeline. One of the things that this read sparked for me was the realization the Joe Biden was elbowed out just as much as Bernie Sanders. I didn't follow the Biden decision-making process at the time but checking back on the timeline it seems like Clinton pre-empted any attempt by dear old Joe to actually decide to run. Correct me if I'm wrong (as I may well be. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Biden#2016_presidential_race

Jen , November 7, 2017 at 4:51 am

It doesn't take much elbowing to oust someone who was polling in single digits in his home state. I donated to O'Malley's campaign before Bernie got in, and, regrettably, am still on his mailing list.

Altandmain , November 6, 2017 at 5:32 pm

The bottom line is that the political system is owned by the ruling oligarchy and that the Democratic Establishment is in bed with them. If a serious candidate from the left poses a challenge, they will rig the Primary against that candidate.

The Democratic Establishment is pretty much paid to lose and to make the consultant class rich. Equally as importantly, they exist to co-opt the left.

Sure there are a few voices talking that make sense like Tulsi Gabbard. They are the exception to a very corrupt party.

A big part of why the middle class has declined is because of the total betrayal of the Democratic Party from the ideas behind the New Deal.

The Rev Kev , November 6, 2017 at 5:48 pm

The DNC got into the position of selling themselves to the Clintons as they were $20 million in debt, right? I have read that the major reason for these debts was that the DNC had not shrunk itself since the last campaign and was paying out a ton of money for consultants doing Christ knows what. In fact, Obama also used the DNC to support a stack of his consultants as well as grifters gotta grift, right?

My question is whether this was a deliberate ploy on Obama and the Clinton factions to put the DNC into such a vulnerable position before 2016 came along that when the time came, they had to take up an offer that they could not refuse. I have not heard if Obama has made any comments on this fiasco that took place on his watch and it seems nobody wants to call him out on it. In the Brazile case, it is not a matter of following the money but following the lack of money.

Summer , November 6, 2017 at 6:23 pm

https://www.alternet.org/human-rights/demo-catastrophe-it-was-worse-we-thought-and-bigger-bernie-vs-hillary/
By Andrew O'Hehir / Salon

O'Hehir flails around until he nails it:

"Both sides in the Democratic Party's current faction fight, as I see it, are in denial about the true nature and scope of the problem "Both responses are essentially utopian: They rest on the premise that the Democratic Party is still a functioning political organization and that the United States is still a functioning democracy."

VietnamVet , November 6, 2017 at 7:01 pm

Thanks. This was plain and simple money laundering to get around the Federal Election Commission rules and regulations. That no one has been brought to justice shows how corrupt the American political process is. It would great if you could post how you would reform it. I would start with paper ballots counted in public and halt corporations from buying elections.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 7, 2017 at 4:03 am

> This was plain and simple money laundering

If I understand the law correctly, this really wasn't money laundering, since laundered money becomes dirty by virtue of its being the result of a crime (like drug dealers depositing cash at HSBC (IIRC)). Handling money in a complex and obfuscated way is not, in itself, money laundering. I'm not sure what the word is, though.

John k , November 7, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Violating campaign laws is a crime. Circumventing can often be shown to be violating. Need a prosecutor willing to prosecute white collar crime, a rare breed for at least the last decade. But trump has been attacked by Clintons, and he has DOJ but nothing is happening.

makedoanmend , November 7, 2017 at 5:23 am

Some very good points are made here. Carping about the inequities of the Democrat Party establishment isn't going to change their behaviour. Too much lucre. One needs to change the people running the party. From the ground up and with concrete regulatory features. Full stop.

However, one might look to the UK Labour party to see how it reacted when J. Corbyn, a lifelong member and activist, became leader of the party through grandee miscalculation. The Thatcherist Blairites went ballastic and basically decided to destroy the party rather than let a fairly mild democratic socialist offer an alternative to their beloved neoliberal economic policies. Too much lucre. They almost destroyed Labour in Scotland and were intent on defenestrating Labour in England, whilst retaining some feeble structure as a mock substitute, so that the Tories would, in fact, become the one and only alternative.

The forces aligned against the democratic tendencies of ordinary citizens are formidable and reach into every nook and cranny of our lives. They have the money, technological reach and hence the power of capital and its persuasive abilities.

Ain't going to be easy. Never is.

pretzelattack , November 7, 2017 at 9:46 am

i dont think a campaign had owned the dnc like that before. i think it had nothing to do with hilary being a good team player, and everything to do with money and juicy consulting/lobbying jobs. and pointing this out is not "sulking". know your enemy, and don't excuse their crimes and predations by an argument that "that's just the way things are".

audrey jr , November 6, 2017 at 8:26 pm

I am a Bernie supporter. He was pushed to the side by the Dem's – a party to which I belonged for forty years – in a total panic when it was shown to the Dem's that Bernie was able to reach disaffected party members as myself by raising a large amount of money through individual small donors.
That Bernie accomplished this feat was a huge factor, IMO, in why and how my former party felt it necessary to malign and derail Bernie and his supporters before, during and after the Democratic -meh – Nominating Convention.
The Dem's should have just named the Hillary for America Fund the Hillary for Hillary Fund.
Hillary cares only for and about Hillary. She's the reason Trump is POTUS today.
My family has been Democrat for many generations. Most of my family members have, unfortunately, BTFD on this one. I used to find them to be reasonable folk. Trump derangement syndrome has infected them all. This is a common complaint these days.

nonclassical , November 7, 2017 at 12:57 am

truth of trump actions-legislation, appointees, is not "trump derangement syndrome" trump has succeeded in swamping the drain

and yes, it is obama's fault HC opted for a losing, "more of same" campaign policy

audrey jr , November 6, 2017 at 8:34 pm

Forgot to thank Lambert for all of his great care and hard work in putting this together for us. Thank you, Lambert.
In Brazile's account I do believe I remember reading that my home state, CA, did not sign off on the agreement with regard to the HFV fund. But I seem to remember that Naked Capitalism, or perhaps in the commentariat here, did state that the Dem's here in CA were in an uproar over Hillary Victory Fund taking all of the state party monies. Am I having a flashback or did I actually remember this wrong? Anyone know?

JTFaraday , November 6, 2017 at 10:23 pm

I thought the most interesting thing about Brazile's comments to date was that Obama left the DNC indebted and therefore more vulnerable to the highest bidder. Not easy to bail that out on $27 donations. So typical of these Goldmanite administrations, this use of finance as a political weapon.

MLS , November 7, 2017 at 9:29 am

a feature not a bug? Is it completely implausible that Obama deliberately left the party in shambles just so Clinton could ride to the "rescue"?

[Oct 27, 2017] Hillary has achieved Mother Goddess status simply by achieving nothing -- except tons of cash. The devotees of a cult are by definition deaf, blind and dumb. The deity encourages their fervour daily by bestowing glamor and celebrity on their dull, everyday lives.

Notable quotes:
"... Rocky and Bullwinkle ..."
"... Also: "Now she is making what bar-napkin math suggests must be at least $700,000 a night." Since the theatre had 3,500 seats, and the reporter paid $200 for a seat in the top row of the upper balcony, he could be right about Clinton's gross. I'd love a transcript of one of these things . ..."
Oct 27, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"Fear and loathing on Hillary Clinton's grievance tour" [ The Week ].

"Why, if you believe that miscellaneous 'Russians' -- at one point she referred to a generic character named 'Igor,' which is funny if your level of engagement with Russian culture does not extend far beyond Rocky and Bullwinkle horizons -- bought Twitter ads in the hope of targeting 60- and 70-something union retirees in Macomb County, Michigan, would you not think you really won?

Also: "Now she is making what bar-napkin math suggests must be at least $700,000 a night." Since the theatre had 3,500 seats, and the reporter paid $200 for a seat in the top row of the upper balcony, he could be right about Clinton's gross. I'd love a transcript of one of these things .

Kokuanani , October 27, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Wow, the Walther article from The Week ["Fear and Loathing on Hillary Clinton's Grievance Tour"] is terrific!!! Thanks for linking.

Now if only I had some non-brainwashed friends I could send it to.

Quentin , October 27, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Hillary has achieved Mother Goddess status simply by achieving nothing -- except tons of cash. The devotees of a cult are by definition deaf, blind and dumb. The deity encourages their fervour daily by bestowing glamor and celebrity on their dull, everyday lives.

flora , October 27, 2017 at 3:39 pm

You could send them this youtoob video if they want to know what happened to voter enthusiasm for team Dem this year. (long but worth watching.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=33&v=V8ERFwZoPXE

Arizona Slim , October 27, 2017 at 3:43 pm

I especially enjoyed the conversation between the Ann Arbor mother and her 9-year-old daughter.

Mom: Wasn't that great?

Daughter: It was boring.

And here I thought I was the only one who thought Hillary was a boring speaker.

[Oct 23, 2017] If granny had become POTUS there might have been a lot more radiation around the world because of her "charm".

Oct 23, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile , October 21, 2017 at 4:19 am

The re-modelling of Killary? Why does nobody mention that Hillary Clinton is perfectly nice? Hillary Clinton on The Graham Norton Show: no Paxman-style grilling, but the Democrat radiated grandmotherly charm

Who the fuck is this Norton bloke, anyway?

Moscow Exile , October 21, 2017 at 4:21 am
If granny had become POTUS there might have been a lot more radiation around the world because of her "charm".

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Julian Assange 🔹 (@JulianAssange)

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

October 15, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can fool all people .

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

@jilles dykstra

Jilles,

I am thinking you take the article too literally.

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

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

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

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

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

Does anyone else smell a rat or two?

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

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

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

[Sep 20, 2017] The Politics of Military Ascendancy by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In this paper we will discuss the advantages that the military elite accumulate from the war agenda and the reasons why ' the Generals' have been able to impose their definition of international realities. ..."
"... We will discuss the military's ascendancy over Trump's civilian regime as a result of the relentless degradation of his presidency by his political opposition. ..."
"... The massive US-led bombing and destruction of Libya, the overthrow of the Gadhafi government and the failure of the Obama-Clinton administration to impose a puppet regime, underlined the limitations of US air power and the ineffectiveness of US political-military intervention. The Presidency blundered in its foreign policy in North Africa and demonstrated its military ineptness. ..."
"... The invasion of Syria by US-funded mercenaries and terrorists committed the US to an unreliable ally in a losing war. This led to a reduction in the military budget and encouraged the Generals to view their direct control of overseas wars and foreign policy as the only guarantee of their positions. ..."
"... The Obama-Clinton engineered coup and power grab in the Ukraine brought a corrupt incompetent military junta to power in Kiev and provoked the secession of the Crimea (to Russia) and Eastern Ukraine (allied with Russia). The Generals were sidelined and found that they had tied themselves to Ukrainian kleptocrats while dangerously increasing political tensions with Russia. The Obama regime dictated economic sanctions against Moscow, designed to compensate for their ignominious military-political failures. ..."
"... The Obama-Clinton legacy facing Trump was built around a three-legged stool: an international order based on military aggression and confrontation with Russia; a ' pivot to Asia' defined as the military encirclement and economic isolation of China – via bellicose threats and economic sanctions against North Korea; and the use of the military as the praetorian guards of free trade agreements in Asia excluding China. ..."
"... After only 8 months in office President Trump helplessly gave into the firings, resignations and humiliation of each and every one of his civilian appointees, especially those who were committed to reverse Obama's 'international order'. ..."
"... Trump was elected to replace wars, sanctions and interventions with economic deals beneficial to the American working and middle class. This would include withdrawing the military from its long-term commitments to budget-busting 'nation-building' (occupation) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and other Obama-designated endless war zones. ..."
"... The Generals provide a veneer of legitimacy to the Trump regime (especially for the warmongering Obama Democrats and the mass media). However, handing presidential powers over to ' Mad Dog' Mattis and his cohort will come with a heavy price. ..."
"... While the military junta may protect Trump's foreign policy flank, it does not lessen the attacks on his domestic agenda. Moreover, Trump's proposed budget compromise with the Democrats has enraged his own Party's leaders. ..."
"... The military junta is pressuring China against North Korea with the goal of isolating the ruling regime in Pyongyang and increasing the US military encirclement of Beijing. Mad Dog has partially succeeded in turning China against North Korea while securing its advanced THADD anti-missile installations in South Korea, which will be directed against Beijing. ..."
"... Mad Dog's military build-up, especially in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, will not intimidate Iran nor add to any military successes. They entail high costs and low returns, as Obama realized after the better part of a decade of his defeats, fiascos and multi-billion dollar losses. ..."
"... The militarization of US foreign policy provides some important lessons: ..."
"... the escalation from threats to war does not succeed in disarming adversaries who possess the capacity to retaliate. ..."
"... Low intensity multi-lateral war maneuvers reinforce US-led alliances, but they also convince opponents to increase their military preparedness. Mid-level intense wars against non-nuclear adversaries can seize capital cities, as in Iraq, but the occupier faces long-term costly wars of attrition that can undermine military morale, provoke domestic unrest and heighten budget deficits. And they create millions of refugees. ..."
"... Threats and intimidation succeed only against conciliatory adversaries. Undiplomatic verbal thuggery can arouse the spirit of the bully and some of its allies, but it has little chance of convincing its adversaries to capitulate. The US policy of worldwide militarization over-extends the US armed forces and has not led to any permanent military gains. ..."
"... Are there any voices among clear-thinking US military leaders, those not bedazzled by their stars and idiotic admirers in the US media, who could push for more global accommodation and mutual respect among nations? The US Congress and the corrupt media are demonstrably incapable of evaluating past disasters, let alone forging an effective response to new global realities. ..."
"... American actions in Europe, Asia and the middle east appear increasingly irrational to many international observers. Their policy thrusts are excused as containment of evildoers or punishment of peoples who think and act differently. ..."
"... They will drive into a new detente such incompatible parties as Russia and Iran, or China and many countries. America risks losing its way in the world and free peoples see a flickering beacon that once shone brighter. ..."
"... How about this comic book tough guy quote: "I'm pleading with you with tears in my eyes: if you fuck with me, I'll kill you all" notice the first person used repetitively as he talks down to hapless unarmed tribesman in some distant land. A real egomaniacal narcissistic coward. Any of you with military experience would immediately recognize the type ... ..."
"... It seems that the inevitable has happened. Feckless civilians have used military adventures to advance their careers , ensure re- elections, capturr lucrative position as speaker, have a place as member of think tank or lobbying firm or consultant . Now being as stupidly greedy and impatient as these guys are, they have failed to see that neither the policies nor the militaries can succeed against enemies that are generated from the action and the policy itself ..."
Sep 15, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Clearly the US has escalated the pivotal role of the military in the making of foreign and, by extension, domestic policy. The rise of ' the Generals' to strategic positions in the Trump regime is evident, deepening its role as a highly autonomous force determining US strategic policy agendas.

In this paper we will discuss the advantages that the military elite accumulate from the war agenda and the reasons why ' the Generals' have been able to impose their definition of international realities.

We will discuss the military's ascendancy over Trump's civilian regime as a result of the relentless degradation of his presidency by his political opposition.

The Prelude to Militarization: Obama's Multi-War Strategy and Its Aftermath

The central role of the military in deciding US foreign policy has its roots in the strategic decisions taken during the Obama-Clinton Presidency. Several policies were decisive in the rise of unprecedented military-political power.

The massive increase of US troops in Afghanistan and their subsequent failures and retreat weakened the Obama-Clinton regime and increased animosity between the military and the Obama's Administration. As a result of his failures, Obama downgraded the military and weakened Presidential authority. The massive US-led bombing and destruction of Libya, the overthrow of the Gadhafi government and the failure of the Obama-Clinton administration to impose a puppet regime, underlined the limitations of US air power and the ineffectiveness of US political-military intervention. The Presidency blundered in its foreign policy in North Africa and demonstrated its military ineptness. The invasion of Syria by US-funded mercenaries and terrorists committed the US to an unreliable ally in a losing war. This led to a reduction in the military budget and encouraged the Generals to view their direct control of overseas wars and foreign policy as the only guarantee of their positions. The US military intervention in Iraq was only a secondary contributing factor in the defeat of ISIS; the major actors and beneficiaries were Iran and the allied Iraqi Shia militias. The Obama-Clinton engineered coup and power grab in the Ukraine brought a corrupt incompetent military junta to power in Kiev and provoked the secession of the Crimea (to Russia) and Eastern Ukraine (allied with Russia). The Generals were sidelined and found that they had tied themselves to Ukrainian kleptocrats while dangerously increasing political tensions with Russia. The Obama regime dictated economic sanctions against Moscow, designed to compensate for their ignominious military-political failures.

