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Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA and destroys not enhance national security

News Neoconservatism Recommended Links Paleoconservatism Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization "F*ck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place New American Militarism
Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Obama: a yet another Neocon Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Wolfowitz Doctrine Hillary role in Libya disaster Lock her up movement
From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss  Color revolutions John Dilulio letter Mayberry Machiavellians Madeleine Albright Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Leo Strauss and the Neocons
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism Deception as an art form The History of Media-Military-Industrial Complex Concept Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism The ability and willingness to employ savage methods Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism   IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement
American Exceptionalism Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Robert Kagan Samantha Power Jeb "Wolfowitz Stooge" Bush Corporatism Big Uncle is Watching You
Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Guardian paper LA Times Paper by Neal Gabler   Washington Post paper by Mike Allen    
Mayberry Machiavellians Corporatism Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014   Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Politically Incorrect Humor Etc
Note: This page is partially based on Wikipedia materials.

Introduction

The neoconservative impulse became visible in modern American foreign policy since Reagan, but it became dominant ideology and foreign policy practice during criminal George W. Bush administration, which unleashed disastrous for American people Iraq war and destabilized the region, which eventually led to creation of ISIS. Those disastrous neoconservative policies were continued during Obama administration ("Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place. Especially sinister role was played  Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton  while she was the Secretary of State. She was the butcher of Libya and Syria.

Unlike traditionalist conservatism (which in the USA survived in the form of Paleoconservatism and preaches noninterventionism), Neoconservatism has nothing to do with conservative doctrine at all. This is neoliberal interpretation of Trotskyism -- neoTrotskyism. Like neofascism it glorifies militarism (in the form of New American Militarism as described by Professor Bacevich), emphasizes confrontation, and regime change in countries hostile to the interests of global corporations, and which are a barrier of spread of neoliberalism and extension of global, US dominated neoliberal empire. It is an extremely jingoistic creed.  All Secretaries of state starting from Madeleine "not so bright" Albright subscribed to neocon thinking.

The unspoken assumptions of neocon cult have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual wars of neoliberal conquest.  Which overextended the USA as a country and lowered the standard living of population further, as if neoliberalism alone was not enough.

It also led to destabilization of the whole regions. It was the USA that launched political Islam into its current position, which at the end resulted in creation of ISIS and "institutionalization" of  suicide bombings as the only means to fight against global neoliberal empire by people deprived of regular military means.  From which many nations, suffered especially Russia and several European nations such as GB and France. 

In Russia neocons supported radical Islam and Wahhabism promoting it in such areas as Chechnya and Dagestan, facilitated import of extremists (sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Gulf monarchies). Like in Afghanistan before that they considered Wahhabi extremists as a useful political tool in their attempts to dismember Russia, as the lesser evil.

In Ukraine neocons supported far right nationalists with distinct national socialism leanings and history of crimes against humanity (Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia - Wikipedia). Organized by them putsch against the legitimate (albeit corrupt) government of Yanukovich. Which was done with full support of several EU nations which also now have imperial ambitions and wanted to cut the country from Russia and use it the market for EU goods as well as the source of cheap commodities and labor for EU.

EuroMaydan as this color revolution was called made the country a debt slave of IMF and dropped already low standard of living of population almost three times. Making the Ukraine probably the poorest country in Europe where large percent of population (especially pensioners and single mothers) needs to survive of less the $2 a day. Average (note the word "average")  pension in Ukraine is about $1500 grivna which at the current exchange rate is approximately $60. It was three times higher before the Maydan color revolution which State Department so skillfully organized.

Everywhere neocons bring wars and disasters. And they impoverish the US middle class. To say nothing about desperate, completely robbed 50 or so million people with McJobs, who are liming essentially in the third world country that exists within the USA now  (Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 46,000,000 for 38 Straight Months ). 

They are concerned mainly with enriching themselves and their masters from military industrial complex and bloated government bureaucracy, especially "national security parasites"). In other words they behave like the USSR nomenklatura -- a privileged, above the law class, degeneration of which eventually led to collapse of the USSR. Such a conservatives. And not unlike Party bureaucracy of the Third Reich, despite being disproportionally Jewish. 

In foreign policy they were a real, unmitigated  disaster.  Or more correctly series of disaster of varying magnitudes.

Iraq was a huge, humiliating disaster. Probably the biggest one. 

Afghanistan was a disaster of lesser scale.

Libya were another, more small scale disaster.

Syria is a potentially huge disaster, due to international consequences of creating ISIS in this region. 

Ukraine is a huge and very expensive disaster, which might lead to the WWIII, a nuclear holocaust (neocons like to speculate on tragedy of Jewish population during the WWII but now are acting like Nazi and ally with far right extremists)

They successfully revived the threat of nuclear war with Russia (probably in the name of "US security", as neocons understand it ;-). Moreover they moved Russia closer to China, which is no way is in the USA geopolitical interests.

Starting from Clinton administration their attitude to Russia was essentially was: be our vassal, or you have no right to exist. Which is reckless attitude to the second most powerful nuclear armed state in the world.  Even taking into account huge difficulties and huge deterioration of the Russia military capabilities after the dissolution of the USSR they were playing with fire initiating  the rearmament of Russia (which negatively affected the well-being of Russian people).  And they are enjoying every minute of their destructive actions.  Just look at glib face of Robert Kagan (the husband of Victoria Nuland, who was appointed as advisor to State Department by Hillary Clinton) during his public speeches. This man is definitely enjoying himself and his wit. 

An assertion that the fundamental determinant of the relationship between states rests on military power and the willingness to use it, is clearly wrong. It is a foreign policy equivalent to Al Capone idea that "You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone". It is very close to neo-Nazi idea that "War is a natural state, and peace is a utopian dream that induces softness, decadence and pacifism." The problem here is that it's the person who promotes this creed can be shot. Of course neocons are chickenhawks and prefer other people die for their misguided adventures.  Almost non of them served in Vietnam.

The idea  that disagreement about some unrealistic postulates (such as "full spectrum dominance") is tantamount to defeatism is simply silly. "Global unilateralism" promoted by neocon since dissolution of the USSR is capable to bankrupt the USA and it awakened  really powerful countervailing forces. The military alliance of Russia, China and Iran now is a distinct possibility at least in certain areas, despite all differences. Pakistan might be  the next to join this alliance. 

Democracy promotion was a nice racket (via color revolutions) until probably 2008, but now way too many countries understand the mechanics of color revolutions and created mechanism to defend themselves from such attempts. bout. They failed in Russia in 2012 and in Hong Cong later.   Their last success was EuroMaydan in Ukraine which can well turn in Pyrrhic victory.

Neocon policies created the level of anti-American sentiment at Middle East unheard before,  provoked rearmament of Russia and armament of China which together represent a formidable force able to turn the USA into radioactive ash no less effectively then the USA can turn them. 

Despite disastrous results of the Neocon foreign policy neocons remain a powerful, dominant political force in Washington. In recent Presidential race neocons were represented by Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton which managed to get almost half of the votes (or steal then for Sanders, to be exact -- DNC pushed Sanders under the bus).

After the defeat they launched anti-Russian hysteria (as the way of rallying the nation around the flag and preventing loss of power of Clinton's wing of the Democratic Party) and then the color revolutions against Trump (with heavy involvement of FBI and CIA). Russiagate will remain one of the most sordid stories in the US political life, next to McCarthyism  

Neoconservatives are attempting to build an American Empire, seen as successor to the British Empire

From Wikipedia

John McGowan, professor of humanities at the University of North Carolina, states, after an extensive review of neoconservative literature and theory, that neoconservatives are attempting to build an American Empire, seen as successor to the British Empire, its goal being to perpetuate a Pax Americana. As imperialism is largely considered unacceptable by the American media, neoconservatives do not articulate their ideas and goals in a frank manner in public discourse. McGowan states,[68]

Frank neoconservatives like Robert Kaplan and Niall Ferguson recognize that they are proposing imperialism as the alternative to liberal internationalism. Yet both Kaplan and Ferguson also understand that imperialism runs so counter to American's liberal tradition that it must... remain a foreign policy that dare not speak its name...

While Ferguson, the Brit, laments that Americans cannot just openly shoulder the white man's burden, Kaplan the American, tells us that "only through stealth and anxious foresight" can the United States continue to pursue the "imperial reality [that] already dominates our foreign policy", but must be disavowed in light of "our anti-imperial traditions, and... the fact that imperialism is delegitimized in public discourse"...

The Bush administration, justifying all of its actions by an appeal to "national security", has kept as many of those actions as it can secret and has scorned all limitations to executive power by other branches of government or international law.

Neoconservatism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In foreign policy, the neoconservatives' main concern is to prevent the development of a new rival. Defense Planning Guidance, a document prepared during 1992 by Under Secretary for Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz, is regarded by Distinguished Professor of the Humanities John McGowan at the University of North Carolina as the "quintessential statement of neoconservative thought". The report says:[68]
"Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power."

.... For its opponents it is a distinct political ideology that emphasizes the blending of military power with Wilsonian idealism...

Donald Rumsfeld and Victoria Nuland at the NATO-Ukraine consultations in Vilnius, Lithuania, October 24, 2005

Democracy promotion as the universal door opener

See also Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair

Neoconservative foreign policy is a descendant of so-called Wilsonian idealism. Neoconservatives endorse democracy promotion by the US and other democracies, based on the claim  that human rights belong to everyone, while killing thousand hundred people in their attempt to install puppet regimes in various countries in the globe. They practice so call liberation by killing, or "in order to free the village you need to destroy it". They hypocritically criticized the United Nations and, in the past, the  detente with the USSR not understanding the existence of the USSR, while disastrous to Russian people, were the main factor that protected the middle class in the USA from looting by financial oligarchy and prevented the US elite from self-destructive impulses, which became apparent after 1991.

Democracy promotion is allegedly derived from a belief that "freedom" (understood as the rule of neoliberal oligarchy subservant to the USA) is a universal human right and by opinion polls showing majority support for democracy in countries with authoritarian regimes. But the neocons driven "democracy promotion" provided fertile ground to the rise of Radical Islamism the most anti-democratic regime in existence. This essentially created ISIS. They also consider medieval Saudi Arabia to be the US ally and close eyes on horrible social condition of woman in this country.  Such a despicable hypocrites.

Another Neoconservative myth is that democratic regimes are less likely to start wars. The USA is perfect count-argument to that (although  the idea that it is a democratic country is open to review -- empires usually are not democracies, and not even republics). If we assume that the USA is still a republic, it is the most war-hungry and aggressive republic in the history of the world. Being  a direct successor of British empire, they actually managed to beat British in this respect, which is not easy, taking into account British record of mass murders in India, Opium wars and like.

Neocons argue that not extreme debilitating poverty, but the lack of freedoms, lack of economic opportunities, and the lack of secular general education in authoritarian regimes promotes radicalism and extremism. At the same time they promote nationalism and islamist extremists movement in Russia ("divide and conquer" strategy). In short  neoconservatives advocate democracy promotion to regions of the world with natural resources to loot, such  the Arab nations, Iran, Russia, and China.

During April 2006 Robert Kagan wrote in The Washington Post that Russia and China may be the greatest "challenge [neo]liberalism faces today":

"The main protagonists on the side of autocracy will not be the petty dictatorships of the Middle East theoretically targeted by the Bush doctrine. They will be the two great autocratic powers, China and Russia, which pose an old challenge not envisioned within the new "war on terror" paradigm. ... Their reactions to the "color revolutions" in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan were hostile and suspicious, and understandably so. ... Might not the successful liberalization of Ukraine, urged and supported by the Western democracies, be but the prelude to the incorporation of that nation into NATO and the European Union -- in short, the expansion of Western liberal hegemony?"[77]

During July 2008 Joe Klein wrote in TIME magazine that today's neoconservatives are more interested in confronting enemies than in cultivating friends.  In other words in foreign policy they tend to behave like a bully. He questioned the sincerity of neoconservative interest in exporting democracy and freedom, saying, "Neoconservatism in foreign policy is best described as unilateral bellicosity cloaked in the utopian rhetoric of freedom and democracy."[78]

"Neoconservatism in foreign policy is best described as unilateral bellicosity cloaked in the utopian rhetoric of freedom and democracy." ~  Joe Klein

Support of Israel as the key goal

During February 2009 Andrew Sullivan wrote that he no longer took Neoconservatism seriously because its basic tenet became the defense of Israel:[79]

The closer you examine it, the clearer it is that neoconservatism, in large part, is simply about enabling the most irredentist elements in Israel and sustaining a permanent war against anyone or any country who disagrees with the Israeli right. That's the conclusion I've been forced to these last few years. And to insist that America adopt exactly the same constant-war-as-survival that Israelis have been slowly forced into... But America is not Israel. And once that distinction is made, much of the neoconservative ideology collapses.

Neoconservatives respond to charges of merely rationalizing aid for Israel by noting that their "position on the Middle East conflict was exactly congruous with the neoconservative position on conflicts everywhere else in the world, including places where neither Jews nor Israeli interests could be found – - not to mention the fact that non-Jewish neoconservatives took the same stands on all of the issues as did their Jewish confrères."[80]

Wolfowitz Doctrine as quintessential Neoconservatism

Wolfowitz Doctrine is an unofficial name given to the initial version of the Defense Planning Guidance for the 1994–99 fiscal years (dated February 18, 1992) authored by Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz and his deputy Scooter Libby. Not intended for public release, it was leaked to the New York Times on March 7, 1992,[1] and sparked a public controversy about U.S. foreign and defense policy. The document was widely criticized as imperialist as the document outlined a policy of unilateralism and pre-emptive military action to suppress potential threats from other nations and prevent any other nation from rising to superpower status.

Such was the outcry that the document was hastily re-written under the close supervision of U.S. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell before being officially released on April 16, 1992. Many of its tenets re-emerged in the [2] which was described by Senator Edward M. Kennedy as "a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept."[3]

Superpower status

The doctrine announces the US’s status as the world’s only remaining superpower following the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War and proclaims its main objective to be retaining that status.

Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.

This was substantially re-written in the April 16 release.

Our most fundamental goal is to deter or defeat attack from whatever source... The second goal is to strengthen and extend the system of defense arrangements that binds democratic and like-minded nations together in common defense against aggression, build habits of cooperation, avoid the renationalization of security policies, and provide security at lower costs and with lower risks for all. Our preference for a collective response to preclude threats or, if necessary, to deal with them is a key feature of our regional defense strategy. The third goal is to preclude any hostile power from dominating a region critical to our interests, and also thereby to strengthen the barriers against the re-emergence of a global threat to the interests of the U.S. and our allies.

U.S. primacy

The doctrine establishes the US’s leadership role within the new world order.

The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. In non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.

This was substantially re-written in the April 16 release.

One of the primary tasks we face today in shaping the future is carrying long standing alliances into the new era, and turning old enmities into new cooperative relationships. If we and other leading democracies continue to build a democratic security community, a much safer world is likely to emerge. If we act separately, many other problems could result.

Unilateralism

The doctrine downplays the value of international coalitions.

Like the coalition that opposed Iraqi aggression, we should expect future coalitions to be ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted, and in many cases carrying only general agreement over the objectives to be accomplished. Nevertheless, the sense that the world order is ultimately backed by the U.S. will be an important stabilizing factor.

This was re-written with a change in emphasis in the April 16 release.

Certain situations like the crisis leading to the Gulf War are likely to engender ad hoc coalitions. We should plan to maximize the value of such coalitions. This may include specialized roles for our forces as well as developing cooperative practices with others.

Pre-emptive intervention

The doctrine stated the US’s right to intervene when and where it believed necessary.

While the U.S. cannot become the world's policeman, by assuming responsibility for righting every wrong, we will retain the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends, or which could seriously unsettle international relations.

This was softened slightly in the April 16 release.

While the United States cannot become the world's policeman and assume responsibility for solving every international security problem, neither can we allow our critical interests to depend solely on international mechanisms that can be blocked by countries whose interests may be very different than our own. Where our allies interests are directly affected, we must expect them to take an appropriate share of the responsibility, and in some cases play the leading role; but we maintain the capabilities for addressing selectively those security problems that threaten our own interests.

Russian threat

The doctrine highlighted the possible threat posed by a resurgent Russia.

We continue to recognize that collectively the conventional forces of the states formerly comprising the Soviet Union retain the most military potential in all of Eurasia; and we do not dismiss the risks to stability in Europe from a nationalist backlash in Russia or efforts to reincorporate into Russia the newly independent republics of Ukraine, Belarus, and possibly others....We must, however, be mindful that democratic change in Russia is not irreversible, and that despite its current travails, Russia will remain the strongest military power in Eurasia and the only power in the world with the capability of destroying the United States.

This was removed from the April 16 release in favor of a more diplomatic approach.

The U.S. has a significant stake in promoting democratic consolidation and peaceful relations between Russia, Ukraine and the other republics of the former Soviet Union.

Middle East and Southwest Asia

The doctrine clarified the overall objectives in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.

In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve U.S. and Western access to the region's oil. We also seek to deter further aggression in the region, foster regional stability, protect U.S. nationals and property, and safeguard our access to international air and seaways. As demonstrated by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, it remains fundamentally important to prevent a hegemon or alignment of powers from dominating the region. This pertains especially to the Arabian peninsula. Therefore, we must continue to play a role through enhanced deterrence and improved cooperative security.

...

The April 16 release was more circumspect and it reaffirmed U.S. commitments to Israel as well as its Arab allies.

In the Middle East and Persian Gulf, we seek to foster regional stability, deter aggression against our friends and interests in the region, protect U.S. nationals and property, and safeguard our access to international air and seaways and to the region's oil. The United States is committed to the security of Israel and to maintaining the qualitative edge that is critical to Israel's security. Israel's confidence in its security and U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation contribute to the stability of the entire region, as demonstrated once again during the Persian Gulf War. At the same time, our assistance to our Arab friends to defend themselves against aggression also strengthens security throughout the region, including for Israel.

Neocon architects of American foreign policy are destroying American national security

Regular Americans can't even imagine the level of hate and resentment that neocon policies produce. . And those feeling became material force when they are shared by the majority of people of a particular country. In some countries it is now really uncomfortable to be an America tourist. I know the cases then American tourists in Spain pretended being from other country to avoid this resentment. But spectrum of problems neocons inflict on the USA are much wider and more dangerous. Professor Stephen Cohen recently gave a very insightful interview to  Patrick L. Smith in salon.com (Architects of American policy towards Russia and Ukraine are destroying American national security) which we will reproduce verbatim:

“Architects of American policy towards Russia and Ukraine are destroying American national security”: Stephen F. Cohen on the truths U.S. media and politicians hide

Myths of American nationalism busted as our interview with noted scholar concludes

Patrick L. Smith

If there is a lesson in Stephen F. Cohen’s professional fortunes over the past year, it is the peril of advancing a dispassionate reading of our great country’s doings abroad. Cohen’s many pieces in The Nation on the Ukraine crisis and the consequent collapse of U.S.-Russia relations now leave him in something close to a state of siege. “My problem with this begins with the fact that… I don’t have a vested interest in one of the ‘isms,’ or ideologies,” Cohen says in this, the second part of a long interview conducted last month. 

The problem lies with the ideologues infesting the waters wherein Cohen swims. Terminally poisoned by Cold War consciousness, they cannot abide disinterested thought. Cohen has been mostly scholar, partly journalist, since the 1970s. His “Sovieticus” column, launched in The Nation in the 1980s, put a magazine traditionally tilted toward domestic issues among the few American publications providing consistent analysis of Russian affairs. At this point, Cohen’s Nation essays are the bedrock scholarly work to which those (few) writing against the orthodoxy turn.

The first half of our exchange, last week on Salon, began with events during the past year and advanced toward the post-Soviet origins of the current crisis. In part two, Cohen completes his analysis of Vladimir Putin’s inheritance and explains how he came to focus his thinking on “lost alternatives”—outcomes that could have been but were not. Most surprising to me was the real but foregone prospect of reforming the Soviet system such that the suffering that ensued since its demise could have been averted.

Salon: Putin inherited a shambles, then—as he would say, “a catastrophe.”

Stephen F. Cohen: As Russia’s leader, Putin has changed over the years, especially in foreign policy but also at home. His first impulse was toward more free-market reforms, anti-progressive taxes. He enacted a 13 percent flat tax—Steve Forbes would’ve been ecstatic, right? He offers [George W.] Bush what Clinton never really offered Yeltsin: a full partnership. And what does he do? On September 11, 2001, he called George and said, Whatever you want, we’re with you. Bush says, Well, I think we’re going to have to go to war in Afghanistan. And Putin said, I can help you. We’ve got major resources and assets in Afghanistan. I even have an army over there called the Northern Alliance. I’ll give it to you! You want overflight? It’s all yours!

How many American lives did Putin save during our land war in Afghanistan? And do you know what a political price he paid in Russia for that? Because his security people were completely against it.

They were? Please explain.

Oh, yeah. You think they minded seeing America being brought to its knees? They’d been invaded so often; let America get a taste of it! But Putin assumes he’s achieved what Yeltsin couldn’t and that this benefits the Russian state. He has a real strategic partnership with America. Now, remember, he’s already worried about his radical Islamic problem because Russia has nearly 20 million Muslim citizens of its own. Russia sits in the East and in the West; it’s on the front lines.

What does Bush give him in return? He expands NATO again and he unilaterally withdraws the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the bedrock of Russia’s nuclear security— it’s a complete betrayal. Is that how you repay somebody who’s helped you save the lives of your citizens? This is where the word “betrayal” begins to enter into the discourse.

It’s an important word for Putin.

It’s not only Putin; [Dmitry] Medvedev uses it, too, when he becomes president [in 2008]. America has broken its word, it’s betrayed us, it’s deceived us, and we no longer take America at its word— well, they never should’ve in the first fucking place, just as Gorbachev should have got the promise not to expand NATO in writing. We’d have done it anyway, but at least they would have had a talking point.

This trust, this naive trust on the part of Russians, that there’s something about American presidents that makes them honorable—it suggests they need a crash course in something. This was betrayal for Putin, and for the entire Russian political class, and Putin paid a price.

I’ve heard him called, among right-wing Russian intellectuals, an appeaser of the West. Soft. You can hear this today: Mariupol? Odessa? Should’ve taken them a year ago; they belong to us. What’s he thinking? Why is he discussing it? [Mariupol and Odessa are two contested cities in the southeastern region of Ukraine.]

So Putin sets his course, and then comes this famous speech he gives in 2007 in Munich, with McCain sitting in the front row. Putin says just what I told you. He says, Look, we want to be your partner; this is what we’ve wanted to be since Gorbachev. We believe in the common European home. But every time we turn to you or we negotiate with you or we think we have an agreement with you, you act like a hegemon and everybody has to do exactly what you say if they want to be on your side. 

Putin has come to tell them that America is risking a new Cold War with more than a decade of bad behavior towards post-Soviet Russia. John McCain interprets this as the declaration of a new Cold War.

But the demonization of Putin came earlier, before the Munich speech, when he began to drive a few favorite American oligarchs [oil companies] out of the country. I looked it up: No major oil-producing country permits majority foreign ownership of its oil. So there’s a long a long history of how Putin goes from a democrat for sure in the U.S. media and an aspiring partner of America to becoming the Hitler of today, as Hillary Clinton put it. You can see what a disease it’s become, this Putin-phobia….

RT just aired a documentary in which Putin explains exactly when and why he decided to move as he did in Crimea. It’s striking: The deliberations began the night President Yanukovych was ousted in the American-supported coup last year. Can you talk about Putin’s thinking on the Crimea question, leading to the annexation? 

Putin, in my judgment, did some wrong-headed things. We now know much more about Crimea, but even given what he has said, there was an argument. It wasn’t quite as clear-cut as he says it was. There was a debate with two sides.

One side said, “Take Crimea now or fight NATO there later.” The other said, “Let the referendum [on association with Russia, held in March 2014] go forward and they’re going to vote 80-plus percent to join Russia. We don’t have to act on it; they’ve just made a request and we’ll say what we think about it. Meanwhile, we see what happens in Kiev.” The Kremlin had done polling in Crimea. And it’s the best bargaining chip Putin will have. He’ll have Crimea wanting to join Russia and he can say to Washington, Well, you would like the Crimea to remain in Ukraine? Here’s what I’d like in return: an eternal ban on NATO membership and federalization of the Ukrainian constitution, because I have to give my Crimean brethren something.

But those arguing that Crimea was the biggest bargaining chip Putin was ever going to have lost. The other side prevailed.

Now, Putin took all the credit, but that’s not what really happened. They were all dependent on intelligence coming out of Kiev and Crimea and Donbass. You see now, if you watch that film, what a turning point the overthrow of Yanukovych was. Remember, the European foreign ministers—Polish, German, and French—had brokered an agreement saying that Yanukovych would form a coalition government and stay in power until December, and that was burned in the street. I’ll never forget the massive Klitschko [Vitali Klitschko, a prizefighter-turned-political oppositionist, currently Kiev’s mayor] standing on a platform at Maidan, all 6’ 8” of him, announcing this great triumph of negotiation, and some smaller guy whipping away the microphone and saying, Go fuck yourself. This thing is going to burn in the streets. The next day it did. That night you saw what an undefeated heavyweight champion looks like when he’s terror-stricken.

This is the turning point, and “It’s all due to Putin,” but it’s all due to Putin because demonization has become the pivot of the analysis.

What do we do from here to resolve the Ukraine question? You used the word “hope” when talking about the February cease-fire, Minsk II—“the last, best hope.” It tripped me up. Hope’s a virtue, but it can also be very cruel.

Anyone of any sense and good will knows that it [the solution] lies in the kind of home rule they negotiated in the U.K.—and don’t call it a federated Ukraine if that upsets Kiev. As the constitution stands, the governors of all the Ukrainian provinces are appointed by Kiev. You can’t have that in eastern Ukraine. Probably can’t even have that in Western and Central Ukraine anymore. Ukraine is fragmenting.

I want to turn this around: what is your view of America’s strategic goal? I ask in the context of your analysis, in “Failed Crusade,” of “transitionology,” as you term the paradigm wherein Russia was supposed to transition into a free-market paradise. As the book makes clear, it amounted to the elevation and protection of crooks who asset-stripped most of an entire nation. Now we don’t hear much about Russia’s “transition.” What is Washington’s ambition now?

I think the Ukrainian crisis is the greatest blow to American national security— even greater than the Iraq war in its long-term implications— for a simple reason: The road to American national security still runs through Moscow. There is not a single major regional or issue-related national security problem we can solve without the full cooperation of whoever sits in the Kremlin, period, end of story.

Name your poison: We’re talking the Middle East, we’re talking Afghanistan, we’re talking energy, we’re talking climate, we’re talking nuclear proliferation, terrorism, shooting airplanes out of the sky, we’re talking about the two terrorist brothers in Boston.

Look: I mean American national security of the kind I care about—that makes my kids and grandkids and myself safe—in an era that’s much more dangerous than the Cold War because there’s less structure, more non-state players, and more loose nuclear know-how and materials…. Security can only be partial, but that partial security depends on a full-scale American-Russian cooperation, period. We are losing Russia for American national security in Ukraine as we talk, and even if it were to end tomorrow Russia will never, for at least a generation, be as willing to cooperate with Washington on security matters as it was before this crisis began.

Therefore, the architects of the American policy towards Russia and Ukraine are destroying American national security—and therefore I am the patriot and they are the saboteurs of American security. That’s the whole story, and any sensible person who doesn’t suffer from Putin-phobia can see it plainly.

Is it too strong to say that the point is to destabilize Moscow?

What would that mean? What would it mean to destabilize the country that may have more weapons of mass destruction than does the U.S.?

Is that indeed the ambition?

I don’t think there’s any one ambition. I come back to the view that you’ve got various perspectives in discussion behind closed doors. I guess Mearsheimer [John Mearsheimer, the noted University of Chicago scholar] is right in the sense of saying that there’s a faction in Washington that is behaving exactly as a great power would behave and trying to maximize its security, but it doesn’t understand that that’s what other great powers do, too. That’s its failure. Gorbachev and Reagan, though it wasn’t originally their idea, probably agreed on the single most important thing: Security had to be mutual. That was their agreement and they built everything on that. We have a military build-up you’re going to perceive as a threat and build up, and I will perceive your build-up as a threat… and that’s the dynamic of permanent and conventional build-up, a permanent arms race. And that’s why Gorbachev and Reagan reasoned, We’re on the edge of the abyss. That’s why we are going to declare the Cold War over, which they did.

That concept of mutual security doesn’t mean only signing contracts: It means don’t undertake something you think is in your security but is going to be perceived as threatening, because it won’t prove to be in your interest. Missile defense is the classic example: We never should have undertaken any missile defense program that wasn’t in cooperation with Russia, but, instead, we undertook it as an anti-Russian operation. They knew it and we knew it and scientists at MIT knew it, but nobody cared because some group believed that you’ve got to keep Russia down.

The truth is, not everything depends on the president of the United States. Not everything, but an awful lot does, and when it comes to international affairs we haven’t really had a president who acted as an actual statesman in regard to Russia since Reagan in 1985-88. Clinton certainly didn’t; his Russia policy was clownish and ultimately detrimental to U.S. national security interests. Bush’s was reckless and lost one opportunity after another, and Obama’s is either uninformed or completely out to lunch. We have not had a statesman in the White House when it comes to Russia since Reagan, and I am utterly, totally, 1000 percent convinced that before November 2013, when we tried to impose an ultimatum on Yanukovych—and even right now, today—that a statesman in the White House could end this in 48 hours with Putin. What Putin wants in the Ukraine crisis is what we ought to want; that’s the reality.

Interesting.

What does Putin want? He’s said the same thing and he’s never varied: He wants a stable, territorial Ukraine—Crimea excepted—and he knows that’s possible only if Ukraine is free to trade with the West and with Russia but is never a member of NATO. However, somebody’s got to rebuild Ukraine, and he’s not going to take that burden on himself, but he will help finance it through discounted energy prices. It could all be done tomorrow if we had a statesman in the White House. Tomorrow! Nobody else has to die.

I think Chancellor Merkel understands this, too.

I think she’s come to, but how strong she is and whether Washington will cut her legs out from under her as they’re trying to do now… [Shortly before this interview Senator McCain delivered a blunt attack on Merkel at a security conference in Munich for opposing the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine. The Arizona Republican was similarly critical when Merkel began to explore a diplomatic solution in Ukraine in spring 2013.]

They have very little respect for her, which is wrong.

What Lindsay Graham and McCain did in Germany, in her own country, on German national television, to her face—and the fact that she’s a woman didn’t help, either. The way they spoke to her, I can’t think of a precedent for that.

Parts of your work are very moving, and that’s not a word a lot of scholarship prompts. The enormous value the Soviet Union accreted—most Americans know nothing of this; with the media’s encouragement, we’re completely ignorant of this. There’s nothing encouraging us to understand that the hundreds of billions of misappropriated assets during the 1990s was essentially the misappropriation of Soviet wealth.

A lot of it came here, to the United States.

Can you talk about this?

I can tell you about a guy who was formerly very high up in the CIA. I called him about a something I was writing on Russian wealth smuggled through the banks into the United States, and he said, We have informed the FBI exactly where all this wealth is in the United States but we are under strict political orders to do nothing about it. Now, the interesting thing is, why now? Well, it would have badly damaged the Yeltsin regime, which the Clinton administration had unconditionally embraced, but also because that money became part of the flourishing stock and real estate markets here at that time.

Even today in Russia, when you ask people if they wish the Soviet Union hadn’t ended, you’re still getting over 60 percent, among young people, too, because they hear the stories from their parents and grandparents. It requires a separate study, but it’s not rocket science. If young kids see their grandparents dying prematurely because they’re not being paid their pensions, they’re going to resent it. When the bottom fell out of the Soviet welfare state and out of the professions, what happened in the 1990s was that the Soviet middle class— which was one of the most professional and educated, and had some savings and which therefore should have been the building block of a Russian free market sector— that middle class was wiped out, and it’s never been recreated. Instead, you got a country of impoverished people and of very, very rich people—with a small middle class serving the rich. That changed under Putin; Putin has rebuilt the middle class, gradually.

The Russian middle class isn’t the same as ours. A lot of Russia’s middle class are people who are on the federal budget: Army officers, doctors, scientists, teachers—these are all federal budget people. They’re middle class, but they don’t become middle class as autonomous property owners. A lot of my friends are members of this class, and a lot of them are very pro-Putin, but a lot of my friends are very anti-Putin, too. The thing about the Soviet Union can be summarized very simply: The Soviet Union lasted 70-plus years, so that would be less than the average life of an American male today. A person cannot jump out of his or her autobiography any more than they can jump out of their skin; it’s your life. You were born in the Soviet Union, you had your first sexual experience in the Soviet Union, you were educated, you got a career, you got married, you raised your kids: That was your life. Of course you miss it, certainly parts of it.

There were ethnic nationalities in the Soviet Union who hated it and wanted to break away, and this became a factor in 1991, but for a great many people— certainly the majority of Russians and a great many Ukrainians and Belorussians and the central Asians— it’s not surprising that 25 years later, those adults still remember the Soviet Union with affection. This is normal, and I don’t find anything bad in it. You know, Putin wasn’t actually the first to say this but he did say it and it’s brilliant and tells you who Putin is and who most Russians are. He said this: Anyone who doesn’t regret the end of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who thinks you can recreate the Soviet Union has no head. That’s it, that’s exactly right!

Didn’t Putin say that the end of the Soviet Union was the 20th century’s greatest catastrophe?

It all has to do with the word “the.” There’s no “the” in Russian. Did Putin say, in translation, that the end of the Soviet Union was “the” greatest catastrophe of the 20th century? If so, there’s something wrong with that, because for Jews it was the Holocaust. Or did he say, “one of” the greatest catastrophes?

I would have guessed the latter.

All four professional translators I sent Putin’s phrase to said you have to translate it as “one of the greatest catastrophes of the 20th century.” Now, we can have a discussion. He’s taken a moderate position, but what are the others? Fair enough, but catastrophe for whom? Americans don’t think it was a catastrophe. Putin would say, “Look, 20 million Russians found themselves outside the country when the Soviet Union broke up, that was a tragedy for them, a catastrophe. Seventy or 80 percent plunged into poverty in the 1990s, lost everything. Can I put that on the list of “one of the greatest?” I would say sure, because for everybody there’s a greater catastrophe. For the Jews there’s no catastrophe greater than the Holocaust. For the Armenians, their genocide. Again, people can’t jump out of their history. A tolerant, democratic person acknowledges that. Each people and nation has its own history. I’d like to write an article about this, but I’m not going to live long enough to write all the articles or books I want to write. We say, for example, the Russians have not come to grips with and fully acknowledged the horrors of Stalinism and its victims. I would argue in this article that they have done more to acknowledge the horrors of Stalinism than we have of slavery.

Interesting.

For example, do we have a national museum of the history of slavery in the United States? They’re building a large one in Moscow to commemorate Stalin’s victims. He recently signed a decree mandating a monument in central Moscow to those victims.

In the way of being moved by some of the things you write, I’ve wanted to ask you about this for years. It has to do with the sentiments of Russians and what they wanted, their ambitions for themselves, some form of… as I read along in these passages I kept saying, “I wonder if he’s going to use the phrase ‘social democracy.’” And, sure enough, you did. These passages got me to take Rudolph Bahro [author of “The Alternative in Eastern Europe”] off the shelf. The obvious next step after East-West tension subsided was some form of social democracy. I don’t know where you want to put it. I put it between Norway and Germany somewhere. To me what happened instead is a horrific tragedy, not only for Russia but for Eastern Europe.

My problem with this begins with the fact that I’m not a communist, I’m not a socialist, a social democrat. I’d like to have enough money to be a real capitalist, but it’s a struggle. [Laughs.] I don’t have a vested interest in one of the “isms” or the ideologies, but I agree with you. I don’t know about Eastern Europe, let’s leave it aside, but look at Russia. You’d have thought that the logical outcome of the dismantling of the Stalinist Communist system, because the system was built primarily by Stalin from the 1930s on, would have been Russian social democracy and that, of course, was what Gorbachev’s mission was. Lots of books have been written, most persuasively by Archie Brown, the great British scholar, who knows Gorbachev personally, probably as well as I do, that Gorbachev came to think of himself as a European social democrat while he was still in power. That’s what his goal was. He had this close relationship with the Social Democratic prime minister of Spain, I forget his name.

Zapatero?

I don’t remember, but I remember that they did a lot of social democratic socializing and talking.

Felipe Gonzalez, I think it was.

Gonzalez, that’s right. Gorbachev was a very well-informed man and his advisors during his years in power were mostly social democrats and had been for years. Their mission had been to transform the Soviet Union. Now, remember, Lenin began as a social democrat, and the original model for Lenin had been not only Marx but the German Social Democratic Party. The Bolshevik or Communist Party was originally the Russian Social Democratic Party, which split into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. So in a way, and I once said this to Gorbachev, historically you want to go back to Lenin before he became a Bolshevik. He said, “Well that’s kind of complicated.” Then Gorbachev said, “Everybody agrees Russia is a left-of-center country.”

The Russian people are left of center. They’re a welfare-state country. Gorbachev had this interesting conversation with Putin, when he went to tell Putin that he, Gorbachev, was going to start a social democratic party. There had been several start-ups and they never went anywhere. And Putin said that’s the right thing to do, because Russia really is a left-of-center country. So Putin said the same thing. And so Russia is, if you look at the history of Russia…

Are you talking about Russia very early, thinking about Russian givenness to community and all that?

However you put it all together, the peasant tradition, the urban tradition, the socialist tradition. Almost all the revolutionary parties were socialist. You didn’t have a Tea Party among them. This is a Russian tradition. Now, it’s obviously changed, but I would say that today, looking at the polls, most Russians overwhelmingly believe that the state has obligations that include medical care, free education, and guaranteeing everybody a job. In fact, it’s in the Russian constitution, the guarantee of a job. Most Russians feel there should not be a “free market” but a social or regulated market, that some things should be subsidized, that the government should regulate certain things, and that nobody should be too rich or too poor. For that you get 80 percent of the vote every time. So that’s a social democratic program, right? Why don’t they have it?

I ask everybody in Russia who wants a social democratic party. They exist, but not a party that can win elections? What’s the problem here? I think know, but I want to hear Russians tell me what’s right. People cite what you and I would guess. First of all, there’s the hangover from communism, which was social democratic and somewhat socialist, in some form.

Second, and this is probably the key thing, social democratic movements tended to grow out of labor movements—labor unions, historically, in England and Scandinavia and Germany. They became the political movement of the labor movement, the working class movement. So you normally get a labor movement that favors political action instead of strikes, creates a political party, you have a parliamentary system, they begin to build support in the working class, elements of the middle class join them, and you end up eventually with European social democracy.

Old Labour in Britain is a perfect example.

Well, the labor unions in Russia are a complete mess. I shouldn’t say that, but they’re complicated. The major one remains the old Soviet official one, which is in bed deeply with state employers. The independent one, or ones, haven’t been able to get enough traction. In almost every European country there were circumstances, you might say the political culture was favorable. Those objective circumstances don’t exist [in Russia]. First, you have an insecure savaged middle class that’s seen its savings confiscated or devalued repeatedly in the last 25 years. You’ve got a working class trapped between oligarchs, state interests and old industries, and private entrepreneurs who are very vulnerable. In other words, the working class itself is in transition. Its own insecurities don’t lead it to think in terms of political organizations but in terms of issues—of whether Ford Motor Company is going to fire them all tomorrow. They’re localized issues.

Then you don’t have a leadership. Leadership really matters. No one has emerged, either in the Russian parliament or in Russian political life. By the 1990s Gorbachev was past his prime and too hated for what had happened to the country. He hoped to be, when he ran for president that time [in 1996] and got 1 percent, he hoped to be the social democratic leader. There are a couple guys in Parliament who aspire to be the leader of Russian social democracy…. When I’m asked, and I’ve told this to young social democrats and to Gennady Zyuganov, whom I’ve known for 20 years, the leader of the Russian Communist Party, the only real electoral party, that Russia needs social democracy with a Russian face….

What this means is that the most important force in Russia, and people were wrong to say Putin created it, is nationalism. This began, in fact, under Stalin. It was embedded during the Brezhnev years, and it was overshadowed during perestroika in the late-1980s. Then there was an inevitable upsurge as a result of the 1990s. You cannot be a viable political candidate in Russia today unless you come to grips with nationalism.

Therefore, the best way, in my judgment, if you also want democracy, is social democracy with a Russian nationalist face. What’s interesting is the guy who was until recently the most popular opposition leader, Navalny [Alexei Navalny, the noted anti-corruption activist], who got nearly 30 per cent of the vote in the Moscow mayoral elections and then blew it by becoming again a foe of the entire system instead of building on his electoral success—he’s too nationalistic for the taste of a lot of democrats.

Truly? You wouldn’t know it from what you read.

He’s got a bad history in regards to the Caucasus people, among others. But what’s interesting in this regard is, we don’t ever speak of American nationalism. We call it patriotism. It’s weird, isn’t it? We don’t have a state, we have a government….

Every American politician who seeks the presidency in effect tries to make American nationalism the program of his or her candidacy, but they call it patriotism. They’re fully aware of the need to do this, right? So why they think Putin doesn’t have to do it, too, is completely beyond me. There’s no self-awareness.

In Russia, people had lost hope tremendously after 1991 but their hope later attached to Putin—imagine what he faced. For example, can you imagine becoming the leader of such a country and for the sake of consensus having a textbook putting together Tsarist, Soviet and post-Soviet history? Our presidents had a hard time dealing with slave and post-slave, Civil War and post-Civil War history. How do they do it? Each president did it differently, but Putin inherited this conflicting history, and the way he’s tried to patch all three together into a consensual way for Russians to view their history and to teach kids in school is very interesting. Now, of course, it’s being ruptured again with this war and with Crimea and with this new nationalism.

I’d like to change the subject. Often in the books you mention an interest in alternatives: What could’ve happened if this or that hadn’t. We just covered one, the missed opportunity for a historically logical social democratic outcome in Russia. How do you account for this tendency in your thinking?

We have formative experiences—what shaped you, at least so you think when you look back. You don’t know it at the time, you don’t know a formative experience is formative until later. You’d agree with that.

It’s only in hindsight. “Reality takes form only in memory.” Proust.

For me it was growing up in the segregated South. But the reality was valid in retrospect, because I later realized that what I was doing had been so shaped by growing up in the segregated South, the way I reacted to that and the way I learned from it later, actually, in a strange way, led me to Russia.

You suggested this in the book on gulag returnees, “The Victims Return.” I wonder if you could explain the connection. How did growing up in Kentucky [Cohen was raised in Owensboro] lead you to Russian studies, and what does it do for your analysis of the Russian situation? How does a Kentucky childhood keep you alert to alternatives?

Well, you have to remember what segregation was. I didn’t understand this as a little boy, but it was American apartheid. Owensboro, probably had fewer than  20,000 people then, including the farmers. For a kid growing up in a completely segregated county, first of all, the world you’re born into is the normal world. I had no questions about it…. I didn’t perceive the injustice of it.

And then you get older and you begin to see the injustice and you wonder, how did this happen?… At Indiana University I run into this professor who becomes my mentor, Robert C. Tucker, [Tucker, who died in 2010, was a distinguished Russianist and author of a celebrated biography of Stalin]. I’d been to Russia—accidentally, I went on a tour—and he asked, “What in Russia interests you?” And I said, “Well, I’m from Kentucky, and I’ve always wondered if there was an alternative in Kentucky’s history between being deep South and not being deep South.” And Tucker said, “You know, one of the biggest questions in Russian history is lost alternatives. Nobody ever studies them.” And I said, “Aha!”

So the title of your 2009 book, “Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives,” is in his honor?

I began to live in Russia in 1976, for two or three months a year until they took my visa away in 1982. This is when I got deeply involved in the dissident movement, smuggling manuscripts out and books back in and all these things. I begin to think, how does Russia change today? And my mind reverted to segregation and the end of segregation and the friends and foes of change…. I wrote an article called “The Friends and Foes of Change” about reformism and conservatism in the Soviet system, because I thought that it was institutions, it was culture, it was history and leaders and that you needed a conjunction of these events before you could get major change in Russia and the Soviet Union…. I published that as an article in 1976 or 1977 and I expanded it for a book I wrote, “Rethinking the Soviet Experience,” which was published in 1985, a month before Gorbachev came to power. And everybody would later say, “He foresaw Gorbachev.”

Actually I didn’t quite. What I foresaw was perestroika. For me it wasn’t about the name of the leader, but the policy such leader would enact. I got one thing wrong. Because it was so hard to make this argument in Cold War America, that the Soviet Union had a capacity for reform awaiting it, if factors came together. I didn’t think to carry the argument beyond liberalization to actual democratization. So I didn’t foresee a Gorbachev who would enact actual democratization, free voting, and dismantle the Communist Party…. But I always thought that thinking about the history of Kentucky, living through segregation, watching the change, seeing the civil rights movement, seeing the resistance to it and why helped me think more clearly about the Soviet Union under Brezhnev and about my dissident friends. And I also knew reformers in the party bureaucracy pretty well, and when we would talk at night, I never mentioned this but my mind would always kind of drift back.

The connection is not at all obvious but you explain it very well and it’s clear once you do. 

Well, sometimes people read a book that opens their eyes. I think the whole secret, particularly as you get older… Trotsky I think wrote that after some age, I think he said 39 or 45, all we do is document our prejudices. And there’s some truth to that, obviously. But one of the ways that you avoid becoming dogmatic about your own published views is to keep looking for things that challenge what you think. You try to filter them through whatever intellectual apparatus you’ve been using for, in my case, 40 years.

I thought it would be interesting to get through those sections of Kennan’s journals [“The Kennan Diaries,” 2014] that would be germane to our exchange. What struck me coming away from them was the enormous sadness and pessimism that hung over him in the later years. I wonder if you share that.

My position has always been, America doesn’t need a friend in the Kremlin. We need a national security partner. Friendships often don’t last. Partnerships based on common interests, compatible self-interests, do.

I have always known such a partnership would be difficult to achieve because there are so many differences, conflicts, and Cold War landmines. There were numerous chances to enhance the relationship—during the Nixon-Brezhnev détente period, Gorbachev and Reagan, Gorbachev and Bush, even with Putin after 9/11, when he helped [George W.] Bush in Afghanistan. But they all became lost opportunities, those after 1991 lost mainly in Washington, not Moscow.

When I speak of lost alternatives I do not mean the counter-factuals employed by novelists and some historians—the invention of “what-ifs.” I mean actual alternatives that existed politically at turning points in history, and why one road was taken and not the other. Much of my work has focused on this large question in Soviet and post-Soviet Russian history and in U.S.-Russian relations.

So you ask if I’m disappointed by the lost opportunities for an American-Russian partnership, especially in light of the terrible confrontation over Ukraine? Having struggled for such a partnership for about 40 years, yes, of course, I’m personally disappointed—and even more so by the Ukraine crisis because I think it may be fateful in the worst sense.

On the other hand, as an historian who has specialized in lost alternatives, well, now I have another to study, to put in historical context and analyze. And it’s my historical analysis—that an alternative in Ukraine was squandered primarily in Washington, not primarily in Moscow—that those who slur me don’t like.

To which I reply, Let them study history, because few of them, if any, seem ever to have done so.

Patrick Smith is the author of “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century.” He was the International Herald Tribune’s bureau chief in Hong Kong and then Tokyo from 1985 to 1992. During this time he also wrote “Letter from Tokyo” for the New Yorker. He is the author of four previous books and has contributed frequently to the New York Times, the Nation, the Washington Quarterly, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter, @thefloutist.

More Patrick L. Smith.  

Nulandgate as an example of disastrous neocon foreign policy

While moving Ukraine closer to the West might be a worthwhile goal, but handing of this geopolitical task by the USA is a classic case of "elephant in china store". Level of incompetence, Chutzpah demonstrated by Nuland and her neocon friends in State Department is simply staggering. With the level of control of Yanukovich they demonstrated  during EuroMaydan events, including their ability simply buy some key government figures (and control of a part of Ukrainian security apparatus, inherited by Yanukovich from Yushchenko, who was a pro-Western president)  the need to violet overthrow of his government is highly questionable.

As a result, Ukrainians (like Iranian and Libyans before them) became another victim of Washington's dirty geopolitical games. And they are paying for those games with their lives,  with dramatically (to the level of starvation of pensioners; and I am not exaggerating) diminished standard of living and destroyed infrastructure, completely broken economic ties with Russia -- which was the major economic partner and major market for Ukrainian goods.

While rise of Ukrainian nationalism was given, taking into account the mere fact of independence, the forms which it took are definitely sub optional. Now they have a civil war in the South East, with all the associated cruelty and destruction. In other words "Somalization" of Ukraine proceeded after February 22, 2014 at full speed. It's very easy to destroy a civil order in a fragile country, but it will take decades to repair the damage and bring citizens back to their previous level of well-being and security.

Victoria Nuland will probably enter the history as a person who instigated the start of civil war in Ukraine. Generally Ukraine proved to be another colossal failure of the USA foreign policy: they tried to hit Russia, but got closer alliance of Russia and China. And like elephant in China store they hit Ukraine first, breaking country into peaces,  destroying the economy in the process. And what West needed is a new market for manufacturing, not a new hot spot. Not another failed country that now needs to be financed and maintained by Western loans which have little chance to be repaid.  Actually the role of Germany and personally Angela Merkel in all this mess is pretty negative too, although Germans definitely can't match the level of Chitzpah of their transatlantic masters.

Important factor contributing to the failures of the US foreign policy in recent years is the decrease of the intellectual potential of the "foreign policy establishment". To see the trend it's enough to compare Kissinger or Brzezinski, with the current Secretary Kerry and Victoria Nuland. The result is the degradation of quality of the USA foreign policy, which now creates a lot of unnecessary anger and indignation in large part of Europe and Asia. Even when goals of the USA are not that imperialistic per se. 

Unlike McFaul who got Ph.D, Nuland has just BA from Brown University (1983) where she studied Russian literature, political science, and history. She never served in Russian or even any Eastern European embassy. Her major previous position were  U.S. ambassador to NATO and State Department spokeswoman. Both positions required very little diplomacy and destructive influence of being the State Department spokeswoman (which is the propagandist, not a diplomat) were clearly detrimental to her current role.  Especially, her previous position as the US ambassador to NATO which essentially conditions a person to view Russia only via hairlines. And she lacks real, native diplomatic skills which the following dialogs clearly attests:

The start of this trend toward the intellectual degradation probably has began with the collapse of the USSR. At that time, the USA elite suddenly became the actual "master of the world", which does not need to be engaged in maneuvers in international politics, but can simply to impose their will through various levers of political and economic coercion, and, if necessary, by military operations. So the USA became a bully.

The first robin of this degradation was "not so bright" Madeleine (not so bright) Albright -- an interesting example if not a female sociopath, then a pretty much borderline personality. Those personalities do not care about building lasting fundament of international relations based on UN (which was created as an effort for preventing the repeat of WWII), they were hell bent on destroying this framework to provide the USA maximum political and economic advantages in the unipolar world. As such they all work toward WWIII ( Jen, July 13, 2014 at 6:11 pm ):

Since when Madeleine Albright (she who uttered the notorious line “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” to Colin Powell) was US State Secretary, the US State Department has more or less acted as a rogue element within the US government. Not that this particular gallery of rogues has been the only one with a mind of its own. The US Treasury is dominated by Goldman Sachs management, some of whose people have investments and links with arms companies and thus clear conflicts of interest. Plus US economic and foreign policies have been dictated by University of Chicago alumni who worship Friedrich Hayek / Milton Friedman free market economics and Leo Strauss’s faux-Platonian Republic political philosophy in which a ruling elite tells lies to its subjects to keep them all under control.

Nuland can also can be viewed as example of a related trend: the trend for the appointment to senior posts in the State Department people on the criteria of loyalty to a particular clan of the political elite to the detriment of the interests of the state as a whole. This trend started under Reagan and which got in full force under Bush II and continued under Barack Obama administration. Victoria Nuland was a member of Cheney's Cabal of Zealots:

'Cabal' of Zealots - Wilkerson calls Cheney’s inner group a “cabal” of arrogant, intensely zealous, highly focused loyalists. Recalling Cheney’s staff interacting in a variety of interagency meetings and committees, “The staff that the vice president sent out made sure that those [committees] didn’t key anything up that wasn’t what the vice president wanted,” says Wilkerson.

“Their style was simply to sit and listen, and take notes. And if things looked like they were going to go speedily to a decision that they knew that the vice president wasn’t going to like, generally they would, at the end of the meeting, in great bureaucratic style, they’d say: ‘We totally disagree. Meeting’s over.’” The committee agendas were generally scuttled.

And if something did get written up as a “decision memo” bound for the Oval Office, Cheney himself would ensure that it died before ever reaching fruition.”

It does not help that Nuland is married to Washington Post columnist and neoconservative historian Robert Kagan, who helped sell the case for the Iraq War, advised both Mitt Romney and John McCain’s presidential campaigns, and co-founded the Project for a New American Century think tank with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. His credentials as neocon chickenhawk in the conservative foreign policy establishment are unimpeachable. Obama has spoken fondly of some of Kagan’s work as well.

And it does not help that her previous job was State Department spokesmen, the job which definitely further  radicalized her into right-wing neocon zealot. And would negatively effect the political views of  even more moderate person then Nuland was at the moment of her appointment.  Now she is definitely far tot he right from her husband Robert Kagan, who along with Wolfowitz is a leading US neocon:

Nuland is married to Washington Post columnist and neoconservative historian Robert Kagan, who helped sell the case for the Iraq War, advised both Mitt Romney and John McCain’s presidential campaigns, and co-founded the Project for a New American Century think tank with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. Obama has spoken fondly of some of Kagan’s work as well, but his credentials in the conservative foreign policy establishment are unimpeachable.

"Republicans are good at wielding power, but they're not so wonderful when it comes to the more idealistic motives of liberal internationalism. The Democrats are better at liberal internationalism, but they're not so good at wielding power. I would say that if there were a Joe Lieberman/John McCain party, I'm in the Joe Lieberman/John McCain party."

- Robert Kagan

Leading antiwar blogger Marcy Wheeler called her a “former Cheney hack.” In both Bush and Obama State Departments when such people commit errors, some of which had all the signs of intentional crimes, they are swiped under the carpet. This has created favorable conditions for creation of the situation when real national interests and the security of the USA were sacrificed to the private interests of individual corporations and oligarchic clans, which enriched themselves using "sacred" neoliberal principle: " profits to private corporations, expenses to the state."

This reduction of the intellectual potential of the American elite contributed to gradual replacement of real experts in the higher echelons of power with incompetents who are sometimes called "effective managers" - people with close, often family connection to powerful clans (such as neoconservatives) and who after obtaining particular position try to advance interests of those clans on international arena. Occupying senior positions, such "effective managers" select the relevant employees. Both Hillary Clinton and Victoria Nuland can be viewed as examples of this trend.

Foreign policy became yet another area in which, in best traditions of neoliberalism, the objective interests of the United States as a state are sacrificed to the interests of private corporations. for example by driving the United States into military conflicts, in result of which the country suffers tremendous losses -- both material and image-related -- and only certain corporations reap huge profits (Iraq). There are similar signs of the same intellectual degradation in other areas, for example development of new types of military hardware based on unproven technologies. Which gives zero results but still generating huge profits for military-industrial complex.

This intellectual degradation strengthen Messianic elements in the USA foreign policy, the confidence that only the USA should solely determine all the elements of the new world order in all countries. And for this trend EuroMaidan in general and Victoria Nuland in particular is a textbook example.

See more in "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place

Instead of conclusions: Neocons are the War Party

Justin Raimondo aptly described neocons as the war party:

Such phrases as "the War Party" (yes, capitalized like that), and casual mention of "the neocons" – language pretty much confined to this site, until relatively recently – are now commonplace. The anti-interventionist lexicon is defining the terms of the debate, and I think Antiwar.com can take much of the credit.

All during the period leading up to the Kosovo war – and long after – we warned of the danger posed by the neoconservatives, and their doctrine of "benevolent global hegemony," as Bill Kristol, their Lenin, put it in 1996. In my first column, dated February 26, 1999, I wrote:

"Well-funded and well-connected, the War Party is such a varied and complex phenomenon that a detailed description of its activities, and its vast system of interlocking directorates and special interests, both foreign and domestic, would fill the pages of a good-sized book. The alternative is to break down the story, and serve up its constituent parts in brief glimpses, portraits of individuals and organizations that lobbied hard for this war and its bloody prosecution."