The Obama-Clinton legacy facing Trump was built around a three-legged stool: an international order based on military aggression and confrontation with Russia; a ' pivot to Asia' defined as the military encirclement and economic isolation of China – via bellicose threats and economic sanctions against North Korea; and the use of the military as the praetorian guards of free trade agreements in Asia excluding China.

The Obama 'legacy' consists of an international order of globalized capital and multiple wars. The continuity of Obama's 'glorious legacy' initially depended on the election of Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump's presidential campaign, for its part, promised to dismantle or drastically revise the Obama Doctrine of an international order based on multiple wars , neo-colonial 'nation' building and free trade. A furious Obama 'informed' (threatened) the newly-elected President Trump that he would face the combined hostility of the entire State apparatus, Wall Street and the mass media if he proceeded to fulfill his election promises of economic nationalism and thus undermine the US-centered global order.

Trump's bid to shift from Obama's sanctions and military confrontation to economic reconciliation with Russia was countered by a hornet's nest of accusations about a Trump-Russian electoral conspiracy, darkly hinting at treason and show trials against his close allies and even family members.

The concoction of a Trump-Russia plot was only the first step toward a total war on the new president, but it succeeded in undermining Trump's economic nationalist agenda and his efforts to change Obama's global order.

Trump Under Obama's International Order

After only 8 months in office President Trump helplessly gave into the firings, resignations and humiliation of each and every one of his civilian appointees, especially those who were committed to reverse Obama's 'international order'.

Trump was elected to replace wars, sanctions and interventions with economic deals beneficial to the American working and middle class. This would include withdrawing the military from its long-term commitments to budget-busting 'nation-building' (occupation) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and other Obama-designated endless war zones.

Trump's military priorities were supposed to focus on strengthening domestic frontiers and overseas markets. He started by demanding that NATO partners pay for their own military defense responsibilities. Obama's globalists in both political parties were aghast that the US might lose it overwhelming control of NATO; they united and moved immediately to strip Trump of his economic nationalist allies and their programs.

Trump quickly capitulated and fell into line with Obama's international order, except for one proviso – he would select the Cabinet to implement the old/new international order.

A hamstrung Trump chose a military cohort of Generals, led by General James Mattis (famously nicknamed ' Mad Dog' ) as Defense Secretary.

The Generals effectively took over the Presidency. Trump abdicated his responsibilities as President.

General Mattis: The Militarization of America

General Mattis took up the Obama legacy of global militarization and added his own nuances, including the 'psychological-warfare' embedded in Trump's emotional ejaculations on 'Twitter'.

The ' Mattis Doctrine' combined high-risk threats with aggressive provocations, bringing the US (and the world) to the brink of nuclear war.

General Mattis has adopted the targets and fields of operations, defined by the previous Obama administration as it has sought to re-enforce the existing imperialist international order.

The junta's policies relied on provocations and threats against Russia, with expanded economic sanctions. Mattis threw more fuel on the US mass media's already hysterical anti-Russian bonfire. The General promoted a strategy of low intensity diplomatic thuggery, including the unprecedented seizure and invasion of Russian diplomatic offices and the short-notice expulsion of diplomats and consular staff.

These military threats and acts of diplomatic intimidation signified that the Generals' Administration under the Puppet President Trump was ready to sunder diplomatic relations with a major world nuclear power and indeed push the world to direct nuclear confrontation.

What Mattis seeks in these mad fits of aggression is nothing less than capitulation on the part of the Russian government regarding long held US military objectives – namely the partition of Syria (which started under Obama), harsh starvation sanctions on North Korea (which began under Clinton) and the disarmament of Iran (Tel Aviv's main goal) in preparation for its dismemberment.

The Mattis junta occupying the Trump White House heightened its threats against a North Korea, which (in Vladimir Putin's words) ' would rather eat grass than disarm' . The US mass media-military megaphones portrayed the North Korean victims of US sanctions and provocations as an 'existential' threat to the US mainland.

Sanctions have intensified. The stationing of nuclear weapons on South Korea is being pushed. Massive joint military exercises are planned and ongoing in the air, sea and land around North Korea. Mattis twisted Chinese arms (mainly business comprador-linked bureaucrats) and secured their UN Security Council vote on increased sanctions. Russia joined the Mattis-led anti-Pyongyang chorus, even as Putin warned of sanctions ineffectiveness! (As if General ' Mad Dog' Mattis would ever take Putin's advice seriously, especially after Russia voted for the sanctions!)

Mattis further militarized the Persian Gulf, following Obama's policy of partial sanctions and bellicose provocation against Iran.

When he worked for Obama, Mattis increased US arms shipments to the US's Syrian terrorists and Ukrainian puppets, ensuring the US would be able to scuttle any ' negotiated settlements' .

Militarization: An Evaluation

Trump's resort to ' his Generals' is supposed to counter any attacks from members of his own party and Congressional Democrats about his foreign policy. Trump's appointment of ' Mad Dog' Mattis, a notorious Russophobe and warmonger, has somewhat pacified the opposition in Congress and undercut any 'finding' of an election conspiracy between Trump and Moscow dug up by the Special Investigator Robert Mueller. Trump's maintains a role as nominal President by adapting to what Obama warned him was ' their international order' – now directed by an unelected military junta composed of Obama holdovers!

The Generals provide a veneer of legitimacy to the Trump regime (especially for the warmongering Obama Democrats and the mass media). However, handing presidential powers over to ' Mad Dog' Mattis and his cohort will come with a heavy price.

While the military junta may protect Trump's foreign policy flank, it does not lessen the attacks on his domestic agenda. Moreover, Trump's proposed budget compromise with the Democrats has enraged his own Party's leaders.

In sum, under a weakened President Trump, the militarization of the White House benefits the military junta and enlarges their power. The ' Mad Dog' Mattis program has had mixed results, at least in its initial phase: The junta's threats to launch a pre-emptive (possibly nuclear) war against North Korea have strengthened Pyongyang's commitment to develop and refine its long and medium range ballistic missile capability and nuclear weapons. Brinksmanship failed to intimidate North Korea. Mattis cannot impose the Clinton-Bush-Obama doctrine of disarming countries (like Libya and Iraq) of their advanced defensive weapons systems as a prelude to a US 'regime change' invasion.

Any US attack against North Korea will lead to massive retaliatory strikes costing tens of thousands of US military lives and will kill and maim millions of civilians in South Korea and Japan.

At most, ' Mad Dog' managed to intimidate Chinese and Russian officials (and their export business billionaire buddies) to agree to more economic sanctions against North Korea. Mattis and his allies in the UN and White House, the loony Nikki Hailey and a miniaturized President Trump, may bellow war – yet they cannot apply the so-called 'military option' without threatening the US military forces stationed throughout the Asia Pacific region.

The Mad Dog Mattis assault on the Russian embassy did not materially weaken Russia, but it has revealed the uselessness of Moscow's conciliatory diplomacy toward their so-called 'partners' in the Trump regime.

The end-result might lead to a formal break in diplomatic ties, which would increase the danger of a military confrontation and a global nuclear holocaust.

The military junta is pressuring China against North Korea with the goal of isolating the ruling regime in Pyongyang and increasing the US military encirclement of Beijing. Mad Dog has partially succeeded in turning China against North Korea while securing its advanced THADD anti-missile installations in South Korea, which will be directed against Beijing. These are Mattis' short-term gains over the excessively pliant Chinese bureaucrats. However, if Mad Dog intensifies direct military threats against China, Beijing can retaliate by dumping tens of billions of US Treasury notes, cutting trade ties, sowing chaos in the US economy and setting Wall Street against the Pentagon.

Mad Dog's military build-up, especially in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, will not intimidate Iran nor add to any military successes. They entail high costs and low returns, as Obama realized after the better part of a decade of his defeats, fiascos and multi-billion dollar losses.

Conclusion

The militarization of US foreign policy, the establishment of a military junta within the Trump Administration, and the resort to nuclear brinksmanship has not changed the global balance of power.

Domestically Trump's nominal Presidency relies on militarists, like General Mattis. Mattis has tightened the US control over NATO allies, and even rounded up stray European outliers, like Sweden, to join in a military crusade against Russia. Mattis has played on the media's passion for bellicose headlines and its adulation of Four Star Generals.

But for all that – North Korea remains undaunted because it can retaliate. Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons and remains a counterweight to a US-dominated globe. China owns the US Treasury and its unimpressed, despite the presence of an increasingly collision-prone US Navy swarming throughout the South China Sea.

Mad Dog laps up the media attention, with well dressed, scrupulously manicured journalists hanging on his every bloodthirsty pronouncement. War contractors flock to him, like flies to carrion. The Four Star General 'Mad Dog' Mattis has attained Presidential status without winning any election victory (fake or otherwise). No doubt when he steps down, Mattis will be the most eagerly courted board member or senior consultant for giant military contractors in US history, receiving lucrative fees for half hour 'pep-talks' and ensuring the fat perks of nepotism for his family's next three generations. Mad Dog may even run for office, as Senator or even President for whatever Party.

The militarization of US foreign policy provides some important lessons:

First of all, the escalation from threats to war does not succeed in disarming adversaries who possess the capacity to retaliate. Intimidation via sanctions can succeed in imposing significant economic pain on oil export-dependent regimes, but not on hardened, self-sufficient or highly diversified economies.

Low intensity multi-lateral war maneuvers reinforce US-led alliances, but they also convince opponents to increase their military preparedness. Mid-level intense wars against non-nuclear adversaries can seize capital cities, as in Iraq, but the occupier faces long-term costly wars of attrition that can undermine military morale, provoke domestic unrest and heighten budget deficits. And they create millions of refugees.

High intensity military brinksmanship carries major risk of massive losses in lives, allies, territory and piles of radiated ashes – a pyrrhic victory!

In sum:

Threats and intimidation succeed only against conciliatory adversaries. Undiplomatic verbal thuggery can arouse the spirit of the bully and some of its allies, but it has little chance of convincing its adversaries to capitulate. The US policy of worldwide militarization over-extends the US armed forces and has not led to any permanent military gains.

Are there any voices among clear-thinking US military leaders, those not bedazzled by their stars and idiotic admirers in the US media, who could push for more global accommodation and mutual respect among nations? The US Congress and the corrupt media are demonstrably incapable of evaluating past disasters, let alone forging an effective response to new global realities.

Raffler, September 15, 2017 at 2:25 pm GMT

American actions in Europe, Asia and the middle east appear increasingly irrational to many international observers. Their policy thrusts are excused as containment of evildoers or punishment of peoples who think and act differently. Those policy thrusts will accomplish the opposite of the stated intention.

They will drive into a new detente such incompatible parties as Russia and Iran, or China and many countries. America risks losing its way in the world and free peoples see a flickering beacon that once shone brighter.

nsa, September 16, 2017 at 4:03 am GMT

Anyone with military experience recognizes the likes of Mad Poodle Mattis arrogant, belligerent, exceptionally dull, and mainly an inveterate suck-up (mil motto: kiss up and kick down).

Every VFW lounge is filled with these boozy ridiculous blowhards and they are insufferable. The media and public, raised on ZioVision and JooieWood pablum, worship these cartoonish bloodletters even though they haven't won a war in 72 years .not one.

How about this comic book tough guy quote: "I'm pleading with you with tears in my eyes: if you fuck with me, I'll kill you all" notice the first person used repetitively as he talks down to hapless unarmed tribesman in some distant land. A real egomaniacal narcissistic coward. Any of you with military experience would immediately recognize the type ...

KA, September 16, 2017 at 3:24 pm GMT

It seems that the inevitable has happened. Feckless civilians have used military adventures to advance their careers , ensure re- elections, capturr lucrative position as speaker, have a place as member of think tank or lobbying firm or consultant . Now being as stupidly greedy and impatient as these guys are, they have failed to see that neither the policies nor the militaries can succeed against enemies that are generated from the action and the policy itself .

Now military has decided to reverse the roles . At least the military leaders don't have to campaign for re employment . But very soon the forces that corrupt and abuse the civilian power structure will do same to military .

The Alarmist, September 19, 2017 at 3:27 pm GMT

Never met him at any of the parties I attended in the '70s and '80s, so I don't know much about Mad Dog, but I can say that only in America can the former commander of a recruiting station grow up to pull the strings of the President.

[Sep 18, 2017] Americas Deadliest Export -- Democracy - The Truth about US Foreign Policy and Everything Else by Gary Corseri

Notable quotes:
"... "If you [Americans] are sincere in your desire for peace and security... and if Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book Rogue State." ..."
Amazon.com

William Blum's "Cri de Coeur", February 9, 2013

William Blum's Cri de Coeur
A review of "America's Deadliest Export: Democracy" by William Blum (Zed Books, London/New York, 2013.)

(As it has appeared at DissidentVoice, OpEdNews, etc.):

In activist-author-publisher William Blum's new book, America's Deadliest Export: Democracy, he tells the story of how he got his 15 minutes of fame back in 2006. Osama bin Laden had released an audiotape, declaring:

"If you [Americans] are sincere in your desire for peace and security... and if Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book Rogue State."

Bin Laden then quoted from the Foreword of Blum's 2000 book, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, in which he had mused:

"If I were... president, I could stop terrorist attacks [on us] in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize... to all the widows and the orphans, the impoverished and the tortured, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. I would then announce that America's global interventions... have come to an end. And I would inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the union but... a foreign country. I would then reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims. ... That's what I'd do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I'd be assassinated."

Unfortunately, Blum never made it to the White House! But, fortunately, for those who have read his books or follow his "Anti-Empire Reports" on the Web, he was not assassinated! And now he has collected his reports and essays of the last dozen years or so into a 352-page volume that will not only stand the test of time, but will help to define this disillusioned, morose, violent and unraveling Age.

America's Deadliest... is divided into 21 chapters and an introduction--and there's something to underline or memorize on every page! Sometimes it's just one of Blum's irrepressible quips, and sometimes it's a matter of searing American foreign or domestic policiy that clarifies that Bushwhackian question of yore: "Why do they hate us?"

Reading this scrupulously documented book, I lost count of the times I uttered, "unbelievable!" concerning some nefarious act committed by the US Empire in the name of freedom, democracy and fighting communism or terrorism. Reading Blum's book with an open mind, weighing the evidence, will bleach out any pride in the flag we have planted in so many corpses around the world. The book is a diuretic and emetic!

Blum's style is common sense raised to its highest level. The wonder of America's Deadliest ... is that it covers so much of the sodden, bloody ground of America's march across our post-Second-World-War world, yet tells the story with such deftness and grace-under-fire that the reader is enticed--not moralized, not disquisitionally badgered--, but enticed to consider our globe from a promontory of higher understanding.

Some of the themes Blum covers (and often eviscerates) include:

  1. Why they hate us;
  2. America means well;
  3. We cannot permit a successful alternative to the capitalist model to develop anywhere in the world;
  4. We will use whatever means necessary--including, lies, deception, sabotage, bribery, torture and war--to achieve the above idea.

Along the way, we get glimpses of Blum's experientially rich life. A note "About the Author" tells us that, "He left the State Department in 1967, abandoning his aspiration of becoming a Foreign Service Officer because of his opposition to what the US was doing in Vietnam. He then became a founder and editor of the Washington Free Press, the first "alternative" newspaper in the capital."

In his chapter on "Patriotism," Blum relates how, after a talk, he was asked: "Do you love America?" He responded with what we may take for his credo: "I don't love any country. I'm a citizen of the world. I love certain principles, like human rights, civil liberties, meaningful democracy, an economy which puts people before profits."