Except that the war I was referring to was the Kosovo war, those words might easily have been written today. The face of the enemy is unchanged: what's changed is that it is increasingly recognized, and resented. That is what we have been doing, here at www.antiwar.com: revealing, with every link and article, the many faces of the War Party – in all its aspects, and from a wide variety of viewpoints.

Our eclecticism has been the focus of criticism by some: David Frum, the ex-White House speechwriter turned neocon enforcer of political correctness, recently took us to task for running links to pieces by John Pilger, Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, Alexander Cockburn, and other demons of the right-wing imagination. It is typical of Commissar Frum that he would misunderstand the whole purpose of linking in this way: the very concept of the internet, with its constant cross-referencing interconnectivity, is utterly alien to the party-lining neocon mentality.

Another problem for the neocons is that it's much harder to smear someone on the internet than it is on paper, without showing up the smearer as a liar. In criticizing the views of an opponent, one is obliged to come up with a link – so that readers can see for themselves if the criticism is fair. The artful use of ellipses no longer works, because the entire context of a statement is readily available. Of course, one always can do what Commissar Frum did in his National Review screed against antiwar libertarians and conservatives, and not provide any links to the targets of abuse. But that isn't very convincing. Indeed, it is highly suspicious: no wonder many conservatives are now rising up against the self-appointed arbiters of political correctness on the Right. The neocon campaign to smear conservative opponents of the Iraq war as "anti-American" has backfired badly – and we at Antiwar.com take a special pride in knowing that this site had a lot to do with that.

We have, from the beginning, cultivated anti-interventionist sentiment on the Right, not only among libertarians – who already accept it as a defining principle of their ideology – but also among conservatives. The idea that we cannot be a republic and an empire is finally beginning to dawn on the advocates of limited government -–as they see the national security state swallowing up the last of our freedoms. Big Brother reads our email and tracks our every move, while Big Government just keeps on getting bigger.

Conservatives are catching on, and, while Antiwar.com alone can't take credit for this, what we can take credit for is amplifying and popularizing anti-interventionist views on the right, injecting them into the national debate.

Over the years Antiwar.com has presented a wide range of opinion, from left to right and all points in between, yet we have always been pretty up-front about our own ideological predilections. We are libertarians: we stand for the free market, and we don't take the view that American culture and American capitalism are the repositories of all that is wrong with the world. We reserve that role for governments –notably, and especially lately, the U.S. federal government.

We support the antiwar movement, yet we are not uncritical: far from it. We have tried to promote some sense of self-awareness, and of responsibility, while doing our best to correct what we view as the mistakes and misconceptions that are rife in antiwar circles. You may not always agree with our analysis – of tactics, or of general principles – but it is hard to contend that we haven't consistently tried to broaden and deepen the anti-interventionist current, in America and internationally.

Looking back on where we've been, I am filled with pride – and a sense of optimism. Looking ahead, however, to the prospect of future wars, I can feel only a gathering sense of dread.

My friend Pat Buchanan has recently posed the question: "Is the Neoconservative Moment Over?" He makes the case that the worst may already be behind us:

"The salad days of the neoconservatives, which began with the president's Axis-of-Evil address in January 2002 and lasted until the fall of Baghdad may be coming to an end. Indeed, it is likely the neoconservatives will never again enjoy the celebrity and cachet in which they reveled in their romp to war on Iraq.

"…the high tide of neoconservatism may have passed because the high tide of American empire may have passed. 'World War IV,' the empire project, the great cause of the neocons, seems to have been suspended by the President of the United States."

It's a nice thought, but I don't believe it for a moment. Not when the same propaganda campaign once directed at Iraq is now being launched against Iran; not when leading politicians declare that U.S. troops may have to go after Hamas – and certainly not as long as the President of the United States reserves the "right" to carry out a policy of "regime change" as a means of preemptive "defense."

The empire project may or may not be temporarily suspended: perhaps stalled is the right word. We can be sure, however, that the War Party isn't going away. As long as they're around, and more active than ever, Antiwar.com is a necessity. But our continued existence is by no means assured.

Unlike the interventionists, who lavish billions – much of it taxpayer dollars – on their permanent propaganda campaign, Antiwar.com doesn't have access to unlimited funding. Arrayed against us is the whole complex of neocon think tanks, newspaper chains, radio networks and special interests that keep the arteries of the media clogged with a constant stream of warmongering disinformation and outright fabrications. We have no Rupert Murdoch, no "merchants of death," and no government subsidies to fill our coffers. We depend on you, our readers, for the support we need to survive.

... ... ...


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The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.

And while you're studying that reality-judiciously, as you will-we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."[2]

An unnamed aide to George W. Bush (later attributed to Karl Rove:

Reality-based community - Wikipedia

[Feb 17, 2018] Former CIA Chief Admits US Meddling In Foreign Elections For Their Own Good

Notable quotes:
"... How about Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa? Fuck Allen Dulles, Mike Pompeo, and everybody in-between! ..."
"... BTW, Victoria Noodles will be very disappointed Ukraine didn't make the list after all of her hard work. ..."
"... Victoria "F*ck the EU" Nuland and the CIA were all over the Ukrainian "coup", but of course no mention of that on "Fair and Balanced". Laura Ingram is a typical Fox News Zio-Nazi bitch, hiding behind a cross, who apparently believes her own BS, and along others like Hannity have blood on their hands. ..."
"... You can always spot a psychopathic liar by their predisposition to smile or laugh at questions that are not humorous. Laura Ingraham is a neocon mouth-peice for the establishment. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Former CIA chief James Woolsey appeared on Fox News to push the narrative of how dastardly 'dem Russkies' are in their meddling with the sacred soul of America's democracy.

Woolsey did his patriotic deep-state-duty and proclaimed the evils of "expansionist Russia" and dropped 'facts' like "Russia has a larger cyber-army than its standing army," before he moved on to China and its existential threats.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SpWai3kZ-gM

But then, beginning at around 4:30 , the real debacle of the conversation begins as Ingraham asks Woolsey,

"Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries' elections?"

Hes responds, surprisingly frankly...

"Oh probably... but it was for the good of the system..."

To which Ingraham follows up...

"We don't do that now though? We don't mess around in other people's elections?"

Prompting this extraordinary sentence from a former CIA chief...

"Well...hhhmmm, numm numm numm numm... only for a very good cause...in the interests of democracy"

So just to clarify - yes, the CIA chief admitted that Democracy-spreading 'Murica meddled in the Democratic elections of other nations "in the interests of democracy."

In case you wondered which ones he was referring to, here's a brief selection since 1948...

2016: UK (verbal intervention against Brexit)
2014: Afghanistan (effectively re-writing Afghan constitution)
2014: UK (verbal intervention against Scottish independence)
2011: Libya (providing support to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi)
2009: Honduras (ousting President Zelaya)
2006: Palestine (providing support to oust Prime Minister Haniyeh)
2005: Syria (providing support against President al-Assad)
2003: Iran (providing support against President Khatami)-
2003: Iraq (ousting of President Hussein)
2002: Venezuela (providing support to attempt an overthrow of President Chavez)
1999: Yugoslavia (removing Yugoslav forces from Kosovo)
1994: Iraq (attempted overthrow of President Hussein)
1991: Haiti (ousting President Aristide)
1991: Kuwait (removing Iraqi forces from Kuwait)
1989: Panama (ousting General Noriega)
1983: Grenada (ousting General Austin's Marxist forces)
1982: Nicaragua (providing support
1971: Chile (ousting President Allende)
1967: Indonesia (ousting President Sukarno)
1964: Brazil (ousting President Goulart)
1964: Chile (providing support against Salvador Allende)
1961: Congo (assassination of leader Lumumba)
1958: Lebanon (providing support to Christian political parties)
1954: Guatemala (ousting President Arbenz)
1953: Iran (ousting Prime Minister Mossadegh)
1953: Philippines (providing support to the President Magsaysay campaign)
1948: Italy (providing support to the Christian Democrats campaign)

(h/t @Yogi_Chan)


gellero Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:18 Permalink

What?? No Ukrania ???

Stan522 -> gellero Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:23 Permalink

obama sent in operatives into Israel to mess with Bibi....... They missed that one too....

skbull44 -> Stan522 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:25 Permalink

It's always for the children...

https://olduvai.ca

TBT or not TBT -> skbull44 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:29 Permalink

Yeah, a little bit for the children, but primarily it's for the stockholders and upper management, with some serious trickle down to their children.

Looney -> TBT or not TBT Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:32 Permalink

How about Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa? Fuck Allen Dulles, Mike Pompeo, and everybody in-between!

Looney

Mango327 -> manofthenorth Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:01 Permalink

This Russia bullshit has gotta stop. For the love of God, it's been like two and a a half years now. If Vladimir Putin was as twice as evil as we're told, he still wouldn't be half as evil as the Clintons are on any given Thursday.

MUELLER IS A JOKE, ABOLISH the F.B.I.

https://youtu.be/wC_Ro80LlhE

SoilMyselfRotten -> skbull44 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:47 Permalink

Democracy? Annnnnnnd it's gone! No wonder the rest of the world thinks we've collectively lost our minds. BTW, Victoria Noodles will be very disappointed Ukraine didn't make the list after all of her hard work.

marysimmons -> SoilMyselfRotten Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:16 Permalink

Victoria "F*ck the EU" Nuland and the CIA were all over the Ukrainian "coup", but of course no mention of that on "Fair and Balanced". Laura Ingram is a typical Fox News Zio-Nazi bitch, hiding behind a cross, who apparently believes her own BS, and along others like Hannity have blood on their hands.

The whole purpose of the Mueller indictment was to give the mainstream outlets something to report so idiot Americans will believe the crap put out about Russia since the Winter Olympics in Sochi and set the tone to justify a military conflict with Russia that won't end well for anyone, IMO

veritas semper -> marysimmons Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:40 Permalink

And Victoria Nuland Kagan is now Senior Adviser in the Donald's Department of Defense. See, kids, how the swamp is drained?

New_Meat -> marysimmons Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:46 Permalink

mary, just a touch catty tonight, don't cha' think?

Zio-Nazi? How dat work?

Whole purpose of the Mueller indictments is to give the folks a show to prove that their money hasn't been wasted on a Trump collusion charge for collusion that started in 2014 when Trump was prolly out schlongin' some playmate or other..

TheSilentMajority -> Looney Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:47 Permalink

They didu sumtin.

Deep Snorkeler -> skbull44 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:38 Permalink

America plays political-economic pranks on the rest of the world for the good of the system. It's worked out well.

Dumpster Elite -> Stan522 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:28 Permalink

I kinda wondered why they missed that one, too. I've seen that list on here before. I guess messing with Israel's elections doesn't fit the ZH narrative?

Justin Case -> Stan522 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:36 Permalink

That anchor sounds like she would be a good candidate for a gender change, meat stick and tea bag.

Vilfredo Pareto -> Stan522 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:00 Permalink

They missed post war Greece too, Albania, and a ton of others.

Bastiat -> Vilfredo Pareto Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:18 Permalink

. . . and Australia: watch The Falcon and the Snowman, if you haven't.

TheSilentMajority -> gellero Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:51 Permalink

Rothschilds at it again?

keep the basta -> gellero Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:53 Permalink

No Australia? Whitlam dismissal 11/11/1975 even wiki lists it

dirty fingernails Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:20 Permalink

The US is working hard to make banana republics look respectable

TBT or not TBT -> dirty fingernails Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:31 Permalink

We're The Most Interesting Banana Republic In The World.

Justin Case -> dirty fingernails Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:45 Permalink

to make banana republics look respectable

Not like a shit hole?

Bay Area Guy Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:20 Permalink

I generally can't stand Laura, but that was a spot on question. America is the quintessential "do as I say and not as I do" government.

chunga -> Bay Area Guy Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:33 Permalink

Among the many things sorely lacking in uncle sam is simple humility.

rwe2late Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:29 Permalink

Woolsey is an evil man. I doubt if he really believes. that the murders and tortures he presided over were for "their own good".

Ms No -> rwe2late Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:55 Permalink

No way he believes it. One thing about people who lack human empathy is that they would NEVER fall for the same tricks that the empathy having population does. They will always see the angle. It's what their brain is devoted to. All the capacity that we use to be reflective, emotional or caring all goes to angling for advantage with them. He knows exactly why people are tortured and couldn't give a shit less. You are either shark or mutilated gold fish as far as he is concerned.

New_Meat -> rwe2late Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:51 Permalink

Woolsey is an evil man, for a certainty. But, au contraire, I bet he does believe it is for their own good. Whoever "they" are that he's doin' shit to. Like the Jesuits in Andalusia, purging the non-believers.

- Ned

dizzyfingers Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:29 Permalink

This repeats our own terrible history: Tom Landess on "The Dark Side of Abraham Lincoln," and the week in review at the Abbeville Institute.

serotonindumptruck Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:31 Permalink

You can always spot a psychopathic liar by their predisposition to smile or laugh at questions that are not humorous. Laura Ingraham is a neocon mouth-peice for the establishment.

Dumpster Elite Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:32 Permalink

It really would be a new dawn for this country if the entire Deep State were outed, and publicly executed. I know that sounds like tinfoil hat talk, but hey, I'm sure the NSA is all over me right about now. Too bad they can't seem to find serial killers that say they're going to shoot up a school online. Too busy trying to shut up those that don't like the Deep State.

Ms No Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:50 Permalink

They have always done this and every single other accusation that they have levied against other "tyrants". The crazy train continues to pick up speed.

OT: Wales may have had a fracking quake. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM4Wcqe6s_s

This is pretty funny. "Footage" of quake. Fracking quakes usually are not that big but it did drop masonry off of buildings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEI4cSd4B38

Paracelsus Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:52 Permalink

Ummm, Fidel Castro, Cuba, 1962 ? Leading up to Dallas? Which led to LBJ and ramp up of Indochina. If you look closely you will see that there was a huge little war going on in Laos, lots of bombing of the Ho Chi Minh trail from fighter bombers based in Thailand.

Also, Australia. The 1972 Whitlam dismissal was a bloodless coup d'état. Whitlam recognized North Vietnam which pissed off a bunch of people in Langley. The pilots were on strike and they couldn't fly parts and crew into Alice Springs (Pine Gap Satellite facility). The Aussies have long memories and it will be a cold day in hell before they trust the Yanks like before. This is a country with a strong sense of injustice. The Aussies still talk about the "bodyline" cricket scandal with the Brits, and that happened in the 1930's....

[Feb 17, 2018] Victoria Nuland Kagan is now Senior Adviser in the Donald's Department of Defense

Notable quotes:
"... So just to clarify - yes, the CIA chief admitted that Democracy-spreading 'Murica meddled in the Democratic elections of other nations "in the interests of democracy." ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

So just to clarify - yes, the CIA chief admitted that Democracy-spreading 'Murica meddled in the Democratic elections of other nations "in the interests of democracy."

In case you wondered which ones he was referring to, here's a brief selection since 1948...

2016: UK (verbal intervention against Brexit)
2014: Afghanistan (effectively re-writing Afghan constitution)
2014: UK (verbal intervention against Scottish independence)
2011: Libya (providing support to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi)
2009: Honduras (ousting President Zelaya)
2006: Palestine (providing support to oust Prime Minister Haniyeh)
2005: Syria (providing support against President al-Assad)
2003: Iran (providing support against President Khatami)-
2003: Iraq (ousting of President Hussein)
2002: Venezuela (providing support to attempt an overthrow of President Chavez)
1999: Yugoslavia (removing Yugoslav forces from Kosovo)
1994: Iraq (attempted overthrow of President Hussein)
1991: Haiti (ousting President Aristide)
1991: Kuwait (removing Iraqi forces from Kuwait)
1989: Panama (ousting General Noriega)
1983: Grenada (ousting General Austin's Marxist forces)
1982: Nicaragua (providing support
1971: Chile (ousting President Allende)
1967: Indonesia (ousting President Sukarno)
1964: Brazil (ousting President Goulart)
1964: Chile (providing support against Salvador Allende)
1961: Congo (assassination of leader Lumumba)
1958: Lebanon (providing support to Christian political parties)
1954: Guatemala (ousting President Arbenz)
1953: Iran (ousting Prime Minister Mossadegh)
1953: Philippines (providing support to the President Magsaysay campaign)
1948: Italy (providing support to the Christian Democrats campaign)

(h/t @Yogi_Chan)


gellero Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:18 Permalink

SoilMyselfRotten -> skbull44 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:47 Permalink

Democracy? Annnnnnnd it's gone! No wonder the rest of the world thinks we've collectively lost our minds. BTW, Victoria Noodles will be very disappointed Ukraine didn't make the list after all of her hard work.

marysimmons -> SoilMyselfRotten Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:16 Permalink

Victoria "F*ck the EU" Nuland and the CIA were all over the Ukrainian "coup", but of course no mention of that on "Fair and Balanced". Laura Ingram is a typical Fox News Zio-Nazi bitch, hiding behind a cross, who apparently believes her own BS, and along others like Hannity have blood on their hands.

The whole purpose of the Mueller indictment was to give the mainstream outlets something to report so idiot Americans will believe the crap put out about Russia since the Winter Olympics in Sochi and set the tone to justify a military conflict with Russia that won't end well for anyone, IMO

veritas semper -> marysimmons Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:40 Permalink

And Victoria Nuland Kagan is now Senior Adviser in the Donald's Department of Defense.

See, kids, how the swamp is drained?

[Feb 17, 2018] Iran is already being attacked from West and East in the North

Feb 17, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: ninel | Feb 11, 2018 3:59:15 PM

Here is an interesting article that points to the new American strategy with respect to Iran and central Asia. Iran is already being attacked from West and East in the North. And central Asia is next. This might force Iran to pull back some forces from Syria and Iraq.

No end to the wars.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/02/06/us-isis-nexus-afghanistan-becomes-hot-topic.html

[Feb 17, 2018] What s good for the Jews Stephen Miller by Marcus Alethia

Notable quotes:
"... Culture of Critique ..."
"... The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State. ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

Young right-leaning Jews don't have many Jewish figures to look up to. Illustrious elder scholar and "alt right godfather" Paul Gottfried . Taki columnist and revisionist David Cole Stein . Brilliant neo-reactionary thinker and half-Jew Curtis Yarvin ( Mencius Moldbug ).

But thankfully we now have Stephen Miller, the 32-year old Trump advisor and immigration hard-liner recently blamed by Democratic senators for scuttling their desired amnesty deal for illegal immigrants. Transparently, the Dems are trying to spoil Trump's relationship with Miller, as they did with Bannon, by insinuating that Miller is pulling Trump's strings. Of course it is absurd to suggest that Trump is anything but his own man. But Miller is a crucially important figure in the Trump administration and his influence is, from what I can tell, entirely positive for the interest of Americans concerned with mass immigration and the very tangible threat of Europeans and people of European descent becoming minorities in their own countries.

Jews, and Americans overall, need more Stephen Millers. Brash, unafraid, quick-witted, verbally formidable, and unabashedly "America First," Miller is a powerful spokesman for economic nationalist positions , anti-globalism , and for preserving this country's original culture and people against the Democratic scheme to flood it with illegal and legal immigrants whose main gift to America will be their reliable Democratic votes in every future election. Miller is roundly despised by the establishment for his positions and rhetoric. Nancy Pelosi has called Miller a "White supremacist," while others on the left have compared him to Joseph Goebbels . He's the only Jew I can think of offhand that the mainstream media actively encourages the country to hate.

But we Jews should be honest: for every mensch like Miller, we have shmucks like Tim Wise , Noel Ignativ , Rob Reiner , Charles Schumer, and thousands of other high-profile Jews who seem to hate or fear White Christian Americans and seek to hasten their demise as the ethnic majority of this country. Yes, we Jews have Miller, but we also have the ADL and the SPLC -- powerful well-funded groups who conduct witch hunts against anyone who dares speak out against multiculturalism, open-borders, globalist doctrine, or who dares to criticize Jews. Jewish political influence in the US is still overwhelmingly negative, despite the great work of a few good Jews.

As an American (first) and Jew (second) who supports Trump and Trumpism, the European New Right, and anyone concerned with the long-term impacts of mass immigration, I want to see more Jews, particularly younger, Generation Z Jews move to our ideological side. I have tried to explore my own motivations for this. Why do I find myself so far to the Right on the issue of immigration and of protecting European cultures and peoples? Why do I hope other Jews follow me on this ideological journey? And there is growing indication they are.

First of all, it has nothing to do with being "self-hating", a common but largely asinine Jewish slur used against Jews who step out of line. I neither hate myself or Jews collectively. Like many non-Jewish critics of Jews, I just want Jews to stop attacking Europeans and their descendants in their former colonies by pushing destructive ideologies and policies.

Secondly, I agree with the major criticism of Jews and certainly of Jewish activists: that they seek to do what they think is good for Jews, while hiding their ethnocentrism by pretending their interests are universalist. Self-interest is often disguised as "tikun olam," bringing light to the world.

Most importantly, accepting some of the recent critique of the JQ, or the Jewish role in the West's current situation -- without thinking the situation is simple, monocausal, or part of a grand conspiracy, I view it as important to think about what Jews can do positively in the current year.

It seems clear that ethnic Jewish activists in the 20 th century had a conscious or subconscious fear of European Christians maintaining their ethnic or cultural identities, and this manifested itself in the various movements MacDonald brilliantly analyzes in the Culture of Critique : the anthropology of race, psychoanalysis, communism, the Frankfort School and Cultural Marxism. When Jewish activists pushed through immigration reform in the US, the effects were absolutely transformative. Jews largely achieved their goals, or maybe even surpassed them. Now, more than 50 years later, we can re-examine the question: was this actually good for the Jews?

To me the answer to this question is a resounding NO. To look at just one simple factor: the people pouring into the US in recent years are no more Jew-friendly then the White Americans who made up almost 90% of the county in 1960 were. In fact, they are likely to be considerably less Jew friendly. Mexicans have no special relationship with Jews or with Israel. Neither do Somalis, or Syrians, or Afghans, or MS-13. Identity-politics obsessed leftist college activists have already made it quite clear that Jews who side against them are to be viewed as White s -- their Jewishness will not protect them. This trend will continue, and Jews will become Whites in the eyes of the many people who hate Whites. However different things may have looked to our parents' or grandparents' generation, there is no tangible benefit today to ordinary American Jews today from the importation of quarter of Mexico's population, or to ordinary French Jews from a million new Muslims. To think otherwise is to deny reality.

A main motivation for Jewish activism on immigration and other related issues was Jewish fear of being a major outgroup in American society. Perhaps these fears may have seemed real in the wake of the Second World War, or perhaps even then they were delusional. Today, they seem absurd. Maybe it is a generational thing, or maybe my Jewish identification is too weak, or maybe it was the context I grew up in; but I just can't understand American Jews having feelings of fear or hostility towards White Christian Americans in general. I grew up around White Christians; work with them; live amongst them; and count many as friends, neighbors, colleagues or teachers. Jewish neurosis or not, a generalized Jewish fear of American Whites is, in my view, insane. Granted, things could change in the future if we reach such a desperate state that American Whites begin to focus on some of the negative influence Jews have had in changing their society, and collectively determine to do something about it. But flooding the country with immigrants doesn't lessen the possibility that will happen. Quite the opposite, it increases it.

Given that, what is really best for the Jews? As American Whites slowly begin to wake up to the reality of their own ethnic interests, what kind of Jews do we want as our representatives in the public sphere: Stephen Miller or Charles Schumer?

From my point of view, what is "best for the Jews" is to realize that while Jewish elites have been pushing a corrosive and destructive agenda for 50 years or more, the rest of us are under no obligation to support it. Being Jewish doesn't mean one has to be a leftist or multiculturalist booster, or work to disenfranchise White majorities in traditionally White countries. Stephen Miller is proof of that.

But there is another response to the question "what is good for the Jews?" that is also worth serious consideration by American Jews. The response is: who cares? Seriously, look at the current state of Jews in America. Jews have an extremely disproportionate share of control over the media, entertainment industry, banking and financial sector, law, medicine, academia, and important policy-making institutions. Jews are the wealthiest ethnic group in the country. I don't allege any conspiracy here. Jews' tendency to position ourselves close to power is well described in Benjamin Ginsberg's The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State. Jews have high IQs and are excellent verbalists, and obviously Jewish nepotism exists as well. While I abhor the contemporary politicized notion of "privilege" that minority groups use to cover up their lack of rational argument, it would be dishonest to not admit that if there is a privileged ethnic group in the US today, that group is not Whites as a whole, but Jews.

It is impossible to look at the situation objectively and not see that generally things have been going very well for American Jews, and certainly for Jewish elites, for some time. There is thus no reason to spend time and energy thinking about what is good for the Jews. Even if things do go wildly wrong for diaspora Jews in the future, we have a viable ethnostate that we know will take us in; a luxury few other peoples in the world possess.

There are abundant reasons however to worry about the welfare of Europeans and people of European descent. The migration crisis in Europe and the reality of looming major demographic increases in Africa and the Middle East that could drive much larger waves of migrants are rapidly creating a potential future in which entire peoples could become minorities in their own countries. In the US, demographic changes due to migration and considerably higher fertility rates among immigrants will alter the country permanently unless drastic changes to immigration policies are made. Jews need to focus our "tikun olam" on the moral necessity of protecting ethnic homelands and cultures in Europe, and the neo-Europes. In Stephen Miller we see a Jew who seems to understand what needs to be done. There is no reason other American Jews can't follow his lead.

In my view, in 2018 what's good for the Jews is for us to stop thinking about what's good for the Jews and start thinking about the right to self-determination and survival for the people we live amongst: the people who have facilitated the most stunning successes of our tribe's history in diaspora to date, Americans, Europeans, and people of European descent. (Republished from The Occidental Observer by permission of author or representative)

[Feb 17, 2018] Neo-McCarthyite Hysteria at US Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

Notable quotes:
"... The concern of the American ruling class is not Russian or Chinese "subversion," but the growth of social opposition within the United States. The narrative of "Russian meddling" has been used to justify a systematic campaign to censor the Internet and suppress free speech. ..."
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

The concern of the American ruling class is not Russian or Chinese "subversion," but the growth of social opposition within the United States. The narrative of "Russian meddling" has been used to justify a systematic campaign to censor the Internet and suppress free speech.

Senator Mark Warner

The performance of Senator Mark Warner , the ranking Democrat on the committee, was particularly obscene. Warner, whose net worth is estimated at $257 million, appeared to be doing his best impersonation of Senator Joe McCarthy . He declared that foreign subversion works together with, and is largely indistinguishable from, "threats to our institutions from right here at home."

Alluding to the publication of the so-called Nunes memo, which documented the fraudulent character of the Democratic-led investigation of White House "collusion" with Russia, Warner noted,

"There have been some, aided and abetted by Russian Internet bots and trolls, who have attacked the basic integrity of the FBI and the Justice Department."

Responding to questioning from Warner, FBI Director Christopher Wray praised the US intelligence agencies' greater "engagement" and "partnership" with the private sector, concluding,

"We can't fully police social media, so we have to work with them so that they can police themselves."

Wray was referring to the sweeping measures taken by social media companies, working directly with the US intelligence agencies, to implement a regime of censorship, including through the hiring of tens of thousands of "content reviewers," many with intelligence backgrounds, to flag, report and delete content.

The assault on democratic rights is increasingly connected to preparations for a major war, which will further exacerbate social tensions within the United States. Coats prefaced his remarks by declaring that "the risk of inter-state conflict, including among great powers, is higher than at any time since the end of the Cold War."

As the hearing was taking place, multiple news outlets were reporting that potentially hundreds of Russian military contractors had been killed in a recent US air strike in Syria. This came just weeks after the publication of the Pentagon's National Defense Strategy, which declared,

"Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security."

However, the implications of this great-power conflict are not simply external to the US "homeland." The document argues that "the homeland is no longer a sanctuary," and that "America is a target," for "political and information subversion" on the part of "revisionist powers" such as Russia and China.

Since "America's military has no preordained right to victory on the battlefield," the only way the US can prevail in this conflict is through the "seamless integration of multiple elements of national power," including "information, economics, finance, intelligence, law enforcement and military."

In other words, America's supremacy in the new world of great-power conflict requires the subordination of every aspect of life to the requirements of war. In this totalitarian nightmare, already far advanced, the police, the military and the intelligence agencies unite with media and technology companies to form a single seamless unit, whose combined power is marshaled to manipulate public opinion and suppress political dissent.

The dictatorial character of the measures being prepared was underscored by an exchange between Wray and Republican Senator Marco Rubio , who asked whether Chinese students were serving as spies for Beijing.

"What is the counterintelligence risk posed to US national security from Chinese students, particularly those in advanced programs in the sciences and mathematics?" asked Rubio.

Wray responded that

"the use of nontraditional collectors, especially in the academic setting, whether it's professors, scientists, students, we see in almost every field office that the FBI has around the country, not just in major cities, small ones as well, basically every discipline."

This campaign, with racist overtones, recalls the official rationale -- defense of "national security" -- used to justify the internment of some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry during the Second World War.

In its open letter calling for a coalition of socialist, antiwar and progressive websites against Internet censorship, the World Socialist Web Site noted that

"the ruling class has identified the Internet as a mortal threat to its monopolization of information and its ability to promote propaganda to wage war and legitimize the obscene concentration of wealth and extreme social inequality."

It is this mortal threat -- and fear of the growth of class conflict -- that motivate the lies and hypocrisy on display at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

The original source of this article is World Socialist Web Site Copyright © Andre Damon , World Socialist Web Site , 2018

[Feb 17, 2018] News Watch A Reading on Collective Angst naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... or like viewing old photos of the Robber Barons. The msm has stopped trying to convince middle class readers it's 'on their side', imo. A few have gone full plutocrat friendly. Anything that rocks the plutocrats boats must be caused by 'russians, russians, russians', or outside agitators, or foreigners of one kind or another – not 'real' Americans. ..."
"... Exactly the kind of things the robber barons and their press said 100+ years ago about working class workers striking for better wages and working conditions. ..."
"... I agree in the regard to the seeming reduction in analytical quantity and quality. I think you're right with it being caused by reductions in newsroom staff, but I think the type of journalists we have has also changed drastically. ..."
"... In this real world context, this guy wants to promote an unnecessary new cold war to get Democrats elected. Truly disgusting and insane. ..."
"... Not only disgusting and insane, but politically stupid. Any Democrat politician who thinks that promoting Unhinged Russia Hysteria is a winning political strategy is guilty of political malpractice. ..."
"... seems to be what she and they are pushing(unhinged Russia hysteria ) as a winning political strategy. ..."
"... That's what people are going to remember when they go to the voting booth in 2018 (if they even bother) – while the Democrats where whining about Putin and Russia and doing nothing productive whatsoever to improve people's lives, Trump gave everybody more $$$. ..."
"... The "official" narratives from much of the MSM are increasingly removed from any reality experienced by the majority. For example, the latest is a report from Hamilton that much of the social media activity concerning the Florida school shooting is now infested and promoted by Russian bots "to sow division". How more absurd could it be? ..."
"... I have it on good authority that the whole rebranding of the KKK first as the CCC than as the NRA was a long-term Soviet Russian plot to cause an epidemic of mass shootings that would undermine not only US 'Democracy', but the entire capitalist juggernaut! ..."
"... Following up on something Lambert wrote once, it seems that pundits who are incapable of using the term "working class" without somehow attaching the word "white" to it are -- besides not really being on the left -- also more likely than others to push the "Russia ate my Election" nonsense. ..."
"... I think what the horrid warmongering article in Useless News misses is that the flyover states, which supply the troops for the wars, are getting war weary (and why not). Trump capitalized on this in the election, and there was a positive correlation at IIRC the county level between war casualities and troop support. ..."
"... An anti-war candidate who could make the case in the flyover states might really make an impact. ..."
"... I wholeheartedly agree about how a significant factor is that the mainstream media insists on viewing everything through ridiculously contrived "lenses" (Trump, "Russia-gate", Brexit, harassment) and, intentionally I would claim, deliberately obscuring the real problems (wealth distribution, neoliberalism, collapse of the social contract). ..."
"... whatever other news there is seems weirdly predictable and is based around personalities, rather than communities and systems. ..."
"... Animals become agitated in advance of earthquakes. It may be that the reason for angst does not lie in the past, but in the future. In general, so many of the stories are predictable self-parodies, from the Democrats relentless pursuit of the mythical 'moderate insurgents' in republican suburbs, and their comical screeching about Putin, to the drumbeat stories attacking Trump for Obama policies, to the contortions of the neocon policy apparatus trying to justify occupation and regime change in Syria, without mentioning those goals ..."
"... For me, this is key. When I cast my eye upon the news I'm greeted with unrelenting bleakness. Trump's cruel and terrible health plan was big news for months, then his terrible tax cut plan, now his terrible budget. Foreign affairs are equally bleak: the Democrats are busy stirring up a second Cold War. There's no end in sight to the trillions of dollars our nation spends every year on waste and destructive mayhem. Sociopathic corporations and octogenarian billionaires own this country. It's difficult to see anything positive on the horizon. ..."
"... There are two Americas. The news is mostly for and from the one that protects the rentier or elite class. They send their children to private schools. The second one has children who go to public schools who get shot and killed by gunmen that the school and law authorities have been warned about and then decide it's not worth their attention. ..."
"... I think we have reached America's breaking point. Shitty jobs, shitty pay, shitty hours, no hope of affordable housing anywhere, no advancement, massive amounts debt, no easy access to medical care, uneven safety nets, denigration, lack of mutual respect, a lifetime of working with little hope of a safe retirement it's just not pretty out here. ..."
"... I think we are still in a Wile E. Coyote moment where he has gone off the cliff but gravity has not taken hold yet (cartoons don't understand parabolic arcs, similar to central banks and politicians). One of the purposes of financial crises like 2008 is to reset the playing field. The inequality and inefficiency of the Roaring 20s got reset in the 1930s where many people who had paper wealth, but large debt, collapsed and regulation followed that survived for 60 years in preventing similar scenarios. The 2009-2016 period missed that window of opportunity as the focus became preserving the people who had destabilized the system. That meant the damage was one-sided to the bottom 90%. The top 10% are largely disconnected, deliberately, from what is going on with the bottom 90% and as a result are baffled about the swelling unrest in the country. That unrest is still largely unfocused and just burps out random things right now like the Tea Party, Trump, Sanders etc. ..."
"... The only good news to come out of the Florida shooting is that the young people are beginning to realize that they are cannon fodder (literally) in the cynical political battles waged by their elders. ..."
"... I've done my stint in living through the chaotic end to the 1970's and endured the major social upheavals in Thatcher's show-no-mercy early 1980's. Those were bad times. But this is worse in a lot of ways, if only for the crushing atmosphere of a powerless proletariat. ..."
"... The Dem commitment to Russiagate has become their WMD story, it has to be stuck with lest its proponents admit their lying ..."
"... The Russo-Resistance strategy has had the effect of exacerbating divisions in the potential opposition to neoliberalism. Not a bug. ..."
"... Compare and contrast with Putin and Xi, who are personally untouched by corruption taint, and whom their population actually believes has their nations' long-term interests at heart ..."
"... The general consensus was that we simply cannot go on as we are. ..."
"... I think you've hit the nail on the head. Whether it's skyrocketing measures of income inequality, health insurance premiums rising faster than wages, college tuition rates and student loan balances rising faster than wages, mindlessly skyrocketing stock markets and asset bubbles fueled by stupid central bank policies, or whatever other unsustainable woe you choose to pick, these things cannot go on forever ..."
"... And we're incredibly divided. Most of the MSM has been sucked into personality conflicts and the us-vs-them mindset. They actively feed it now. You're expected to pick a team and learn to hate the other guys. ..."
"... I too suspect that "tweaking round the edges" will prove totally inadequate, but I have no desire for revolution. I've seen too many of them start off well but then go off the rails in horrible, terrifying directions. Revolutions can be terribly sloppy affairs, with real people getting hurt in the process. And they usually don't end where we really want them to. ..."
"... Just yesterday I was asked, "Aren't you a liberal Democrat?" I answered, "No, I hate both parties equally." That set them back on their laurels. They expected me to say "Yes." ..."
"... The general consensus was that we simply cannot go on as we are ..."
"... Waiting for Godot ..."
"... A seemingly endless loop of outrage that yields nothing, except the feeling of powerlessness -- that all that is important in life is out of our hands, and in the hands of those who look at us and see nothing but another source of revenue. ..."
"... I rather think that our "feeling of powerlessness" is the goal aimed for by the msm. And identity politics serves a divide and conquer function. (But you can buy T-shirts! so it's all good. /s) ..."
"... I hope to draw some response to the second part of my complaint, which is that in the dog-eat-dog world of a society ordered solely by markets, we are reduced: First, from being to citizens to consumers, then from being consumers to being marks, rubes, suckers. The "news" (such as it is) isn't reported to us, it's sold to us. ..."
"... Corporate media has been pumping out Trump Derangement Syndrome stories for 18+ months. [if you're cynical] not only because the media genuinely dislike trump, but to drive clickbait and subscription sign-ups ..."
"... From my reading of history, when countries have been in the grip of anxiety it is often a relief when a feared thing happens – such as when Japan bombed Pearl Harbour it was widely reported that the response of the public, including anti-war activists, was great relief. ..."
"... I've read that much the same feeling descended over much of Europe at the start of WWI. While the same situation doesn't quite apply in the US, I do fear that there is a craving for some sort of decision, a decisive act. ..."
"... I think Trump understands more than he reveals. I think we are looking at the tempered effects of MSM froth by all the good, sensible internet bloggers and commenters which serve to neutralize the nonsense. What I see is angst failure – nobody bought this farcical onslaught of propaganda. Everyone questioned it. Something happens to the "news" when opposite views and facts collide – it gets emulsified like vinegar and oil into much less drastic possibilities. ..."
"... Interesting reminds me of how some torturers have learned that the fear of the pain can be worse than the pain itself in terms of emotional distress and breaking down ego-barriers to cooperation/submission. When the fear is worse than the feared experience, the feared experience itself is a relief. ..."
"... ur–Angst? ..."
"... Our Jerri-Lynn, who mainly lives overseas, was briefly in the US last month and dropped by our NYC meetup. She commented to me that she was very eager to leave because she could sense how high the general tension level was. ..."
"... Few people I know feel secure; a lot of it is about the basic stuff, health care and jobs. ..."
"... True, but can they address those concerns? The Occupy movement was such an effort, but the police seem to have stifled it. Then Sen. Sanders appeared on the scene with his Presidential campaign and that too was suppressed. If people are in fact not engaged it probably indicates an absence of what is important and meaningful for them in the larger society ..."
"... The LAT had truly turned into a piece of garbage the past years, they'd get scooped on stories in their own backyard, the writing was what you'd expect from a newspaper emanating from a city of 48,424, and it would be a given that new reporter hires should go at least a page into google when investigating. ..."
"... We've been watching a German TV series called Babylon Berlin, which is set in Wiemar Germany, 1929, just before the crash. It's fascinating to compare those times to our own, there are many parallels. The show is extremely well done. https://newrepublic.com/article/147053/babylon-berlin-sees-weimar-republic ..."
"... ah, yes. this has been on my mind lately. More the best lacking all conviction and the worst full of passionate intensity than the rough beast part He's already ensconced in Washington and doesn't seem to be able to do much of anything [brain glancing off the specter of all those judges]. ..."
"... post the nation state ..."
"... When war comes it will not be fought by "post-nation states." ..."
"... These are middle aged and middle class professionals about to be thrown on the scrap heap. ..."
"... Colonel Smithers, I observed something similar during the Sanders campaign's peak here in Tucson. That would be during late 2015 and early 2016. Let's just say that people weren't flocking to Bernie because their lives were going well. ..."
"... If the subtext to the MSM's Trump coverage is, "He's a racist authoritarian so he must be stopped at all costs," then you'd think they'd cover police brutality every day. If they're so concerned about racism and authoritarianism. Instead, we're seeing the FBI, CIA, etc., cast in the role of 'oppressed minorities standing up to The System, Maaan!' ..."
"... Plus, as a fan of paranoia, I can say. . . I've never seen a more unsatisfying, overly-abstract conspiracy in my life. It's not that they are rehabilitating CIA goons, but they're doing so specifically in order to obsess over memos, and reports about memos, and memos about reports about leaks about other memos. ..."
"... It's like an episode of The Office if everyone in the office had nukes. ..."
"... that attitude is nearly universal, across all layers of society ..."
"... I am in my late 50s, and for most of my life there was an air of seriousness and competence about national leaders. Even when they were doing something you didn't like, you could generally assume they were adequate to the situation, or at least had access to people who were. E.g., the moronic Reagan at least supposedly had a coterie of serious people in his administration who could keep the train on the tracks. ..."
"... Now we seem to be at a point where the people in charge are unapologetic about their greed, their lack of ability or even interest in their jobs and consitiuents, their lack of intellect and integrity, and the absence of any pretense of doing anything useful for the population or the society ..."
"... I guess what I'm saying is, as one surveys the landscape, there is a marked loss of hope coupled with a tearing urgency that something needs to be done. It's a terrible, very volatile and dangerous condition. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Jim Haygood , February 16, 2018 at 7:42 am

' orthodox MSM outlets like the New York Times and the WaPo seem to be presenting us with stale fare right now '

Such as this [paywalled] bombshell from the WaPo: 'With McCain's retreat, some turn to Romney to carry his torch.'

Riveting. Like reviewing old photos of the Soviet Politburo to see who got airbrushed out. To paraphrase the WaPo's slogan, 'Democracy dies in decadence. '

flora , February 16, 2018 at 10:31 am

or like viewing old photos of the Robber Barons. The msm has stopped trying to convince middle class readers it's 'on their side', imo. A few have gone full plutocrat friendly. Anything that rocks the plutocrats boats must be caused by 'russians, russians, russians', or outside agitators, or foreigners of one kind or another – not 'real' Americans.

Exactly the kind of things the robber barons and their press said 100+ years ago about working class workers striking for better wages and working conditions.

Alex V , February 16, 2018 at 10:25 am

I agree in the regard to the seeming reduction in analytical quantity and quality. I think you're right with it being caused by reductions in newsroom staff, but I think the type of journalists we have has also changed drastically.

Most of the younger generation that is being brought in has gone directly to journalism school, but has no other experience in the real world. I think many of the older guard had other careers, expertise or experience before they started writing.

So much of what passes for "analysis" nowadays reveals very shallow knowledge of the subject being covered by the writer. This is often most apparent in tech or science articles. I would say some overlap to "management" culture – managers are interchangeable, no matter the industry, since they are experts on managing. Same thing with journalism – if you can write something, you can write about anything .

XXYY , February 16, 2018 at 2:59 pm

For one thing, the, MSM has become heavily dependent on election coverage in the last decade or so, both (I assume) in revenue from political advertising, and in fountains of easy-to-write daily horse race articles about the state of the election.

I think 2017, a post-election year, kind of got a free pass because of the election of Trump, who was either going to make everything great (again!) or blow everything up, and the media was able to sustain an electoral-style energy and reader involvement well beyond the 2016 elections.

Now that (a) Trump has turned out to be an incompetent and ineffectual idiot who does nothing but watch TV, (b) we are seeing the tired old GOP program of screwing the population instead of anything new, and ( c) the Dems have done absolutely nothing for 13 months beyond foam at the mouth about Trump, perhaps the energy of the 2016 election is finally wearing off.

In other words, this is a pre-2018 election lull.

Emorej a Hong Kong , February 16, 2018 at 6:44 am

How much does this weigh?

The article ( https://www.usnews.com/opinion/thomas-jefferson-street/articles/2018-02-13/democrats-should-use-patriotism-to-appeal-to-white-working-class-voters ) linked in yesterday's Water Cooler, seemed to be a major step forward in articulating and advocating a strategy of the Democratic establishment making anti-Russia hysteria (and resulting surveillance and military spending and probably adventures), as a core campaigning plank, the new normal, completely independent of any impeachment or even re-election defeat of Trump.

This strategy was already starting to become implicit, as the Mueller-related "wolf"-crying drags on (and counter-investigations of Clintons are brandished as a M.A.D. deterrent), and as we read that Trump's tax cuts are playing well among likely swing voters both in Congress and in the low-middle income electorate, while it gets ever-closer to "too late" (to be credible before the 2018 midterms) for the Democratic establishment to show any new seriousness about the issues raised and pursued by Bernie Sanders, and by the many local candidates being sabotaged (of necessity more openly than in the past) by the donor-addicted Democratic establishment.

Dwight , February 16, 2018 at 7:48 am

In the real world, we have growing social needs with an aging population that will require Social Security and Medicare. This guy is basically saying to ignore that, which will likely result in a mass die-off of the middle-aged and elderly like that which occurred in 1990s Russia when social programs were gutted under neoliberal shock-therapy "advisors" to the puppet Yeltsin.

Meanwhile, climate change advances requiring massive investment in adaptation, and mitigation if Democrat concerns about climate change are to be taken at face value. (I believe we are 30 years too late, but should do what we can. Democrats claim to be concerned about climate change with their posturing around the Paris Agreement – how does this new cold war lower emissions?)

Nuclear waste from nuclear power and weapons needs to be secured before climate change kicks in, but instead we are spending trillions on new weapons that will create new radioactive waste. The new arms race with Russia and China will be incredibly expensive and dangerous, taking money from real societal and economic needs. Arms spending by the US will result in arms spending in Russia and China, multiplying the problem on a global scale. Unsecured nuclear waste in Russia and China, like unsecured nuclear waste in the US, affects the entire globe.

In this real world context, this guy wants to promote an unnecessary new cold war to get Democrats elected. Truly disgusting and insane.

Big River Bandido , February 16, 2018 at 11:18 am

In this real world context, this guy wants to promote an unnecessary new cold war to get Democrats elected. Truly disgusting and insane.

Not only disgusting and insane, but politically stupid. Any Democrat politician who thinks that promoting Unhinged Russia Hysteria is a winning political strategy is guilty of political malpractice.

petal , February 16, 2018 at 12:22 pm

On that note, I'll try harder to go to that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen talk on Tuesday, as that seems to be what she and they are pushing(unhinged Russia hysteria ) as a winning political strategy.

lyman alpha blob , February 16, 2018 at 1:54 pm

It really is politically stupid.

I got paid today and since the Republican tax cut, my take home pay is larger. Not a dollar or two larger, but enough that it's very easy to notice.

That's what people are going to remember when they go to the voting booth in 2018 (if they even bother) – while the Democrats where whining about Putin and Russia and doing nothing productive whatsoever to improve people's lives, Trump gave everybody more $$$.

DHG , February 16, 2018 at 7:42 pm

Not everything is about money and its not going to affect the majority of people who will be going to the polls, we are already set in our objections of the POTUS and unless he becomes Presidential quickly none of us are changing our minds. This brought to you by a swing voting independent. I will not vote for a republican in 2018 sans what I said.

sleepy , February 16, 2018 at 8:05 am

. . . articulating and advocating a strategy of the Democratic establishment making anti-Russia hysteria (and resulting surveillance and military spending and probably adventures), as a core campaigning plank, the new normal, completely independent of any impeachment or even re-election defeat of Trump.

The "official" narratives from much of the MSM are increasingly removed from any reality experienced by the majority. For example, the latest is a report from Hamilton that much of the social media activity concerning the Florida school shooting is now infested and promoted by Russian bots "to sow division". How more absurd could it be?

I think that sort of disconnect produces both a numbness and an anxiety and a belief that we are governed and led by institutions completely clueless and out of control. Therefore, people just hunker down in disbelief.

taunger , February 16, 2018 at 8:41 am

this. this seems important. coupled with the fact that enough of the news consumers today are wholly cynical regarding any ability of the hoi poloi to make change.

Skip Intro , February 16, 2018 at 10:03 am

I have it on good authority that the whole rebranding of the KKK first as the CCC than as the NRA was a long-term Soviet Russian plot to cause an epidemic of mass shootings that would undermine not only US 'Democracy', but the entire capitalist juggernaut!

Fiery Hunt , February 16, 2018 at 11:05 am

Key phrase here "out of control".

I've definitely been noticing a fairly obvious breakdown in people's ability to be on top of even basic things. We're all fried. I've got really reliable clients suddenly bouncing payments, unable to track projects I've also had first hand encounters with both the law/court system and the medical industry/health care system and the IT processes are byzantine and hugely ineffective.

I think Lambert used the phrase "boom exhaustion ". I think it's apt. We're spinning so hard and nothings getting better or easier.

" the center can't hold.
Things fall apart."

I suggest we expect serious gyrations.

Andrew Watts , February 16, 2018 at 10:42 am

That story is a classic example of a dominant minority resorting to archaism to address the present crisis they face. It won't work either. The US government had an extraordinarily high amount of social trust and support heading into the external crisis that was the Cold War. They eventually frittered it away into the present and the expectation that events will turn out the same is why the creative minority of our past is now a dominant minority in the present. I've said it before, but I'll say it again, for the sake of clarity. We live in a target rich environment for people who've studied Toynbee.

will_f , February 16, 2018 at 12:53 pm

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/thomas-jefferson-street/articles/2018-02-13/democrats-should-use-patriotism-to-appeal-to-white-working-class-voters

Following up on something Lambert wrote once, it seems that pundits who are incapable of using the term "working class" without somehow attaching the word "white" to it are -- besides not really being on the left -- also more likely than others to push the "Russia ate my Election" nonsense.

Lambert Strether , February 16, 2018 at 4:50 pm

I think what the horrid warmongering article in Useless News misses is that the flyover states, which supply the troops for the wars, are getting war weary (and why not). Trump capitalized on this in the election, and there was a positive correlation at IIRC the county level between war casualities and troop support.

An anti-war candidate who could make the case in the flyover states might really make an impact. And the only candidate I can see doing that is Sanders, and I'm not sure Sanders has the inclination, or even the stones, to do it. That F-35 base in Vermont rankles. Is that really the kind of bacon to bring home?

windsock , February 16, 2018 at 7:14 am

A couple of thoughts:

1) Do you think this might be an age-related experience? The elders among us may have a feeling of deja-vu, been here, seen that there's not much new in the world, just the same scenes endlessly repeated with new actors, or an incremental worsening of situations that have already been in decline for years. How long can endless war be news? Or endless corruption? Or endless neo-liberalism etc?

2) Here in the UK, I personally am sick to death with everything being seen through the prism of Brexit. Yes it is an existential crisis for our politics and our way of life but no-one is addressing the ways in which it will improve/demolish our daily lives – food being an obvious one. Yes it is referred to but not in such terms as ordinary people can identify with. It's all about abstracts – treaties/reciprocal arrangements/customs and tariffs/values and volumes of exports/imports etc. And in the meantime, we get stories about how Europeans leaving us will damage our NHS and crop picking without addressing the underlying causes of WHY we need imported labour and why the NHS is still deteriorating despite having those immigrants.

3) Following on from 2, whatever other news there is seems weirdly predictable and is based around personalities, rather than communities and systems. Whatever source one chooses to read, this predictability leads one to end up agreeing with Mandy Rice-Davies "Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?", no matter who the subject is.

4) Now we are leaping on the Russiabus but it is largely met with a huge yawn, unless you like to foam at the mouth at ConservativeHome.

Clive , February 16, 2018 at 7:44 am

I wholeheartedly agree about how a significant factor is that the mainstream media insists on viewing everything through ridiculously contrived "lenses" (Trump, "Russia-gate", Brexit, harassment) and, intentionally I would claim, deliberately obscuring the real problems (wealth distribution, neoliberalism, collapse of the social contract).

Fiery Hunt , February 16, 2018 at 11:09 am

Yep.
And that discord is showing signs of sowing collapse.

sleepy , February 16, 2018 at 9:45 am

Here in the UK, I personally am sick to death with everything being seen through the prism of Brexit.

I read the following article from today's Links fully expecting it to be about Brexit and the political fallout from a possible hard border. Instead, the pivotal issue in the split between Sinn Fein and the DUP apparently revolves around efforts to secure offical status for the Irish language in the North. While that issue too may well be a distraction, it had nothing to do with Brexit, and I was surprised.

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/02/could-direct-rule-solve-northern-irelands-political-crisis/

MoBee , February 16, 2018 at 10:30 am

whatever other news there is seems weirdly predictable and is based around personalities, rather than communities and systems.

This really hit home for me. Thank you!

Skip Intro , February 16, 2018 at 7:17 am

Animals become agitated in advance of earthquakes. It may be that the reason for angst does not lie in the past, but in the future. In general, so many of the stories are predictable self-parodies, from the Democrats relentless pursuit of the mythical 'moderate insurgents' in republican suburbs, and their comical screeching about Putin, to the drumbeat stories attacking Trump for Obama policies, to the contortions of the neocon policy apparatus trying to justify occupation and regime change in Syria, without mentioning those goals

" The centre does not hold, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world ".

Lee Robertson , February 16, 2018 at 7:22 am

It's the mind numbing parade of horrors.

Brooklin Bridge , February 16, 2018 at 10:55 am

Yes! I've never seen anything like this by any measure. It's the scope and magnitude and number and inter-relatedness and intractability of all the issues at once. Population, climate change, economic disaster systems as in Capitalism going nuts, exploding Military Industrial Complex and perpetual wars , 2 Bat -- - Crazy and utterly corrupt political parties playing nuclear Russian Roulette, Baghdad Bob like main stream media, transformation from a democracy into a police state, open and protected killing of blacks for being black (the fact that isn't exaggerated is mind-numbing), technological tsunamis being co-opted and twisted into iron fisted dystopias by all of the above.

The mind simply can't keep up with it – particularly the reality of it (as in the Democrats going stark raving mad with Russia-Gate – never mind just being corrupt and hypocritical to the core) and the body or something inside sends out a sort of anesthetic to help the mind deal with the increasing perception of the trauma.

I do "get" the analogy of calm before the storm and perhaps that is indeed what we are going through right now but to me it feels like we are simultaneously in the middle of the disaster and constantly waking up to just how horrific it really is.

John , February 16, 2018 at 10:57 am

"Slowed down by a sense of hopelessness in all his decisions and movements, he suffered from bitter sadness, and his incapacity solidified into a pain that often sat like a nosebleed behind his forehead the moment he tried to make up his mind to do something." -- Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities

False Solace , February 16, 2018 at 4:39 pm

For me, this is key. When I cast my eye upon the news I'm greeted with unrelenting bleakness. Trump's cruel and terrible health plan was big news for months, then his terrible tax cut plan, now his terrible budget. Foreign affairs are equally bleak: the Democrats are busy stirring up a second Cold War. There's no end in sight to the trillions of dollars our nation spends every year on waste and destructive mayhem. Sociopathic corporations and octogenarian billionaires own this country. It's difficult to see anything positive on the horizon.

It could also come down to low Vitamin D and an unusually cold (thanks to climate change) winter.

Lambert Strether , February 16, 2018 at 4:52 pm

> the Democrats are busy stirring up a second Cold War

That's hardly fair; they're stirring up a second Civil War at home, because that's what an impeachment would amount to.

sd , February 16, 2018 at 7:24 am

There are two Americas. The news is mostly for and from the one that protects the rentier or elite class. They send their children to private schools. The second one has children who go to public schools who get shot and killed by gunmen that the school and law authorities have been warned about and then decide it's not worth their attention.

I think we have reached America's breaking point. Shitty jobs, shitty pay, shitty hours, no hope of affordable housing anywhere, no advancement, massive amounts debt, no easy access to medical care, uneven safety nets, denigration, lack of mutual respect, a lifetime of working with little hope of a safe retirement it's just not pretty out here.

rd , February 16, 2018 at 11:38 am

I agree with this. For example this article yesterday caught my attention: http://www.businessinsider.com/san-francisco-housing-crisis-home-sale-2018-2?r=UK&IR=T

Where I live, they post the real estate sales in the newspaper and there are many weeks where not a single house sold for over $500k. But in SF, it is news that something sold for $500k because nothing is ever that cheap.

So you have many areas of the country (not accidental they voted for Trump) where $500k is a fabulously high price for a house because the economies are in a rut but the places where all the people carrying huge student debt loads are supposed to go to work to be part of the future are completely unaffordable for all but a few.

I think we are still in a Wile E. Coyote moment where he has gone off the cliff but gravity has not taken hold yet (cartoons don't understand parabolic arcs, similar to central banks and politicians). One of the purposes of financial crises like 2008 is to reset the playing field. The inequality and inefficiency of the Roaring 20s got reset in the 1930s where many people who had paper wealth, but large debt, collapsed and regulation followed that survived for 60 years in preventing similar scenarios. The 2009-2016 period missed that window of opportunity as the focus became preserving the people who had destabilized the system. That meant the damage was one-sided to the bottom 90%. The top 10% are largely disconnected, deliberately, from what is going on with the bottom 90% and as a result are baffled about the swelling unrest in the country. That unrest is still largely unfocused and just burps out random things right now like the Tea Party, Trump, Sanders etc.

The only good news to come out of the Florida shooting is that the young people are beginning to realize that they are cannon fodder (literally) in the cynical political battles waged by their elders. We may start to see more passion for change occurring. https://www.thecut.com/2018/02/florida-school-shooting-survivors-share-powerful-messages.html Hopefully the 70 years old politicians will move out of the way and allow a new generation with new ideas to start to emerge. However, it will take a lot to displace the current political inertia from funding allowed for the wealthy 70 year olds by Citizens United.

Clive , February 16, 2018 at 7:25 am

Strangely enough, I've been thinking the exact same things, obviously from a U.K. framed perspective. I've not commented on this on posts nor have I discussed this with either Jerri-Lynn, Lambert, Yves, Richard Smith or any of the regular crowd here. I just passed it off to myself as my usual neurotic preoccupations.

I can't really put it into words properly. Which can be one of the reasons why I've not put my thoughts down in writing. Musing on this earlier this week, the best way I could come up with capturing the vibe was to quote from E M Forster who (describing an English country house, the people in it and as a metaphor for the country as a whole at the time) as "being not yet actually in decline, but in the torpor which precedes it". That fit both the mood that I sense and the cause of the pervasive anxiety.

It also, he says, opening a can of worms which he'll probably regret, but here goes, covers and explains several conversations I've had with fellow Brexit voters. The U.K. government is screwing things up royally with regards to the implementation of Brexit. The national division is just as bad as ever. And we're alienating the neighbors who we really need to keep in with for the sake of the long term. We may yet end up as being something akin to Mordor-on-Sea. But, among the friends and relatives I've had these discussions with, none of us could, if we were being honest, really say we cared that much. The nihilism was slightly shocking. What was the reason for that?

The general consensus was that we simply cannot go on as we are. Something -- anything -- is better than years and years, decades and decades of more of the same. A shake up is long overdue and we're way past the point that tweaking round the edges is going to be good enough.

I'm still slightly stunned to have stumbled across this unsettling zeitgeist.

I've done my stint in living through the chaotic end to the 1970's and endured the major social upheavals in Thatcher's show-no-mercy early 1980's. Those were bad times. But this is worse in a lot of ways, if only for the crushing atmosphere of a powerless proletariat.

I do think there are some safety valves. And at least in the past decade we've come to recognise in our shared culture the harms done by things like inequality and how corrupt our governments and corporations really are. And we've channels of common communication (like Naked Capitalism, amongst a few others) which didn't exist a decade or so ago. I'm just not sure they're enough.

windsock , February 16, 2018 at 7:55 am

Mordor-Sea ha! Mordor has better weather.

Completely agree with "none of us could, if we were being honest, really say we cared that much". My friends and I are in the same boat. I'm not sure it's nihilism sometimes I think this is the point of our news coverage – to grind us down with boring mediocrity until we accept whatever settlement suddenly becomes acceptable to TPTB. But then maybe THAT is nihilistic too.

hemeantwell , February 16, 2018 at 8:55 am

Important question! Let me serve up a goulash of inertial fear and loathing:

1. Attacks on Trump have failed to wing him legally. Passage of the corporatophilic tax bill is going to produce a short term stimulus that many of us suspect will undermine the reversal of fortune the policy-thin Dems hoped to pull off. So in part we're stuck with watching a dreary theme in political economy play out in as margin estimates drift downward.

2. The Dem commitment to Russiagate has become their WMD story, it has to be stuck with lest its proponents admit their lying. Down on the ground, I was flummoxed to get a forwarded MoveOn email from a friend encouraging me to participate in flash demonstration at the capitol if Mueller is fired. I was moved to explain that this worried me since it likely hinged on Russophobia. A coolness ensued. This is happening broadly. The Russo-Resistance strategy has had the effect of exacerbating divisions in the potential opposition to neoliberalism. Not a bug.

3. The Syrian conflict has entered yet another crucial phase. I expect the Israelis to kick over the table, and the Trump administration doesn't have the necessary resolution to stop them with guaranteed threats. Militaristic cretins might be given a chance to run with the ball. And then there's North Korea. Breath holding here.

4. Personally, I have very little gut-level understanding of the cadences of crisis politics. Given the seriousness of the issues and the obviousness of the targets, I'd expect Sanders or someone else to be sounding the trumpets. Instead, it seems to be more a matter of setting out rebuttals, worrying about exhausting or boring the audience. I realize that we're not in an "in the streets" phase, but are supposed to be building organizations, finding candidates, etc. But the methodical, deliberate pace of that effort starts to seem inadequate to the moment.

5. And then there's climate warming, which so easily gives rise to that deck chairs feeling. Hard to suppress it at times.

I hate to concede much to the importance of national leadership, but in the absence, as yet, of a broad, thoroughly anti-neoliberal social democratic organization that provides a "culture of solidarity," (as Rick Fantasia described it in his fine book) we need it. And so we're left with moods and presentiments, while trying to deflate fake leader trial balloons -- another Kennedy? Cory Booker?

chwee , February 16, 2018 at 9:42 am

I would argue that there's a basic need for most human beings to feel like part of something greater, that they're working towards something more meaningful than ever more crass consumerism, ala Kennedy's "Ask not what your country can do for you .."

So when push comes to shove, a credible national leader who is able to cajole everyone to start pulling together in the same direction can make a serious go at solving or at least addressing / amerliorating some of our pressing issues. I don't think there's anyone in the US political circles right now that fits the bill ..

Compare and contrast with Putin and Xi, who are personally untouched by corruption taint, and whom their population actually believes has their nations' long-term interests at heart

I'd say national leadership will make all the difference when push comes to shove. Been telling that to US friends for a couple of years, fwiw.

Grumpy Engineer , February 16, 2018 at 8:56 am

" The general consensus was that we simply cannot go on as we are. "

I think you've hit the nail on the head. Whether it's skyrocketing measures of income inequality, health insurance premiums rising faster than wages, college tuition rates and student loan balances rising faster than wages, mindlessly skyrocketing stock markets and asset bubbles fueled by stupid central bank policies, or whatever other unsustainable woe you choose to pick, these things cannot go on forever . Indeed, you can almost feel the "major social upheaval" lurking around the corner.

And we're incredibly divided. Most of the MSM has been sucked into personality conflicts and the us-vs-them mindset. They actively feed it now. You're expected to pick a team and learn to hate the other guys.

I too suspect that "tweaking round the edges" will prove totally inadequate, but I have no desire for revolution. I've seen too many of them start off well but then go off the rails in horrible, terrifying directions. Revolutions can be terribly sloppy affairs, with real people getting hurt in the process. And they usually don't end where we really want them to.

So where does this leave us? Unsettled and full of angst, to say the least, with no good solutions in sight.

perpetualWAR , February 16, 2018 at 9:38 am

Just yesterday I was asked, "Aren't you a liberal Democrat?" I answered, "No, I hate both parties equally." That set them back on their laurels. They expected me to say "Yes."

Lambert Strether , February 16, 2018 at 5:00 pm

> The general consensus was that we simply cannot go on as we are

Waiting for Godot :

ESTRAGON: I can't go on like this.

VLADIMIR: That's what you think.

(Bleakness mitigated by my view that Waiting for Godot is best read, and performed, in the tradition of slapstick comedy.)

bassmule , February 16, 2018 at 7:26 am

A seemingly endless loop of outrage that yields nothing, except the feeling of powerlessness -- that all that is important in life is out of our hands, and in the hands of those who look at us and see nothing but another source of revenue.

timotheus , February 16, 2018 at 7:48 am

Yes, I agree with the "endless loop of outrage" weariness that has set in, the best example being the (ho-hum) shooting of a dozen high school students that in a normal society would prompt mobilization for change and quick marginalization of any leader who said, Let's do nothing! When murder becomes routine, an overall numbness is unavoidable. I had a visitor from Mexico with me recently who asked why I was watching a documentary about serial killer John Wayne Gacey (as someone who hitchhiked nearby around that time, I take a personal interest) and remarked, "In Mexico serial killers are not news."

flora , February 16, 2018 at 10:51 am

"A seemingly endless loop of outrage that yields nothing, except the feeling of powerlessness–"

I rather think that our "feeling of powerlessness" is the goal aimed for by the msm. And identity politics serves a divide and conquer function. (But you can buy T-shirts! so it's all good. /s)

bassmule , February 16, 2018 at 11:39 am

I hope to draw some response to the second part of my complaint, which is that in the dog-eat-dog world of a society ordered solely by markets, we are reduced: First, from being to citizens to consumers, then from being consumers to being marks, rubes, suckers. The "news" (such as it is) isn't reported to us, it's sold to us.

flora , February 16, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Facebook's emotional contagion experiment comes to mind.

Louis Fyne , February 16, 2018 at 7:30 am

Corporate media has been pumping out Trump Derangement Syndrome stories for 18+ months. [if you're cynical] not only because the media genuinely dislike trump, but to drive clickbait and subscription sign-ups

but just as 'likes' juice the happy-chemical parts of your brain, Trump-related outrage stories juice the angry-chemical parts of your brain.

After 18 months of being triggered by the news media [sometimes by Trump, sometimes by DNC pundits, sometimes by real life], your brain basically says -- 'so what? i'm not angry any more.'

qed the overton Window has been moved.

PlutoniumKun , February 16, 2018 at 7:40 am

I was idly wondering yesterday where the current hysteria surrounding Trump will lead everyone. There have been hysterical political situations before, but they have tended to be 'single issue' ones – I can't recall any time when so many people on the main political parties have been so singlemindedly determined to whip up anger. When its a 'single issue' or generated by one side it can run out of steam or diffuse but when its multiple issues I think its liable to either result in an explosion, or, conversely, lead to a sort of nervous exhaustion. Looking at it from the outside, I would really fear what could happen in the US if there was a major economic reversal. A sense of a rising tide can ease over a lot of worries, but if things go into reverse, it can curdle into real anger. In historical situations it can help if the anger has a particular focus, but a huge problem in the US seems to me to be that there is no focus – its all so diffuse – anger at Trump, at inequality, at feminists, at equality, at Russia, at Iran, at pretty much everyone.

From my reading of history, when countries have been in the grip of anxiety it is often a relief when a feared thing happens – such as when Japan bombed Pearl Harbour it was widely reported that the response of the public, including anti-war activists, was great relief. A feeling that at least a course had been set, a key decision made, even if it was a potentially disastrous one.

I've read that much the same feeling descended over much of Europe at the start of WWI. While the same situation doesn't quite apply in the US, I do fear that there is a craving for some sort of decision, a decisive act. While I think Trump is by nature someone who prefers to stir the pot rather than take decisive action, he is also very sensitive to the darker drives of the public feeling. I do fear that he might feel inclined to do something really stupid, and there is nobody sensible around him to stop it happening.

susan the other , February 16, 2018 at 12:25 pm

I think Trump understands more than he reveals. I think we are looking at the tempered effects of MSM froth by all the good, sensible internet bloggers and commenters which serve to neutralize the nonsense. What I see is angst failure – nobody bought this farcical onslaught of propaganda. Everyone questioned it. Something happens to the "news" when opposite views and facts collide – it gets emulsified like vinegar and oil into much less drastic possibilities.

On the one hand – on the other hand. The internet was able to neutralize the MSM because the MSM does only superficial "reporting". There seems to be a state of angst withdrawal, lots of confusion, and no direction. As if "time goes on like nothing is important." And lately a very interesting thing has happened – there is almost no hysteria about "the debt. I have the vague feeling that there are some few people who are actually in control of their senses and the sea change is approaching critical mass. Things will change for the better not only because everyone is fed up but probably more because our dear leaders, including the banksters, are clueless and they don't know how to make capitalism work using the old rules. It's gonna be interesting. Thank you NC.

W , February 16, 2018 at 3:38 pm

Interesting reminds me of how some torturers have learned that the fear of the pain can be worse than the pain itself in terms of emotional distress and breaking down ego-barriers to cooperation/submission. When the fear is worse than the feared experience, the feared experience itself is a relief.

johnf , February 16, 2018 at 7:42 am

I am definitely sensing more Angst in Germany (the ur–Angst? ), but at the moment, that is probably going off topic.

Kevin , February 16, 2018 at 7:44 am

Our Jerri-Lynn, who mainly lives overseas, was briefly in the US last month and dropped by our NYC meetup. She commented to me that she was very eager to leave because she could sense how high the general tension level was.

I can assure you, what she feels is very, very real. My wife and I travel at least once a year back to Canada , where my wife is from – the difference in tension is palpable. I feel so loose and calm when I am there.

windsock , February 16, 2018 at 7:50 am

I feel the same when I leave UK and head to Italy or Portugal.

Lambert Strether , February 16, 2018 at 5:04 pm

> I feel so loose and calm when I am [in Canada]

I felt the very same thing when I lived there for a couple years in the late 90s. I think it's the lack of the imperial burden.

Norello , February 16, 2018 at 7:46 am

"Do you sense, as Lambert and I do, that the news tide has receded?"

My primary news source is the print edition of the Wall Street Journal and I've noted to myself a similar observation recently. The first time I saw the gymnist doctor sex abuse story featured prominetly on the first page I thought it odd. When the story was featured promintely on the front page multiple times after that it felt bizzare. My reaction was wondering how can this possibly be that important compared to everything else happening in the world.

"If so, to resort to Warren Buffett's image, who do you think it has exposed as swimming naked?"

My interpetation has been the news media has been exposed as swimming naked. They are unable or unwilling to spend the money required to deliver professional reporting. Since election season they have depended on reporting on Trump's controversies to fill their pages. That is cheap and easy to do. Without that they have to spend time, money and talent to report on other complex matters.

The quaility and quantity of the print edition of the WSJ has been a noticeable decline the last few years. Little things like a front page lead in to what was supposed to be on page B1 was instead on B4. I've been reading the WSJ for probably twenty years now and never seen that happen before.

Twice during the presidential election they had what looked like at first a normal section of the newspaper but was actually a "paid advertisement" from China and Japan. It was blatant propaganda from their governments. It was shocking that the WSJ would take money to print foreign government's propaganda on election matters. There have been many other observations like that which have lead me to the conclusion news reporting capabilities have been gutted more than most people realize.

Anonymous2 , February 16, 2018 at 4:18 pm

Taken over not so long ago by one R Murdoch? He has damaged every paper he has touched IMO.

Edward , February 16, 2018 at 7:52 am

Maybe this painting depicting ennui captures the current mood: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/sickert-ennui-n03846

Perhaps this is what happens when you are surrounded by nonsensical rubbish by press and government. But I have felt this way for years.

ChiGal in Carolina , February 16, 2018 at 9:17 am

They might be without purpose but they appear secure. Few people I know feel secure; a lot of it is about the basic stuff, health care and jobs.

Edward , February 16, 2018 at 10:02 am

True, but can they address those concerns? The Occupy movement was such an effort, but the police seem to have stifled it. Then Sen. Sanders appeared on the scene with his Presidential campaign and that too was suppressed. If people are in fact not engaged it probably indicates an absence of what is important and meaningful for them in the larger society.

Eustache De Saint Pierre , February 16, 2018 at 7:57 am

I have had the same or at a least similar feeling of late, but for the most part considered it as me reflecting my own circumstances on the world, as well as worrying items of news particularly from Syria. A bit like an increasing tightness of breath, within the increasingly stale & pressurized air of an expanding balloon.

Wukchumni , February 16, 2018 at 7:58 am

It has been a rather dull time for news, and i'm not really feeling any angst, other than when I went to a neighbor's dinner party surrounded by reign of error supporters that seemed to be doubling down on their choice in an assertive manner, with absolutely no prompting from me.

I found that disturbing, the group-sink mentality, a blackjack equivalent of doubling down on a 16, with the dealer showing a face card, why?

The LA Times got sold this week, which came with the SD Union Tribune as 2 for 1 deal for $500 million.

The LAT had truly turned into a piece of garbage the past years, they'd get scooped on stories in their own backyard, the writing was what you'd expect from a newspaper emanating from a city of 48,424, and it would be a given that new reporter hires should go at least a page into google when investigating.

Why would somebody pay half a billion for something that's broken down and even if you fixed it, where is the upside?

Sam Adams , February 16, 2018 at 7:59 am

My take is we are in the period just before WW1 and the last garden parties. Everything seems warm, slightly off. The skirts are hobbling, the hats large and the military medals shiny on gold braid. The politicians are making noise, but we all know that for all the strum and bother, they will come to a resolution.

Did you hear the Austrian heir and his wife were shot? Try the sandwiches .

JacobiteInTraining , February 16, 2018 at 10:36 am

Ummm, those sandwiches are simply MARVELOUS I *must* get your recipe.

My neighbors sons both joined the Uhlan Regiment, and we are organizing a party for them before they go to the academy. They look sooooo precious in their uniforms, I want to be sure we have the best in food and drink for their send off party!

And yes, those dang Serbians. Such troublemakers. Rest assured they will be dealt with swiftly and severely.

Lord Koos , February 16, 2018 at 2:19 pm

We've been watching a German TV series called Babylon Berlin, which is set in Wiemar Germany, 1929, just before the crash. It's fascinating to compare those times to our own, there are many parallels. The show is extremely well done. https://newrepublic.com/article/147053/babylon-berlin-sees-weimar-republic

Carolinian , February 16, 2018 at 7:59 am

There's an Ingmar Bergman film from the 1960s called Winter Light where one of the characters finds out the Red Chinese have acquired the bomb and kills himself. Surely it's the news media who are creating the current wave of high anxiety and even tragedies like school shootings seem to be egged on by the media since most shooters are copycats.

Which is why some of us have taken to getting our news from sites like this one. A sanity filter is needed. A sense of perspective may also be useful as in world historical terms there have been much worse periods than this. Time does heal wounds, perhaps even elites who have lost their marbles.

ChiGal in Carolina , February 16, 2018 at 9:29 am

ah, yes. this has been on my mind lately. More the best lacking all conviction and the worst full of passionate intensity than the rough beast part He's already ensconced in Washington and doesn't seem to be able to do much of anything [brain glancing off the specter of all those judges].

GERMO , February 16, 2018 at 9:46 am

This is an astute post by NC and lots of great comments -- little to add but I'll see your Yeats and raise you one Gramsci:

"The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear."

Bittercup , February 16, 2018 at 11:24 am

Well as long as we're talking poetry, I think Auden's September 1, 1939 might be even more relevant today than it was back when it was written. So much so that I can't decide which part of it to excerpt (and it's a bit too long to just quote the whole thing!).

Actually, no, I do know -- here is the last stanza of the poem, which just happens to describe exactly the kind of thing that NC -- at its best -- can provide in opposition to the "waves of anger and fear [ ] obsessing our private lives."

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

Katherine Calkin , February 16, 2018 at 10:15 pm

How about Sartre: Hell is other people.

Jay Jay , February 16, 2018 at 8:16 am

The DOJ Inspector General report will be out in March. After one look at a draft of the report, Randall Wray fired McCabe. And remember, the DOJIG has all of the Strzok e-mails, including the ones the FBI "inadvertently destroyed." Hopes–and fears–are high that this report will expose all of the Russiagate corruption in complete detail. If so, even mainstream media stars won't have a place to hide. They went all in too long ago and pushed the story way too hard.

So to answer Yves's questions: yes, there is deep fear that a receding tide is about to reveal a lot of naked swimmers and that yes, it will be a tsunami.

nv , February 16, 2018 at 8:16 am

Professor Kendall Thomas, director of the Center for the Study of Law and Culture at Columbia Law School, spoke at Goethe House New York recently. He designated Trump a 'post-president,' saying that the mythological status of the US presidency has been exploded (my word). An audience member asked if we were also post the nation state; Kendall replied that the questioner had answered his own question.

Perhaps here we have the source, or one major source, of the generalized angst? (No video, or no video yet, however, see https://www.goethe.de/ins/us/en/sta/ney/ver.cfm ? fuseaction=events.detail&event_id=21154521)

paul , February 16, 2018 at 12:48 pm

Now that is news I can use!

I suppose it might have been private eye, a very changed publication from my first introduction, suggested that the offspring of the firm were far more interested in discotheques and tax free beaches than than the fealty of the field mice in their property.

A little disinterested resignation might go a long way.

However

paul , February 16, 2018 at 1:21 pm

NCO smithers, sorry to hijack your thread; But if I'm going to do it within the headline post: Iraq war protests: The one in edinburgh was glorious, people flowing in from the mound, the west est end and leith street, blocking the roads, g galloway and t sheridan doing what they do best.

I retired and watched the news on the bbc and that is why I have hardly looked at since then.

What your have gifted me is contributions is that nothing is rational as family business, and extra-family is hopeless romance.

I'll jog along (to use the contemporary parlance),

The only weak point is the family.

Loneprotester , February 16, 2018 at 12:04 pm

When war comes it will not be fought by "post-nation states."

Great thread. Keep it going.

Weltschmerz , February 16, 2018 at 8:26 am

1) gaslighting with news that doesn't matter
2) feeeling of an echo chamber and the same ol same ol
3) unclear ways of taking action and identifying those persons who can fix the mess that those persons impmementing neoliberalism and warmongering have created

Colonel Smithers , February 16, 2018 at 8:58 am

Thank you.

I don't have much contact with the 1% now, having changed jobs in mid-2016, but agree with you and get that sense from friends / former colleagues who do.

I work in the City of London. To use the euphemism en vogue at my employer, many people will be "rolling off the platform", ours, over the spring. It's the same at my former employer and another firm I know well. These are middle aged and middle class professionals about to be thrown on the scrap heap.

One can observe Thatcherites becoming Corbynites.

Arizona Slim , February 16, 2018 at 11:40 am

Colonel Smithers, I observed something similar during the Sanders campaign's peak here in Tucson. That would be during late 2015 and early 2016. Let's just say that people weren't flocking to Bernie because their lives were going well.

Lambert Strether , February 16, 2018 at 5:10 pm

> "rolling off the platform"

What's the metaphor here?

ChiGal in Carolina , February 16, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Just to clarify, these are Bernie folks I'm talking about, with no love of corporate Dems/Hillary, but I fear they don't realize how very real the threat is that the energy of the base will be coopted by the leadership.

Norb , February 16, 2018 at 9:20 am

The news tide has receded because by blurring the line between news/information and entertainment, for most people, it looses all relevance in conducting daily life. People are tuned out and apathetic. Those watching the MSM closely are either entirely satisfied with society as is, brainwashed, social voyeurs titilated by the access to human suffering in ever expanding forms, or for professional interest. The weird atmosphere is that people realize how precarious their social positions have become, but are offered no outlet to relieve the growing anxiety. There is no leadership attempting to address these grievances, and when movements do surface, the same set of characters jump to the forefront and successfully diffuse the energy building for something different.
There is no accountability.

The MSM is ubiquitous in its constant drone of irrelevance. Just as the constant flashing of advertising becomes harder and harder to see, it just stops carrying any useful information regardless of what is being said or shown.

My sense for years has been the thought, "what will it take to break the malaise". Society has gone from the Deep Water Horizon disaster, Fukushima meltdown, endless small wars, and growing ecological disasters. Not to mention growing economic inequality with no end in sight. The response is indifference and obfuscation.

Democracy requires civic action, but without proper leadership, Democracy is impossible. Democracy requires institutions that citizens can participate in, and the current crop of leaders undermines that participation at every turn.

So what is left is that everyone conducts their lives on autopilot- until forced to act otherwise. It is a weird atmosphere where the general consensus is one of quiet despair, but easier to pretend that all is well.

Pat , February 16, 2018 at 9:25 am

I will note that years after I stopped biting my nails I have started again. And this time it is worse. I never endangered the quick, but am now so anxious And I have eliminated most traditional sources of news from my life.

I am powerless. A seismic event that should have caused at least a small path change has not. Instead the road is even more closed to alteration, the real news is the same or worse. And the bread and circuses is not considered necessary because nothing really changed. The shootings, the growing early deaths of the populace, and so on are normal. I do not know if the slow boil of the frogs/populace will only end with their total collapse and that we have merely turned up the heat to speed things up. Or if another seismic event that is more violent and revolutionary is going to happen as the restricted road is overrun by those supposed to die quickly and quietly. A Russian and French Revolution level up rising where our current system is bludgeoned to death.

I try to ignore that sense, that prediction. But as my admission makes clear I cannot. We are cursed to live in interesting times.

Dean , February 16, 2018 at 10:02 am

The firehose of information (shit?) being sprayed at me during my waking hours by the industrial-information complex was chipping away at my soul one clickbait headline at a time, one junk email at a time, one advertisement at a time. So I made a choice and l 'opted out' as best I could. I have only 3 news bookmarks (NC on of them). I dropped all social media in the summer of '16. I've been cable free for nearly two years.

My overall mood has improved greatly over this time. I am not feeling the angst but I see the effect the 24×7 bombardment is having on people close to me.

I am beginning to wonder if this constant bombardment is someone's grand design to wear us down, divide us, and keep us in a permanent state of fear and paralysis.

Loneprotester , February 16, 2018 at 12:37 pm

Brilliant! I felt a similar Lightness of Being after giving up Facebook a few months ago. But this has been undermined by recently taking up Twitter. Twitter is like having a stranger run up to you every few minutes shouting the same piece of nonsense in your face. Then someone else shouts the exact opposite. And so on and so on.

Lambert Strether , February 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

Twitter demands extremely careful curation, and then it's incredibly valuable. Rather like life.

Kokuanani , February 16, 2018 at 1:06 pm

I share your sense of "bombardment," and for me it's an on-going fight with my husband who wants to watch MSNBC, CNN, etc. We have a very small house, so it's almost impossible for me to get away from the audio, and it's winter, so going outside to escape is more challenging.

I find the yelling of Rachel Maddow et al. actually like a physical assault on my senses. I say to my husband, "you know things in the world are crap. Do you need to have that fact repeated to you again and again? And don't you feel that this assault wears you down and makes you less able to take positive action? That's its effect on me."

[I wear my noise-cancelling earphones a lot.]

Eclair , February 16, 2018 at 1:37 pm

Gosh, Kokuanani, I am in much the same situation. My recently-retired husband turns the TV on first thing in the morning and almost never shuts it down until bedtime. We have downsized to a small condo, which fortunately has a small second bedroom/sitting room, so I can escape for a time.

He watches CNN and the local news stations a lot and, as I stroll through the living room or work in the adjacent kitchen, I am assaulted with the tension-laden voices of the news anchors, pushing the latest disaster. I was almost grateful for the school shooting, since it did make a change from the incessant prattling about l'affaire Porter.

What I find most horrifying are the daytime TV shows that feature white male authority figures telling hapless people who have supposedly screwed up their lives and relationships, exactly where they have gone wrong and what they need to do to straighten themselves out. The audience, or should it be the 'mob,' acts as a chorus, egging on the participants.

I now realize how insulated from the 'real world' I have been for decades.

It is interesting that you feel the verbal yelling as as an almost physical assault. I feel the same about constant background noise; it hurts. My spouse, on the other hand, seems to need the stimulation of the verbal stream. (Might have something to do with his dyslexia).

RMO , February 16, 2018 at 3:36 pm

I frequently like to have the television on – often as background while I do other things. I do have cable (as part of an integrated telephone/internet/television package) and when I have broadcast television playing, as opposed to DVD's etc., I find I gravitate to old comedy reruns. I've rewatched the entirety of the Mary Tyler Moore show multiple times this winter along with many other 50's through early 80's television. The only breakthrough from the hurricane of angst whirling through the U.S. media has been the commercials. The ads are often made up of 50% promotion of a new pharmaceutical or medical product and 50% an invitation to join a class action suit against the makers of a slightly older pharmaceutical or medical product. It's an odd juxtaposition.

Lambert Strether , February 16, 2018 at 5:26 pm

I visit friends who watch CNN all the time fairly regularly (and as readers know, I don't have a TV at all, so it's quite an experience for me).

Whatever's going on at CNN, it's clearly not news in any sense that I understand. It's demented, crazy-making.

John , February 16, 2018 at 10:07 am

The wheels keep turning in place with no movement forward, backward, or in a circle. Case in point: Yet one more mass shooting in a school. Yet one more disturbed, angry, and/or obsessed personal with a semi-automatic weapon. Shock, horror, thoughts, prayers; we need 'sensible' gun controls; it's not the time to talk about guns, etc., etc. Same script every time and it fades away until the next time. Does no one notice?

What can I add to what has already been said? I am sick to death of slippery empty words and sly tactics and thievery. I want to say to hell with it all, but I cannot not care.

Craig H. , February 16, 2018 at 10:11 am

The reason most news is dull is that most of it is fake. I was watching an old interview that Kerry Cassidy did with Jim Marrs the other day and he was riveting. A lot of people classify Marrs as a conspiracy nut but he described himself as a journalist. One of the most memorable things he said (this is not an exact quote) is that he still tried to do journalism, but we really don't have journals any more. They are more like advertising circulars and the stories are almost all government or corporate public relations pieces. There are plenty of stories to write. The pieces you guys run on Uber and Calpers are rare and not dull. It is obvious when a competent journalist has taken the time to do research and investigate and double-check things and think about what they are doing.

The manipulated dope the government releases on the latest shooting is not news. It is propaganda. It isn't worth reading.

schultzzz , February 16, 2018 at 2:08 pm

my 2 cents: the FOX NEWS-ification of the MSM is now complete, and that's why it's weird.

If the subtext to the MSM's Trump coverage is, "He's a racist authoritarian so he must be stopped at all costs," then you'd think they'd cover police brutality every day. If they're so concerned about racism and authoritarianism. Instead, we're seeing the FBI, CIA, etc., cast in the role of 'oppressed minorities standing up to The System, Maaan!'

Plus, as a fan of paranoia, I can say. . . I've never seen a more unsatisfying, overly-abstract conspiracy in my life. It's not that they are rehabilitating CIA goons, but they're doing so specifically in order to obsess over memos, and reports about memos, and memos about reports about leaks about other memos.

It's like an episode of The Office if everyone in the office had nukes. Sheesh, give me P2 and the Vatican Bank any day.

TLDR: It's weird because of the sudden growth of the disconnect between [the very real anxieties we news consumers feel in our daily lives] . . . . and the news reports which attempt to leverage those anxieties into outrage at [whatever media elites are mad at that day].

EGrise , February 16, 2018 at 2:13 pm

A question I'm pondering lately that may be related: suppose a general pulled a Julius Caesar, crossed the Rubicon/Potomac and seized control of the US government. What would the response be?

Sixty years ago, there would have been staunch support for the civilian government, politicians of both parties would have rallied their supporters to defend our democratic heritage, and I believe ordinary citizens would have actively opposed the military government in a number of ways up to and including taking up arms.

Today? I just can't see it. I don't know if anyone would really give a [family_blog] beyond some outrage on Facebook or Twitter. The nihilism and ennui are palpable.

Mark Blyth tells the story of speaking to a room full of fund managers and other monied types, and he asked them if they would have trusted the politicians they supported twenty or thirty years prior to manage one of their accounts, to general assent. But when he asked if they would trust any of the politicians they currently support to do the same, they all laughed out loud. In the US, that attitude is nearly universal, across all layers of society .

Could you see yourself risking your life to go fight for our democracy under the banner of Chuck Schumer? The DNC? Any of the ghouls in the GOP? I can't. And I think that's meaningful.

schultzzz , February 16, 2018 at 2:22 pm

If I didn't know any better, I'd say the MSM is getting revenge on us. They got the 2016 election wrong, were exposed as out-of-touch, and rightly ridiculed. Lacking credibility and unwilling to do stories that would upset their owners (i.e. stories ABOUT average American problems), the only tool left in their 'keep people reading us' toolkit is. . .'aaaaah read this or the country dies!!!!'

And what do you know, the 'anxiety' tool just also happens to inflict a lot of psychic punishment on the same news consumers that ridiculed them. So that's a two-fer!

Rosario , February 16, 2018 at 2:44 pm

I'm having trouble articulating the pile of words in my head to describe my thinking on current news media. I'll just say that I've suspected an "establishment agenda" in most news for years and Trump has mostly confirmed that suspicion. I'm sure it has, to some extent, always been that way with the press (we can't escape our culture), but the stakes of milquetoast (or outright nefarious) new media seem bigger now than ever (US empire collapse, climate change, ballooning global inequality). I'm only 31 so let me know if I'm off base thinking the sky is falling.

I think the hosts are right that the news seems to be drying up as of late, but I think that is more a feature than a bug. There is plenty to discuss and dissect. They are just not the kinds of things that capitalist media wants to even acknowledge much less cover.

I don't know if there are any Aussies in this thread, but I'll include a link to a comedian from Australia who has excellent and usually funny commentary on Australian politics. He posts a great deal on Youtube and has a pretty excellent take down of Vice News. BTW the ever edgy Vice has a 5% stake owned by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox and his boy James is/was a board member, figure that one out. The comedian says more pointedly what I was trying to say above to a particular example of the problem, and I think the critique of Vice News is within the topic of the thread. As a heads up, you may need to see his initial video to get any context. I recommend both.

XXYY , February 16, 2018 at 3:36 pm

I think one thing that is new recently is that the people supposedly driving the bus are *obviously* incompetent and in over their heads.

I am in my late 50s, and for most of my life there was an air of seriousness and competence about national leaders. Even when they were doing something you didn't like, you could generally assume they were adequate to the situation, or at least had access to people who were. E.g., the moronic Reagan at least supposedly had a coterie of serious people in his administration who could keep the train on the tracks. Various government departments were staffed by people who had a lifetime of experience in their affairs, and there was thus a deep bench of skill and experience the national leaders could rely on when needed. Government seemed serious and purposeful for the most part, and the nation seemed in reasonably good hands.

It's impossible to say how much of this sensibility was real and how much carefully maintained illusion; my guess is a lot of what was going on was the latter, but at least leaders and the media realized seriousness was an important front to maintain.

Now we seem to be at a point where the people in charge are unapologetic about their greed, their lack of ability or even interest in their jobs and consitiuents, their lack of intellect and integrity, and the absence of any pretense of doing anything useful for the population or the society. Important national institutions (e.g. the State Department! The CDC!) are being left to languish or being actively dismantled. Who will fill the void? No one cares. The media, meanwhile, not only fails to lament these things but actually seems to have some glee about the situation and delights in spotlighting incompetence and even criminality in the leadership

(I write from the US, obviously; however, the same seems to be true, perhaps even more so, in the UK, from what I read.)

As a result, a deadly sense of futility sets in. At best, we can head off the bigger disasters. Nothing is likely to actually improve. The will and leadership to face our many impending disasters (climate change, nuclear war, inequality, racism, financial collapse, infrastructure collapse) seems utterly absent.

I guess what I'm saying is, as one surveys the landscape, there is a marked loss of hope coupled with a tearing urgency that something needs to be done. It's a terrible, very volatile and dangerous condition.

jrs , February 16, 2018 at 7:40 pm

a sensible emotional response to Trump perhaps. Obama was bad in many ways, but Trump is something harder to make sense of than mere bad: he's absurd.

Jim , February 16, 2018 at 6:55 pm

The Crack-Up F.Scott Fitzgerald (1936)

"Before I go on with this short history, let me make a general observation -- the test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise."

Do we still have that will and can we find a way?

[Feb 16, 2018] Russians Spooked by Nukes-Against-Cyber-Attack Policy Consortiumnews

Feb 16, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Russians Spooked by Nukes-Against-Cyber-Attack Policy February 16, 2018

New U.S. policy on nuclear retaliatory strikes for cyber-attacks is raising concerns, with Russia claiming that it's already been blamed for a false-flag cyber-attack – namely the election hacking allegations of 2016, explain Ray McGovern and William Binney.

By Ray McGovern and William Binney

Moscow is showing understandable concern over the lowering of the threshold for employing nuclear weapons to include retaliation for cyber-attacks, a change announced on Feb. 2 in the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR).

A nuclear test detonation carried out in Nevada on April 18, 1953.

Explaining the shift in U.S. doctrine on first-use, the NPR cites the efforts of potential adversaries "to design and use cyber weapons" and explains the change as a "hedge" against non-nuclear threats. In response, Russia described the move as an "attempt to shift onto others one's own responsibility" for the deteriorating security situation.

Moscow's concern goes beyond rhetoric. Cyber-attacks are notoriously difficult to trace to the actual perpetrator and can be pinned easily on others in what we call "false-flag" operations. These can be highly destabilizing – not only in the strategic context, but in the political arena as well.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has good reason to believe he has been the target of a false-flag attack of the political genre. We judged this to be the case a year and a half ago, and said so. Our judgment was fortified last summer – thanks to forensic evidence challenging accusations that the Russians hacked into the Democratic National Committee and provided emails to WikiLeaks. (Curiously, the FBI declined to do forensics, even though the "Russian hack" was being described as an "act of war.")

Our conclusions were based on work conducted over several months by highly experienced technical specialists, including another former NSA technical director (besides co-author Binney) and experts from outside the circle of intelligence analysts.

On August 9, 2017, investigative reporter Patrick Lawrence summed up our findings in The Nation. "They have all argued that the hack theory is wrong and that a locally executed leak is the far more likely explanation," he explained.

As we wrote in an open letter to Barack Obama dated January 17, three days before he left office, the NSA's programs are fully capable of capturing all electronic transfers of data. "We strongly suggest that you ask NSA for any evidence it may have indicating that the results of Russian hacking were given to WikiLeaks," our letter said. "If NSA cannot produce such evidence – and quickly – this would probably mean it does not have any."

A 'Dot' Pointing to a False Flag?

In his article, Lawrence included mention of one key, previously unknown "dot" revealed by WikiLeaks on March 31, 2017. When connected with other dots, it puts a huge dent in the dominant narrative about Russian hacking. Small wonder that the mainstream media immediately applied white-out to the offending dot.

Lawrence, however, let the dot out of the bag, so to speak: "The list of the CIA's cyber-tools WikiLeaks began to release in March and labeled Vault 7 includes one called Marble Framework that is capable of obfuscating the origin of documents in false-flag operations and leaving markings that point to whatever the CIA wants to point to."

If congressional oversight committees summon the courage to look into "Obfus-Gate" and Marble, they are likely to find this line of inquiry as lucrative as the Steele "dossier." In fact, they are likely to find the same dramatis personae playing leading roles in both productions.

Two Surprising Visits

Last October CIA Director Mike Pompeo invited one of us (Binney) into his office to discuss Russian hacking. Binney told Pompeo his analysts had lied and that he could prove it.

In retrospect, the Pompeo-Binney meeting appears to have been a shot across the bow of those cyber warriors in the CIA, FBI, and NSA with the means and incentive to adduce "just discovered" evidence of Russian hacking. That Pompeo could promptly invite Binney back to evaluate any such "evidence" would be seen as a strong deterrent to that kind of operation.

Pompeo's closeness to President Donald Trump is probably why the heads of Russia's three top intelligence agencies paid Pompeo an unprecedented visit in late January. We think it likely that the proximate cause was the strategic danger Moscow sees in the nuclear-hedge-against-cyber-attack provision of the Nuclear Posture Statement (a draft of which had been leaked a few weeks before).

If so, the discussion presumably focused on enhancing hot-line and other fail-safe arrangements to reduce the possibility of false-flag attacks in the strategic arena -- by anyone – given the extremely high stakes.

Putin may have told his intelligence chiefs to pick up on President Donald Trump's suggestion, after the two met last July, to establish a U.S.-Russian cyber security unit. That proposal was widely ridiculed at the time. It may make good sense now.

Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years, was chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and briefed the President's Daily Brief one-on-one from 1981-1985. William Binney worked for NSA for 36 years, retiring in 2001 as the technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting; he created many of the collection systems still used by NSA.


mike k , February 16, 2018 at 5:36 pm

Those Russians had a strange mission coming to CIA headquarters to try to negotiate with soulless mass murderers in the name of maintaining a precarious semblance of peace, knowing full well that these men's words and assurances were worth less than nothing. Ah well, I guess in a mad situation one is reduced to making desperate gestures, hoping against hope .

Mild-ly -Facetious , February 16, 2018 at 5:42 pm

F Y I :> Putin prefers Aramco to Trump's sword dance

Hardly 10 months after honoring the visiting US president, the Saudis are open to a Russian-Chinese consortium investing in the upcoming Aramco IPO

By M.K. BHADRAKUMAR
FEBRUARY 16, 2018

[extract]

In the slideshow that is Middle Eastern politics, the series of still images seldom add up to make an enduring narrative. And the probability is high that when an indelible image appears, it might go unnoticed – such as Russia and Saudi Arabia wrapping up huge energy deals on Wednesday underscoring a new narrative in regional and international security.

The ebb and flow of events in Syria – Turkey's campaign in Afrin and its threat to administer an "Ottoman slap" to the United States, and the shooting down of an Israeli F-16 jet – hogged the attention. But something of far greater importance was unfolding in Riyadh, as Saudi and Russian officials met to seal major deals marking a historic challenge to the US dominance in the Persian Gulf region.

The big news is the Russian offer to the Saudi authorities to invest directly in the upcoming Aramco initial public offering – and the Saudis acknowledging the offer. Even bigger news, surely, is that Moscow is putting together a Russian-Chinese consortium of joint investment funds plus several major Russian banks to be part of the Aramco IPO.

Chinese state oil companies were interested in becoming cornerstone investors in the IPO, but the participation of a Russia-China joint investment fund takes matters to an entirely different realm. Clearly, the Chinese side is willing to hand over tens of billions of dollars.

Yet the Aramco IPO was a prime motive for US President Donald Trump to choose Saudi Arabia for his first foreign trip. The Saudi hosts extended the ultimate honor to Trump – a ceremonial sword dance outside the Murabba Palace in Riyadh. Hardly 10 months later, they are open to a Russian-Chinese consortium investing in the Aramco IPO.

Riyadh plans to sell 5% of Saudi Aramco in what is billed as the largest IPO in world history. In the Saudi estimation, Aramco is worth US$2 trillion; a 5% stake sale could fetch as much as $100 billion. The IPO is a crucial segment of Vision 2030, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's ambitious plan to diversify the kingdom's economy.

MORE : http://www.atimes.com/article/putin-prefers-aramco-trumps-sword-dance/

Anna , February 16, 2018 at 6:46 pm

"Last October CIA Director Mike Pompeo invited one of us (Binney) into his office to discuss Russian hacking. Binney told Pompeo his analysts had lied and that he could prove it."

That was about some Dm. Alperovitch for CrowdStrike fame, who had discovered the "hacking" in 10 sec. Guess Alperovitch, as an "expert" at the viciously Russophobic Atlantic Council (funded by the State Dept., NATO, and a set of unsavory characters like Ukrainian oligrach Pinchuk) decided to show his "understanding" of the task. The shy FBI did not even attempt to look at the Clinton's server because the bosses "knew better."

Alperovitch must be investigated for anti-American activities; the scoundrel has been sowing discord into the US society with his lies while endangering the US citizenry.

[Feb 16, 2018] A Brief History of the "Kremlin Trolls" by Scott Humor

Notable quotes:
"... Everything what we know now about the so-called "Kremlin trolls from the Internet Research Agency paid by Putin's favorite chef," came from one source, a group of CIA spies that used the mascot of Shaltay-Boltay, or Humpty-Dumpty, for their collective online persona. ..."
"... Bazzfeed also said back in 2014, that " The leak from the Internet Research Agency is the first time specific comments under news articles can be directly traced to a Russian campaign." Now, this is a very important grave mark. ..."
"... Just think about this working scheme: Shaltay-Boltay with a group of anti-government "activists" created the "Internet Research Agency," they and some "activists" created 470 FaceBook accounts used to post comments that looked unmistakably "trollish." ..."
"... After that other, CIA affiliated entities, like the entire Western Media, claimed the "Russian interference in the US election." Finally, the ODNI published a report lacking any evidence in it. ..."
"... https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf ..."
"... People from the Shaltay-Boltay group weren't hackers in the proper terms because they worked with and for the CIA. Middle-of the-road and run-of-the-mill intelligence agencies would collect and analyze information for their governments. The CIA invents information, then goes on to manufacture and forge documents in support of their invented information; they then recruit people inside other countries and other governments to claim that they "obtained" this explosive evidence. Being the dirty cops that they are, the CIA doesn't obtain and secure evidence, but instead they plant fake evidence on their victims. ..."
"... Knowing full well that the hackers who "leaked" the information about this "Agency" were arrested and successfully charged for treason because they worked for the CIA should prevent the CIA to run fake news about the entities and people they themselves made up. You would think that the matter of the "Kremlin trolls from Saint Petersburg" should be dead and buried after the arrest. The CIA and other 16 intelligence agencies should know better than to use information that is being known now as "discovered' with their "help." ..."
"... We also know everything that the CIA touches is fake. Speaking in layman's term, it's as if all those middle aged bald guys would start licking their balls while claiming to be in fulfilling relations. If it's just you, guys, there is no relations. It's just you. Deal with it! ..."
"... The United Business Registry database in Russia works according to the Federal laws, so after twelve months of inactivity a business is simply liquidated. The Internet Research Agency was liquidated in December 2016 by the government system after it been inactive for twelve month. It's inactivity implied that the company had no employees, no office, and no bank transactions for at least twelve months! ..."
"... The US is now perceived as an imperial power which has lost all sense of reality, thinking it can do anything it wants and having the rest of the world agree with it. That is simply not the case. All the anti-Russian rhetoric has done is to make Russia more popular and more mature in the eyes of the world, which now sees Vladimir Putin as a factor of stability. ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | thesaker.is

Saint Petersburg, Savushkina, 55 is the most famous office building in the world, thanks to the relentless promotion of the United States government, the CIA, FBI, and by the powers of the entire Western media, financed by Western governments. VOA, NPR, and Svoboda, by the government of the US; the BBC by the government of the UK; CNN by the governments of Saudi Arabia; the DW, by the government of Germany; and so on and so forth. You name it, they all punched time to promote this office building.

To be specific, it's not even a building, but several adjoined buildings that cover an entire city block, an urban development plan common for Saint Pete's. That's why every business here has the address of Savushkina, 55 followed by a building number. You can take a virtual tour around it, to see for yourself. The buildings are shared by several dozens of private businesses, by the local Police department, and by the newsrooms of half a dozen Russia Media sources like the FAN (Federal News Agency), the Neva News (Nevskie Novosti), Political Russia, Kharkov News Agency, publishing Ukrainian news, and others. They all are privately owned and operated and generate over 55 million unique visitors per month. Overall, several thousand people come to this building to work every morning. But you wouldn't know this by account of Western media. For over two years now, these people are being harassed and collectively branded as "THE KREMLIN TROLLS."

The building is very popular because it's located in a quiet historical neighborhood and is in walking distance from a suburban train station. It's newly renovated offices offer open floor plans with Scandinavian fleur so very appreciated by the news people. In addition, the rent for this building is less than in center city. Which is why Evgeny Zubarev, a former top editor for the RIA NEWS, choose it for his media startup. He took several offices allowing him to manage his growing media giant without wasting time to commute. Now, the FAN newsroom alone employs about 300 journalists.

This wasn't always the case.

At the beginning of 2014, the building was still under construction and renovation, when an anti-Russian government group of hackers called first "The Anonymous International" and latter "Shaltay-B0ltay" fingered it as the "Kremlin trolls' layer."

Their wordpress blog is still here. It was last updated on November 2016. Its title states: "Anonymous International. Shaltay Boltay/Press Secretary of the group. Creating reality and giving meaning to words."

November 7, 2014, Khodorkovsky, who acted as an integral part of the CIA "Kremlin trolls" Project, tweeted the picture of one of the entrances to one of the buildings saying: "Savuchkina 55. New home for bots. ID check system. Not a sign there. I won't say who took the photo."

... ... ...

The phone number on the picture 324-56-06 belongs to the commercial real estate company Praktis Consulting & Brokerage that managed the rent of offices.

Midsummer 2014, Evgeny Zubarev with his start up and several hundred journalists moved in, along with the Police department, and a slew of other businesses people. Little did they know what was to come.

The best way to get information is to make it up.

Everything what we know now about the so-called "Kremlin trolls from the Internet Research Agency paid by Putin's favorite chef," came from one source, a group of CIA spies that used the mascot of Shaltay-Boltay, or Humpty-Dumpty, for their collective online persona.

They were arrested in November 2016 and revealed as the FSB and former FSB officers . One of them even managed a security department for the Kaspersky Lab. They all were people highly skilled and educated in manipulating and creating large online databases, in any online research imagined, and the knowledge of hacking and altering databases, including those that were run by the Russian government. They weren't poor people. They weren't there for the money. They were ideologically driven. Their hatred towards Russia and its people was the motive for their actions.

At some point, Gazeta.ru, an online Russophobic publication, suggested that " Shaltai-Boltai was just a distraction meant to confuse everybody." They themselves were more concise by stating that they were working to change the reality.

Russian authorities, the courts, and the lawyers, refused to call these men hackers. There was a reason for this. They weren't so much hackers in a classic sense, as in when someone gains access to real information and copies it. This group wasn't necessarily hacking existing information, but planting information. They were creating files about fake nonexistent companies and employees, files with blurry fake paystubs, memos, emails, phone messages and so on. The fakes looked convincing, but they still were forgeries that could be easy disproved for someone who had access to the real information.

That's when the hacking took place, when the FSB agents went into government databases and created records of people and companies that didn't exist.

I think that part of the reasons why some of them got the mild sentences of three years in general security prison, and some were left free, wasn't just the fact that they agreed to collaborate with the Russian government, but also the fact that they didn't actually steal information from government officials like Medvedev and his press secretary, Nataliya Timakova, or the owner of the largest in Europe catering business, Evgeny Prigozhin. They made information up and claimed that it was real.

These guys gave a bad name to all hackers, whistleblowers, leakers and spies. Now, journalists presented with some "hacked" and leaked secrets has to think it over, less they end up with an egg on their face like journos from the Fontanka, Vedomosti and Novaya Gazeta in case of the "Kremlin's trolls."

If we accept that the Shaltay-Boltay group was working to create and distribute documents they forged, claiming that those files were "hacked," we would also understand a mysterious statement made by them to BuzzFeed.

"In email correspondence with BuzzFeed , a representative of the group claimed they were "not hackers in the classical sense."

"We are trying to change reality. Reality has indeed begun to change as a result of the appearance of our information in public ," wrote the representative, whose email account is named Shaltai Boltai, which is the Russian for tragic nursery rhyme hero Humpty Dumpty."

Bazzfeed also said back in 2014, that " The leak from the Internet Research Agency is the first time specific comments under news articles can be directly traced to a Russian campaign." Now, this is a very important grave mark.

Just think about this working scheme: Shaltay-Boltay with a group of anti-government "activists" created the "Internet Research Agency," they and some "activists" created 470 FaceBook accounts used to post comments that looked unmistakably "trollish."

After that other, CIA affiliated entities, like the entire Western Media, claimed the "Russian interference in the US election." Finally, the ODNI published a report lacking any evidence in it.

The link to their report is here, but I don't recommend you to read it. You will gain as much information by reading this report as you would by chewing on some wet newspaper. Ask my dog for details.

Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections

https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

Only three paragraphs is interesting on the page 4:

"Russia used trolls as well as RT as part of its influence efforts to denigrate Secretary Clinton. This effort amplified stories on scandals about Secretary Clinton and the role of WikiLeaks in the election campaign.

The likely financier of the so-called Internet Research Agency of professional trolls located in Saint Petersburg is a close Putin ally with ties to Russian intelligence.

A journalist who is a leading expert on the Internet Research Agency claimed that some social media accounts that appear to be tied to Russia's professional trolls -- because they previously were devoted to supporting Russian actions in Ukraine -- started to advocate for President-elect Trump as early as December 2015."

In other words, in its report with a subtitle: "Background to "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections": The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution" the Office of the Director of National Intelligence ODNI, is quoting the Shaltay-Boltay, a group that had been proved to work for the CIA by "creating reality."

The only reason why they don't provide us with evidence, with at least one lousy IP address with the Russian trace roots that would convincingly point at the company named the Internet Research Agency, is because this company never existed, it never had any IP addresses assigned to it that would be verifiable via third parties like RIPE network coordination and via online domain tools.

We understand that having hundreds of people working ten to twelve hours a day, as they claimed, posting hundreds messages hourly, would use huge amount of bandwidth. They would need a very fast internet connection with unlimited bandwidth that only a business can get. Inevitably, this internet connection would come with the assigned IP addresses. No internet provider would let this kind of bandwidth hog to create this kind traffic without being forced to separate them from other customers.

One example, a woman with the last name Malcheva filed a lawsuit in court against the companies "Internet Research, LLC" and "TEKA, LLC," claiming unpaid wages.

The court asked her to produce evidence of her work, and then denied her claim after she produced a photo of a computer with an IP address on its screen as evidence of her employment.

IP Address 109.167.231.85

inetnum: 109.167.231.0 -- 109.167.231.255

netname: WESTCALL-NET

descr: S-Peterburg Hotel Corintia Wi-Fi

An IP address that was assigned to a luxury hotel in Saint-Petersburg. A hotel that was awarded multiple international awards for excellence. An immensely popular hotel among discriminating travelers. A very expensive hotel located in the center of a historic city. The woman claimed that she was an "online troll' working from this location ten hours a day with hundreds of other virtual trolls. The judge didn't believe her. Would you?

People from the Shaltay-Boltay group weren't hackers in the proper terms because they worked with and for the CIA. Middle-of the-road and run-of-the-mill intelligence agencies would collect and analyze information for their governments. The CIA invents information, then goes on to manufacture and forge documents in support of their invented information; they then recruit people inside other countries and other governments to claim that they "obtained" this explosive evidence. Being the dirty cops that they are, the CIA doesn't obtain and secure evidence, but instead they plant fake evidence on their victims.

By this act alone they change our current and past reality, and they change our future. They change our history by forging never existing "proof" of invented myths. They hire and train groups of military men to act as "protesters" around government buildings, while other military men from other countries shoot at unsuspected bystanders whose death allows Washington to claim the sovereign governments' wrongdoing.

CIA-operated groups arrest and kill government officials or force them to flee, like in Ukraine. They take over a couple of government buildings and declare their victory over a huge country, just like it happened in Russia in 1991 and 1993 and in Ukraine in 2005 and 2014. For some reason, they claim that governments are those people who take over a couple of buildings in one city. When in fact, our countries' governments are those people whose names we wrote on ballots, regardless of where these people are located. We don't run around like chickens with our heads cut off electing a new president every time our current president leaves the country.

Going back to the CIA's Humpty-Dumpty project that came online sometime in 2013. Why would anyone name their enterprise after such predictable failure, you might ask. Because, in the Russian alliteration, Shalti-Boltai means "shake up and brag about it" and not as in its original Carroll's version of "humping and dumping."

I went ballistic after someone retweeted me this CNN clip titled "Russia used Pokemon Go to interfere with the US elections."

I actually listened to the clip itself, in which they brought up the Internet Research Agency" from SP. Knowing full well that the hackers who "leaked" the information about this "Agency" were arrested and successfully charged for treason because they worked for the CIA should prevent the CIA to run fake news about the entities and people they themselves made up. You would think that the matter of the "Kremlin trolls from Saint Petersburg" should be dead and buried after the arrest. The CIA and other 16 intelligence agencies should know better than to use information that is being known now as "discovered' with their "help."

Because it's all fake and we know it.

We also know everything that the CIA touches is fake. Speaking in layman's term, it's as if all those middle aged bald guys would start licking their balls while claiming to be in fulfilling relations. If it's just you, guys, there is no relations. It's just you. Deal with it!

The American intelligence community cannot claim an existence of threats against America if all fingers in those "threats" are pointing back at the American intelligence community.

By stating that someone interfered with the US election using the Internet Research Agency in SP, is plainly to state that it's CIA that interfered in the American elections.

--

Let's just briefly run over the matter, before I tell you what exactly took place.