America's Deadliest... is a book of wisdom and wit that ponders "how this world became so unbearably cruel, corrupt, unjust, and stupid?" In a pointillistic approach, sowing aphoristic seeds for thought, Blum enumerates instances of that cruelty, often with wry, pained commentary. "War can be seen as America's religion," he tells us. Reflecting on Obama's octupling Bush's number of drones used to assassinate, collaterally kill and terrorize, he affirms:

"Obama is one of the worst things that has ever happened to the American left." And, he avers, "Capitalism is the theory that the worst people, acting from their worst motives, will somehow produce the most good." And then turns around and reminds us--lest we forget--how the mass media have invaded our lives, with memes about patriotism, democracy, God, the "good life": "Can it be imagined that an American president would openly implore America's young people to fight a foreign war to defend `capitalism'?" he wonders.

"The word itself has largely gone out of fashion. The approved references now are to the market economy, free market, free enterprise, or private enterprise."

Cynthia McKinney writes that the book is "corruscating, eye-opening, and essential." Oliver Stone calls it a "fireball of terse information."
Like Howard Zinn, Ralph Nader, Paul Craig Roberts, Cindy Sheehan and Bradley Manning, Blum is committed to setting the historical record straight. His book is dangerous. Steadfast, immutable "truths" one has taken for granted--often since childhood--are exposed as hollow baubles to entertain the un/mis/and dis-informed. One such Blumism recollects Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez's account of a videotape with a very undiplomatic Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and cowboy George Bush: "`We've got to smash somebody's ass quickly,'" Powell said. "`We must have a brute demonstration of power.'

Then Bush spoke: `Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! ... Stay strong! ... Kill them! ... We are going to wipe them out!'"

Blum's intellectual resources are as keen as anyone's writing today. He also adds an ample measure of humanity to his trenchant critiques. He juxtaposes the noble rhetoric of our professed values with the mordant facts of our deeds. The cognitive dissonance makes for a memorable, very unpretty picture of how an immensely privileged people lost themselves, while gorging on junk food, junk politics, junk economics, junk education, junk media. Like an Isaiah, a Jeremiah, he lambastes his own--us!--flaying layers of hypocrisy and betrayals while seeking to reveal the core values of human dignity, empathy and moral rectitude.

Gary Corseri has published and posted prose, poetry and dramas at hundreds of periodicals and websites worldwide, including CommonDreams, Countercurrents, BraveNewWorld.in, OpEdNews, CounterPunch, Outlook India, The New York Times, Dissident Voice. He has published novels, poetry collections and a literary anthology (edited). His dramas have been presented on PBS-Atlanta and elsewhere, and he has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library. He has taught in US public schools and prisons, and at American and Japanese universities. Contact: gary_corseri@comcast.net.

[Sep 18, 2017] Down With Western Democracy !

Notable quotes:
"... German Nazis and Italian Fascists defined their rule as 'democratic', and so does this Empire. The British and French empires that exterminated tens of millions of people all over the world, always promoted themselves as 'democracies'. ..."
"... And now, once again, we are witnessing a tremendous onslaught by the business-political-imperialist Western apparatus, destabilizing or directly destroying entire nations, overthrowing governments and bombing 'rebellious' states into the ground. All this is done in the name of democracy, in the name of freedom. ..."
"... This sacrificial altar is called, Democracy, in direct mockery to what the term symbolizes in its original, Greek, language. ..."
Aug 02, 2014 | CounterPunch

A specter is haunting Europe and Western world - it is this time, the specter of fascism. It came quietly, without great fanfare and parades, without raised hands and loud shouts. But it came, or it returned, as it has always been present in this culture, one that has, for centuries, been enslaving our entire planet.

As was in Nazi Germany, resistance to the fascist empire is again given an unsavory name: terrorism. Partisans and patriots, resistance fighters – all of them were and have always been defined by fascist bigots as terrorists.

By the logic of Empire, to murder millions of men, women and children in all corners of the world abroad is considered legitimate and patriotic, but to defend one's motherland was and is a sign of extremism.

German Nazis and Italian Fascists defined their rule as 'democratic', and so does this Empire. The British and French empires that exterminated tens of millions of people all over the world, always promoted themselves as 'democracies'.

And now, once again, we are witnessing a tremendous onslaught by the business-political-imperialist Western apparatus, destabilizing or directly destroying entire nations, overthrowing governments and bombing 'rebellious' states into the ground. All this is done in the name of democracy, in the name of freedom.

An unelected monster, as it has done for centuries, is playing with the world, torturing some, and plundering others, or both.

The West, in a final act of arrogance, has somehow confused itself with its own concept of God. It has decided that it has the full right to shape the planet, to punish and to reward, to destroy and rebuild as it wishes.

This horrible wave of terror unleashed against our planet, is justified by an increasingly meaningless but fanatically defended dogma, symbolized by a box (made of card or wood, usually), and masses of people sticking pieces of paper into the opening on the top of that box.

This is the altar of Western ideological fundamentalism. This is a supreme idiocy that cannot be questioned, as it guarantees the status quo for ruling elites and business interests, an absurdity that justifies all crimes, all lies and all madness.

This sacrificial altar is called, Democracy, in direct mockery to what the term symbolizes in its original, Greek, language.

***

In our latest book, "On Western Terrorism – from Hiroshima to Drone Warfare", Noam Chomsky commented on the 'democratic' process in the Western world:

"The goal of elections now is to undermine democracy. They are run by the public relations industry and they're certainly not trying to create informed voters who'll make rational choices. They are trying to delude people into making irrational choices. The same techniques that are used to undermine markets are used to undermine democracy. It's one of the major industries in the country and its basic workings are invisible."

But what is it that really signifies this 'sacred' word, this almost religious term, and this pinnacle of Western demagogy? We hear it everywhere. We are ready to sacrifice millions of lives (not ours of course, at least not yet, but definitely lives of the others) in the name of it.

Democracy!

All those grand slogans and propaganda! Last year I visited Pyongyang, but I have to testify that North Koreans are not as good at slogans as the Western propagandists are.

"In the name of freedom and democracy!" Hundreds of millions tons of bombs fell from the sky on the Laotian, Cambodian and Vietnamese countryside bodies were burned by napalm, mutilated by spectacular explosions.

"Defending democracy!" Children were raped in front of their parents in Central America, men and women machine-gunned down by death squads that had been trained in military bases in the United States of America.

"Civilizing the world and spreading democracy!" That has always been a European slogan, their 'stuff to do', and a way of showing their great civilization to others. Amputating hands of Congolese people, murdering around ten million of them, and many more in Namibia, East Africa, West Africa and Algiers; gassing people of the Middle East ( "I am strongly in favour of using poisonous gas against uncivilised tribes", to borrow from the colorful lexicon of (Sir) Winston Churchill).

So what is it really? Who is it, that strange lady with an axe in her hand and with a covered face – the lady whose name is Democracy?

***

It is all very simple, actually. The term originates from the Greek δημοκρατία (dēmokratía) "rule of the people". Then and now, it was supposed to be in direct contrast to ἀριστοκρατία (aristokratia), that means "rule of an elite".

'Rule of the people' Let us just visit a few examples of the 'rule of the people'.

People spoke, they ruled, they voted 'democratically' in Chile, bringing in the mild and socialist government of 'Popular Unity' of Salvador Allende.

Sure, the Chilean education system was so brilliant, its political and social system so wonderful, that it inspired not only many countries in Latin America, but also those in far away Mediterranean Europe.

That could not be tolerated, because, as we all know, it is only white Europe and North America that can be allowed to supply the world with the blueprint for any society, anywhere on this planet. It was decided that "Chile has to scream", that its economy had to be ruined and the "Popular Unity" government kicked out of power.

Henry Kissinger, belonging, obviously, to a much higher race and country of a much higher grade, made a straightforward and in a way very 'honest' statement, clearly defining the North American stand towards global democracy: "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its people."

And so Chile was ravaged. Thousands of people were murdered and 'our son-of-a-bitch' was brought to power. General Pinochet was not elected: he bombed the Presidential palace in Santiago, he savagely tortured the men and women who were elected by the Chilean people, and he "disappeared" thousands.

But that was fine, because democracy, as it is seen from Washington, London or Paris, is nothing more and nothing less than what the white man needs in order to control this planet, unopposed and preferably never criticized.

Of course Chile was not the only place where 'democracy' was 'redefined'. And it was not the most brutal scenario either, although it was brutal enough. But it was a very symbolic 'case', because here, there could be absolutely no dispute: an extremely well educated, middle class country, voted in transparent elections, just to have its government murdered, tortured and exiled, simply because it was too democratic and too involved in improving the lives of its people.

There were countless instances of open spite coming from the North, towards the 'rule of the people' in Latin America. For centuries, there have been limitless examples. Every country 'south of the border' in the Western Hemisphere, became a victim.

After all, the self-imposed Monroe Doctrine gave North Americans 'unquestionable rights' to intervene and 'correct' any 'irresponsible' democratic moves made by the lower races inhabiting Central and South America as well as the Caribbean Islands.

There were many different scenarios of real ingenuity, in how to torture countries that embarked on building decent homes for their people, although soon there was evidence of repetitiveness and predictability.

The US has been either sponsoring extremely brutal coups (like the one in Guatemala in 1954), or simply occupying the countries in order to overthrow their democratically elected governments. Justifications for such interventions have varied: it was done in order to 'restore order', to 'restore freedom and democracy', or to prevent the emergence of 'another Cuba'.

From the Dominican Republic in 1965 to Grenada in 1983, countries were 'saved from themselves' through the introduction (by orders from mainly the Protestant North American elites with clearly pathological superiority complexes) of death squads that administered torture, rape and extrajudicial executions. People were killed because their democratic decisions were seen as 'irresponsible' and therefore unacceptable.

While there has been open racism in every aspect of how the Empire controlled its colonies, 'political correctness' was skillfully introduced, effectively reducing to a bare minimum any serious critiques of the societies that were forced into submission.

In Indonesia, between 1 and 3 million people were murdered in the years1965/66, in a US -sponsored coup, because there too, was a 'great danger' that the people would rule and decide to vote 'irresponsibly', bringing the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), at that time the third most numerous Communist Party anywhere in the world, to power.

The democratically elected President of Congo, Patrice Lumumba, was murdered in 1961, by the joint efforts of the United States and Europe, simply because he was determined to use the vast natural resources of his country to feed his own people; and because he dared to criticize Western colonialism and imperialism openly and passionately.

East Timor lost a third of its population simply because its people, after gaining independence from Portugal, dared to vote the left-leaning FRETILIN into power. "We are not going to tolerate another Cuba next to our shores", protested the Indonesian fascist dictator Suharto, and the US and Australia strongly agreed. The torture, and extermination of East Timorese people by the Indonesian military, was considered irrelevant and not even worth reporting in the mass media.

The people of Iran could of course not be trusted with 'democracy'. Iran is one of the oldest and greatest cultures on earth, but its people wanted to use the revenues from its oil to improve their lives, not to feed foreign multi-nationals. That has always been considered a crime by Western powers – a crime punishable by death.

The people of Iran decided to rule; they voted, they said that they want to have all their oil industry nationalized. Mohammad Mosaddeq, the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953, was ready to implement what his people demanded. But his government was overthrown in a coup d'état, orchestrated by the British MI6 and North American CIA, and what followed was the murderous dictatorship of the deranged Western puppet – Reza Pahlavi. As in Latin America and Indonesia, instead of schools, hospitals and housing projects, people got death squads, torture chambers and fear. Is that what they wanted? Is that what they voted for?

There were literally dozens of countries, all over the world, which had to be 'saved', by the West, from their own 'irresponsible citizens and voters'. Brazil recently 'celebrated' the 50th anniversary of the US-backed military coup d'état, which began a horrendous 20 year long military dictatorship. The US supported two coups in Iraq, in 1963 and 1968 that brought Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party to power. The list is endless. These are only some random examples.

On closer examination, the West has overthrown, or made attempts to overthrow, almost any democratically elected governments, on all continents attempting to serve their own people, by providing them with decent standards of living and social services. That is quite an achievement, and some stamina!

Could it be then that the West only respects 'Democracy' when 'people are forced to rule' against their own interests? And when they are 'defending' what they are ordered to defend by local elites that are subservient to North American and European interests? and also when they are defending the interests of foreign multi-national companies and Western governments that are dependent on those companies?

***

Can anything be done? If a country is too weak to defend itself by military means, against some mighty Western aggressor, could it approach any international democratic institutions, hoping for protection?

Unthinkable!

A good example is Nicaragua, which had been literally terrorized by the United States, for no other reason than for being socialist. Its government went to court.

The case was called: The Republic of Nicaragua v. The United States of America.

It was a 1986 case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in which the ICJ ruled in favor of Nicaragua and against the United States and awarded reparations to Nicaragua.

The judgment was long, consisting of 291 points. Among them that the United States had been involved in the "unlawful use of force." The alleged violations included attacks on Nicaraguan facilities and naval vessels, the mining of Nicaraguan ports, the invasion of Nicaraguan air space, and the training, arming, equipping, financing and supplying of forces (the "Contras") and seeking to overthrow Nicaragua's Sandinista government.

Judgment was passed, and so were UN votes and resolutions. The UN resolution from 1986 called for the full and immediate compliance with the Judgment. Only Thailand, France and the UK abstained. The US showed total spite towards the court, and it vetoed all UN resolutions.

It continued its terror campaign against Nicaragua. In the end, the ruined and exhausted country voted in 1990. It was soon clear that it was not voting for or against Sandinista government, but whether to endure more violence from the North, or to simply accept depressing defeat. The Sandinista government lost. It lost because the voters had a North American gun pointing at their heads.

This is how 'democracy' works.

I covered the Nicaraguan elections of 1996 and I was told by voters, by a great majority of them, that they were going to vote for the right-wing candidate (Aleman), only because the US was threatening to unleash another wave of terror in case the Sandinista government came back to power, democratically.

The Sandinistas are now back. But only because most of Latin America has changed, and there is unity and determination to fight, if necessary.

***

While the Europeans are clearly benefiting from neo-colonialism and the plunder that goes on all over the world, it would be ridiculous to claim that they themselves are 'enjoying the fruits of democracy'.

In a dazzling novel "Seeing", written by Jose Saramago, a laureate for the Nobel Prize for literature, some 83% of voters in an unidentified country (most likely Saramago's native Portugal), decide to cast blank ballots, expressing clear spite towards the Western representative election system.

This state, which prided itself as a 'democratic one', responded by unleashing an orgy of terror against its own citizens. It soon became obvious that people are allowed to make democratic choices only when the result serves the interests of the regime.

Ursula K Le Guin, reviewing the novel in the pages of The Guardian, on 15 April 2006, admitted:

Turning in a blank ballot is a signal unfamiliar to most Britons and Americans, who aren't yet used to living under a government that has made voting meaningless. In a functioning democracy, one can consider not voting a lazy protest liable to play into the hands of the party in power (as when low Labour turn-out allowed Margaret Thatcher's re-elections, and Democratic apathy secured both elections of George W Bush). It comes hard to me to admit that a vote is not in itself an act of power, and I was at first blind to the point Saramago's non-voting voters are making.

She should not have been. Even in Europe itself, terror had been unleashed, on many occasions, against the people who decided to vote 'incorrectly'.

Perhaps the most brutal instance was in the post WWII period, when the Communist Parties were clearly heading for spectacular victories in France, Italy and West Germany. Such 'irresponsible behavior' had to be, of course, stopped. Both US and UK intelligence forces made a tremendous effort to 'save democracy' in Europe, employing Nazis to break, intimidate, even murder members of progressive movements and parties.

These Nazi cadres were later allowed, even encouraged, to leave Europe for South America, some carrying huge booty from the victims who vanished in concentration camps. This booty included gold teeth.

Later on, in the 1990's, I spoke to some of them, and also to their children, in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. They were proud of their deeds, unrepentant, and as Nazi as ever.

Many of those European Nazis later actively participated in Operation Condor, so enthusiastically supported by the Paraguayan fascist and pro-Western dictator, Alfredo Strössner. Mr Strössner was a dear friend and asylum-giver to many WWII war criminals, including people like Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor known as the "Angel of Death", who performed genetic experiments on children during the WWII.

So, after destroying that 'irresponsible democratic process' in Europe (the post-war Western Empire), many European Nazis that were now loyally serving their new master, were asked to continue with what they knew how to do best. Therefore they helped to assassinate some 60,000 left-wing South American men, women and their children, who were guilty of building egalitarian and just societies in their home countries. Many of these Nazis took part, directly, in Operacion Condor, under the direct supervision of the United States and Europe.

As Naomi Klein writes in her book, Shock Doctrine:

"Operación Cóndor, also known as Plan Cóndor, Portuguese: Operação Condor) was a campaign of political repression and terror involving intelligence operations and assassination of opponents, officially implemented in 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America. The program was intended to eradicate communist or Soviet influence and ideas, and to suppress active or potential opposition movements against the participating governments."

In Chile, German Nazis rolled up their sleeves and went to work directly: by interrogating, liquidating and savagely torturing members of the democratically elected government and its supporters. They also performed countless medical experiments on people, at the so-called Colonia Dirnidad, during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, whose rule was manufactured and sustained by Dr. Kissinger and his clique.

But back to Europe: in Greece, after WWII, both the UK and US got heavily involved in the civil war between the Communists and the extreme right-wing forces.

In 1967, just one month before the elections in which the Greek left-wing was expected to win democratically (the Indonesian scenario of 1965), the US and its 'Greek colonels' staged a coup, which marked the beginning of a 7 year savage dictatorship.

What happened in Yugoslavia, some 30 years later is, of course clear. A successful Communist country could not be allowed to survive, and definitely not in Europe. As bombs fell on Belgrade, many of those inquisitive and critically thinking people that had any illusions left about the Western regime and its 'democratic principles', lost them rapidly.

But by then, the majority of Europe already consisted of indoctrinated masses, some of the worst informed and most monolithic (in their thinking) on earth.

Europe and its voters It is that constantly complaining multitude, which wants more and more money, and delivers the same and extremely predictable electoral results every four, five or six years. It lives and votes mechanically. It has totally lost its ability to imagine a different world, to fight for humanist principles, and even to dream.

It is turning into an extremely scary place, a museum at best, and a cemetery of human vision at the worst.

***

As Noam Chomsky pointed out:

Americans may be encouraged to vote, but not to participate more meaningfully in the political arena. Essentially the election is a method of marginalizing the population. A huge propaganda campaign is mounted to get people to focus on these personalized quadrennial extravaganzas and to think, "That's politics." But it isn't. It's only a small part of politics.
The population has been carefully excluded from political activity, and not by accident. An enormous amount of work has gone into that disenfranchisement. During the 1960s the outburst of popular participation in democracy terrified the forces of convention, which mounted a fierce counter-campaign. Manifestations show up today on the left as well as the right in the effort to drive democracy back into the hole where it belongs.

Arundhati Roy, commented in her "Is there life after democracy?"

The question here, really, is what have we done to democracy? What have we turned it into? What happens once democracy has been used up? When it has been hollowed out and emptied of meaning? What happens when each of its institutions has metastasized into something dangerous? What happens now that democracy and the Free Market have fused into a single predatory organism with a thin, constricted imagination that revolves almost entirely around the idea of maximizing profit? Is it possible to reverse this process? Can something that has mutated go back to being what it used to be?

***

After all that brutality, and spite for people all over the world, the West is now teaching the planet about democracy. It is lecturing Asians and Africans, people from Middle East and Sub-Continent, on how to make their countries more 'democratic'. It is actually hard to believe, it should be one of the most hilarious things on earth, but it is happening, and everyone is silent about it.

Those who are listening without bursting into laughter are actually well paid.

There are seminars; even foreign aid projects related to 'good governance', sponsored by the European Union, and the United States. The EU is actually much more active in this field. Like the Italian mafia, it sends covert but unmistakable messages to the world: "You do as we say, or we break your legs But if you obey, come to us and we will teach you how to be a good aide to Cosa Nostra! And we will give you some pasta and wine while you are learning."

Because there is plenty of money, so called 'funding' members of the elite, the academia, media and non-government organizations, from countries that have been plundered by the West – countries like Indonesia, Philippines, DR Congo, Honduras, or Colombia –send armies of people to get voluntarily indoctrinated, (sorry, to be 'enlightened') to learn about democracy from the greatest assassins of genuine 'people's power'; from the West.

Violating democracy is an enormous business. To hush it up is part of that business. To learn how to be idle and not to intervene against the external forces destroying democracy in your own country, while pretending to be 'engaged and active', is actually the best business, much better than building bridges or educating children (from a mercantilist point of view).

Once, at the University of Indonesia where I was invited to speak, a student asked me 'what is the way forward', to make his country more democratic? I replied, looking at several members of the professorial staff:

"Demand that your teachers stop going to Europe on fully funded trips. Demand that they stop being trained in how to brainwash you. Do not go there yourself, to study. Go there to see, to understand and to learn, but not to study Europe had robbed you of everything. They are still looting your country. What do you think you will learn there? Do you really think they will teach you how to save your nation?"

Students began laughing. The professors were fuming. I was never invited back. I am sure that the professors knew exactly what I was talking about. The students did not. They were thinking that I made a very good joke. But I was not trying to be funny.

***

As I write these words, the Thai military junta has taken over the country. The West is silent: the Thai military is an extremely close ally. Democracy at work

And as I write these words, the fascist government in Kiev is chasing, kidnapping and "disappearing" people in the east and south of Ukraine. By some insane twist of logic, the Western corporate media is managing to blame Russia. And only a few people are rolling around on the floor, laughing.

As I write these words, a big part of Africa is in flames, totally destroyed by the US, UK, France and other colonial powers.

Client states like the Philippines are now literally being paid to get antagonistic with China.

Japanese neo-fascist adventurism fully supported by the Unites States can easily trigger WWIII. So can Western greed and fascist practices in Ukraine.

Democracy! People's power!

If the West had sat on its ass, where it belongs, in Europe and in North America, after WWII, the world would have hardly any problems now. People like Lumumba, Allende, Sukarno, Mosaddeq, would have led their nations and continents. They would have communicated with their own people, interacted with them. They would have built their own styles of 'democracy'.

But all that came from the Bandung Conference of 1955, from the ideals of the Non-Aligned movement, was ruined and bathed in blood. The true hopes of the people of the world cut to pieces, urinated on, and then thrown into gutter.

But no more time should be wasted by just analyzing, and by crying over spilt milk. Time to move on!

The world has been tortured by Europe and the United States, for decades and centuries. It has been tortured in the name of democracy but it has all been one great lie. The world has been tortured simply because of greed, and because of racism. Just look back at history. Europe and the United States have only stopped calling people "niggers", but they do not have any more respect for them than before. And they are willing, same as before, to sacrifice millions of human lives.

Let us stop worshiping their box, and those meaningless pieces of paper that they want us to stick in there. There is no power of people in this. Look at the United States itself – where is our democracy? It is a one-party regime fully controlled by market fundamentalists. Look at our press, and propaganda

Rule of the people by the people, true democracy, can be achieved. We the people had been derailed, intellectually, so we have not been thinking how, for so many decades.

Now we, many of us, know what is wrong, but we are still not sure what is right.

Let us think and let us search, let us experiment. And also, let us reject their fascism first. Let them stick their papers wherever they want! Let them pretend that they are not slaves to some vendors and swindlers. Let them do whatever they want – there, where they belong.

Democracy is more than a box. It is more than a multitude of political parties. It is when people can truly choose, decide and build a society that they dream about. Democracy is the lack of fear of having napalm and bombs murdering our dreams. Democracy is when people speak and from those words grow their own nation. Democracy is when millions of hands join together and from that brilliant union, new trains begin to run, new schools begin to teach, and new hospitals begin to heal. All this by the people, for the people! All this created by proud and free humans as gift to all – to their nation.

Yes, let the slave masters stick their pieces of paper into a box, or somewhere else. They can call it democracy. Let us call democracy something else – rule of the people, a great exchange of ideas, of hopes and dreams. Let our taking control over our lives and over our nations be called 'democracy'!

Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His discussion with Noam Chomsky On Western Terrorism is now going to print. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is now re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called "Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear". He has just completed the feature documentary, "Rwanda Gambit" about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

[Sep 18, 2017] A Foreign Enemy is a Tyrants Best Friend

Notable quotes:
"... This activates what Randolph Bourne called their "herd mind," inducing them to rally around their governments in a militaristic stampede so as to create the national unity of purpose deemed necessary to defend the homeland against the foreign menace. When you lay siege to an entire country, don't be surprised when it starts to look and act like a barracks. ..."
"... Imperial governments like to pretend that affairs are quite the reverse, adopting the essentially terrorist rationale that waging war against the civilian populace of a rogue state will pressure them to blame and turn against their governments. In reality, it only tends to bolster public support for the regime. ..."
"... The imperial "bogeygoat" is an essential prop for the power of petty tyrants, just as rogue state bogeymen are essential props for the power of grand tyrants like our own. Thus, it should be no surprise that the staunchest opponents to the Iran nuclear deal include both American and Iranian hardliners. Just as there is a "symbiosis of savagery" between imperial hawks and anti-imperial terrorists (as I explain here), there is a similar symbiotic relationship between imperial and rogue state hardliners. ..."
Jul 28, 2015 | Antiwar.com

Cold wars freeze despotism in place, and thaws in foreign relations melt it away

The recent Iran nuclear deal represents a thaw in the American cold war against that country. It is a welcome sequel to the Obama administration's partial normalization with Cuba announced late last year.

Hardliners denounce these policies as "going soft" on theocracy and communism. Yet, it is such critics' own hardline, hawkish policies that have done the most to ossify and strengthen such regimes.

That is because war, including cold war, is the health of the state. Antagonistic imperial policies - economic warfare, saber-rattling, clandestine interventions, and full-blown attacks - make the citizens of targeted "rogue states" feel under siege.

This activates what Randolph Bourne called their "herd mind," inducing them to rally around their governments in a militaristic stampede so as to create the national unity of purpose deemed necessary to defend the homeland against the foreign menace. When you lay siege to an entire country, don't be surprised when it starts to look and act like a barracks.

Rogue state governments eagerly amplify and exploit this siege effect through propaganda, taking on the mantle of foremost defender of the nation against the "Yankee Imperialist" or "Great Satan." Amid the atmosphere of crisis, public resistance against domestic oppression by the now indispensable "guardian class" goes by the board. "Quit your complaining. Don't you know there's a cold war on? Don't you know we're under siege?"

Moreover, cold wars make it easy for rogue state governments to shift the blame for domestic troubles away from their own misrule, and onto the foreign bogeyman/scapegoat ("bogeygoat?") instead. This is especially easy for being to some extent correct, especially with regard to economic blockades and other crippling sanctions, like those Washington has imposed on Cuba, Iran, etc.

Imperial governments like to pretend that affairs are quite the reverse, adopting the essentially terrorist rationale that waging war against the civilian populace of a rogue state will pressure them to blame and turn against their governments. In reality, it only tends to bolster public support for the regime.

The imperial "bogeygoat" is an essential prop for the power of petty tyrants, just as rogue state bogeymen are essential props for the power of grand tyrants like our own. Thus, it should be no surprise that the staunchest opponents to the Iran nuclear deal include both American and Iranian hardliners. Just as there is a "symbiosis of savagery" between imperial hawks and anti-imperial terrorists (as I explain here), there is a similar symbiotic relationship between imperial and rogue state hardliners.

The last thing hardliners want is the loss of their cherished bogeygoat. Once an emergency foreign threat recedes, and the fog of war hysteria lifts, people are then more capable of clearly seeing their "guardians" as the domestic threat that they are, and more likely to feel that they can afford to address that threat without exposing themselves to foreign danger. This tends to impel governments to become less oppressive, and may even lead to their loss of power.

Thus after Nixon normalized with communist China and belatedly ended the war on communist Vietnam, both of those countries greatly liberalized and became more prosperous. Even Soviet reforms and the ultimate dissolution of the Soviet Union only arose following American detente.

Simultaneously, as the American cold wars against communist Cuba and communist North Korea continued without stint for decades, providing the Castros and Kims the ultimate bogeygoat to feature in their propaganda, the impoverishing authoritarian grip of those regimes on their besieged people only strengthened.

Similarly, ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew the puppet dictator that the CIA had installed over Iran in a 1953 coup, the Ayatollahs have been able to exploit ongoing hostility from the American "Great Satan" to retain and consolidate their repressive theocratic power.

All this is an object lesson for US relations with Putin's Russia, Chavista Venezuela, and beyond. Disastrously, it is being unheeded.

Even while thawing relations with Iran, the Obama administration has triggered a new cold war with Russia over Ukraine. This has only made Russian President Vladimir Putin more domestically popular than ever.

And even while normalizing relations with Cuba, Obama recently declared Venezuela a national security threat, imposing new sanctions. As journalist Alexandra Ulmer argued, these sanctions "may be godsend for struggling Venezuelan leader," President Nicolas Maduro. As Ulmer wrote in Reuters:

"Suddenly, the unpopular leader has an excuse to crank up the revolutionary rhetoric and try to fire up supporters, copying a tactic used skillfully for more than a decade by his mentor and predecessor, the late socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez.

A new fight with the enemy to the north may also help unite disparate ruling Socialist Party factions and distract Venezuelans from relentless and depressing talk about their day-to-day economic problems."

[Sep 14, 2017] Watch As Amazon Deletes Hundreds Of One-Star Reviews Of Hillary Clintons New Book

There is nothing unusual in prohibiting "unverified purchasers" reviews for a controversial book.
That said the way Hillary presents election in the book is deeply misleading. She lost as neocon warmonger and globalist because her agenda lost. All other issues including her sleazy character, her health, Coney, emailgate, DNC hack (and criminality of throwing sanders under the bus) are secondary
Sep 13, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

... the Telegraph first reported , and subsequently many others observed first hand, that Amazon has been monitoring and deleting 1-star reviews of Hillary Clinton's new book "which was greeted with a torrent of criticism on the day it was released."

Reviews of What Happened have been mixed, with some accusing Clinton of using it as an opportunity to blame others – such as former FBI head James Comey, Bernie Sanders, Vladimir Putin, social media and pretty much everything else – for her failure, rather than herself. Even The New York Times , which supported Clinton's campaign, wrote that the book is "a score-settling jubilee".

What is fascinating, is how few one-star reviews have remained on the website amid reports and screengrabs showing that reviewers used the space to criticise the former First Lady. One 1-star review, which remained on the website earlier today, read: "Read all the promotional excerpts, which combined come close to book length – pretty good novel. It is fiction, isn't it? Surely, someone is playing a joke." Another wrote "Picked this book up at Wal-Mart out of sheer morbid curiosity. Returned it, claiming I bought the wrong book"

While this is not the first time Amazon has intervened to "adjust" the ratings of its products - in November negative comments under a book by anti-Trump broadcaster Megyn Kelly appeared to be removed by the retailer - it has rarely "adjusted" reviews of such a prominent product so publicly.

Speaking to Fortune , an Amazon spokesperson said: "In the case of a memoir, the subject of the book is the author and their views. It's not our role to decide what a customer would view as helpful or unhelpful in making their decision. We do however have mechanisms in place to ensure that the voices of many do not drown out the voices of a few and we remove customer reviews that violate our community guidelines."

MANvsMACHINE -> phatfawzi , Sep 13, 2017 7:16 PM

I imagine anyone who purchases this book has the right to claim a refund due to Amazon's fake ratings.

Class action suit. Any lawyers out there who want this one?

greenskeeper carl -> MANvsMACHINE , Sep 13, 2017 7:56 PM

Interesting idea. Shame this happened, I was looking forward to reading those one start reviews. They usually have some pretty funny shit in them.

I will say this, when reading reviews, there is a line underneath that says 'verified purchase' under it. This shows up if you bought the product you are reviewing through your Amazon account. I believe companies are allowed to request negative reviews be taken down if the reviewer didn't buy them through Amazon, and therefore can't be verified to have even bought the product. If they are taking down 'verified purchase' reviews from people who did buy the book and then left a negative review then I have a big problem with that. Thats customers saying what they think.

If its not actual purchasers of the book leaving these reviews, no publisher should have to tolerate a bunch of people who didn't even buy their product dumping a bunch of 1 start reviews on it. I find the endless trolling and making fun of killery highly amusing, can't stand the woman, but if all they are taking down is people who didn't buy the book off amazon then thats to be expected. No amazon vendor would tolerate this.