--

On September 6, 2017, Alex Stamos, a Chief Security Officer, posted a statement titled "An Update On Information Operations On Facebook":

"In reviewing the ads buys, we have found approximately $100,000 in ad spending from June of 2015 to May of 2017 -- associated with roughly 3,000 ads -- that was connected to about 470 inauthentic accounts and Pages in violation of our policies. Our analysis suggests these accounts and Pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia."

To make sure that people including myself won't find those accounts, the FB deleted them.

"We don't allow inauthentic accounts on Facebook, and as a result, we have since shut down the accounts and Pages we identified that were still active."

That's how it's done in the US. They destroy all potential evidence while laying heavy blame on Russia. Facebook destroys evidence of "Russians crimes" while public ask them to show those evidences. This means only one thing: the pieces of evidence are pointing at something Facebook wants to protect, which is the CIA.

You see, I am not suggesting that they are lying about those accounts being real or that they "affiliated with Russia," because, if the Shaltay-Boltay group worked with people from the Soros and Khodorkovky-backed group of human rights lawyers " Team 29, " created in February 2015, then their only task, it seems, was to service the psyop of the "Internet Trolls." It looks to me like they could also coordinated the work done by those 470 FaceBook accounts while being on the territory of Russia. Considering that, it's not a complete lie for the FB to say that those accounts were "Russia affiliated" and that they were "likely operated from Russia."

Facebook also can claim with plausible deniability that they are ignorant of the fact that people behind the Internet Research Agency troll hoax are proved by the Russian court to be affiliated with the CIA, while people who have been acting as the "witnesses" to this Project are lawyers from Team 29, "human rights activists and also journalists from the Norwegian Bonnier AB owned Fontanka, Taiwan-based Novaya Gazeta, and the Latvia-based Meduza; these people are factually proven to be backed by Soros, a CIA financial branch, like a journalist who has received an award from Khodorkovsky.

The entire campaign of blaming Russia in "meddling" is being reported without ANY tangible proof that could be verified by at least two independently existing sources, that's why we should grab ANY grains of information. That's why Facebook's statement that " About one-quarter of these ads were geographically targeted, and of those, more ran in 2015 than 2016″ is very important.

Why?

Because, fake business entities known as " the Internet Research Agency ," and " the Internet Research" in the government electronic business registry, they were treated as real companies by the system . Because of their inactivity on all of their bank accounts and because no one ever filed required forms, they were automatically liquidated by the electronic system.

The United Business Registry database in Russia works according to the Federal laws, so after twelve months of inactivity a business is simply liquidated. The Internet Research Agency was liquidated in December 2016 by the government system after it been inactive for twelve month. It's inactivity implied that the company had no employees, no office, and no bank transactions for at least twelve months! The Internet Research company was liquidated on September 2, 2015 by merging with TEKA company. According to the federal business Registry TEKA was a construction retailer. I wasn't able to find any indication, like an office, phone number, names of the managers or employees, anything at all that would indicate that this company existed. Just like the Internet Research Agency and the Internet Research, TEKA existed only in the federal registry and nowhere else.

The automatic liquidation in the federal registry for inactivity explains the drop in activity on the accounts run by the Shaltay-Boltay and the others. Oh, yes, they were also hunted and on the run, out of the country. It's hard to use bank accounts to simulate activities after you have fled the country.

The Team 29, of the human rights lawyers and activists, was created in February 2015. To give to this new company some proof of reality and instant notoriety they immediately filed a lawsuit against the Internet Research company using an activist woman with a Ukrainian last name Ludmila Savchuk (Людмила Савчук) who went and filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming some unpaid wages. Her first lawsuit the judge threw out. Only after the local general prosecutor's office pressed the judge to take the case, the district court took the case and partially granted the Claimant her claim, but not the "moral damages." She wanted the money for working for the "troll factory." In essence, they wanted an official court paper that would say black on white, that there is a "troll factory" that this poor woman worked for. Without reading the file, I don't know what the judge was thinking, but she might have smelled a rat among those virtual "trolls."

This took place in August 2015, and by September 2 2015, a fake company named the "Internet Research" was liquidated by merging it, in the Business registry, with another fake entity, TEKA, that was created in spring 2015 as the construction materials retailer.

"Facebook disclosed on Wednesday that it had identified more than $100,000 worth of divisive ads on hot-button issues purchased by a shadowy Russian company linked to the Kremlin."

"Most of the 3,000 ads did not refer to particular candidates but instead focused on divisive social issues such as race, gay rights, gun control and immigration, according to a post on Facebook by Alex Stamos, the company's chief security officer. The ads, which ran between June 2015 and May 2017, were linked to some 470 fake accounts and pages the company said it had shut down."

"Facebook officials said the fake accounts were created by a Russian company called the Internet Research Agency , which is known for using "troll" accounts to post on social media and comment on news websites."

"The January intelligence report said the "likely financier" of the Internet Research Agency was "a close Putin ally with ties to Russian intelligence." The company, profiled by The New York Times Magazine in 2015, is in St. Petersburg and uses its small army of trolls to put out messages supportive of Russian government policy."

"To date, while news reports have uncovered many meetings and contacts between Trump associates and Russians, there has been no evidence proving collusion in the hacking or other Russian activities."

"While there is no direct link between the Kremlin and any of these projects -- both Surkov and Zubarev say their projects are privately funded -- the timing, scale, and coordination of these efforts are suspicious. BuzzFeed was not able to find evidence of direct government funding to the "Internet Research Agency ," the pro-Kremlin troll outlet operating out of 55 Savushkina , but they did reference a number of sources that revealed some level of involvement."

-- -

In my next study, I will provide you with more links, screenshots and translations. I will demonstrate to you how this story connects to the war on the Middle East and the international war on the Russian population of Ukraine.

--

In conclusion I just want to say that everything the United State touches turns into a warzone. The building on Savushkina, 55 in Saint Petersburg is no exception.

Multiple death threats are being directed at people who work there. Popular and excellent in their quality media outlets operating there have to hide their true location and rent a separate office across the city for their visitors, because people are simply afraid to come in.

Journalists and multiple business employees are threatened online with rape.

Threats to hang the journalists during a "protest meeting" on Oct 1, 2017

At least one case of terror attack on the office building that resulted in arson on October 26, 2016.

On Oct 26, 2016, several men threw bottles of Molotov cocktail in the windows of the Nevskie Novosti (Neva News). Luckily, no one was there but the owner of the Media conglomerate, Evgeny Zubarev, who put out the fire.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hO02D2hOsrg

All of these, every threat, every simple lie is all on the United State government, its intelligence community, on those traitors, who are in prison now, and those who are still at large. ­


jfb on October 15, 2017 , · at 11:45 pm UTC

Finally a detailed article on this. Anyone who has read sputnik or RT during the years 2015-2016 can figure that something is wrong with those claims.

We have two media outlets truelly affiliated with the Russian government (although not completely) and they didnt produce any pro-Trump article during that period. They interviewd Jill Stein and Ron Paul several times however

Nick on October 16, 2017 , · at 1:06 am UTC
With the current uproar about Russia interfering in the USA elections. It has to be noted that the Kremlin is very silent on this subject. It is more important now than ever to bring forth information from Russia in exposing how serious the problem is from the USA interfering in not only Russian affairs but how the intelligence community continues unabated in interfering in most countries.

This article is very important and outlines the destructive effort being done to Russia by the USA. It should be noted and clearly displayed by the psychopathic nature of USA meddling in Russian affairs. One has to wonder why people cannot see how the current government of the USA is totally out of control around the world. Everything has its cycle of life and the USA is no exception to this theory.

When humanity is controlled in such a fashion, by that I mean that the USA is supported by the four pillars consisting of GREED, CORRUPTION, POWER and CONTROL. They are sitting on the top of these structures and are desperately trying to maintain their grip over the world.

_smr on October 16, 2017 , · at 3:01 am UTC
"With the current uproar about Russia interfering in the USA elections. It has to be noted that the Kremlin is very silent on this subject."

thank goodness! Trying to reason with drunken punks is hopeless and makes you look like a fool yourself.

Anonymous on October 16, 2017 , · at 11:02 am UTC
Perhaps the purpose is to "open Russia" to debunk those silly "Kreml hacking" claims and give Empire more important information inside Russia. E.g how to go deep through military security defense line.

Empire actually don't know what Russia don't know or do know. Is this chess where you have to sacrifice pawn or two or even knight to secure queen and king? Or why to shoot fly with cannon?

Den Lille Abe on October 16, 2017 , · at 7:47 pm UTC
"One has to wonder why people cannot see how the current government of the USA is totally out of control around the world." end quote.

It is extremely difficult and time consuming for an ordinary person to find the truth in the millions of pages on the Internet, the ordinary mushroom knowing that the MSM only serves you sh't and keeps you in the dark. The most reliable method (not 100 % though) is the "Follow the money" method, who has to gain by this or that development, but even that can lead to false conclusions. Always count on that everyone has a hidden agenda, but watch out you are not gripped by paranoia.

MarkinPNW on October 16, 2017 , · at 2:27 am UTC
Yea, just a common internet malpractice called spoofing, that any IT professional, especially one working in IT security, knows about. I suspected all along that most or all of this "Russian Hacking" and "Russians did it" was exactly that.
Tom Welsh on October 16, 2017 , · at 4:55 am UTC
What a pathetic waste of time. American society and government are really getting very low.

And, of course, reality is actually defined as "what you cannot change by speaking about it". You can change reality, a very little bit at a time, by doing honest physical work.

Nussiminen on October 16, 2017 , · at 2:29 pm UTC
Agreed, well put.

At the same time, it's strange they don't follow up by more imbecilic slander against Russia for Charlottesville and Las Vegas. I mean, the attention span of Ziomedia consumers is parlously narrow. The US Presidential Election should have all but faded as an event in the distant past.

B.F. on October 16, 2017 , · at 6:50 am UTC
I wonder if the US Government and Washington political establishment are aware that the rest of the world is watching them and drawing appropriate conclusions. Probably not.

What has been happening in the US during Trumps election campaign, and in the period after he became President, has left a very poor impression of the US in the eyes of the international community.

The US is now perceived as an imperial power which has lost all sense of reality, thinking it can do anything it wants and having the rest of the world agree with it. That is simply not the case. All the anti-Russian rhetoric has done is to make Russia more popular and more mature in the eyes of the world, which now sees Vladimir Putin as a factor of stability.

CrazySerb on October 16, 2017 , · at 9:15 am UTC
Scott can you elaborate , what is the cause of that hate towards Russian people?

What are the reasons to hate your own nation and the people who live there , after all you were born there and lived your whole life?
If you do not like to live there you can simply leave , Soviet Union is no more.

B.F. on October 16, 2017 , · at 3:51 pm UTC
Russia is multi ethnic. I don't think those were Russians.
Guru on November 20, 2017 , · at 8:09 am UTC
It goes back to the Bible and Tree of Knowledge. Read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. Explains it all.
jo6pac on October 16, 2017 , · at 9:21 am UTC
Thanks Scott.
twilight on October 16, 2017 , · at 10:04 am UTC
There's only one thing you need to know about the recent election cycle in the USA- the organised force that operated on behalf of Hillary Clinton was unprecented in Human History and spent more money to get her elected than in any previous campaign- and they ***failed***.

Was there pro-Trump activity, including by soft 'unofficial' foreign sources? For sure, but it measured less than 1% of 1% of 1% of the size of the official state sanctioned efforts made by every regime of the West to get Clinton elected. The Deep State Demons, led by Tony Blair, are not angry cos Trump won, they are angry because their effort proved so impotent. After all within days of Trump winning, they got Putin to back off and thus were able to 'turn' Trump. So Trump ain't the issue- but having such 'PR' resources fail is.

We, the people, are the living 'batteries' that power the Demon's greater plans. Without our assent- even passively given- the Demons can achieve nothing major on this Planet. So the Demons battle for hearts and minds. And our support doesn't not have to be 'active' so Brits protesting against Blair's Iraq invasion in record numbers isn't a issue if the same Brits support their 'troops' after the fact and then vote Blair back into power.

Americans can think they hate Trump and Clinton- but this doesn't trouble the Deep State one whit so long as the same fools support everything Trump or Clinton do- passively or not.

Does Russia 'troll' the West officially and unofficially? Of course it does. Russia is obliged, as a major power, to do to the West what the West does to Russia. Do Russia's tiny efforts 'weigh' as much as a far far greater chunk of the efforts of the West? Of course- Russia has to be super efficient, lacking the resources of the West. Does this mean Russia was responsible for Clinton's defeat? Obviously not!

Russia reached a tiny section of self-aware US voters who already would never vote for Clinton. The vast majority of US sheeple are still fodder for the zionist press machine. They voted against Clinton because they could not stand her perfume of sulpher- they perceived correctly her rotted soul- and her "all about me" attitude. And the Clinton 'dynasty' thing was the final straw. For the 'left' to push the idea of 'royal' families was stupid beyond belief.

So why is Russia still based over its non-relevant activities at that time? Because it is always about ***now*** and not ***then***. Attacking Putin in the aftermath of Trump's election successfully got Putin to run backward, leaving Trump exposed and without powerful allies. And the Deep State just had to walk thru that open door, and 'take' Trump. So Russia showed itself very weak to name-calling. And our people show themselves likewise weak, hence this article. When you spend your time apologising and denying the 'truth' of vindictive attacks on your reputation, you look weak and start to feel weak and always on the defensive.

Want to see how this plays out- look at the RT news service. Constant attacks on RT have RT bending over backward to present a pro-Israeli narrative. The language of RT's news reports are the same language used by the BBC. The people running RT are constantly looking over their shoulder and asking themselves the question "are we fair and unbiased". Let me ask you all a question. When does the zionist press of the West ever ask itself that question?

You see the Deep State, via the racist zionists, controls 99.99% of the planet's mainstream media and 95% of the so-called indy-media (mostly via real life nazi jew Soros). It is the duty of our tiny fraction of news outlets to counter this monolith, ***not*** to worry about 'bias'.

In Britain, the jewish run government press censorship bodies that masquerade as 'independent'- the same ones that ***banned*** PressTV- constantly attack RT for not presenting 'both' sides of the story. This is the same Britain that when the jews of Israel use WW3 class weapons to holocaust the people of Gaza, insist that the BBC and ITN ***never*** interview members of the Gaza government- and give exclusive airtime to the jewish butchers so they can explain why 'sub-Human' non-jews must be slaughtered.

RT tries to mock these requirements by giving airtime to self-destruction rabid zionists whose very mouth-frothing evil helps ruin the arguments of the Deep State. It does not matter. RT is on 'borrowed time' and when things get darker in the near future, will be banned anyway.

Anyway my greater point is I don't care about the zionist press demonising of counter propaganda using false lying examples. It is their job to make our side look bad any way they can. I car about the effectiveness of our real counter propaganda- and that we engage in it powerfully, loudly and without apology. We don't have to present the arguements of the other side for 'fairness'. The other side is represented by a press machine of unprecedented size, power and reach. 100% of our efforts have to be in exposing the work and agenda of the Deep State Demons, and those that willingly ally with them, like the Friends of Israel.

bernie on October 17, 2017 , · at 3:03 am UTC
twilight is half half neither full light nor darkness. so are your writings. I admit you write very well very cunningly instilling confusion, the devil could not do it better. You may upset a few newcomers on this blog but that s' it. In fact your writings have a particular air .. . Go on until nobody takes you serious anymore.
Anonymous on October 17, 2017 , · at 4:29 am UTC
Well said.

Verbosity, generally, equates to obfuscation -- especially when implemented in a turgid, pompous style of vacuous content.

Nikkobaud on October 16, 2017 , · at 10:47 am UTC
Thanks for the detailed puncturing of this mainstream fake news balloon. But, as fake as all of the "Russian interference, Putin done it, et al" memes are, and therefore seemingly jejune and transparent propaganda psy-ops, I think their real purpose is to create a false climate, a public justification for the eventual hard censorship of internet alt-news sites for Western users. And in that they seem to be succeeding, if only, for the moment, in skewing the results of internet searches away from what are claimed to be "fake news" sites, but are, in fact, usually the real news sources, if often contradicting the mainstream party line. A fake threat is being created that will be answered by a real throttling of internet access.
Nussiminen on October 16, 2017 , · at 1:24 pm UTC
Russia shouldn't waste precious time and resources on retarded, despicable Westerners forever high on their vile, corporate mindrot. Well, I take back what I just said -- it would actually be hilarious to the n :th degree if Russia dismissed the slander on pure Western supremacist grounds:

"How the hell would a nation of backward, imbecilic, Asiatic savages like us ever be able to master anything coming out of the West (except, perhaps, pornography) ?!?"

Supreme contempt accompanied by refined amusement is unbeatable when you're dealing with Western supremacists, believe me.

oldnik007 on October 16, 2017 , · at 1:36 pm UTC
"Ask my dog for details "hilarious. well researched scott and very clear explanation.
Richard Steven Hack on October 16, 2017 , · at 3:03 pm UTC
Very nice detective work, Scott! Well done.

Rather than Putin being a mastermind controlling the world from Moscow, it seems that most bad things happening in the world are in fact being controlled out of Langley, Virginia. Which pretty much agrees with everything I've ever read about the CIA going back decades.

The US needs to disband the CIA entirely, investigate their operations and put most of the heads in jail.

Larchmonter445 on October 16, 2017 , · at 3:08 pm UTC
Scott,

Good work on this article.

Very important resource piece. Illuminating.

Thanks.

vot tak on October 16, 2017 , · at 4:27 pm UTC
With soros and khodorkovsky being israelis, this covert op involved a lot more than just some trouser droppers at the cia. It is part of a much wider israeloamerican series of covert ops against Russia. I suspect there is a whole lot more of this govno and this is just one individual op being described here.
Den Lille Abe on October 16, 2017 , · at 7:39 pm UTC
This is very disappointing to read. I have now been in sharp training , to hopefully be employed by one of these nebulous actor as a bona fide troll, posting comments with a satirical edge but always advocating this or that point of view. It is most distressing to say the least.
End of satirical part.
If this article is true, i have no choice, but to post what is my current opinion, which of course is formed by the current MSM tagline Confused ? Dont be!
The recent years have seen the rise of three letter agencies use of the internet in in their paid for masters agenda, and the truth has in fact never been further out of reach for a ordinary person.
Ohh sweet irony, 30 years ago it took searching libraries, news clippings to find the truth, but it could be done, as the smoke and diversion was only a single or few layers thick.
Not so today, with all information at hand within microseconds, the truth has never been buried deeper, the public never been more "propagandised than ever.
Anonymous on October 17, 2017 , · at 7:53 am UTC
Scott, you were right in your intuition that the Catalonia "revolution" was remindful of Maidan. Remember that Maidan video "I am Ucrainian"?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvds2AIiWLA

Well, there is this one about Catalonia that looks and sounds very very very similar. Clearly copied from the Maidan model

Help Catalonia
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wouNL14tAks

Mujo on October 17, 2017 , · at 9:22 am UTC
Thanks for this article.

Perhaps somebody could help me to understand this story better.

It seems that the so-called "Kremlin trolls" were current and former FSB officers who went to work for the CIA.

Questions

(1) How do we know they worked for the CIA? Reading this article, I find numerous claims to this effect but no evidence. Did I miss something? Is there a smoking gun?

(2) Why did they defect from the FSB to join the CIA? Do we have any insight on this?

Scott on October 17, 2017 , · at 3:03 pm UTC
to Mujo

That's what my research is about, despite Ivan Pavlov's defense denying the connection between the Shaltay-Boltay group and former FSB officers convicted for treason. https://en.crimerussia.com/gromkie-dela/defendant-in-high-treason-case-personally-detained-shaltay-boltay-s-leader-/

But that's what a good defense is for, to deny.
Treason is very serious charge that includes working for foreign governments intelligence services.
I believe I have enough to prove my point, using, of course, only information openly available on the internet.
However, if these people worked for SBU or Mossad, I will write about this, also.

See also,
Arrested Russian FSB Agents Allegedly Passed Information to CIA
http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/31/arrested-russian-fsb-agents-allegedly-passed-information-to-cia-trump-putin/
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/russia-treason-fsb-spies-kaspersky-labs-us-intelligence-denies-cia-hacking/
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/31/russian-cybersecurity-experts-face-treason-charges-cia
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/26/report-arrested-russian-intel-officer-allegedly-spied-us/97094696/
https://www.rbth.com/politics_and_society/2017/02/02/fsb-officers-charged-with-treason-media-claim-cia-ties_693641

You wrote "(2) Why did they defect from the FSB to join the CIA? Do we have any insight on this?"
Maybe they defected, or maybe they started working there after being recruited by the foreign intelligence services. We will find out.

Mujo on October 18, 2017 , · at 5:58 am UTC
Scott,

Thanks for these follow-up links -- very helpful.

I also found this interview with Alexander Glazastikov (Humpty), which you have probably read:

The only member of Shaltay-Boltay left on the loose reveals details on their work

As described by various media sources, the basic story about Shaltay-Boltay is that they formed in mid-2013 to hack e-mail, social media, and data of officials and businessmen in Russia, and then sold this data for large amounts of money through the digital underground. In particular, this happened through a portal called "Exchange of Information", a kind of anonymous auction site for stolen data. Glazastikov says Shaltay-Boltay "was supposed to be a spokesman for the Anonymous International", and was created by himself, Vladimir Anikeev, and Konstantin Teplyakov.

Although most all of the Western media sources insinuate some connection between Shaltay-Boltay, the FSB officers who were arrested, and the putative "hacking" of the 2016 U.S. election, Glazastikov denies any interest in targets outside Russia.

There is also disagreement around the connection between Shaltay-Boltay and the FSB. Glazastikov says that the FSB contacted him, saying they were aware of Shaltay-Boltay's activity, and wanted to assert "control" and veto power in exchange for not arresting them. Russia Beyond claims that it was Sergei Mikhailov (FSB) who took control of Shaltay-Boltay and "received kickbacks from its founder, Vladimir Anikeyev". However, Glazastikov's testimony contradicts that of Anikeev, his lawyer (Ruslan Koblev), and Ivan Pavlov, lawyer for one of the FSB defendants, all of whom deny any working relationship between Shaltay-Boltay and the FSB.

Interestingly, Glazastikov notes that neither Anikeev nor Teplyakov had technical expertise. Moreover, Glazastikov makes it sound like even he was not primarily involved in hacking, and the "Exchange of Information" admins claim no connection with Shaltay-Boltay. For the heavy lifting, Shaltay-Boltay would use "specialized hacking sites" where they outsourced pay-to-order hacks with IT mercenaries. A target e-mail address could be hacked for a few thousand rubles. And even this, Glazastikov states, wasn't really the original idea for Shaltay-Boltay. Instead, he imagined they would be doing "advertising or administration fee".

Perhaps more significantly, it has more recently been claimed that members of Shaltay-Boltay have admitted to forging some parts of the correspondence that they hacked. The putative aim was to boost the profile of their group.

Reading between the lines of this, I find more support for Scott's angle on this story. Shaltay-Boltay were indeed not hackers in a conventional sense. They were traders in an illicit information economy, and apparently weren't above fabricating that information if it would raise their profile. For the extent and nature of that fabrication, i look forward to Scott's next report!

Internal Exile USA on October 17, 2017 , · at 4:29 pm UTC
This is incredible research, you put most YTube new journalists to shame. I hope this material makes its way into your next book. "Enemy of the State" is an instant classic full of insights on how to live life that are a soothing balm to children of the Sick West with senses of humor somewhat intact.

On the east coast of the U.S., the mundane worlds of the Masters of (their imagined) Universe can be seen fairly easily, especially if you wander into places and act like you belong there.

Regarding the kinds of people that instigate the madness you describe above: I recently had the opportunity to visit a very interesting social club that was opened to the public for one day only. Three Ivy league schools I'm sure you've heard of. On the walls upstairs were listed all the latest presidents in different colors, like red for an "H" school: Obama, Clinton, Bush II, Bush I . Kennedy John Quincy Adams, etc. I can't remember Nixon or Carter being there, but I talked to someone who's name is on another wall, and it struck me that members of this club did not hate Trump because of his manners, parents, background, politics, or alleged business acumen. Instead, they hated the fact that his name couldn't be written on their wall. It's really only acceptable to be President if you've been BMOC at Harvard.

Out of nowhere, my gentleman acquaintance brought up the topic of the day: Russia hacking the elections. The more things change, the more they are not the same anymore.

There were pictures of famous football teams from years gone by, the place had a charm but it was shabby, and the ceiling looked like sprayed styrafoam, an aesthetic disgrace that these imaginary jocks failed to appreciate. The drinks, by the way, were terrible. They must make their highballs with Minute Maid. The creativity and intelligence, not to mention taste of the West are surely at a low ebb.

TIJAT on October 18, 2017 , · at 10:20 am UTC
Excellent article. In depth and well reported. Blows away the MSM!
Nussiminen on October 18, 2017 , · at 3:20 pm UTC
Frankly, I don't really see too big a problem with people swallowing the hogwash about "Kremlin disinformation trolls" working to undermine the West's irrepressible belief in itself. As usual, the most appropriate response amounts to contemptuous, refined amusement:

"They seem to know indeed what they are talking about -- well worth their salary for doing honest work."

If you cannot change the Weltanschau of Ziomedia addicts, then at least you're fully entitled to have some fun at the slobs' expense.

Internal Exile USA on October 19, 2017 , · at 9:20 pm UTC
Absolutely, humor is one of the best weapons around. The more pompous a person is, the more they hate being dropped down to size. Pop goes the balloon of hot air. Humor has probably woken more people up than any other method. It's not as though we have a lack of ludicrous, ridiculous material. As the inventor of this site once described, how did the people in the late-era Soviet Union fight their declining regime? Jokes.
TIAJAT on October 19, 2017 , · at 8:08 pm UTC
Awesome work, and no one has been able to post any rebuttals. Probably because they don't have any?
Colin on October 21, 2017 , · at 11:54 pm UTC
Interesting how the incorrect information masqueraded as first hand eyewitness reports by boots on the ground in St.Petersburg -- in effect 'doxxing' the Kremin's Troll Factory.
It's as though someone misinterpreted (or merely read in school misrepresentations of) Asch's conformity test results.
This was obviously aimed at those old enough to remember the Lubyanka building; fighting ghosts of the cold war in old peoples' minds, eh?

It'll probably work on political fools like Kelly (chief of staff)

yet, once wonders if the yet to be released JFK files will point directly at Russia (assuming the old intelligence communities planted evidence against russia long ago and sealed it among the other documents) and if Clinton on her book tour spreading total BS about russia and wikileaks is laying the groundwork for Trump to resurrect his mentor's McCarthyism skeletons?

I don't think they really give a rat's arse about Russia. Just read Bush's speech he gave (that the MSM blatantly lies calling it anti-racist only) about the 'cyber revolution' coming. Who the hell do you think is the second highest paid lobbyist group besides the military industrial complex? That's right, the USA's ISP companies.

Aaron Swartz must be rolling in his grave. poor guy. no way he hung himself.

Matt on October 28, 2017 , · at 12:38 pm UTC
First, I will address the author's attempted discrediting of the Shaltai Boltai hacking group, which included someone from the FSB. They released the internal communications of the St. Petersburg troll factory. Now, the author tries painting them as traitors working for the CIA, who planted fake information. This is entirely untrue. The group became infamous for its initial release of information in late 2013, and the subsequent hacks of various Kremlin insiders. Here are the other leaks they released:

Mandatory Questions for Putin's Press-conference in Austria

An internal Kremlin index of the relevant bloggers: divided into "Guards" (either official Kremlin
accounts or trusted trolls), highlighted in red or "Opposition", in yellow, or "Neutrals" in green.

Mailbox of Vera Kerova, a Kremlin PR adviser who worked closely on ensuring the Crimean referendum was a predetermined success.

Emails of Timur Prokopenko, head of the "Internal Politics" department at President Putin's administration, de facto spin-master of the Kremlin.

Emails of Kremlin employee Alexey Anisimov, one of the assistants to the Kremlin's chief of Domestic Politics Vyacheslav Volodin.

Emails of Georgi Gavrish, a former officer of the Russian embassy in Athens, and, like Dugin, at one point employed by oligarch Malofeev.

As you can see, their hacks were deep and numerous. Not once has any information they released been deemed fake. Further, the amount of information released is staggering. They could not forge the thousands of emails messages from the troll factory, or the tens of thousands of messages from the above personalities. Some emails contained entire drafts of unpublished books. And the information has indeed been corroborated. Shaltai Boltai also blackmailed some people for money, but despite this, none of their released have been proven to be fakes. Nor do they have a connection to the CIA. The FSB is known to hire former cybercriminals. That one of its employees ran such a hacking group is not surprising.

Now, here is some information on the hacked files:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/maxseddon/documents-show-how-russias-troll-army-hit-america?utm_term=.sn2B3bYRLe#.pgpO98mAj0

https://globalvoices.org/2015/03/14/russia-kremlin-troll-army-examples/

Further, the author tries claiming that the building was "for rent" in 2014 and that this means there could not have been a troll factory there. This is entirely false. The "for rent" sign was placed in some time 2013 and the troll factory moved in in 2013. By the summer of 2014, Shaltai Boltai had hacked the factory. The author also tries making some incorrect technical claims, that posting so many comments would require a huge amount of bandwith and that no ISP would allow this. This is another false argument, considering it is very easy and cheap to get high bandwith internet for businesses, which the troll factory technically is. Posting comments is not some bandwith-intensive task at all, nor is general browsing. The author also gets confused and claims that Shaltai Boltai and the CIA created those >400 troll accounts, as revealed by FB. Shaltai Boltai actually released the internal communications years before any "Russiagate" hysteria. Lastly, the author points out that there are many companies registered from the address, not just the troll factory. He then lists some of these companies and fails to note the irony of mentioning FAN. We will get to FAN news network later.

The author then states:

"This took place in August 2015, and by September 2 2015, a fake company named the "Internet Research" was liquidated by merging it, in the Business registry, with another fake entity, TEKA, that was created in spring 2015 as the construction materials retailer."

The lawyer who won Savchuk's case, Ivan Pavlov, who heads Team 29, says:

"Meanwhile, the company has changed its name to Teka, Pavlov said. It also has moved its legal headquarters, although the trolling operation remains in a large gray building north of the St. Petersburg city center, near the head of the Gulf of Finland."

This is what investigative journalist Andrei Zakharov, who works for the business media group RBC, says (he has written numerous articles investigating the finances of the troll factory):

"They have a lot of legal entities, and they still, I think, change it every year or every two years."

Another company at 55 Savushkina Street is Glavset, whose director general has the same name as the boss of IRA. Glavset lists the "creation and use of databases and information resources" as well as the "development of computer software, advertising services and information placement services" among its activities. It was listed as a company in the Russian legal entities registry in February 2015. A short time later, it began advertising for staff on a headhunting site (hh.ru). One post looking for a copywriter says the job involves "writing diverse texts for the Internet and content for social networks." The posting offered a salary of 30,000 rubles a month (then a little over $500) and said experience was unnecessary. Recruits would work with a team of "young and enthusiastic colleagues" in "a comfortable and stylish office," according to the posting. Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/the-notorious-kremlin-linked-troll-farm-and-the-russians-trying-to-take-it-down/2017/10/06/c8c4b160-a919-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02_story.html

As you can see, the fact that the company continually changes names and merges is to obscure its existence and make it difficult to find out more information about it.
After the troll factory's emails were hacked, various journalists contacted the trolls using their leaked email addresses, to get interviews. One such journalist was the NYT's Adrian Chen:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/magazine/the-agency.html

It's a lengthy piece, but I suggest everyone read it. It also mentions the "FAN news network", mentioned by the author. This is another entity created to obscure the existence of the troll factory. Several other interviews were published, by Western and Russian sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/11656043/My-life-as-a-pro-Putin-propagandist-in-Russias-secret-troll-factory.html

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/02/putin-kremlin-inside-russian-troll-house

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-trolls-headquarters-media-internet-insider-account/26904157.html

Let's assume that all this is fake, including all the troll factory emails and that the interviews were conducted by the biased Western media outlets, using CIA actors or something. What about the Russian media? Did they report on this too? Indeed, they did:

http://mr7.ru/articles/112478/

The above is a local, St. Petersburg-based media outlet and they released several documents from the troll factory, given to them by a former employee. Are they lying too?

RBC, one of Russia's most respected business news outlets, ran a story about the troll factory and its funders, this April. The story focused on restaurateur Evgeny Prigozhin, a close friend of Putin, responsible for the financing of the St. Petersburg troll factory:

http://www.rbc.ru/magazine/2017/04/58d106b09a794710fa8934ac?from=subject

Just today, they released this:

https://meduza.io/en/news/2017/10/17/russian-journalists-publish-massive-investigation-into-st-petersburg-troll-factory-s-u-s-operations

They also revealed the names of two highly popular troll accounts: an anti-Clinton FaceBook group with 140,000 subscribers, called "Secure Borders", and a right-wing Twitter account called Tea Party News, with 22,000 followers. It's my hypothesis that FaceBook used these accounts to find other accounts, as there were some of the first accounts suspended. This wasn't the only Russian media article about the troll factory or its wealthy funder. One of the very first articles about the troll factory was published in 2013, by Novaya Gazeta, one of Russia's oldest opposition papers:

https://globalvoices.org/2013/06/21/the-kremlins-kitchen-serves-up-russias-free-press/

TV Rain also recently interviewed a former troll:

https://tvrain.ru/teleshow/reportazh/oni_sdelali_video_kak_negr_zanimaetsja-448671/

Is it likely that RBC, NG, MR7, and TV Rain are also lying?

Lastly, there are several examples of the troll factory getting caught red-handed:

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2002774-fake-video-of-american-shooting-a-quran-traced-to-russian-propaganda-agency/

https://globalvoices.org/2015/07/13/open-source-information-reveals-pro-kremlin-web-campaign/

https://globalvoices.org/2014/11/19/fake-ukrainian-news-websites-run-by-russian-troll-army-offshoots/

https://globalvoices.org/2015/12/22/massive-livejournal-troll-network-pushes-pro-kremlin-narratives/

In conclusion, the author was unable to prove that the leaked correspondence is fake, ignores the mountain of evidence proving the existence of the troll factory, blames, without evidence, the CIA for being behind all this, and tries using faulty logic to disprove the existence of the troll factory. He also is confused about the troll factory's continuous morphing. Lastly, he tries linking the drop in leaking activity by Shaltai Boltai with the troll factory's merging into other entities. The two things are completely unrelated, since the troll factory changes its name every year or so, and has gone by many names. I find it hard to believe that a Russian speaker like the author could make so many mistakes and leave out the above information. I don't even understand Russian, yet, even I addressed the mountain of evidence from the RuNet regarding the troll factory. We have thousands of messages from the factory, leaked not just by Shaltai Boltai, but local news outlets from St. Petersburg, who received the documents from a former employee. We have numerous interviews from the American, Russian, British, and German media of not just one person (which the author tries smearing due to her Ukrainian last name), but countless other former employees. Conveniently, the author ignores them.

Matt on November 17, 2017 , · at 12:15 pm UTC
It's been a few weeks, but no response to my post. I would very much appreciate one. Thank you.
David on January 09, 2018 , · at 3:42 pm UTC
You say that an alleged Russian troll farm moved into that building in 2014?

Hmm. The USA had a $200 million troll farm program already in 2010. And the difference between the existence of the US' far larger troll farm program than anything that has been alleged of Russia, is that the US troll farm program is confirmed to exist, and was confirmed, in comprehensive detail, to exist by the US government years before any allegations that Russia might be doing something similar existed.

In fact, I suppose that you could be one of the US' paid social media propaganda trolls, Matt. After all, they are everywhere, these days -- and have been for getting close to a decade, now.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/29040299/ns/us_news-military/
http://russia-insider.com/en/ny-times-frets-about-russian-propaganda-ignores-massive-troll-farms-run-america-and-its-allies
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/so-why-does-the-air-force-want-hundreds-of-fake-online-identities-on-social-media-update/
http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-legalizes-propaganda-2012-5
http://russia-insider.com/en/us-prepares-lavishly-funded-anti-russia-propaganda-and-troll-army/ri21805
http://russia-insider.com/en/yet-another-us-govt-agency-spending-big-spread-foreign-policy-lies-gec/ri22087

And here is a particularly good article that details the US' social media troll farm program, as it was already in 2010.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

" According to publicized 2011 USA Central Command documents and contracts which detailed the program, the USA has by far the world's largest cyber-army, and contracts companies to set up and pay people to post in social media "around the world," "using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda "the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated messages, blogposts, chatroom posts and other interventions .The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities -- known to users of social media as "sock puppets" -- could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same."

Basically, if the Russian government is paying posters to post in social media, they got the idea from the USA government (and Israel, which admitted paying social media trolls during their 2008 -- 2009 war against Gaza), which was publicly broadcasting that it was doing the same thing years earlier, and with a budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Since then, a lot of countries have copies the US and Israel's pioneering of social media troll farms, and today Israel, the US, the UK, Ukraine, Poland etc.

http://www.newsweek.com/35000-volunteers-sign-ukraines-information-army-first-day-310121
https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201710111058132063-poland-cyber-army-analysis/

Matt on January 09, 2018 , · at 6:59 pm UTC
Hello David,

I already know about those links. First, none of them prove the U.S. has troll farms to target countries. Those links only discuss writing in foreign languages to fight Jihadist propaganda online. But no evidence of the U.S. hiring people to post messages on Russian forums, for example.

"In fact, I suppose that you could be one of the US' paid social media propaganda trolls, Matt."

Hmm, strange ad hominem. I never insulted you, so I don't understand.

David on January 09, 2018 , · at 9:43 pm UTC
Hello again Matt,

"Those links only discuss writing in foreign languages to fight Jihadist propaganda online"

With the USA having the largest known troll farm budget and operation in the world, and using the phrase "around the world" to describe the scope of its social media propaganda, it is simple logic that the US is targeting everybody with their propaganda. But, the links I gave are certainly not exclusive to countering jihadist propaganda, with the US government's own description of its social media propaganda program being focused on social media "around the world", and with some of the links I gave explicitly focus on Russia-targeting efforts, while others involve targeting US citizens with domestic propaganda.

http://russia-insider.com/en/us-prepares-lavishly-funded-anti-russia-propaganda-and-troll-army/ri21805
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/meet-brig-gen-joel-harding-natos-ziggy-stardust-and-his-spiders-mars/ri16367
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/brig-gen-joel-harding-natos-teen-porn-addict-and-troll-king-extraordinaire-part-ii/ri16368

Also, the US spends $50 -- $100 million a year just targeting Russia with propaganda in general. And that's only what's on the public books (the real figure could be much higher):

http://freewestmedia.com/2017/09/23/foreign-governments-spend-millions-to-influence-russian-elections/

The USAF probably is not involved in countering pro-jihad propaganda:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/so-why-does-the-air-force-want-hundreds-of-fake-online-identities-on-social-media-update/

One of the US' social media troll farms is operated by Ntrepid, near L.A. ( https://ntrepidcorp.com/ ). Do you expect they're working on countering jihad propaganda? Personally, I doubt that.

Another US security company that was seeking a troll farm contract from the US government was HBGary ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HBGary ) -- a company that had a record of conducting social media disinformation campaigns and cyber attack on behalf of US corporations and in support of US government interests.

Now, why would the US government have made propaganda directed against US citizens legal ( http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-legalizes-propaganda-2012-5 ), if the US government's only purpose was to counter pro-jihad messages, notably those in countries in the Middle East? Obviously, the US government's propaganda programs are not only, or even mostly about countering pro-jihad messaging, but feature comprehensive social media propagandizing against many targets.

Proving this, the purpose stated in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, for the US' Global Engagement Center, says:

http://russia-insider.com/en/yet-another-us-govt-agency-spending-big-spread-foreign-policy-lies-gec/ri22087

"The purpose of the Center shall be to lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests."

That does not limit the US' social media propaganda to countering jihadist, but specifically includes propaganda against states.

Also, the phrasing of the US government, calling its own propaganda 'countering propaganda', is itself propaganda, and trying to white-wash the US' hefty international offensive propaganda programs as something noble and just, and the targets of those programs as being deserving of being propagandized against. That rationalizing is by no means an honest description, being just hubris and arrogance.

At any rate, all the details make it clear that the US is committing social media propaganda not just against jihad groups, but also against its own citizens, against Russia, and against the world, in general.

And if there was still any doubt about this (though I think there shouldn't be), then look at the US' own description of its goals in conducting social media propaganda:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

"using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda."

Pro-USA propaganda is not countering-jihad propaganda. Those are completely different subjects, and the stated goal of the social media propaganda program that the US government detailed on a US government jobs site in 2010 was to bias internet conversation by spreading pro-USA propaganda. I imagine that a lot of that work is done in Western news sites, and on Facebook targeting English audiences. Maybe some of that work involves targeting Russian audiences, too. It probably does.

Countering jihadist propaganda is only one facet of the US' comprehensive social media propaganda programs.

The Washington Post also explains some Russia-targeting propaganda efforts by the US government:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/effort-to-combat-foreign-propaganda-advances-in-congress/2016/11/30/9147e1ac-e221-47be-ab92-9f2f7e69d452_story.html

"The initiative grows out of a bill authored in March by Portman and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called the "Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act." It initially sprang from a desire to help independent journalists and nongovernmental organizations in European nations such as Ukraine, Moldova and Serbia, which face a heavy tide of Russian propaganda."

Once again, calling setting up a propaganda program a propaganda-countering program is white-washing what it is. Propaganda is propaganda. And the US had Russia-targeting propaganda long before this 2016 initiative, and that initiative is just one more Russia-targeting propaganda endeavour of the US.

"Hmm, strange ad hominem. I never insulted you, so I don't understand."

Is it necessarily ad hominem? My point is that I think it's fact that people playing the apologist for US social media propaganda, or insisting that a geopolitical rival of the US is conducting this type of propaganda, could be a US paid propaganda troll. I think that the US pays propaganda trolls to do. That's how the same messaging that many like yourself constantly push sounds when the roles are reversed -- and if the public were more informed, they'd know the roles actually are reversed since before any of the Russophobic hysteria was even gestating.

David on January 11, 2018 , · at 8:16 pm UTC
Hi again, Matt,

A new article from today shows that the US' Pentagon is seeking social media bot AI to monitor and post US propaganda in social media discussions.

https://www.rt.com/usa/415609-us-army-ai-language-bot/

I believe I've shown in the information that I posted above that the US is running large-scale troll farms to spam pro-US propaganda in social media around the world. But a statement made in the RT article by former Mi-5 agent, Annie Machon, parallels my own thinking when I read the article's title:

" the timing to me is interesting, because for sure the West has been running these so-called troll farms against other countries as well for a long time, so are they just trying to expand their operations by developing this new software? Or are they trying to disingenuously suggest to people that actually they haven't done it before and only the Big Bad Russians, or the Big Bad Chinese, have run troll farms."

I think that the US government is trying to retro-actively legitimatize their social media bots and paid propaganda trolls, but that this stuff that the US government is now publicly broadcasting has been happening for a very long time.

And there is evidence of it in the 2011 Guardian article, which details US social media propaganda software from 2010:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

" the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated messages, blogposts, chatroom posts and other interventions. Details of the contract suggest this location would be MacDill air force base near Tampa, Florida, home of US Special Operations Command."

So, the US government's troll farms have been, for many years, attacking social media with specialized software enabling them to facilitate tag-teaming comments sections, to make it appear as though multiple people agree with the pro-US propaganda, when in-fact it could be just 5 puppet account belonging to one paid US propaganda troll, or, it could be multiple paid US propaganda trolls, using their special software to tag-team one comments section.

We do know that the US is targeting US media with its troll farm program, as the US government did specifically change US laws in 2011 to make propagandizing against US citizens legal. And I strongly suspect that I have personally encountered US paid propaganda trolls multiple times when posting at US news sites.

I suspect that Ars Technica is one particular target that paid US propaganda trolls have been targeting and staking out over the past few years. There has been definite tag-teaming of BS US propaganda there whenever there's an attack article about Russia -- and Ars has run many, many fanatical, hysterical, and conspiracy attack pieces against Russia in the previous few years (most relying on now heavily-debunked information, and wild hypothesis, while pushing it as though fact).

Other details of the US' social media troll farm program reveal that the US goes to great lengths to disguise its paid trolls, and to provide "powerful deniability".

"It also calls for "traffic mixing", blending the persona controllers' internet usage with the usage of people outside Centcom in a manner that must offer "excellent cover and powerful deniability"."

" US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations "without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries"."

So, paid US propaganda trolls are not going to admit to what they're doing, and they're rather going to point to their identity as having robust background "evidence" that they're normal people, that they're IP is located somewhere else, that there are multiple people saying the same thing as they are when it's just one, or a few paid US propaganda trolls tag-teaming a comments section, using multiple puppet accounts each, and with VPNs to make their puppet accounts appear as though they're posting from various different places in the US, and around the world.

I would also like to bring attention to this part of the 2011 The Guardian article:

"Centcom said it was not targeting any US-based web sites, in English or any other language, and specifically said it was not targeting Facebook or Twitter."

That article was made regarding information on the US' social media propaganda program as it was in 2010.

But the US government changed its law to make using the same propaganda against US citizens legal, in 2011 -- 2012: http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-legalizes-propaganda-2012-5

So, if the US troll farm programs weren't targeting US citizens at the time those initial details were uncovered, it was only because it was, at the time, illegal for the US government to target the citizens of the US with propaganda. But that was changed around 2012, and so comments that the US government is not targeting US citizens no longer apply, as they're out-dated.

[Feb 16, 2018] A Dangerous Turn in U.S. Foreign Policy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It was President Bill Clinton who moved NATO eastwards, abrogating a 1991 agreement with the Russians not to recruit former members of the Warsaw Pact that is at the root of current tensions with Moscow. And, while the U.S. and NATO point to Russia's annexation of the Crimea as a sign of a "revanchist" Moscow, it was NATO that set the precedent of altering borders when it dismembered Serbia to create Kosovo after the 1999 Yugoslav war. ..."
"... And it was President Barack Obama who further chilled relations with the Russians by backing the 2014 coup in the Ukraine, and whose "Asia pivot" has led to tensions between Washington and Beijing. ..."
"... Certainly the verbiage about Russia and China is alarming. Russia is routinely described as "aggressive," "revisionist," and "expansionist." In a recent attack on China, US Defense Secretary Rex Tillerson described China's trade with Latin America as "imperial. ..."
"... Russia's intervention in the Syrian civil war helped turn the tide against the anti-Assad coalition put together by the US. But its economy is smaller than Italy's, and its "aggression" is largely a response to NATO establishing a presence on Moscow's doorstep. ..."
"... China is, however, the US's major competitor and the second largest economy in the world. It has replaced the US as Latin America's largest trading partner and successfully outflanked Washington's attempts to throttle its economic influence. When the US asked its key allies to boycott China's new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, with the exception of Japan, they ignored Washington ..."
"... Is this a new Cold War, when the U.S. attempted to surround and isolate the Soviet Union? There are parallels, but the Cold War was an ideological battle between two systems, socialism and capitalism. The fight today is over market access and economic domination. When Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned Latin America about China and Russia, it wasn't about "Communist subversion," but trade. ..."
"... For one, the big arms manufacturers -- Lockheed Martian, Boeing, Raytheon, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics -- have lots of cash to hand out come election time. "Great power competition" will be expensive, with lots of big-ticket items: aircraft carriers, submarines, surface ships, and an expanded air force. ..."
"... This is not to say that the U.S. has altered its foreign policy focus because of arms company lobbies, but they do have a seat at the table. And given that those companies have spread their operations to all 50 states, local political representatives and governors have a stake in keeping -- and expanding -- those high paying jobs. ..."
"... Piling onto Moscow may have consequences as well. Andrei Kostin, head of one of Russia's largest banks, VTB, told the Financial Times ..."
"... Conn Hallinan can be read at dispatchesfromtheedgeblog.wordpress.com ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

The Trump administration's new National Defense Strategy is being touted as a sea change in U.S. foreign policy, a shift from the "war on terrorism" to "great power competition," a line that would not be out of place in the years leading up to World War I. But is the shift really a major course change, or a re-statement of policies followed by the last four administrations?

The U.S. has never taken its eyes off its big competitors.

It was President Bill Clinton who moved NATO eastwards, abrogating a 1991 agreement with the Russians not to recruit former members of the Warsaw Pact that is at the root of current tensions with Moscow. And, while the U.S. and NATO point to Russia's annexation of the Crimea as a sign of a "revanchist" Moscow, it was NATO that set the precedent of altering borders when it dismembered Serbia to create Kosovo after the 1999 Yugoslav war.

It was President George W. Bush who designated China a "strategic competitor," and who tried to lure India into an anti-Chinese alliance by allowing New Delhi to violate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Letting India purchase uranium on the international market -- it was barred from doing so by refusing to sign the NPT -- helped ignite the dangerous nuclear arms race with Pakistan in South Asia.

And it was President Barack Obama who further chilled relations with the Russians by backing the 2014 coup in the Ukraine, and whose "Asia pivot" has led to tensions between Washington and Beijing.

So is jettisoning "terrorism" as the enemy in favor of "great powers" just old wine, new bottle? Not quite. For one thing the new emphasis has a decidedly more dangerous edge to it.

In speaking at Johns Hopkins, Defense Secretary James Mattis warned, "If you challenge us, it will be your longest and worst day," a remark aimed directly at Russia. NATO ally Britain went even further. Chief of the United Kingdom General Staff, Nick Carter, told the Defense and Security Forum that "our generation has become use to wars of choice since the end of the Cold War," but "we may not have a choice about conflict with Russia," adding "The parallels with 1914 are stark."

Certainly the verbiage about Russia and China is alarming. Russia is routinely described as "aggressive," "revisionist," and "expansionist." In a recent attack on China, US Defense Secretary Rex Tillerson described China's trade with Latin America as "imperial. "

But in 1914 there were several powerful and evenly matched empires at odds. That is not the case today.

While Moscow is certainly capable of destroying the world with its nuclear weapons, Russia today bears little resemblance to 1914 Russia, or, for that matter, the Soviet Union.

The U.S. and its allies currently spend more than 12 times what Russia does on its armaments–$840 billion to $69 billion -- and that figure vastly underestimates Washington's actual military outlay. A great deal of U.S. spending is not counted as "military," including nuclear weapons, currently being modernized to the tune of $1.5 trillion.

The balance between China and the U.S. is more even, but the U.S. outspends China almost three to one. Include Washington's allies, Japan, Australia and South Korea, and that figure is almost four to one. In nuclear weapons, the ratio is vastly greater: 26 to 1 in favor of the U.S. Add NATO and the ratios are 28 to 1.

This is not to say that the military forces of Russia and China are irrelevant.

Russia's intervention in the Syrian civil war helped turn the tide against the anti-Assad coalition put together by the US. But its economy is smaller than Italy's, and its "aggression" is largely a response to NATO establishing a presence on Moscow's doorstep.

China has two military goals: to secure its sea-borne energy supplies by building up its navy and to establish a buffer zone in the East and South China seas to keep potential enemies at arm's length. To that end it has constructed smaller, more agile ships, and missiles capable of keeping U.S. aircraft carriers out of range, a strategy called "area denial." It has also modernized its military, cutting back on land-based forces and investing in air and sea assets. However, it spends less of its GDP on its military than does the US: 1.9 percent as opposed to 3.8 percent.

Beijing has been rather heavy-handed in establishing "area denial," aliening many of its neighbors -- Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Taiwan -- by claiming most of the South China Sea and building bases in the Paracel and Spratly islands.

But China has been invaded several times, starting with the Opium Wars of 1839 and 1856, when Britain forced the Chinese to lift their ban on importing the drug. Japan invaded in 1895 and 1937. If the Chinese are touchy about their coastline, one can hardly blame them.

China is, however, the US's major competitor and the second largest economy in the world. It has replaced the US as Latin America's largest trading partner and successfully outflanked Washington's attempts to throttle its economic influence. When the US asked its key allies to boycott China's new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, with the exception of Japan, they ignored Washington .

However, commercial success is hardly "imperial."

Is this a new Cold War, when the U.S. attempted to surround and isolate the Soviet Union? There are parallels, but the Cold War was an ideological battle between two systems, socialism and capitalism. The fight today is over market access and economic domination. When Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned Latin America about China and Russia, it wasn't about "Communist subversion," but trade.

There are other players behind this shift.

For one, the big arms manufacturers -- Lockheed Martian, Boeing, Raytheon, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics -- have lots of cash to hand out come election time. "Great power competition" will be expensive, with lots of big-ticket items: aircraft carriers, submarines, surface ships, and an expanded air force.

This is not to say that the U.S. has altered its foreign policy focus because of arms company lobbies, but they do have a seat at the table. And given that those companies have spread their operations to all 50 states, local political representatives and governors have a stake in keeping -- and expanding -- those high paying jobs.

Nor are the Republicans going to get much opposition on increased defense spending from the Democrats, many of whom are as hawkish as their colleagues across the aisle. Higher defense spending -- coupled with the recent tax cut bill -- will rule out funding many of the programs the Democrats hold dear. Of course, for the Republicans that dilemma is a major side benefit: cut taxes, increase defense spending, then dismantle social services, Social Security and Medicare in order to service the deficit.

And many of the Democrats are ahead of the curve when it comes to demonizing the Russians. The Russian bug-a-boo has allowed the Party to shift the blame for Hillary Clinton's loss to Moscow's manipulation of the election, thus avoiding having to examine its own lackluster campaign and unimaginative political program.

There are other actors pushing this new emphasis as well, including the Bush administration's neo-conservatives who launched the Iraq War. Their new target is Iran, even though inflating Iran to the level of a "great power" is laughable. Iran's military budget is $12.3 billion. Saudi Arabia alone spends $63.7 billion on defense, slightly less than Russia, which has five times the population and eight times the land area. In a clash between Iran and the US and its local allies, the disparity in military strength would be a little more than 66 to 1.

However, in terms of disasters, even Iraq would pale before a war with Iran.

The most dangerous place in the world right now is the Korean Peninsula, where the Trump administration appears to be casting around for some kind of military demonstration that will not ignite a nuclear war. But how would China react to an attack that might put hostile troops on its southern border?

Piling onto Moscow may have consequences as well. Andrei Kostin, head of one of Russia's largest banks, VTB, told the Financial Times that adding more sanctions against Russia "would be like declaring war."

The problem with designating "great powers" as your adversaries is that they might just take your word for it and respond accordingly. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Conn Hallinan

Conn Hallinan can be read at dispatchesfromtheedgeblog.wordpress.com

[Feb 16, 2018] Moscow charges ex-FSB Kaspersky staff with treason 'in interests of US' lawyer

Notable quotes:
"... "treason in favor of the US," ..."
"... "There is no mention of the CIA at all. [The entity] in question is the US, not the CIA," ..."
"... 'Shaltai Boltai' ..."
"... "no personnel changes" ..."
Feb 01, 2017 | www.rt.com

Two senior FSB officers and a high-level manager of Russia's leading cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab are facing official charges of treason in the interests of the US, a lawyer representing one of the defendants has confirmed to Interfax. Ruslan Stoyanov, head of Kaspersky Lab's computer incidents investigations unit, Sergey Mikhailov, a senior Russian FSB officer, and his deputy Dmitry Dokuchayev are accused of "treason in favor of the US," lawyer Ivan Pavlov said on Wednesday, as cited by Interfax. Read more © Michael Weber / Global Look Press 70mn cyberattacks, mostly foreign, targeted Russia's critical infrastructure in 2016 – FSB

Pavlov chose not to disclose which of the defendants he represents, adding, however, that his client denies all charges.

The charges against the defendants do not imply they were cooperating with the CIA, Pavlov added. "There is no mention of the CIA at all. [The entity] in question is the US, not the CIA," he stressed, according to TASS.

The lawyer maintained the court files included no mention of Vladimir Anikeev, an alleged leader of 'Shaltai Boltai', a hacking group that previously leaked emails from top Russian officials, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The hacking group's name was in the news earlier in January, when Russian media reports linked Mikhailov and Dokuchayev to 'Shaltai Boltai' . In an unsourced article last Wednesday, Rosbalt newspaper claimed Mikhailov's unit was ordered in 2016 to work with the group.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RIA Novosti on Wednesday the treason charges do not relate to the US suspicions of Russia being behind the alleged cyberattacks on the 2016 presidential elections. He added that President Vladimir Putin is receiving regular updates on the current investigation.

Russian media reports said Mikhailov was arrested during a conference of top FSB leadership. He was reportedly escorted out of the room with a bag placed over his head. His deputy, Dokuchayev, is said to be a well-known hacker who allegedly began cooperating with the FSB several years ago. Kaspersky Lab manager Stoyanov was also placed under arrest several weeks ago.

Stoyanov is still employed by Kaspersky Lab, the company told RIA Novosti later on Wednesday, adding there were "no personnel changes" at this point.

Treason charges mean that the defendants could be handed a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. The treason charges also mean any trial will not be public due to its sensitive nature.

[Feb 16, 2018] Mueller Indicts 13 Russians For Interfering In US Election

False flag or real ?
Is not "included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ("Trump Campaign") and disparaging Hillary Clinton . " (or vise versa) by posting on social media an example of free speech ?
But usage of fake identities clearly is not: "The Russians tracked the metrics of their effort in reports and budgeted for their efforts. Some, as described below, traveled to the U.S. to gather intelligence for the surreptitious campaign. They used stolen U.S. identities, including fake driver's licenses, and contacted news media outlets to promote their activities."
The question is how those unquestionable very talented Russians managed to learn English language without living in the USA and operate such a sophisticated operation from oversees? English is a very difficult language for Russians to master and Russian immigrants who came to the USA being older then 16 and living in the USA for ten or twenty years typically still have horrible accent and bad or very bad grammar (tenses, "a" and "the" usage, you name it). Actually Russian woman are noticeably better then men in this area, especially if they are married to a US spouse. Ass to this dismal understanding of the USA politics including differences between Democratic and Republican parties (you probably need to live in the USA for ten years to start appreciate those differences ;-) . How they managed to learn local political culture to be effective? That's a strong argument in favor of false flag operation -- in case they have puppeteers from the USA everything is more or less rationally explainable.
Notable quotes:
"... It gets better: the defendants reportedly worked day and night shifts to pump out messages, controlling pages targeting a range of issues, including immigration, Black Lives Matter, and they amassed hundreds of thousands of followers. They set up and used servers inside the U.S. to mask the Russian origin of the accounts. ..."
"... The Russian organization named in the indictment - the Internet Research Agency - and the defendants began working in 2014 - so one year before the Trump candidacy was even announced - to interfere in U.S. elections, according to the indictment in Washington. They used false personas and social media while also staging political rallies and communicating with "unwitting individuals" associated with the Trump campaign, it said. ..."
"... The Russians tracked the metrics of their effort in reports and budgeted for their efforts. Some, as described below, traveled to the U.S. to gather intelligence for the surreptitious campaign. They used stolen U.S. identities, including fake driver's licenses, and contacted news media outlets to promote their activities. ..."
"... Defendant ORGANIZATION had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants' operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ("Trump Campaign") and disparaging Hillary Clinton . ..."
"... Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and creating false U.S. personas, operated social media pages and groups designed to attract U.S. audiences. These groups and pages, which addressed divisive U.S. political and social issues, falsely claimed to be controlled by U.S. activists when, in fact, they were controlled by Defendants. Defendants also used the stolen identities of real U.S. persons to post on ORGANIZATION-controlled social media accounts. Over time, these social media accounts became Defendants' means to reach significant numbers of Americans for purposes of interfering with the U.S. political system, including the presidential election of 2016 ..."
"... Sixteen thousand Facebook users said that they planned to attend a Trump protest on Nov. 12, 2016, organized by the Facebook page for BlackMattersUS, a Russian-linked group that sought to capitalize on racial tensions between black and white Americans. The event was shared with 61,000 users. ..."
"... As many as 5,000 to 10,000 protesters actually convened at Manhattan's Union Square. They then marched to Trump Tower, according to media reports at the time . ..."
"... 13 Russians can influence US elections meanwhile US CIA and State Department spend $1 BIllion every year on opposition groups inside Russia without success. ..."
"... Indict AIPAC. That is the real foreign interference in ALL US elections. Such hypocrisy. At the very least, make them register as a foreign operation! Information warfare using social media ? What, you mean like the Israeli students who are paid to shape public opinion thru social media? This is no secret and has been in the news. I fail to find the difference? Psychologists call this projection, that is where you accuse others of the crimes you commit . ..."
"... It looks like Mueller would have these people for identity theft if he had them in the US, which he probably doesn't. ..."
"... Deep state pivot to keep the Russian hate alive. ..."
"... Fucking hilarious - Mueller has indicted an anti-Russian CIA operation that was run out of St. Petersburg. http://thesaker.is/a-brief-history-of-the-kremlin-trolls/ ..."
"... The bigger question is "when is Mueller going to be indicted for covering up the controlled demolition of the WTC buildings on nine eleven??" ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Mueller charges "defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016."

The indictment adds that the Russians " were instructed to post content that focused on 'politics in the USA' and to 'use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump -- we support them)' ."

It gets better: the defendants reportedly worked day and night shifts to pump out messages, controlling pages targeting a range of issues, including immigration, Black Lives Matter, and they amassed hundreds of thousands of followers. They set up and used servers inside the U.S. to mask the Russian origin of the accounts.

Ultimately, and this is the punchline, the goal was to disparage Hillary Clinton and to assist the election of Donald Trump.

In other words, anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election.

The Russian organization named in the indictment - the Internet Research Agency - and the defendants began working in 2014 - so one year before the Trump candidacy was even announced - to interfere in U.S. elections, according to the indictment in Washington. They used false personas and social media while also staging political rallies and communicating with "unwitting individuals" associated with the Trump campaign, it said.

The Russians "had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system," according to the indictment in Washington.

The Russians also reportedly bought advertisements on U.S. social media, created numerous Twitter accounts designed to appear as if they were U.S. groups or people, according to the indictment. One fake account, @TEN_GOP account, attracted more than 100,000 online followers.

The Russians tracked the metrics of their effort in reports and budgeted for their efforts. Some, as described below, traveled to the U.S. to gather intelligence for the surreptitious campaign. They used stolen U.S. identities, including fake driver's licenses, and contacted news media outlets to promote their activities.

The full list of named defendants in addition to the Internet Research Agency, as well as Concord Management and Consulting and Concord Catering, include:

Mueller's office said that none of the defendants was in custody.

So how is Trump involved? Well, he isn't, as it now seems that collusion narrative is dead, and instead Russian involvement was unilateral. Instead, according to the indictment, the Russian operations were unsolicited and pro bono, and included " supporting Trump... and disparaging Hillary Clinton,' staging political rallies, buying political advertising while posing as grassroots U.S. groups. Oh, and communicating " with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities. "

Defendant ORGANIZATION had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants' operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ("Trump Campaign") and disparaging Hillary Clinton .

Defendants made various expenditures to carry out those activities, including buying political advertisements on social media in the names of U.S. persons and entities. Defendants also staged political rallies inside the United States, and while posing as U.S. grassroots entities and U.S. persons, and without revealing their Russian identities and ORGANIZATION affiliation, solicited and compensated real U.S. persons to promote or disparage candidates. Some Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.

Furthermore, the dastardly Russians created fake accounts to pretend they are Americans:

Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and creating false U.S. personas, operated social media pages and groups designed to attract U.S. audiences. These groups and pages, which addressed divisive U.S. political and social issues, falsely claimed to be controlled by U.S. activists when, in fact, they were controlled by Defendants. Defendants also used the stolen identities of real U.S. persons to post on ORGANIZATION-controlled social media accounts. Over time, these social media accounts became Defendants' means to reach significant numbers of Americans for purposes of interfering with the U.S. political system, including the presidential election of 2016

Mueller also alleges a combination of traditional and modern espionage...

Certain Defendants traveled to the United States under false pretenses for the purpose of collecting intelligence to inform Defendants' operations. Defendants also procured and used computer infrastructure, based partly in the United States, to hide the Russian origin of their activities and to avoid detection by U.S. regulators and law enforcement.

Mueller also charges that two of the defendants received US visas and from approximately June 4, 2014 through June 26, 2014, KRYLOVA and BOGACHEVA " traveled in and around the United States, including stops in Nevada, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, and New York to gather intelligence, After the trip, KRYLOVA and BURCHIK exchanged an intelligence report regarding the trip."

* * *

The indictment points to a broader conspiracy beyond the pages of the indictment, saying the grand jury has heard about other people with whom the Russians allegedly conspired in their efforts.


Joe Davola -> Pandelis Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:02 Permalink

Concord Catering - what, were they offering chicken wings and pigs ears at the polling places?

Never One Roach -> Joe Davola Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:03 Permalink

So how often does Mueller hear those demon voices in his head?

Billy the Poet -> Never One Roach Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:05 Permalink

I wonder if any of these Russians were behind the anti-Trump rallies of November 2016? Thousands attended protest organized by Russians on Facebook.

Thousands of Americans attended a march last November organized by a Russian group that used social media to interfere in the 2016 election.

The demonstration in New York City, which took place a few days after the election, appears to be the largest and most successful known effort to date pulled off by Russian-linked groups intent on using social media platforms to influence American politics.

Sixteen thousand Facebook users said that they planned to attend a Trump protest on Nov. 12, 2016, organized by the Facebook page for BlackMattersUS, a Russian-linked group that sought to capitalize on racial tensions between black and white Americans. The event was shared with 61,000 users.

As many as 5,000 to 10,000 protesters actually convened at Manhattan's Union Square. They then marched to Trump Tower, according to media reports at the time .

The BlackMattersUS-organized rally took advantage of outrage among groups on the left following President Trump's victory on Nov. 8 to galvanize support for its event. The group's protest was the fourth consecutive anti-Trump rally in New York following election night, and one of many across the country.

"Join us in the streets! Stop Trump and his bigoted agenda!" reads the Facebook event page for the rally. "Divided is the reason we just fell. We must unite despite our differences to stop HATE from ruling the land."

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/358025-thousands-attended-protest-

Belrev -> Billy the Poet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:07 Permalink

13 Russians can influence US elections meanwhile US CIA and State Department spend $1 BIllion every year on opposition groups inside Russia without success.

SamAdams -> Belrev Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:08 Permalink

Indict AIPAC. That is the real foreign interference in ALL US elections. Such hypocrisy. At the very least, make them register as a foreign operation! Information warfare using social media ? What, you mean like the Israeli students who are paid to shape public opinion thru social media? This is no secret and has been in the news. I fail to find the difference? Psychologists call this projection, that is where you accuse others of the crimes you commit .

Belrev -> SamAdams Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:10 Permalink

That is a regime change in DC proposition.

IH8OBAMA -> Belrev Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:21 Permalink

If Mueller is going outside the Trump organization to indict Russians, when is he going to indict some equally criminal Democraps?

I also see that one of the 13 Russians was Valdimir. ( VLADIMIR VENKOV ) LOL

Shillinlikeavillan -> IH8OBAMA Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:24 Permalink

Soooooooo...

They basically indicted the $100,000 facebook ad russian group... Bravo! Ur really on the path to impeaching trump now!
LULZ!

overbet -> Shillinlikeavillan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:34 Permalink

Boy Hillary sure didnt get her money's worth. She shoulda hired these people.

Is it ok for MSM for to make all of their disparaging commentary, but not ok for people to do the same? Mueller mustve forgot about the craigslist ads hiring protesters to attack Trump rallies. What a fucking clown show.

I guess that's it Mueller gets his indictments to save face and Trump is pleased its over.

El Vaquero -> overbet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:44 Permalink

This ties directly into the October 31, 2017 testimony from Facebook, Twitter and Google regarding Russian media presence on social media. Mueller is grasping here, and given that it talks about visas granted for short visits, I'm led to believe that most of these people are actually not on US soil to be arrested. This means political grandstanding via an indictment that is never going to see a courtroom where the evidence can be examined and witnesses can be cross examined. It looks like Mueller would have these people for identity theft if he had them in the US, which he probably doesn't.

I'm going to get called a Russian bot over this elsewhere. Well, maybe facetiously here. #WeAreAllRussianBotsNow

spanish inquisition -> El Vaquero Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:56 Permalink

Deep state pivot to keep the Russian hate alive.

FoggyWorld -> spanish inquisition Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:59 Permalink

And set us up for war.

Shemp 4 Victory -> FoggyWorld Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:10 Permalink

Fucking hilarious - Mueller has indicted an anti-Russian CIA operation that was run out of St. Petersburg. http://thesaker.is/a-brief-history-of-the-kremlin-trolls/

pods -> Shemp 4 Victory Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:22 Permalink

Wow, I am going to have to keep the radio off for a couple of days. They are going to be wall to wall on this. Maybe even bump the stories where fakely sympathetic reporter cunts (FSRC) ask mother's if they miss their dead kids.

This is a fucking clownshow anymore. Jesus, THIS is what the investigation brought home? Holy fuckshit, this is a joke. Some guy had 100k followers? Really? Like anyone GAF about that? We have AIPAC making candidates kneel before them and yet some guys on Tweeter fucked around. I think that is even bullshit. If Russians really did that, they wouldn't "work in shifts" they would program some fucking bots to do this.

I can just imagine the fake outrage that that worthless kike from NY Chuckie "don't get between me and a camera" Schumer has to say about this.

This is a Matrix alright, and a cheap ass one at that.

Mueller should be taken out and horsewhipped for bringing this shit home.

Hey Mueller, I read a comment on Yahoo news that was in broken English. Go get um!

pods

stizazz -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:30 Permalink

They HATE Russia because PUTIN OPENLY derided the American Empire.

BennyBoy -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:38 Permalink

The Russians duped me.

I was gonna vote for Hillary then I read tweets where she bullied the woman her husband raped to keep quiet. And how her foundation got hundreds of $millions from countries with business before her at the state dept. ALEKSANDRA YURYEVNA KRYLOVA mislead me.

BennyBoy -> BennyBoy Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:42 Permalink

Its probably nothing....

CHINESE STATE-OWNED CHEMICAL FIRM JOINS DARK MONEY GROUP POURING CASH INTO U.S. ELECTIONS

Lee Fang February 15 2018, 10:10 a.m.

WANHUA CHEMICAL, A $10 billion chemical company controlled by the Chinese government, now has an avenue to influence American elections.

On Monday, Wanhua joined the American Chemistry Council, a lobby organization for chemical manufacturers that is unusually aggressive in intervening in U.S. politics.

The ACC is a prominent recipient of so-called dark money -- that is, unlimited amounts of cash from corporations or individuals the origins of which are only disclosed to the IRS, not the public. During the 2012 , 2014 , and 2016 election cycles, the ACC took this dark money and spent over $40 million of it on contributions to super PACs, lobbying, and direct expenditures. (Additional money flowed directly to candidates via the ACC's political action committee.).....

https://theintercept.com/2018/02/15/chinese-state-owned-chemical-firm-j

ThanksChump -> BennyBoy Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:50 Permalink

Duped by facts and truth is no way to go through life, son.

JimmyJones -> ThanksChump Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:59 Permalink

Obama, "I can do more after I'm reelected" to Putin caught on a hot mic.

I always knew Hillary was as pure as the first winter's snow.

Theosebes Goodfellow -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:42 Permalink

~" In other words, anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election. "~

Wait, does this mean that "disparaging Hillary" was just for the witless? I've been doing that for years, (without any Russian influence at all), and have found it to be rather witty virtually all the time.

Can we NOW get to the point where we appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary?

rwe2late -> Theosebes Goodfellow Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:09 Permalink

not yet ...

any of us who spread "fake news" are now "conspirators" who gave "support" to foreign agents with the goal of undermining the "democratic process" by denying Hillary the presidency.

tsk, tsk.

ignorance can be no excuse for such wanton lawlessness.

rwe2late -> rwe2late Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:36 Permalink

oh, oh

I almost forgot. "conspirators" were blatantly "sowing discord" obvious "proof" of "cooperating" with the Russians

Boxed Merlot -> rwe2late Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:46 Permalink

..."conspirators" were blatantly "sowing discord"...

Yep, so on top of being "Deplorable", I'm also without wit.

His name was Seth.

Squid Viscous -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:57 Permalink

well said pods, i wish i could upvote you like, 13 times

Machbet -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:32 Permalink

Well said, my brother. "A fucking clownshow..." A clownshow run by juvenile, idiotic fallen angels.

sixsigma cygnu -> spanish inquisition Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:01 Permalink

I'm just relieved they didn't get Boris. Not this time.

Telling people the truth makes one a very desirable target.

BigCumulusClouds -> sixsigma cygnu Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:06 Permalink

The bigger question is "when is Mueller going to be indicted for covering up the controlled demolition of the WTC buildings on nine eleven??"

eatthebanksters -> spanish inquisition Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:10 Permalink

So this is all they have?

Bubba Rum Das -> Citizen in 1984 Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:08 Permalink

Yes, Mueller is a clown show, but he came up w/ this crap in an attempt to divert media attention away from his & McCabes direct involvement in trying to cover up Uranium 1 for Hillary...The Truth!

Boxed Merlot -> eatthebanksters Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:48 Permalink

...all they have?...

Sure hope they weren't bettin' the farm.

jmo.

DosZap -> El Vaquero Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:05 Permalink

He has to INDICT someone,since he can't get Trump except on adultery.(the only thing NOT under his purview)

I see a distant MELANIA in his near future.

eclectic syncretist -> DosZap Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:43 Permalink

The FBI going DEEP (#sarc) into its playbook for this one.

Simultaneously distracting from their incompetencies with regards to domestic threats (school shooters/government collusion to subvert presidential election), and exonerating Hillary AGAIN.

"Using lies and deception to cover our lies and deceptions, so that we can enslave the populace to our will" (visualize Meuller/Comey/Strzok/Page/Ohr/Rosenstein/Obama/Rice/ with left hands on Satanic Bible and right arms extended giving oath in Temple of Mammon before upside down American flag).

ebear -> El Vaquero Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:17 Permalink

"#WeAreAllRussianBotsNow"

Ich bin ein Russe!

agNau -> overbet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:59 Permalink

Hillary hired the entire Russian government with the Uranium one deal.

BigCumulusClouds -> overbet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:04 Permalink

Protestors?? HRC hired thugs who beat people up at Trump rallies. That's a felony. Some people got hurt real bad.

IH8OBAMA -> Shillinlikeavillan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:37 Permalink

I wonder if Mueller is going to indict Obama for interfering in the Israeli election?

giovanni_f -> IH8OBAMA Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:56 Permalink

1. CNN can now say Russian interference is a "proven fact".

2. "13 individuals" and "3 companies" - this is a casus belli even for the most pacifist peaceniks on ZH

3. US can now continue to meddle in Russian elections as they did since 1919 pointing to the existential thread those 13 individuals posed.

rwe2late -> giovanni_f Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:46 Permalink

worse than 3.meddling in Russian elections,

anyone who objects to US military and economic aggression,

will be further branded/dismissed (prosecuted?)

as a "proven dupe" of Russia/Putin.

caconhma -> IH8OBAMA Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:08 Permalink

The US Constitution. RIP

The DoJ and Miller activities are anti-American. What else is new in occupied America?

PS

Note Trump does nothing about this unprecedented assault on Freedom of Speech and Assembly in the USA. Therefore, Trump is a willing player in these criminal activities.

commiebastid -> IH8OBAMA Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:21 Permalink

and Brexit and the French election and Venezuela election and The Ukraine; Libya; Palestinian Territories..... lmao

DownWithYogaPants -> Shillinlikeavillan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:44 Permalink

Ohhh fake social accounts.........the horror!

( If I had known they were the equivalent of Harry Potters magic wand I would have opened a few long ago! )

Seems like Mr Mueller is in face saving mode.

What is Rod Rosenstein doing still at the FBI. He should be in prison.

MEFOBILLS -> Shillinlikeavillan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:50 Permalink

Mueller is going to go until he gets some meat. Maybe this lean and stringy meat is enough to satisfy. Of course, nobody will look at AIPAC and all of the foreign influence money funneling into senators coffers.

Endgame Napoleon -> carni Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:26 Permalink

He said they stole identities, posting anti-Hillary remarks on Russian-controlled sites, using the stolen identities. They must do that through hacking, which is illegal.

They also organized rallies, he said. There were ads on job sites, advertising for paid [leftist] protestors, long before Trump emerged as a candidate. People posted them on American sites. Some attribute it to Soros. I am a little skeptical that Soros controls the world, anymore than Russians, but that is what people often believe, when it is leftist ads.

Advertisements are all over the Internet. Is that illegal? He called it fraud, referring to the misrepresentation of identity, I guess. They should not be manipulating unknowing people.

But, I wonder if he has the same vigilance when illegal aliens use fake SS cards to acquire jobs, while their girlfriends use real SS cards of US-born kids to get $450 on average in EBT food assistance, in addition to other welfare, making it easy for illegal aliens to undercut American citizens in jobs. Using a fake SS number -- i.e. posing as an American to get a job -- is fraud.

As long as the illegal aliens have sex after illegal border crossings, reproduce and say they misrepresent their identities for the good of their kids, this is legal and deserving of pay-per-birth welfare / child-tax-credit freebies and citizenship, whereas these Russians are committing fraud.

They should not be doing that in either case, but the double standard is interesting.

And if people cannot post freely on the internet without revealing their real names, a lot of internet activity (and a lot of related commerce) will cease. Many people post anonymously, often due to jobs or other factors that have nothing to do with elections.

In fact, FBI agents post under identities (personas) that are not their own. There are many articles, describing how police agencies use fake identities on the internet to track down criminals, including those who abuse children. They do the same thing to monitor terrorists; they use fake identities.

[Feb 16, 2018] Where are these indictments ? Obama, Hillary Clinton, Victoria Nuland, Geoffrey Pyatt and John McCain.

Feb 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Vote up! 2 Vote down! 0

Mike Masr Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:41 Permalink

Where are these indictments ? Obama, Hillary Clinton, Victoria Nuland, Geoffrey Pyatt and John McCain.

The US has been meddling and interfering in other countries elections and internal affairs for decades. Not only does the US meddle and interfere in other countries elections it overthrows democratically elected governments it simply doesn't like, and then installs its own puppet leaders. Our deep-state MIC owned neocons casually refer to this as "regime change".

I can only imagine the hell that would break loose if Russia fomented, paid for, and assisted in a violent overthrow of the legitimately and democratically elected government in Mexico. Imagine Russian spymasters working from the Russian Embassy in Mexico City training radicals how to use social media to bring out angry people and foment violent pubic unrest. Then Russian Duma members in Mexico City handing out tacos, and tamales emboldening and urging these angry people to riot, and overthrow the government and toss the bums out. Then Putin's executive group hand picking all the new (anti-USA) drug cartel junta puppet leaders and an old senile Russian senator in Mexico City stating at a podium on RT, there are no drug cartels here, that's all propaganda!

On the other side of the world Obama's neocon warmongers spent billions doing exactly this. Instead of drug cartels it was Banderist Neo-Nazis. Obama and our neocons, including John McCain intentionally caused all of this fucking mess, civil war and horrific death in Ukraine on Russia's border and then placed the blame on Putin and Russia.

Thanks to John McCain and our evil fucking neocons - the regime change policy implemented by Obama, Clinton and Nuland's minions, like Geoffrey Pyatt, the Ukraine today is totally fucked. It is now a corrupt banana republic embroiled in a bloody civil war. For the US and NATO the golden prize of this violent undemocratic regime change was supposed to be the Crimea. This scheme did not play out as intended. No matter what sanctions the warmongering neocons place on Russia they will NEVER give back the Crimea!

Our neocon fuck heads spent billions of our hard earned taxpayer dollars to create pain, suffering, death and a civil war in Ukraine on the border with Russia.

This is a case of don't do what we do, only do what we tell you to do. It's perfectly okay when we meddle. We don't like it when we think it may have been done to us. It's hypocrisy and duplicity at its finest!

Tech Camp NGO - operating out of US Embassy in Kiev

(using social media to help bring out radicals-and cause civil war-pre Maidan 2013)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9hOl8TuBUM

Nuland talks about $5 billion spent on Ukraine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaR1_an9CnQ

Nuland plotting(on intercepted phone call) the new handpicked puppet leaders.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL_GShyGv3o

US Support of Banderist Neo-Nazis in Ukraine 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-RyOaFwcEw

Lavrov reminds the UN a West-inspired coup d'état started Ukraine crisis, not Russia

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/404247-un-lavrov-ukraine-sanctions/

[Feb 16, 2018] What is the definition of a fake social media account ? What is the crime for operatine a fake social medial account? Is this the standard by which we will all be judged?

Feb 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Genby Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:51 Permalink

Mueller effectively called himself an idiot and degenerate.

13 people won against the whole apparatus of FBI (including Mueller). That makes FBI a herd of idiots and degenerates (including Mueller).

SirBarksAlot -> rgraf Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:44 Permalink

What crime?

Impersonating an American?

Practicing freedom of speech?

Trying to influence an election?

I don't see any crimes.

Joiningupthedots Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:31 Permalink

When does Mueller get charged?

He is part of the fabric of the Clinton Gang along with Comey and others.

How many people have posted derogatory comments about Clinton on ZH alone.

This sounds like when they ludicrously charged and entire unit of the Chinese PLA.

FringeImaginigs Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:31 Permalink

Agreed, it's against the law to steal identities and operate bank accounts and all that. But really, compared to the fraud committed by just one bank - Wells Fargo- this is smal small potatoes. And did I miss it or did the indictment not even mention the value of the ads bought on Facebook - $100,000. (nope, not missing any zeros). And it all started in 2014 while Donald was playing golf and sticking his dick in some whore. And a few ruskies got into the good ol USofA with false statements on their visas. While the courts fought Trump on the fact that immigration from a few countries need to be stopped because there was not way of checking data. I get it - somebody driving too fast gets a speeding ticket, and Muellers investigation gets to issue an indictment. I'm sure we all feel better now.

Lostinfortwalton Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:32 Permalink

So, did Mueller address the crime committed by the then FBI head who refused to allow a FBI informant to address Congress on the Uranium One scam before it was authorized? Uh, that would be Mueller, his very self, so the answer is no.

soyungato Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:33 Permalink

Bob honey, the people are laughing.

But but but those Russians, they call me names.

Grandad Grumps Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:35 Permalink

What is the definition of a "fake social media account"? What is the crime for operatine a fake social medial account? Is this the standard by which we will all be judged?

Or is it that Mueller has NOTHING and is too big of a corrupt idiot to admit it.

Rick Cerone Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:36 Permalink

Putin should define what a NGO is.

He should tell the world how the US uses NGO's to destabilize elections.

He wont do it because he's digging tunnels for the big day.

BigPunny Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:36 Permalink

"In other words, anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election. "

No, not "in other words." That's not what he said at all. Idiot propagandist.

devnickle Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:36 Permalink

And Hillary has done nothing criminal in the last 40 years. All of the evidence has been a fabrication. The Russians perfected time travel technology in the 70's, and have been conspiring against her and planting evidence since then.

What planet am I living on again? We have now stepped into the twilight zone. Facepalm.....

moneybots Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:55 Permalink

"Ultimately, and this is the punchline, the goal was to disparage Hillary Clinton and to assist the election of Donald Trump."

The goal of the MSM was the opposite. To unfairly disparage Trump and assist the election of Hillary Clinton. So why no indictments of members of the American MSM?

Montana Cowboy Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:03 Permalink

What a bunch of horseshit. Mueller did nothing to locate just as much foreign or Russian support for Hillary. Grand Jury is just another one-sided court that passes judgment without any input from the other side. Now where have we seen that before? FISA.

What is wrong with anyone doing what they want to support a candidate? If that is somehow illegal interference, why is Soros running loose in the world?

I have a friend that was a US Federal Prosecutor. He once told me that the most un-American concepts that exist are grand juries and conspiracy laws. I'm sure he would have included FISA if it existed then.

dot_bust Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:03 Permalink

The indictment adds that the Russians " were instructed to post content that focused on 'politics in the USA' and to 'use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump -- we support them)' ."

Criticizing Hillary Clinton constitutes election interference? This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Over half the United States said she was corrupt and morally bankrupt. Does that mean all those Americans interfered in the election?

Son of Captain Nemo Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:04 Permalink

"Some Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities."

I thought this was our "shtick" for subverting and overthrowing government(s) since 194_?... Fast forward to 2012 and subverting sovereign foreign government(s) using other means then election(s) ( https://jasirx.wordpress.com/ )

Just ask this person ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL_GShyGv3o ) who handed out cookies before starting an "overthrow of a sovereign government" right before a Winter Olympics?... And while we're on the subject of subversion of sovereign Nation(s) "OCONUS" ask this fat shit how it's going in the Middle East with it's "partners" ( https://southfront.org/meeting-between-us-state-secretary-and-lebanese- ) Nor should we forget 22 within the Russian diplomatic community in the last 6 years "eliminated" for early retirement courtesy of the U.S. government...

And if all this is true why isn't Muelller indicting government officials within the FBI Department of immigration and Homeland Security that would allow "some defendants" to impersonate Americans after 9/11 and the security infrastructure we built around U.S. to prevent "future attacks" that were obviously (here illegally)???...

On second thought DON'T ANSWER THAT!!!

atabrigade Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:05 Permalink

Our enemies are not overseas. They are right here at home.

Son of Captain Nemo -> atabrigade Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:13 Permalink

That did this ( http://www.ae911truth.org/ ) to their own to grab oil everyplace else they didn't control it!

Concertedmaniac Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:08 Permalink

What a complete load of horseshit. Waste of time and money while the crimes of the clintons and collaborators remain unpunished, including Mueller himself.

wobblie Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:08 Permalink

"Mueller describes a sweeping, years-long, multimillion-dollar conspiracy by hundreds of Russians aimed at criticizing Hillary Clinton and supporting Senator Bernie Sanders and Trump"

Only in the idiot world of Liberalism and Conservatism is this not a laughable statement.

Stupid fucks.

https://therulingclassobserver.com/

Obamaroid Ointment Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:10 Permalink

13 Russian bots to get life sentences in Twitter jail? Is a prisoner exchange with Putin for American bots a possibility?

[Feb 16, 2018] A Brief History of the "Kremlin Trolls" by Scott Humor

Notable quotes:
"... Everything what we know now about the so-called "Kremlin trolls from the Internet Research Agency paid by Putin's favorite chef," came from one source, a group of CIA spies that used the mascot of Shaltay-Boltay, or Humpty-Dumpty, for their collective online persona. ..."
"... Bazzfeed also said back in 2014, that " The leak from the Internet Research Agency is the first time specific comments under news articles can be directly traced to a Russian campaign." Now, this is a very important grave mark. ..."
"... Just think about this working scheme: Shaltay-Boltay with a group of anti-government "activists" created the "Internet Research Agency," they and some "activists" created 470 FaceBook accounts used to post comments that looked unmistakably "trollish." ..."
"... After that other, CIA affiliated entities, like the entire Western Media, claimed the "Russian interference in the US election." Finally, the ODNI published a report lacking any evidence in it. ..."
"... https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf ..."
"... People from the Shaltay-Boltay group weren't hackers in the proper terms because they worked with and for the CIA. Middle-of the-road and run-of-the-mill intelligence agencies would collect and analyze information for their governments. The CIA invents information, then goes on to manufacture and forge documents in support of their invented information; they then recruit people inside other countries and other governments to claim that they "obtained" this explosive evidence. Being the dirty cops that they are, the CIA doesn't obtain and secure evidence, but instead they plant fake evidence on their victims. ..."
"... Knowing full well that the hackers who "leaked" the information about this "Agency" were arrested and successfully charged for treason because they worked for the CIA should prevent the CIA to run fake news about the entities and people they themselves made up. You would think that the matter of the "Kremlin trolls from Saint Petersburg" should be dead and buried after the arrest. The CIA and other 16 intelligence agencies should know better than to use information that is being known now as "discovered' with their "help." ..."
"... We also know everything that the CIA touches is fake. Speaking in layman's term, it's as if all those middle aged bald guys would start licking their balls while claiming to be in fulfilling relations. If it's just you, guys, there is no relations. It's just you. Deal with it! ..."
"... The United Business Registry database in Russia works according to the Federal laws, so after twelve months of inactivity a business is simply liquidated. The Internet Research Agency was liquidated in December 2016 by the government system after it been inactive for twelve month. It's inactivity implied that the company had no employees, no office, and no bank transactions for at least twelve months! ..."
"... The US is now perceived as an imperial power which has lost all sense of reality, thinking it can do anything it wants and having the rest of the world agree with it. That is simply not the case. All the anti-Russian rhetoric has done is to make Russia more popular and more mature in the eyes of the world, which now sees Vladimir Putin as a factor of stability. ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | thesaker.is

Saint Petersburg, Savushkina, 55 is the most famous office building in the world, thanks to the relentless promotion of the United States government, the CIA, FBI, and by the powers of the entire Western media, financed by Western governments. VOA, NPR, and Svoboda, by the government of the US; the BBC by the government of the UK; CNN by the governments of Saudi Arabia; the DW, by the government of Germany; and so on and so forth. You name it, they all punched time to promote this office building.

To be specific, it's not even a building, but several adjoined buildings that cover an entire city block, an urban development plan common for Saint Pete's. That's why every business here has the address of Savushkina, 55 followed by a building number. You can take a virtual tour around it, to see for yourself. The buildings are shared by several dozens of private businesses, by the local Police department, and by the newsrooms of half a dozen Russia Media sources like the FAN (Federal News Agency), the Neva News (Nevskie Novosti), Political Russia, Kharkov News Agency, publishing Ukrainian news, and others. They all are privately owned and operated and generate over 55 million unique visitors per month. Overall, several thousand people come to this building to work every morning. But you wouldn't know this by account of Western media. For over two years now, these people are being harassed and collectively branded as "THE KREMLIN TROLLS."

The building is very popular because it's located in a quiet historical neighborhood and is in walking distance from a suburban train station. It's newly renovated offices offer open floor plans with Scandinavian fleur so very appreciated by the news people. In addition, the rent for this building is less than in center city. Which is why Evgeny Zubarev, a former top editor for the RIA NEWS, choose it for his media startup. He took several offices allowing him to manage his growing media giant without wasting time to commute. Now, the FAN newsroom alone employs about 300 journalists.

This wasn't always the case.

At the beginning of 2014, the building was still under construction and renovation, when an anti-Russian government group of hackers called first "The Anonymous International" and latter "Shaltay-B0ltay" fingered it as the "Kremlin trolls' layer."

Their wordpress blog is still here. It was last updated on November 2016. Its title states: "Anonymous International. Shaltay Boltay/Press Secretary of the group. Creating reality and giving meaning to words."

November 7, 2014, Khodorkovsky, who acted as an integral part of the CIA "Kremlin trolls" Project, tweeted the picture of one of the entrances to one of the buildings saying: "Savuchkina 55. New home for bots. ID check system. Not a sign there. I won't say who took the photo."

... ... ...

The phone number on the picture 324-56-06 belongs to the commercial real estate company Praktis Consulting & Brokerage that managed the rent of offices.

Midsummer 2014, Evgeny Zubarev with his start up and several hundred journalists moved in, along with the Police department, and a slew of other businesses people. Little did they know what was to come.

The best way to get information is to make it up.

Everything what we know now about the so-called "Kremlin trolls from the Internet Research Agency paid by Putin's favorite chef," came from one source, a group of CIA spies that used the mascot of Shaltay-Boltay, or Humpty-Dumpty, for their collective online persona.

They were arrested in November 2016 and revealed as the FSB and former FSB officers . One of them even managed a security department for the Kaspersky Lab. They all were people highly skilled and educated in manipulating and creating large online databases, in any online research imagined, and the knowledge of hacking and altering databases, including those that were run by the Russian government. They weren't poor people. They weren't there for the money. They were ideologically driven. Their hatred towards Russia and its people was the motive for their actions.

At some point, Gazeta.ru, an online Russophobic publication, suggested that " Shaltai-Boltai was just a distraction meant to confuse everybody." They themselves were more concise by stating that they were working to change the reality.

Russian authorities, the courts, and the lawyers, refused to call these men hackers. There was a reason for this. They weren't so much hackers in a classic sense, as in when someone gains access to real information and copies it. This group wasn't necessarily hacking existing information, but planting information. They were creating files about fake nonexistent companies and employees, files with blurry fake paystubs, memos, emails, phone messages and so on. The fakes looked convincing, but they still were forgeries that could be easy disproved for someone who had access to the real information.

That's when the hacking took place, when the FSB agents went into government databases and created records of people and companies that didn't exist.

I think that part of the reasons why some of them got the mild sentences of three years in general security prison, and some were left free, wasn't just the fact that they agreed to collaborate with the Russian government, but also the fact that they didn't actually steal information from government officials like Medvedev and his press secretary, Nataliya Timakova, or the owner of the largest in Europe catering business, Evgeny Prigozhin. They made information up and claimed that it was real.

These guys gave a bad name to all hackers, whistleblowers, leakers and spies. Now, journalists presented with some "hacked" and leaked secrets has to think it over, less they end up with an egg on their face like journos from the Fontanka, Vedomosti and Novaya Gazeta in case of the "Kremlin's trolls."

If we accept that the Shaltay-Boltay group was working to create and distribute documents they forged, claiming that those files were "hacked," we would also understand a mysterious statement made by them to BuzzFeed.

"In email correspondence with BuzzFeed , a representative of the group claimed they were "not hackers in the classical sense."

"We are trying to change reality. Reality has indeed begun to change as a result of the appearance of our information in public ," wrote the representative, whose email account is named Shaltai Boltai, which is the Russian for tragic nursery rhyme hero Humpty Dumpty."

Bazzfeed also said back in 2014, that " The leak from the Internet Research Agency is the first time specific comments under news articles can be directly traced to a Russian campaign." Now, this is a very important grave mark.

Just think about this working scheme: Shaltay-Boltay with a group of anti-government "activists" created the "Internet Research Agency," they and some "activists" created 470 FaceBook accounts used to post comments that looked unmistakably "trollish."

After that other, CIA affiliated entities, like the entire Western Media, claimed the "Russian interference in the US election." Finally, the ODNI published a report lacking any evidence in it.

The link to their report is here, but I don't recommend you to read it. You will gain as much information by reading this report as you would by chewing on some wet newspaper. Ask my dog for details.

Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections

https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

Only three paragraphs is interesting on the page 4:

"Russia used trolls as well as RT as part of its influence efforts to denigrate Secretary Clinton. This effort amplified stories on scandals about Secretary Clinton and the role of WikiLeaks in the election campaign.

The likely financier of the so-called Internet Research Agency of professional trolls located in Saint Petersburg is a close Putin ally with ties to Russian intelligence.

A journalist who is a leading expert on the Internet Research Agency claimed that some social media accounts that appear to be tied to Russia's professional trolls -- because they previously were devoted to supporting Russian actions in Ukraine -- started to advocate for President-elect Trump as early as December 2015."

In other words, in its report with a subtitle: "Background to "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections": The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution" the Office of the Director of National Intelligence ODNI, is quoting the Shaltay-Boltay, a group that had been proved to work for the CIA by "creating reality."

The only reason why they don't provide us with evidence, with at least one lousy IP address with the Russian trace roots that would convincingly point at the company named the Internet Research Agency, is because this company never existed, it never had any IP addresses assigned to it that would be verifiable via third parties like RIPE network coordination and via online domain tools.

We understand that having hundreds of people working ten to twelve hours a day, as they claimed, posting hundreds messages hourly, would use huge amount of bandwidth. They would need a very fast internet connection with unlimited bandwidth that only a business can get. Inevitably, this internet connection would come with the assigned IP addresses. No internet provider would let this kind of bandwidth hog to create this kind traffic without being forced to separate them from other customers.

One example, a woman with the last name Malcheva filed a lawsuit in court against the companies "Internet Research, LLC" and "TEKA, LLC," claiming unpaid wages.

The court asked her to produce evidence of her work, and then denied her claim after she produced a photo of a computer with an IP address on its screen as evidence of her employment.

IP Address 109.167.231.85

inetnum: 109.167.231.0 – 109.167.231.255

netname: WESTCALL-NET

descr: S-Peterburg Hotel Corintia Wi-Fi

An IP address that was assigned to a luxury hotel in Saint-Petersburg. A hotel that was awarded multiple international awards for excellence. An immensely popular hotel among discriminating travelers. A very expensive hotel located in the center of a historic city. The woman claimed that she was an "online troll' working from this location ten hours a day with hundreds of other virtual trolls. The judge didn't believe her. Would you?

People from the Shaltay-Boltay group weren't hackers in the proper terms because they worked with and for the CIA. Middle-of the-road and run-of-the-mill intelligence agencies would collect and analyze information for their governments. The CIA invents information, then goes on to manufacture and forge documents in support of their invented information; they then recruit people inside other countries and other governments to claim that they "obtained" this explosive evidence. Being the dirty cops that they are, the CIA doesn't obtain and secure evidence, but instead they plant fake evidence on their victims.

By this act alone they change our current and past reality, and they change our future. They change our history by forging never existing "proof" of invented myths. They hire and train groups of military men to act as "protesters" around government buildings, while other military men from other countries shoot at unsuspected bystanders whose death allows Washington to claim the sovereign governments' wrongdoing.

CIA-operated groups arrest and kill government officials or force them to flee, like in Ukraine. They take over a couple of government buildings and declare their victory over a huge country, just like it happened in Russia in 1991 and 1993 and in Ukraine in 2005 and 2014. For some reason, they claim that governments are those people who take over a couple of buildings in one city. When in fact, our countries' governments are those people whose names we wrote on ballots, regardless of where these people are located. We don't run around like chickens with our heads cut off electing a new president every time our current president leaves the country.

Going back to the CIA's Humpty-Dumpty project that came online sometime in 2013. Why would anyone name their enterprise after such predictable failure, you might ask. Because, in the Russian alliteration, Shalti-Boltai means "shake up and brag about it" and not as in its original Carroll's version of "humping and dumping."

I went ballistic after someone retweeted me this CNN clip titled "Russia used Pokemon Go to interfere with the US elections."

I actually listened to the clip itself, in which they brought up the Internet Research Agency" from SP. Knowing full well that the hackers who "leaked" the information about this "Agency" were arrested and successfully charged for treason because they worked for the CIA should prevent the CIA to run fake news about the entities and people they themselves made up. You would think that the matter of the "Kremlin trolls from Saint Petersburg" should be dead and buried after the arrest. The CIA and other 16 intelligence agencies should know better than to use information that is being known now as "discovered' with their "help."

Because it's all fake and we know it.

We also know everything that the CIA touches is fake. Speaking in layman's term, it's as if all those middle aged bald guys would start licking their balls while claiming to be in fulfilling relations. If it's just you, guys, there is no relations. It's just you. Deal with it!

The American intelligence community cannot claim an existence of threats against America if all fingers in those "threats" are pointing back at the American intelligence community.

By stating that someone interfered with the US election using the Internet Research Agency in SP, is plainly to state that it's CIA that interfered in the American elections.

--

Let's just briefly run over the matter, before I tell you what exactly took place.

--

On September 6, 2017, Alex Stamos, a Chief Security Officer, posted a statement titled "An Update On Information Operations On Facebook":

"In reviewing the ads buys, we have found approximately $100,000 in ad spending from June of 2015 to May of 2017 -- associated with roughly 3,000 ads -- that was connected to about 470 inauthentic accounts and Pages in violation of our policies. Our analysis suggests these accounts and Pages were affiliated with one another and likely operated out of Russia."

To make sure that people including myself won't find those accounts, the FB deleted them.

"We don't allow inauthentic accounts on Facebook, and as a result, we have since shut down the accounts and Pages we identified that were still active."

That's how it's done in the US. They destroy all potential evidence while laying heavy blame on Russia. Facebook destroys evidence of "Russians crimes" while public ask them to show those evidences. This means only one thing: the pieces of evidence are pointing at something Facebook wants to protect, which is the CIA.

You see, I am not suggesting that they are lying about those accounts being real or that they "affiliated with Russia," because, if the Shaltay-Boltay group worked with people from the Soros and Khodorkovky-backed group of human rights lawyers " Team 29, " created in February 2015, then their only task, it seems, was to service the psyop of the "Internet Trolls." It looks to me like they could also coordinated the work done by those 470 FaceBook accounts while being on the territory of Russia. Considering that, it's not a complete lie for the FB to say that those accounts were "Russia affiliated" and that they were "likely operated from Russia."

Facebook also can claim with plausible deniability that they are ignorant of the fact that people behind the Internet Research Agency troll hoax are proved by the Russian court to be affiliated with the CIA, while people who have been acting as the "witnesses" to this Project are lawyers from Team 29, "human rights activists and also journalists from the Norwegian Bonnier AB owned Fontanka, Taiwan-based Novaya Gazeta, and the Latvia-based Meduza; these people are factually proven to be backed by Soros, a CIA financial branch, like a journalist who has received an award from Khodorkovsky.

The entire campaign of blaming Russia in "meddling" is being reported without ANY tangible proof that could be verified by at least two independently existing sources, that's why we should grab ANY grains of information. That's why Facebook's statement that " About one-quarter of these ads were geographically targeted, and of those, more ran in 2015 than 2016″ is very important.

Why?

Because, fake business entities known as " the Internet Research Agency ," and " the Internet Research" in the government electronic business registry, they were treated as real companies by the system . Because of their inactivity on all of their bank accounts and because no one ever filed required forms, they were automatically liquidated by the electronic system.

The United Business Registry database in Russia works according to the Federal laws, so after twelve months of inactivity a business is simply liquidated. The Internet Research Agency was liquidated in December 2016 by the government system after it been inactive for twelve month. It's inactivity implied that the company had no employees, no office, and no bank transactions for at least twelve months! The Internet Research company was liquidated on September 2, 2015 by merging with TEKA company. According to the federal business Registry TEKA was a construction retailer. I wasn't able to find any indication, like an office, phone number, names of the managers or employees, anything at all that would indicate that this company existed. Just like the Internet Research Agency and the Internet Research, TEKA existed only in the federal registry and nowhere else.

The automatic liquidation in the federal registry for inactivity explains the drop in activity on the accounts run by the Shaltay-Boltay and the others. Oh, yes, they were also hunted and on the run, out of the country. It's hard to use bank accounts to simulate activities after you have fled the country.

The Team 29, of the human rights lawyers and activists, was created in February 2015. To give to this new company some proof of reality and instant notoriety they immediately filed a lawsuit against the Internet Research company using an activist woman with a Ukrainian last name Ludmila Savchuk (Людмила Савчук) who went and filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming some unpaid wages. Her first lawsuit the judge threw out. Only after the local general prosecutor's office pressed the judge to take the case, the district court took the case and partially granted the Claimant her claim, but not the "moral damages." She wanted the money for working for the "troll factory." In essence, they wanted an official court paper that would say black on white, that there is a "troll factory" that this poor woman worked for. Without reading the file, I don't know what the judge was thinking, but she might have smelled a rat among those virtual "trolls."

This took place in August 2015, and by September 2 2015, a fake company named the "Internet Research" was liquidated by merging it, in the Business registry, with another fake entity, TEKA, that was created in spring 2015 as the construction materials retailer.

"Facebook disclosed on Wednesday that it had identified more than $100,000 worth of divisive ads on hot-button issues purchased by a shadowy Russian company linked to the Kremlin."

"Most of the 3,000 ads did not refer to particular candidates but instead focused on divisive social issues such as race, gay rights, gun control and immigration, according to a post on Facebook by Alex Stamos, the company's chief security officer. The ads, which ran between June 2015 and May 2017, were linked to some 470 fake accounts and pages the company said it had shut down."

"Facebook officials said the fake accounts were created by a Russian company called the Internet Research Agency , which is known for using "troll" accounts to post on social media and comment on news websites."

"The January intelligence report said the "likely financier" of the Internet Research Agency was "a close Putin ally with ties to Russian intelligence." The company, profiled by The New York Times Magazine in 2015, is in St. Petersburg and uses its small army of trolls to put out messages supportive of Russian government policy."

"To date, while news reports have uncovered many meetings and contacts between Trump associates and Russians, there has been no evidence proving collusion in the hacking or other Russian activities."

"While there is no direct link between the Kremlin and any of these projects -- both Surkov and Zubarev say their projects are privately funded -- the timing, scale, and coordination of these efforts are suspicious. BuzzFeed was not able to find evidence of direct government funding to the "Internet Research Agency ," the pro-Kremlin troll outlet operating out of 55 Savushkina , but they did reference a number of sources that revealed some level of involvement."

-- -

In my next study, I will provide you with more links, screenshots and translations. I will demonstrate to you how this story connects to the war on the Middle East and the international war on the Russian population of Ukraine.

--

In conclusion I just want to say that everything the United State touches turns into a warzone. The building on Savushkina, 55 in Saint Petersburg is no exception.

Multiple death threats are being directed at people who work there. Popular and excellent in their quality media outlets operating there have to hide their true location and rent a separate office across the city for their visitors, because people are simply afraid to come in.

Journalists and multiple business employees are threatened online with rape.

Threats to hang the journalists during a "protest meeting" on Oct 1, 2017

At least one case of terror attack on the office building that resulted in arson on October 26, 2016.

On Oct 26, 2016, several men threw bottles of Molotov cocktail in the windows of the Nevskie Novosti (Neva News). Luckily, no one was there but the owner of the Media conglomerate, Evgeny Zubarev, who put out the fire.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hO02D2hOsrg

All of these, every threat, every simple lie is all on the United State government, its intelligence community, on those traitors, who are in prison now, and those who are still at large. ­


jfb on October 15, 2017 , · at 11:45 pm UTC

Finally a detailed article on this. Anyone who has read sputnik or RT during the years 2015-2016 can figure that something is wrong with those claims.

We have two media outlets truelly affiliated with the Russian government (although not completely) and they didnt produce any pro-Trump article during that period. They interviewd Jill Stein and Ron Paul several times however

Nick on October 16, 2017 , · at 1:06 am UTC
With the current uproar about Russia interfering in the USA elections. It has to be noted that the Kremlin is very silent on this subject. It is more important now than ever to bring forth information from Russia in exposing how serious the problem is from the USA interfering in not only Russian affairs but how the intelligence community continues unabated in interfering in most countries.

This article is very important and outlines the destructive effort being done to Russia by the USA. It should be noted and clearly displayed by the psychopathic nature of USA meddling in Russian affairs. One has to wonder why people cannot see how the current government of the USA is totally out of control around the world. Everything has its cycle of life and the USA is no exception to this theory.

When humanity is controlled in such a fashion, by that I mean that the USA is supported by the four pillars consisting of GREED, CORRUPTION, POWER and CONTROL. They are sitting on the top of these structures and are desperately trying to maintain their grip over the world.

_smr on October 16, 2017 , · at 3:01 am UTC
"With the current uproar about Russia interfering in the USA elections. It has to be noted that the Kremlin is very silent on this subject."

thank goodness! Trying to reason with drunken punks is hopeless and makes you look like a fool yourself.

Anonymous on October 16, 2017 , · at 11:02 am UTC
Perhaps the purpose is to "open Russia" to debunk those silly "Kreml hacking" claims and give Empire more important information inside Russia. E.g how to go deep through military security defense line.

Empire actually don't know what Russia don't know or do know. Is this chess where you have to sacrifice pawn or two or even knight to secure queen and king? Or why to shoot fly with cannon?

Den Lille Abe on October 16, 2017 , · at 7:47 pm UTC
"One has to wonder why people cannot see how the current government of the USA is totally out of control around the world." end quote.

It is extremely difficult and time consuming for an ordinary person to find the truth in the millions of pages on the Internet, the ordinary mushroom knowing that the MSM only serves you sh't and keeps you in the dark. The most reliable method (not 100 % though) is the "Follow the money" method, who has to gain by this or that development, but even that can lead to false conclusions. Always count on that everyone has a hidden agenda, but watch out you are not gripped by paranoia.

MarkinPNW on October 16, 2017 , · at 2:27 am UTC
Yea, just a common internet malpractice called spoofing, that any IT professional, especially one working in IT security, knows about. I suspected all along that most or all of this "Russian Hacking" and "Russians did it" was exactly that.
Tom Welsh on October 16, 2017 , · at 4:55 am UTC
What a pathetic waste of time. American society and government are really getting very low.

And, of course, reality is actually defined as "what you cannot change by speaking about it". You can change reality, a very little bit at a time, by doing honest physical work.

Nussiminen on October 16, 2017 , · at 2:29 pm UTC
Agreed, well put.

At the same time, it's strange they don't follow up by more imbecilic slander against Russia for Charlottesville and Las Vegas. I mean, the attention span of Ziomedia consumers is parlously narrow. The US Presidential Election should have all but faded as an event in the distant past.

B.F. on October 16, 2017 , · at 6:50 am UTC
I wonder if the US Government and Washington political establishment are aware that the rest of the world is watching them and drawing appropriate conclusions. Probably not.

What has been happening in the US during Trumps election campaign, and in the period after he became President, has left a very poor impression of the US in the eyes of the international community.

The US is now perceived as an imperial power which has lost all sense of reality, thinking it can do anything it wants and having the rest of the world agree with it. That is simply not the case. All the anti-Russian rhetoric has done is to make Russia more popular and more mature in the eyes of the world, which now sees Vladimir Putin as a factor of stability.

CrazySerb on October 16, 2017 , · at 9:15 am UTC
Scott can you elaborate , what is the cause of that hate towards Russian people?

What are the reasons to hate your own nation and the people who live there , after all you were born there and lived your whole life?
If you do not like to live there you can simply leave , Soviet Union is no more.

B.F. on October 16, 2017 , · at 3:51 pm UTC
Russia is multi ethnic. I don't think those were Russians.
Guru on November 20, 2017 , · at 8:09 am UTC
It goes back to the Bible and Tree of Knowledge. Read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. Explains it all.
jo6pac on October 16, 2017 , · at 9:21 am UTC
Thanks Scott.
twilight on October 16, 2017 , · at 10:04 am UTC
There's only one thing you need to know about the recent election cycle in the USA- the organised force that operated on behalf of Hillary Clinton was unprecented in Human History and spent more money to get her elected than in any previous campaign- and they ***failed***.

Was there pro-Trump activity, including by soft 'unofficial' foreign sources? For sure, but it measured less than 1% of 1% of 1% of the size of the official state sanctioned efforts made by every regime of the West to get Clinton elected. The Deep State Demons, led by Tony Blair, are not angry cos Trump won, they are angry because their effort proved so impotent. After all within days of Trump winning, they got Putin to back off and thus were able to 'turn' Trump. So Trump ain't the issue- but having such 'PR' resources fail is.

We, the people, are the living 'batteries' that power the Demon's greater plans. Without our assent- even passively given- the Demons can achieve nothing major on this Planet. So the Demons battle for hearts and minds. And our support doesn't not have to be 'active' so Brits protesting against Blair's Iraq invasion in record numbers isn't a issue if the same Brits support their 'troops' after the fact and then vote Blair back into power.

Americans can think they hate Trump and Clinton- but this doesn't trouble the Deep State one whit so long as the same fools support everything Trump or Clinton do- passively or not.

Does Russia 'troll' the West officially and unofficially? Of course it does. Russia is obliged, as a major power, to do to the West what the West does to Russia. Do Russia's tiny efforts 'weigh' as much as a far far greater chunk of the efforts of the West? Of course- Russia has to be super efficient, lacking the resources of the West. Does this mean Russia was responsible for Clinton's defeat? Obviously not!

Russia reached a tiny section of self-aware US voters who already would never vote for Clinton. The vast majority of US sheeple are still fodder for the zionist press machine. They voted against Clinton because they could not stand her perfume of sulpher- they perceived correctly her rotted soul- and her "all about me" attitude. And the Clinton 'dynasty' thing was the final straw. For the 'left' to push the idea of 'royal' families was stupid beyond belief.

So why is Russia still based over its non-relevant activities at that time? Because it is always about ***now*** and not ***then***. Attacking Putin in the aftermath of Trump's election successfully got Putin to run backward, leaving Trump exposed and without powerful allies. And the Deep State just had to walk thru that open door, and 'take' Trump. So Russia showed itself very weak to name-calling. And our people show themselves likewise weak, hence this article. When you spend your time apologising and denying the 'truth' of vindictive attacks on your reputation, you look weak and start to feel weak and always on the defensive.

Want to see how this plays out- look at the RT news service. Constant attacks on RT have RT bending over backward to present a pro-Israeli narrative. The language of RT's news reports are the same language used by the BBC. The people running RT are constantly looking over their shoulder and asking themselves the question "are we fair and unbiased". Let me ask you all a question. When does the zionist press of the West ever ask itself that question?