Edit: I just tried a little experiment to see if Amazon would let me review the book. It says only verified purchasers are allowed to review this book. I then went a little further. I looked up trumps most recent book, and the one he is most known for, art of the deal. Both of those will let me post a review without buying the book. Both have almost 5 stars.

I tried the same thin with her other lame ass book, hard choices. It also let me post a review on that one. It appears to be ONLY 'what happened' that this applies to. For the record, I didn't actually post the reviews. I just got one step past where it stopped me on killery's newest book. Tried on a couple other books written by, shall we say, devisive people, none of them prevent you from leaving reviews either. Just this one.

RAT005 -> greenskeeper carl , Sep 13, 2017 8:05 PM

Follow up to your comment that it's legitimate to delete unverified 1-star reviews. I bet there are a lot of unverified 5-star reviews that don't get deleted.

greenskeeper carl -> RAT005 , Sep 13, 2017 8:16 PM

Oh Im sure you are correct there.

BTFDemocracy -> greenskeeper carl , Sep 13, 2017 10:05 PM

Not a defendant of Hillary or Amazon, but there is a chance that Amazon had enabled non-purchasers to review Hitlary's book with negative reviews. Once the excessive reviews surfaced, proceeded with deleting all the negative non-purchaser reviews, then enabled "negative reviews only by purchasers" mode.

Bigly -> MANvsMACHINE , Sep 13, 2017 9:29 PM

Makes me want to go to law school....

I swear, that is all I would do all day. Drain the swamp. Not an ambulance chaser, but a sociopath buster.

overbet -> InjectTheVenom , Sep 13, 2017 6:04 PM

Tried to leave a review. It rejected me stating only accepting reviews from verified purchasers. A new policy just for her.

Watch the magic. Search the book and there are 1800+ reviews 3 star average. Once you click the books page they are all 5 star for about 500 reviews. They deleted 2/3 of the reviews lol

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_4?url=search-alias%3Daps&field...

Bigly -> overbet , Sep 13, 2017 6:08 PM

Who is with me tonight?

I have had enough of that shit from bezos and his commie minions and any positive is totally outweighed by deep and grievous negatives.

I AM DELETING MY PRIME ACCOUNT.

Join me?

overbet -> Bigly , Sep 13, 2017 6:13 PM

Use shop runner. Couple travel cards I have give free shop runner membership as a perk and it's the same shipping/returns as prime. Fuck Bezos and the rest of the liberal elite scum.

Bigly -> overbet , Sep 13, 2017 6:15 PM

Thank you! I will look into shop runner

[Aug 02, 2017] Sanctions, smoke and mirrors from a kindergarten on LSD by Saker

Notable quotes:
"... "Israel Lobby" is, of course, a misnomer. The Israel Lobby has very little interest in Israel as a country or, for that matter, for the Israeli people. If anything, the Israel Lobby ought to be called the "Neocon Lobby". ..."
"... For one thing, it does not represent US interests. Neither does it represent the interests of Israel. Rather, it represents the interests of a specific subset of the US ruling elites, in reality much smaller than 1% of the population, which all share in the one common ideology of worldwide domination typical of the Neocons. ..."
"... Keep in mind that the historical record shows that while the Neocons are fantastically driven, they are not particularly smart. Yes, they do have the kind of rabid ideological determination which allows them to achieve a totally disproportionate influence over US policies, but when you actually read what they write and listen to what they say you immediately realize that these are rather mediocre individuals with a rather parochial mindset which makes them both very predictable and very irritating to the people around them. ..."
"... urbi et orbi ..."
"... Zero effects? Speaking of changing policy is true but not that it won't create troubles for Russia. Anyway, any aggression requires swift and ruthless response otherwise it invites more of aggression. Putin is wrong to behave the way he behaves. There must be zero patience and head for an eye response. Than aggression stops. ..."
"... someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to? "rights on climate change and refugee admissions" Seriously? Oh please. ..."
"... The Syrian Government did not ask Washington to intervene, so under international law American intervention and bombings there are as legitimate as "Saving Vietnam from the commies", "Bringing democracy to Iraq", or . the list is long. No adventure on that list turned out well for America or anyone else, with the exception of the merchants of death. ..."
"... This could no doubt be more accurately stated as, the Israel Lobby has nothing to do with the interests of the Israeli people. It seems to exist for the benefit of the ultra moneybag crowd and its deranged puppets such as Netanyahooooo! ..."
"... anything is possible with this gang of criminal sociopaths. Their poster boy is now an insatiable warmonger who is suffering from brain cancer! How could things get any worse? ..."
"... After the impressive military victories the US has achieved against such formidable foes as Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, mighty Grenada, Serbia and Libya, taking on Russia should be a "cakewalk", right? And to think there is a sizable demographic in this country which still believes this! Unbelievable. The last time that the US took on a military opponent at rough conventional parity with it (the Chinese in Korea) the result was a stalemate. To paraphrase Cardinal Newman, "To be deep in history is to cease to be a neocon." ..."
"... I'm afraid you're right. But I remain puzzled at how 98 Senators could have been lined up for that stupidity. ..."
"... The current crisis between the largely special interest owned American executive branch and the largely failing reformer Donald Trump can be a historic opportunity for Europe to mend the artificial divide between the European Union and Russia. The crisis can also be a golden opportunity to shake the corrupt system of government in the USA. These opportunities are subject to having strong and free leaders who can capitalize on the hubris of the ignorant senators and representatives on Capitol Hill. ..."
"... This sanctions bill is a domestic US matter. The Republicans are trying to pacify the Democrats' rage and bitterness over losing the election. It is most convenient for them to adopt the canard blaming Russia for the result of the election. The voters knew exactly where Trump stands on Russia, so even if Russia leaked the DNC and Podesta emails, there was no theft of the election. Voters were not mislead about positions, and knew very well the Democrats accuse the Russian of the leaks. ..."
"... We have an old saying: when you're enemy's committing suicide, stand back and let him. That's what Washington is doing now: committing suicide. ..."
"... I don't believe the "with every fiber of their being" part. This is just wishful thinking on the part of Saker. If this were so, they wouldn't just be grumbling or trusting their corrupt representatives. Average Americans still elect people like McCain, Graham and Schumer and I haven't seen any mass anti-war demonstrations in Washington or New York or anywhere else. ..."
"... Oil is the only reason the global population has quadrupled in only the last 100 years. The Industrial Revolution was not enough. Oil is necessary to maintain this population and keep it fed. ..."
"... Much is made of this so-called "neocon" business. They appear to be a current highly aggressive strain of American expansionism. However, there were no "neocons" in 1898 when the US saw it's opportunity to attack Spain and grab away it's holdings. The US has been aggressively expanding ever since, inserting itself into both world wars at the very last minute in order to gain as much for itself as possible. ..."
"... And, yes, that another THING; this time the opponent can retaliate hard. Nukes do make all that difficult to execute. ..."
Jul 31, 2017 | www.unz.com

The latest US sanctions and the Russian retaliatory response have resulted in a torrent of speculations in the official media and the blogosphere – everybody is trying to make sense of a situation which appears to make no sense at all. Why in the world would the US Senate adopt new sanctions against Russia when Russia has done absolutely nothing to provoke such a vote? Except for Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders, every single US Senator voted in favor of these sanctions. Why?! This is even more baffling when you consider that the single biggest effect of these sanctions will be to trigger a rift, and possibly even counter-sanctions , between the US and the EU. What is absolutely clear is that these sanctions will have exactly zero effect on Russia and I don't think anybody is seriously expecting the Russians to change anything at all in their policies. And yet, every Senator except Paul and Sanders voted for this. Does that make any sense to you?

Let's try to figure out what is going on here.

First, a simple reminder: like all US politicians, from the county level to the US Congress, Senators have only one consideration when then vote – "what's in it for me?". The very last thing which any US Senator really cares about are the real life consequences of his/her vote. This means that to achieve the kind of quasi unanimity (98%) for a totally stupid vote there was some kind of very influential lobby which used some very forceful "arguments" to achieve such a vote. Keep in mind that the Republicans in the Senate knew that they were voting against the wishes of their President. And yet every single one except for Rand Paul voted for these sanctions, that should tell you something about the power of the lobby which pushed for them. So who would have such power?

The website " Business Pundit: Expert Driven " has helpfully posted an article which lists the 10 top most powerful lobbies in Washington, DC . They are (in the same order as in the original article)

Okay, why not? We could probably rearrange them, give them different labels, add a couple (like the "Prison Industrial Complex" or the "Intelligence Community") but all in all this is an okay list. Any name on it jump at you yet?

One could make the case that most of these lobbies need an enemy to prosper, this is certainly true of the Military-Industrial Complex and the associated high tech industry, and one could also reasonably claim that Big Oil, Mining and Agribusiness see Russia has a potential competitor. But a closer look at the interests these lobbies represent will tell you that they are mostly involved in domestic politics and that faraway Russia, with her relatively small economy, is just not that important to them. This is also clearly true for Big Pharma, the AARP and the NRA. Which leaves the Israel Lobby as the only potential candidate.

"Israel Lobby" is, of course, a misnomer. The Israel Lobby has very little interest in Israel as a country or, for that matter, for the Israeli people. If anything, the Israel Lobby ought to be called the "Neocon Lobby". Furthermore, we also have to keep in mind that the Neocon Lobby is unlike any other lobby in the list above. For one thing, it does not represent US interests. Neither does it represent the interests of Israel. Rather, it represents the interests of a specific subset of the US ruling elites, in reality much smaller than 1% of the population, which all share in the one common ideology of worldwide domination typical of the Neocons.

These are the folks who in spite of their 100% ironclad control of the media and Congress lost the Presidential election to Donald Trump and who are now dead set to impeach him. These are the folks who simply use "Russia" as a propagandistic fulcrum to peddle the notion that Trump and his entourage are basically Russian agents and Trump himself as a kind of "Presidential Manchurian Candidate".

Keep in mind that the historical record shows that while the Neocons are fantastically driven, they are not particularly smart. Yes, they do have the kind of rabid ideological determination which allows them to achieve a totally disproportionate influence over US policies, but when you actually read what they write and listen to what they say you immediately realize that these are rather mediocre individuals with a rather parochial mindset which makes them both very predictable and very irritating to the people around them. They always overplay their hand and then end up stunned and horrified when all their conspiracies and plans come tumbling down on them.

I submit that this is exactly what is happening right now.

First, the Neocons lost the elections. For them, it was a shock and a nightmare. The "deplorables" voted against the unambiguously clear "propaganda instructions" given to them by the media. Next, the Neocons turned their rabid hatred against Trump and they succeeded at basically neutering him, but only at the cost of terribly weakening the USA themselves! Think of it: 6 months plus into the Trump administration the USA has already managed to directly threaten Iran, Syria, the DPRK and in all cases with exactly zero results. Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo --

So while Kim Jong-un fires missiles on the 4th of July, the Syrian Army is closing in on Deir ez-Zor, the Ukraine is turning into Somalia, the Russian economy is back to growth and Putin's popularity is as high as ever, the Neocons are totally freaking out and, as is typical of a person losing control, they don't do things which would make sense but do what they are used to doing: slapping sanctions (even if they are totally ineffective) and sending messages (even if they are totally ignored). In other words, the Neocons are now engaging in magical thinking, the deliberately chose to delude themselves about their power and influence and they are coping with their full-spectrum failure at everything by pretending that their votes in Congress matter. They truth is – they don't.

Here is where we need to turn to the other misconception in this matter, that the Russian reaction to these latest sanctions is really about these sanctions. It is not.

First, let's tackle the myth that these sanctions are hurting Russia. They really don't. Even the 100% russophobic Bloomberg is beginning to realize that, if anything, all these sanctions have made both Putin and Russia stronger . Second, there is the issue of timing: instead of slapping on some counter-sanctions the Russians suddenly decided to dramatically reduce the US diplomatic personnel in Russia and confiscate a two US diplomatic facilities in a clear retaliation for the expulsion of Russian diplomats and seizure of Russian diplomatic facilities by Obama last year. Why now?

Many observers say that the Russians are "naive" about the West and the USA, that Putin was "hoping" for better relations and that this hope was paralyzing him. Others say that Putin is "weak" or even "in cahoots" with the West. This is all total nonsense.

People tend to forget that Putin was an officer in the foreign intelligence branch of the KGB, the so-called "First Main Directorate" (PGU). Furthermore, Putin has recently revealed that he worked in the highly secretive "Directorate S" of the PGU and he was in charge of contacts with a network of illegal Soviet spies in East-Germany (were Putin was under the official cover of Director of the USSR-GDR Friendship House). If the PGU was the "elite of the elite" of the KGB, and its most secretive part, then the "Directorate S" was the "elite of the elite" of the PGU and its most secretive part. This is most definitely not a career for "naive" or "weak" people, to put it mildly! First and foremost, PGU officers were "specialists of the West" in general, and of the United States especially because the USA was always officially considered as the "main enemy" (even if most PGU officers personally considered the British as their most capable, dangerous and devious adversary). Considering the superb level of education and training given to these officers, I would argue that the PGU officers were amongst the best experts of the West anywhere in the world. Their survival and the survival of their colleagues depended on their correct understanding of the western world. As for Putin personally, he has always taken action in a very deliberate and measured way and there is no reason to assume that this time around the latest US sanctions have suddenly resulted in some kind of emotional outburst in the Kremlin. You can be darn sure that this latest Russian reaction is the result of very carefully arrived to conclusion and the formulation of a very precise and long-term objective.

I submit that the key to the correct understanding of the Russian response is in the fact that the latest US sanctions contain an absolutely unprecedented and, frankly, shocking feature: the new measures strip the President from the authority to revoke the sanctions. In practical terms, if Trump wanted to lift any of these sanctions, he would have to send an official letter to Congress which would then have 30 days to approve or reject the proposed action. In other words, the Congress has now hijacked the power of the Presidency to conduct foreign policy and taken upon itself to micromanage the US foreign policy.

That, my friends, is clearly a constitutional coup d'état and a gross violation of the principles of separation of powers which is at the very core of the US political system.

It also is a telling testimony to the utter depravity of the US Congress which took no such measures when Presidents bypass Congress and started wars without the needed congressional authority, but which is now overtly taking over the US foreign policy to prevent the risk of "peace breaking out" between Russia and the USA.

And Trump's reaction?

He declared that he would sign the bill.

Yes, the main is willing to put his signature on the text which represents an illegal coup d'état against this own authority and against the Constitution which he swore to uphold.

With this in mind, the Russian reaction is quite simple and understandable: they have given up on Trump.

Not that they ever had much hope in him, but they always strongly felt that the election of Trump might maybe provide the world with a truly historical opportunity to change the disastrous dynamic initiated by the Neocons under Obama and maybe return the international relations to a semblance of sanity. Alas, this did not happen, Trump turned out to be an overcooked noodle whose only real achievement was to express his thoughts in 140 characters or less. But the one crucial, vital, thing which Trump absolutely needed to succeed in – mercilessly crushing the Neocons – he totally failed to achieve. Worse, his only reaction to their multi-dimensional attempts at overthrowing him were each time met with clumsy attempts at appeasing them.

For Russia is means that President Trump has now been replaced by "President Congress".

Since it is absolutely impossible to get anything done with this Congress anyway, the Russians will now engage in unilaterally beneficial measures such as dramatically reducing the number of US diplomats in Russia. For the Kremlin, these sanctions are no so much an unacceptable provocation has an ideal pretext to move on a number of Russian internal policies. Getting rid of US employees in Russia is just a first step.

Next, Russia will use the frankly erratic behavior of the Americans to proclaim urbi et orbi that the Americans are irresponsible, incapable of adult decision-making and basically "gone fishing". The Russians already did that much when they declared that the Obama-Kerry team was недоговороспособны (nedogovorosposobny: "non agreement capable", more about this concept here ). Now with Trump signing his own constitutional demise, Tillerson unable to get UN Nikki to shut the hell up and Mattis and McMaster fighting over delusional plans to stop "not winning" in Afghanistan, the Obama-Kerry teams starts to look almost adult.

Frankly, for the Russians now is the time to move on.