You see the Deep State, via the racist zionists, controls 99.99% of the planet's mainstream media and 95% of the so-called indy-media (mostly via real life nazi jew Soros). It is the duty of our tiny fraction of news outlets to counter this monolith, ***not*** to worry about 'bias'.

In Britain, the jewish run government press censorship bodies that masquerade as 'independent'- the same ones that ***banned*** PressTV- constantly attack RT for not presenting 'both' sides of the story. This is the same Britain that when the jews of Israel use WW3 class weapons to holocaust the people of Gaza, insist that the BBC and ITN ***never*** interview members of the Gaza government- and give exclusive airtime to the jewish butchers so they can explain why 'sub-Human' non-jews must be slaughtered.

RT tries to mock these requirements by giving airtime to self-destruction rabid zionists whose very mouth-frothing evil helps ruin the arguments of the Deep State. It does not matter. RT is on 'borrowed time' and when things get darker in the near future, will be banned anyway.

Anyway my greater point is I don't care about the zionist press demonising of counter propaganda using false lying examples. It is their job to make our side look bad any way they can. I car about the effectiveness of our real counter propaganda- and that we engage in it powerfully, loudly and without apology. We don't have to present the arguements of the other side for 'fairness'. The other side is represented by a press machine of unprecedented size, power and reach. 100% of our efforts have to be in exposing the work and agenda of the Deep State Demons, and those that willingly ally with them, like the Friends of Israel.

bernie on October 17, 2017 , · at 3:03 am UTC
twilight is half half neither full light nor darkness. so are your writings. I admit you write very well very cunningly instilling confusion, the devil could not do it better. You may upset a few newcomers on this blog but that s' it. In fact your writings have a particular air .. . Go on until nobody takes you serious anymore.
Anonymous on October 17, 2017 , · at 4:29 am UTC
Well said.

Verbosity, generally, equates to obfuscation – especially when implemented in a turgid, pompous style of vacuous content.

Nikkobaud on October 16, 2017 , · at 10:47 am UTC
Thanks for the detailed puncturing of this mainstream fake news balloon. But, as fake as all of the "Russian interference, Putin done it, et al" memes are, and therefore seemingly jejune and transparent propaganda psy-ops, I think their real purpose is to create a false climate, a public justification for the eventual hard censorship of internet alt-news sites for Western users. And in that they seem to be succeeding, if only, for the moment, in skewing the results of internet searches away from what are claimed to be "fake news" sites, but are, in fact, usually the real news sources, if often contradicting the mainstream party line. A fake threat is being created that will be answered by a real throttling of internet access.
Nussiminen on October 16, 2017 , · at 1:24 pm UTC
Russia shouldn't waste precious time and resources on retarded, despicable Westerners forever high on their vile, corporate mindrot. Well, I take back what I just said -- it would actually be hilarious to the n :th degree if Russia dismissed the slander on pure Western supremacist grounds:

"How the hell would a nation of backward, imbecilic, Asiatic savages like us ever be able to master anything coming out of the West (except, perhaps, pornography) ?!?"

Supreme contempt accompanied by refined amusement is unbeatable when you're dealing with Western supremacists, believe me.

oldnik007 on October 16, 2017 , · at 1:36 pm UTC
"Ask my dog for details "hilarious. well researched scott and very clear explanation.
Richard Steven Hack on October 16, 2017 , · at 3:03 pm UTC
Very nice detective work, Scott! Well done.

Rather than Putin being a mastermind controlling the world from Moscow, it seems that most bad things happening in the world are in fact being controlled out of Langley, Virginia. Which pretty much agrees with everything I've ever read about the CIA going back decades.

The US needs to disband the CIA entirely, investigate their operations and put most of the heads in jail.

Larchmonter445 on October 16, 2017 , · at 3:08 pm UTC
Scott,

Good work on this article.

Very important resource piece. Illuminating.

Thanks.

vot tak on October 16, 2017 , · at 4:27 pm UTC
With soros and khodorkovsky being israelis, this covert op involved a lot more than just some trouser droppers at the cia. It is part of a much wider israeloamerican series of covert ops against Russia. I suspect there is a whole lot more of this govno and this is just one individual op being described here.
Den Lille Abe on October 16, 2017 , · at 7:39 pm UTC
This is very disappointing to read. I have now been in sharp training , to hopefully be employed by one of these nebulous actor as a bona fide troll, posting comments with a satirical edge but always advocating this or that point of view. It is most distressing to say the least.
End of satirical part.
If this article is true, i have no choice, but to post what is my current opinion, which of course is formed by the current MSM tagline Confused ? Dont be!
The recent years have seen the rise of three letter agencies use of the internet in in their paid for masters agenda, and the truth has in fact never been further out of reach for a ordinary person.
Ohh sweet irony, 30 years ago it took searching libraries, news clippings to find the truth, but it could be done, as the smoke and diversion was only a single or few layers thick.
Not so today, with all information at hand within microseconds, the truth has never been buried deeper, the public never been more "propagandised than ever.
Anonymous on October 17, 2017 , · at 7:53 am UTC
Scott, you were right in your intuition that the Catalonia "revolution" was remindful of Maidan. Remember that Maidan video "I am Ucrainian"?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvds2AIiWLA

Well, there is this one about Catalonia that looks and sounds very very very similar. Clearly copied from the Maidan model

Help Catalonia
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wouNL14tAks

Mujo on October 17, 2017 , · at 9:22 am UTC
Thanks for this article.

Perhaps somebody could help me to understand this story better.

It seems that the so-called "Kremlin trolls" were current and former FSB officers who went to work for the CIA.

Questions

(1) How do we know they worked for the CIA? Reading this article, I find numerous claims to this effect but no evidence. Did I miss something? Is there a smoking gun?

(2) Why did they defect from the FSB to join the CIA? Do we have any insight on this?

Scott on October 17, 2017 , · at 3:03 pm UTC
to Mujo

That's what my research is about, despite Ivan Pavlov's defense denying the connection between the Shaltay-Boltay group and former FSB officers convicted for treason. https://en.crimerussia.com/gromkie-dela/defendant-in-high-treason-case-personally-detained-shaltay-boltay-s-leader-/

But that's what a good defense is for, to deny.
Treason is very serious charge that includes working for foreign governments intelligence services.
I believe I have enough to prove my point, using, of course, only information openly available on the internet.
However, if these people worked for SBU or Mossad, I will write about this, also.

See also,
Arrested Russian FSB Agents Allegedly Passed Information to CIA
http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/31/arrested-russian-fsb-agents-allegedly-passed-information-to-cia-trump-putin/
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/russia-treason-fsb-spies-kaspersky-labs-us-intelligence-denies-cia-hacking/
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/31/russian-cybersecurity-experts-face-treason-charges-cia
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/26/report-arrested-russian-intel-officer-allegedly-spied-us/97094696/
https://www.rbth.com/politics_and_society/2017/02/02/fsb-officers-charged-with-treason-media-claim-cia-ties_693641

You wrote "(2) Why did they defect from the FSB to join the CIA? Do we have any insight on this?"
Maybe they defected, or maybe they started working there after being recruited by the foreign intelligence services. We will find out.

Mujo on October 18, 2017 , · at 5:58 am UTC
Scott,

Thanks for these follow-up links -- very helpful.

I also found this interview with Alexander Glazastikov (Humpty), which you have probably read:

The only member of Shaltay-Boltay left on the loose reveals details on their work

As described by various media sources, the basic story about Shaltay-Boltay is that they formed in mid-2013 to hack e-mail, social media, and data of officials and businessmen in Russia, and then sold this data for large amounts of money through the digital underground. In particular, this happened through a portal called "Exchange of Information", a kind of anonymous auction site for stolen data. Glazastikov says Shaltay-Boltay "was supposed to be a spokesman for the Anonymous International", and was created by himself, Vladimir Anikeev, and Konstantin Teplyakov.

Although most all of the Western media sources insinuate some connection between Shaltay-Boltay, the FSB officers who were arrested, and the putative "hacking" of the 2016 U.S. election, Glazastikov denies any interest in targets outside Russia.

There is also disagreement around the connection between Shaltay-Boltay and the FSB. Glazastikov says that the FSB contacted him, saying they were aware of Shaltay-Boltay's activity, and wanted to assert "control" and veto power in exchange for not arresting them. Russia Beyond claims that it was Sergei Mikhailov (FSB) who took control of Shaltay-Boltay and "received kickbacks from its founder, Vladimir Anikeyev". However, Glazastikov's testimony contradicts that of Anikeev, his lawyer (Ruslan Koblev), and Ivan Pavlov, lawyer for one of the FSB defendants, all of whom deny any working relationship between Shaltay-Boltay and the FSB.

Interestingly, Glazastikov notes that neither Anikeev nor Teplyakov had technical expertise. Moreover, Glazastikov makes it sound like even he was not primarily involved in hacking, and the "Exchange of Information" admins claim no connection with Shaltay-Boltay. For the heavy lifting, Shaltay-Boltay would use "specialized hacking sites" where they outsourced pay-to-order hacks with IT mercenaries. A target e-mail address could be hacked for a few thousand rubles. And even this, Glazastikov states, wasn't really the original idea for Shaltay-Boltay. Instead, he imagined they would be doing "advertising or administration fee".

Perhaps more significantly, it has more recently been claimed that members of Shaltay-Boltay have admitted to forging some parts of the correspondence that they hacked. The putative aim was to boost the profile of their group.

Reading between the lines of this, I find more support for Scott's angle on this story. Shaltay-Boltay were indeed not hackers in a conventional sense. They were traders in an illicit information economy, and apparently weren't above fabricating that information if it would raise their profile. For the extent and nature of that fabrication, i look forward to Scott's next report!

Internal Exile USA on October 17, 2017 , · at 4:29 pm UTC
This is incredible research, you put most YTube new journalists to shame. I hope this material makes its way into your next book. "Enemy of the State" is an instant classic full of insights on how to live life that are a soothing balm to children of the Sick West with senses of humor somewhat intact.

On the east coast of the U.S., the mundane worlds of the Masters of (their imagined) Universe can be seen fairly easily, especially if you wander into places and act like you belong there.

Regarding the kinds of people that instigate the madness you describe above: I recently had the opportunity to visit a very interesting social club that was opened to the public for one day only. Three Ivy league schools I'm sure you've heard of. On the walls upstairs were listed all the latest presidents in different colors, like red for an "H" school: Obama, Clinton, Bush II, Bush I . Kennedy John Quincy Adams, etc. I can't remember Nixon or Carter being there, but I talked to someone who's name is on another wall, and it struck me that members of this club did not hate Trump because of his manners, parents, background, politics, or alleged business acumen. Instead, they hated the fact that his name couldn't be written on their wall. It's really only acceptable to be President if you've been BMOC at Harvard.

Out of nowhere, my gentleman acquaintance brought up the topic of the day: Russia hacking the elections. The more things change, the more they are not the same anymore.

There were pictures of famous football teams from years gone by, the place had a charm but it was shabby, and the ceiling looked like sprayed styrafoam, an aesthetic disgrace that these imaginary jocks failed to appreciate. The drinks, by the way, were terrible. They must make their highballs with Minute Maid. The creativity and intelligence, not to mention taste of the West are surely at a low ebb.

TIJAT on October 18, 2017 , · at 10:20 am UTC
Excellent article. In depth and well reported. Blows away the MSM!
Nussiminen on October 18, 2017 , · at 3:20 pm UTC
Frankly, I don't really see too big a problem with people swallowing the hogwash about "Kremlin disinformation trolls" working to undermine the West's irrepressible belief in itself. As usual, the most appropriate response amounts to contemptuous, refined amusement:

"They seem to know indeed what they are talking about -- well worth their salary for doing honest work."

If you cannot change the Weltanschau of Ziomedia addicts, then at least you're fully entitled to have some fun at the slobs' expense.

Internal Exile USA on October 19, 2017 , · at 9:20 pm UTC
Absolutely, humor is one of the best weapons around. The more pompous a person is, the more they hate being dropped down to size. Pop goes the balloon of hot air. Humor has probably woken more people up than any other method. It's not as though we have a lack of ludicrous, ridiculous material. As the inventor of this site once described, how did the people in the late-era Soviet Union fight their declining regime? Jokes.
TIAJAT on October 19, 2017 , · at 8:08 pm UTC
Awesome work, and no one has been able to post any rebuttals. Probably because they don't have any?
Colin on October 21, 2017 , · at 11:54 pm UTC
Interesting how the incorrect information masqueraded as first hand eyewitness reports by boots on the ground in St.Petersburg – in effect 'doxxing' the Kremin's Troll Factory.
It's as though someone misinterpreted (or merely read in school misrepresentations of) Asch's conformity test results.
This was obviously aimed at those old enough to remember the Lubyanka building; fighting ghosts of the cold war in old peoples' minds, eh?

It'll probably work on political fools like Kelly (chief of staff)

yet, once wonders if the yet to be released JFK files will point directly at Russia (assuming the old intelligence communities planted evidence against russia long ago and sealed it among the other documents) and if Clinton on her book tour spreading total BS about russia and wikileaks is laying the groundwork for Trump to resurrect his mentor's McCarthyism skeletons?

I don't think they really give a rat's arse about Russia. Just read Bush's speech he gave (that the MSM blatantly lies calling it anti-racist only) about the 'cyber revolution' coming. Who the hell do you think is the second highest paid lobbyist group besides the military industrial complex? That's right, the USA's ISP companies.

Aaron Swartz must be rolling in his grave. poor guy. no way he hung himself.

Matt on October 28, 2017 , · at 12:38 pm UTC
First, I will address the author's attempted discrediting of the Shaltai Boltai hacking group, which included someone from the FSB. They released the internal communications of the St. Petersburg troll factory. Now, the author tries painting them as traitors working for the CIA, who planted fake information. This is entirely untrue. The group became infamous for its initial release of information in late 2013, and the subsequent hacks of various Kremlin insiders. Here are the other leaks they released:

Mandatory Questions for Putin's Press-conference in Austria

An internal Kremlin index of the relevant bloggers: divided into "Guards" (either official Kremlin
accounts or trusted trolls), highlighted in red or "Opposition", in yellow, or "Neutrals" in green.

Mailbox of Vera Kerova, a Kremlin PR adviser who worked closely on ensuring the Crimean referendum was a predetermined success.

Emails of Timur Prokopenko, head of the "Internal Politics" department at President Putin's administration, de facto spin-master of the Kremlin.

Emails of Kremlin employee Alexey Anisimov, one of the assistants to the Kremlin's chief of Domestic Politics Vyacheslav Volodin.

Emails of Georgi Gavrish, a former officer of the Russian embassy in Athens, and, like Dugin, at one point employed by oligarch Malofeev.

As you can see, their hacks were deep and numerous. Not once has any information they released been deemed fake. Further, the amount of information released is staggering. They could not forge the thousands of emails messages from the troll factory, or the tens of thousands of messages from the above personalities. Some emails contained entire drafts of unpublished books. And the information has indeed been corroborated. Shaltai Boltai also blackmailed some people for money, but despite this, none of their released have been proven to be fakes. Nor do they have a connection to the CIA. The FSB is known to hire former cybercriminals. That one of its employees ran such a hacking group is not surprising.

Now, here is some information on the hacked files:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/maxseddon/documents-show-how-russias-troll-army-hit-america?utm_term=.sn2B3bYRLe#.pgpO98mAj0

https://globalvoices.org/2015/03/14/russia-kremlin-troll-army-examples/

Further, the author tries claiming that the building was "for rent" in 2014 and that this means there could not have been a troll factory there. This is entirely false. The "for rent" sign was placed in some time 2013 and the troll factory moved in in 2013. By the summer of 2014, Shaltai Boltai had hacked the factory. The author also tries making some incorrect technical claims, that posting so many comments would require a huge amount of bandwith and that no ISP would allow this. This is another false argument, considering it is very easy and cheap to get high bandwith internet for businesses, which the troll factory technically is. Posting comments is not some bandwith-intensive task at all, nor is general browsing. The author also gets confused and claims that Shaltai Boltai and the CIA created those >400 troll accounts, as revealed by FB. Shaltai Boltai actually released the internal communications years before any "Russiagate" hysteria. Lastly, the author points out that there are many companies registered from the address, not just the troll factory. He then lists some of these companies and fails to note the irony of mentioning FAN. We will get to FAN news network later.

The author then states:

"This took place in August 2015, and by September 2 2015, a fake company named the "Internet Research" was liquidated by merging it, in the Business registry, with another fake entity, TEKA, that was created in spring 2015 as the construction materials retailer."

The lawyer who won Savchuk's case, Ivan Pavlov, who heads Team 29, says:

"Meanwhile, the company has changed its name to Teka, Pavlov said. It also has moved its legal headquarters, although the trolling operation remains in a large gray building north of the St. Petersburg city center, near the head of the Gulf of Finland."

This is what investigative journalist Andrei Zakharov, who works for the business media group RBC, says (he has written numerous articles investigating the finances of the troll factory):

"They have a lot of legal entities, and they still, I think, change it every year or every two years."

Another company at 55 Savushkina Street is Glavset, whose director general has the same name as the boss of IRA. Glavset lists the "creation and use of databases and information resources" as well as the "development of computer software, advertising services and information placement services" among its activities. It was listed as a company in the Russian legal entities registry in February 2015. A short time later, it began advertising for staff on a headhunting site (hh.ru). One post looking for a copywriter says the job involves "writing diverse texts for the Internet and content for social networks." The posting offered a salary of 30,000 rubles a month (then a little over $500) and said experience was unnecessary. Recruits would work with a team of "young and enthusiastic colleagues" in "a comfortable and stylish office," according to the posting. Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/the-notorious-kremlin-linked-troll-farm-and-the-russians-trying-to-take-it-down/2017/10/06/c8c4b160-a919-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02_story.html

As you can see, the fact that the company continually changes names and merges is to obscure its existence and make it difficult to find out more information about it.
After the troll factory's emails were hacked, various journalists contacted the trolls using their leaked email addresses, to get interviews. One such journalist was the NYT's Adrian Chen:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/magazine/the-agency.html

It's a lengthy piece, but I suggest everyone read it. It also mentions the "FAN news network", mentioned by the author. This is another entity created to obscure the existence of the troll factory. Several other interviews were published, by Western and Russian sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/11656043/My-life-as-a-pro-Putin-propagandist-in-Russias-secret-troll-factory.html

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/02/putin-kremlin-inside-russian-troll-house

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-trolls-headquarters-media-internet-insider-account/26904157.html

Let's assume that all this is fake, including all the troll factory emails and that the interviews were conducted by the biased Western media outlets, using CIA actors or something. What about the Russian media? Did they report on this too? Indeed, they did:

http://mr7.ru/articles/112478/

The above is a local, St. Petersburg-based media outlet and they released several documents from the troll factory, given to them by a former employee. Are they lying too?

RBC, one of Russia's most respected business news outlets, ran a story about the troll factory and its funders, this April. The story focused on restaurateur Evgeny Prigozhin, a close friend of Putin, responsible for the financing of the St. Petersburg troll factory:

http://www.rbc.ru/magazine/2017/04/58d106b09a794710fa8934ac?from=subject

Just today, they released this:

https://meduza.io/en/news/2017/10/17/russian-journalists-publish-massive-investigation-into-st-petersburg-troll-factory-s-u-s-operations

They also revealed the names of two highly popular troll accounts: an anti-Clinton FaceBook group with 140,000 subscribers, called "Secure Borders", and a right-wing Twitter account called Tea Party News, with 22,000 followers. It's my hypothesis that FaceBook used these accounts to find other accounts, as there were some of the first accounts suspended. This wasn't the only Russian media article about the troll factory or its wealthy funder. One of the very first articles about the troll factory was published in 2013, by Novaya Gazeta, one of Russia's oldest opposition papers:

https://globalvoices.org/2013/06/21/the-kremlins-kitchen-serves-up-russias-free-press/

TV Rain also recently interviewed a former troll:

https://tvrain.ru/teleshow/reportazh/oni_sdelali_video_kak_negr_zanimaetsja-448671/

Is it likely that RBC, NG, MR7, and TV Rain are also lying?

Lastly, there are several examples of the troll factory getting caught red-handed:

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2002774-fake-video-of-american-shooting-a-quran-traced-to-russian-propaganda-agency/

https://globalvoices.org/2015/07/13/open-source-information-reveals-pro-kremlin-web-campaign/

https://globalvoices.org/2014/11/19/fake-ukrainian-news-websites-run-by-russian-troll-army-offshoots/

https://globalvoices.org/2015/12/22/massive-livejournal-troll-network-pushes-pro-kremlin-narratives/

In conclusion, the author was unable to prove that the leaked correspondence is fake, ignores the mountain of evidence proving the existence of the troll factory, blames, without evidence, the CIA for being behind all this, and tries using faulty logic to disprove the existence of the troll factory. He also is confused about the troll factory's continuous morphing. Lastly, he tries linking the drop in leaking activity by Shaltai Boltai with the troll factory's merging into other entities. The two things are completely unrelated, since the troll factory changes its name every year or so, and has gone by many names. I find it hard to believe that a Russian speaker like the author could make so many mistakes and leave out the above information. I don't even understand Russian, yet, even I addressed the mountain of evidence from the RuNet regarding the troll factory. We have thousands of messages from the factory, leaked not just by Shaltai Boltai, but local news outlets from St. Petersburg, who received the documents from a former employee. We have numerous interviews from the American, Russian, British, and German media of not just one person (which the author tries smearing due to her Ukrainian last name), but countless other former employees. Conveniently, the author ignores them.

Matt on November 17, 2017 , · at 12:15 pm UTC
It's been a few weeks, but no response to my post. I would very much appreciate one. Thank you.
David on January 09, 2018 , · at 3:42 pm UTC
You say that an alleged Russian troll farm moved into that building in 2014?

Hmm. The USA had a $200 million troll farm program already in 2010. And the difference between the existence of the US' far larger troll farm program than anything that has been alleged of Russia, is that the US troll farm program is confirmed to exist, and was confirmed, in comprehensive detail, to exist by the US government years before any allegations that Russia might be doing something similar existed.

In fact, I suppose that you could be one of the US' paid social media propaganda trolls, Matt. After all, they are everywhere, these days – and have been for getting close to a decade, now.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/29040299/ns/us_news-military/
http://russia-insider.com/en/ny-times-frets-about-russian-propaganda-ignores-massive-troll-farms-run-america-and-its-allies
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/so-why-does-the-air-force-want-hundreds-of-fake-online-identities-on-social-media-update/
http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-legalizes-propaganda-2012-5
http://russia-insider.com/en/us-prepares-lavishly-funded-anti-russia-propaganda-and-troll-army/ri21805
http://russia-insider.com/en/yet-another-us-govt-agency-spending-big-spread-foreign-policy-lies-gec/ri22087

And here is a particularly good article that details the US' social media troll farm program, as it was already in 2010.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

" According to publicized 2011 USA Central Command documents and contracts which detailed the program, the USA has by far the world's largest cyber-army, and contracts companies to set up and pay people to post in social media "around the world," "using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda "the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated messages, blogposts, chatroom posts and other interventions .The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as "sock puppets" – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same."

Basically, if the Russian government is paying posters to post in social media, they got the idea from the USA government (and Israel, which admitted paying social media trolls during their 2008 – 2009 war against Gaza), which was publicly broadcasting that it was doing the same thing years earlier, and with a budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Since then, a lot of countries have copies the US and Israel's pioneering of social media troll farms, and today Israel, the US, the UK, Ukraine, Poland etc.

http://www.newsweek.com/35000-volunteers-sign-ukraines-information-army-first-day-310121
https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201710111058132063-poland-cyber-army-analysis/

Matt on January 09, 2018 , · at 6:59 pm UTC
Hello David,

I already know about those links. First, none of them prove the U.S. has troll farms to target countries. Those links only discuss writing in foreign languages to fight Jihadist propaganda online. But no evidence of the U.S. hiring people to post messages on Russian forums, for example.

"In fact, I suppose that you could be one of the US' paid social media propaganda trolls, Matt."

Hmm, strange ad hominem. I never insulted you, so I don't understand.

David on January 09, 2018 , · at 9:43 pm UTC
Hello again Matt,

"Those links only discuss writing in foreign languages to fight Jihadist propaganda online"

With the USA having the largest known troll farm budget and operation in the world, and using the phrase "around the world" to describe the scope of its social media propaganda, it is simple logic that the US is targeting everybody with their propaganda. But, the links I gave are certainly not exclusive to countering jihadist propaganda, with the US government's own description of its social media propaganda program being focused on social media "around the world", and with some of the links I gave explicitly focus on Russia-targeting efforts, while others involve targeting US citizens with domestic propaganda.

http://russia-insider.com/en/us-prepares-lavishly-funded-anti-russia-propaganda-and-troll-army/ri21805
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/meet-brig-gen-joel-harding-natos-ziggy-stardust-and-his-spiders-mars/ri16367
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/brig-gen-joel-harding-natos-teen-porn-addict-and-troll-king-extraordinaire-part-ii/ri16368

Also, the US spends $50 – $100 million a year just targeting Russia with propaganda in general. And that's only what's on the public books (the real figure could be much higher):

http://freewestmedia.com/2017/09/23/foreign-governments-spend-millions-to-influence-russian-elections/

The USAF probably is not involved in countering pro-jihad propaganda:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/so-why-does-the-air-force-want-hundreds-of-fake-online-identities-on-social-media-update/

One of the US' social media troll farms is operated by Ntrepid, near L.A. ( https://ntrepidcorp.com/ ). Do you expect they're working on countering jihad propaganda? Personally, I doubt that.

Another US security company that was seeking a troll farm contract from the US government was HBGary ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HBGary ) – a company that had a record of conducting social media disinformation campaigns and cyber attack on behalf of US corporations and in support of US government interests.

Now, why would the US government have made propaganda directed against US citizens legal ( http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-legalizes-propaganda-2012-5 ), if the US government's only purpose was to counter pro-jihad messages, notably those in countries in the Middle East? Obviously, the US government's propaganda programs are not only, or even mostly about countering pro-jihad messaging, but feature comprehensive social media propagandizing against many targets.

Proving this, the purpose stated in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, for the US' Global Engagement Center, says:

http://russia-insider.com/en/yet-another-us-govt-agency-spending-big-spread-foreign-policy-lies-gec/ri22087

"The purpose of the Center shall be to lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests."

That does not limit the US' social media propaganda to countering jihadist, but specifically includes propaganda against states.

Also, the phrasing of the US government, calling its own propaganda 'countering propaganda', is itself propaganda, and trying to white-wash the US' hefty international offensive propaganda programs as something noble and just, and the targets of those programs as being deserving of being propagandized against. That rationalizing is by no means an honest description, being just hubris and arrogance.

At any rate, all the details make it clear that the US is committing social media propaganda not just against jihad groups, but also against its own citizens, against Russia, and against the world, in general.

And if there was still any doubt about this (though I think there shouldn't be), then look at the US' own description of its goals in conducting social media propaganda:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

"using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda."

Pro-USA propaganda is not countering-jihad propaganda. Those are completely different subjects, and the stated goal of the social media propaganda program that the US government detailed on a US government jobs site in 2010 was to bias internet conversation by spreading pro-USA propaganda. I imagine that a lot of that work is done in Western news sites, and on Facebook targeting English audiences. Maybe some of that work involves targeting Russian audiences, too. It probably does.

Countering jihadist propaganda is only one facet of the US' comprehensive social media propaganda programs.

The Washington Post also explains some Russia-targeting propaganda efforts by the US government:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/effort-to-combat-foreign-propaganda-advances-in-congress/2016/11/30/9147e1ac-e221-47be-ab92-9f2f7e69d452_story.html

"The initiative grows out of a bill authored in March by Portman and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called the "Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act." It initially sprang from a desire to help independent journalists and nongovernmental organizations in European nations such as Ukraine, Moldova and Serbia, which face a heavy tide of Russian propaganda."

Once again, calling setting up a propaganda program a propaganda-countering program is white-washing what it is. Propaganda is propaganda. And the US had Russia-targeting propaganda long before this 2016 initiative, and that initiative is just one more Russia-targeting propaganda endeavour of the US.

"Hmm, strange ad hominem. I never insulted you, so I don't understand."

Is it necessarily ad hominem? My point is that I think it's fact that people playing the apologist for US social media propaganda, or insisting that a geopolitical rival of the US is conducting this type of propaganda, could be a US paid propaganda troll. I think that the US pays propaganda trolls to do. That's how the same messaging that many like yourself constantly push sounds when the roles are reversed – and if the public were more informed, they'd know the roles actually are reversed since before any of the Russophobic hysteria was even gestating.

David on January 11, 2018 , · at 8:16 pm UTC
Hi again, Matt,

A new article from today shows that the US' Pentagon is seeking social media bot AI to monitor and post US propaganda in social media discussions.

https://www.rt.com/usa/415609-us-army-ai-language-bot/

I believe I've shown in the information that I posted above that the US is running large-scale troll farms to spam pro-US propaganda in social media around the world. But a statement made in the RT article by former Mi-5 agent, Annie Machon, parallels my own thinking when I read the article's title:

" the timing to me is interesting, because for sure the West has been running these so-called troll farms against other countries as well for a long time, so are they just trying to expand their operations by developing this new software? Or are they trying to disingenuously suggest to people that actually they haven't done it before and only the Big Bad Russians, or the Big Bad Chinese, have run troll farms."

I think that the US government is trying to retro-actively legitimatize their social media bots and paid propaganda trolls, but that this stuff that the US government is now publicly broadcasting has been happening for a very long time.

And there is evidence of it in the 2011 Guardian article, which details US social media propaganda software from 2010:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

" the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated messages, blogposts, chatroom posts and other interventions. Details of the contract suggest this location would be MacDill air force base near Tampa, Florida, home of US Special Operations Command."

So, the US government's troll farms have been, for many years, attacking social media with specialized software enabling them to facilitate tag-teaming comments sections, to make it appear as though multiple people agree with the pro-US propaganda, when in-fact it could be just 5 puppet account belonging to one paid US propaganda troll, or, it could be multiple paid US propaganda trolls, using their special software to tag-team one comments section.

We do know that the US is targeting US media with its troll farm program, as the US government did specifically change US laws in 2011 to make propagandizing against US citizens legal. And I strongly suspect that I have personally encountered US paid propaganda trolls multiple times when posting at US news sites.

I suspect that Ars Technica is one particular target that paid US propaganda trolls have been targeting and staking out over the past few years. There has been definite tag-teaming of BS US propaganda there whenever there's an attack article about Russia – and Ars has run many, many fanatical, hysterical, and conspiracy attack pieces against Russia in the previous few years (most relying on now heavily-debunked information, and wild hypothesis, while pushing it as though fact).

Other details of the US' social media troll farm program reveal that the US goes to great lengths to disguise its paid trolls, and to provide "powerful deniability".

"It also calls for "traffic mixing", blending the persona controllers' internet usage with the usage of people outside Centcom in a manner that must offer "excellent cover and powerful deniability"."

" US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations "without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries"."

So, paid US propaganda trolls are not going to admit to what they're doing, and they're rather going to point to their identity as having robust background "evidence" that they're normal people, that they're IP is located somewhere else, that there are multiple people saying the same thing as they are when it's just one, or a few paid US propaganda trolls tag-teaming a comments section, using multiple puppet accounts each, and with VPNs to make their puppet accounts appear as though they're posting from various different places in the US, and around the world.

I would also like to bring attention to this part of the 2011 The Guardian article:

"Centcom said it was not targeting any US-based web sites, in English or any other language, and specifically said it was not targeting Facebook or Twitter."

That article was made regarding information on the US' social media propaganda program as it was in 2010.

But the US government changed its law to make using the same propaganda against US citizens legal, in 2011 – 2012: http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-legalizes-propaganda-2012-5

So, if the US troll farm programs weren't targeting US citizens at the time those initial details were uncovered, it was only because it was, at the time, illegal for the US government to target the citizens of the US with propaganda. But that was changed around 2012, and so comments that the US government is not targeting US citizens no longer apply, as they're out-dated.

[Feb 16, 2018] The indictment includes charges not yet proven in a court of law, yet prominent Americans are treating the indictment as fact

Notable quotes:
"... People read these accusational headlines, probably just the headlines, and it acts as a virus and penetrates the membrane of the collective subconscious, without even a moments thought to question the assertion. In time, the virus breaks down the will of the rational consumer to weigh evidence fairly, though it is also aided by further bombardment of fake news, which increases the rate of infection. ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
stonebird , Feb 16, 2018 3:49:41 PM | 39
francis @37

One of the best bits about the indictment is the mention ;"arranging for a Real US person to stand in front of the White House in the district of Colombia with a sign that read; "Happy 55th birthday dear boss" (May 29, in 2016)" America must have trembled. (or maybe they were shaking with laughter?).

NemesisCalling , Feb 16, 2018 4:14:31 PM | 40
People read these accusational headlines, probably just the headlines, and it acts as a virus and penetrates the membrane of the collective subconscious, without even a moments thought to question the assertion. In time, the virus breaks down the will of the rational consumer to weigh evidence fairly, though it is also aided by further bombardment of fake news, which increases the rate of infection.

The virus then blossoms into a fairly beautiful and uniform flower with clean, geometric edges and universal appeal which catches the gaze of others and so is able to double the rate of infection from this secondary source.

This flower, the Ruskiesdidittous, is the result of haphazard propogation, though its ability to survive and thrive is notable due to a carrier population already enfeebled by a diet of Dr. Pepper and a lack of discernible vegetables.

I tremble for my countrymen.

Don Bacon | Feb 16, 2018 4:25:01 PM | 41

...adding to the remarks in #40...

The indictment includes charges not yet proven in a court of law, yet prominent Americans are treating the indictment as fact. from CNN:

>House Speaker Paul Ryan called the Russians' alleged actions "a conspiracy to subvert the process, and take aim at democracy itself." "We have known that Russians meddled in the election, but these indictments detail the extent of the subterfuge," Ryan said in a statement.

>Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement that given the indictments, Trump should "immediately" implement the Russia sanctions that Congress passed last summer to punish Moscow for its election meddling. "The administration needs to be far more vigilant in protecting the 2018 elections, and alert the American public any time the Russians attempt to interfere," Schumer said.

>House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that the indictments "make absolutely clear" that Russians tried to influence the presidential election to support Trump's campaign and continue to try to interfere with our elections. "We are on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections," the statement added. "There is no time to waste to defend the integrity of our elections and our democracy."

>Robby Mook, Clinton's former campaign manager, tweeted: "The intelligence community has repeatedly told us Russia meddled. Now criminal indictments from DOJ. We were attacked by a foreign adversary. Will our Congress and President stand strong and take action? Or let it happen again?"

karlof1 | Feb 16, 2018 5:04:57 PM | 42

My rebuttal of Pelosi's statement @41--

There has never been any "integrity" in US elections, nor is there such a thing as "democracy" within the USA.

IMO, Congresscritters have never before looked and acted so damn stupid -- clearly they are merely mutts being led by a leash and told to bray at a moon called Russia.

The Outlaw US Empire totally lacks integrity and clearly isn't a democracy; it is merely another of history's failed empires destroyed by its own hubris; it really needs to gouge its eyes out and wander in the forest until it dies.

[Feb 15, 2018] Syria Could Be Washington's Next Big Foreign Policy Failure

Syria adventure was hatched by Hillary and Barak. and paid by ordinary Americans. Usual imperial staff.
Feb 15, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

Now the administration assures us that it has an even better idea, an extended occupation by combat troops amid multiple contending armed forces, highlighted by forcing Assad from office, fixing war-ravaged areas, building up Kurdish forces, satisfying the Turkish government, banishing Tehran's influence, and avoiding confrontation with Russia. There is no risk of overreach or mission creep. And certainly no need for Congress to vote on the issue.

[Feb 15, 2018] The partition of Syria according to the US is a fait accompli, presumably the Kurds/SDF will be invited to govern almost one third of the oil rich and fertile parts of Syria, without them being asked. Syria, Iraq, Iran,Turkey or Russia will not like this arrangement

Feb 15, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

harrylaw , Feb 14, 2018 12:13:16 PM | 22

CarlD@14 The partition of Syria according to the US is a fait accompli, presumably the Kurds/SDF will be invited to govern almost one third of the oil rich and fertile parts of Syria, without them being asked. Syria, Iraq, Iran,Turkey or Russia will not like this arrangement, but as you know, when the US occupy a state, they never leave until militarily forced to do so. At this time it is not wise for the five states to fight the US directly even Turkey who have potentially just as much to lose as Syria and have promised to strangle this new state at birth, must do so by at least..
  1. Not letting any trade [particularly oil] cross the border.
  2. Stop any arms shipments to the Kurds.
  3. Since Incirlik air base is essential to the setting up of this state, US forces should be persona non grata there.

If this fails they should do what the coalition have done, us proxies, unattributed of course and ensure they have the weapons to do the job...IED's,EFP's mortars, rockets and manpads. The only langauge the US understands.

Willy2 , Feb 14, 2018 12:17:01 PM | 24
- Peter Lee had one other interesting story: Harry Truman fired surpreme commander Douglas McArthur in 1950 because McArthur wanted to provoke an incident with China and start a war with China.

https://www.libertarianinstitute.org/scotthortonshow/1-26-18-peter-lee-douglas-macarthur-conspired-start-war-china/

[Feb 15, 2018] Seymour Hersh Says Hillary Approved Sending Libya's Sarin to Syrian Rebels

Feb 15, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Speaking of fireworks in NYC:

Obama More Concerned About Manhattan Nuke Than Russia

Also interesting news:

Seymour Hersh Says Hillary Approved Sending Libya's Sarin to Syrian Rebels

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Feb 13, 2018 6:29:54 PM | 67

[Feb 15, 2018] Syria's War Has Never Been More International by Uri Friedman

In Syria the USA is playing "might is right" card. Ignoring all international laws. There is no legal justification for the USA troops presence. They care clearly illegal force on Syrian territory. That's a dangerous game. Taking into account the USA unleashed Syria civil war for their own geopolitical purposes, trying to reverse growing influence of Iran due to the blunder on Iraq war this is clearly Roman empire moment for the USA.
This is total capitulation of Trump to neocons.
Feb 15, 2018 | www.theatlantic.com

Turkey, for example, isn't willing to accept the entrenchment of a U.S.-supported Kurdish militia , which the Turkish government associates with Kurdish insurgents in Turkey, right across its border. The United States seems determined to hold ground in Syria to prevent the resurgence of terrorist groups and frustrate Iran's plans to extend its power across the Eastern Mediterranean. Israel shares America's goal of countering Iran, particularly at its border with Syria.

Russia, meanwhile, is bent on preserving a friendly government in Damascus and a military presence on the Mediterranean, while casting itself as a global power player on par with America. The Iranians -- currently "the single-most influential player" in Syria -- are "trying to establish a long-term strategic military infrastructure in [Syria], build missile-production facilities, move precision-guided munitions," Itani said. Both nations " are upset that the United States is not departing the country," Tabler said.

[Feb 15, 2018] Pull U.S. Troops Out of the Middle East and Put 'America First' The National Interest Blog

Notable quotes:
"... Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army who retired in 2015 after twenty-one years, including four combat deployments ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

In Iraq, U.S. advisors and air power in some cases ironically helped Iranian-backed militias succeed on the ground, strengthening Teheran's hand in Iraq. Their influence remains strong today . Less than two months into his presidency, Trump ordered hundreds more troops into Syria to assist the SDF in its battle against ISIS, especially in Raqqa. Almost immediately U.S.-NATO ally Turkey protested the effort, Syria condemned the intrusion into their country, and Russia cautioned against it.

The U.S.-backed SDF did indeed eventually liberate Raqqa , but again it must be pointed out that ISIS would have eventually lost Raqqa even without U.S. involvement. The cost to our country at having supported the Kurds, however, has been growing.

Making good on his early threats, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan crossed into Syrian territory to engage in what he called Operation Olive Branch on January 20. Turkish troops began attacking the SDF, whom Ankara views as a terror threat to its country. Though both Secretary of State Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis mildly protested, Erdogan ignored U.S. pleas with cavalier disdain.

"We don't care what they say," the Turkish president said of America's reaction. "They will learn how wrong it is to trust a terror organization." Adding that Turkey would only remain on Syrian territory until they had accomplished their objectives, Erdogan sarcastically added , "I ask the United States: Did you have any specific time duration in Afghanistan?" Adding insult to injury, Russia owned the airspace above the location in Syria where Turkey attacked: Ankara got Moscow to support its move against the SDF in opposition to U.S. preferences. That a NATO ally can so easily and publicly rebuke the United States, literally killing soldiers that America supported and cooperating with its biggest competitor, is a troubling indicator how much influence Washington has lost. Russia is only too happy to drive a wedge between NATO countries, especially if it pokes a stick in America's eye.

All of these developments are unequivocally antithetical to American interests––and all of them could have been avoided if Obama had not committed the United States to the operations in Iraq and Syria, and if Trump hadn't doubled-down on the missions. As it is, the trouble is still not over. Recent events have raised the potential for unintentional military clashes between the United States and Turkey.

On Wednesday the White House said that Trump told Erdogan in a phone conversation that Trump "urged Turkey to deescalate, limit its military actions, and avoid civilian casualties." On the same day in Ankara, Erdogan announced his forces would expand the assault "[s]tarting in Manbij," where "we will continue to thwart (SDF's) game." In response, U.S. military spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon said the U.S. Forces in the Manbij area "have an inherent right to defend themselves and will do so if necessary."

Moreover, though Washington helped liberate Mosul and Raqqa, the terror threat to the United States ISIS poses is virtually unchanged, as the group's leaders simply moved underground to continue operating. In other words, the United States has expended enormous resources and sacrificed many of its service members to a mission that has resulted in a net loss to America.

Instead of trying desperately to remain in Iraq and Syria to perpetuate these failures, it is time for the interests of America to be considered first. Washington must wind down its combat missions in the Middle East, redeploy its troops to their home bases, and begin the process of rebuilding the ability of America's Armed Forces to face potentially existential fights in the future.

Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army who retired in 2015 after twenty-one years, including four combat deployments . Follow him @DanielLDavis1 .

[Feb 15, 2018] If America Wasn't America, the United States Would Be Bombing It by Darius Shahtahmasebi

Notable quotes:
"... Reprinted with permission from The Anti-Media . ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

February 13, 2018

On January 8, 2018, former government advisor Edward Luttwak wrote an opinion piece for Foreign Policy titled "It's Time to Bomb North Korea."

Luttwak's thesis is relatively straightforward. There is a government out there that may very soon acquire nuclear-weapons capabilities, and this country cannot be trusted to responsibly handle such a stockpile. The responsibility to protect the world from a rogue nation cannot be argued with, and we understandably have a duty to ensure the future of humanity.

However, there is one rogue nation that continues to hold the world ransom with its nuclear weapons supply. It is decimating non-compliant states left, right, and center. This country must be stopped dead in its tracks before anyone turns to the issue of North Korea.

In August of 1945, this rogue nation dropped two atomic bombs on civilian targets, not military targets, completely obliterating between 135,000 and 300,000 Japanese civilians in just these two acts alone. Prior to this event, this country killed even more civilians in the infamous firebombing of Tokyo and other areas of Japan, dropping close to 500,000 cylinders of napalm and petroleum jelly on some of Japan's most densely populated areas.

Recently, historians have become more open to the possibility that dropping the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not actually necessary to end World War II. This has also been confirmed by those who actually took part in it. As the Nation explained:

Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, stated in a public address at the Washington Monument two months after the bombings that 'the atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military standpoint, in the defeat of Japan ' Adm. William "Bull" Halsey Jr., Commander of the US Third Fleet, stated publicly in 1946 that 'the first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment . It was a mistake to ever drop it . [the scientists] had this toy and they wanted to try it out, so they dropped it
A few months' prior, this rogue country's invasion of the Japanese island of Okinawa also claimed at least one quarter of Okinawa's population. The Okinawan people have been protesting this country's military presence ever since. The most recent ongoing protest has lasted well over 5,000 days in a row.

This nation's bloodlust continued well after the end of World War II. Barely half a decade later, this country bombed North Korea into complete oblivion, destroying over 8,700 factories, 5,000 schools, 1,000 hospitals, 600,000 homes, and eventually killing off as much as 20 percent of the country's population. As the Asia Pacific Journal has noted, the assaulting country dropped so many bombs that they eventually ran out of targets to hit, turning to bomb the irrigation systems, instead:

By the fall of 1952, there were no effective targets left for US planes to hit. Every significant town, city and industrial area in North Korea had already been bombed. In the spring of 1953, the Air Force targeted irrigation dams on the Yalu River, both to destroy the North Korean rice crop and to pressure the Chinese, who would have to supply more food aid to the North. Five reservoirs were hit, flooding thousands of acres of farmland, inundating whole towns and laying waste to the essential food source for millions of North Koreans."
This was just the beginning. Having successfully destroyed the future North Korean state, this country moved on to the rest of East Asia and Indo-China, too. As Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi has explained :
We [this loose cannon of a nation] dumped 20 million gallons of toxic herbicide on Vietnam from the air, just to make the shooting easier without all those trees, an insane plan to win 'hearts and minds' that has left about a million still disabled from defects and disease – including about 100,000 children, even decades later, little kids with misshapen heads, webbed hands and fused eyelids writhing on cots, our real American legacy, well out of view, of course.
This mass murder led to the deaths of between 1.5 million and 3.8 million people, according to the Washington Post. More bombs were dropped on Vietnam than were unleashed during the entire conflict in World War II . While this was going on, this same country was also secretly bombing Laos and Cambodia, too, where there are over 80 million unexploded bombs still killing people to this day.

This country also decided to bomb Yugoslavia , Panama , and Grenada before invading Iraq in the early 1990s. Having successfully bombed Iraqi infrastructure, this country then punished Iraq's entire civilian population with brutal sanctions. At the time, the U.N. estimated that approximately 1.7 million Iraqis had died as a result, including 500,000 to 600,000 children . Some years later, a prominent medical journal attempted to absolve the cause of this infamous history by refuting the statistics involved despite the fact that, when interviewed during the sanctions-era, Bill Clinton's secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, intimated that to this rogue government, the deaths of half a million children were "worth it" as the "price" Iraq needed to pay. In other words, whether half a million children died or not was irrelevant to this bloodthirsty nation, which barely blinked while carrying out this murderous policy.

This almighty superpower then invaded Iraq again in 2003 and plunged the entire region into chaos . At the end of May 2017, the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) released a study concluding that the death toll from this violent nation's 2003 invasion of Iraq had led to over one million deaths and that at least one-third of them were caused directly by the invading force.

Not to mention this country also invaded Afghanistan prior to the invasion of Iraq (even though the militants plaguing Afghanistan were originally trained and financed by this warmongering nation). It then went on to bomb Yemen, Syria, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and the Philippines .

Libya famously had one of the highest standards of living in the region. It had state-assisted healthcare, education, transport, and affordable housing. It is now a lawless war-zone rife with extremism where slaves are openly traded like commodities amid the power vacuum created as a direct result of the 2011 invasion.

In 2017, the commander-in-chief of this violent nation took the monumental death and destruction to a new a level by removing the restrictions on delivering airstrikes, which resulted in thousands upon thousands of civilian deaths. Before that, in the first six months of 2017, this country dropped over 20,650 bombs , a monumental increase from the year that preceded it.

Despite these statistics, all of the above conquests are mere child's play to this nation. The real prize lies in some of the more defiant and more powerful states, which this country has already unleashed a containment strategy upon. This country has deployed its own troops all across the border with Russia even though it promised in the early 1990s it would do no such thing. It also has a specific policy of containing Russia's close ally, China, all the while threatening China's borders with talks of direct strikes on North Korea (again, remember it already did so in the 1950s).

This country also elected a president who not only believes it is okay to embrace this rampantly violent militarism but who openly calls other countries "shitholes" – the very same term that aptly describes the way this country has treated the rest of the world for decades on end. This same president also reportedly once asked three times in a meeting , "If we have nuclear weapons, why don't we use them?" and shortly after proposed a policy to remove the constraints protecting the world from his dangerous supply of advanced nuclear weaponry.

When it isn't directly bombing a country, it is also arming radical insurgent groups , creating instability, and directly overthrowing governments through its covert operatives on the ground.

If we have any empathy for humanity, it is clear that this country must be stopped. It cannot continue to act like this to the detriment of the rest of the planet and the safety and security of the rest of us. This country openly talks about using its nuclear weapons, has used them before, and has continued to use all manner of weapons unabated in the years since while threatening to expand the use of these weapons to other countries.

Seriously, if North Korea seems like a threat, imagine how the rest of the world feels while watching one country violently take on the rest of the planet single-handedly, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake and promising nothing less than a nuclear holocaust in the years to come.

There is only one country that has done and that continues to do the very things North Korea is being accused of doing.

Take as much time as you need for that to resonate.

Reprinted with permission from The Anti-Media .

[Feb 15, 2018] Trump's Bankrupt Ultimatum Diplomacy by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The New York Times reports on the Trump administration's poor grasp of diplomacy:

American officials were more guarded, saying they were open to talks but not a full-fledged negotiation.

The United States, they said, would reiterate its demands that North Korea make concessions and did not plan to offer any in return.

This is being billed as the administration's willingness to "open the door" to holding talks with North Korea, but as we can see here there is no real interest in pursuing a diplomatic solution. If U.S. officials just want to deliver an ultimatum in person to North Korean officials, it is a pointless exercise that would make it harder to enter into real negotiations later. North Korea knows what the U.S. wants it to do, and it has said many times that it will never do that, so why would they agree to talks where the same demands will be put to them once again? The U.S. is not willing to make confidence-building gestures that might lead to more substantive negotiations down the road, and it has no intention of offering North Korea anything in exchange for any concessions it might conceivably make.

In the very unlikely event that North Korea agreed to a meeting with administration officials, they would have nothing to gain from the encounter and every incentive to stay away. The problem isn't just that the administration won't offer North Korea the tiniest of carrots, but that it doesn't accept the idea of using carrots in diplomacy in the first place. The administration's posturing is what a government does when it wants to feign support for diplomacy even as it rejects diplomacy at every turn. If people here at home can see through this ploy, North Korea will definitely take it as more proof of Washington's bad faith.

[Feb 15, 2018] Mattis is probably mentally ill. He'll gleefully kill millions more. I really can not see what Tillerson and Mattis have to offer Turkey other than threats.

Feb 15, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mattis is probably mentally ill. He'll gleefully kill millions more.

The terrorists are mentally ill. They would kill millions if they could.

Implacable.

Thus, the reason for the rise of Russia and the influence and respect for Putin. Russians will kill terrorists but embrace Islamic people who want peaceful cooperation.

Peace is a long way off. The Hegemon abhors Peace and has the means and ideology to create chaos, death and destruction anywhere on the globe.

The American economic system depends on MIC expenditures, debt, waste, corruption, and fiscal abuse.

Nothing much will change until multi-polar economic forces come into dominance and coerce the American changes. Those are a long way off, also, though a few of those forces are coming into view.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Feb 12, 2018 12:21:31 PM | 2


ConfusedPundit , Feb 12, 2018 1:33:01 PM | 4

Mattis is coming to Turkey soon.

Pentagon statement today: 550 million dolar, 2018 budget, for PKK.
(Meaning: You can defeat terrorism, but you can't you beat our purse!)

There is a massive propaganda campaing targeting Turkey in the past 2-3 days. It's coming from international sources. BBC, AFP etc.

This is the main theme

"Turks, beware of Russia, Syria and Iran! They are your enemy. Israel is your friend! The USA is a superpower, obey!"

I believe nobody, no muslim targets America or ordinary American people for that mater! So any incident should be received as provocation.
Those who pull the strings in the USA, behind the doors, maybe under risk though.

IMHO

jsn , Feb 12, 2018 1:55:10 PM | 7
Mattis/Pentagon just doing business development for the MIC
nonsense factory , Feb 12, 2018 11:39:44 PM | 32
@colin 3, Yes, I used to try to update the wikipedia page on the TAPI pipeline and while some things remained on the site, most of it was edited away. Anything to do with Exxon, Chevron, US military actions along the pipeline route, Hillary Clinton's cheerleading for the project during the Obama era, actions taken by the US State Department in summer 2001 (pre 9-11) aimed at pressuring the Taliban into signing off on the deal (in exchange for handing over bin Laden, etc.) all gone. Not worth the bother; you're up against PR firms with full-time staff devoted to sanitizing everything.

@4 CP, the corporate media PR stream, it's something I can't even watch anymore (I follow it with Google News search just to see what the headlines are, but it's basically predictable content so that's enough). Here and there across the web there are some honest discussions though:
https://thewire.in/219467/russia-turkey-iran-triangle-economic-interests-paramount/

I really can't see what Tillerson and Mattis have to offer Turkey other than threats.

xaderp , Feb 13, 2018 3:47:05 AM | 35
I think you are reading Mattis's comments wrong.

The moment the USA pulls its troops out of the middle east, a bomb will go off at Times Square .

john , Feb 13, 2018 6:07:37 AM | 43
Yeah, Right says:

"If America Wasn't America, The United States Would Be Bombing It".
Damn, that's funny

yeah, i just read the article , and while the title is indeed humorous, the content is decidedly not. but it's a good synopsis of the unprecedented amount of death and destruction wrought on this undeserving planet by the US of Argh.

ConfusedPundit , Feb 13, 2018 12:12:09 PM | 49
What's this man talking about? US led NATO has been terrorising another member, Turkey.
By means of 3 Proxies: PKK, ISIS, Gulenists.

It's a misconception that the Turks and Americans want a war.
However, both Americans and Turks do want a war against the Neocons!

Perhaps it's time for a false flag nuke at Times Sq or Taksim Sq or Tiananmen Sq or Trafalgar Sq.

Eric Neoconman the chief provocator.

Turkey Is Out of Control.Time for the U.S. to Say So

Partisan , Feb 14, 2018 5:57:41 AM | 72
The West and in particular Amerikkans constantly use the Circular Argument in its public relation and propaganda statements. That kind of attitude works with an allies, nominal or otherwise, in the cases where sovereignty/national interest is threatened that kind of deception is treated just like that, deception.
Unfortunately Tayyip has been used as client state for long time, from Libya to Syria where he experienced sudden awakening.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/02/erdogan-slams-support-kurdish-ypg-fighters-180214070010174.html


The US has reiterated that it has no plans to withdraw its forces from Manbij.

Paul Funk, the commander of US forces in Syria and Iraq, made a recent visit to Manbij and said that the US and its partners in Syria would hit back if attacked.

"You hit us, we will respond aggressively. We will defend ourselves," Funk said.

Erdogan took aim at that, saying: "It is obvious that those, who say they will 'give a sharp response' if they were hit, have not been hit by the Ottoman slap."

He, he, he....that would be something to see.

[Feb 15, 2018] Russia In the Crosshairs by Paul Craig Roberts

that would be nice if the state capable to put the USA in place exists. But such state does not exist and we need to be content with this fact. The period of wnjoying "sole superpower" status which started in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR will not end probably until we run out of cheap oil. Russia currently is way too weak to confront the USA and NATO allies in Syria. So she needs to suffer, while trying to preserve gains of Assad government.
I think Russia realizes that Washington is not a rational government with which diplomacy can be practiced, peace pursued, and agreements reached.
As the author stated earlier : " With the public in its pocket, the military/security complex will increase its reckless provocations of Russia until we are all dead."
Notable quotes:
"... Eric Zuesse notes that only Syria and Russia complain about Washington's illegal occupation of Syrian territory, an occupation that has no UN authorization and is a complete and total violation of international law, and Israel's continual attacks on Syria. ..."
"... Zuesse also notes that Washington and its UK puppet block all UN action against Washington's illegality. http://rinf.com/alt-news/editorials/u-s-not-globally-condemned-military-occupation-syria/ ..."
"... But the question is, when will Russia learn, if ever, that facts and law make no difference whatsoever to Washington? Washington's interest is in its hegemony over the world and in Israel's hegemony in the Middle East. ..."
"... Lendman makes the point that "As long as Russia maintains the myth of partnership with Washington instead of giving Washington a taste of its own medicine . . . conflict will likely continue escalating." https://www.globalresearch.ca/russia-blasts-us-attack-on-syrian-and-allied-forces/5628740 ..."
"... Either Russia is unsure of its power or Putin is prevented from using Russia's power by the treasonous Atlanticist Integrationists who constitute Washington's Fifth Column inside the Russian government and economy. It is a mystery why Putin tolerates a small handful of traitors who have minimal public support while the West and Israel become daily more aggressive against Russian national interests. ..."
"... Putin sensibly avoids escalating a situation, but one gets the impression that there are constraints on Putin's ability to stand up to Washington. The Saker identifies the problem as the pro-Washington "Atlanticist Integrationists" who for personal career reasons, personal business reasons, and because they are supported by Washington-financed NGOs and media inside Russia, have sold out Russian sovereignty to globalism. ..."
"... This entire conflict, primed to grow in intensity, could have been stopped by Putin acknowledging the same overwhelming majority vote as occured in Crimea and reincorporating the provinces in Russia. The nazi government of Ukraine even with Washington and EU's support is not so completely insane that it would attack Russia and expect to continue to exist. ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | www.unz.com

Defending the latest round of US/Israeli aggression against Syria, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert struck a Hitlerian note when she blamed Syria and Iran for an act of overt Israeli aggression, saying "The United States . . . strongly supports Israel's sovereign right to defend itself," and when she lied that "Iran's malign activities" and "calculated escalation of threat and its ambition to project its power and dominance places all people in the region at risk." https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201802111061547754-state-department-syria-israel-escalation/

Adolf Hitler covered his "projection of power and dominance" and his invasion of Poland with the same blatant lies that Washington and Israel use to cover their aggressions. Hitler claimed that Polish forces had crossed the frontier and attacked Germany. That is the excuse used by Israel and its puppets in the White House and Pentagon that blames Iran for Israel's attack on Syria. When Washington and Israel are shameless in their lies, why does Russia think they are "partners" with whom agreements can be reached?

Eric Zuesse notes that only Syria and Russia complain about Washington's illegal occupation of Syrian territory, an occupation that has no UN authorization and is a complete and total violation of international law, and Israel's continual attacks on Syria. Washington's continuing support for war against the legitimate government of Syria and support for Israeli and terrorist attacks on Syrian and Russian forces are undermining Russia's efforts to bring peace to the region. Zuesse also notes that Washington and its UK puppet block all UN action against Washington's illegality. http://rinf.com/alt-news/editorials/u-s-not-globally-condemned-military-occupation-syria/

Zuesse is correct. But is the continuation of Washington's campaign against Syria and Russia largely the fault of Russia? Stephen Lendman makes a case that it is Russia's fault. https://www.globalresearch.ca/russia-blasts-us-attack-on-syrian-and-allied-forces/5628740

Why? It appears to be the case that the Russian government is so anxious for Western approval that it ends its successful military campaigns before the job is finished. It was Putin himself who declared "victory" in Syria and withdrew some of the Russian military before clearing all of Syria of foreign and jihadist occupation, thus leaving in place US beachheads for renewing the conflict.

It couldn't have taken more than two more weeks for Russia and Syria to liberate all of Syria from the US backed jihadists, but apparently Russia was afraid to annoy Washington that much and to risk contact with US personnel, even though Russia is in Syria legally under international law and the US is present illegally.

Again trusting to international law, the UN, and "our Western partners," Russia quit prematurely. As Lendman says, the complaints by Zakharova, Lavrov, Russian Defense Ministry spokesmen, and Putin himself are based in absolute fact. But the question is, when will Russia learn, if ever, that facts and law make no difference whatsoever to Washington? Washington's interest is in its hegemony over the world and in Israel's hegemony in the Middle East.

Lendman makes the point that "As long as Russia maintains the myth of partnership with Washington instead of giving Washington a taste of its own medicine . . . conflict will likely continue escalating." https://www.globalresearch.ca/russia-blasts-us-attack-on-syrian-and-allied-forces/5628740

Lendman might be correct judging by the reported heavy Israeli attacks on Syria on February 10 after Syrian air defences damaged Israel's image of invincibility by shooting down one of Israel's US-supplied war planes that was attacking Syria and reports that the conflict might be escalating and involving Iran. RT reports that the Kremlin is worried that the de-escalation zones are threatened and that Putin got on the telephone with Netanyahu urging restraint.

All of my life US presidents have been urging restraint on Israel to no effect whatsoever. Putin's urges will have no more effect, unless Putin takes the card from Lendman's playbook and tells the war criminal Netanyahu who heads the illegal Israeli state, which is based on land stolen at bayonet point from Palestinians, that any more of this and Russia will take Israel out. Lendman thinks that no other way of talking to the crazed zionist state, or to Washington, will have any effect, and history seems to be on Lendman's side. http://stephenlendman.org/2018/02/syrian-air-defense-downs-israeli-f-16/ and http://stephenlendman.org/2018/02/israel-escalates-aggression-syria/

Either Russia is unsure of its power or Putin is prevented from using Russia's power by the treasonous Atlanticist Integrationists who constitute Washington's Fifth Column inside the Russian government and economy. It is a mystery why Putin tolerates a small handful of traitors who have minimal public support while the West and Israel become daily more aggressive against Russian national interests.

Putin sensibly avoids escalating a situation, but one gets the impression that there are constraints on Putin's ability to stand up to Washington. The Saker identifies the problem as the pro-Washington "Atlanticist Integrationists" who for personal career reasons, personal business reasons, and because they are supported by Washington-financed NGOs and media inside Russia, have sold out Russian sovereignty to globalism. Putin, apparently, is unwilling or unable to move aside those who serve as Washington's check on Russian nationalism, which prevents any real Russian victory. If the "Atlanticist Integrationists" inside Putin's government are able to block more decisive responses, the question arises: how powerful, really, is Putin? Did Putin win Syria only to lose it to Washington and the Israelis? How can we imagine Putin, the head of a powerful state, on the telephone pleading with an Israeli war criminal who heads a tiny state? We know that Israel owns Washington, but does Israel own Russia also?

How many times did Putin announce victory in Syria, pull out, and then have to go back after Washington's forces had recuperated? Why does Putin refuse the reincorporation of the breakaway Russian provinces in Ukraine? He allowed Crimea back in because of the Russian naval base, but he has refused the Russian provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk. Consequently, the Russian people in these provinces continue to be subject to attack, and Washington has now armed its Ukrainian nazi state with weapons to reconquer the breakaway republics.

This entire conflict, primed to grow in intensity, could have been stopped by Putin acknowledging the same overwhelming majority vote as occured in Crimea and reincorporating the provinces in Russia. The nazi government of Ukraine even with Washington and EU's support is not so completely insane that it would attack Russia and expect to continue to exist.

Putin can entirely end the Ukrainian conflict by accepting the former Russian provinces back into Russia. We can understand that Putin might be thinking long term, as were the Soviet leaders who put Russian populations into Ukraine, to balance the Ukrainian state with Russian populations so that the West cannot completely turn Ukraine, a historic part of Russia herself, into a completely hostile state against which more military forces must be directed. Clearly Putin is a long term strategic thinker, but Russia's fate and that of the rest of us will be decided in the short run.

We can also understand that Putin, by continuing to stress international law, is trying to bring Europe to the realization that Washington operates outside of and above law. Putin is wasting his time. For decades European leaders have been on Washington's payroll. They don't give a hoot about anything other than their bank balances.

The neoconservatives who rule in Washington believe that Putin's removal will restore Washington's hegemony over the world. They regard China as a country that will accept American leadership in exchange for riches. This is most likely a mistaken view of the Chinese government, but it serves to concentrate the attack on Russia, within whose government Washington has allies.

Can the Russian government successfully withstand Washington without Putin dispensing with the Atlanticist Integrationists?

I understand that the views expressed here might be wrong. Zuesse perhaps is wrong. Lendman is perhaps wrong. The Saker is perhaps wrong. And perhaps I am mistaken in my reading of them. No one should underestimate Putin. Nevertheless, Russia should be aware that she is perceived by neoconservative policymakers as a weak state lacking in courage that Washington, and even tiny Israel, can push around, as Washington has done since the collapse of the Soviet Union and as Israel is doing now in Syria. There is never any cost to Washington of blackening Russia's eyes and Russia's reputation. Russia's passivity is inviting nuclear war or Russian surrender.

Whether or not Russia wants to acknowledge it, Russia is in a fight for her life. There is evidence that top Russian leaders are unaware of this. Sergei Chemezov says that Russia is willing to sell Russia's S-400 anti-aircraft system to Washington so Washington can learn how to defeat it and catch up with Russian military technology. Unless Chemezov is making a joke, there is a problem in his perception of reality. http://www.fort-russ.com/2018/02/head-of-rostech-us-may-buy-russias-s.html

Putin damaged himself with people who have a moral conscience when he met with the criminal-in-chief of the Israeli state and treated Netanyahu as if he were not a war criminal who belonged on the scaffold but a world leader worthy of Russia's recognition. This act of folly deflated Putin's reputation as a leader who stood for moral outcomes and not merely for self-interested, negotiated outcomes.

The world needs a leader. The hopes were on Putin.

The America-worshipping Russian Atlanticist Ingegrationists must have many screws loose to want to be part of degenerate Western civilization:

https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2018/02/08/sarah-silverman-i-want-to-eat-an-aborted-fetus/

https://www.infowars.com/journalist-calls-for-profs-to-drown-conservative-students/

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/little_barbies_sex_trafficking_of_young_girls_is_americas_dirty_little?utm_source=The+Rutherford+Institute&utm_campaign=8f8957d1fe-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_05&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d7ffde3304-8f8957d1fe-42135461

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/nation-now/2018/02/08/boys-silent-victims-sex-trafficking/1073799001/

[Feb 15, 2018] Russophobia a Futile Bid to Conceal US, European Decline by Finian Cunningham

Feb 14, 2018 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

It is an age-old statecraft technique to seek unity within a state by depicting an external enemy or threat. Russia is the bête noire again, as it was during the Cold War years as part of the Soviet Union. But the truth is Western states are challenged by internal problems.

Ironically, by denying their own internal democratic challenges, Western authorities are only hastening their institutional demise.

Russophobia -- "blame it all on Russia" -- is a short-term, futile ploy to stave off the day of reckoning when furious and informed Western citizens will demand democratic restitution for their legitimate grievances.

The dominant "official" narrative, from the US to Europe, is that "malicious" Russia is "sowing division;""eroding democratic institutions;" and "undermining public trust" in systems of governance, credibility of established political parties, and the news media.

This narrative has shifted up a gear since the election of Donald Trump to the White House in 2016, with accusations that the Kremlin somehow ran "influence operations" to help get him into office. This outlandish yarn defies common sense. It is also running out of thread to keep spinning.

Paradoxically, even though President Trump has rightly rebuffed such dubious claims of "Russiagate" interference as "fake news" , he has at other times undermined himself by subscribing to the notion that Moscow is projecting a campaign of "subversion against the US and its European allies." See for example the National Security Strategy he signed off in December.

Pathetically, it's become indoctrinated belief among the Western political class that "devious Russians" are out to "collapse" Western democracies by "weaponizing disinformation" and spreading "fake news" through Russia-based news outlets like RT and Sputnik.

Totalitarian-like, there seems no room for intelligent dissent among political or media figures.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has chimed in to accuse Moscow of "sowing division;" Dutch state intelligence claim Russia destabilized the US presidential election; the European Union commissioner for security, Sir Julian King, casually lampoons Russian news media as "Kremlin-orchestrated disinformation" to destabilize the 28-nation bloc; CIA chief Mike Pompeo recently warned that Russia is stepping up its efforts to tarnish the Congressional mid-term elections later this year.

On and on goes the narrative that Western states are essentially victims of a nefarious Russian assault to bring about collapse.

A particularly instructive presentation of this trope was given in a recent commentary by Texan Republican Representative Will Hurd. In his piece headlined, "Russia is our adversary" , he claims: "Russia is eroding our democracy by exploiting the nation's divisions. To save it, Americans need to begin working together."

Congressman Hurd asserts: "Russia has one simple goal: to erode trust in our democratic institutions. It has weaponized disinformation to achieve this goal for decades in Eastern and Central Europe; in 2016, Western Europe and America were aggressively targeted as well."

Lamentably, all these claims above are made with scant, or no, verifiable evidence. It is simply a Big Lie technique of relentless repetition transforming itself into "fact" .

It's instructive to follow Congressman Hurd's thought-process a bit further.

He contends: "When the public loses trust in the media, the Russians are winning. When the press is hyper-critical of Congress the Russians are winning. When Congress and the general public disagree the Russians are winning. When there is friction between Congress and the executive branch [the president] resulting in further erosion of trust in our democratic institutions, the Russians are winning."

As a putative solution, Representative Hurd calls for "a national counter-disinformation strategy" against Russian "influence operations" , adding, "Americans must stop contributing to a corrosive political environment".

The latter is a chilling advocacy of uniformity tantamount to a police state whereby any dissent or criticism is a "thought-crime."

It is, however, such anti-democratic and paranoid thinking by Western politicians -- aided and abetted by dutiful media -- that is killing democracy from within, not some supposed foreign enemy.

There is evidently a foreboding sense of demise in authority and legitimacy among Western states, even if the real cause for the demise is ignored or denied. Systems of governance, politicians of all stripes, and institutions like the established media and intelligence services are increasingly held in contempt and distrust by the public.

Whose fault is that loss of political and moral authority? Western governments and institutions need to take a look in the mirror.

The endless, criminal wars that the US and its European NATO allies have been waging across the planet over the past two decades is one cogent reason why the public has lost faith in grandiose official claims about respecting democracy and international law.

The US and European media have shown reprehensible dereliction of duty to inform the public accurately about their governments' warmongering intrigues. Take the example of Syria. When does the average Western citizen ever read in the corporate Western media about how the US and its NATO allies have covertly ransacked that country through weaponizing terrorist proxies?

How then can properly informed citizens be expected to have respect for such criminal government policies and the complicit news media covering up for their crimes?

Western public disaffection with governments, politicians and media surely stems also from the grotesque gulf in social inequality and poverty among citizens from slavish adherence to economic policies that enrich the wealthy while consigning the vast majority to unrelenting austerity.

The destabilizing impact on societies from oppressive economic conditions is a far more plausible cause for grievance than outlandish claims made by the political class about alleged "Russian interference".

Yet the Western media indulge this fantastical "Russiagate" escapism instead of campaigning on real social problems facing ordinary citizens. No wonder such media are then viewed with disdain and distrust. Adding insult to injury, these media want the public to believe Russia is the enemy?

Instead of acknowledging and addressing real threats to citizens: economic insecurity, eroding education and health services, lost career opportunities for future generations, the looming dangers of ecological adversity, wars prompted by Western governments trashing international and diplomacy, and so on -- the Western public is insultingly plied with corny tales of Russia's "malign influence" and "assault on democracy."

Just think of the disproportionate amount of media attention and public resources wasted on the Russiagate scandal over the past year. And now gradually emerging is the real scandal that the American FBI probably colluded with the Obama administration to corrupt the democratic process against Trump.

Again, is there any wonder the public has sheer contempt and distrust for "authorities" that have been lying through their teeth and playing them for fools?

The collapsing state of Western democracies has got nothing to do with Russia. The Russophobia of blaming Russia for the demise of Western institutions is an attempt at scapegoating for the very real problems facing governments and institutions like the news media. Those problems are inherent and wholly owned by these governments owing to chronic anti-democratic functioning, as well as systematic violation of international law in their pursuit of criminal wars and other subterfuges for regime-change objectives.

Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.

This article was originally published by " RT "


Cathi · 4 hours ago

Anyone who believes MSM is totally indoctrinated since it has been proven over and over that they won't tell the truth of the matter. The only REAL thing this country supplies or produces is war. Most other industries have been outsourced and given subsidies to so, thus taking American jobs from our lives. And now they want to take Social Security and Medicare to PAY for our military buildup????
Jim P · 3 hours ago
This nation needs a complete chage. All Congress and Dual citizens must be removed!
vicenr · 4 hours ago
It is without a doubt true that the political class and their oligharchic owners are falling and falling fast. They need a war to sustain their enrichment and attempted control of the world. They have run out of potential victims , while on the home front the naive Amrikan is starting to reject their nonsense. They can't really afford to take on China as they could easily dump their US treasuries and sink the financing arrangements for a war. They would like to stop the OBOR ; but how? Ah Russia. Smaller population but lethal in central Europe and perhaps beyond. Good geographic position for cutting OBOR. After all why would anyone be allowed to put in such a mega project and not let the US oligharchic class control it?
Woopy · 3 hours ago
A big part of the problem with Washington DC is that they are ruled by the Rothschild oligarchs and function first and foremost for Rothschild interests such as Israel and other Rothschild programs. Washington is not focused on the states it was designed to serve. Rothschild's and other oligarchs, fascists and the like control Washington crippling them. Countries like China, Russia are making their own destinies while Washington languishes and dissolves under a Rothschild fascist flag.
the_chump · 3 hours ago
"Intel chief: Federal debt poses 'dire threat' to national security"

The above was the title to an article in The Hill, yesterday. The comment was attributed to Dan Coates, DNI in testimony to Congress. To me, since elected officials CREATE the federal debt, what the DNI is REALLY saying is that the elected officials are a dire threat to national security. Their spending and fake borrowing from the Federal Reserve is the threat-not Syria, Yemen, or other countries that have not attacked the US. The elected officials, both Democrat and Republicans are on the way to destroying the US. Not Russia, China, ISIS, or international terrorism.

Eric · 2 hours ago
I recently read a horrifying commentary by John Whitehead on the burgeoning sex trade in this country where young girls are abducted and sold for sexual favors to deviants in every major city in the US. Many of these girls are as young a three and four years old, and the average age of these victims is 13! Thousands of missing children end up as sex slaves and are forced to be with as many as 40 men a night.

This great evil has become extremely lucrative, and numerous monsters, both men, and women are reaping billions of dollars from the unspeakable crime of destroying children's lives, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well.

The West has reached a new level of rottenness. Moral decay is actively gnawing at the very fabric of our society. The Cabal and its rampant criminality in Washington is a reflection of this terrible decline we are witnessing around us.

The hypocritical cry and hue from our government officials about the terrible human rights abuses in other countries as they seek to deflect the attention away from their own criminality and murderous abuses at home and abroad is indeed sickening.

Ray Joseph Cormier 84p · 1 hour ago
UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold was killed in a suspicious plane crash in 1961. He dared speak Truth to the Power. His quote from over 60 years ago is so relevant to what is going on Today. It has spread like never before to affect the judgments of the Politicians, the news media, and the Public.

-The Assembly has witnessed over the last weeks how historical truth is established; once an allegation has been repeated a few times, it is no longer an allegation, it is an established fact, even if no evidence has been brought out in order to support it.

American propaganda is scapegoating Russia to absolve Americans of responsibility for creating their own political divisions.

Observing from CanaDa, this anti-Russia/Putin Propaganda is confirming this Vision of the Future published 41 years ago.

On September 13, 1976, the major daily THE KANSAS CITY TIMES published this Vision of the FUTURE: "He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November TO DO GOD'S BIDDING: To tell the world, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered [...] He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. "The gold dome is the symbol of Babylon," he said." [...] He wanted to bring to the Public's attention an "idea being put out subtly and deceptively" by the government that we have to get prepared for a war with Russia.

It's taken over 40 years, but that 1976 FUTURE is NOW with the Revelation of the details GENERALLY unfolding in the spirit of the letter. The World is finally waking up to see Trump just may hasten "its days are numbered" part of the 1976 Public record.

Ray Joseph Cormier 84p · 1 hour ago
The KANSAS CITY TIMES did a follow up report on ALL SOULS DAY, November 2, 1976. When the TV movie 'THE DAY AFTER' Kansas City was incinerated in a Nuclear Holocaust appeared in 1983, most likely, I was the only Human on Earth, including the newspaper reporters, to note at the END, the movie pauses at the very same picture frame THE KANSAS CITY TIMES chose for the ALL SOULS DAY record 7 years earlier.

Any way you look at it, that HISTORICAL FACT is a confirming SIGN for our Generations, the World has arrived at this point of Decision, of an "idea being put out subtly and deceptively" by the government that we have to get prepared for a war with Russia."
Multitudes! Multitudes in the Valley of Decision. The Day of the LORD IS NEAR in the Valley of Decision.

Not many will recognize, "this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered" as the 1st two parts, of the 3 part 'Writing on the Wall" from Daniel 5 and the Captivity of Babylon some 2600 years ago. The whole world saw The Writing on the Wall for the 1st TIME at the same TIME, with the Global Financial Meltdown-Economic Pearl Harbour in September of 2008, even if the world does not recognize it as such.

The 3rd part of the Writing on the Wall tells of the decline of Babylon, the 1st Biblical model of the Nation that reaches Imperial Military-Economic Superpower Status, and the rise of Persia

Ancient Babylon is now Iraq, and ancient Persia is now Iran.

The US is the latest, greatest of all the Nations reaching Imperial Military-Economic Superpower Status in the 2600 year old Biblical Babylonian superstructure.

The TAIL struck the HEAD, causing the unravelling of the Earthly Babylonian superstructure and infrastructure, ushering in the Law of the Jungle to the Middle East and this World.

The Iranian Revolution happened in 1979, 2-1/2 years after the record in the 1976 KANSAS CITY TIMES Timeline.

All the chaos in the Middle East since then, including the carnage in Syria, is the consequence of the vain attempt to reverse that God ordained, repeat of History, as a SIGN for our Generations.
http://ray032.com/2013/09/01/signs-of-the-times/

refirex · 55 minutes ago
https://warsclerotic.com/2017/01/07/cartoons-and-...
Take Placid · 43 minutes ago
Bulldoze them Georgia Guidestones.
Erase that Denver Airport Artwork.
Send Lady Liberty back to France.
Neandertals, behaving badly.
Stars and Stripes gilded cheap pennant should be changed to Skull n Bones.
Guest99 · 5 minutes ago
What the U.S. political and Deep State accused of Russia today is exactly what they themselves have done to much of the world. Entire Wikipedia is not big enough to write about the dirty tricks of the CIA and NSA.

Russia of course has no need to do what was accused. But they are surely laughing at being accused. Indeed, keep the accusation coming. The more the accusations, the longer they last, the more sure Russia know the corrupt terror empires of the west are going down.

Without firing a single shot. Now isn't that funny? Just ask the Chinese!

[Feb 15, 2018] Dutch FM Admits Lying About Putin - Russia

Feb 15, 2018 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

February 14, 2018 " Information Clearing House " - Every empire needs a scary external threat, led by a singular menacing villain, to justify its massive military expenditures, consolidation of authoritarian powers, and endless wars. For the five decades after the end of World War II, Moscow played this role perfectly. But the fall of Soviet Union meant, at least for a while, that the Kremlin could no longer sustain sufficient fear levels. After some brief, largely unsuccessful auditions for possible replacements -- Asian actors like China and a splurging Japan were considered -- the post-9/11 era elevated a cast of Muslim understudies to the starring role: Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, ISIS and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and "jihadism" generally kept fear alive.

The lack of any 9/11-type catastrophic attack on U.S. (or any Western) soil for the past 17 years, along with the killing of a pitifully aged, ailing bin Laden and the erosion of ISIS, has severely compromised their ongoing viability as major bad guys. So now -- just as a film studio revitalizes a once-successful super-villain franchise for a new generation of moviegoers -- we're back to the Russians occupying center stage.

That Barack Obama spent eight years (including up through his final year-end news conference) mocking the notion that Russia posed a serious threat to the U.S. given their size and capabilities, and that he even tried repeatedly to accommodate and partner with Russian President Vladimir Putin, is of no concern: In the internet age, "2016" is regarded as ancient history, drowned out by an endless array of new threats pinned by a united media on the Russkie Plague. Moreover, human nature craves a belief in an existential foreign threat because it confers a sense of purpose and cause, strengthens tribal unity and identity, permits scapegoating, shifts blame for maladies from internal to external causes, and (like religion) offers a simplifying theory for understanding a complex world.

One of the prime accusations sustaining this script is that the Kremlin is drowning the West in "fake news" and other forms of propaganda. One can debate its impact and magnitude, but disinformation campaigns are something the U.S., Russia, and countless other nations have done to one another for centuries, and there is convincing evidence that Russia does this sort of thing now. But evidence of one threat does not mean that all claimed threats are real, nor does it mean that that tactic is exclusively wielded by one side.

Over the past year, there have been numerous claims made by Western intelligence agencies, mindlessly accepted as true in the Western press, that have turned out to be baseless, if not deliberate scams. Just today, it was revealed that Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra lied when he claimed he was at a meeting with Putin, in which the Russian president "said he considered Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic states as part of a 'Greater Russia.'"

"Fake news" is certainly something to worry about when it emanates from foreign adversaries, but it is at least as concerning and threatening, if not more so, when emanating from one's own governments and media. And there are countless, highly significant examples beyond today's of such propaganda that emanates from within.

... ... ...

If there's any lesson that should unite everyone in the West, it's that the greatest skepticism is required when it comes to government and media claims about the nature of foreign threats. If we're going to rejuvenate a Cold War, or submit to greater military spending and government powers in the name of stopping alleged Russian aggression, we should at least ensure that the information on which those campaigns succeed are grounded in fact. Even a casual review of the propaganda spewing forth from Western power centers over the last year leaves little doubt that the exact opposite is happening.

This article was originally published by " The Intercept "


Zeesso 101p · 4 hours ago

Russia accusations are a false flag!!-No evidence-Zero NADA!!
Rather than Russia how about Mossad false flags??!
More likely .............and the silence is deafening.......... at theZionist owned MSMs in the USA!!!!
Dollars to Doughnuts-Israel is the perpetrator
Invictus · 2 hours ago
I suppose I am too naive to understand the
hysteria and indignation that claims of Russia
Interference in the 2016 american electoral process garners.
The US openly calls for regime change in Syria. Hung Saddam
Hussein after a show trial. Arranged Muammar Gaddafi's sodomization
and assassination.
Do americans not realize that in levelling the accusation that Putin-Russia
successfully subverted the US electoral process that you are conceding that Russia has the power to subjugate (bring under domination or control, especially by conquest.) the US electoral process, its government, institutions and public perception.
If americans are going to continue to make this outlandish claim for which no evidence has yet to be produced then Putin's Russia must be recognized as the world hegemon and the indispensable- Exceptional nation. What does that do to the narrative of the "shining city set upon a hill".
The US is blinded by its own conceit.
fudmier · 1 hour ago
Frankly, what I have seen in the past 20 years, the people in San Francisco might be better off under Russian federation management than it has been under the selected, elected, salaried, privileged 527 USA neo clowns who manage Americans in America. At least the Russians might not give USA money to foreigners, prevent Americans from drilling their own gas and oil, tax Americans so the USA can give the tax revenues to the corporations, and send American jobs and educational knowledge to far away places; as the NEO CLOWN management has done.

My personal experience with Russia people with whom I have worked is they are just exactly like Americans, quite a bit better educated, may be a little more honest.. so the question becomes under which managing government would 340,000,000 Americans be better off: the Russian Federation or the 527 neocon-selected, media-elected, salaried, privileged USA neo clowns? Actually, i think both governments are in need of being better arranged to respond to the needs and intentions of their people instead of using those they govern to satisfy the Oligarchs.

beanhead001 102p · 1 hour ago
"9/11-type catastrophic attack on U.S." a self-inflicted "catastrophic attack". Perhaps the USI should quit murdering people at home and abroad... maybe that way some semblence of symathy could be mustered up.
Oh and the "shooter" in Florida.. notuce it's not a "terrorist"? So this kid was a "shooter". Pfft. Call it what it is. He was and is a terrorist. Treat him as one would treat the invented funded and propped up "terrorists" abroad. Send the kid to 'Gitmo' (how i loathe that americanized word)

[Feb 14, 2018] The rumor of hundreds of Russians killed would be exactly the kind of story they would want to spread before the presidential elections in Russia. Fodder for regime change operations.

Feb 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

- Lots of outlets claim that dozens if not hundreds Russian contractors died in the recent U.S. attack in east Syria. I stand by my take on the issue. There was some kind of local deal made to hand over an oil field in which the Russian contractor Wagner was involved. The U.S. blew up the deal, literally, when it was about to happen. It wants to keep the issue under its sole control. Few, if any, Russians were hurt.


Petri Krohn , Feb 14, 2018 9:12:40 AM | 5

The Syrian special forces group ISIS Hunters have confirmed 20 killed among their ranks in the U.S. airstrikes. I have collected sources here: US airstrike on ISIS Hunters, February 7, 2018

Five Russians are confirmed to be dead. There are some convincing stories of over 100 PMC Wagner contractors killed. These include audio and transcript of Wagner fighters discussing the event and an interview with an alleged survivor. ( audio here.) Allegedly many of the dead are actually from Donbass. It is possible that the audio files are fake. They may come from the same sources as the stories of hundreds or thousands of regular Russian soldiers dying in the Ukraine.

lysander , Feb 14, 2018 9:20:30 AM | 7
The rumor of hundreds of Russians killed would be exactly the kind of story they would want to spread before the presidential elections in Russia. It is highly doubtful a mercenary company would undertake such an operation such as this without Russian government support. And it is highly doubtful the Russian military woukd offer such support.
foo , Feb 14, 2018 12:01:17 PM | 21
@16

From a ZH article

"Already Grigory Yavlinsky, a veteran liberal politician who is running for president in elections next month, has called on Putin to disclose how many Russians had been killed in Syria and in what circumstances."

Sounds to me like fodder for regime change operations.

article that appeared the other day in the NYT:
Grigory A. Yavlinsky, a veteran Russian opposition politician who is a candidate in next month's presidential election, called on Tuesday for Mr. Putin to disclose the number of Russians who had died in Syria.

"I demand an explanation as to why Russian nationals take part in ground military operations in Syria, despite the statements by the president and defense minister that Russian military formations will be withdrawn from this country," Mr. Yavlinsky said in a statement. "I also think there needs to be a public report about relations with the U.S., as there is a growing threat of an accidental or deliberate direct military clash between Russia and America."

To identify Yabloko founder Yavlinsky as "a veteran Russian opposition politician who is a candidate in next month's presidential election," the reporters don't even have the courage to call out Yabloko by name, that's how discredited the party is, is like saying Lydon LaRouche is a veteran U.S. opposition politician.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Feb 14, 2018 12:39:38 PM | 27

There are more dollars than roubles in Russia! How is this situation in any way or shape compatible with a viable national security? How can the Russians claim any degree of independence when their economy is more dollarized than that of Israel or Turkey? Read about it from the horse's mouth:

http://www.pravdareport.com/russia/economics/30-12-2014/129431-usa_russia_central_bank-0/

Posted by: Lester | Feb 14, 2018 1:23:39 PM | 29

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/us-attack-pro-govt-forces-deir-ezzor-killed-10-russians-photos/

I also believe the effective defense against the Israeli military aggression is a result of the attack in Deir Ezzor as it serves as a warning that the bombings from the air which are increasingly occuring with impunity should seize.

Posted by: xor | Feb 14, 2018 1:47:53 PM | 32

If the Western casualty numbers are real, then the northwestern front could be severely degraded, and vulnerable to SDF, formerlly-known-as-ISIL raids.

I guess it's a difficult situation for Russia, but USA and Israel have prodded Russian-occupied Syria for the past two years, and are one step away from dramatically escalating their provocations. Putin pulled a GWBush 'Mission Accomplished', and seems to be more concerned about other matters

Posted by: aaaa | Feb 14, 2018 2:04:50 PM | 34

I completely agree. Russia and China have learned to take the long view. In the USA, too many people think like Wall Street investors, looking for the next quarterly payout, not even thinking a year ahead. Our media operates on the same cycle.

As far as Putin, he seems to think first about the effects of his actions on the Russian economy and the local standard of living. Hence he doesn't make ideological gestures; he doesn't throw temper tantrums (something the neoliberals and neocons always do when they don't get their way). When Turkey shot down the Russian jet, he basically let them off the hook; he didn't get sucked into some tit-for-tat retaliate-and-escalate game, and thus Russia-Turkey relations were better than ever in a few years.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Feb 14, 2018 3:43:05 PM | 40

Posted by: Alaric | Feb 14, 2018 3:49:27 PM | 41


https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/11/turkey-russia-sanctions-apology-salvage-economic-ties.html

Posted by: Jen | Feb 14, 2018 4:09:52 PM | 43

I don't think you understand how the global banking system works. The Russian Central Bank is a member of the Bank of International Settlements. It is not independent and follows the policies the City of London (or whichever cabal is in power).

This is what happens when you have a drunk President allow the United States write the Russian constitution:
USA instructs Russian Central Bank how to strangle Russian economy

There is no other central bank in the world that would not be allowed to support the national economy. The Russian Central Bank is the only exception. This is a specific peculiarity of the Russian Central Bank. The law even says that the bank is a branch of foreign companies in Russia. For example, the Russian Central Bank is a depositary of the IMF. The law of the Central Bank does not have a word about the Russian economy. Yet, it contains detailed instructions on how to follow and execute instructions from abroad. The law was made during the 1990s. Putin tried to amend it in the 2000s, but it did not work out. As a result, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation works for a foreign country under the Russian Constitution. This state imposes sanctions on Russia. The Russian Central Bank is obliged to execute instructions from the USA - the Americans set an official task to weaken the Russian economy

Things are changing though. Russia just announced that they are ready stop using the SWIFT interbank cash transfer services:
Russian banks ready to switch off SWIFT – official

The potential disconnection of Russia from SWIFT has been under discussion since 2014, when the EU and the US introduced the first round of international penalties against Moscow over alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis and the reunification with Crimea.

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Feb 14, 2018 4:21:48 PM | 44

Have a look/read at/of this report.
https://scotthumor.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/wagner-private-military-company-could-be-a-code-name-for-israels-black-op/

What do you think?

Posted by: maningi | Feb 14, 2018 5:26:59 PM | 48


https://southfront.org/u-s-strikes-and-scores-of-killed-russian-fighters-in-syria/


".....Meanwhile, the analysis of open info, including reports from relatives and friends of the PMCs involved in the operation, allowed all the concerned sides to find out that 5 Russians reportedly died in the aforementioned period. However, no details are available.

.....SouthFront's military experts aware of the situation say that the possible number of the casualties could be higher than 5, but not more than 15-20.

The entire story about mass casualties of Russian PMCs is based on unconfirmed and fake data, that includes a few real facts like the US strikes, some PMCs casualties and the participation of the ISIS Hunters in the incident. The rest is an orchestrated campaign in keeping with the best traditions of propaganda.

The goals of which would be that:

the US is able to fight back against the Russians in Syria;
Russia is not able to defend its interests;
the Kremlin is not concerned over killed Russian citizens or is not able to carry out any pay back."

Posted by: michaelj72 | Feb 14, 2018 8:59:22 PM | 54

[Feb 14, 2018] US report Syria groups incapable of overthrowing Assad Middle East Monitor

Feb 14, 2018 | www.middleeastmonitor.com

The cob-web of armed opposition groups and Sunni fighters in Syria are "probably no longer capable of overthrowing President Bashar Al-Assad or overcoming a growing military advantage", the report adds. Intelligence analysts have calculated that the Syrian armed opposition will most likely only have resources to continue its fight for at least "next year".

Daesh over the next year is expected to focus on "regrouping in Syria and Iraq" and enhancing its global presence. However, with Daesh receding its reach, Al-Qaeda remains "a major actor in global terrorism" and a threat to the US and Western interests, the report concludes.

[Feb 14, 2018] I hope the Russians are aware of the utter ruthlessness of certain western countries, the US in particular.

Feb 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

harrylaw , Feb 14, 2018 6:34:07 AM | 74

I hope the Russians are aware of the utter ruthlessness of certain western countries, the US in particular. They are so determined to have regime change in Syria that they will lie and cheat to achieve that end, probably culminating in direct military attacks on Syrian forces west of the Euphrates on some phoney pretext or another.

Because Putin is aware of US aims it is beyond foolish to withdraw Russian forces as they have done in the past, in the vain hope that the US will reciprocate, the US do not behave like that, they see any withdrawal as a sign of weakness and exploit it. Make no mistake the US are in this for keeps, anyone who thinks otherwise will be killed just like those Russian contractors last week and the hundreds of Syrian troops killed because they posed a "so called threat" to deconfliction zones.

If the West can supply hundred's of billions worth of arms to the most repressive nations on earth [Saudi Arabia and Co, then surely the Russians should supply s400 anti aircraft missiles to the Syrians who are under threat of a military assault from the West in the event of a successful false flag chemical weapons attack by the Wests proxies[which they are working on now] If not, why not?

[Feb 14, 2018] The US partitioning Syria to form a new state.

Feb 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

harrylaw , Feb 13, 2018 12:28:41 PM | 50

Lavrov has it right, the US partitioning Syria to form a new state. Problem is they do not have anyone as citizens or prospective leaders for it. A minor detail for the exceptional ones.
"Now we hear completely different explanations from our US partners regarding their presence in Syria -- they say that this presence should be maintained not only until military tasks are accomplished, but also until there is a stable political process that should end in a transition of power which will be acceptable for all -- meaning for the United States -- which is regime change. In general, we have a suspicion . that the United States wants to stay there for a long time, if not forever," Lavrov told a press conference after talks with his Belgian counterpart, Didier Reynders. [Sputnik News Today].

[Feb 14, 2018] This region can no longer make space for Israeli settlers! This is what people are saying here. The resentment could lead to some collateral damage to the Americans.

Notable quotes:
"... $100.000 a pop ATGM missilies which rain like confettis on the Turkish army fired by the poor PKK fighters. ..."
Feb 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

ConfusedPundit | Feb 12, 2018 2:00:18 PM | 8

Basically, "muslims will be attacking the USA" is a silly argument. However, Palestinians are refugees in Lebanon and Jordan. Syrian refugees (up to 4 million) are in Turkey.

This region can no longer make space for Israeli settlers! This is what people are saying here. The resentment could lead to some collateral damage to the Americans.

In this region there are millions of Mel Gibsons now. They say: "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."

I personally can't comment on that because I'm not sure about it. All I know is that it's not the people from Peru who are behind all the wars in the world. It's not the muslims either. 'Muslims' from the Gulf region do pay for some of the weapons, that's for sure. And the muslims pose no threat to 'American People' despite Abu Ghraibs, MOABs, cluster bombs, B-52 campaigns in Iraq, Afganistan, Pakistan, $100.000 a pop ATGM missilies which rain like confettis on the Turkish army fired by the poor PKK fighters.

karlof1 , Feb 12, 2018 2:48:32 PM | 12

Compared with the terrorism visited on other nations by the Outlaw US Empire, the Metropole has experienced zilch--nada. The closest is 911, but that was done by ZionistWasps, not Muslims.

Well, a second place finish would be conferred upon the deliberate targeting of people of color by police, ICE and other federal terror agencies--the many FBI Frame-ups come to mind. But neither of those examples are acts of terror specifically targeting the State's Institutions.

Lurking nearby is the Empire's version of an IMF SAP and the terror within it that'll be inflicted on the Empire's citizenry when the dollar tanks and takes the economy down with it. Actions by the FED and Treasury Dept prove there's no interest in trying to create conditions for a softer Depression--they mean to harm as many people as possible.

So as has been noted on many occasions, the biggest Terror threat facing the people living within the Outlaw US Empire is their national government and related institutions--an ongoing situation existing since before the nation was born.

[Feb 14, 2018] As to Syria, the position of the US Special Forces is very delicate, their supply lines are long and easily broken, their 'allies' are generally unreliable, they are in Syria on sufferance, they may boast otherwise but the reality is that everyone around them hates them and what they represent.

Notable quotes:
"... the government is losing its legitimacy at the moment when it is increasing its demands on the people. And decreasing its servicing of their needs. There has never been a time in which both parties have been so focused on looking away from the real concerns, the anger and desperation of the great majority of the population. The Democrats are not even pretending to be reformers, the Republicans are finally wallowing in unmasked greed. ..."
"... As many others have suggested the current jockeying is all about weakening Putin's election campaign, Incredibly enough there are still idiots in Washington who, after years of boosting his position into an Alexander Nevsky like saviour of the nation, now believe that they can cut him down by accusing him of endangering Russia by defending it. ..."
Feb 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

The campaign in Syria is going very well from the Russian point of view. So is the disengagement from the western dominated financial system, but the trends being bucked are very old, centuries old, and well established.

The prime mover in the campaign against the dollar is the US government, and it moves by over reach, the more rope it is given the sooner it will hang itself. Every tactical victory, on the battlefield or in domestic politics is a strategic loss.

The bloated budget, the incredible waste in military expenditure, which appears to be inversely related to threats, the increasingly regressive tax system, transferring the burden from rich to poor, the cuts in social programmes all add up to certain disaster; the government is losing its legitimacy at the moment when it is increasing its demands on the people. And decreasing its servicing of their needs. There has never been a time in which both parties have been so focused on looking away from the real concerns, the anger and desperation of the great majority of the population. The Democrats are not even pretending to be reformers, the Republicans are finally wallowing in unmasked greed.

As to Syria, the position of the US Special Forces is very delicate, their supply lines are long and easily broken, their 'allies' are generally unreliable, they are in Syria on sufferance, they may boast otherwise but the reality is that everyone around them hates them and what they represent. A Sicilian Vespers may come any day.

As many others have suggested the current jockeying is all about weakening Putin's election campaign, Incredibly enough there are still idiots in Washington who, after years of boosting his position into an Alexander Nevsky like saviour of the nation, now believe that they can cut him down by accusing him of endangering Russia by defending it.

Nothing is ever certain but the balance of probabilities is moving inexorably against the US and its clients in the Middle East. Only those with an irrational faith in the US military and economy cannot see this.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 14, 2018 10:15:56 PM | 58

[Feb 14, 2018] Syria's War Has Never Been More International

Feb 14, 2018 | www.theatlantic.com

In syria the USA is playing "might is right" card. Ignoring all international laws. There is no justification for the USA troops presence. They care clearly illegal force on Syrian territory. That's a dangerous game. Taking into account the USA unleashed Syria civil war for their own geopolitical purposes, trying to reverse growing influence of Iran due to the blunder on Iraq war this is clearly Roman empire moment for the USA.

"The Syrian war has now been outsourced," said Christopher Phillips, a Syria scholar at Queen Mary University of London. "The decision-makers are now not really Syrians, perhaps with the exception of Assad." Foreign involvement in the civil war first took the form of "diplomatic support, then it was economic support, then it was material support for fighters, then it was fighting themselves directly. And I don't see why that shouldn't continue."

Turkey, for example, isn't willing to accept the entrenchment of a U.S.-supported Kurdish militia , which the Turkish government associates with Kurdish insurgents in Turkey, right across its border. The United States seems determined to hold ground in Syria to prevent the resurgence of terrorist groups and frustrate Iran's plans to extend its power across the Eastern Mediterranean. Israel shares America's goal of countering Iran, particularly at its border with Syria.

Russia, meanwhile, is bent on preserving a friendly government in Damascus and a military presence on the Mediterranean, while casting itself as a global power player on par with America. The Iranians -- currently "the single-most influential player" in Syria -- are "trying to establish a long-term strategic military infrastructure in [Syria], build missile-production facilities, move precision-guided munitions," Itani said. Both nations " are upset that the United States is not departing the country," Tabler said.

[Feb 14, 2018] America's Creeping Regime Change in Syria by John Glaser

Notable quotes:
"... After all, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson explained last month, the Trump administration has committed to an indefinite military presence of roughly 2,000 U.S. boots on the Syrian battlefield. Are these troops present at the behest of the host government? Certainly not. Has Congress ratified their deployment in some way? Guess again. Are they there preempting an imminent threat of attack on America? Nope. Are they under the mandate of a UN Security Council resolution? No. ..."
"... America has an interest in a stable Middle East, and thus in a stable Syria, but the notion that U.S. policy has contributed to that end is rather dubious. The Islamic State, which exacerbated the Syrian Civil War by orders of magnitude, is, after all, an outgrowth of America's war in Iraq. And the U.S. and its allies encouraged the Syrian rebellion from early on, an effort that was not only a spectacular failure but also fostered quite the opposite of stability. ..."
"... With Assad, we have a known entity that represents what is left of Syria. Get rid of Assad, there's unmanageable chaos and vacuum for decades potentially. ..."
Feb 14, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

America's Creeping Regime Change in Syria And you thought our government toppling days were over.

In eastern Syria last week, American air and ground forces attacked Syrian pro-government military units, killing roughly 100 people, including some Russian advisors . U.S. Army Colonel Thomas Veale described the attack as "taken in self-defense."

"Self-defense"? Had the regime of Bashar al-Assad bombarded Boston Harbor? No, but it had attacked a base, long held by Syrian rebels, with U.S. military advisors present. Despite the tit-for-tat chronology here, it's hard to see how Veale's "self-defense" claim is tenable.

After all, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson explained last month, the Trump administration has committed to an indefinite military presence of roughly 2,000 U.S. boots on the Syrian battlefield. Are these troops present at the behest of the host government? Certainly not. Has Congress ratified their deployment in some way? Guess again. Are they there preempting an imminent threat of attack on America? Nope. Are they under the mandate of a UN Security Council resolution? No.

In fact, the U.S. military presence in Syria has no legal authorization whatsoever. Those American forces are cooperating with Syrian rebels to, as Tillerson put it, "help liberated peoples" in territory outside Assad's control "stabilize their own communities" and defend themselves against regime forces. This is, he added, "a critical step to creating the conditions for a post-Assad political settlement."

Dispensing with the euphemistic flummery, U.S. forces are engaged in a kind of creeping regime change operation -- the lessons of recent history be damned.

One might fairly argue that the Assad regime, in its brutality against its own people, long ago forfeited the sovereign right to defend its territory against an invading foreign army. Fine, but we should be clear that Washington, in responding to the lawlessness, is also acting lawlessly -- hardly a lodestar mission of the liberal, rules-based world order America claims to lead, and, in the big picture, decidedly not a case of "self-defense."

Quaint legalisms aside, the clash between U.S. and Syrian forces should make clear just how dangerous our military presence in Syria is. This particular incident, we can reasonably assume, didn't escalate only because the regime is desperate to avoid escalation. Were they to counterattack, the Syrians surely know, the full might of America would come crashing down upon Damascus, and that would be the end of them all.

But that is by no means a reassuring "balance of terror," the term nuclear strategist Albert Wohlstetter used to describe the deterrence model of the Cold War's mutually assured destruction. Indeed, the multi-sided chaos of the Syrian Civil War is neither balanced nor stable and the risk of escalation is very real. Should the actors in the next clash miscalculate, will the Russians defend their ally in Damascus before it falls, or will America's "self-defense" spiral into the destruction of the regime? Will the resulting anarchy plunge us into a full-scale occupation? Will Turkey take advantage of the mayhem to rampage through Kurdish-held Syria? Will Iranian-backed militias still prioritize fighting Sunni extremist groups? If anything could reverse the defeat of the Islamic State, it is an escalation like this.

As with much of American foreign policy today, the threat to the United States in Syria is roughly proportional to the extent to which we choose to expose ourselves to it. None of the five missions Tillerson laid out for the U.S. military effort in Syria -- to defeat ISIS and al-Qaeda, usher in a post-Assad state, counter Iranian influence, facilitate the return of refugees, and free Syria of weapons of mass destruction -- are vital to protect America's wealth and physical security.

Nor are these low-cost, low-risk, or high-probability-success missions. And as everyone knows, the last thing America needs now is a new set of elective, hazardous, and unachievable war aims on the other side of the globe.

America has an interest in a stable Middle East, and thus in a stable Syria, but the notion that U.S. policy has contributed to that end is rather dubious. The Islamic State, which exacerbated the Syrian Civil War by orders of magnitude, is, after all, an outgrowth of America's war in Iraq. And the U.S. and its allies encouraged the Syrian rebellion from early on, an effort that was not only a spectacular failure but also fostered quite the opposite of stability.

An enduring feature of U.S. foreign policy is that each intervention, whether it is seen to fail or succeed, eventually serves to justify further intervention. While it's true that the Islamic State has been decimated, thanks in part to the collective destructive power of Damascus, Tehran, Baghdad, Moscow, Washington, and various Kurdish and Syrian militias on the ground, it has been accomplished at great cost in blood and treasure. The answer to this near-Pyrrhic victory is not for Washington to invent new missions that lack legal authorization or a plausible timeline of success, but instead to reckon with its own role in this interminable tempest and acknowledge the very real possibility that backing away may be in the best interest of America and of Syria.

John Glaser is director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute.

um what about February 14, 2018 at 1:28 pm

"Damascus, Tehran, Baghdad, Moscow, Washington, and various Kurdish and Syrian militias"

And Ankara. Turkey's role was crucial, and, as usual, widely overlooked.

Xenia Grant , says: February 14, 2018 at 1:32 pm
I never thought I would say this, but Russia and the old USSR is right is supporting Bashar Assad (during the USSR time, Bashar's father,Hafez). At least Russia has historical interests in that region, unlike the US. How I long for the days when Brezhnev was in power.
mohammad , says: February 14, 2018 at 2:49 pm
War is what most Americans want! It is what most Americans love and admire, and it is the only thing which holds Americans together.
ESKL , says: February 14, 2018 at 3:31 pm
With Assad, we have a known entity that represents what is left of Syria. Get rid of Assad, there's unmanageable chaos and vacuum for decades potentially. Why some seem so eager for the latter option of getting rid of Assad hasn't been honestly explained.

[Feb 14, 2018] The Lies That Enable Perpetual War

Feb 14, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Damon Linker chides Americans for the lies we tell ourselves about our unending wars:

The honest and alarming truth that we seem all-too-eager to evade is that America is already at war around the world. Someone desperately needs to pay attention, demand accountability, and keep tabs on the steep monetary, human, and geopolitical costs.

Linker is right that Americans should pay attention to and demand accountability for the endless wars waged in their name, but he also acknowledges that most have no interest in doing so. Another alarming truth is that many Americans seem content to allow perpetual war to continue so long as the steep costs are borne mostly by people in other countries. Those costs tend to be ignored or mentioned only in passing when assessing the damage done, and even when they are acknowledged they are not given much weight in our policy debates. The hundreds of thousands that died because of the 2003 invasion of Iraq have practically been reduced to a footnote in subsequent debates over military intervention.

One reason for this indifference is that many of our leaders tell us other comforting lies about these wars: that they are necessary and waged in self-defense. The reality is that virtually none of the military interventions that the U.S. has carried out in the last thirty years was unavoidable or required for the defense of the United States and its allies. Our wars are usually wars of choice fought for reasons unrelated to defending ourselves or the nations we are obliged by treaty to protect, and they are typically fought in places where the U.S. has no vital interests at stake.

The U.S. is at war around the world because our government chooses to be at war around the world. For the most part, this was not forced on us, but rather it is something that our leaders and pundits have willingly embraced again and again. Perhaps the biggest lie of all is that the U.S. goes to war reluctantly and grudgingly. In fact, no other government resorts to the use of force in international affairs so often and so casually as ours has in the last twenty-five years. On the rare occasions when the public recoils from this, as they did in the 2006 midterms and again in 2013 at the prospect of attacking Syria, our leaders and pundits shake their heads and warn against the dangers of "retreat" from the world. Of course, the myth of retreat is another lie used to justify the next unnecessary war, and if that doesn't work then they tell us the lie that the rest of the world supposedly craves and demands U.S. "leadership" in its most destructive form.


Uncle Billy February 14, 2018 at 10:42 am

Saddam Hussein was a tyrant, but served as a bulwark against Iran and kept down Sunni fanatics as well. He was no threat to the US. Why did we go to war with Iraq and topple him? How have things gone in Iraq since the US invasion?

The whole concepts of premptive war and regime change is insanity. I want the United States to be a republic not an empire.

paradoctor , says: February 14, 2018 at 10:45 am
Nor do we ever win those forever wars; and this for one simple reason; those involved are not paid to win wars, just to forever wage them.
liberal , says: February 14, 2018 at 10:55 am
Adam Johnson has been good at pointing out all the times the US is being described as "accidentally" or "reluctantly" being pulled into a war somewhere.
Youknowho , says: February 14, 2018 at 11:11 am
We need to bring back the draft. Not until is it THEIR CHILDREN in the line of fire will the people of the US revolt. The draft was the reason why the war in Vietnam was so unpopular. After it was done with, war became a spectator sport, to be viewed from the comfort of ones couch.

The All-Volunteer arm (A.K.A. mercenaires) made perpetual war possible.

SDS , says: February 14, 2018 at 11:12 am
How many people voted for Trump because he was the only one of the bunch on either side saying anything other than "SYRIA/IRAN/ISRAEL/ RUSSIA/WIN"..??
Yes; we find(probably should have known) that he is a filthy low-life . but in desperation
I think a lot of us gave him a chance
Peter , says: February 14, 2018 at 12:09 pm
Justified to invade wretched Afghanistan, not nuclear Pakistan where he actually was.

And the war goes on and on forever

Someone in the crowd , says: February 14, 2018 at 12:34 pm
What is missing from this otherwise healthy and needed essay is a description of lies. Being cagey and silent is not the same as telling lies.

After all, the fact that we are engaged in persistent conflicts, these past few decades, is not being denied. I haven't heard the U.S. government say: 'We are at peace with all the world.' Saying so would indeed be a lie. But, to the contrary, the US government boldly announces that it is fighting -- in Syria, for example. Though ISIS is defeated, the Defense Dept. recently stated that U.S. army personnel are staying in Syria, with the goal of regime change, despite having no legal basis whatsoever to do so.

So here we have one example of a lie -- our government's earlier excuse for being in Syria ('to defeat ISIS'). What other lies of this sort has our government been telling us? THAT would be an article that warrants this essay's title.

b. , says: February 14, 2018 at 12:34 pm
The honest and alarming truth that we seem all-too-eager to evade is that America is violating its own Constitution, the UN Charter, and the ratified international order around the world. We all need to pay attention, demand the impeachment of Presidents, Senators and Representatives, and vote any incumbent that aided, abetted or authorized illegal acts of aggression out of office regardless of the cost.

Thank you for making a principled statement to refute a deeply misleading observation by Linker. If Linker's is the best published opinion can do, then we are still content to be cognitively captured by War Profiteers "R" US.

Given the exercise of collective punishment that the US engages in in Yemen and has engaged in elsewhere, this is on *us*, whether we accept it or not.

"Americans seem content to allow perpetual war to continue so long as the steep costs are borne mostly by people in other countries "

.. and states, and counties.

It is to the eternal shame of the Democratic Party that Trump apparently won additional votes in the districts across the nation where the military casualties and related "cost" of our wars for chosen profits are born the most.

The "National Securities" con is the textbook example of bipartisan comity and national unity that anybody could conceive. Why anybody would be asking for more "consensus" is beyond me.

b. , says: February 14, 2018 at 12:49 pm
Linker writes:

"Bacevich suggested a number of explanations for why the overwhelming majority of Americans, from elected officials on down to ordinary voters, display such indifference about our frenzied military actions abroad. They include: because casualty rates on our side are low; because, despite President Trump's rhetoric, no one really keeps track of and demands public accountability for just how much money is being spent, and wasted, around the world; because the wars are fought by an all-volunteer force in which a tiny percentage of the population serves, allowing most Americans to go about their lives without ever being touched by the human consequences; and because the threat of terrorism is hyped, and most people just want to feel safe. Voters want to be protected, and politicians want to avoid the blame either for a successful attack on the homeland or a humiliating defeat abroad. The result is that no war ever comes to a decisive end, the total number of wars increases over time, and we never speak of any of them."

Neither he nor Bacevich mention what I consider the most relevant aspects – many Americans benefit from these wars, and most are not taxed by the cost of debt-financed war and "defense" spending.

"Furthermore, we have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of the its population . In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction. This process cannot be a liberal or peaceful one."

George Kennan in a 1948 memorandum
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Memo_PPS23_by_George_Kennan

We are willingly sacrificing both living humans being and our unborn children for our own personal, immediate profit. How fitting for a nation born in tax evasion and collapsing by defunding itself in public-private partnerships for profit extraction.

War is never a conservative choice.

One Guy , says: February 14, 2018 at 1:11 pm
Think of all the jobs that are made necessary by endless wars. Somebody has to make the bullets, the tanks, they planes, helicopters, uniforms, etc. Americans don't care how many thousands of little brown people die, as long as Uncle Joe has a job at Boeing.
Someone in the crowd , says: February 14, 2018 at 3:05 pm
To clarify an earlier post (in case my first sentence is misinterpreted) -- of course the US government regularly lies, especially about its 'foreign policy', endless wars, etc. My point was simply that this article needed to focus on the nature of those lies and bogus justifications. It's an almost inexhaustible subject, enough to keep an army of journalists busy for many years.