I predict that the Neocon-crazies will not stop until they impeach Trump. I furthermore predict that the USA will not launch any major military interventions (if only because the USA has run out of countries it can safely and easily attack). Some "pretend interventions" (like the ill-fated missile strike on Syria) remain, of course, quite possible and even likely. This internal slow-mo coup against Trump will absorb the vast majority of the energy to get anything done, and leave foreign policy as simply another byproduct of internal US politics.

The East-Europeans are now totally stuck. They will continue to haplessly observe the unfolding Ukrainian disaster while playing at silly games pretending to be tough on Russia (the latest example of that kind of "barking from behind a fence" can be seen in the rather pathetic closure of the Romanian air space to a civilian aircraft with Russian Vice-Premier Dmitri Rogozin amongst the passengers). The real (West) Europeans will gradually come back to their senses and begin making deals with Russia. Even France's Emmanuel Macron de Rothschild will probably prove a more adult partner than The Donald.

But the real action will be elsewhere – in the South, the East and the Far-East. The simple truth is that the world cannot simply wait for the Americans to come back to their senses. There are a lot of crucial issues which need to be urgently tackled, a lot of immense projects which need to be worked on, and a fundamentally new and profoundly different multi-polar world which needs to be strengthened. If the Americans want to basically recuse themselves from it all, if they want to bring down the constitutional order which their Founding Fathers created and if they want to solely operate in the delusional realm which has no bearing on reality – that is both their right and their problem.

Washington DC is starting to look like a kindergarten on LSD – something both funny and disgusting. Predictably, the kids don't look too bright: a mix of bullies and spineless idiots. Some of them have their fingers on a nuclear button, and that is outright scary. What the adults need to do now is to figure out a way of keeping the kids busy and distracted so they don't press the damn button by mistake. And wait. Wait for the inevitable reaction of a country which is so much more and better than its rulers and which now desperately needs a real patriot to stop Witches' Sabbath in Washington DC.

I will end this column on a personal note. I just crossed the USA, literally, from the Rogue River in Oregon to East Central Florida. During that long trip I did not only see breathtakingly beautiful sights, but also plenty of beautiful people who oppose the satanic ball in DC with every fiber of their being and who want their country to be free from the degenerate demonic powers which have taken over the federal government. I have now lived a total of 20 years in the USA and I have learned to love and deeply appreciate the many kind, decent, honorable and simply beautiful people who live here. Far from seeing the American people as enemies of Russia, I see them has natural allies, if only because we have the same enemy (the Neocons in DC) and absolutely no objective reasons for conflict, none whatsoever. Moreover, in many ways Americans and Russians are very much alike, sometimes in comical ways. Just as during the Cold War I never lost hope in the Russian people, I now refuse to lose hope in the American people. Yes, the US federal government is disgusting, evil, ugly, stupid, degenerate and outright satanic, but the people of the USA are not. Far from it. I don't know if this country can survive the current regime as one unitary USA or whether it will break up in several quite different entities (something I see as very possible), but I do believe that the people of the USA will survive and overcome just as the Russian people survived the horrors of the 1980s and 1990s.

[Sidebar: after being accused of being a "paid Putin agent" (Vladimir, please send me money!!), a "Jew-lover" or even a "crypto-Jew" myself, a Nazi and Anti-Semite (which decent and good person has not been called an Anti-Semite" at least once in his/her life), a Communist and a Muslim (or, at least, a "Muslim propagandist"), I will now be called an "USA lover". Fine. Guilty as charged! I do love this country very much, as I do love its people. In fact, my heart often breaks for them and for the immense sufferings the Anglo-Zionist Empire also inflicts upon them. In the fight between the people of the USA and the Empire I unapologetically side with the people whom I see as friends, allies and even brothers.]

Right now the USA appears to be plunging into a precipice very similar to the one the Ukraine has plunged into (which is unsurprising, really, the same people inflicting the same disasters on whatever country they infect with their presence). The big difference is that immense and untapped potential of the USA to bounce back. There might not even be a Ukraine in 10 years, but there will most definitely be a USA, albeit maybe a very different one or even maybe several successor states.

But for the time being, I can only repeat what Floridians say when a hurricane comes barreling down on them: "hunker down" and brace for some very difficult and dangerous times to come. (Republished from The Vineyard of the Saker by permission of author or representative)

Bragadocious > , August 1, 2017 at 12:58 am GMT

Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU–they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to?

Sharrukin > , August 1, 2017 at 1:50 am GMT

@Bragadocious Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU--they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to? Americans and the US government are two different things.

That is no small part of why Trump got elected.

Antagonize Russia to what purpose?

Now we have Haley at the UN, Tillerton, and McMaster making statements at odds with Trumps and they still have a job. Can Trump even remove them?

Who is actually in charge of the American government? Is it Trump or the Neocons?

The entire Russia hacking story is a joke and probably a setup by the Democrats if their links to Fusion GPS is true.

Regardless, foreign nations have to deal with the world outside of Washington DC and its looks like the lunatics have taken control of the DC asylum which may well be the case.

The problem is the lack of coherence from Washington.

We may be looking at a slow motion coup, or simple incompetence, but Trump never struck me as incompetent in his other business dealings.

A power struggle seems to make the most sense.

Ned > , August 1, 2017 at 2:07 am GMT

God bless you Saker

Ned > , August 1, 2017 at 2:08 am GMT

@Bragadocious Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU--they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to? Your trolling comment is offensive

Excal > , August 1, 2017 at 2:26 am GMT

"During that long trip I did not only see breathtakingly beautiful sights, but also plenty of beautiful people who oppose the satanic ball in DC with every fiber of their being and who want their country to be free from the degenerate demonic powers which have taken over the federal government."

I am anything but beautiful, but everything else about that sentence describes me.

I have never been to Russia, but I have known many Russians, and I am a bit of a Russophile. I voted for Trump partly because I was certain that Clinton would immediately plunge us into war with Russia. It sickens me that the senate are now rattling sabres against them. I am praying for them, and that this country is stopped from doing any real damage to them.

I can't help but wonder whether the all-but-signed alliance with the Saudis has something to do with this. There must be something diabolical there too.

Bragadocious > , August 1, 2017 at 3:45 am GMT

@Ned Your trolling comment is offensive You returned from a 3-year posting absence to write that?

exiled off mainstreet > , August 1, 2017 at 5:07 am GMT

Great picture and great description. Hopefully, things will degenerate to the point where they can't gin up a nuclear war.

NoseytheDuke > , August 1, 2017 at 6:21 am GMT

@Bragadocious You returned from a 3-year posting absence to write that? So Ned took a break for whatever reason, what of it? He wrote that your comment was offensive, I would have called it simply stupid. It smacks of knee-jerk chest-thumping of the sort that the US has already had more than enough of.

Yes, the neocons took over before Trump. Good observation, Sherlock. Trump was elected because he promised to do something about it but so far he's been a wimp. Many people still hope that Trump is merely playing rope-a-dope but Saker makes it clear in the article that this time is different in that it undermines the president's authority and it neuters his ability to effect change. Chew on that please, or better still, re-read the article.

Saker was hoping for peace just like so many Americans were when they voted for DT but it is increasingly looking like it's not going to happen.

Grandpa Charlie > , August 1, 2017 at 6:22 am GMT

I see USA as analogous to the Chinese Empire during its "decline and fall" 1850-1950 (very last part of the Manchu dynasty). Of course, it's a rough analogy, but it's there all the same. Like China back then, the "Court" of the USA like the imperial court of China was willing to sell off anything and everything. It's all been for sale for at least the last 50 years. (If you want an example, take the Panama Canal.)

In that milieu, consider the neocons. What are they unless (like the DNC and the GOP's National Central Committee) but a money-laundering and influence-peddling center. So apply that to the "known known" that the main 'position' of the neocons (their excuse for some kind of principle) is "Russia is dangerous and must be destroyed." As seen in the Saker's article, that is a destructive proposition – destructive of the interests of the USA and its people. So then WHY – why do the neocons pursue that agenda? Well, if you think about the nature of the neocons, of Congress, etc., you realize that the neocons must be making money off of this. They are pushing the anti-Russia agenda because they are paid to do so. Then, ask yourself, as with any money-following effort, CUI BONO? Well. what is accomplished by keeping the heat turned up on Russia? Isn't it that the anti-Russia agenda provides a distraction from what China is doing? And who, almost certainly, has been paying off the neocons for almost 50 years now – ever since Kissinger (godfather of the neocons) took his secret trip to Beijing in 1973. Put it this way: the old China lobby had been providing huge amounts of $US to the entire USA establishment – in particular to political parties and to the media – since way back in WW II. Now there would be a huge hole where the old China lobby had been. Who would fill that? Kissinger, for all his many faults, was smart enough to know, and Chou En-Lai was smart enough to know, what had to be done. And the old China Lobby had long seen the writing on the wall. So the old China Lobby was taken over by the New China Lobby. Lo-and-behold, Kissinger created the neocons where the paleocons had been. (If you want, you can also find evidence of an effective conspiracy extending back into WW II and the 1930′s, but that might mean identifying with the old JBS, and I want to stay focused on issues more current.)

That's the basic reality about the neocons. The PRC (or its rulers in the Standing Committee) are the neocons' bread-and-butter. Oh, sure they appreciate the Israel lobby and they need it to keep Congress dumb and afraid but their bread-and-butter is the PRC. Or more precisely, the Standing Committee. Americans like to think that we have all the billionaires (or the billionaires have us), but the reality is that USA's politicians, bureaucrats and bankers deal with many billionaires, including the billionaires (active and retired) of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China and the billionaires of the Kim dynasty of the DPRK. These billionaires use their money much more in concert with one another than do most billionaires. So they get what they want. And what they want includes the ability not to be bothered by, e.g., the US Navy when they decide to extend their empire over the SCS and do not want USA's people even to know that Hanoi asks pleadingly to become a port and outpost of the US Navy. Etc. etc.

If you find this hard to believe, google on "Clinton china bribery." Or, here at the Unz Review, check out Peter Lee's 'China Matters' blog story "Four Corners/Fairfax". Just think it over. If your mind has been closed, let it open.

"Yet none dare call it treason."

Parbes > , August 1, 2017 at 6:27 am GMT

The neocons and their media in the U.S. and the rest of the West simply HAVE to be taken out, one way or another. This is the only acceptable route – a knot tying the whole world up in insanity, which must be broken.

utu > , August 1, 2017 at 7:56 am GMT

@Bragadocious Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU--they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to? Did I miss it or Saker does not even explain what kind of sanctions were imposed but nevertheless he assures his readers that they won't hurt Russia and possibly make it even stronger and basically everything will be hunky-dory because PGU has extremely well qualified individuals on its staff: "superb level of education and training." And obviously Putin is a superman who was in charge of spies in East Germany which required as much sophistication and risk taking as spying in Wales for James Bond.

Randal > , August 1, 2017 at 8:15 am GMT

But the one crucial, vital, thing which Trump absolutely needed to succeed in – mercilessly crushing the Neocons – he totally failed to achieve.

Indeed. The next step, as with Buchanan's piece today which is similarly discouraged as far as US foreign policy under Trump is concerned, is to name the neocons. Identify the people burrowing into the institutions of the US administration and subverting any hope of any substantive change in foreign policy from the Clinton/Bush/Obama years. Name the people who act as the tools of the Neocon Lobby within the administration, because those Trump can at least deal with, if he ever comes to understand what is going on (which admittedly seems unlikely so long as he tolerates Nikki Haley's open warmongering).

The subservience of Congress can only be dealt with by the American people defeating these sitting members and replacing them with ones who fear, and are loyal to, their constituents more than the lobbyists – which of course requires Americans to recognise when they are being manipulated by lobbyists via the media.

See the piece yesterday by Ron Maxwell, naming some of the neocons:

How Romney Loyalists Hijacked Trump's Foreign Policy

Randal > , August 1, 2017 at 8:29 am GMT

@Bragadocious Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU--they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to?

I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't.

Saker didn't refer to any of those things in his criticism of the Trump regime's foreign policy stupidity. The only aspect of "Trump's behaviour towards Europe" that he (absolutely correctly) singles out for criticism is the literally stupid sanctions resolution. Though he could equally well have criticised the delusional stupidity of Trump's seeming wholesale swallowing of neocon propaganda about Iran and the nuclear agreement.

Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq?

He's clearly well aware of that. As he has rightly pointed out previously (and Buchanan also points out again today), Trump was elected in part precisely because he seemed to offer an escape from the neocon-driven invade the world/invite the world lunacy. But his actual foreign policy seems to have been little more than continuity with minor trimming only when forced by reality, especially with the likes of Nikki Haley in such a prominent position.

And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to?

Not trying to right all the world's suppose wrongs by force (military or economic) would be a good start. That and ceasing to regard the interests of Israel and of Saudi Arabia as of primary importance for US foreign and military policy.

JL > , August 1, 2017 at 8:34 am GMT

This article is something of a mixed bag. The idea that there is going to be some rift between the EU and US is, at best, wishful thinking, but probably closer to downright delusion. No, European countries ceased to be subjects of history, and became objects, when they ceded their sovereignty to the implicitly Atlanticist and supranational structure that is the EU. So they may growl and gnash their teeth a bit, but will eventually roll over and hope that their bellies are scratched and not slashed.

As for Trump signing the sanctions legislation as it is written, Saker's point is valid. No president should abrogate power without a fight. He should, at the very least, insist that the restrictions on his ability to unilaterally cancel sanctions be removed from the legislation or he will veto the bill and fight it all the way to the Supreme Court. And, he should make clear that this isn't about sanctioning or not sanctioning Russia, but the fact that the law is unconstitutional.

Saker is also correct that the US is simply too dysfunctional now to pursue any kind of coherent foreign policy. If I were Putin, I would ask Trump who in Congress he should be negotiating with, since neither Trump himself, nor anyone in his cabinet, possesses the authority to follow through with any possible agreements. The smarter commentators are actually all coming around to the same view. Dmitry Trenin:

"I think the Kremlin views the U.S. as a dysfunctional polity, with its political class at war with itself and its society deeply divided along cultural fault lines. Under these circumstances one hardly expects a consistent policy Bad as they are now, U.S.-Russian relations continue to get worse, edging ever closer to a kinetic collision between their armed forces somewhere: in Syria, over the Baltic and Black Seas, or Ukraine."

It does indeed seem like something dramatic needs to happen, at which point the US will either come to its senses or it's mushroom cloud time for all of us.

animalogic > , August 1, 2017 at 8:58 am GMT

Although I think there is some hypobole involved, I would like to thank the Saker for raising this very interesting and very pregnant issue:

"In other words, the Congress has now hijacked the power of the Presidency to conduct foreign policy and taken upon itself to micromanage the US foreign policy.
That, my friends, is clearly a constitutional coup d'état and a gross violation of the principles of separation of powers which is at the very core of the US political system."

This is a very disturbing development, to say the least.

However, I do disagree with the Saker on this point:
"If the Americans want to basically recuse themselves from it all, if they want to bring down the constitutional order which their Founding Fathers created and if they want to solely operate in the delusional realm which has no bearing on reality – that is both their right and their problem."

The "Americans" -- that is US citizens -- do NOT want to bring down the constitution, nor have a government operate in a delusional realm. Nor does the US "government have the "right" to operate in the way they do: that amounts to saying they have the right to commit treason ( a meaningless concept for the Elites). Finally, it is NOT just an American "problem": unfortunately, it's a world problem. We are all liable to suffer for the insane shenanigans of the US Ruling class.

Anonymous > , Disclaimer August 1, 2017 at 10:19 am GMT

I predict that the Neocon-crazies will not stop until they impeach Trump.

And that's probably behind this clusterfuck. The globalist cabal is working hard to make Trump look bad and he's falling for it (him asking Comey – a certified swamp creature – to be loyal is proof of his naivete). This same cabal is running Western Europe so any "positive" developments between Macron de Rothchild and Putin will be temporary and designed to further ostracise Trump. With Jews you loose and Russia will forever be their ultimate target. Russian nukes are the only thing standing in the way of One World Government.

I furthermore predict that the USA will not launch any major military interventions

Don't be so sure. They want him to make mistakes . A new war would disappoint a lot of Trump's core supporters and destroy his capability to expand the base.

Bragadocious > , August 1, 2017 at 12:53 pm GMT

@NoseytheDuke So Ned took a break for whatever reason, what of it? He wrote that your comment was offensive, I would have called it simply stupid. It smacks of knee-jerk chest-thumping of the sort that the US has already had more than enough of.