The problem, of course, is not the need for such analysis: what could be more obvious? The problem is that digging too deep in that way is taboo. And taboos are enforced here. Ask Chuck Schumer.

[Feb 14, 2018] Donald Trump and the Generals by James Fallows

Feb 14, 2018 | www.theatlantic.com

Oct 10, 2016 In last night's debate, the Republican nominee said, apropos military policy: "General George Patton, General Douglas MacArthur are spinning in their grave at the stupidity of what we're doing in the Middle East."

In most of his speeches Trump mentions those same two generals. Reader Marcus Hall assesses what the reliance on Patton and MacArthur might tell us about Trump:

It is easy to see why these two military legends are attractive to Trump:

1) Both were known as showmen and motivators. This is clearly Trump's modus operandi as well; he is most comfortable being the showman and motivator. When he isn't in the granted position of head of the dais, he looks, seems, and acts out of place. (For example, think back to the instance in Flint where the pastor takes the initiative to challenge him as a person.)

2) Both were known to take personal animus against rivals on their own side to extremes. Think of Patton's constant infighting with Montgomery, and his less than amicable relationship to Bradley after Sicily.

3) Both were known for strident aggressive stances against an enemy without consideration for larger picture effects. MacArthur's blunders with antagonizing the Chinese after Inchon, and Patton's immediate post-war desire to go to war with the Soviets before the armed forces and the country (or its non-Russian allies) could even recover from WWII.

4) Both faced disgrace at the hands of the media and at the hands of those who were better able to handle the larger context of events (Eisenhower for Patton, and Truman for MacArthur).

[Feb 14, 2018] President Trump has pursued an agenda mirroring the police state operations of the FBI – only on a global scale by James Petras

Notable quotes:
"... anti-Trump movements combined with critics of the liberal/democrat apparatus to build broader movements and especially oppose growing war-fever. ..."
"... Abroad, bi-partisan wars have failed to defeat independent state and mass popular resistance struggles for national sovereignty everywhere – from North Korea, Iran, Yemen, Syria, and Venezuela and beyond. ..."
"... Even the fight within the two-headed reactionary party of the US oligarchy has had a positive effect. Each side is hell-bent on exposing the state-sponsored crimes of the other. In an unprecedented and historic sense, the US and world public is witness to the spies, lies and crimes of the leadership and elite on prime time and on the wide screen. We head in two directions. In one direction, there are the threats of nuclear war, economic collapse, environmental disasters and a full blown police state. In the other direction, there is the demise of empire, a revived and renewed civil society rooted in a participatory economy and a renewed moral order. ..."
Feb 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Originally from: The FBI and the President – Mutual Manipulation, by James Petras - The Unz Review

President Trump has pursued an agenda mirroring the police state operations of the FBI – only on a global scale. Trump's violation of international law includes collaboration and support for Saudi Arabia's tyrannical invasion and destruction of the sovereign nation of Yemen; intensified aid and support for Israel's ethnic war against the Palestinian people; severe sanctions and threatened nuclear first-strike against North Korea (DPRK); increased deployment of US special forces in collaboration with the jihadi terrorist war to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria; coup-mongering, sabotage, sanctions and economic blockade of Venezuela; NATO missile and nuclear encirclement of Russia; and the growing naval threats against China.

... .. ...

In the face of the national-political debacle local and regional movements became the vehicle to support the struggles. Women organized at some workplaces and gained better protection of their rights; African-Americans vividly documented and published video evidence of the systematic brutal violation of their rights by the police state and effectively acted to restrain local police violence in a few localities; immigrant workers and especially their children gained broad public sympathy and allies within religious and political organizations; and anti-Trump movements combined with critics of the liberal/democrat apparatus to build broader movements and especially oppose growing war-fever.

Abroad, bi-partisan wars have failed to defeat independent state and mass popular resistance struggles for national sovereignty everywhere – from North Korea, Iran, Yemen, Syria, and Venezuela and beyond.

Even the fight within the two-headed reactionary party of the US oligarchy has had a positive effect. Each side is hell-bent on exposing the state-sponsored crimes of the other. In an unprecedented and historic sense, the US and world public is witness to the spies, lies and crimes of the leadership and elite on prime time and on the wide screen. We head in two directions. In one direction, there are the threats of nuclear war, economic collapse, environmental disasters and a full blown police state. In the other direction, there is the demise of empire, a revived and renewed civil society rooted in a participatory economy and a renewed moral order.

[Feb 14, 2018] Instead of appreciating the opportunity provided by amerika and Japan to pollute their nation and turn the fuckers at the bottom into toxic, diseased slaves, those ungrateful Koreans were cuddling up to the 'stalinists' - Those fucking unappreciative parasites!

Feb 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

So Korean anger at Ramo's comments finally induced NBC to give him the flick . Unfortunately Ramo won't be sweating it as the article I linked to by Japanese academic Joseph Essertier points out. Ramo is thoroughly entangled with the DC political/intelligence elite. He is a former CEO of mercenary zionist lobby corp Kissinger Associates, ex-senior editor of Time magazine as well as a host of other elite gigs which doubtless came his way thanks to grandaddy who put the 'R' in TRW . It amazes me that many amerikans remain largely unaware of TRW, now a division of Northrop Grumman. TRW took a PR hit in the 70's when Christopher Boyce one of their operatives got caught hawking the communications between Langley and the amerikan embassy in Canberra that laid out the strategy for the 1974 coup against the Gough Whitlam government. Yeah yeah I know, ancient history - well that is certainly the way that all Oz politicians and media look at it but for some of us the rage will never subside. Amerikans's fixation with the JFK assassination, a pretty odd fixation since Kennedy was just another arsehole, comes close, but in the case of Gough he did have principles, acted on them, albeit reluctantly, and the smoking gun to the CIA is established.

TRW is interesting - well not really I got pissed with a bunch of mid-level TRW execs at the Frankfurt Hilton one night and what a boring bunch of straightlaced & unimaginative fuckwits. I had just arrived from Northern Thailand, was jonesing like fuck - I had staggered across to the joint and booked a room & hit the bar to get sorted for Europe. The Frankfurt Hilton is right by the airport.

This probably didn't help my sense of tolerance but honestly these guys had no class, it was a wonder they let them outta Cleveland. As standard the bar was chocka with German sex workers looking to make an earner. This was pre 1990 so they were mainly German, but I've never seen the like of these TRW blokes. The women were attractive in that painted manner certain amerikans prefer, no doubt about their beauty and skill, but they were the end result of amerikan post euro war imperialism - preying on victims has no interest. These idjits from TRW were obviously really attracted to the young women, so they were pulling all sorts of weird stunts to engage with the workers while seeming disapproving of their occupational choice. One even pulled out a bible! The women appeared to be well used to this nonsense, after all, a sex worker's primary training is in how to overcome humiliation and go home better than than she/he arrived, so on one level it was amusing.

AFAIK TRW has been winning contracts to provide 'clerical and communications support' to military and intelligence services since euro-war part 1. The communication stuff was beyond the abilities of the double entry bookkeepers; just like with the NSA, inviting smart imaginative fellows in proved their undoing.

This then is Ramo, an unimaginative trust-funder who has sold his soul to empire.

I have no doubt that he knew Koreans would react badly to the insult but that was of no concern. The point was to sow the seed among the great amerikan herd that Koreans are notorious for their ingratitude so one just shouldn't stress over their possible nuking - North or South Koreans. South Korea's kissy kiss to their friends and family in the North should be considered in that light, just another manifestation of that ingratitude.

There is no reason to suppose Ramo's handlers are incorrect in this assumption, after all the most egregious act of the post war amerikan-japanese war criminal conjunction, the proven rendition of Japanese biological warfare research scientists to Fort Dietrick and the subsequent use of germ warefare weapons containing bubonic plague, anthrax and smallpox on Koreans during the 1950 amerikan invasion is unknown to most amerikans and those who are aware, airily dismiss this horror as "propaganda".

In a lot of ways there is nothing at all noteworthy about any of this. Tune your discriminators correctly, and this manner of deliberately subjective, misleading dross comprises the majority of every 'news bulletin'. The difference here of course is that this wasn't a news bulletin, it was a sportscast, allegedly a celebratory sportscast. The celebration was meant to be congratulating South Korea on their capitalist victory over 'the stalinist' North. Nirvana by outproduction of disposable techno tat. Hmm.

Instead of appreciating the opportunity provided by amerika and Japan to pollute their nation and turn the fuckers at the bottom into toxic, diseased slaves, those ungrateful Koreans were cuddling up to the 'stalinists' - Those fucking unappreciative parasites!

We can analyse this stuff and see exactly how transparent it all is, but for the bloke relaxing into his couch with a beer looking forward to an evening trying to check out the latex enveloped skater's bods, political analysis is the last thing on their mind. The next time the subject comes up with the boys in the bar, they will know why 'we' have to stay intransigent - "those koreans are just ungrateful assholes - remember that family which had the 7-11 on Jefferson? Everything was overpriced and past its use-by".

That stuff works which is why the arseholes have been using it for centuries - and that is why the seeming nonsense such as "the Russkies stole the election" must be resisted - fought hard. The net has provided the world with a wide vista of alternative viewpoints - even though most of us hang where we see what we want to see, alternative points of view still slip thru in a way that they never did before. The arseholes are working that out now which is why this site like every other woke joint is subjected to an increasing barrage of lunatic nonsense - no wonder b needs some time off; not only are his threads getting congested with haters (ask yourself if MoA is so awful why do these derps hang around here like spare pricks at a wedding?) some site users are perpetuating the nonsense by engaging with them.
I dunno what to say unity doesn't come about by some little arsehole issuing orders, it happens when people decide for themselves to put the interest of a group asset ahead of their need to purge their liver at an obvious fuckwit. I realise that the concept of unity is alien to most amerikans and increasing numbers of non-amerikans, but of itself that should be considered objectively and the subtle indoctrinations which created that resistance considered before acting out.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 14, 2018 10:17:07 PM | 59

[Feb 14, 2018] Trump's Bankrupt Ultimatum Diplomacy The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
Feb 14, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The New York Times reports on the Trump administration's poor grasp of diplomacy:

American officials were more guarded, saying they were open to talks but not a full-fledged negotiation.

The United States, they said, would reiterate its demands that North Korea make concessions and did not plan to offer any in return.

This is being billed as the administration's willingness to "open the door" to holding talks with North Korea, but as we can see here there is no real interest in pursuing a diplomatic solution. If U.S. officials just want to deliver an ultimatum in person to North Korean officials, it is a pointless exercise that would make it harder to enter into real negotiations later. North Korea knows what the U.S. wants it to do, and it has said many times that it will never do that, so why would they agree to talks where the same demands will be put to them once again? The U.S. is not willing to make confidence-building gestures that might lead to more substantive negotiations down the road, and it has no intention of offering North Korea anything in exchange for any concessions it might conceivably make.

In the very unlikely event that North Korea agreed to a meeting with administration officials, they would have nothing to gain from the encounter and every incentive to stay away. The problem isn't just that the administration won't offer North Korea the tiniest of carrots, but that it doesn't accept the idea of using carrots in diplomacy in the first place. The administration's posturing is what a government does when it wants to feign support for diplomacy even as it rejects diplomacy at every turn. If people here at home can see through this ploy, North Korea will definitely take it as more proof of Washington's bad faith.

[Feb 14, 2018] Mattis is probably mentally ill. He'll gleefully kill millions more.

Feb 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mattis is probably mentally ill. He'll gleefully kill millions more.

The terrorists are mentally ill. They would kill millions if they could.

Implacable.

Thus, the reason for the rise of Russia and the influence and respect for Putin. Russians will kill terrorists but embrace Islamic people who want peaceful cooperation.

Peace is a long way off. The Hegemon abhors Peace and has the means and ideology to create chaos, death and destruction anywhere on the globe.

The American economic system depends on MIC expenditures, debt, waste, corruption, and fiscal abuse.

Nothing much will change until multi-polar economic forces come into dominance and coerce the American changes. Those are a long way off, also, though a few of those forces are coming into view.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Feb 12, 2018 12:21:31 PM | 2

[Feb 14, 2018] Recused Judge in Flynn Prosecution Served on FISA Court

Highly recommended!
Feb 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Clyde, February 14, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT

@Ozymandias

"It's worth noting that intentionally deceiving a federal judge is a felony."
It's also worth noting that sometimes the judge is in on it.

For the Trump Admin surveillance warrants the FISA judge was probably Contreras. So goes the rumor. He was probably in on it or halfway in on it. All the major players in DC know each other and trade favors.

And Gen Mike Flynn is in the process of getting his case dismissed. The only thing left to determine is how much the Federales will have to reimburse him for his lawyers fees, which are a million plus.

FISA Judge Rudolph Contreras EXPOSED – twitter.com

Rudolph Contreras was the FISA Judge who issued a warrant to spy on Carter Page because of a Yahoo News article and a Phony Probably have already. He needs to go

Recused Judge in Flynn Prosecution Served on FISA Court

https://www.infowars.com/recused-judge-in-flynn-prosecution-served&#8230 ;

Did Judge Contreras OK electronic surveillance of Recused Judge in Flynn Prosecution Served on FISA Court Did Judge Contreras OK electronic surveillance of

Federal FISA Judge Recuses Himself From Michael Flynn Case

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/12/07/federal-fisa-judge&#8230 ;

Blows the whole FISA Court to hell in a hand basket and Judge Contreras is getting the hell out of dodge. This a helluva mess for the FISA Court and it's victims. Rule 5. Authority of the Judges. (b) Referring Matters to Other Judges.

[Feb 14, 2018] The FBI and the President – Mutual Manipulation by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The liberals and Democrats and their allies in the FBI, political police and other elements of the security state apparatus were deeply involved in an attempt to implicate Russian government officials in a plot to manipulate US public opinion on Trump's behalf and corrupt the outcome of the election. However, the FBI, the Justice Department and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller have produced no evidence of collusion linking the Russian government to a campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton's candidacy in favor of Trump. This is despite thousands of interviews and threats of long prison sentences against former Trump campaign advisers. Instead, they focus their attack on Trump's early campaign promise to find common ground in improving economic and diplomatic ties between the US and Russia, especially in confronting jihadi terrorists. ..."
"... The liberal-progressive FBI cohort turned into rabid Russia-bashers demanding that Trump take a highly aggressive stance against Moscow, while systematically eliminating his military and security advisors who expressed anti-confrontation sentiments. In the spirit of a Joe McCarthy, the liberal-left launched hysterical attacks on any and every Trump campaign adviser who had spoken to, dined with or exchanged eyebrows with any and all Russians! ..."
"... The conversion of liberalism to the pursuit of political purges is unprecedented. Their collective amnesia about the long-term, large-scale involvement by the FBI in the worst criminal violations of democratic values is reprehensible. The FBI's anti-communist crusade led to the purge of thousands of trade unionists from the mid-1940's onward, decimating the AFL-CIO. They blacklisted actors, screen writers, artists, teachers, university academics, researchers, scientists, journalists and civil rights leaders as part of their sweeping purge of civil society. ..."
"... President Trump has pursued an agenda mirroring the police state operations of the FBI – only on a global scale. Trump's violation of international law includes collaboration and support for Saudi Arabia's tyrannical invasion and destruction of the sovereign nation of Yemen; intensified aid and support for Israel's ethnic war against the Palestinian people; severe sanctions and threatened nuclear first-strike against North Korea (DPRK); increased deployment of US special forces in collaboration with the jihadi terrorist war to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria; coup-mongering, sabotage, sanctions and economic blockade of Venezuela; NATO missile and nuclear encirclement of Russia; and the growing naval threats against China ..."
"... Domestically, Trump's response to the FBI's blackmail has been to replace the original political leadership with his own version; to expand and increase the police state powers against immigrants; to increase the powers of the major tech companies to police and intensify work-place exploitation and the invasion of citizens' privacy; to expand the unleash the power of state agents to torture suspects and to saturate all public events, celebrations and activities with open displays of jingoism and militarism with the goal of creating pro-war public opinion. ..."
"... Even the fight within the two-headed reactionary party of the US oligarchy has had a positive effect. Each side is hell-bent on exposing the state-sponsored crimes of the other. In an unprecedented and historic sense, the US and world public is witness to the spies, lies and crimes of the leadership and elite on prime time and on the wide screen. We head in two directions. In one direction, there are the threats of nuclear war, economic collapse, environmental disasters and a full blown police state. In the other direction, there is the demise of empire, a revived and renewed civil society rooted in a participatory economy and a renewed moral order ..."
Feb 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

Few government organizations have been engaged in violation of the US citizens' constitutional rights for as long a time and against as many individuals as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Seldom has there been greater collusion in the perpetration of crimes against civil liberties, electoral freedom and free and lawful expression as what has taken place between the FBI and the US Justice Department.

In the past, the FBI and Justice Department secured the enthusiastic support and public acclaim from the conservative members of the US Congress, members of the judiciary at all levels and the mass media. The leading liberal voices, public figures, educators, intellectuals and progressive dissenters opposing the FBI and their witch-hunting tactics were all from the left. Today, the right and the left have changed places: The most powerful voices endorsing the FBI and the Justice Department's fabrications, and abuse of constitutional rights are on the left, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and famous liberal media corporations and public opinion makers.

The recently published Congressional memo, authored by Congressman Devin Nunes, provides ample proof that the FBI spied on Trump campaign workers with the intent to undermine the Republican candidate and sabotage his bid for the presidency. Private sector investigators, hired by Trump's rival Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, worked with pro-Clinton operatives within the FBI and Justice Department to violate the national electoral process while flouting rules governing wiretaps on US citizens. This was done with the approval of the sitting Democratic President Barack Obama.

The liberals and Democrats and their allies in the FBI, political police and other elements of the security state apparatus were deeply involved in an attempt to implicate Russian government officials in a plot to manipulate US public opinion on Trump's behalf and corrupt the outcome of the election. However, the FBI, the Justice Department and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller have produced no evidence of collusion linking the Russian government to a campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton's candidacy in favor of Trump. This is despite thousands of interviews and threats of long prison sentences against former Trump campaign advisers. Instead, they focus their attack on Trump's early campaign promise to find common ground in improving economic and diplomatic ties between the US and Russia, especially in confronting jihadi terrorists.

The liberal-progressive FBI cohort turned into rabid Russia-bashers demanding that Trump take a highly aggressive stance against Moscow, while systematically eliminating his military and security advisors who expressed anti-confrontation sentiments. In the spirit of a Joe McCarthy, the liberal-left launched hysterical attacks on any and every Trump campaign adviser who had spoken to, dined with or exchanged eyebrows with any and all Russians!

The conversion of liberalism to the pursuit of political purges is unprecedented. Their collective amnesia about the long-term, large-scale involvement by the FBI in the worst criminal violations of democratic values is reprehensible. The FBI's anti-communist crusade led to the purge of thousands of trade unionists from the mid-1940's onward, decimating the AFL-CIO. They blacklisted actors, screen writers, artists, teachers, university academics, researchers, scientists, journalists and civil rights leaders as part of their sweeping purge of civil society.

The FBI investigated the private lives of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, even threatening their family members. They illegally spied on and infiltrated civil liberties organizations, and used provocateurs and spies in anti-war groups. Individuals lives were destroyed, some were driven to suicide; important popular American organizations were undermined to the detriment of millions. This has been its focus since its beginning and continues with the current fabrication of anti-Russian propaganda and investigations.

President Trump: Victim and Executor

President Trump has pursued an agenda mirroring the police state operations of the FBI – only on a global scale. Trump's violation of international law includes collaboration and support for Saudi Arabia's tyrannical invasion and destruction of the sovereign nation of Yemen; intensified aid and support for Israel's ethnic war against the Palestinian people; severe sanctions and threatened nuclear first-strike against North Korea (DPRK); increased deployment of US special forces in collaboration with the jihadi terrorist war to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria; coup-mongering, sabotage, sanctions and economic blockade of Venezuela; NATO missile and nuclear encirclement of Russia; and the growing naval threats against China .

Domestically, Trump's response to the FBI's blackmail has been to replace the original political leadership with his own version; to expand and increase the police state powers against immigrants; to increase the powers of the major tech companies to police and intensify work-place exploitation and the invasion of citizens' privacy; to expand the unleash the power of state agents to torture suspects and to saturate all public events, celebrations and activities with open displays of jingoism and militarism with the goal of creating pro-war public opinion.

In a word: From the right to the left there are no political options to choose from among the two ruling political parties. Popular political movements and mass demonstrations have risen up against Trump with clear justification, but have since dissolved and been absorbed. They came together from diverse sectors: Women against sexual abuse and workplace humiliation; African-Americans against police impunity and violence; and immigrants against mass expulsion and harassment. They staged mass demonstrations and then declined as their 'anti-Trump' animus was frustrated by the liberal-democrats hell-bent on pursuing the Russian connection.

In the face of the national-political debacle local and regional movements became the vehicle to support the struggles. Women organized at some workplaces and gained better protection of their rights; African-Americans vividly documented and published video evidence of the systematic brutal violation of their rights by the police state and effectively acted to restrain local police violence in a few localities; immigrant workers and especially their children gained broad public sympathy and allies within religious and political organizations; and anti-Trump movements combined with critics of the liberal/democrat apparatus to build broader movements and especially oppose growing war-fever.

Abroad, bi-partisan wars have failed to defeat independent state and mass popular resistance struggles for national sovereignty everywhere – from North Korea, Iran, Yemen, Syria, and Venezuela and beyond.

Even the fight within the two-headed reactionary party of the US oligarchy has had a positive effect. Each side is hell-bent on exposing the state-sponsored crimes of the other. In an unprecedented and historic sense, the US and world public is witness to the spies, lies and crimes of the leadership and elite on prime time and on the wide screen. We head in two directions. In one direction, there are the threats of nuclear war, economic collapse, environmental disasters and a full blown police state. In the other direction, there is the demise of empire, a revived and renewed civil society rooted in a participatory economy and a renewed moral order .

[Feb 14, 2018] Is John Brennan the Mastermind behind Russiagate by Mike Whitney

Notable quotes:
"... Bottom line: Despite the denials of former-CIA Director John Brennan, the dossier may have been used in the ICA. ..."
"... Most disturbing is the fact that Steele reportedly received information from friends of Hillary Clinton. (supposedly, Sidney Blumenthal and others) ..."
"... These are just a few of the questions Steele will undoubtedly be asked if he ever faces prosecution for lying to the FBI. But, so far, we know very little about man except that he was a former M16 agent who was paid $160,000 for composing the dubious set of reports that make up the dossier. We don't even know if Steele's alleged contacts or intermediaries in Russia actually exist or not. ..."
"... Some analysts think the whole thing is a fabrication based on the fact that he hasn't worked the Russia-scene since the FSB (The Russian state-security organization that replaced the KGB) was completely overhauled. Besides, it would be extremely dangerous for a Russian to provide an M16 agent with sensitive intelligence. And what would the contact get in return? According to most accounts, Steele's sources weren't even paid, so there was little incentive for them to put themselves at risk? All of this casts more doubt on the contents of the dossier. ..."
"... What is known about Steele is that he has a very active imagination and knows how to command a six-figure payoff for his unique services. We also know that the FBI continued to use him long after they knew he couldn't be trusted which suggests that he served some other purpose, like providing the agency with plausible deniability, a 'get out of jail free' card if they ever got caught surveilling US citizens without probable cause. ..."
"... Since then, GOP lawmakers have been quietly buzzing about allegations that an Obama-era State Department official passed along information from allies of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that may have been used by the FBI to launch an investigation into whether the Trump campaign had improper contacts with Russia. ..."
"... Regular readers of this column know that we have always believed that the Russiagate psyops originated with Brennan. Just as the CIA launched its disinformation campaigns against Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gadhafi, so too, Russia has emerged as Washington's foremost rival requiring a massive propaganda campaign to persuade the public that America faces a serious external threat. In any event, the demonizing of Russia had already begun by the time Hillary and Co. decided to hop on the bandwagon by blaming Moscow for hacking John Podesta's emails. The allegations were never persuasive, but they did provide Brennan with some cover for the massive Information Operation (IO) that began with him. ..."
"... It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama's, who provided the information -- what he termed the "basis" -- for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer .Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians. ..."
"... It all started with Brennan. After Putin blocked Brennan's operations in both Ukraine and Syria, Brennan had every reason to retaliate and to use the tools at his disposal to demonize Putin and try to isolate Russia. The "election meddling" charges (promoted by the Hillary people) fit perfectly with Brennan's overall strategy to manipulate perceptions and prepare the country for an eventual confrontation. It provided him the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, to deliver a withering blow to Putin and Trump at the very same time. The temptation must have been irresistible. ..."
"... But now the plan has backfired and the investigations are gaining pace. Trump's allies in the House smell the blood in the water and they want answers. Did the CIA surveil members of the Trump campaign on the basis of information they gathered in the dossier? Who saw the information? Was the information passed along to members of the press and other government agencies? Was the White House involved? What role did Obama play? What about the Intelligence Community Assessment? Was it based on the contents of the Steele report? Will the "hand-picked" analysts who worked on the report vouch for its conclusions in or were they coached about what to write? How did Brennan persuade the reluctant Comey into opening a counterintelligence investigation on members in the Trump campaign when he knew it would be perceived as a partisan attempt to sabotage the elections by giving Hillary an edge? ..."
"... Brennan, Clapper, Clinton, Blumenthal, Abedin, Mills, Podesta, Strzok, McCabe whoever might have been mastermind or mere footsoldier in the drama, one cannot escape the fact that the Capo di tutti capi is Barak Hussein Obama, even if only on the "Buck stops here" principle. ..."
"... Last September Brennan began a two-year stint as a distinguished fellow for global security at Fordham Law School. Brennan is a 1977 college graduate of this Jesuit institution which undoubtedly laid the groundwork for a career of duplicity and malfeasance ..."
Feb 13, 2018 | www.unz.com

The report ("The Dossier") that claims that Donald Trump colluded with Russia, was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign. The company that claims that Russia hacked DNC computer servers, was paid by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign. The FBI's counterintelligence probe into Trump's alleged connections to Russia was launched on the basis of information gathered from a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

The surveillance of a Trump campaign member (Carter Page) was approved by a FISA court on the basis of information from a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

The Intelligence Community Analysis or ICA was (largely or partially) based on information from a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign. (more on this below)

The information that was leaked to the media alleging Russia hacking or collusion can be traced back to claims that were made in a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

The entire Russia-gate investigation rests on the "unverified and salacious" information from a dossier that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton Campaign. Here's how Stephen Cohen sums it up in a recent article at The Nation:

"Steele's dossier was the foundational document of the Russiagate narrative from the time its installments began to be leaked to the American media in the summer of 2016, to the US "Intelligence Community Assessment" of January 2017 .the dossier and subsequent ICA report remain the underlying sources for proponents of the Russiagate narrative of "Trump-Putin collision." ("Russia gate or Intel-gate?", The Nation)

There's just one problem with Cohen's statement, we don't really know the extent to which the dossier was used in the creation of the Intelligence Community Assessment. (The ICA was the IC's flagship analysis that was supposed to provide ironclad proof of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.) According to some reports, the contribution was significant. Check out this excerpt from an article at Business Insider:

"Intelligence officials purposefully omitted the dossier from the public intelligence report they released in January about Russia's election interference because they didn't want to reveal which details they had corroborated, according to CNN." ("Mueller reportedly interviewed the author of the Trump-Russia dossier -- here's what it alleges, and how it aligned with reality", Business Insider)

Bottom line: Despite the denials of former-CIA Director John Brennan, the dossier may have been used in the ICA.

In the last two weeks, documents have been released that have exposed the weak underpinnings of the Russia investigation while at the same time revealing serious abuses by senior-level officials at the DOJ and FBI. The so called Nunes memo was the first to point out these abuses, but it was the 8-page "criminal referral" authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham that gave credence to the claims. Here's a blurb from the document:

"It appears the FBI relied on admittedly uncorroborated information, funded by and obtained for Secretary Clinton's presidential campaign, in order to conduct surveillance of an associate of the opposing presidential candidate. It did so based on Mr. Steele's personal credibility and presumably having faith in his process of obtaining the information. But there is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility."

There it is. The FBI made a "concerted effort to conceal information from the court" in order to get a warrant to spy on a member of a rival political campaign. So –at the very least– there was an effort, on the part of the FBI and high-ranking officials at the Department of Justice, to improperly spy on members of the Trump team. And there's more. The FBI failed to mention that the dossier was paid for by the Hillary campaign and the DNC, or that the dossier's author Christopher Steele had seeded articles in the media that were being used to support the dossier's credibility (before the FISA court), or that, according to the FBI's own analysts, the dossier was "only minimally corroborated", or that Steele was a ferocious partisan who harbored a strong animus towards Trump. All of these were omitted in the FISA application which is why the FBI was able to deceive the judge. It's worth noting that intentionally deceiving a federal judge is a felony.

Most disturbing is the fact that Steele reportedly received information from friends of Hillary Clinton. (supposedly, Sidney Blumenthal and others) Here's one suggestive tidbit that appeared in the Graham-Grassley" referral:

" Mr. Steele's memorandum states that his company "received this report from REDACTED US State Department," that the report was the second in a series, and that the report was information that came from a foreign sub-source who "is in touch with REDACTED, a contact of REDACTED, a friend of the Clintons, who passed it to REDACTED."

It is troubling enough that the Clinton campaign funded Mr. Steele's work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility." (Lifted from The Federalist)

What are we to make of this? Was Steele shaping the dossier's narrative to the specifications of his employers? Was he being coached by members of the Hillary team? How did that impact the contents of the dossier and the subsequent Russia investigation?

These are just a few of the questions Steele will undoubtedly be asked if he ever faces prosecution for lying to the FBI. But, so far, we know very little about man except that he was a former M16 agent who was paid $160,000 for composing the dubious set of reports that make up the dossier. We don't even know if Steele's alleged contacts or intermediaries in Russia actually exist or not.

Some analysts think the whole thing is a fabrication based on the fact that he hasn't worked the Russia-scene since the FSB (The Russian state-security organization that replaced the KGB) was completely overhauled. Besides, it would be extremely dangerous for a Russian to provide an M16 agent with sensitive intelligence. And what would the contact get in return? According to most accounts, Steele's sources weren't even paid, so there was little incentive for them to put themselves at risk? All of this casts more doubt on the contents of the dossier.

What is known about Steele is that he has a very active imagination and knows how to command a six-figure payoff for his unique services. We also know that the FBI continued to use him long after they knew he couldn't be trusted which suggests that he served some other purpose, like providing the agency with plausible deniability, a 'get out of jail free' card if they ever got caught surveilling US citizens without probable cause.

But that brings us to the strange case of Carter Page, a bit-player whose role in the Trump campaign was trivial at best. Page was what most people would call a "small fish", an insignificant foreign policy advisor who had minimal impact on the campaign. Congressional investigators, like Nunes, must be wondering why the FBI and DOJ devoted so much attention to someone like Page instead of going after the "big fish" like Bannon, Flynn, Kushner, Ivanka and Trump Jr., all of whom might have been able to provide damaging information on the real target, Donald Trump. Wasn't that the idea? So why waste time on Page? It doesn't make any sense, unless, of course, the others were already being surveilled by other agencies? Is that it, did the NSA and the CIA have a hand in the surveillance too?

It's a moot point, isn't it? Because now that there's evidence that senior-level officials at the DOJ and the FBI were involved in improperly obtaining warrants to spy on members of the opposite party, the investigation is going to go wherever it goes. Whatever restrictions existed before, will now be lifted. For example, this popped up in Saturday's The Hill:

"House Intelligence Committee lawmakers are in the dark about an investigation into wrongdoing at the State Department announced by Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on Friday. Nunes told Fox News on Friday that, "we are in the middle of what I call phase two of our investigation. That investigation is ongoing and we continue work toward finding answers and asking the right questions to try to get to the bottom of what exactly the State Department was up to in terms of this Russia investigation."

Since then, GOP lawmakers have been quietly buzzing about allegations that an Obama-era State Department official passed along information from allies of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that may have been used by the FBI to launch an investigation into whether the Trump campaign had improper contacts with Russia.

"I'm pretty troubled by what I read in the documents with respect to the role the State Department played in the fall of 2016, including information that was used in a court proceeding. I am troubled by it," Gowdy told Fox News on Tuesday." ("Lawmakers in dark about 'phase two' of Nunes investigation", The Hill)

So the State Department is next in line followed by the NSA and, finally, the Russia-gate point of origin, John Brennan's CIA. Here's more background on that from Stephen Cohen's illuminating article at The Nation:

" .when, and by whom, was this Intel operation against Trump started?

In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in May 2017, John Brennan, formerly Obama's head of the CIA, strongly suggested that he and his agency were the first, as The Washington Post put it at the time, "in triggering an FBI probe." Certainly both the Post and The New York Times interpreted his remarks in this way. Equally certain, Brennan played a central role in promoting the Russiagate narrative thereafter, briefing members of Congress privately and giving President Obama himself a top-secret envelope in early August 2016 that almost certainly contained Steele's dossier. Early on, Brennan presumably would have shared his "suspicions" and initiatives with James Clapper, director of national intelligence. FBI Director Comey may have joined them actively somewhat later .

When did Brennan begin his "investigation" of Trump? His House testimony leaves this somewhat unclear, but, according to a subsequent Guardian article, by late 2015 or early 2016 he was receiving, or soliciting, reports from foreign intelligence agencies regarding "suspicious 'interactions' between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents."

In short, if these reports and Brennan's own testimony are to be believed, he, not the FBI, was the instigator and godfather of Russiagate." ("Russiagate or Intelgate?", Stephen Cohen, The Nation)

Regular readers of this column know that we have always believed that the Russiagate psyops originated with Brennan. Just as the CIA launched its disinformation campaigns against Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gadhafi, so too, Russia has emerged as Washington's foremost rival requiring a massive propaganda campaign to persuade the public that America faces a serious external threat. In any event, the demonizing of Russia had already begun by the time Hillary and Co. decided to hop on the bandwagon by blaming Moscow for hacking John Podesta's emails. The allegations were never persuasive, but they did provide Brennan with some cover for the massive Information Operation (IO) that began with him.

According to the Washington Times:

"It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama's, who provided the information -- what he termed the "basis" -- for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer .Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians."

It all started with Brennan. After Putin blocked Brennan's operations in both Ukraine and Syria, Brennan had every reason to retaliate and to use the tools at his disposal to demonize Putin and try to isolate Russia. The "election meddling" charges (promoted by the Hillary people) fit perfectly with Brennan's overall strategy to manipulate perceptions and prepare the country for an eventual confrontation. It provided him the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, to deliver a withering blow to Putin and Trump at the very same time. The temptation must have been irresistible.

But now the plan has backfired and the investigations are gaining pace. Trump's allies in the House smell the blood in the water and they want answers. Did the CIA surveil members of the Trump campaign on the basis of information they gathered in the dossier? Who saw the information? Was the information passed along to members of the press and other government agencies? Was the White House involved? What role did Obama play? What about the Intelligence Community Assessment? Was it based on the contents of the Steele report? Will the "hand-picked" analysts who worked on the report vouch for its conclusions in or were they coached about what to write? How did Brennan persuade the reluctant Comey into opening a counterintelligence investigation on members in the Trump campaign when he knew it would be perceived as a partisan attempt to sabotage the elections by giving Hillary an edge?

Soon the investigative crosshairs will settle on Brennan. He'd better have the right answers.


El Dato , February 13, 2018 at 9:31 pm GMT

Deepstate ain't gonna go quietly.

Watch out for distractions in the national or international sphere.

(Btw, Russia warns via RT of an upcoming false flag attack using chlorine in Syria. Can't get an even break.)

Anon Disclaimer , February 13, 2018 at 10:02 pm GMT
That the whole media can be in service of a such a fraud and beam their relentless lies across millions of TV screens even in a democracy like America goes to tell you that the Power ultimately decides what is 'fiction' and 'non-fiction'.

Why else would most of Big Media be spreading all these lies about Russia Hacking or 'Russiagate' when the only real 'gate' is Deepstategate and Jewishhategate. The anti-Trump hysteria is nothing but an act of arson set by Jewish globalists who hate him.

The Alarmist , February 14, 2018 at 12:32 am GMT
Brennan, Clapper, Clinton, Blumenthal, Abedin, Mills, Podesta, Strzok, McCabe whoever might have been mastermind or mere footsoldier in the drama, one cannot escape the fact that the Capo di tutti capi is Barak Hussein Obama, even if only on the "Buck stops here" principle.
nsa , February 14, 2018 at 5:12 am GMT
Planting stories in the kept lugenpresse then citing the resulting articles as evidence is a common technique of the national security state. Anyone remember DickiePoo Cheney (the man with no heart) planting bogus weapons-of-mass-destruction stories with "reporter" Judith (the jooie) Miller whose stuff was dutifully published in the rapidly anti arab Jew York Times. DickiePoo then cited the stories as evidence that Iraq needed to be invaded and destroyed. This kind of propaganda is quite effective and very long lasting to this day something like 60% of the american public still believe Saddam had a hand in the 911 false flag operation and probably future history books will agree.
JNDillard , February 14, 2018 at 5:32 am GMT
Investigative reporting at its best. Thank you, Mike Whitney. Every member of Congress should read this.
Dan Hayes , February 14, 2018 at 5:39 am GMT
Last September Brennan began a two-year stint as a distinguished fellow for global security at Fordham Law School. Brennan is a 1977 college graduate of this Jesuit institution which undoubtedly laid the groundwork for a career of duplicity and malfeasance .

His appointment is in the grand tradition of Jesuitical sucking up to the powers-that-be.

An especially egregious example of this would be the current Jesuit "Bishop of Rome" (his preferred parlance) playing footsie with communist China. And in the process throwing faithful Chinese under the proverbial bus – just being chalked up as collateral damage!

The beat goes on.

Toby Keith , February 14, 2018 at 6:07 am GMT
@The Alarmist

Every President after Kennedy has been a kosher puppet. Obama masterminded nothing, and it's a very Hasbara thing to suggest he did.

[Feb 13, 2018] Jihadists supporter Bibi Netanyahu hit Syrian forces by Patrick J. Buchanan

Weakening government forces plays into the hands of islamist radicals.
Feb 13, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Originally from: Is the U.S. Being Sucked Deeper Into Mideast Trap The American Conservative

Candidate Donald Trump may have promised to extricate us from Middle East wars, once ISIS and al-Qaida were routed, yet events and people seem to be conspiring to keep us endlessly enmeshed.

Friday night, a drone, apparently modeled on a U.S. drone that fell into Iran's hands, intruded briefly into Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights, and was shot down by an Apache helicopter.

Israel seized upon this to send F-16s to strike the airfield whence the drone originated. Returning home, an F-16 was hit and crashed, unleashing the most devastating Israeli attack in decades on Syria. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu says a dozen Syrian and Iranian bases and antiaircraft positions were struck.

Monday's headline on the Wall Street Journal op-ed page blared:

"The Iran-Israel War Flares Up: The fight is over a Qods Force presence on the Syria-Israeli border. How will the U.S. respond?"

Op-ed writers Tony Badran and Jonathan Schanzer, both from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, closed thus:

"The Pentagon and State Department have already condemned Iran and thrown their support behind Israel. The question now is whether the Trump administration will go further. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (has) affirmed that the U.S. seeks not only to ensure its allies' security but to deny Iran its 'dreams of a northern arch' from Tehran to Beirut. A good way to achieve both objectives would be back Israel's response to Iran's aggression -- now and in the future."

The FDD is an annex of the Israeli lobby and a charter member of the War Party.

Chagai Tzuriel, who heads the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence, echoed the FDD: "If you (Americans) are committed to countering Iran in the region, then you must do so in Syria -- first."

Our orders have been cut.

Iran has dismissed as "lies" and "ridiculous" the charge that it sent the drone into Israeli airspace.

If Tehran did, it would be an act of monumental stupidity. Not only did the drone bring devastating Israeli reprisals against Syria and embarrass Iran's ally Russia, it brought attacks on Russian-provided and possibly Russian-manned air defenses.

[Feb 13, 2018] After Routing ISIS From Iraq More War by Daniel DePetris

Notable quotes:
"... With the war now entering its eighth year this March, the wisest course for the Trump administration is to detach itself. Nothing the United States can do will stop the conflict if the combatants and their enablers are intent on continuing it ..."
Feb 13, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

...Indeed, as this piece is being written, U.S.-armed Arab fighters of the Free Syrian Army are shooting at U.S.-supported Kurdish fighters of the YPG. Turkey, a NATO ally, is threatening to annihilate the Syrian Democratic Forces, the same unit Washington has relied on as a ground army to clear the Islamic State. The U.S. has now managed to alienate the Turks on the one hand and the Syrian Kurds on the other.

As if Syria wasn't complicated enough, Turkey's military operation in Afrin has made the country an unsolvable enigma. And Washington -- due in large part to overeagerness and short-term decision-making over realistic, long-term planning -- has backed itself into a foreseeable corner and contributed to the problem.

... ... ...

Eventually, the Obama administration cooperated with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Jordan to ship weapons to the Free Syrian Army, a loose conglomeration of fighters whose goal was the toppling of the government in Damascus. The CIA ran the program, organizing and distributing weapons to anti-Assad fighters in the name of pressuring the regime to negotiate a conflict-ending settlement. And once ISIS became a higher priority, the Pentagon drew up plans to organize and vet rebel forces to fight the group -- a program that had in little to no impact on the ground despite a $500 million appropriation from Congress.

Only when all of these initiatives failed did Washington throw its weight to the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-Arab organization that cleared substantial amounts of territory from ISIS. Unfortunately, the SDF is the same group Turkey is now seeking to drive away from its border.

The costs of all this have far outweighed the benefits. Some rebel fighters trained and supplied by the United States simply surrendered to jihadist factions as soon as they crossed the Syrian-Turkish border. Some of the same weapons destined for moderate Syrian fighters were instead captured by extremist groups or diverted onto the black market and sold to far more dangerous characters.

All the while, the U.S. discounted how important Assad's survival was to Iran and Russia and miscalculated the extent of the support Moscow and Tehran were willing to provide to keep Damascus from collapsing. Bashar al-Assad staying in the presidential palace was vastly more important to Russia's and Iran's objectives in the Middle East than attempts to overthrow him were to Washington. America's ability to navigate the ever-changing waters of the Middle East is not contingent on whether Assad stays or goes -- the U.S. is powerful and influential enough to continue operating in the region regardless of Assad's political status. But the same cannot be said of Russia and Iran, two countries that view the Assad regime as an incompetent but nevertheless useful proxy to defend its vital interests.

Syria was never a crisis Washington could have (or should have) solved. With every American action, there was an opposite and unequal reaction from Moscow and Tehran, and it is the Syrian people who have paid the price. No outside power half a world away can solve Syria's political issues. It will be for Syrians themselves to determine how they will govern what is left of their country, and neighbors with far more at stake than we have will be involved whether we like it or not.

With the war now entering its eighth year this March, the wisest course for the Trump administration is to detach itself. Nothing the United States can do will stop the conflict if the combatants and their enablers are intent on continuing it .

Daniel DePetris is a fellow at Defense Priorities.

[Feb 13, 2018] Is the U.S. Being Sucked Deeper Into Mideast Trap by Patrick J. Buchanan

Feb 13, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

In Syria's southeast, another incident a week ago may portend an indefinite U.S. stay in that broken and bleeding country.

To recapture oil fields lost in the war, forces backed by Assad crossed the Euphrates into territory taken from ISIS by the U.S. and our Kurd allies. The U.S. response was a barrage of air and artillery strikes that killed 100 soldiers.

What this signals is that, though ISIS has been all but evicted from Syria, the U.S. intends to retain that fourth of Syria as a bargaining chip in negotiations.

In the northwest, Turkey has sent its Syrian allies to attack Afrin and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened Manbij, 80 miles to the east, where U.S. troops commingle with the Kurd defenders and U.S. generals were visible last week.

Midweek, Erdogan exploded: "(The Americans) tell us, 'Don't come to Manbij.' We will come to Manbij to hand over these territories to their rightful owners."

The U.S. and Turkey, allies for six decades, with the largest armies in NATO, may soon be staring down each other's gun barrels.

Has President Trump thought through where we are going with this deepening commitment in Syria, where we have only 2,000 troops and no allies but the Kurds, while on the other side is the Syrian army, Hezbollah, Russia and Iran, and Shiite militias from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan?

Clearly, we have an obligation not to abandon the Kurds, who took most of the casualties in liberating eastern Syria from ISIS. And we have a strategic interest in not losing Turkey as an ally.

But this calls for active diplomacy, not military action.

And now that the rebels have been defeated and the civil war is almost over, what would be the cost and what would be the prospects of fighting a new and wider war? What would victory look like?

Bibi and the FDD want to see U.S. power deployed alongside that of Israel, against Iran, Assad and Hezbollah. But while Israel's interests are clear, what would be the U.S. vital interest?

What outcome would justify another U.S. war in a region where all the previous wars in this century have left us bleeding, bankrupt, divided and disillusioned?

When he was running, Donald Trump seemed to understand this.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the recent book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

[Feb 13, 2018] Rob Porter's First Ex-Wife Criticizes Kellyanne Conway for Defending Hope Hicks - Breitbart

Notable quotes:
"... State of the Union ..."
Feb 13, 2018 | www.breitbart.com

Conway appeared Sunday on CNN's State of the Union with Jake Tapper to address questions surrounding Porter's departure, which came last week after accusations that he had abused his two ex-wives.

Tapper asked about Porter's reported relationship with Hicks, and concerns expressed by Jennie Willoughby, Porter's second ex-wife, that Porter would abuse Hicks, too. Conway said that she did not worry about Hicks because she is "strong."

[Feb 12, 2018] Ike's Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex Is Alive and Very Well by William J. Astore

Highly recommended!
160 billion plus 160 billion are pretty serious money. money that were stolen from ordinary Americans.
PRESIDENT EISENHOWER: Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. (cited from The Age of Lunacy The Doomsday Machine naked capitalism )
Notable quotes:
"... The military talks about needing all these scores of billions to "rebuild." And, sure, there are ships that need to be refitted, planes in need of repairs, equipment that needs to be restocked, and veterans who need to be cared for. But a massive increase in military and war spending, perhaps as high as $320 billion over two years, is a recipe for excessive waste and even more disastrous military adventurism. ..."
"... Perhaps you've heard of the expression, "Spending money like drunken sailors on shore leave." Our military has been drunk with money since 9/11. Is it really wise to give those "sailors" an enormous boost in the loose change they're carrying, trusting them to spend it wisely? ..."
Feb 12, 2018 | www.antiwar.com

The new Congressional budget boosts military spending in a big way . Last night's PBS News report documented how military spending is projected to increase by $160 billion over two years, but that doesn't include "overseas contingency funding" for wars, which is another $160 billion over two years. Meanwhile, spending for the opioid crisis, which is killing roughly 60,000 Americans a year (more Americans than were killed in the Vietnam War), is set at a paltry $6 billion ($25 billion was requested).

One thing is certain: Ike was right about the undue influence of the military-industrial-Congressional complex.

The military talks about needing all these scores of billions to "rebuild." And, sure, there are ships that need to be refitted, planes in need of repairs, equipment that needs to be restocked, and veterans who need to be cared for. But a massive increase in military and war spending, perhaps as high as $320 billion over two years, is a recipe for excessive waste and even more disastrous military adventurism.

Even if you're a supporter of big military budgets, this massive boost in military spending is bad news. Why? It doesn't force the military to think . To set priorities. To define limits. To be creative.

Perhaps you've heard of the expression, "Spending money like drunken sailors on shore leave." Our military has been drunk with money since 9/11. Is it really wise to give those "sailors" an enormous boost in the loose change they're carrying, trusting them to spend it wisely?

William J. Astore is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF). He taught history for fifteen years at military and civilian schools and blogs at Bracing Views . He can be reached at wastore@pct.edu . Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author's permission.

[Feb 12, 2018] Barack Obama: Crime Boss by Stephen Lendman

Notable quotes:
"... Bill Moyers Journal ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Wall Street Under Fire ..."
"... Financial Times ..."
"... Financial Times ..."
Apr 18, 2009 | www.foreignpolicyjournal.com
Since taking office, Obama, wittingly or otherwise, has headed the largest criminal enterprise in history -- the mass looting of national wealth to enrich his Wall Street benefactors. He assembled a rogue economic team of Clinton/Robert Rubin retreads -- to fix the current crisis they engineered.

In a March 13 article, (author and former Republican strategist) Kevin Phillips called them "recycled senior (Clinton administration) Democrats (responsible for the) tech mania, deregulation binge and (1997-2000) stock market bubble and crash. (Obama) extend(ed) the (disastrous) mismanagement and pro-Wall Street bias of the 2008 Bush regime bailout."

He called Geithner and Bernanke "hapless," the result of their ruinous misjudgments (and, along with Alan Greenspan, complicit) with finance-sector malfeasance."

He said Summers will be "remembered for helping to block federal regulation of financial derivatives and orchestrat(ing) the 1999″ Glass-Steagall repeal, among his other "achievements." He went down the list of key economic officials and trashed them all as the very types to be avoided, not appointed.

He noted that Bernanke was chairman of George Bush's Council of Economic Advisers and added: "Imagine if FDR had retained Herbert Hoover's chief economic advisor and loyal Republican Fed Chairman in 1933 .To think that the pussycat Fed (would become) a saber-toothed tiger is a deception." Worse still, ruinous economic policies "could prove fatal" if White House policies favor "Wall Street but not the national economy or American people" -- the very direction they've now taken.

In a follow-up April 7 article, Phillips highlighted "The Disaster Stage of US Financialization a much grander-scale disaster than anything that happened in 1929 – 1933. Worse, it dwarfs the abuses of debt, finance and financialization that brought down previous leading world economic powers like Britain and Holland."

Today's crisis represents "the bursting of the huge 25-year, almost $50 trillion debt bubble that helped underwrite the hijacking of the US economy by a rabid financial sector " It's realigning global power with America losing its economic leadership won in WW II.

"The ignominy deserved by Wall Street after 1929-1933 is peanuts compared with the opprobrium the US financial sector and its political and regulatory allies deserve this time." Financialized America radically transformed the country, now "doubly staggering because of the crushing burden of its collapse."

Yet major media pundits and reporters barely noticed and now claim relief is just a few quarters away -- ignoring a metastasizing cancer, a national disaster, while policy makers heap fuel on a raging blaze now consuming us, yet too little public rage confronts them.

A Former Insider Speaks Out

Economics Professor William Black is a former senior bank regulator and Savings and Loan prosecutor, currently teaching economics and law at the University of Missouri. In an April 13 Barrons interview, he referred to "failed bankers (advising) failed regulators on how to deal with failed assets" they all had a hand in creating and proliferating.

His conclusion: "How can it result in anything but failure." He called the scale of financial fraud "immense," and said "Unless the current administration changes course pretty drastically, the scandal will destroy Barack Obama's presidency," besides what it's doing to the country, global economies, and many millions of people here and abroad.

He scathed Summers and Geithner, both "important architects of (today's) problems," and the latter as a failed and dishonest regulator, yet "numbering himself among those who convey tough medicine when he's really pandering to the interests of a select group of banks." No need to mention which ones.

The law mandates corrective action, the kind FDR took in the 1930s. He, Bernanke and Summers flout the law, "in naked violation, in order to pursue the kind of favoritism that the law was designed to prevent." They've turned taxpayers into "suckers" who'll pay dearly for decades, maybe generations.

His refusal to put insolvent banks into receivership, resorting to deceptive language like "legacy assets," and pursuing the worst of Chicago School economics "is positively Orwellian .If cheaters prosper, (they'll) dominate. It's like Gresham's law: Bad money drives out the good. Well, bad behavior" does the same thing "without good enforcement."

His bailout plans are disastrous. They prop up zombie banks by "mispricing toxic assets .The last thing we need is a further drain on our resources by promoting this toxic asset market (and notions of) too-big-to-fail."

With most, perhaps all, the big banks insolvent (a polite term for bankrupt), what's going on is "a multi-trillion dollar cover-up by publicly traded (enterprises), which amounts to felony securities fraud on a massive scale."

Ultimately, these firms will be forced into receivership, their "managements and boards stripped of office, title, and compensation." What's needed is a 1930s-style Pecora investigation to get to the bottom of their fraud, deceit, and cover-up, along with government complicity to hide it. More on that below.

Black cited billions to AIG as the single worst abuse so far to bail out their counterparties like Switzerland's UBS at the same time we were prosecuting it for tax fraud. As bad was following Goldman Sachs' advice to direct a $13 billion counterparty windfall to itself.

The whole process reeks of corruption. It must be stopped, and a new direction instituted under a reformist economic team -- one that will admit the nature and depth of the problem, cut the tie to Wall Street, and take corrective action the law mandates. That's "precisely what isn't happening."

Washington is "wedded to the bad idea of bigness" and power of Wall Street. In today's America, financialization is predominant. It's a cancer eating away at the fabric of the nation and many millions affected, the result of the grandest of grand thefts.

A good start would be to break up the financial giants into more effectively managed and less powerful units -- maybe the way Standard Oil was dismantled through a simple share spinoff. In addition, "a new seriousness must be put into regulation," and a new resolve to enforce it.

Today, the whole system encourages fraud, one based on results at any cost, so "fudging the numbers" becomes de rigueur and global bigness the holy grail. It sends the wrong message: play or pay with your job and future on Wall Street. "The basis for all regulation and white-collar crime is to take the competitive advantage away from the cheats, so the good guys can prevail. We need to get back to that." It's been decades since we've been there and high time we took it seriously. Job one is a thorough housecleaning and new direction, much like what's described below.

On April 3, Black appeared on Bill Moyers Journal on PBS and explained what's briefly enumerated below. From his experience as a regulator and prosecutor, he said:

– fraud is initiated in boardrooms and CEO offices by making "really bad loans, because they pay better;"

– then grow them like a Ponzi scheme multiplied through leverage; it's hugely profitable early on, then inevitably creates "disaster down the road;"

– dismantling regulation makes it possible;

– one scheme was subprime, Alt-A , and even prime "liars' loans" – meaning no checks are made on income, jobs, ability to repay, and the more they're inflated the more profitable they are; the amount of them was enormous – for one company alone, they generated as many losses as the entire S & L scandal;

– toxic products were willfully created to scam borrowers for big profits;

– rating agencies went along by appraising junk as AAA instead of doing it honestly;

– in September 2004, the FBI warned about a mortgage fraud epidemic, but nothing was done to stop it; so now we have a crisis hundreds of times greater than the S & L one and bad policy in play to address it;

– as in Barrons, he accused top Bush and Obama officials of a cover-up – to conceal the insolvency of all major banks and by so doing broke the law established after the S & L crisis, the Prompt Corrective Action Law that mandates insolvent banks be shut down and/or placed in receivership; and

– this is the greatest financial scandal in history – swept under the rug by top government officials of both parties; it's legally and morally indefensible, and it's wrecking the country.

In an April 6 article, Black calls ongoing "stress tests a complete sham to fool people make us chumps" and essentially say 'If we lie and they believe us, all will be well" when, in fact, it's not. It's part of the giant cover-up and greatest ever criminal fraud – by bankers and complicit government officials.

On April 13, Nouriel Roubini shared Black's view. He cited the stress test "spin machine" leaking stories to the press that all 19 banks in question will pass. None will fail. If more "exceptional assistance" is needed, Washington will provide it.

However, Q 1 macro data tells another story as growth, unemployment, and falling home prices alone "are worse than those in FDIC's baseline scenario for 2009 AND even worse than those for the more adverse stressed scenario for 2009. Thus, the stress test results are meaningless" as worsening data are outdistancing "the worst case scenario."

In other words, test results "are not worth the paper (they'll be) written on" as their assumptions are fraudulently based. They're "fudge tests blatantly rigged" to put a brave face on a very bleak economic picture.

They're in addition to other changes, including the recent Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) ruling. It's responsible for developing "generally accepted accounting principles" known as GAAP. On April 3, it changed so-called "mark-to-market" standards to "mark-to-make believe" ones. It also voted to allow banks to book smaller impaired asset losses to paint a brighter profits picture. It let Wells Fargo, for example, claim a Q 1 profit when it's drowning in losses, ones it can hide and not take.

Also likely coming is restoration of the "uptick rule" that prohibited sho