Yes, the neocons took over before Trump. Good observation, Sherlock. Trump was elected because he promised to do something about it but so far he's been a wimp. Many people still hope that Trump is merely playing rope-a-dope but Saker makes it clear in the article that this time is different in that it undermines the president's authority and it neuters his ability to effect change. Chew on that please, or better still, re-read the article.

Saker was hoping for peace just like so many Americans were when they voted for DT but it is increasingly looking like it's not going to happen. Yes, the neocons took over before Trump. Good observation, Sherlock

Thanks. The reason I wrote that was because Saker wrote this:

Not that they ever had much hope in him, but they always strongly felt that the election of Trump might maybe provide the world with a truly historical opportunity to change the disastrous dynamic initiated by the Neocons under Obama

See, the key word there Sherlock, is initiated . That means to start, in case you didn't know. I know, I'm Captain Obvious again. Maybe Saker should write more carefully, and not sound like a kindergartner on LSD.

"I would have called it stupid"

Yes, that's the operative word for Saker and his minions. Everyone's stupid. Except you. You're smart. Especially when you're peddling 9/11 truther stuff. Then you're a special kind of smart.

Bragadocious > , August 1, 2017 at 1:28 pm GMT

@Randal


I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't.
Saker didn't refer to any of those things in his criticism of the Trump regime's foreign policy stupidity. The only aspect of "Trump's behaviour towards Europe" that he (absolutely correctly) singles out for criticism is the literally stupid sanctions resolution. Though he could equally well have criticised the delusional stupidity of Trump's seeming wholesale swallowing of neocon propaganda about Iran and the nuclear agreement.

Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq?
He's clearly well aware of that. As he has rightly pointed out previously (and Buchanan also points out again today), Trump was elected in part precisely because he seemed to offer an escape from the neocon-driven invade the world/invite the world lunacy. But his actual foreign policy seems to have been little more than continuity with minor trimming only when forced by reality, especially with the likes of Nikki Haley in such a prominent position.

And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to?
Not trying to right all the world's suppose wrongs by force (military or economic) would be a good start. That and ceasing to regard the interests of Israel and of Saudi Arabia as of primary importance for US foreign and military policy. Saker didn't refer to any of those things

I agree, he didn't, but then again, it seems Saker doesn't do nuance very well. He specializes in grandiose insults (stupid, LSD, kindergartners, overcooked noodle, gone fishing) without mentioning some pretty important stuff, like Trump cutting off funding to the Syrian rebels. That move infuriated the neocons. Why doesn't Saker mention that? I guess it doesn't jibe with his overall "incompetence" theme and anti-Trump snark.

As for the sanctions, they seem to upset Saker. But then he says it's water off a duck's back for Putin. Hey, they probably even strengthen his hand -- So really, who gives a shit? He contradicts himself.

Finally, he says Trump has turned over foreign policy responsibility to Congress. I'm no constitutional expert, but Congress is in charge of declaring war. Sanctions can be interpreted as an act of war. In any case, forcing the congresscritters to go on record for something like this can be seen as very useful, just as the Iraq war vote was in blocking Hillary from higher office.

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm GMT

Thanks for the compliments regarding the American people. They all want peace just like all others and have always voted for what they thought was the peace candidate only to be betrayed later. I've lived here longer than just twenty years, however, but my whole life and am not so sanguine about the nature of most Americans. I'd say the vast majority, perhaps 70%, are ignorant dolts and easily bamboozled. Elections are just festivals of lies and deceit with few being able to learn from the previous experience. The population is composed mostly of dodo birds. The ruling class are predators looking for the next dollar to be extorted or stolen. This is a bad formula and can only go so far. The fault is not in our stars but in us.

Grandpa Charlie > , August 1, 2017 at 3:56 pm GMT

" The ruling class are predators looking for the next dollar to be extorted or stolen."

And who exactly is this "ruling class" if not the neocons? Are they not exactly like Milovan Djilas' "new class" – a class of apparatchiks in positions to profit enormously (while living very comfortably) from the decline and fall of an empire. How could this be, if their treasonous profiteering could only leave them as having no place to turn but the China-dominated new world order? Well, perhaps they actually know that the very millionaires who controlled key industries in China prior to 1950, were also millionaires who lived, have lived even during the Cultural Revolution, and for their families, continue to live, very comfortably and securely in Shanghai from 1950 onward – assuming that they were astute enough to have been doing business with the Communists all along. Perhaps they realize that the Communists are about as communistic as the National Socialists were socialistic so that course which is most profitable in the short-run is also most profitable in the long run.

"Yet none dare call it treason."

Robert Magill > , August 1, 2017 at 4:41 pm GMT

I submit that the key to the correct understanding of the Russian response is in the fact that the latest US sanctions contain an absolutely unprecedented and, frankly, shocking feature: the new measures strip the President from the authority to revoke the sanctions.

This is part of the plan to sideline Russia, render it untouchable on the Executive's part and move on to China. The plan is to stun everyone with the announcement (probably on Labor Day) of 50k new, well paying, mostly private sector jobs, with benefits. China will feature prominently. Chinese built factories in Wisconsin, Chicago etc. just teasers. Bigly deal to follow: much, much bigly. All will be well --

http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

Sean > , August 1, 2017 at 7:33 pm GMT

Largely due to Obama's timidity in Syria on top of his denial of defensive weapons to Kiev, Russia humiliated America in Syria. Putin will rue the day, because America is going to hit back at Russia (it has to). Trump is going to take asymmetric vengeance and bleed Russia white. A fraction of what has been spent in Syria will go a very long way in you-know-where.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/world/europe/pentagon-and-state-department-are-said-to-propose-arming-ukraine.html

Sean > , August 1, 2017 at 7:58 pm GMT

@Robert Magill


I submit that the key to the correct understanding of the Russian response is in the fact that the latest US sanctions contain an absolutely unprecedented and, frankly, shocking feature: the new measures strip the President from the authority to revoke the sanctions.
This is part of the plan to sideline Russia, render it untouchable on the Executive's part and move on to China. The plan is to stun everyone with the announcement (probably on Labor Day) of 50k new, well paying, mostly private sector jobs, with benefits. China will feature prominently. Chinese built factories in Wisconsin, Chicago etc. just teasers. Bigly deal to follow: much, much bigly. All will be well --

http://robertmagill.wordpress.com The production facilities of the future will be automated and the elimination of workers will mean there is no particular reason to continue offshoring production. The factories will come back to the West, but the jobs won't exist .

Alan Donelson > , August 1, 2017 at 8:03 pm GMT

@exiled off mainstreet Great picture and great description. Hopefully, things will degenerate to the point where they can't gin up a nuclear war. Great picture -- just not congruent with the title of the post. With a moniker like that, EoM, one might think you'd notice the size of that girl's pupils. Not on LSD. Ill bet she had already graduated from kindergarten, too. But then, why be critical of what one sees and reads. I take SAKER's input with a salt shaker on hand.

Anonymous > , Disclaimer August 1, 2017 at 8:34 pm GMT

And yet, every Senator except Paul and Sanders voted for this.

2 men out of "100″ men looks like the regular average.

Chuck > , August 1, 2017 at 9:38 pm GMT

@Grandpa Charlie I see USA as analogous to the Chinese Empire during its "decline and fall" 1850-1950 (very last part of the Manchu dynasty). Of course, it's a rough analogy, but it's there all the same. Like China back then, the "Court" of the USA like the imperial court of China was willing to sell off anything and everything. It's all been for sale for at least the last 50 years. (If you want an example, take the Panama Canal.)

In that milieu, consider the neocons. What are they unless (like the DNC and the GOP's National Central Committee) but a money-laundering and influence-peddling center. So apply that to the "known known" that the main 'position' of the neocons (their excuse for some kind of principle) is "Russia is dangerous and must be destroyed." As seen in the Saker's article, that is a destructive proposition - destructive of the interests of the USA and its people. So then WHY - why do the neocons pursue that agenda? Well, if you think about the nature of the neocons, of Congress, etc., you realize that the neocons must be making money off of this. They are pushing the anti-Russia agenda because they are paid to do so. Then, ask yourself, as with any money-following effort, CUI BONO? Well. what is accomplished by keeping the heat turned up on Russia? Isn't it that the anti-Russia agenda provides a distraction from what China is doing? And who, almost certainly, has been paying off the neocons for almost 50 years now - ever since Kissinger (godfather of the neocons) took his secret trip to Beijing in 1973. Put it this way: the old China lobby had been providing huge amounts of $US to the entire USA establishment - in particular to political parties and to the media - since way back in WW II. Now there would be a huge hole where the old China lobby had been. Who would fill that? Kissinger, for all his many faults, was smart enough to know, and Chou En-Lai was smart enough to know, what had to be done. And the old China Lobby had long seen the writing on the wall. So the old China Lobby was taken over by the New China Lobby. Lo-and-behold, Kissinger created the neocons where the paleocons had been. (If you want, you can also find evidence of an effective conspiracy extending back into WW II and the 1930's, but that might mean identifying with the old JBS, and I want to stay focused on issues more current.)

That's the basic reality about the neocons. The PRC (or its rulers in the Standing Committee) are the neocons' bread-and-butter. Oh, sure they appreciate the Israel lobby and they need it to keep Congress dumb and afraid ... but their bread-and-butter is the PRC. Or more precisely, the Standing Committee. Americans like to think that we have all the billionaires (or the billionaires have us), but the reality is that USA's politicians, bureaucrats and bankers deal with many billionaires, including the billionaires (active and retired) of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China and the billionaires of the Kim dynasty of the DPRK. These billionaires use their money much more in concert with one another than do most billionaires. So they get what they want. And what they want includes the ability not to be bothered by, e.g., the US Navy when they decide to extend their empire over the SCS and do not want USA's people even to know that Hanoi asks pleadingly to become a port and outpost of the US Navy. Etc. etc.

If you find this hard to believe, google on "Clinton china bribery." Or, here at the Unz Review, check out Peter Lee's 'China Matters' blog story "Four Corners/Fairfax". Just think it over. If your mind has been closed, let it open.

"Yet none dare call it treason." Kingmaker Sheldon Adelson also has a China connection.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/homeland-security/259853-training-tactical-officers-critical-for-national

Priss Factor > , Website August 2, 2017 at 4:08 am GMT

Let the US reveal itself to be totally owned by Zionist globalists.

And if EU goes along, it will only show itself as cuck vassals of the US.

Russia needs to fix its problems and build a super-economy of its own.

With China and Iran as partners, Russia can do much if they put their mind to it.

But do Russians have the National Character?

Stephen R. Diamond > , Website August 2, 2017 at 4:15 am GMT

@utu Did I miss it or Saker does not even explain what kind of sanctions were imposed but nevertheless he assures his readers that they won't hurt Russia and possibly make it even stronger and basically everything will be hunky-dory because PGU has extremely well qualified individuals on its staff: "superb level of education and training." And obviously Putin is a superman who was in charge of spies in East Germany which required as much sophistication and risk taking as spying in Wales for James Bond.

And obviously Putin is a superman

Have you notice that the same folks you say Trump is a superman say the same of Putin? Everything is a stroke of genius.

These folks might study up a bit on the nature of intelligence. It would help them recognize these mediocrities for what they are.

NoseytheDuke > , August 2, 2017 at 4:35 am GMT

@Bragadocious Yes, the neocons took over before Trump. Good observation, Sherlock

Thanks. The reason I wrote that was because Saker wrote this:

Not that they ever had much hope in him, but they always strongly felt that the election of Trump might maybe provide the world with a truly historical opportunity to change the disastrous dynamic initiated by the Neocons under Obama

See, the key word there Sherlock, is initiated . That means to start, in case you didn't know. I know, I'm Captain Obvious again. Maybe Saker should write more carefully, and not sound like a kindergartner on LSD.

"I would have called it stupid"

Yes, that's the operative word for Saker and his minions. Everyone's stupid. Except you. You're smart. Especially when you're peddling 9/11 truther stuff. Then you're a special kind of smart. I see that you've outed yourself as a Coincidence Theorist there so you may console yourself as at least being "useful", even if it is only as being a useful idiot.

Start with ae911truth.org, grap a book on high-school physics and go on from there. There's plenty of reading and learning ahead for you, but you'll be much better for it. Oh, and stop the chest-thumping, it only results in bruises.

Grandpa Charlie > , August 2, 2017 at 4:41 am GMT

@Chuck Kingmaker Sheldon Adelson also has a China connection.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/homeland-security/259853-training-tactical-officers-critical-for-national "Kingmaker Sheldon Adelson also has a China connection." – Chuck, citing to The Hill

Thanks, Chuck. That's a great catch.

aaaa returns > , August 2, 2017 at 4:45 am GMT

As always, a good read from the Saker.
I think his assessment is spot on; Trump and his movement have been disabled. Now Congress members seem to be jockeying for future power-gains, while Trump might be starting to check out. He'll keep tweeting or whatever, but Nikki Haley, Pence and the generals might end up grabbing more decision-making power or perhaps not.. who knows.

There's always the 25th amendment scenario, the Russian collusion angle, or maybe some other damning revelation to pop up in the future to sink Trump, but I think many in Washington may be under warning that his removal could have a devastating impact.

I am not as optimistic about a lack of militarism in response to the crisis. That has been the go-to option for all modern American presidents in times of crisis.

nsa > , August 2, 2017 at 5:08 am GMT

The worms in the House and Senate have been totally terrorized by the vile jooies. Give the loathsome jooies whatever they want, no matter how foul, and keep their jobs or cross the abominable jooies and lose their jobs when a well funded opponent supported by the repulsive KM (kosher media) just happens to appear in the next primary. The Jooie Lobby runs the Knesset on the Potomac, not the US citizenry who are held in the utmost contempt by the bloodthirsty jooie elites. Government of the jooies, by the jooies, for the jooies .

KA > , August 2, 2017 at 5:25 am GMT

Many events are sprouting up all over the map
India China, Taliban in Afghanistan ,Venezuela , Iran Syria Lebanon , Israel Palestine -- all are moving rapidly into unknown territory . America is no longer is in a position to influence these events. . despite not wanting American policy makers will be forced to look inwards . Those counytriesmay nt bother to inform America .

Health Care, Student loans, next inevitable housing bubble, millennial not saving and being forced to spend the income on health care and rents along , nation as a whole see increasing social fragmentation on ethnic lines -- these forces will make America much weaker economically and socially . Foreign countries like China and Gulf monarchies will influence American foreign and domestic policies .

America democracy itself may not survive the changes . Neocons with eager media may settle down on dictatorship.

F > , August 2, 2017 at 6:32 am GMT

@Ned God bless you Saker Creepy comment.

Sergey Krieger > , August 2, 2017 at 7:52 am GMT

"The latest US sanctions and the Russian retaliatory response"

There has not been any response so far. Response was to US expelling 35 Russian diplomats 6+ months ago. This is why I am not a fan of delayed responses. As saying goes, spoon is for dinner, not afterwards. Russia so far failed to respond to USA aggression which is what sanctions are.
Putin has been doing this whole patience expectations of US coming to her senses for some 10 years with poor results as US belligerence seems to grow in lack of appropriate responses from Russia.
Putin being liberal he is, seems cannot abandon hope to be part of the club so far hence this treatment in white gloves when it is stick across US face and kick into US groin what's necessary.
USA is like a dog that understands only stick. And stick has been missing despite Russia having enough options to start really hurting USA where it hurts and stop cooperation everywhere even in Syria.
I am not holding my breath with Putin though. He still insists on not letting up and talking to madman despite that doing everything to hurt him.
Slow learner he is both in regards to USA and Russian economy.

Sergey Krieger > , August 2, 2017 at 7:56 am GMT

"What is absolutely clear is that these sanctions will have exactly zero effect on Russia and I don't think anybody is seriously expecting the Russians to change anything at all in their policies."

Zero effects? Speaking of changing policy is true but not that it won't create troubles for Russia. Anyway, any aggression requires swift and ruthless repsonse otherwise it invites more of agression. Putin is wrong to behave the way he behaves. There must be zero patience and head for an eye response. Than aggression stops.

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 2, 2017 at 8:07 am GMT

@Randal


But the one crucial, vital, thing which Trump absolutely needed to succeed in – mercilessly crushing the Neocons – he totally failed to achieve.
Indeed. The next step, as with Buchanan's piece today which is similarly discouraged as far as US foreign policy under Trump is concerned, is to name the neocons. Identify the people burrowing into the institutions of the US administration and subverting any hope of any substantive change in foreign policy from the Clinton/Bush/Obama years. Name the people who act as the tools of the Neocon Lobby within the administration, because those Trump can at least deal with, if he ever comes to understand what is going on (which admittedly seems unlikely so long as he tolerates Nikki Haley's open warmongering).

The subservience of Congress can only be dealt with by the American people defeating these sitting members and replacing them with ones who fear, and are loyal to, their constituents more than the lobbyists - which of course requires Americans to recognise when they are being manipulated by lobbyists via the media.

See the piece yesterday by Ron Maxwell, naming some of the neocons:

How Romney Loyalists Hijacked Trump's Foreign Policy

The subservience of Congress can only be dealt with by the American people defeating these sitting members and replacing them with ones who fear, and are loyal to, their constituents more than the lobbyists – which of course requires Americans to recognise when they are being manipulated by lobbyists via the media.

Yet, that has never happened, and will never happen. People elect leaders quite like themselves.

It is the people, stupid (I don't necessarily mean you).

The Alarmist > , August 2, 2017 at 9:06 am GMT

The neoconservative are like junkies. Does a junkie ever really appreciate the risk whilst in the middle of pursuing his next fix? Each successive fix is never quite enough, so they go on to bigger fixes at the risk of overdose. Neocons seem to think kicking Russia's ass will be a manageable high, a cakewalk nonetheless, same for China thereafter, because the wars and dying will be done over there in their estimation.

TheJester > , August 2, 2017 at 10:20 am GMT

Furthermore, we also have to keep in mind that the Neocon Lobby is unlike any other lobby in the list above. For one thing, it does not represent US interests. Neither does it represent the interests of Israel. Rather, it represents the interests of a specific subset of the US ruling elites, in reality much smaller than 1% of the population, which all share in the one common ideology of worldwide domination typical of the Neocons.

These are the folks who in spite of their 100% ironclad control of the media and Congress lost the Presidential election to Donald Trump and who are now dead set to impeach him.

Many people who notice believe that "Neocon" is a euphemism for "Jew". Yes, there are non-Jewish outliers among the Neocons like John McCain and Lindsey Graham but this need be no more complex than assuming that they, like so many others in government such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, have cut their deals with the Jewish lobby. Indeed, when I read an article on Neocons, the list of culprits does read like a list of Ashkenazi Jews.

The import is that if the Neocons are religiously committed to world domination and "Neocon" is a euphemism for "Jew", then it follows that the age-old stereotype that there are cabals of Jews seeking world domination at the expense of the goyim they live among is true.

jacques sheete > , August 2, 2017 at 10:54 am GMT

Does that make any sense to you?

No.

And one of the things I've learned is to NOT seek a reasonable answer to situations provoked by utter crackpots.

It's simple; many of those in positions of power and responsibility are not only nuts in the head, but no human is built to shoulder much power at all.

mp > , August 2, 2017 at 10:56 am GMT

Of the lobby groups listed, probably only Big Oil and Big Jew (and not in that order) have much of an interest in going to war with Russia. The Military-Industrials are happy just to get contracts to build stuff. They don't really care, or particularly want, their stuff to be used. Most of it is too expensive to use, and probably doesn't work as advertised, anyhow.

Wizard of Oz > , August 2, 2017 at 10:58 am GMT

I'm afraid you're right.

But I remain puzzled at how 98 Senators could have been lined up for that stupidity.

Can you enlarge on the details of neo-con ideas, personnel and means of influence to explain the neo-con part? I mean 98 out of 100 Senators!!!

And, given especially your assertion that Israeli lobbyists aren't acting in Israel's real interests, can you give a fuller explanation of what they are up to and why, with particular reference to that Senate vote?

Following on from that, or, if you insist, as an aside would you care to give your view of what rational Israeli lobbying might seek Americann help for. Here's my attempt at starting your explanation .. Israel knows it can no longer defeat the battle hardened Hezbollah forces, from which they have already received a bloidy nose, without using nuclear weapons or losing a high proportion of young Israelis. So it fears that Hezbollah, still connected to Iran and protected in that by Syria, will launch intolerable rocket attacks to provoke Israeli attack against its dug in positions.

The need to remove Assad's regime has to be seen in that light??? Could it be as simple as that?

white noise > , August 2, 2017 at 11:44 am GMT

@Anonymous


I predict that the Neocon-crazies will not stop until they impeach Trump.
And that's probably behind this clusterfuck. The globalist cabal is working hard to make Trump look bad and he's falling for it (him asking Comey - a certified swamp creature - to be loyal is proof of his naivete). This same cabal is running Western Europe so any "positive" developments between Macron de Rothchild and Putin will be temporary and designed to further ostracise Trump. With Jews you loose and Russia will forever be their ultimate target. Russian nukes are the only thing standing in the way of One World Government.

I furthermore predict that the USA will not launch any major military interventions
Don't be so sure. They want him to make mistakes . A new war would disappoint a lot of Trump's core supporters and destroy his capability to expand the base. "Russian nukes are the only thing standing in the way of One World Government."

Indeed. Vladimir Putin has big balls, and the elites hate him. But he's not afraid of a murder attempt. The elites know that if something happens to him, Europe, Israel and North America would be reduced to radioactive debris in about one hour

KA > , August 2, 2017 at 12:11 pm GMT

A new alignment is likely to emerge .t will be much less adversarial and much less enthused with polemic. America China Israel Saudi Arab – pitted against – India Russia Iran Japan, . China will embrace US because of Neocon and myriad financial connections with US .India will be forced to return to Russia . China joining America or America deciding to join China is the game changer and disrupt very other relationship. China will try to occupy American position after WW2 while US will find itself occupying post WW2 British position. Neoconservatives and financial system of the world will force this merger .

Pakistan Germany Turkey will try to juggle and hedge theirs bets . Central Asian Stan will be politically connected to Russia but economically to China .China and Russia will quarrel here and these countries will face a period of turmoil. Balkans will move back to Russia . NATO will be largely irrelevant with no ability to have consensus and a mission .
The world will become more rambunctious and hyper verbal but it won't fight .
Polyglot countries like India and America will try to talk along ethnic lines more but the fundamental underlying realities will not change . Despite the divisiveness promoted by parties, the citizen will move to closer relationship and understanding and common ground partly because the divisiveness will fail to accrue any benefit to the groups most interested in harvesting it .But the divisiveness will not disappear from daily discourse .

ffff > , August 2, 2017 at 12:15 pm GMT

Anyone else find their comments censored on thesaker? Seems like a "pro"-russian version of CNN

utu > , August 2, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

@Stephen R. Diamond


And obviously Putin is a superman
Have you notice that the same folks you say Trump is a superman say the same of Putin? Everything is a stroke of genius.

These folks might study up a bit on the nature of intelligence. It would help them recognize these mediocrities for what they are. ;) Everything is a stroke of genius.

Like playing 3D or nD (n–>inf) chess, right?

I think it come from desperation and hope, I think. And as they say, hope does not want to die in spite of the evidence that it should long time ago.

n230099 > , August 2, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT

" 10 top most powerful lobbies in Washington, DC. They are (in the same order as in the original article)

Tech Lobby
Mining Industry
Defense Industry
Agribusiness Industry
Big Oil
Financial Lobby
Big Pharma
AARP
Pro-Israel Lobby
NRA"

Well, some are 'lobbies' but some are just bogeymen.

white noise > , August 2, 2017 at 12:34 pm GMT

@The Alarmist The neoconservative are like junkies. Does a junkie ever really appreciate the risk whilst in the middle of pursuing his next fix? Each successive fix is never quite enough, so they go on to bigger fixes at the risk of overdose. Neocons seem to think kicking Russia's ass will be a manageable high, a cakewalk nonetheless, same for China thereafter, because the wars and dying will be done over there ... in their estimation. " Neocons seem to think kicking Russia's ass will be a manageable high"

That's what they think. Given that Russia currently has more nuclear power than USA and Israel combined, to think that they can handle Russia is sheer stupidity.

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 2, 2017 at 1:00 pm GMT

Much is made of this so-called "neocon" business. They appear to be a current highly aggressive strain of American expansionism. However, there were no "neocons" in 1898 when the US saw it's opportunity to attack Spain and grab away it's holdings. The US has been aggressively expanding ever since, inserting itself into both world wars at the very last minute in order to gain as much for itself as possible. It got a couple bloody rebuffs in Korea and Vietnam but learned how to refine it's technique from those experiences. The US has been on the march ever since 1898, sometimes slowly sometimes quickly. It's not something new but is an inherent dynamic. Like a balloon things expand until they reach some sort of internal or external limiting factor. For the US one can imagine what those might be.

John Q. Public > , August 2, 2017 at 1:08 pm GMT

We need a better term than "neo-con." People like Brennan, Clapper and McMaster were never Trotskyites and they never wrote for Commentary. Their view is really a liberal internationalism update for the post-Cold War, post-9/11 situation. And this view is ubiquitous inside the Beltway.

Joe Hide > , August 2, 2017 at 1:17 pm GMT

Saker,
I especially liked your use of the term "demonic" which is an appropriate term both figuratively and possibly literally to describe many neocon adherents.
The internet is providing "Light coming into the world", that is, Truth or information coming into mass consciousness. Mass consciousness must shape which possible futures become reality, or the controlled media wouldn't be spending billions to try to influence it. Some would say that this is solely because of the physical changes that people then force to happen, but evidence also supports consciousness simply altering possible outcomes "The prayers of a righteous man availeth much".
Saker, thanks much for Your articles!

jacques sheete > , August 2, 2017 at 1:18 pm GMT

Lesson unlearned.

Abstinence from all injustice to other first-rate powers is a greater tower of strength than anything that can be gained by the sacrifice of permanent tranquillity for an apparent temporary advantage.

Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, Book I, 1.42-[3]

Aedib > , August 2, 2017 at 1:25 pm GMT

Great article. Quite accurate description of the hubris infected American establishment.

jacques sheete > , August 2, 2017 at 1:26 pm GMT

@Sergey Krieger "What is absolutely clear is that these sanctions will have exactly zero effect on Russia and I don't think anybody is seriously expecting the Russians to change anything at all in their policies."

Zero effects? Speaking of changing policy is true but not that it won't create troubles for Russia. Anyway, any aggression requires swift and ruthless response otherwise it invites more of aggression. Putin is wrong to behave the way he behaves. There must be zero patience and head for an eye response. Than aggression stops.

Anyway, any aggression requires swift and ruthless repsonse

Not always, and not necessarily now. Sometimes no response is the most powerful. Aggressive and ruthless responses are often best reserved for the times they're likely to succeed decisively. Responding to petulant pissants is more often than not a waste of time, energy and concentration. Putin appears to know all that, and good for him. I 'd love to see him knock the bastards on their collective asses permanently. Sometime.

Aedib > , August 2, 2017 at 1:31 pm GMT

@utu

Did I miss it or Saker does not even explain what kind of sanctions were imposed but nevertheless he assures his readers that they won't hurt Russia and possibly make it even stronger and basically everything will be hunky-dory because PGU has extremely well qualified individuals on its staff: "superb level of education and training." And obviously Putin is a superman who was in charge of spies in East Germany which required as much sophistication and risk taking as spying in Wales for James Bond. Russia had quite satisfactorily surfed sanctions.

https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/russian-economy-2014-2016-the-years-of-sanctions-warfare/

Pandos > , August 2, 2017 at 2:19 pm GMT

@Bragadocious Worse, Trump's behavior towards Europe and the anti-Trump propaganda inside Europe has now put the EU and the US on a collision course. This is absolutely amazing: for the Russians the current tensions between the EU and the USA are a dream come true and yet they had absolutely nothing to do with it – it was all done by the self-defeating stupidity of the Americans who created this situation completely ex nihilo

So I guess the Americans are stupid for antagonizing Russia, they're stupid for antagonizing Russia's enemies in the EU--they're just plain stupid, according to this Dutch-Russian emigre. I don't know why America's stupid for standing up for its rights on climate change and refugee admissions and calling out NATO freeloaders, I really don't. And if this upsets Western Europe, so much the better. Also, someone should explain to "The Saker" that the neocons were well in control before Obama. How do you think we got into Iraq? And what is the "semblance of sanity" he thinks we should return to? "rights on climate change and refugee admissions" Seriously? Oh please.

yeah > , August 2, 2017 at 2:28 pm GMT

@Sean Largely due to Obama's timidity in Syria on top of his denial of defensive weapons to Kiev, Russia humiliated America in Syria. Putin will rue the day, because America is going to hit back at Russia (it has to). Trump is going to take asymmetric vengeance and bleed Russia white. A fraction of what has been spent in Syria will go a very long way in you-know-where.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/world/europe/pentagon-and-state-department-are-said-to-propose-arming-ukraine.html

Regarding Syria and your comments thereon: Excuse me, but is it all about Russia versus America or can the Syrian people and their Government have any say? The world has people and Governments other than American ones, you know, and they don't like freedom, democracy, or whatever delivered by bombs, not even by smart bombs. The Syrian Government did not ask Washington to intervene, so under international law American intervention and bombings there are as legitimate as "Saving Vietnam from the commies", "Bringing democracy to Iraq", or . the list is long. No adventure on that list turned out well for America or anyone else, with the exception of the merchants of death.

Now your fond hope is "Trump is going to bleed Russia white" and no doubt you would welcome "Getting tough on Russia". Maybe you prefer your news to be exciting – with trade wars, sanctions-wars, hot wars, cold wars, shooting wars, full blown mushroom-cloud-wars – but you will have to spare us such merry excitement.

John Q. Public > , August 2, 2017 at 3:27 pm GMT

You are making too big a deal about the 30 day repeal. I bet you Trump will include a signing statement that he reserves the right to ignore the parts of the law that are unconstitutional.

schmenz > , August 2, 2017 at 4:12 pm GMT

I'm afraid I had to stop reading when our beloved Saker stated that the Israel Lobby has nothing to do with Israel. I'm really not sure what planet Saker lives on but he might ask the destroyed nations around Israel if they think the Lobby has nothing to do with Israel.

jacques sheete > , August 2, 2017 at 4:36 pm GMT

@schmenz I'm afraid I had to stop reading when our beloved Saker stated that the Israel Lobby has nothing to do with Israel. I'm really not sure what planet Saker lives on but he might ask the destroyed nations around Israel if they think the Lobby has nothing to do with Israel.

I'm afraid I had to stop reading when our beloved Saker stated that the Israel Lobby has nothing to do with Israel.

This could no doubt be more accurately stated as, the Israel Lobby has nothing to do with the interests of the Israeli people. It seems to exist for the benefit of the ultra moneybag crowd and its deranged puppets such as Netanyahooooo!

Mulegino1 > , August 2, 2017 at 5:49 pm GMT

Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. Thus, the "American" (please note the quotation marks) oligarchy is imploding. Hopefully, they will not exercise a Samson Option of their own, but anything is possible with this gang of criminal sociopaths. Their poster boy is now an insatiable warmonger who is suffering from brain cancer! How could things get any worse?

After the impressive military victories the US has achieved against such formidable foes as Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, mighty Grenada, Serbia and Libya, taking on Russia should be a "cakewalk", right? And to think there is a sizable demographic in this country which still believes this! Unbelievable. The last time that the US took on a military opponent at rough conventional parity with it (the Chinese in Korea) the result was a stalemate. To paraphrase Cardinal Newman, "To be deep in history is to cease to be a neocon."

Trump should have just let the veto proof sanctions become law without his signature.

Moi > , August 2, 2017 at 5:56 pm GMT

"The big difference is that immense and untapped potential of the USA to bounce back."

This tells me the writer is delusional. The "American Century" is over, and it did not last one hundred years. Too bad.

Moi > , August 2, 2017 at 6:01 pm GMT

@TheJester

Furthermore, we also have to keep in mind that the Neocon Lobby is unlike any other lobby in the list above. For one thing, it do